What We’re Reading

A few good articles the Collab team came across this week …


This bit from Justice Robert’s commencement speech is great:

Now the commencement speakers will typically also wish you good luck and extend good wishes to you. I will not do that, and I’ll tell you why. From time to time in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly, so that you will come to know the value of justice. I hope that you will suffer betrayal because that will teach you the importance of loyalty. Sorry to say, but I hope you will be lonely from time to time so that you don’t take friends for granted. I wish you bad luck, again, from time to time so that you will be conscious of the role of chance in life and understand that your success is not completely deserved and that the failure of others is not completely deserved either. And when you lose, as you will from time to time, I hope every now and then, your opponent will gloat over your failure. It is a way for you to understand the importance of sportsmanship. I hope you’ll be ignored so you know the importance of listening to others, and I hope you will have just enough pain to learn compassion. Whether I wish these things or not, they’re going to happen. And whether you benefit from them or not will depend upon your ability to see the message in your misfortunes.


Even when a tech company wins, Google wins more:

In January, Snap signed a cloud hosting deal with Google. It agreed to pay Google $400 million a year for the next five years. Note that Snap booked only about $330 million in ad revenue in the first half of this year. In other words, it’s paying more than half of its revenue to Google.


Paper books make a comeback:

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A neat 1996 article on an early Amazon.com:

Amazon has caught fire because, unlike most retailers, Mr. Bezos has found a way to use the Web’s technology to offer services that a traditional store or catalog can’t match. An Amazon customer can romp through a database of 1.1 million titles (five times the largest superstore’s inventory), searching by subject or name. When you select a book, Amazon is programmed to flash other related titles you may also want to buy. If you tell Amazon about favorite authors and topics, it will send you by electronic mail a constant stream of recommendations. You want to know when a book comes out in paperback? Amazon will e-mail that too.


Doing good can’t come at the cost of returns:

Examining the exits of Fortune 500 company bosses over several years, researchers found that those who heavily invested company resources in good corporate citizenry were 84% more likely to be fired amid sluggish financial results than CEOs at poor-performing companies that spent less on do-good initiatives.

On the flip side, spending on corporate social responsibility acted as a protective buffer for company chiefs who presided over robust profitability. They were 53% less likely to be ousted than other leaders of high-performing companies that didn’t invest so much in measures to bolster social welfare.


The podcast industry heats up:

In a report this summer, the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment found that employment at the city’s top podcast networks increased 33% from 2015 to a workforce of about 600 in early 2017. For the industry overall, podcast ad revenue is set to see healthy double-digit gains, from an estimated $167 million in 2016 to nearly $250 million in 2017 and $395 million by 2020, according to research firm Bridge Ratings.

Have a good weekend.