Top articles of the week | February 3rd

February 3, 2018

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

Lessons from Phil Knight about Business and Being an Entrepreneur Trent Griffin, 25iq

My favorite business last year was Shoe Dog (by far). It’s an amazing read about the story of Phil Knight, founder of Nike. This article by Trent Griffin is a summary of the important business lessons from the book. If you haven’t read the book, this top 25 list is a superb introduction.

Agile organization models will start to go mainstream Deloitte

Agile has been a core tenet of PNR almost from the start of our business and I’m really excited to see it gain traction in larger organizations. This post by Deloitte highlights how the organization of the future will employ this new model.

Greedy, brittle, opaque, and shallow: the downsides to deep learning Wired

How can we integrate artificial intelligence in our strategy? That’s a question being asked in many a boardroom these days. This candid Wired article demystifies some of the wild promises of AI. Deep learning, now the dominant technique in artificial intelligence, will not lead to an AI that abstractly reasons and generalizes about the world.

The Follower Factory NY Times

This widely shared Times article is a fascinating dive into the dark side of social media; fake followers. In pure economic terms, the influence economy generated by social translates into real monetary gains. Shady actors are starting to benefit and game the system; the company in this article sold about 200 million Twitter followers to at least 39,000 customers, accounting with more than $6 million in sales during that period. The questions I’m asking myself; what does this mean for brands? For regulators? For the social media company’s strategy?

The Truth About Corporate Transformation MIT Sloan Management

Corporate transformation in a challenging environment requires difficult choices. MIT Sloan conducted a 14-year empirical study of companies that require transformation. Their findings revealed that transformations were needed in situations with high competitive volatility (significant change in sales) and most often in the technology sector.

The research also provides some great recommendations (investor expectations, focus on revenue growth, external CEOs). Transformation efforts cannot focus solely on short-term, operational improvements. They also must introduce a new strategy for growth, the “second chapter” of transformation.