Wednesday, October 29, 2014

What's a Dad to Do When His Daughter Wants to Dress Up as Han Solo for Halloween?

... put on a Princess Leia costume, of course. Adorable. Read more in HuffPo.

Also reminds me of the post where someone realized that college girls dress like Han Solo.

What’s Driving the Week

With a week to go before Election Day, here are the issues people are tweeting about, politicians are making ads about, and the media is writing about. Check it out in Bloomberg.

Thanks, Tom

Woman Walking Around NYC Gets Catcalled 108 Times in One Day

Read more in the WSJ.

Thanks, Tom

Women Get More Lead Roles, But the Script Hasn’t Really Changed

Read more in the WSJ.

Thanks, +Katherine Stiner 

Venture Capital Firm Invests in Start-Ups With a Social Mission

Nancy Pfund, the founder of the venture capital firm DBL Investors, has made a name for herself in Silicon Valley by investing in startups with a strong social mission. "I liked her emphasis on the double bottom line, which is how I invest," said Tesla CEO Elon Musk. "Also, she wasn't pushing for a quick return like some VC's."

Read more in the NYT.


Oh the cuteness. Today is National Cat Day, and Uber is running #UberKITTENS again. I can't handle it:
Last year there was a shortage in NYC.

Read more on the Uber Blog.

The Cheapest Generation

Why Millennials aren’t buying cars or houses, and what that means for the economy. Read more in the Atlantic.

Transcript of David Brooks, The Gathering 2014

It's a longer read, but likely one of the best things I've read all month. I want to quote a dozen things in here, but I'll keep it short:
...And so this is an achievement culture. A culture of people striving and trying to win success. The way I express this contrast, this hunger for success is by two sets of virtues, which you could call the résumé virtues and the eulogy virtues. And the résumé virtues are the things you bring to the marketplace which you put on a résumé. And the eulogy virtues are the things you get expressed in your eulogy. And these are non-overlapping categories. So the eulogy virtues are to give courage, to give honor, what kind of relationships do you build, did you love. 
... Suffering teaches gratitude. When you’re on top of the world, you think that people love you, well, you deserve it. But when you are suffering, you realize that love is unearned. 

Read David Brooks's speech in The Gathering when you catch a peaceful moment.

Thanks, +Sam Solie 

Stop Being So Positive

The WOOP approach seems enticing. Will try it. Read more in HBR.

HBR Daily Stat: To Make Your Claim More Believable, Simply Add a Graph

Don't know why I find this so humorous:
When a claim about a new drug’s effectiveness was presented in text form, 67% of research participants said they believed it. But when the text was accompanied by a simple graph making exactly the same claim, 97% believed it, say Aner Tal and Brian Wansink of Cornell. Graphs’ persuasiveness has nothing to do with ease of understanding; instead, a graph signals to readers that the information has a scientific basis, making it more believable, the researchers say.
Read more in HBR.

Rare Survey Examines Sexual Assault at M.I.T.

"M.I.T. revealed that among undergraduates who replied to a survey, at least 17 percent of women and 5 percent of men said they had been sexually assaulted."

Read more in the NYT.

How Successful People Handle Toxic People

Good reminders. Check out the article in LinkedIn.

Monday, October 27, 2014

A Religion for the Nonreligious

So thoughtful. Check it out in Wait But Why.

Thanks, Collin

HBR Management Tip: Tell Your Team You’re All in This Together

Really powerful:
We’re hardwired to want to work together. Research shows that the feeling of working together can lead to greater motivation, engagement, and performance. But ironically, while we have team goals and are judged by team performance, few of us actually do our work in teams. Yes, the projects we complete are done in teams, but most of the work we do today still gets done alone. But there’s a powerful way of making employees feel like they’re working as a team, even when they technically aren’t: Simply say the word "together." It’s a powerful social cue to the brain that signals you belong, you’re connected, and there are others you can trust. Managers should make use of this word with far greater frequency. By repeating that you and your employees are working toward something together, they’ll know they aren’t alone and will be motivated to do their best.
Read more in HBR.

