Top articles of the week | January 25

January 25, 2020

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

Netflix’s Ted Sarandos on Streaming, Competition, and What’s Next Aspen Ideas to go (listening time: 57 minutes)

This podcast interview features Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s head of content. Mr. Sarandos explains the company’s original content strategy, how they help elevate movies and their international expansion. It’s a great overview of the streaming giant’s strategy and continued ambitions.

The Internet of Beefs Venkatesh Rao, Ribbon Farm (reading time: 24 minutes)

If you want to understand why social media has become so adversarial, you have to check it out this post. Venkatesh Rao claims that we are living in the Internet of Beefs. “Beefing” is everywhere on the internet.

The semantic structure of the Internet of Beefs is shaped by high-profile beefs between charismatic celebrity knights loosely affiliated with various citadel-like strongholds peopled by opt-in armies of mooks.

The warring nature of these online exchanges is fueled by keeping the conflict going rather than finding resolution.

Dark Horse Discord Mule’s Musings (reading time: 9 minutes)

What does a gaming chat app have to do with the future of work? I’ve often heard of Discord which is used by gamers to chat but haven’t understood it deeply. Like Slack, the platform innovates with workflows and user interactions. The author argues that the company has the potential to change how teams work based on its lessons from gaming.

This Is the Guy Who’s Taking Away the Likes NY Times (reading time: 17 minutes)

Lately, technology companies are cast as “evil” and harbingers of a coming dystopia. The reality though is probably more nuanced. This take in the NY Times tries to show how new Instagram CEO is tacking the big issues affecting the company. It’s refreshing to see how these leaders are thinking of this massive challenges and often in situations where there are no clear answers.

Why do smart companies & orgs make stupid mistakes? Shreyas Doshi @shreyas (reading time: 10 minutes)

In the spirit of more diverse types of content in this newsletter, I really enjoyed this thread on Twitter. Shreyas Doshi argues that any complex organization will incentivize problem creation more than problem prevention, over time. It’s a compelling theory that we see play out in organizations of all sizes. The leader’s role becomes to encourage prevention rather than the more glorious problem resolution.


How will you measure your life? Clayton Christensen

In honor of Clay Christensen who recently passed away, I’m sharing one of this most important articles. It has nothing to do with business or disruptive innovation. Rather, it focuses on how you will measure your life.