Weekend Briefing No. 70

Welcome to the weekend. This week the G7 met in Germany and came out as a unified front against Russia and climate change. Turkey’s ruling party AK, headed by Tayyip Erdoğan, won only 41% of votes in a general election, meaning it has to find a coalition partner for the first time since gaining power 13 years ago. Apple had its WWDC event where it announced its own music streaming service and new news app, and Facebook announced the long-awaited launch of Oculus Rift, the much famed virtual reality headset.

Thank you to everyone who gave me feedback on how the Weekend Briefing should look on Instagram. Based on your feedback, this week we are going to experiment with break up the briefing into a number of posts. Let me know what think.

A big congratulations to Jacob Jackson! He won a free signed copy of Profit & Purpose just for liking a photo on Instagram. I’m giving away 1 per week for the month of June. If you want to win one take these simple 3 steps.  First follow me @kylewestaway. Second read the post. Third, like it.




The Kauffman Index: Startup Activity is a new report from the Kauffman Foundation bringing together the latest data available on entrepreneurial trends nationally, at the state level, and for the 40 largest metropolitan areas of the United States. The index is comprised of 3 components. (1) Rate of New Entrepreneurs: an early and broad measure of business ownership. (2) Opportunity Share of New Entrepreneurs: a proxy indicator of the percent of new entrepreneurs starting businesses because they saw market opportunities. (3) Startup Density: the number of startup firms divided by total population of a place. Check out how your city / state stacks up here.

The future of food is, well… food. The future of food is not a powder mixed with water to create an engineered superfood. It is not a race to consume calories as quickly as possible so as not to disrupt the disrupting. It is a full on American (more specifically a Silicon Valley) perspective that we should be alleviating the “pain point” of having to “waste time” eating food with friends and family, in order to maximize time building the next app. Do we need healthier food and a cheaper way of sourcing and distributing that food? Absolutely. But that’s not a powder. It’s authentic, natural foods, locally sourced, sustainability grown, brought fresh to our tables. What are we innovating for, who are we building the future for, if we don’t value human connection? Learn more in this article by Steve Case in re/code.

Technology & democracy. New technologies offer important tools for empowerment — yet democracy is stagnating. With all the hype of social media and the Arab Spring, The number of democracies today is basically no greater than it was at the start of the century. So, what’s up? Foreign Policy asked experts, and they responded with varied perspectives such as: autocrats know how to leverage technologies too; the poorest still don’t have access to “liberation technologies”; and democracy is not just about increasing avenues for citizen expression, it is also about establishing credible representative institutions that can respond to citizen demands and needs. Learn more in this Foreign Policy article.

Happiness & creative destruction. You’d think people in areas that are being disrupted by job stealing robots would be kind of depressed. But a new study by Princeton economists found that places that have highest levels of creative destruction and job turnover also have the highest levels of subjective well-being or happiness. Cities with a high level of creative destruction have a higher level of current happiness than the average, and interestingly enough, people feel even more positively about creative destruction when asked about their future happiness rather than their current well-being. Learn more in this Atlantic article.

Startup advisors. The relationship between startups and advisors are generally vague and as a result, nobody – both advisors and startups – are maximizing the relationship. So, First Round is announcing an experiment to fix traditional startup advising called STAR, or “Short-Term Advisory Relationships.” STAR engagements last 90 days, have standardized, performance-based economics, and spell out specific, documented deliverables for both advisors and founders from the start. The advisor commits to 90 minutes / week for 90 days with a standardized compensation model comprised of a combination of performance-based equity and cash. Learn more here.




6 days in North Korea is a beautiful interactive feature of the Hermit Kingdom filled with photos and videos from the New York Times.

True cost. Last week I featured Patagonia’s struggle with slave labor in it’s supply chain, and one of my friends Kyle McCollum sent me a documentary called True Cost, which documents the real cost of fast fashion. It’s definitely worth checking out.




Race and dating. This season, the podcast StartUp – a show about what really happens in a startup – is following an online dating company called Dating Ring, and the latest episode called Profiled was about how racially biased we are in dating. A sister podcast, Reply All – a show about the internet – ran an episode called The Fever about dating from the perspective of an Asian female. The perspective of reporter, Stephanie Foo, was incredibly eye-opening to me.




The Weekend Briefing is a selection of this week’s top stories on innovation and society, curated by Kyle Westaway – author of Profit & Purpose and Managing Partner of Westaway Law. I consider it a privilege to be a part of your weekend routine. Thanks.