Weekend Briefing No. 47

Welcome to the weekend. Welcome to 2015. I’m celebrating with some friends by retreating to the Hamptons for some relaxation and reflection. I hope you have some time this weekend to reflect and contemplate this new year.



Silicon Savannah. I love Nairobi for so many reasons, not the least of which is that it’s a global hub for social entrepreneurship, and last year I wrote most of Profit & Purpose there because I wanted to be submerged in that culture while I was writing. While I was there I met so many great entrepreneurs and am was glad to see the Bloomberg Businessweek piece featuring some good friends like Radhika Thakkar of Greenlight Planet, Annie Roberts of Open Capital Advisors, and Charlene Chen of BitPesa.

Innovation & development. Clayton Christensen’s new article in Foreign Affairs entitled The Power of Market Creation: How Innovation Can Spur Development describes three types of innovation. The first is what we call “sustaining innovation,” the purpose of which is to replace old products with new and better ones. Such innovations are important, because they keep markets vibrant and competitive. “Efficiency innovation” is the second type; it helps companies produce more for less. Efficiency innovations allow companies to make and sell established products or services at lower prices. The third type is “market-creating innovation.” When most industries emerge, their products and services are so costly and inaccessible that only the wealthy can buy and use them. Market-creating innovations transform such offerings into products and services that are cheap enough and accessible enough to reach an entirely new population of customers.

Startup statistics. A recent study compared what it’s like to work for a startup vs. an established company, and the results may surprise you. The average employee is paid more at a startup than an established company, this is especially true if the employee is in tech or sales. Learn more in this Quartz article.

7 startups driving social change. Too much tech talent goes into building banal apps that play to our basest not our highest nature. This Washington Post article highlights 7 tech companies (most of which, I had not heard of) that are leveraging their talent to create impact.

90-day goals are better than New Year’s Resolutions. New year! New me! …. Riiiight. Hope springs eternal at the beginning of each year, and we all have hopes of positive change. But changing behavior is really tough. Read this Fast Company article to see why 90-day goals may be the more effective than year-long goals.



Jay speaks! If you’re a Serial fan, you, like me, may be unsatisfied with the fact that Jay was unwilling to be interviewed. In this two part interview (Part 1) (Part 2), The Intercept gets Jay’s side of the story.

Neil deGrasse Tyson selects the eight books every intelligent person on the planet should read.



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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