What We’re Reading

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


The Jeff Bezos letter to shareholders is as insightful as you’d expect:

Use the phrase “disagree and commit.” This phrase will save a lot of time. If you have conviction on a particular direction even though there’s no consensus, it’s helpful to say, “Look, I know we disagree on this but will you gamble with me on it? Disagree and commit?” By the time you’re at this point, no one can know the answer for sure, and you’ll probably get a quick yes.

This isn’t one way. If you’re the boss, you should do this too. I disagree and commit all the time. We recently greenlit a particular Amazon Studios original. I told the team my view: debatable whether it would be interesting enough, complicated to produce, the business terms aren’t that good, and we have lots of other opportunities. They had a completely different opinion and wanted to go ahead. I wrote back right away with “I disagree and commit and hope it becomes the most watched thing we’ve ever made.” Consider how much slower this decision cycle would have been if the team had actually had to convince me rather than simply get my commitment.

There’s your sign

A clear indication of where power generation is going:

The Kentucky Coal Museum is moving to solar power, according to the Associated Press. The museum is having 80 solar panels installed, which it expects will cut $8,000 off its annual electricity bill. The Courier-Journal writes that the museum currently spends $2,100 a month on electricity.


Continuing on this point:

Record amounts of new renewables were added to energy systems worldwide last year at a lower cost as clean technology prices fell, a report shows.

Wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, small-scale hydropower, marine energy and waste-to-energy schemes added 138.5 gigawatts (GW) to global power capacity, equivalent to the total installed capacity of Canada.

Despite the increase, global investment in new renewables was down almost a quarter to $241.6 billion as the costs of renewables such as solar and wind fell.


This makes us happy:

In what proponents are calling a historic move, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and state legislative leaders announced a deal Saturday that will make tuition free at the City University of New York and State University of New York Systems – for both community colleges and four-year colleges and universities – for families with annual incomes up to $125,000.


This is great advice:

Everybody’s got a story, everybody wants to tell it, but too few people have the patience to extract it from them. If you listen to someone’s story, they’ll be your best friend forever. You’ll bond. Everybody’s got something to say, something you find of interest, everybody got here on a different path with moments of intersection. But beware of the taker, the person who only talks and never listens. They’re to be avoided at all cost. I’m not sure why these people act the way they do, why they refuse to be reciprocal, why they’re incapable of being interested in you. It’s to their detriment.


Stewart Butterfield, founder and CEO of Slack, and Adam D’Angelo, founder and CEO of Quora, talk ideas and measurements

Have a great weekend.