KEVIN SMITH: It costs nothing to encourage an artist

See the full article at Zen Pencils,

Sunday, October 26, 2014

How You Know You’ve Found the Right Career

My favorite:
6. You like the other people in your field. My best-ever career (and investment) decisions have come from genuinely liking and admiring people I’m working with. Grappling with the discomfort of interpersonal contretemps is never productive. It saps everyone and it ensures suboptimal performance. Also, it can take down a career faster than anything else. If you can handle snakes, you’ll be OK getting into the viper pit; but if not, pick another industry.
Check out the list in LinkedIn.

Thanks, Rebekah

The Great Bluff That Led To A 'Magical' Pill And A Sexual Revolution

Check it out in NPR.

Thanks, Tom

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Unlocking social and financial returns through social enterprises

Companies are increasingly looking to maximise their positive social impact by offering their business skills to for-profit social enterprises (SEs) – and early returns have achieved strong results. AND KKR was featured in the article. Check out more in Sharing Value Asia.

Sallie Krawcheck Opens an Index Fund Focused on Women

When Sallie L. Krawcheck, a former big bank executive, bought a women’s network last year, she said she wanted to “move from advocacy of women to the smart business of real investment in women.” Read more in Dealbook.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Published for the First Time: a 1959 Essay by Isaac Asimov on Creativity

SO many good quotes in here. I want to quote nearly every sentence in his essay, but I will refrain. A select few:

  • Consequently, the person who is most likely to get new ideas is a person of good background in the field of interest and one who is unconventional in his habits
  • A person willing to fly in the face of reason, authority, and common sense must be a person of considerable self-assurance. Since he occurs only rarely, he must seem eccentric (in at least that respect) to the rest of us. A person eccentric in one respect is often eccentric in others
  • The presence of others can only inhibit this process, since creation is embarrassing. For every new good idea you have, there are a hundred, ten thousand foolish ones, which you naturally do not care to display 

Read more in Technology Review. Thanks, +John Chao 

What I’ve Learned Since Leaving Facebook

Read more in the Information.

Meet the 'Suitsy' — the Adult Onesie That Could Transform Business Travel

This happened.

'Dating' vs. 'Married': How Text Messages Change Over Time

A lot evolves between the first year of coupledom and the ones that follow—including references to "home," "dinner," and "love."

Read more in the Atlantic.

Monday, October 20, 2014

TED Talk // Apollo Robbins: The art of misdirection

"Hailed as the greatest pickpocket in the world, Apollo Robbins studies the quirks of human behavior as he steals your watch. In a hilarious demonstration, Robbins samples the buffet of the TEDGlobal 2013 audience, showing how the flaws in our perception make it possible to swipe a wallet and leave it on its owner’s shoulder while they remain clueless."

Thanks, +Joyce Yu 

One in four Americans think poor people don’t work hard enough

America's long held infatuation with hard work might be eating into its understanding of inequality. 
A quarter of the country believes the most important reason inequality exists is that some people (ahem, the rich) work harder than other people (the poor), according to a new report by the Pew Research Center. 
The proportion of Americans who blame the underprivileged's work ethic for inequality is surprising because it's unusual. Of the 44 countries included in Pew's survey, only two —England and Uganda — were equally as unimpressed with the poor's working habits, and only Nicaragua was found to have a greater percentage of people (31 percentage) who hold that view. In Germany, Israel, and Italy, by comparison, only 10 percent, 7 percent, and 3 percent of the population, respectively, said the main reason an income gap persists is because some people work harder than others.
Read more in the Washington Post.

Poor kids who do everything right don’t do better than rich kids who do everything wrong

Read more in the Washington Post.

The Meaning of Life

Whether or not the latest wave of self-helping meditators or corporate practitioners of ‘mindfulness’ know it, the spiritual enlightenment sweeping America has strong ties to Buddhism, thanks in part to one huggable ex-monk in California.

Read more in the NYT.

Why Selling A Startup For $20 Million Can Be Better Than Selling It For $200 Million

It's all about dilution. Read more in Business Insider.

Who To Follow On Twitter, According To Marc Andreessen

Check out the list on TechCrunch.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Rise and (Likely) Fall of the Talent Economy

"The top 25 hedge fund managers in 2010 raked in four times the earnings of all the CEOs of the Fortune 500 combined."

Read more in HBR.

