Weekend Briefing No. 33

Welcome to the weekend! I love fall in the city, but this week I’ve been heads down working on a redesign of the profitandpurpose.com website. It’s almost done, so I wanted to give you a sneak peek. Check it out and shoot me an e-mail with any feedback. What do you like? What don’t you? What more would you like to see on the site? Thanks!




Apple is more like a rock band than a company. They build stuff they love. They have taste–not just “creativity”. They create less products, but with higher quality. One of my favorite writers, Umair Haque, details what we can learn about building a compelling brand from the masters at Apple in this Harvard Business Review piece.


Apple’s CEO Tim Cook takes the stage at Climate Week. This week was climate week and 300,000 people participated in the People’s Climate March–here in New York. Though protest marches are important to show that this issue matters, I’m more interested in how businesses are thinking about climate change. This week, Tim Cook took the stage at a Climate Group event and said he doesn’t believe there’s a tradeoff between the economy and the environment. “If you innovate and you set the bar high, you will find a way to do both,” he said. “You must do both.” He also noted, “Boomers have to look at ourselves deeply and ask if we want to be the first generation who leaves the world worse off.” Read more about business and climate change in this Guardian article.


Sustainable companies are more profitable. A new report by nonprofit CDP, released Tuesday, provides some of the first evidence of a link between business leadership on climate change and a company’s profitability. The study finds that S&P 500 companies that build sustainability into their core strategies are outperforming those that fail to show leadership. Specifically, corporations that are actively managing and planning for climate change secure an 18% higher return on investment (ROI) than companies that aren’t – and 67% higher than companies who refuse to disclose their emissions.


But global warming has it’s upside, like using sunlight and sand to 3D print glass objects. Yes… this is really happening and it’s as cool as it sounds. Markus Kayser is using a fresnel lens called the “SolarSinter” to print 3D objects out of sand. I love innovative use of two very abundant resources to make stuff. Check out a video of the SolarSinter in action at TechCrunch.


And speaking of 3D printing, it looks like Will.I.Am is jumping into the industryWill.I.Am cofounded Ekocycle with Coca-Cola to help turn plastic bottles into high fashion. That story is featured in Profit & Purpose. This week he just announced a partnership with 3D Systems that allows anybody to use recycled plastic (PET) bottles as the raw material for their 3D printer–allowing you to turn waste into cool products. Check out the video HERE.




Could Disney help cure autism? It did for one kid. Ron and Cornelia Suskind had two healthy young sons, promising careers, and a brand new home when their youngest son Owen started was diagnosed with Autism. The Suskind family finds an unlikely way to access their silent son’s world. This heartwarming / tear-jerking episode of Radiolab attempts to figure out what their story can tell us about Autism. Hear their story on this Radiolab podcast.


You are super smart, so I’m interested in your thoughts. If you have any story ideas, questions or just want to say hi, feel free to e-mail me. I’m looking forward to chatting with you. 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.