Top articles of the week | August 19th

August 19, 2017

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

A Different Story from the Middle East: Entrepreneurs Building an Arab Tech Economy MIT Technology Review

I loved this article. Despite living in a region where there are some very real challenges (read: bombs falling), some entrepreneurs are still able to build successful tech companies. The tech giants have taken notice and have started building their own presence as well. The article highlights several thriving companies in the region proving that anyone can do anything even in the most challenging conditions.

Is the world really better than ever? The Guardian

This long Guardian article is not about tech or strategy, at least not on the surface. Given the pervasive nature of 24/7 media coverage, one can assume that the news is terrible all the time. The article argues that we are, in fact, living in the best period of history based on several objective metrics (poverty, child mortality, literacy). There is a danger in becoming complacement though: just because things have been improving doesn’t mean that they will continue to improve forever.

How Two Brothers Turned Seven Lines of Code Into a $9.2 Billion Startup Bloomberg

Every day, Americans spend about $1.2 billion online. That figure has doubled over the past 5 years and is likely to double again in the next five. One of the companies that enables the underlying infrastructure of ecommerce is Stripe, a payment processing company. The story of two young Irish brothers that are dominating online payment is fascinating. Their goal: to increase the GDP of the internet.

The Incredible Shrinking Sears NY Times

Sears was arguably the most important retailer of the last century. Its downfall has been as dramatic as it has been quick. This Times piece explains the history and strategic mistakes made by inept management that ultimately led it to this dark place. It also discusses how financial engineering was disastrous for the company’s strategic position.

E-commerce will change forever Thirty Bees

The most famous patent in ecommerce is about to expire, Amazon’s famous 1-Click®. This article explains its importance and the growing movement to take action about it.