Top articles of the week | May 30

May 30, 2020

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

Amazon was built for the pandemic—and will likely emerge from it stronger than ever Fortune (reading time: 12 minutes)

The numbers behind Amazon’s spectacular growth are well known. Its market value has grown over 22,000% since 2002 when it first made the Fortune 500 list. The company is being described as a national asset that has seen reliance on its service grow significantly during the crisis. Beyond a puff piece on the ecommerce giant, the article highlights its internal organizational structure that allow it to adapt so quickly. The company’s leader has also instilled core principles that allow the decentralized structure to work.

Ecosystemic Evolutions: Organizing Beyond Boundaries Simone Cicero (reading time: 21 minutes)

If you may recall, we’ve been covering ecosystems and platforms on this newsletter for a little while. Simone Cicero is the pre-eminent thinker in this space and this post talks about what it means to organize without physical boundaries. The post has an interesting premise, can software replace bureaucracy? Though I don’t agree with all of his arguments, there’s good food for thought on how we can structure organizations with increased complexity.

Six Steps to Communicating Strategic Priorities Effectively MIT Sloan Review (reading time: 5 minutes)

This is a fantastic post about communicating your strategy. It’s not just internal stakeholders that count but also external ones. I’m a bit biased here but many of the six steps outlined in the article are items that we preach with agile planning. The authors back up their arguments with research from the S&P 500 that shows that only 3% of the total meet all six criteria.

The Opportunity and Risks for Consumer Startups in a Social Distancing World Sarah Tavel, Benchmark Capital (reading time: 5 minutes)

I’ve been following Sarah Tavel for a while. She’s one of the smartest VCs out there and super dialed into the consumer space. She provides a neat framework for startups vying for consumer’s attention. The framework is also useful to think about media & attention more generally.

The Medium Post is the Message Alex Danco (reading time: 10 minutes)

How you communicate is almost as important as what you communicate. We’ve often heard that the medium is the message. This of course applies to new digital formats like podcasts. Alex Danco describes how two venture capital firms employ content marketing in two very different ways and made me think about our own strategy.