Weekend Briefing No. 29

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Welcome to the holiday weekend! I’m listening to Summer’s Gone by Odeza as I write this…. Seemed appropriate. The tell tale signs that Summer is ending are all around. The rose’ supply is running dry in the Hamptons. Sillicon Valley is moving to Black Rock City, and as my friend Aimee Groth points out, Burning Man is kinda expensive, even if you’re roughing it.


As a Weekend Briefing reader you get the inside track on what’s happening with the launch of my book Profit & Purpose. The book is launching on September 15th, but I wanted to extend a special invitation to you to join me for an exclusive pre-release launch party on the 11th of September in Brooklyn. It will be a chance for you to be one of the first people in the world to get your hands on a signed copy of the book…. Oh, and the after party is going to be a blast. Did someone say BBQ & Bourbon? CLICK HERE TO ATTEND.




Did TOMS Sell out? With Bain Capital taking a 50% stake in TOMS last week, what does is mean for their social mission? I tried to answer this question in my Guardian article this week. It seems that the social mission (and the simple / tangible way it is marketed to customers) is actually what is driving their Millennial consumers to buy a relatively bland product – a canvas espadrille – by the boatload. In this case purpose is so inherently tied to profit that for Bain to strip it out would likely mean the death of the brand. Read more of my thoughts on the topic in The Guardian (810 words).


Nearables. “Nearables” are sensors that are spatially intelligent. So when a device comes within range, the sensor will trigger an action. This week, Estomite and IDEO announced the launch of three millimeter-thick adhesive nearables no bigger than an oversize postage stamp. This compact size makes them easy to apply to any surface or device. Think about walking up to your door and it automatically unlocking or walking into the kitchen in the morning and having the coffee start brewing. Learn more about nearables in my friend Ainsley O’Connell’sarticle in Fast Company (649 words).


LEED Certified hotels lead the way financially. A recent Cornell study examining 607 US hotels found that LEED certified hotels drive stronger revenues.  While the occupancy rate for LEED-certified hotels was slightly under that of non-LEED, the average daily rate (ADR) and the revenue gained per average room (RevPar) were both higher. The ADR tended to be $10 higher than non-LEED, and the RevPar was $20. Read more details about this study here (965 words).


Using phone data to map the spread of Ebola. A Swedish nonprofit Flowminder is mapping the flow of travel by tracking cell phones. The model created using the data is meant to offer clues about where to focus preventive measures and health care as the Ebola crisis, which has already killed 1350 people, is still not contained. Read more about this brilliant use of tech for social good in the MIT Technology Review(664 words).


Put More in than you take out. For more than a century, Peconic Bay has been producing world class oysters. But time has taken its toll. Industrial scale operations have resulted in over-fishing and a near decimation of the oyster population. Little Creek Oyster Farm is revitalizing the Bay by planting oyster beds, harvesting most and leaving some behind to rebuild the oyster population, which is helping to clean up the bay. Each oyster filters up to 50 gallons of per day, over their lifetime in the water, each oyster will filter over 50,000 gallons of water. Read my blog post on them at Profit & Purpose (409 words).




Burning Man. Burning Man is definitely a thing I like. Though the gathering is known (especially on the East Coast) for it’s hedonism, it’s really more about creativity and community. The engineering, logistical and artistic skills on display there are mind-blowing. Check out this drone’s eye view of Black Rock City and a video of Burners reciting Dr. Suess’s Oh The Places You’ll Go!


You are super smart, so I’m interested in your thoughts. If you have friends that would like the Weekend Briefing, please forward it along. They can sign up for free here. Follow me on twitter for updates throughout the week.

Have a restful & thoughtful weekend.