Weekend Briefing No. 45

Welcome to the weekend. This week the Russian Ruble tumbled and interest rates spiked, North Korea was pissed about The Interview, and the smash hit podcast Serial had it’s final episode, in which we all leave as confused as we were on episode 1.



A way to trade innovation stocks. ARK Investment Management helps the retail investor invest in innovation. They are looking for the steam engine, or the electricity, or the computer of tomorrow: the general-purpose technology platforms that are going to change the way the world works. They recently launched with three ETFs based around themes: industrial innovation, genomics and Web X.0. Check out more about their strategy in this Forbes article.

Invisible Children is winding down. The organization that created the famous (some say infamous) viral video KONY 2012 is to shut down in 2015. They have been successful in putting pressure on the LRA, which has now dwindled to a tiny ineffective force. No organization is perfect, and IC has made some missteps, but it has engaged a generation of activists. I’ve met so many people who dipped their toes into the waters of activism because of IC and have now gone onto build great organizations. Me included. My first act of “activism” was leading the global night commute in my city a decade ago. Read more details in this Fast Company piece and watch their final video.

Guide to pitching investors. This piece is a step-by-step guide to crafting an effective pitch. 1. Tell a story. 2. Tell the truth. 3. Make it ring. 4. Be ON. 5. Take car of your audience. 6. Always be buying. 7. Practice, practice, practice.

#GivingTuesday raises over $50 million. Donations during the third annual #GivingTuesday were up by more than 45 percent compared to last year, surpassing $50 million, according to preliminary estimates. Interestingly, #GivingTuesday is not cannibalizing end of year giving, it seems to be growing the overall amount of end of year giving. Read the details in this report from Nonprofit Times.

Startups & depression. After years of rapid growth and expansion, followed by a serious year of depression, Rand Fishkin, founder and former CEO of Moz, found himself in a room surrounded by VC backed CEO’s and entrepreneurs where the question was posed: “How many of you struggle seriously with depression or severe anxiety or emotional issues?” He watched almost every person raise their hand. It’s shocking how universal depression is in startups. For anyone struggling with depression, it’s helpful to know you’re not alone. Listen to this podcast about depression in the startup world.



Beautiful photos of an isolated weather station in Russia. This New Yorker photo essay is breathtaking. Thanks to my buddy Will Swanson for sharing this.

How to speak startup. Think urban dictionary meets the startup world. Learn the hilarious and true meaning behind terms such as “serial entrepreneur”, “pivot”, “crushing it” and other slang in this Tech Crunch piece.

Mail… Khimp? For any Serial fans out there, here’s a brilliant remix of the mailchimp ad from the show. And another remix with Notorious BIG.



The Weekend Briefing is a selection of the best stories from around the web about innovation and society curated by Kyle Westaway – author of Profit & Purpose and Managing Partner of Westaway & Co.


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