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Weekend Briefing No. 148
This Week By The Numbers
$200,000,000 – JPMorgan’s new credit card is too popular. The premium Sapphire Reserve card will reduce the bank's quarterly profits by up to $200 million, thanks to its lavish perks.
$150,000 – The best bed in the world costs $150,000. The Hästens Vividus is made of rare Swedish pine and hand-braided horsehair.
$29 – Apparently that’s how much it costs to get someone to visit a family member in a nursing home. A Chinese nursing home is paying people to visit their relatives. Visits have soared since the home started offering a $29 cash bonus.
Amazon has created a small Seattle grocery store. It allows customers to take what they want off the shelves and leave without waiting in line or checking out with a cashier. It seems that Amazon is not content to just disrupt online retail; they are now doing it in brick and mortar. But what about cashiers? Currently, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, cashiering is the second most-common occupation in the United States, with 3.5 million employed. See a video about the shopping experience and reactions at Inside (9 minutes).
Google Is Green
In 2017, Google will reach 100% renewable energy for global operations — including both data centers and offices. They are the world’s largest corporate buyer of renewable power, with commitments reaching 2.6 gigawatts (2,600 megawatts) of wind and solar energy. Over the last six years, the cost of wind and solar came down 60 percent and 80 percent, respectively, proving renewables are increasingly becoming the lowest cost energy option. Electricity costs are one of the largest components of operating expenses at their data centers. Having a long-term stable cost of renewable power provides protection against future price swings in energy. Learn more at Google (5 minutes).
In 2013, Bird + Stone was launched by Elana, she taught herself how to make beaded bracelets on YouTube and sold them on the trading floor at Bloomberg. Years later, she has taken the next step forward with the introduction of the Dreambuilder Cuff - the bracelet that gives $5 to female entrepreneurs in the developing world to start a business. Unsurprisingly, these cuffs carry a strong personal meaning - husbands buy them for their wives starting businesses or friends buy cuffs for each other to provide some inspiration. As the movement grew, Bird + Stone created a hashtag and encouraged others to share their dreams on their digital dreamcatcher. Receive $10 off the Dreamcatcher Cuff, exclusive for Weekend Briefing subscribers, with WEEKEND10 (Sponsored Briefing).
Implicit Bias in Grantmaking
Less than 7% of grant dollars went toward ethnic or racial minorities in 2013, although these individuals comprise nearly 40% of the US population. Why is this the case? Traditional grantmaking practice tends to favor organizations that have existing relationships with funders and dedicated development staff. As a result, less funding may make its way toward smaller organizations, many of which may be serving similarly under-resourced communities. Such implicit bias may lead some funders to fall short of their own goals to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. Learn how to eliminate this bias in an article by my friend Nancy Chan at Stanford Social Innovation Review (6 minutes).
Made in Rwanda
Most people in Rwanda wear the second hand clothes we donate to Goodwill. The East African Community (EAC), which includes Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Burundi, as a whole has proposed a ban on second hand clothing by 2019. They hope the ban will help domestic textile manufacturers. The Rwandan government has made an effort to establish a Rwandan textile industry and expand the country’s almost nonexistent manufacturing sector. For Rwanda, it’s also about moving on from being another third-world African country dressed in hand-me-downs donated from Western countries. Learn more at Quartz (8 minutes).
Your Life in Weeks
Tim Urban has created a great visual about life. He breaks down a 90-year life into boxes. Each box represents a week. Sometimes life seems really short, and other times it seems impossibly long. This chart helps to emphasize that it’s most certainly finite. Those are your weeks and they’re all you’ve got. Given that fact, the only appropriate word to describe your weeks is precious. There are trillions upon trillions of weeks in eternity, and those are your tiny handful. See the chart at Wait But Why (4 minutes).
Huffing & Puffing
Tim Ferriss interviewed entrepreneur and author Derek Sivers on his podcast recently. Sivers told the story of how, when he would cycle a certain route, he would always try to maximize every pedal. Red-faced, huffing and puffing, he’d always finish in 43 minutes. One day he took it easy and had fun and finished in 45 minutes. All his extra effort only got him there 2 minutes faster. We can often push toward maximum optimization in life – getting the absolute maximum out of every dollar or every minute - when for most things actually, just learning smart principles and applying them are effective and establish happiness without the need to be perfectly optimized. You can get 95% of the results you want by calmly putting one foot in front of the other. Learn more by listening to 29:30 - 35:30 of the Tim Ferris Show #125 (6 minutes).
About the Weekend Briefing
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