Summer Reading List, Detroit, Alibaba v. Tencent, Robot Belt

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Summer Reading List, Detroit, Alibaba v. Tencent, Robot Belt 

The Weekly | Brigadoon
June 24, 2018
Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia

The Weekly  = Enterprise + Culture + Sport + Policy

Brigadoon is Education + Events + Engagement for Entrepreneurs and Thought Leaders.

Subscribe here:



Detroit has long been at the forefront of innovation and responsible capitalism

Detroit has been at the cutting edge of engineering and manufacturing innovation for over 100 years. In 1903, Henry Ford famously founded the Ford Motor Company and made exceptional use of the assembly line, unlike anything the world had seen before. In addition to other automotive pioneers such as William Durant, the Dodge Brothers, Henry Joy, and Walter Chrysler, Detroit was established as the clear global automotive capital. The growth of the auto industry was felt far beyond Detroit. Businesses around the nation created garages to service vehicles and gas stations to fuel up cars, as well as the building numerous factories to make auto parts, glass windows, and rubber tires. Furthermore, this multi-state, multi-plant ecosystem was a precursor to the complex global supply chains that we all benefit from today. Without the innovations created in Detroit over a century ago, raw commodity products sourced anywhere in the world could not be efficiently designed into user-friendly jackets, automobiles, smartphones, or jumbo-jets. It is not a stretch to say without Detroit our modern wouldn’t exist and wouldn’t be as efficient.

With Detroit’s success as an innovate engineering and manufacturing city, companies were able to take advantage of their economic windfalls and be responsible capitalists. In 1914, Ford announced that it would pay its factory workers a minimum wage of $5 per eight-hour day. The news shocked many in the auto industry as $5 per day was nearly double what the average auto worker made. In 1926 the company went a step further, as the company adopted a five-day, 40-hour work week for workers in its automotive factories. Henry Ford said of the decision: “It is high time to rid ourselves of the notion that leisure for workmen is either ‘lost time’ or a class privilege.” Both moves were brilliant management as productivity immediately boosted. These two steps of fair wages and more time off have become ubiquitous globally and now impact every sector of the economy.

As the fourth-largest city in the American Midwest and the largest city on the United States–Canada border, Detroit is positioned well for the future. As a standalone economy, Detroit’s economy is more extensive than Chile and would easily be one of the world’s largest economies.

Today there are over 100 technology startups who call Detroit home. As Recode reports, in 2014, for the first time, there was more venture capital activity in Detroit than Ann Arbor, home of the University of Michigan. According to national education data analyzed by Anderson Economic Group, 10,000 STEM degrees are awarded annually around the Detroit region, which is more than Silicon Valley and nearly 15 percent of Metro Detroit jobs are already in technology.

The city of Detroit is built to succeed in the new post-employment environment because of the city’s history of maximizing cultures and geography as well as building upon its innovation and responsible capitalism leadership.

It is not a stretch to say without Detroit our modern world wouldn’t exist and wouldn’t be as efficient. So the next time someone tells you Detroit isn’t working, say Detroit is succeeding and impacting their life positively daily.

Also, look back to the Detroit flag and note the two Latin mottos. One which reads Speramus Meliora and the other Resurget Cineribus, meaning “We hope for better things” and “It will rise from the ashes.”

With these mottos powering the city, I believe Detroit is well positioned to resume its claim as one of the world’s great cities. No one should underestimate the energy and the drive which has been unleashed just four years after declaring bankruptcy. Not only is this remarkable, but Detroit should be inspiring to other cities who can see a path on how to adjust to new global competitive challenges and opportunities.

I owe a lot to the city of Detroit. It is my birthplace and it is the city I call home.

It provided employment for my grandfathers so they could build a better life for me generations later.

It is gritty. It is sprawled. It is down. It is up. It is bold.

Detroit is entering a new stage of passion and growth to support future generations

-Marc A. Ross

Marc A. Ross is the founder of Brigadoon and specializes in developing winning communications, content, connections, and commerce for entrepreneurs and thought leaders. 


Here's your summer reading list: 21 suggestions from the Brigadoon community

Shakespeare, Jesus, Gucci, Marco Polo, and Mao to name a few of the subjects suggested.

Happy reading.

1. Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare - Stephen Greenblatt

2. Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth - Reza Aslan

3. Clashing Over Commerce: A History of US Trade Policy - Douglas Irwin

4. Talking to the Dead: A Novel Paperback – Harry Bingham

5. In the Name of Gucci: A Memoir Hardcover – Patricia Gucci

6. Thinking, Fast and Slow - Daniel Kahneman

7. Enlightenment Now - Steven Pinker

8. Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done Hardcover – Laura Vanderkam

9. The Ambition Decisions: What Women Know About Work, Family, and the Path to Building a Life - Hana Schank and Elizabeth Wallace

10. Seven Brief Lessons on Physics - Carlo Rovelli

11. Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries - Kory Stamper

12. Never Lose A Customer Again - Joey Coleman

13. The Richest Man in Babylon - George Samuel Clason

14. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life - Mark Manson

15. Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk - Peter L. Bernstein

16. The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation - Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn

17. The Archipelago: Italy Since 1945 - John Foot

18. Antifragile - Nassim Nicholas Taleb

19. The Return of Marco Polo's World: War, Strategy, and American Interests in the Twenty-first Century - Robert D. Kaplan

20. A World Lit Only by Fire: The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance: Portrait of an Age – William Manchester

21. Mao's Great Famine: The History of China's Most Devastating Catastrophe, 1958-1962 – Frank Dikötter


Alibaba v. Tencent: The battle for supremacy in China: Jack Ma of Alibaba and Pony Ma of Tencent have built tech titans that dominate China's digital economy. Is the world big enough for both of them?

Take a look at him now: The many lives of Phil Collins: After an extended hiatus that found him becoming more beloved, the crown prince of middle-of-the-road Top 40 has embarked on a farewell tour. Should he be celebrated as a pop icon or vilified as a grouchy opportunist?

Looking for the best links in Scotland? This man played 111 rounds: In A Course Called Scotland, Tom Coyne goes on a two-month-long adventure and comes to grips with a game that’s less than perfect.

From rust belt to robot belt: Turning AI into jobs in the US heartland: Artificial intelligence is offering an amazing opportunity to increase prosperity, but whether or not we will seize it is our choice.

How Europe’s opera houses won over millennials: With an escape game and networking events, La Scala and the Paris Opera are attracting under-30 audiences


Brigadoon Annapolis | Salon Dinner + Lectures = September 20-21, 2018

Brigadoon Detroit | Salon Dinner = October 11, 2018

Brigadoon Cincinnati | Salon Dinner = November 1, 2018

Brigadoon Scotland 2018 = November 11-13, 2018

Brigadoon Sundance 2019 = February 24-26, 2019

More details and ticket information @


@HarvardBiz: You might do your best strategic thinking while taking a short walk

Michael E. Porter+ Nitin Nohria: How CEOs manage time

Where and how CEOs are involved determines what gets done. It signals priorities.

CEOs are always on, and there is always more to be done. The leaders in our study worked 9.7 hours per weekday, on average. They also conducted business on 79% of weekend days, putting in an average of 3.9 hours daily, and on 70% of vacation days, averaging 2.4 hours daily. 

Seth Godin: The two simple secrets to good ideas

Secret #1 is the biggest one: More bad ideas. The more bad ideas the better. If you work really hard on coming up with bad ideas, sooner or later, some good ideas are going to slip through. This is much easier than the opposite approach.

Secret #2 is more important: Generosity. It's much easier and more effective to come up with good ideas for someone else. Much easier to bring a posture of insight and care on behalf of someone else. It lets you off the hook, too.


European technology worker population growth, 2017:

Ireland: 5.3%
Netherlands: 4.6%
Germany: 4.2%
France: 3.6%
UK: 3.2%
Austria: 2.8%
Norway: 2.8%
Portugal: 2.7%

HT: The State of European Tech

Share of global car market, 2017:

Toyota: 9.2%
Volkswagen: 7.2%
Ford: 6.5%
Honda: 5.4%
Nissan: 5.4%
Hyundai: 4.7%
Chevrolet: 4.4%
Kia: 3%
Renault: 2.8%
Mercedes: 2.7%
Peugeot: 2.2%
BMW: 2.2%
Audi: 2%
Maruti: 1.7%
Mazda: 1.7%
Fiat: 1.7%
Suzuki: 1.6%
Buick: 1.5%
Jeep: 1.5%

HT @spectatorindex

US Census Bureau data:

- America is less white, getting older, and more urban.

- By 2035, Americans age 65 and older are forecast to outnumber kids for the first time.

- Over a million people have left New York since April 1, 2010.

- Columbus is now bigger than Cleveland.

- Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Arizona is the 11th largest metro area.

- California has the largest Hispanic population at 15.5 million.

- The Asian population, the fastest-growing racial group in the nation, increased 3.1 percent to 22.2 million

The Presence Deficit, Cities, Walkable Streets, HyperNormalisation, YouTube

The Weekly Brigadoon_June.png

The Presence Deficit, Cities, Walkable Streets, HyperNormalisation, YouTube

The Weekly | Brigadoon
June 10, 2018
Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia

The Weekly  = Enterprise + Culture + Sport + Policy

Brigadoon is Education + Events + Engagement for Entrepreneurs and Thought Leaders.

Subscribe here:


Continuous partial attention and the presence deficit

The art of staying focused in a distracting world.

That is the title of an article I dumped into to my Evernote "Must Read" folder five years ago.

Five years ago.

Someone sure is distracted.

This article from The Atlantic is actually an interview between James Fallows and a longtime tech executive Linda Stone.

