Weekend Briefing No. 185

Prime Numbers

450,000,00 Bumble, the dating app that makes women message matches first, has reportedly turned down a $450m acquisition offer by Match Group, which already owns Tinder, OkCupid, and Match.com.

14,500,000 – 14.5 million people from the ages of 12 to 17 will use Facebook in 2017, a drop of 3.4 percent from the prior year. Teens are migrating instead to Snap Inc.’s Snapchat and Instagram, the photo-sharing app that Facebook owns, the research company said Monday in a statement.

1,000 – The world’s largest data center will be in the Arctic Circle and draw a record setting 1,000 Megawatts of power.

Social Good @ Y Combinator

Y Combinator has been called the Hogwarts of Silicon Valley. It’s the most prestigious tech accelerator on the planet. This week they had their annual Demo Day where they pitch to investors. There were 2 companies that I thought had a really strong blend of profit and purpose. 1) Darmiyan. Mission: To create a fast, non-invasive, inexpensive, precise and globally accessible tool for brain health screening and monitoring. This will help millions of people worldwide who suffer from brain diseases with earlier diagnoses and cures. 2) 70 Million Jobs. Mission: To find employment for the 70 million Americans that have criminal records. Learn more at Westaway Review (2 minutes).

Founder Wisdom

Founder’s Collective put together a great list of 21 things they wish they knew as a young founder. 1) You win or lose based on customer delight. All the pitching and cool tech cannot save this. Sometimes you have to get creative to make people want what you can offer in the early days. 2) A library worth has been written on fundraising. Read Brad Feld’s tour de force on term sheets. Read Mark Suster’s take on dilution. Read Fred Wilson on “small ball.” 3) At any moment, there are ten things you should do. You cannot do them all. Embrace the chaos and choose which seven things to ignore. 4) Follow-up on everything and with everyone. You’d be amazed how few people do. 5) Building something of incredible value is really hard — and takes a while. Don’t force it. Buckle up and hunker down. Give yourself the permission to let other trends and possibilities (for your career or life) pass by. As we say here, sometimes things are “someone else’s opportunity.” Focus on your business, the journey you’ve chosen. Learn more at Hackernoon (7 minutes).


The summer is winding down, that means SOCAP isn’t too far off. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of SOCAP, guest curators have developed a “Spotlight” focused on a core inquiry. It utilizes multiple sessions and various formats to explore particular core inquiries with SOCAP attendees. My favorite is from B Lab, they be asking: What is the next generation of systemic change being driven by enlightened businesses? The sessions will focus on What investors are thinking about Benefit Corporations, how the movement is growing outside the US and why the most recent update to the B Impact Assessment matters. Learn more at SOCAP (Sponsored Briefing).

Also, just for Weekend Briefing readers, use this link to save $250 when you register for SOCAP 17.

Robotax in SF

When robots steal our jobs, should they be made to pay taxes? That’s something residents of San Francisco are being asked to think about by Jane Kim, who represents the city’s District 6 on its board of supervisors. She wants to find cash to help folks out with retraining or a universal basic income when robots take over their toils. The suggestion for generating that money is a tax on robots. Similar suggestions in the past—most notably from Bill Gates—have been dismissed, in part because taxing robots disincentivizes companies from adopting them, leading to a failure to capitalize on increases in productivity that can stimulate the economy. “We’re still working on what defines a robot and what defines job displacement,” Kim admitted in an interview with Wired. “Announcing the opening of the campaign committee is going to also allow us to have discussions throughout the state in terms of what the actual measure would look like.” In reality, it’s not clear what the best way to impose taxes on automation is. Earlier this year, the Economist weighed what such a thing might look like. Taxing capital investment in robots or the increased profits as a result of their installation, the two obvious ways to go about it, don’t seem to be a perfect solution, according to the magazine’s analysis. Learn more at MIT Technology Review (3 minutes).

Fixed v. Growth Mindset

What are the consequences of thinking that your intelligence or personality is something you can develop, as opposed to something that is a fixed, deep-seated trait? Your view of yourself can determine everything. If you believe that your qualities are unchangeable — the fixed mindset — you will want to prove yourself correct over and over rather than learning from your mistakes. The growth mindset on the other hand is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts. Why hide deficiencies instead of overcoming them? Why look for friends or partners who will just shore up your self-esteem instead of ones who will also challenge you to grow? And why seek out the tried and true, instead of experiences that will stretch you? The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives. Learn more at Farnam Street (7 minutes).

The Dark Side of Resilience

There is no doubt that resilience is a useful and highly adaptive trait, especially in the face of traumatic events. However, when taken too far, it may focus individuals on impossible goals and make them unnecessarily tolerant of unpleasant or counterproductive circumstances. Large-scale scientific studies suggest that even adaptive competencies become maladaptive if taken to the extreme. For example, extreme resilience could drive people to become overly persistent with unattainable goals, a phenomenon called the “false hope syndrome.” Along the same line, too much resilience could make people overly tolerant of adversity. At work, this can translate into putting up with boring or demoralizing jobs — and particularly bad bosses — for longer than needed. Learn more at Harvard Business Review (8 minutes).

Eclipse Pics

I know everyone on your Instagram feed was showing off their pictures, but let’s be honest… they’re not professionals. If you want to see some amazing shots, here’s a roundup of National Geographic’s favorite pictures from the solar eclipse this week. National Geographic (2 minutes).

About the Weekend Briefing

The best articles on innovation, impact, and growth distilled into one email every Saturday morning 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. Feel free to shoot me an email with any feedback, insights, tips or suggestions. If you like what you’re reading, I’d be honored if you share it with your friends. Have a restful and thoughtful weekend.