What We’re Reading
Here are a few articles the Collaborative Fund team came across this week.
Pick your battles
This is a great point from Seth Godin:
If you want to stand for something,
You can’t stand for everything.
“Anyone can be our customer and we will get you what you want…” is almost impossible to pull off. So is, “we are the cheapest and the most convenient and the best.”
Sir Martin Sorrell has a nice piece on companies’ lack of investment and what we should do about it:
Corporate America is shrinking—at least by one important measure. In five of the six quarters to June 2016, across the S&P 500, share buy-backs and dividends exceeded retained earnings.
From around 60% in 2009, the ratio of payouts and buy-backs to earnings has risen inexorably, passing 100% at the beginning of 2015 and reaching a staggering 131% in the first quarter of 2016.
Startup CEOs have two job phases. First is build a product. Then, it’s build a company:
As a Phase 2 CEO, you need to transition from “Doer-in-Chief” to “Company-Builder-in-Chief.” This is how you scale as a CEO, and CEO scaling is the first step in company-building. For most founders, this is very difficult. When you’ve been a successful Doer-in-Chief, it’s hard to stop. It’s hard to stop coding, designing product specs, and interacting with customers on a daily basis. It’s hard to stop answering support tickets, doing all the product demos, and debugging the latest build. It’s even hard to delegate the random and sometimes menial tasks that you’ve accumulated over the years because they were “no one’s job.” But you have to stop doing all of these things so that you can safeguard your time for high leverage tasks that only CEOs can do.
Jonathan Clements makes an important point about false-precision:
Just because the answer has precision doesn’t mean this is a precise business. Should you put 65% or 70% of your portfolio in stocks? Should you get a health care policy with a $500 or $1,000 deductible? Should you keep four or six months of living expenses in your emergency fund? You’ll know the right answer in retrospect but, when making the decision, you’re pretty much guessing.
Bruce Cryer writes on the importance of companies trying to do good:
Most companies value masculine qualities such as strength, ambition, competitiveness, power, domination, and charisma, but I would suggest that goodness is the very nourishment desperately needed in our organizations today so these other qualities don’t become the cause of our self-destruction.
Have a good weekend.