Top articles of the week | 21 december

December 21, 2019

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

Shopify: A StarCraft Inspired Business Strategy Non-GAAP Thoughts (reading time: 20 minutes)

Shopify’s CEO Tobi Lutke is well known for being a gamer. There have been live streams of him playing Starcraft and famously hiring interns on twitter that were gamers. This post explores how Starcraft has inspired business strategy. It may sound incredulous at first but the post raises some super interesting points. Another interesting tidbit; when Tobi was asked if he competes with Amazon, he said that Amazon is building an empire and Shopify is arming the rebels.

Smooth is Fast Alan Cooper (reading time: 3 minutes)

“The promise of agile isn’t speed but rather it’s about not building up technical debt and design debt.”

We often talk about velocity when it comes to Agile. It isn’t necessarily about speed though, it’s about cadence, it’s about going at the right pace. This post emphasizes the importance of strategic speed.

Canva Uncovered: How A Young Australian Kitesurfer Built A $3.2 Billion (Profitable!) Startup Phenom Forbes (reading time: 12 minutes)

This is an amazing startup story. Canva was launched by a young couple in Australia, Melanie Perkins its CEO started the company in her mom’s living room. The startup also generates something called “ebitda” and is currently valued at $2.5 billion. It’s a great story of an internet first company that was able to scale globally without access to capital or famous investors.

The Fluid Brand Zeus Jones (reading time: 8 minutes)

Zeus Jones is a small US agency I’ve been following for a while. They produce some stellar work and this piece is about the future of brands. At the heart of a brand, lies a conviction; A conviction begins with a question a brand is asking. It’s a short quick read that raises some great questions about creating brands today.

Strategy Drunk Nathan Baschez (reading time: 4 minutes)

Why do smart leaders make bad decisions? Nathan Baschez argues that they are “strategy drunk”; it’s not that they are dumb, it’s quite the opposite. They are too enamoured with their own strategy to consider the alteratives.

BONUS: What’s Next for the Internet? a16z, Jonah Peretti and Chris Dixon (watching time: 41 minutes)

It was a joy watching Jonah Peretti from Buzzfeed and Chris Dixon from a16z riff on this video. They talk about the history of the internet and where it’s headed. Chris is betting on crypto, Jonah talks about the dangers of social media among a whole bunch of interesting topics. There isn’t a specific flow to the video but it’s so interesting.