Thanks, Bill

TED Talk // One more reason to get a good night’s sleep

"The brain uses a quarter of the body's entire energy supply, yet only accounts for about two percent of the body's mass. So how does this unique organ receive and, perhaps more importantly, rid itself of vital nutrients? New research suggests it has to do with sleep."

Thanks, +Brandon Kearse 

Yellen ‘Greatly’ Concerned by Widening Inequality in America

"Janet Yellen thrust the Federal Reserve into the debate on inequality in America, deploring what she said were the biggest increases in disparities of wealth and incomes since the 19th century." Read more in Bloomberg.

Thanks, Tom

Who needs an MBA?

Interesting perspective that was written in 2003, over 10 years ago. Check out the TIME article. Have times changed?

Wedding stalking: both hilarious, ridiculous and creepy

"Want to see pictures of random strangers’ hipster-chic nuptials? Just the Hashtag is the hilarious newsletter that emails you ten wedding hashtags to browse (stalk?) on Instagram each week. It’s more than a little bit weird, but sometimes it’s OK to embrace your inner creep."

Made by Women Founders

ProductHunt put together a "collection of great products made by women."

Thanks, +Megan Gardner 

Are Women Better Decision Makers?

Read more in the NYT.

Thanks, +Alessia Bhargava 

Circuit Scribe: Draw Circuits Instantly

Check out this badass Kickstarter campaign.

Thanks, +Cassie Coravos 

Can We Auto-Correct Humanity?

"I imagine a world where we smile when we have low batteries, because that means we'll be one bar closer to humanity."

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Disrupting Adoption

"How one stealth-mode startup is creating faster and easier adoptions for hopeful parents."

So proud of +Binti+Felicia Curcuru, and +Julia Chou. They are now operating in 20+ states! Read more in Sproutling.

Friday, October 17, 2014

3 Ways to Recharge When You're Burned Out

Burned out? You need sleep and exercise says Brene Brown. But that's only the beginning.

Read more in Oprah Magazine. Thanks, +Marissa Mumford 

Oprah Learns the Secret to Paulo Coelho's Timeless Wisdom

The author of one of the most popular books in this or any language, Paulo Coelho, opens up about dreams, destiny, and the only thing he believes will ever make us happy.

My favorite excerpt:
OPRAH: But you know what? I think not everyone knows what their Personal Legend—their purpose, their calling—really is. People are always saying to me, "I don't know what I'm supposed to do with my life."  
PAULO: They know. It's very difficult, Oprah, to accept that you know what you're supposed to do when you are not doing it. Because from the moment that you know, you have to either leave a lot of things behind or live aware that you are not fully treasuring the miracle of being alive.  
OPRAH: Like the merchant who didn't go to Mecca in The Alchemist. Who always wanted to go, but kept postponing, and finally realized he was never going to go.  
PAULO: Yes. In my life, I think I learned this.  
OPRAH: So the reason that many people never pursue their Personal Legend is because of their fear of failure. I love this quote from The Alchemist: "'Don't give in to your fears,' said the alchemist, in a strangely gentle voice. 'If you do, you won't be able to talk to your heart.'" 

Read more in Oprah MagazineThanks, +Marissa Mumford 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Kids react to grumpy cat

The Next Stage of Financial Inclusion

"Nonprofit organizations led the way in developing microcredit offerings for the poor. Then for-profit companies took over large swaths of that newly created market. Yet research on the needs and habits of the poor shows that nonprofits continue to serve a vital function when it comes to bringing financial services to those who need them most."

Read more in the Stanford Social Innovation Review.

10 Survivors Of Domestic Violence Quoting The People Who Attacked Them

From Project Unbreakable, an online platform that aims to “encourage the act of healing through art.” Check out the photos in Buzzfeed.

Wild kangaroo street fight Aussie style

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Startup Notes 2014

Every year, Startup School invites amazing founders to tell their story. Here are doodle notes of the most actionable advice from each speaker. Enjoy, and good luck building!

Thanks, Collin

Perk Up: Facebook and Apple Now Pay for Women to Freeze Eggs

Mind blown. Check out the NBC News article.

