Top articles of the week | October 3

October 3, 2020

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

No One’s Splitting the Bill, But Venmo Is Surging Byrne Hobart (reading time: 7 minutes)

It’s been very interesting to watch the surge of contactless payments during the pandemic. This post covers PayPal’s Venmo which is growing rapidly. The entire payments space is great to watch and Canadian companies are getting into the mix. Montreal based Nuvei went public recently with a huge IPO. I wonder how important are network effects in this business over the long term.

Ruth Porat On Leading Through Crisis And Google’s Latest Moonshot To Rebuild The U.S. Economy—One Small Business At A Time Forbes (reading time: 12 minutes)

Ruth Porat is Google’s CFO where she took over from Patrick Pichette. This profile in Forbes covers her career and accomplishments. While it is a bit of a puff piece, it’s interesting to see how she rose through the ranks and how she’s now in charge of the world’s largest corporate balance sheets.

The Building in Public How-To Guide Gaby Goldberg (reading time: 5 minutes)

There’s a new go to market model that has emerged due to zero cost distribution, build an audience first – then a product. Having strong distribution allows a startup to scale faster than one that only focuses on product. To do this you need to build in public. Gaby Goldberg shares the playbook on how to do this.

The Mike Speiser Incubation Playbook Kwokchain (reading time: 32 minutes)

This is a brilliant read on a relatively unknown investor Mke Speiser. Instead of investing in existing companies, he incubates a new company from scratch (average one a year). He’s had many enormous hits and this article details how he’s done it. There are some great company building lessons that are widely applicable. I enjoyed the professional CEO vs. founder CEO approach as well as the technical challenge vs. distribution challenge.

Managing a News Operation the Netflix Way Frederic Laloux (reading time: 7 minutes)

I just finished reading No Rules Rules by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. It’s a fantastic read that I highly recommend. It details how Netflix built its unique culture. In this article, Frederic Laloux covers the core principles outline in the book. He then compares those principles in managing a news organization. It’s a neat comparison albeit a bit lacking in depth.


I’m sharing a short tweet storm about Facebook’s growth. Success always looks assured in hindsight but it’s rarely the case when are you in the heat of the battle. This tweet covers the story when Facebook’s growth stalled in 2008 and the company was in crisis. Without getting into the controversy of the company’s power today, it’s a great business case study of leadership.