As a conference organizer, I've been monitoring news and trends for the past 15+ years. This is my weekly reading list, including articles, books and videos worth checking out.
I share many articles with the team, almost on a daily basis. One of the upsides of being a conference organizer is that you're getting paid to monitor an industry and identify the trends before they make the headlines.
Now, I'm not getting paid to do that anymore, but I've kept the practice. The scope has changed, as I'm now reading a lot about paid newsletters or remote work. I.e., Things that can be relevant for anyone running a business.
I just got Jen Schradie's book to prepare our upcoming Selected Salon. You can apply to get invited to our first member-only event here: lu.ma/salon-1
Jen is a sociologist and assistant professor at the Observatoire Sociologique du Changement at SciencesPo in Paris. In her last book, The Revolution That Wasn’t: How Digital Activism Favors Conservatives, she dives into how North Carolina's workers right advocates paved the way to a conservative shift in the 2010's elections.
While social media is supposed to level the playing field to the benefit of democratic organizations, it's proving to be more efficient for those already in position of power, with the means and resources to broadcast their message to fragmented audiences.
- Link: hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674972339
- Author: Jen Schradie
- Source: Harvard University Press
I recently wrote about no-code and the creator tools that we used to build Selected by Sesamers. I found this article to be particularly relevant as it analyzes how a growing number of makers and content creators build media businesses in 2020.
In a nutshell, every single creator is now in a position to establish a movement around her work. These hyperniche communities become more valuable than the content itself and constitutes subcultures that established companies can't replicate.
- Link: jarroddicker.medium.com/breaking-the-fourth-wall-the-business-of-media-subculture-5d52ef4a0364
- Author: Jarrod Dicker
- Source: Medium
In this interview with Jaleh Rezaei, CEO and co-founder of Mutiny, and a former Head of Marketing at Gusto, you will learn why speed & prioritization are the ying and yang of marketing.
I'm always an advocate of "done is better than perfect" and I believe that it's even more the case with marketing. Conveying your story to the right audience is timely. Sometimes it's a matter of hours for a campaign to become irrelevant to the cultural context.
- Link: firstround.com/review/your-marketing-org-is-slow-heres-a-framework-to-move-faster
- Source: First Round Review
Our good friend Bjørn Lapakko was the lead organizer of Startup Extreme, the annual gathering of the Norwegian startup ecosystem in Voss. In this article, he shares his learnings organizing a hybrid event that usually relies on extreme sports and face to face interactions.
His team created a bunch of innovative formats that triggered engagement beyond the wildest dreams of most virtual events, with over 1000+ hours of videos consumed over the course of two days. The main takeaway is clear: creativity pays off.
- Link: lapakko.medium.com/the-direct-and-indirect-value-of-community-18955cd994ca
- Author: Bjørn Lapakko
- Source: Medium
We started to experiment with flex hours after 2 months of working from home. It means that we are all on deck from 10am to 3pm. And I can confirm that "burstiness" works very well for a small teams like ours. It involves agreeing on some work routines that allow everyone to respond to messages fast and have short and intense periods of communication.
- Link: hbr.org/2020/10/successful-remote-teams-communicate-in-bursts
- Authors: Christoph Riedl & Anita Williams Wooley
- Source: Harvard Business Review
I got a paid membership to Trends.vc recently. It's a great resource of knowledge and business insights. You can get the free report delivered in your inbox every Sunday.
In the last report, you will learn more about the rise of micro private equity. Instead of launching new companies or investing your cash into risky businesses, why don't you just buy them? Profitable organizations can generate more returns and scale faster than startups on average. Old business is sexy again.
- Link: trends.vc/trends-0038-micro-private-equity
- Author: Dru Riley
- Source: Trends.vc
A team from Caltech managed to solve Partial Differential Equations (PDEs) using Deep Learning. I'm not an expert but even MC Hammer tweeted about it!
These equations are extremely hard to solve and training a neural network to handle them has many implications, such as a better modeling of climate change.
- Link: technologyreview.com/2020/10/30/1011435/ai-fourier-neural-network-cracks-navier-stokes-and-partial-differential-equations
- Author: Karen Hao
- Source: MIT Technology Review
Tweet of the Week
I couldn't avoid replying to Naval Ravikant over Twitter. I studied social science, so I'm biased. Social scientists aren't like astrophysicists, ok. But without their work, how would we understand the society we live in?
That's all for this week. Please reach out if you're reading something cool that I should check for next week's reading list.