What We’re Reading

Here are a few good articles the Collaborative Fund team came across this week.

Advantages

Probably the best Amazon analogy I’ve seen:

Cheap. Capital. Is. Awesome.

Amazon can try 10 things for every one thing peers can. When I sit in board meetings, directors usually ask management to come up with ideas that provide advantage, relative to required investment — we want cool ideas, that don’t cost too much. I’ve never been in an Amazon board meeting, but I believe management is charged with coming up with cool ideas that are ridiculously expensive, as others can’t follow. The majority of (actual) wars have not been won with strategy, bravery, training, or superior equipment, but brute force. At the end of WWll, the Allies had 38 gallons of gasoline for every one the Germans did. Amazon is the retailer with 38 gallons.

Locations

One startup pays employees to live wherever they want:

Zapier introduced a de-location package for new employees. Here’s how it works: If a new hire wants to leave the Bay Area, to get away from the high cost of living or the urban cultural milieu or the triumphalism of Warriors fans, Zapier will reimburse up to $10,000 of moving costs incurred within the first three months of employment.

Turnaround

A good interview with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey:

Twitter is very much on the spot. Are you feeling the pressure?

Good pressure. It’s always good pressure. Look, this company is so important—not only to me, but to the world. It plays a really critical role in the world. A more open exchange of information is our purpose, and it’s a noble one. I want to make sure I’m doing whatever it takes to make sure that we serve that purpose.

Work stress

Getting fired is massively stressful:

Losing a job can be a sharp blow, one that causes a bigger drop in life satisfaction than being widowed or getting divorced, according to the review conducted by the University of East Anglia and the What Works Center for Wellbeing, an independent body set up by the U.K. government.

History

A succinct history of industrial growth:

The bad stuff — the myriad ways humans have invented to treat each other badly — has been around since the beginning of time. But in the last few hundred years industrialization has created the kind of vast wealth we need to buy our way out of those circumstances. Now the time required for industrial wealth to come back around and fund something wonderful — like abolition of slavery or universal suffrage — is frustratingly slow. The textile magnates of New England in early 1800s profited from American slavery *and* their fortunes were eventually steered to abolition politics and Union-support in the Civil War. But as industrial wealth raised standards of living, it raised the bar on what people considered to be acceptable treatment of others. That’s a wonderful thing.

Upside to downsides

More on the advantages of stress:

“Negative mood operates as a mild alarm signal, informing us that we face a new, unfamiliar and potentially problematic situation, and so subconsciously produce a more attentive and focused thinking style,” he says. In other words, mild negative moods can lead to us being more observant, and paying more attention to detail.

Have a good weekend.


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