When I first heard of Dollar Shave Club, it was through the same medium as most everyone else – some pretty funny Super Bowl commercials and the media following that. I thought it looked like a fun and irreverent company, but didn’t subscribe myself until we analyzed it in B school and several guys in my class said they were subscribers and raved about it. Now it seems that shipping a box of razors every months or so (plus some other items) turns out to be worth $1 billion, or so the offer from Unilever would have us believe. Pando lays out what entrepreneurs should learn from this acquisition (hit or miss on the article – they’ve started locking their content) while Streatechery speaks to how the $1B price is low compared to the price of Gillette and how it is negatively disrupting the vertical.
Business Insider has once again brought us their “THE SILICON VALLEY 100: The most amazing and inspiring people in tech right now.” While there are many names you’ll recognize on this list, there are quite a few that you may not, and for me it’s a great way to keep a finger on the pulse of what’s driving innovation in Silicon Valley.
Ever wonder that the best TED talks ever were? Well, according to Chris Anderson, the curator of TED, these are it.
strategy+business has a trio of good articles this week: What Consumers Most Want from Health Insurers’ Technology, an interview with Greg Beck (Silicon Valley’s Farsighted Banker), and Five Behaviors That Can Create an Innovation Culture. In that last one, they include , building collaboration across your ecosystem, measuring and motivating your intrapreneurs, emphasize speed and agility, think like a venture capitalist, and balance operational excellence with innovation.
If you found the first strategy+business article interesting, go over and check out what STAT has to say about how ‘digitizing you and me’ could revolutionize medicine.
Bloomberg lays out for us this week something that many may not have noticed: oil isn’t looking to be the future for Big Oil. They took a look at Royal Dutch Shell to explain why.
If we take a look at the global stage right now, it’s incredible to see how “truth” is being undermined by opinion and fact is falling by the wayside. The Guardian has supposed that technology is the culprit. TO me, technology has certainly made it more difficult for public and private leaders to lead and focus on the broader problems facing us.
McKinsey has a great article on how and where machines will replace humans in the near term, and it’s not where you might think. Automation isn’t set to eliminate any job completely in the next decade, according to McKinsey, however automation will affect portions of all jobs. In my mind, that’s a good thing, as greater efficiency through automation leads to other advances that will redefine the jobs of the “robot economy.” While the full results of their study won’t be out until early 2017, McKinsey gives us a glimpse of what they’ve discovered and breaks it out into three main categories: those that are highly susceptible, less susceptible, and least susceptible to automation. It’s a really fascinating read, and a hat tip goes to Mike for sharing it with me.
Along with the McKinsey piece is this one from Xerox on 19 jobs for ‘bots (and why that’s not such a bad thing).
O’Reilly has a thought provoking piece this week on how decentralization might just give us the reboot we need to reopen the web and accelerate innovation.
It’s been an interesting few weeks for Microsoft with the announcement of the LinkedIn acquisition. With that acquisition, you may be wondering what the email, data, and privacy implications may be. Techcrunch has taken a swing at answering those for us. Also interesting is how Satya may have just fixed Microsoft’s biggest problem.
While I don’t have anything on Google or Apple to share this week, there were a couple of share-worthy items on Facebook, including its inability to increase diversity, again (and how they blame schools for it) and what Facebook will look like in 2026.
In my hours behind a windshield this week I got a chance to catch up on some of Tim Ferriss’s recent podcast and one of them was his interview with Chris Young, the brain behind ChefSteps. He is obsessively focused on how to bring science into the kitchen and has had a pretty amazing journey. Pi.co happened to interview him this week as well, it’s worth a read, and the Ferriss podcast is long but a good one.
As a good friend of mine always tells me, great leaders listen twice as much as they speak. Here’s an article from HBR that speaks to what great listeners actually do. Oh, and if you want to pick up a book on the subject, check out The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever.
Last this week from The Military Leader is an article on why toxic leaders keep getting promoted. While not meant for a civilian audience, it reinforces what we already know – toxic leaders advance because we focus too much on what they accomplish, not how they accomplish it. They may get the mission done, but the trail of destruction they leave in their wake is rarely noticed by their superiors but deeply felt by their peers and subordinates. The parallels to our lives as leaders is clear – many of us get mired in reacting to the world around us, where the truly successful leaders initiate change in their organizations. Our task-saturated culture keeps us from finding the cognitive space we need to create long- or even mid-range plans. That’s the challenge for all of us: finding the space we need to grow into better leaders, and defending that space once we find it.
And on that note, I’d like to leave you this week with this talk by Drew Dudley on everyday leadership. In it, Dudley asks us to celebrate leadership as the daily act of improving each other’s lives.