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Edition #12

September 27th, 2019


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What I learned co-founding Dribbble (Dan Cederholm)
+ Dan Cederholm shares his top lessons learned from founding Dribble. We've shared several 'lessons-learned' type pieces by executives since starting adventur.es Weekly and encourage our subscribers to share any lists or lessons you've found helpful. Key lessons from this piece included:

1. Choose your partner wisely. The marriage only lasts if the partners know and trust one another.

2. Persistent iteration trumps flashy launches. While not always true, it's generally true that persistence in the daily grind towards excellence in your business - whether that is satisfying customers, increasing operational efficiency, or forging new relationships - is the key to long-term success.

3. Grow thick skin quickly. In leadership positions, your decisions affect many stakeholders and you can't please everyone.

4. Identify when you're being stubborn and getting in your own way. Don't get complacent and comfortable because you've 'always done things this way.' Allow yourself the intellectual freedom to question your methods and processes constantly.


Writing documents for Jeff Bezos (Medium)
+ Running effective meetings where critical decisions for the firm are made involves both the human touch and intellectual ability. This piece focuses on what made for a smooth or bumpy meeting when presenting the famous 6-page documents before Jeff Bezos at Amazon, however there are a few broader lessons that apply more generally:

1. Have the right people in the room, which would include the subject matter experts pertaining to your presentation. You can't make effective decisions without input from those closest to the problem or area.

2. Check your ego at the door. It's about making the right decision, not getting your ideas acknowledged and accepted.

3. Do not schedule meetings with a half-baked proposal. If the pitch isn't ready, it's less embarrassing (and potentially less harmful to the firm) to reschedule and take more time to sharpen the presentation than wasting everyone's time and accomplish nothing substantial.

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The slow burning success of Bob Iger's Disney (New York Times)
+ "Actually, Mr. Iger’s book is a primer on how much you can achieve if you keep your ego in check. In an era of brutish and ego-driven leadership in the White House, Silicon Valley and in many other countries around the world, Mr. Iger doesn’t lead with his ego or try to drive the other alphas out of the herd."

The renegade executives of Houston who shook up the sports industry (Wall Street Journey $)
+ No matter what arena you play in, the lessons of risk and reward remain the same.

WeWork lessons that apply to lots of stuff (Morgan Housel)
+ "Every business has three main stakeholders: Customers, employees, and shareholders. You can ignore any one of those for a while, but eventually all three have to be cared for."

The impact of increasing search frictions on online behavior (Harvard Business School working paper)
+ "We propose that deliberately increasing search frictions by placing small obstacles to locating discounted items can improve online retailers’ margins and even increase conversion. We demonstrate using a simple theoretical framework that inducing consumers to inspect higher-priced items first may simultaneously increase the average price of items sold and the overall expected purchase probability by inducing consumers to search more products"

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The tech sector is over (Financial Times $)
+ The 'tech' industry is blending into all sectors: "And as old-world companies like Walmart -- which now, according to Deluard, sells almost as much online as Apple -- move into the territory of its rivals, new-world firms are moving in the opposite direction: Netflix, for example, said it would be spending $13 billion on producing its own content in 2019 (about 90 per cent of its turnover)."

WeWork and the great unicorn delusion (The Atlantic)
+ Extravagant visions are more often accompanied by large losses nowadays. The end of this era may be near, with cold hard numbers coming into focus and visionary plans on the back burner.

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The growing list of US government inquiries into Big Tech (Axios)
+ The widespread, and at times illicit, use of data analytics by tech companies to aid in ultra-targeted marketing and anti-competitive behavior has placed Big Tech companies square in the cross hairs of federal regulators.

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More workers will qualify for over-time pay under Trump administration rule (Wall Street Journal $)
+ "The rule, set to go into effect Jan. 1, would increase a key salary threshold below which workers generally qualify for time-and-a-half pay for logging more than 40 hours a week."

Family health insurance costs top $20,000 per year, setting a record (Bloomberg)
+ Due to the rising cost of healthcare, many people are purchasing insurance that covers less, costs more, or getting priced out of the insurance market altogether. The costs are also being felt by employers, according to a nationwide survey.

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7 things you didn't know about plastic and recycling (National Geographic)
+ "Given its prominence, and the fact that scientists estimate it takes somewhere between 450 -1,000 years to decompose (some argue it will never decompose), it is essential for us to understand this material."


Here at Adventur.es, we're in the business of helping small to mid-sized business owners run, grow, and transition ownership of their business more effectively. With that goal in mind, enjoy this issue of The Knife Fight, a weekly newsletter for operators in the trenches.


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