Weekend Briefing No. 124

Welcome To The Weekend


Hello from beautiful upstate New York. I’ve got some great news! Krista Tippett, famed radio /podcast host and author of the new book Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living, heard that we were reading her book for our July book club and she has kindly agreed to join us for the discussion. Pretty cool right?!

So, if you haven’t signed up yet click here to sign up for the book club on July 14th. I mean… how often do you get to have a book club with the author of the book?

Oh, and here’s my summer country music playlist. Yee-haw!

Let Me In


My friend (and client) Jonathan Olinger directed his most recent film in collaboration with Alicia Keys. The short film re-imagines what it would be like if we traded places with Syria. Instead of barrel bombs being dropped on Aleppo, they are dropped on Los Angeles. It forces you to ask the question, “What would I do?” Watch the short film on YouTube (11 minutes).

State Of Emerging Markets


Since 2009 ANDE has been tracking the state of the small and growing business (SGB) sector to assess its growth and impact on emerging market economies. This year’s report showed: 1) Talented managers are needed to accelerate growth of small businesses. 2) Deals under $2 million are on the rise, but very early-stage investing still lags. In 2015, total capital invested in emerging market deals $2 million and under rose 34 percent to $263 million. 3) Entrepreneurship is key to creating jobs, yet development dollars are declining. Read the full report at Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (17 minutes).  H/t Carrie Barnes

Education Innovation in Liberia


Education in Liberia was severely affected by the Civil Wars, between 1989 and 2003. In 2010, the literacy rate of Liberia was estimated at 60.8% (64.80% for males and 56.8% for females). Abuse of resources, teacher absenteeism, and sex for grades are common. More Than Me has been disrupting the failing education system in Liberia by running their own safe, effective tuition-free school. They’ve had such good results that the Minister of Education has invited them to help rebuild the entire education system. They are looking for qualified individuals or firms with experience in system-wide education to develop critical safety, health and education resources to implement their (S)HE Matters strategy. Learn more and reply to the RFP at More Than Me (featured briefing).  

Cleared For Takeoff


The FAA has finally announced a set of regulations for commercial drones. These rules will affect anyone that wants to start a business using drones, from a one-man operation, to taking wedding photos from a drone as well as all the way up to big-box retailers. Under the new rules operators need to obtain a license through FAA-approved tests first. Commercial drones need to weigh less than 55 lbs, stay within the line of sight of the operator at all times, can’t fly over people, and can only fly during daylight. They have to fly less than 100 mph (87 knots) and stay below 400 feet. Learn more at Quartz (4 minutes).

Ethereum Hack


DAO, a venture capital fund operating through a decentralized blockchain inspired by Bitcoin, had been robbed of more than $60 million worth of Ether digital currency, or about 1/3 of its value, through a code exploit. The market for Ether cratered on news of the theft, with the price of the digital currency dropping from $21 to $12.93 overnight. The DAO has been touted as the first major implementation of a Decentralized Autonomous Organization, a financial organization underpinned by so-called “smart contracts,” written in computer code and enforced through a blockchain which controls investors’ digital currency holdings. Learn more at Fortune (6 minutes).

Growth Hack


Julien Smith was desperate. His company Breather was running out of cash fast and nobody seemed to want what he was selling – on demand spaces to work and meet. Things started to turn right as his sense of desperation deepened. He started offering free hours on Twitterto literally anyone. He didn’t care if he was coming off desperate. When building a startup, some experiments will be intelligent. Others will be dumb. It doesn’t actually matter. You just need a lot of experiments and tons of dedication. Learn more at Medium (7 minutes).

No Sleep? No Sex.


A 2013 study from UC Berkeley found that a decrease in empathy and an impaired ability to read one another’s expressions was clearly present after even just one night of bad sleep. Poor sleep contributes to a lack of gratitude and feelings of appreciation between couples. According to a recent study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, each extra hour of sleep corresponds to higher levels of sexual desire for women in relationships, as well as a 14% increase in the likelihood of having sex with their partner the next day. Basically, a lack of sleep fucks with your relationship’s emotional well-being  and how much you’re actually fucking. Learn more at MEL (8 minutes).

About The Weekend Briefing


The Weekend Briefing is a selection of this week’s top stories on innovation and society, curated by Kyle Westaway – author of Profit & Purpose and Managing Partner of Westaway.

Thanks for making the Weekend Briefing a part of your Saturday morning routine. Have a restful and thoughtful weekend.