HBR Daily Stat: Think You’ll Feel Good After Telling Your Awesome Tale? Think Again

Hmm, maybe it's not great to share FOMO-inducing moments either:
People tend to expect that if they’ve had an extraordinary experience, they’ll feel good after chatting about it with others who have missed out. But in an experiment, participants who saw a really good video of a street performer and then discussed it with others ended up feeling more excluded if the others had seen a mere low-budget animation: They reported feeling an average of 80 on a 100-point exclusion scale, versus 51 reported by those who had seen the animation. The researchers, led by Gus Cooney of Harvard, say that when an extraordinary experience separates a person from peers, the net may be a decrease, rather than an increase, in joy.
Read more in HBR.

Monday, October 13, 2014

How To Be Efficient: Dan Ariely’s 6 New Secrets To Managing Your Time

Here are Dan’s tips in summary:

  1. The world is not designed to help you achieve your long term goals. Passivity is not going to get you where you want to go.
  2. Control your environment or it will control you. Optimize your workspace for what you need to achieve.
  3. Write the things you need to do down on your calendar. You’re more likely to do what you write down.
  4. You have about 2 hours of peak productivity, usually early in the morning. Protect those hours and use them wisely.
  5. Meetings, email, multitasking and structured procrastination are the biggest time wasters.
  6. No, you don’t need an email break. Switching tasks reduces effectiveness as your brain transitions. The more you do it, the less effective you are.

Read more at BarkingUpTheWrongTree.

Sam Harris on the Paradox of Meditation and How to Stretch Our Capacity for Everyday Self-Transcendence

Insightful... the central paradox:
We wouldn’t attempt to meditate, or engage in any other contemplative practice, if we didn’t feel that something about our experience needed to be improved. But here lies one of the central paradoxes of spiritual life, because this very feeling of dissatisfaction causes us to overlook the intrinsic freedom of consciousness in the present. As we have seen, there are good reasons to believe that adopting a practice like meditation can lead to positive changes in one’s life. But the deepest goal of spirituality is freedom from the illusion of the self – and to seek such freedom, as though it were a future state to be attained through effort, is to reinforce the chains of one’s apparent bondage in each moment.
Read more on BrainPickings.

Thanks, +Lucy McKinstry 

Bay Area's Steep Housing Costs Spark Return To Communal Living

Check out the podcast on NPRThanks, +Marissa Mumford 

Aziz Ansari embraces feminism on the Late Show with David Letterman

Favorite Aziz quote: "You're feminist if you go to a Jay Z and Beyoncé concert and you're not, hmm, I feel like Beyoncé should get 23 percent less than Jay Z."

Read more on Slate.

The Uncomfortable Data Behind Online Data

Thanks, +Alessia Bhargava 

What Can the McLaren Racing Team Teach the Rest of Us?

Thought the Heathrow Airport example was particularly fascinating. Read more in Business Week.

Thanks, +Sam Solie 

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Columbus Day - How Is That Still A Thing

Thanks, +Alessia Bhargava 

Why Workplace Jargon Is A Big Problem

I need to unlearn (and avoid) all of these. Check out the list on HuffPo.

Five Reasons to Prioritize Social Impact Investing

Read Carla's, REDF President and CEO, perspective on HuffPo.

Ditch the 10,000 hour rule! Why Malcolm Gladwell’s famous advice falls short

"Contrary to what the bestselling author would tell you, obsessive practice isn't the key to success. Here's why." Read more in Salon.

Thanks, Vini

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Let Her Go - Passenger (Official Video Cover by Jasmine Thompson)

Haunting version of the Passenger song.

What it’s like to fly on the $20,000 Singapore Airlines Suite Class

Craziness. See more pictures here.

Thanks, Tom

Leadership Style: If You're Going To Be A Jerk, Be One All The Time

The author of this article suggests that in love and war, surprise is your friend; in leadership, it’s better to be predictable and boring:
Borrowing lessons from the field of neuroscience, this article explains that the key function of the brain is to serve as a "prediction engine". While recollecting, the brain relies on "reconstruction", a mechanism which it follows to generate "future memories" as well. 
The brain constantly revises its predictive models balancing the need to store stable memories and the need to update them with novel experiences. The accuracy (or the lack of it) of the predictive capacity of the brain triggers the commensurate behaviour. It can explain why we feel angry when people do not follow rules. 
  • The important lesson from a leadership perspective is to be temperamentally consistent. Employees are happy when they see their workplace as safe and predictable and mercurial bosses with sudden and extreme mood swings may create more anxiety than consistently bad ones 
  • The second lesson is regarding the messages that leadership need to pass to their employees. Key here is not to oversell good news, not to hide the bad news and not to be over predictive more than the situation demands. Unpredictability, whether positive or negative, invariably triggers negative response and hence leaders need to harness the power of predictability to make employees feel secure and committed
Read more in Forbes.

