Weekend Favs July 17

Weekend Favs July 17 written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

My weekend blog post routine includes posting links to a handful of tools or great content I ran across during the week.

I don’t go into depth about the finds, but encourage you to check them out if they sound interesting. The photo in the post is a favorite for the week from an online source or one that I took out there on the road.

  • Pabbly Connect – Automate all your integrations and tasks
  • Morning Brew – Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed and entertained, for free.
  • Slack Connect – Organizations can now work securely with multiple partners and vendors in Slack, driving stronger relationships and faster results

These are my weekend favs, I would love to hear about some of yours – Tweet me @ducttape

Amazon’s 1997 shareholder letter is a free MBA class on leadership – here are 4 lessons from it

Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos’ 1997 letter to Amazon shareholders highlighted his conviction and belief in the company’s future success.

  • Amazon’s 1997 shareholder letter offers brilliant business lessons from Jeff Bezos.
  • Alex Lieberman, executive chairman and cofounder of Morning Brew, recently posted on Twitter about those lessons.
  • His tweets outlining what Bezos did right have been reprinted with permission below.

Editor’s note: The below article began as a Twitter thread and has been republished with permission.

Amazon’s 1997 shareholder letter provides a glimpse into the brilliance of Jeff Bezos. It’s a free MBA class in strategy and leadership. Here are four lessons from it.

Alex Lieberman and Austin Rief, Morning Brew co-founders
Alex Lieberman.

Lesson 1: Choose your words wisely

The letter is 1,617 words. The word ‘customer’ occurs 25 times.

That word focuses Bezos and focuses the people that look to him for guidance. Jeff knows that while Amazon’s mission is simple, execution is nearly impossible.

To succeed, the company’s north star must be unmistakable to everyone. Everything in this letter comes back to the customer.

Lesson 2: Have conviction

Every great entrepreneur has one thing in common: Conviction.

It’s about having a deep-rooted (likely contrarian) belief in an opportunity. An opportunity that is untapped, undervalued, and unappreciated.

Jeff Bezos shows wild conviction in the early days of Amazon. He sees a tidal wave that is the Internet, and he knows that if Amazon is in the best position to surf that wave, it’d become massive.

Lesson 3: Always acknowledge trade-offs

You can’t be a clear thinker without being honest about a decision’s trade-offs. Every decision has them. Despite his confidence, Bezos saw incredible risk in Amazon’s grand plan.

Jeff observed two major risks:

1) Other large, public companies saw opportunity in the internet like he did

2) It’s a market defined by network effects. Coming in second wasn’t an option.

This meant speed and heavy investment were mandatory.

Lesson 4: Set expectations early and often

I have found that the No. 1 failure of managers is an inability to set expectations. Sometimes it’s out of fear. Other times it’s an inability to communicate. But it is crucial to building any business for the long-term.

Jeff Bezos does this masterfully. From day one, he made it crystal clear to shareholders that investing in Amazon is opt-in. If you expect business performance quarterly … don’t invest. If you expect business performance over the long-term … join the party.

Alex Lieberman is the executive chairman and cofounder of Morning Brew.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Despite global emissions falling 7% in 2020, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is at its highest level in modern history

CO2 pollution on earth
The new findings are from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

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Despite the influx of Office trivia night invites, nature is in fact not healing. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is at its highest level in modern history and 50% higher than in preindustrial times, according to new findings from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

  • In fact, to find a time when Earth’s atmosphere had this much CO2 in it, you’d have to go back at least 4.1 million years ago to the Pliocene Epoch, when sea levels were almost 80 feet higher than today.

But what about the pandemic? Global emissions fell 7% last year due to travel restrictions and the general slowdown in human activity. However, as the new data reveals, that didn’t do much to change the long-term trajectory of carbon emissions.

That’s because every year, the world adds ~40 billion metric tons of CO2 pollution to the atmosphere. A brief commuting break can’t offset the CO2 that sticks around in the atmosphere for up to 1,000 years.

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Read the original article on Business Insider

The FDA approved a drug to treat the underlying cause of Alzheimer’s and potentially slow its progression. But not all doctors are willing to prescribe it.

Scientist working in lab
The FDA approved the first drug to treat the underlying cause of Alzheimer’s.

