Top articles of the week | October 5

October 5, 2019

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

What do executives do, anyway? Apenwarr (reading time: 11 minutes)

The job of an executive is: to define and enforce culture and values for their whole organization, and to ratify good decisions.

This is one of the best posts on strategy, values and decision-making I’ve read. Andy Grove of Intel fame laid out some basic principles in his opus, High Output Management. These core tenets are remarkably applicable today. The author of this post also does a good job of explaining the relevance for small businesses as well.

Nike’s future as a DTC company is in full swing Thinknum (reading time: 4 minutes)

Nike is transitioning from a brand that sells to retailers and wholesalers to one that is selling directly to consumers. This short post examines a key data point, Nike’s discount rate. Giving lower discounts to consumers means better margins and market share gains.

GM’s Mary Barra Bets Big on an Electric, Self-Driving Future Bloomberg (reading time: 15 minutes)

When you think of electric vehicles or autonomy, General Motors does not come to mind. Yet, that that is exactly where CEO Mary Barra is heavily investing. The company is looking to reinvent itself during a tumultuous time of mass layoffs and stiff competition. This post shares some insights on the company’s new strategy and massive challenges ahead.

How TikTok holds our attention New Yorker (reading time: 40 minutes)

If you haven’t tried TikTok, you should. It’s a glimpse into the future of social media. The app is unlike any other existing social network – it’s a complete reinvention by Chinese tech conglomerate ByteDance that has garnered over a billion downloads globally. The New Yorker does a fantastic job of diving into the world of TikTok and China’s heavy investment in AI technologies.

For a shorter article (but just as good), check out this article on HBR on TikTok’s strategy.

The Secret to a Great Planning Process — Lessons from Airbnb and Eventbrite First Round (reading time: 25 minutes)

If you have trouble formulating a planning process in your organization, this post helps bridge the gap pretty quickly. First Round Capital gathered insights from some of the world’s leading technology organizations. There are also some great templates and exercises that help you get started. Despite doing this type of thing for a living, I found the advice to be really practical.