Top articles of the week | Sep 18

September 18, 2021

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

Andreessen Pulls a Bezos Dror Poleg (reading time: 5 minutes)

Jeff Bezos famously said that your margin is my opportunity. In this post, the author claims that venture firm A16Z is using that playbook to upend the venture capital industry. They are massively investing in resources to make their firm more attractive to entrepreneurs. By thinking strategically, they are differentiating a relatively abundant commodity.

Why do big businesses seemingly suck at innovation? Strange Loop Canyon (reading time: 15 minutes)

How can the smartest business people, when they work together, and when they get paid millions, make such egregious mistakes?

This is a fantastic post about innovation and management consulting more generally. Hired by AT&T, McKinsey predicted in the 1980s that the global mobile phone market would be 0.9M devices. It turned out to be 100M. The reason is that consultants get paid to create coherent strategies within an organization. At a certain scale, most leaders can’t get a clear view of the territory; so they rely on maps. I highly recommend this post and will come back to it often.

Zhang Yiming’s Last Speech Interconnected (reading time: 21 minutes)

My colleague Antoine shared this fantastic speech by Zhang Yiming, founder of Bytedance (aka TikTok). In what may be his last public speech, Zhang delivered some very philosophical world views. There are some great life and business lessons

For people who achieve great things, they often maintain a very ordinary mentality. In other words, if you keep an ordinary mind, accept yourself as you are, and do well for yourself, you can often do things well.

From AMP to Signed Exchanges, Or How Innovation Happens at Cloudflare Cloudfare (reading time: 6 minutes)

In this short post, we get an inside glimpse of what innovation looks like inside a well run company. Cloudflare provides security by protecting Internet properties from malicious activity like DDoS attacks, malicious bots, etc. In 2016, they were threatened by the emergence of Facebook Instant Articles and Google’s AMP program for mobile. They responded in a brillant fashion. This is a good insight for a company looking to continuously and respond to market forces.

Blog People and Patients First: How Roche BeLux is Reinventing Itself Juriaan Kamer, The Ready (reading time: 10 minutes)

This is an interesting interview of Eva McLellan, the Head of Business Strategy, Transformation & Innovation and member of the Roche BeLux leadership team. The company is moving away from traditional hierarchy and towards autonomous, self-organizing teams. The consulting firm The Ready from NYC is helping them with this transformation.