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Yesterday, the FDA approved Biogen’s aducanumab, the first drug to treat the underlying cause of Alzheimer’s (sticky brain plaques) and potentially slow the disease’s progression in early stage patients. Although far from a cure, aducanumab could mark a new era in treating the leading cause of dementia and the sixth leading cause of death in the US.

Not all doctors are ready to prescribe

Biogen had shelved the drug in early 2019, then surprised the medical community by breaking it back out that October. Last November, an expert panel advised the FDA not to approve aducanumab after a pair of studies showed conflicting results about its effectiveness.

But the agency fast-tracked it, arguing that the benefits of slowing Alzheimer’s outweigh the risks. Since aducanumab’s clinical effectiveness isn’t certain, Biogen still has to conduct post-approval trials, but some health experts worry the FDA made the wrong decision.

Big picture: It’s easier to crack the TikTok algorithm than it is to treat Alzheimer’s. A string of failures led many pharma companies to give up, though some analysts think Biogen’s breakthrough could renew interest, Reuters reports. There’s certainly money to be made: Biogen says the treatment, which will be sold under the name “Aduhelm,” will cost $56,000 a year.

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Read the original article on Business Insider

Apple’s new software features focus on post-pandemic life. Here’s what’s getting an update.

apple wwdc 2021
Apple kicked off its annual WWDC conference for developers with a keynote address showing off its new software features.

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Wondering why your engineering team stopped responding to you yesterday afternoon? Apple kicked off its annual WWDC conference for developers with a keynote address showing off its new software features.

So…what’s new?

Apple’s preparing for post-pandemic life with…a lot of tools that would have been helpful during the pandemic.

FaceTime updates: Video calls will get screen sharing capabilities, integrations with other apps like social media, and crisper audio. Users will also be able to schedule and send links to FaceTime calls (even to their Android friends).

Focus tech: To help you stay on task from 9-5, Apple will let users batch notifications and order them by priority, add a Focus mode to limit interruptions from non-work-related apps and friends, and add work, sleep, or do not disturb statuses to their Messages app.

Privacy: To bolster its reputation as Silicon Valley’s privacy leader, Apple is adding on-device speech processing for Siri, extra private browsing on Safari, and the ability to disable tracking pixels in email.

  • Tracking pixels? Apple users will be able to block tracking by email senders, a change that could mean big disruptions for businesses that depend on email marketing. If a user disables pixels, companies won’t know if their email even gets opened.

Other highlights: New features for developers to build apps in the cloud. Uploading your ID to Apple Wallet to use for TSA screening. Unlocking your car or front door from an iPhone. Fancier maps. And trusted contacts to get you back into iCloud after you forget your new password.

Between the keynote lines

This WWDC wasn’t unique just because execs spoke before a crowd of Memojis. Yesterday, Apple defended itself and said the App Store has paid over $230 billion to developers since opening in 2008.

The company wrapped up a trial last week with Fortnite maker Epic Games, which is accusing Apple of monopolistic practices for the 30% cut it takes on in-app purchases. If Apple loses, the company may have to rewrite the rules of its money-printing App Store.

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Read the original article on Business Insider

Twitter’s paid subscription service gives users a 30-second grace period to undo or edit a tweet

Twitter bird
Twitter has released Twitter Blue.

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At long last, Twitter has released its first subscription product, Twitter Blue. For now, only Australian and Canadian users can pay around $3/month to access Blue features like a 30-second grace period to undo or edit a tweet before it’s posted, prioritized customer support, Reader Mode for easier viewing of threads, and color scheme customization for the app.

Not quite the “edit” button users have been begging for and nothing particularly groundbreaking. So…why are we writing about it?

Investor pressure and advertising competition from the likes of Snapchat and Facebook pushed Twitter to look for new revenue streams. A subscription offering has been on the roadmap for years.

Big picture: Twitter’s product team must have picked up a copy of Deep Work during the pandemic, because they’ve been testing and/or launching tons of new features including…

  • A virtual tip jar
  • “Super Follows” for individual users to charge subscriptions
  • Voice-based DMs and tweets
  • Features that limit the spread of misinformation and prevent harassment
  • Stories (aka “Fleets”)
  • Spaces, a Clubhouse competitor

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Read the original article on Business Insider

United Airlines is buying 15 supersonic jets that could get you from New York City to London in 3.5 hours

Boom Supersonic
The future United Airlines plane from Boom Supersonic.

