Top articles of the week | May 11

May 11, 2019

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

The Collapse of Complex Business Models Clay Shirky (reading time: 10 mins)

Clay Shirky is the original thought leader about the Internet. His latest essay is short and wonderfully insightful. He compares the collapse of complex societies to the demise of complex business models; in this case video and television.

When societies fail to respond to reduced circumstances through orderly downsizing, it isn’t because they don’t want to, it’s because they can’t.

History of the Capital AI & Market Failures in the Attention Economy Andrew Kortina (reading time: 24 mins)

This is a long and interesting read. It links current market failures of the economy to the progressive rise of “AI capitalism”; in the sense that capitalism is improving its objective short-term function yet neglecting a long term one. The root cause is reinforcing feedback loops and there is clear evidence this is causing inequality.

The author argues that this isn’t an issue of right vs. left; both sides can lead to totalitarianism. He provides some practical recommendations that are worth reading at the minimum.

The making of Amazon Prime, the Internet’s most successful membership program Vox (reading time: 29 mins)

I’ve been a Prime member as soon as it launched in Canada and a satisfied customer ever since. The history of the membership program reveals just how gutsy a move it was by the ecommerce giant at the time. It really goes to show that every successful company has a fork in the road moment. This post contains short interviews of key Amazon executives recounting the trials and tribulations of the Prime program.

You Have OKRs. Now How Do You Actually Complete Them? Tim Jackson (reading time: 8 mins)

Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) are a great performance management system and one that merits more attention. I personally benefited a lot from in my former life. This post details how to actually complete them and nail your objectives.

LinkedIn is the New Craigslist Jeff Fluhr (reading time: 10 mins)

We’ve been quite a bit of work recently in the ecosystems/marketplaces area. Learning about how to build a marketplace is no easy task. This post uses the example of Linkedin to showcase the rise of hyper-vertical markets. There is a rise in the verticalization of labor markets. The author provides practical advice on how to build a specialized service marketplace.