Top articles of the week | November 28

November 28, 2020

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

The Big Lessons From History Morgan Housel, Collaborative Fund (reading time: 19 minutes)

In this strange year, articles like this one are great to reflect upon the lessons we’ve learned. This article does a great job of highlighting some key lessons from history and applying them to what we are seeing today. My favorite one is people will believe what they want to believe. Everyone has their own objective reality and believe it to be true.

Learning From Cornelius Vanderbilt Investment Masters Class (reading time: 12 minutes)

Cornelius Vanderbilt was the world’s richest person (ever). This article is not about the wealth he accumulated but rather about some of the business lessons. It’s also an interesting glimpse into early 21st century America. In only forty years, America went from having a small economy to the world’s largest – a big reason for this was the railroads.

Why media companies should be direct to consumer Dave Nemetz (reading time: 3 minutes)

It doesn’t matter what trend you chase, growth hack you engineer, or platform you build on. Digital media companies can only win if they own the customer relationship and monetization on their own platform. They must be direct-to-consumer first companies.

Distribution is sexy, but you need to build your own audience. Dave Nemetz argues that digital media companies need to own their customer and can’t rely on growth hacks for traffic. I couldn’t agree more. Media companies need to focus on customer relationships & first party data first & foremost.

Audio’s Opportunity and Who Will Capture It Matthew Ball (reading time: 43 minutes)

I finally got around to reading Matthew Ball’s epic deep dive into audio. He explores the history of radio, cable and gaming. He also dives into new innovations in the audio space like narrative fiction. While much if this progress has been incremental, the big shift is coming in the future of concerts. There’s a lot of friction in today’s concert model. Moving concerts virtually is going to unlock massive new value and cool new idea are already emerging.

The Path Forward: Entrepreneurship & E-Commerce Washington Post (reading time: 28 minutes)

With all the excessive consumerism occurring over the next few days, there’s one company that is arming the rebel – the small merchants. This is an interview with Shopify president, Harley Finkelstein (a Montrealer!). It’s a great deep dive of the company exploring their business model, new growth avenues and interesting celebrity collaborations.