reading list

Highlights from my Reading List – Week 22

Articles

  1. Your Blog Is Not a Publication – Animalz
    Content marketing strategy for SaaS businesses. Also, applicable to personal blogs who are starting out.

    The best content strategy is the one that prioritizes quality and depth, not volume and breadth:

    i. Depth is almost always more useful to readers than breadth.

    ii. Content efforts that require a lot of effort (think benchmark reports, data analysis, etc.) often deliver 10x the results of a post that requires less effort.

    iii. The huge majority of readers are not regular visitors to your site. Instead, they seek out specific articles to solve specific problems. 


  2. Urban Indians still get married the way their grandparents did – Mint
    Some harsh facts about love and marriages in India. For all the talk about liberalization and forward thinking, our revealed preferences show a stark contrast. 

    Just 3% of urban respondents had a love marriage and the custom of arranged marriages hasn’t changed much over time, data from a survey shows.


  3. Why China Can Do AI More Quickly and Effectively Than the US – Wired
    A host of factors contribute to China’s growing influence on AI applications:

    i. Speed – The Chinese environment is a combination of a huge market, ample capital, and daring entrepreneurs who are the embodiment of “lean startup”: fail fast, fail early, and fail often. Chinese entrepreneurs are fast to find market opportunities, build products, and pivot when needed.

    ii. Effective execution – In execution, Chinese entrepreneurs are unafraid of the tedious, messy, and risky tasks, if they help achieve the ultimate result. Chinese CEOs usually have absolute power within the company, which makes execution much more effective.

    iii. Acceptance of new tech – The Chinese market rapidly embraces new products and new paradigms. Just within the last 3 years, mobile payments have emerged as the dominant transaction tool, replacing cash and credit cards. Total transaction in 2017 was $18.8 trillion, even larger than China’s GDP.

    iv. Support from the government – Sophisticated government support comes in three forms, which are neither blind nor anti-competitive: (1) Central government sets the tone, which can legitimize a burgeoning industry like AI and influence companies and consumers to adopt AI; (2) techno-utilitarian policy, which allows unproven technology to be launched early and quickly and adds regulation only if necessary later; (3) infrastructure-building, such as rebuilding cities and highways.


  4. 12 Things I Learned From Marc Andreessen – 25iq and a16z
    Marc Andreessen on VC, power laws and software eating the world. 
  5. (Re)Design for Business Products: Instamojo Rebranding Case Study – Instamojo
    An excellent post on Brand Redesign that answers the following questions:

    i. When do we need a redesign?

    ii. How much should the design, interface, and experience change?

    iii. How will it affect the business and experience of our existing customers? How much time will they spend retraining their staff?


  6. The Customer Acquisition Pricing Parade – David Perell
    Tectonic shifts in acquisition strategies are on the horizon owing to rising acquisition costs. 

  7. What We Can Learn From Netflix’s Failed Community Strategy – 
    Why does Netflix fail so frequently?

    Two reasons:

    i. There are many biases that cloud human judgment

    ii. It’s hard to invent the future. It is critical to remove losers swiftly and double down on winners, which means good judgment is paramount.

  8. Samsonite’s Amazon Strategy In Four Words: “Play Chess, Not Checkers” – Adexchanger
    Working with Amazon is about going in with your eyes open, said Charlie Cole, global chief e-commerce officer at luggage juggernaut Samsonite and chief digital officer at Samsonite-owned Tumi.

    Getting in bed with Amazon is a risky business.  

  9. Why you should care about the Nate Silver vs. Nassim Taleb Twitter war – Isaac Faber
    An nuanced take on the twitter war between Taleb and Silver and digging into the cause of the feud.

    Let’s be honest, Silver is here to rake in the moolah. No election forecaster got into the business because he has noble intentions. This is entertainment based off of the drama that the US elections are. 

  10. Of men and mayhem – Economist
    Globally, the people who fight in wars or commit violent crimes are nearly all young men. Henrik Urdal of the Harvard Kennedy School looked at civil wars and insurgencies around the world between 1950 and 2000, controlling for such things as how rich, democratic or recently violent countries were, and found that a “youth bulge” made them more strife-prone. When 15-24-year-olds made up more than 35% of the adult population—as is common in developing countries—the risk of conflict was 150% higher than with a rich-country age profile. 
 

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