Industry News

Top articles of the week | August 18th

Every week, we put together a list of our top 5 articles of the past week. Happy reading!

 

Strategy vs. Tactics: What’s the Difference and Why Does it Matter?    Farnam Street

In our line of work, we’re often confronted with the challenge of strategy vs. tactics. This article in Farnam Street explains the distinction between the two using well known academics in the field. This notion is still very poorly understood in my opinion and can benefit from more research.

 

Why AI Will Shift Decision Making from the C-Suite to the Front Line               Harvard Business Review

Despite the buzzwordy sounding title, this HBR article does have its merit. The industry would benefit from fewer articles that espouse the virtues of “artificial intelligence” and preferably focus on data science. The key takeaway from this article: the democratization of access to AI tools and decision-making power among managers and employees, which creates more tangible value.

 

Platforms Are Not Publishers          The Atlantic

The best tweet from this past: “Just like sound isn’t music, traffic isn’t audience.” This saying sums up wthe challenge that publishers face. They rely heavily on the tech platforms for traffic but uniquely vying for clicks doesn’t work in the long run. I’ve long admired Jeff Jarvis and he paints an eloquent picture of the need for conversations rather than content and for journalists to work with the platforms rather than against them.

 

Agility and Illegibility            Breaking Smart

If software is eating the world, does that mean that Agile is eating the world as well? This complex and wonderful post encapsulates with this relatively new way of working. Agile development models catalyze illegible, collective patterns of creativity, weaken illusions of control, and resist being yoked to driving utopian visions. Adopting agile models leads individuals and organizations to gradually increase their tolerance for anxiety in the face of apparent chaos. As a result, agile models can get more agile over time.

 

Facebook’s Story Problem — and Opportunity                 Stratechery

Facebook has taken heat in recent weeks for “poor performance”. An overlooked component in the narrative is just how strong their core business is. Ben Thompson dives into Instagram stories, which has stalled Snapchat’s growth. There is reason to be optimistic that it will drive more revenue growth (because of the audience) and an important to be bearish (because of the ad format cost). It’s a great analysis that sheds light on how social networks compete and monetize.