Tech Executive: Women Are Just 'Like Men, Only Cheaper'

Yup. That happened. Read more about the presentation in HuffPo.

American men’s hidden crisis: They need more friends!

"Men aren't making the same kinds of intimate friendships many women have -- but they want to."

Where's the bromance? Check out the story in Salon.

What Happens When Second Graders Are Treated to a Seven-Course, $220 Tasting Meal

This could not be more adorable. Check out the video in the NYT.

Thanks, +Julia Chou 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Research: More Than Half of Top Female Execs Were College Athletes

Not so surprising. Read more in the HBR.

Thanks, +Zuhair Khan 

Exposing Hidden Bias at Google

The lecture begins with a dismal fact: Everyone is a little bit racist or sexist. If you think you’re immune, take the Implicit Association Test, which empirically measures people’s biases. Dr. Welle goes on to explain that some of the most damaging bias is unconscious; people do the worst stuff without meaning to, or even recognizing that they’re being influenced by their preferences. 
I think this is true too, but awareness has limited effects 
Finally, Dr. Welle points to research showing that we aren’t slaves to our hidden biases. The more we make ourselves aware of the role our unconscious plays in our decision-making, and the more we try to force others to confront their biases, the greater the chance we have of overcoming our hidden preferences.
Check out the test, and read more in the NYT. Thanks, +Zuhair Khan 

Philosopher kings

Business leaders would benefit from studying great writers -- read more in the Economist.

Thanks, +Brandon Kearse 

Happiest Siberian husky playing in the leaves

Thanks, +Lucas Chapin 

My right to death with dignity at 29

Read Brittany Maynard's story in CNN.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

What ISIS Could Teach the West

An excerpt:
As we fight the Islamic State and other extremists, there’s something that President Obama and all of us can learn from them. For, in one sense, the terrorists are fighting smarter than we are. 
These extremists use arms to fight their battles in the short term, but, to hold ground in the long run, they also combat Western education and women’s empowerment. They know that illiteracy, ignorance and oppression of women create the petri dish in which extremism can flourish. 
That’s why the Islamic State kidnapped Samira Salih al-Nuaimi, a brave Iraqi woman and human rights lawyer in Mosul, tortured her and publicly executed her last week. That’s why the Taliban shot Malala Yousafzai, then 15 years old, after she campaigned for educating girls. And that’s why Boko Haram kidnapped hundreds of schoolgirls in northern Nigeria and announced that it would turn them into slaves. 
In each case, the extremists recognized a basic truth: Their greatest strategic threat comes not from a drone but from a girl with a book. We need to recognize, and act on, that truth as well...
Read Nicholas Kristof's article in the NYT.

How You Make Decisions Says a Lot About How Happy You Are

"‘Maximizers’ Check All Options, ‘Satisficers’ Make the Best Decision Quickly: Guess Who’s Happier"

Read more in the WSJ.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

What Tattoos Tell Us About the Economy

Lots of interesting things in here:
The 2004 survey also showed that tattoos were much more likely to be found among younger adults and among people with three or more days of jail time, with military service, or with any experience with recreational drugs. In general, these findings fit the expected pattern -- that tattoos are most popular with people who are less educated and who engage in riskier behavior. 
... All of which might make you wonder why anyone would get a tattoo... Here is my own guess: The rise of tattoos reflects a broader trend of anti-establishmentarianism. Having a tattoo is a permanent symbol of rebellion, signaling that you don’t buy into the norms established by an out-of-touch elite...
Read more in Bloomberg. Thanks, +Katherine Stiner 

Want to Stop Mean Girls? Raise Nice Girls, Instead

Want to remember all these things when I'm a parent. Read more in the HuffPo.

Why Women Aren’t C.E.O.s, According to Women Who Almost Were

"It’s not a pipeline problem. It’s about loneliness, competition and deeply rooted barriers." Read more in the NYT .