Weekly Roundup: 17th Jan 2015

The world keeps moving faster and faster. It’s increasingly hard to filter out the most important 'signals from the noise' with the time we have available. Below is a summary of the most interesting and relevant topics that have passed through my signal filter over the past week.

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Great VC's are all about creating connections and giving out great advice. Rob Hayes from First Round Capital dishes out some excellent tips for first time founders - get good at hiring, don't run out of money, and always have a north star.

When you think innovation at your company, do you spend months planning and creating powerpoint decks, or do you get right into hacking solutions? This amazing story from the history of eBay shows how having the initiative to innovate at the edges is more often than not the keys to success (and in this case that equals $50 billion worth).

Speaking of innovating at the edges, Amazon has a dedicated skunkworks tasked with exploring and creating new product lines for the business called Lab126.  Check out their story, it is amazing to see just how the Kindle came into existence.

Organizational design is at a crossroads. Traditional models are being challenged by the need to create more responsive and flexible models to allow rapid adaptation in our increasingly complex world. One of the more interesting new ideas is Holacracy - this article does a great job of explaining it, and the difficulty in adopting this social experiment by the team at Zappos.

Connectedness begets complexity, complexity begets uncertainty, and uncertainty begets chaos. In this environment, how can modern organizations prepare for events they can’t foresee? Bud Caddell explores this topic in this great Ted Talk explaining the science of complex adaptive systems. Always think in the grey.

Pretty much every really successful person touches on the importance of having a mentor on the road to success. Ryan Holiday writes a great article on why you don't have a mentor - and what you can do to fix it.

Podcasting is so hot right now. Reddit are jumping into the Podcasting game as a very interesting strategy to build their network. Check out this insight into the strategy.

Drones. Love them or hate them, they are rapidly making greater and greater appearances in our lives, which means they need to fight through a huge amount of government red tape. CNN just took a big step by getting FAA approval for the first use of commercial drones.

A very interesting insight into how Beats By Dre. rose to prominence, and how Monster lost the world on the deal. Read it, and learn how not to lose a billion dollars.

Organizational messaging is a huge growth area, with many businesses trying to eliminate the over-dependence on email while fostering collaboration. Facebook just threw its hat in the ring by launching 'Facebook at Work' to take on Slack and Asana.

If you made an investment in Bitcoin, you are probably feeling a little sick right now. A great article explaining the details around the controversial currency, the recent free-fall, and how it is starting to seem like one big giant Ponzi scheme. 

Interested in getting your head around A/B testing? Short answer - you definitely should be! Zapier have written a great article introducing the concepts as applied to email marketing, with some great tips, tricks and tools.

To finish out, a great piece of storytelling from Ancarani Studio. Beretta 'Human Technology' shows the supreme craftsmanship that goes into creating one of their shotguns. Irrespective of your view on guns, this is a captivating and beautiful piece of content.