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Cicadas aren’t the only thing that return every ~17 years. The promise of supersonic commercial flight reemerged yesterday when United Airlines announced it’s buying 15 jets from Boom Supersonic.

Supersonic = faster than the speed of sound. Boom’s planes could cut flight times in half and get you from a bagel breakfast in NYC to teatime in London in 3.5 hours.

Catching a flight that quick hasn’t been possible since 2003, when the iconic Concorde jet retired. It was an expensive, gas-guzzling machine, and the loud booms it made while breaking the sound barrier woke up enough babies that Congress banned supersonic flights over US soil in the ’70s.

  • Now, Boom and other supersonic startups are working on net-zero emissions and noise-muffling tech.

Looking ahead…supersonic jets are largely in the development phase; Boom’s never actually built a full-scale version of its Overture aircraft, and it’ll need to clear regulatory checks before passengers hop onboard in 2029. Just last month, one of the leading supersonic jet makers, Aerion, shut down because of financial troubles and concerns about fuel-efficiency and noise regulations.

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Read the original article on Business Insider

California drought could have devastating consequences for the state’s agriculture, wildlife preservation, and tourism industries

California reservoir
A reservoir.

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The latest shortage hitting the American West? Water. And while Chick-fil-A sauce and semiconductors are important for a functioning economy, this year’s historic drought in the West could affect-and we do mean this-literally everything.

The state of play: California Gov. Gavin Newsom has put 41 counties under a state of emergency in an attempt to drastically limit water use. Some scientists say the region is facing the worst drought in centuries.

Who’s getting hit the hardest?

Anyone who eats food. The water levels of 1,500+ reservoirs in California are 50% lower than normal at this time of year, per Jay Lund, co-director of the Center for Watershed Sciences at UC-Davis. This means huge cuts to the water that farmers in the state use to produce over 25% of the country’s food supply.

  • Your morning breakfast of Blue Diamond almond milk and habanero BBQ almonds could be impacted. California accounts for 80% of the US’ almond supply, but because of shrinking water allocations, some farmers are simply bulldozing those notoriously thirsty almond trees.

Anyone who uses electricity. Officials are predicting the water level of Lake Oroville, the Beyoncé of California lakes, to hit a record low in August. If that happens, they would need to shut down a major hydroelectric power plant, putting extra strain on the electrical grid during the hottest part of the summer.

Anyone who is a fish. In April, California officials announced they’d be driving 146 truckloads of 15+ million young salmon to the Pacific Ocean because the fish wouldn’t be able to swim in the dangerously shallow, warm waterways connecting the state’s Central Valley to the ocean.

Anyone who dislikes wildfires. Five of the six largest wildfires in modern California history happened during the 2020 wildfire season, killing 30+ people. Experts say the current conditions are much worse.

Bottom line: This drought could have devastating consequences for the state’s agriculture, wildlife preservation, and tourism industries. #BoatSummer in California is not looking good.

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Read the original article on Business Insider

Amazon says it will no longer include marijuana in its drug screenings for some workers

Amazon stops marijuana screenings
Matty Merritt.

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In an attempt to overthrow the DQ that doesn’t limit how many brownie blizzards you can eat as your town’s best employer, Amazon announced it would no longer include marijuana in its drug screenings for some workers. So unless your position is regulated by the Department of Transportation, Amazon said it will treat marijuana like alcohol (should make for an interesting office holiday party).

  • Other employers like Hospitality Ventures, a management group that runs Marriott and Hilton hotels, have also dropped marijuana testing to attract already hard-to-find staff.

Everyone’s doing it. Last year, of the seven million drug tests conducted for employers by Quest Diagnostics, around 2.7% came back positive for marijuana. The number has been rising slowly, from 2% in 2016, as more states legalize recreational use.

Speaking of legalization, Dave Clark, Amazon’s consumer boss, said the company supports legislation to decriminalize cannabis and encouraged other companies to get with it.

Big picture: Amazon hopes its cool weed aunt energy, recent wage increases, and the introduction of a (poorly received) cry box will neutralize the slew of criticism it’s gotten around unsafe working conditions.

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Read the original article on Business Insider

Morning Brew Crossword: Criss Cross

crossword puzzle
Crossword puzzle.

This crossword puzzle was created by the editorial team at Morning Brew, an awesome daily email read by 2.9 million next-generation leaders like you. Sign up here to get it!

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