What We’re Reading

A few good posts the Collaborative team came across this week …


Peter Lynch:

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Great news:

Deaths from cancer dropped 27% over a quarter century, meaning an estimated 2.6 million fewer people died of the disease during that period, according to a new report from researchers at the American Cancer Society.

For most of the 20th century, overall cancer deaths rose, driven mainly by men dying from lung cancer, researchers noted. But since the peak in 1991, the death rate has steadily dropped 1.5% a year through 2016, primarily because of long-running efforts to reduce smoking, as well as advances in detection and treatment of cancer at earlier stages, when prognosis for recovery is generally better.




Forecasting is hard:

Because demographics are supposed to be destiny, Japan was long ago consigned to stagnation with its aging population and rock-bottom birthrate.

But in recent years Japan has defied destiny. Since 2012, its working-age population has shrunk by 4.7 million, yet the number of people working has surged by 4.4. million, the critical ingredient in what is now Japan’s second-longest economic expansion since World War II. The proportion of the population in the labor force has risen sharply since 2012, by more than in any other major advanced economy.


How to get it done:

Currently, most food companies focus on a logo or a symbol to represent their differentiation. Maybe it’s a cartoon animal or lifestyle they are known for. Increasingly though, consumers want food to be a solution to a need they have. Could be better vision, shiny skin, inflammation reduction or it could be a better mood.“Let food be thy medicine and medicine by thy food.”Most newer brands are spending time focused on their functional attributes and how they differentiate from others. The companies that can provide those specific attributes that solve the needs of consumers, cost effectively and authentically, will be where new customer loyalty resides. DNA, heart rate, glucose and other constant, realtime human monitoring will accelerate these verifiable claims.

Good news

99 stories you may have missed from the year:

  1. India registered a 22% decline in maternal deaths since 2013. That means on average, 30 more new mothers are now being saved every day compared to five years ago. The Wire

23. Ghana became the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to eliminate trachoma. In 2000, it threatened 2.8 million people (15% of the population) with blindness. Devex

Have a good weekend.