Weekend Briefing No. 147
Welcome to the weekend. As we enter the last month of the year, I hope you end on a high note. I’ve put together a December playlist for you. Enjoy!.
This Week By The Numbers
$3,450,000,000: Shoppers spent $3.45 billion on Cyber Monday on Samsung 4K TVs, PlayStation 4s and Barbie dolls among other products, marking the largest online sales day in U.S. history. visit a brick-and-mortar business within a day.
$100,000,000: Sheryl Sandberg is transferring $100 million of her Facebook stock holdings to a fund for charitable causes including her own Lean In and Option B organizations among others.
$20: US executive Martin Shkreli became a symbol of greed when he raised the price of a tablet of Daraprim from $13.50 to $750. Now, Sydney school students have recreated the drug's key ingredient for just $20.
2016 State of Startups
I love the First Round Capital State of Startups. They just released their 2016 survey of 700+ startups. Here are the results: 1) Profitability. 39% are optimizing for profitability, 61% for growth. 48% think they will be profitable in 1-3 years. 2) Compensation. A mid-level engineer makes, on average, $101-$150K and gets 0-0.2% equity in the company. 3) Culture. The average tenure of a non-executive employee is 2-3 years and most people leave the office from 6-7 every day. 4) Funding. Most rounds took more than 4 months to close and the company pitched between 11-20 investors, and 45% believe it will get harder to raise capital in the next 12 months. Learn more at First Round (10 minutes).
Hustle to Wholeness
My friend Khe has excelled in life due to what he calls his “hustle practice” – building knowledge and toughness through some bizarre routines. It helped him climb the ladder in the finance world, but he realized that it didn’t deliver on happiness. He could never really get above a 6.3 on the happy scale. So, he quit his job and is on a quest to answer an essential question “What does it mean to live a whole life?” For him it’s learning to move beyond hustle to wholeness through uncomfortable introspection, which is all about embracing fear by: 1) Noticing the fear. 2) Creating a language of fear. 3) Recognizing the information that is embedded within that fear. Check out his TEDx Talk and subscribe to his weekly email (14 minutes).
Investing in girls in the developing world has a clear ROI. An extra year of secondary school for girls can increase their future earnings by 10-20%. Girls with a secondary education are 6x less likely to marry as children. The UN Foundation's' Girl Up campaign is matching up girls in the US to support girls in developing countries. On behalf of the 62 million girls out of school globally - American girls contact congress, host screenings of Girl Rising, and most importantly, learn the power of activism in their teen years. Bird + Stone has teamed up with Girl Up with an exclusive bracelet to bring awareness of the barriers that keep girls from getting to school. Learn more at Bird + Stone (Sponsored Briefing).
Patagonia Owns Black Friday
It’s the week after Thanksgiving and this is the Weekend Briefing, so I guess it’s time to write about Patagonia’s Black Friday stunt. Seriously… it’s getting a bit repetitive, but it’s also kinda getting awesome. Last week, they announced they’d give 100 percent of global retail and online Black Friday sales directly to grassroots nonprofits working on the environment sparking some to label it a “fundraiser for the earth.” Patagonia reached a record-breaking $10 million in sales. Though they expected to reach $2 million in sales—they beat that expectation five times over. How are they going to top that in 2017? Learn more at Patagonia (2 minutes).
Impact Economy Anxiety
Are you having some anxiety and uncertainty about what will happen in the impact sector post-election? If so, let my friends Susan Mac Cormac and Jesse Finrock assure you that things will be ok. Here are a few reasons: 1) The private sector will continue to innovate regardless of federal policy as a result of market demands. 2) There is a growing recognition that sustainability is good for our pocketbooks as well as for the planet. 3) People care more than ever about creating meaningful change. Learn more at MoFo (3 minutes).
Moon Shot Philanthropy
Does investing a lot in a moon shot provide a higher social ROI than spreading your chips around? To try to answer that question, FORBES partnered with Bridgespan to focus on the 10 most promising big bets in philanthropy. Here are a sampling. 1) Bill & Melinda Gates giving $1.55B to to vaccinate 300 million children for a variety of diseases by 2020. 2) Michael Bloomberg giving $30M to help retire coal-burning power plants in the U.S. by encouraging regulators to crack down on pollution. 3) Howard Buffett giving $550M to partner with the Government of Rwanda to support their national plan for agricultural development. Learn more at Forbes (4 minutes).
C.S. Lewis on Democracy
“I am a democrat because I believe in the Fall of Man. I think most people are democrats for the opposite reason. A great deal of democratic enthusiasm descends from the ideas of people like Rousseau, who believed in democracy because they thought mankind so wise and good that everyone deserved a share in the government. The danger of defending democracy on those grounds is that they’re not true. And whenever their weakness is exposed, the people who prefer tyranny make capital out of the exposure… The real reason for democracy is just the reverse. Mankind is so fallen that no man can be trusted with unchecked power over his fellows. Aristotle said that some people were only fit to be slaves. I do not contradict him. But I reject slavery because I see no men fit to be masters.” Learn more at brainpickings (8 minutes).
About the Weekend Briefing
The best articles on innovation, impact, and growth distilled into one email every Saturday morning by Kyle Westaway – author of Profit & Purpose and Managing Partner of Westaway.
Thanks for making the Weekend Briefing a part of your Saturday morning routine. I love putting it together every week and love hearing your thoughtful insights. Feel free to shoot me an email with any feedback or suggestions. If you like what you’re reading, I’d be honored if you share it with your friends. Have a restful and thoughtful weekend