Weekly Roundup: 15 Feb 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.

Fast Company have released their 'World's 50 Most Innovative Companies 2015' list. I highly recommend reading each of the case studies featured, it provides an amazing insight into business model innovation, and the ways new and established businesses are disrupting themselves to create new value. 

Warby Parker take the top spot for their efforts building the first made-on-the-internet brand. I really love this quote from founder Neil Blumenthal on why the company has been so successful - "If we sum it up in one word, it's deliberate". 

Check out the list for some serious inspiration.

Jon Stewart made the sad announcement that he would be giving up the Daily Show chair after 17 years of bringing a little bit of sanity to the news. Fast Company pay tribute by outlining some of the key lessons from his career - especially why it's alright to be a late bloomer.

There is a huge amount of evidence that using perception-based data for HR decision making is fundamentally flawed. If you are doing end of year reviews, 360's or nine-box grids, it might be time to rethink your processes in case you are doing more harm than good. 

Speaking of HR and promotions, one mental model to get your head around is the Peter Principle, or The Law of Crappy People. Hierarchies can produce some dangerous, systemic problems, so use this advice to rethink the way you level people up.

"Plan vs Build. Where do you stand?" Planning is an important part of running a business, but the reality is you can't truly learn by planning alone. An interesting debate on when you should ditch the plans in favour of shipping.

Netflix are showing just how competitive the entertainment industry is becoming. They are raising $1 billion in debt to fund and acquire new content in order to compete with big guns like HBO. A big growing problem - content deals are becoming increasingly costly and complex.

Have you ever wondered how a Freemium app can afford to hire Kate Upton to appear in their ads, and then pretty much put them everywhere on television? Maybe because, as of writing this article they are making over $1.5 million A DAY from in app purchases. The awe inspiring power of app entertainment.

Sneakerheads are a case study in super loyal fans who are not afraid to spend a serious amount of money on products. Adidas are trying to tackle the problems associated with the release of limited edition, high value shoes with a new app called Confirmed. Forget long lines and no guarantees - the app will alert you when a shoe drops in your area, allowing you to reserve a pair in your size.

If you have ever worked in advertising, you will laugh at this. And then cry. And then laugh again. Who said it - Kanye West or your Creative Director?

A bit of fun to finish up. If you were a child of the 80's, you probably remember all of the (looking back) terrible ads aimed at kids in the 90's. This homage to the ads of this era provides a bit of nostalgia - with a very big twist.

I present 'Every 90's Commercial Ever'.