Stone has been working on technology longer than many of us reading this were even cognizant of activities beyond our neighborhood, and our only escape was playing floor hockey, reading the latest issue of National Geographic or mastering the foreign lands of Dungeons and Dragons.

She began working on emerging technologies for Apple and then Microsoft in the 80s. 

In the early years of this century, she coined the term "continuous partial attention" to describe the modern predicament of being constantly attuned to everything without fully concentrating on anything. 

Stone isn't critical of this paradigm stating that "continuous partial attention is neither good nor bad. The important thing for us as humans is to have the capacity to tap the attention strategy that will best serve us in any given moment."

This ability to execute an attention strategy is within all of us.

Most of us learned this skill in our childhood when engaging in sports or crafts or performing arts. However, some of us might need additional training that involves managing our breath and emotions—what Stone calls "bringing one’s body and mind to the same place at the same time."

She reminds us self-directed play allows both children and adults to develop a powerful attention strategy, a strategy she calls "relaxed presence."

As a kid, you developed a capacity for attention and for a type of curiosity and experimentation that can happen when you play. You were in the moment, and the moment was unfolding naturally.

Stone says" when we learn how to play a sport or an instrument; how to dance or sing; or even how to fly a plane, we learn how to breathe and how to sit or stand in a way that supports a state of relaxed presence. My hunch is that when you’re flying, you’re aware of everything around you, and yet you’re also relaxed. When you’re water-skiing, you’re paying attention, and if you’re too tense, you’ll fall. All of these activities help us cultivate our capacity for relaxed presence. Mind and body in the same place at the same time."

Maybe this is why I long for a black diamond ski run on a daily basis?

I find propelling my middle-aged body down a deep, steep, heart pounding, and knee grinding ski run to be the ultimate state of relaxation - it's just so darn fulfilling.

Descending a ski hill is by far when I am at peak relaxed presence.

How do you get into peak relaxed presence? 

For me to find this state, I must put it on my calendar. I put this relaxed presence time there today, this week, this month, and this year.

I find being constantly attuned to everything without fully concentrating on anything hurts my performance, my relationships, and my health.

Making relaxed presence a habit you'll find getting offline for a spell is fine. All the noise from a distracting world you left behind will be there when you get back.

I promise.

No need for FOMO.

But there is a need for peak relaxed presence.



Report: Cities generated nearly all of US job growth in 2017: AP reports, American cities accounted for about 96 percent of the country’s job growth in 2017 as they added nearly 2 million new jobs, according to the latest annual report from a bipartisan coalition of mayors. The U.S. Conference of Mayors, which is gathering in Boston starting on Friday, says in its latest “Metro Economies” report that 10 metropolitan areas alone generated $6.8 trillion in economic value in 2017, surpassing the output of most states. Those metro regions included New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Houston, Philadelphia, Boston, and Atlanta.

50 reasons why everyone should want more walkable streets: From making you live longer to making cities more resilient: If you want a reason to make your city more walkable, it’s in here.

The midlife tuneup: Whether you are in your 30s, 40s, 50s or beyond, the Well midlife tuneup will put you on a healthier path to improving your body, mind, and relationships.

How Reese Witherspoon is flipping the script on Hollywood: The Hello Sunshine founder is channeling women’s voices into top-tier entertainment–and altering the dynamics of the entire industry along the way.

The Atlantic: Why no one answers their phone anymore


What are you reading this summer?

I am putting together a summer reading list and would love to know what books the Brigadoon community is digging into.

I heard from a dozen of you yesterday and the list is diverse and insightful, as one would expect from such a talented community. 

If you haven't, please drop me an email so I can add to this collection.



Brigadoon Annapolis | Salon Dinner + Lectures = September 20-21, 2018

Brigadoon Detroit | Salon Dinner = October 11, 2018

Brigadoon Cincinnati | Salon Dinner = November 1, 2018

Brigadoon Scotland 2018 = November 11-13, 2018

Brigadoon Sundance 2019 = February 24-26, 2019

More details and ticket information @


75 apps that will save you time as a busy professional


HyperNormalisation: A 2016 BBC documentary by British filmmaker Adam Curtis. In this doc, Curtis explains we live in a time of great uncertainty and confusion. Global events keep happening that seem inexplicable and out of control. Donald Trump, Brexit, the War in Syria, the endless migrant crisis, random bomb attacks. And those who are supposed to be in power are paralyzed - they have no idea what to do. This film is an epic story of how we got to this strange place. It explains not only why these chaotic events are happening - but also why we, and our politicians, cannot understand them.


Joe Jackson - Steppin' Out


Hotel Iroquois (Mackinac Island, MI)


Rose's Luxury (Washington, DC)


Own goal: The inside story of how the USMNT missed the 2018 World Cup: The Ringer reports, in October, the United States failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in more than 30 years. A loss to Trinidad and Tobago sealed their fate, but according to players, coaches, commentators, and executives across American soccer, the disaster doesn’t come down to just one unfortunate result. No, it was the culmination of nearly a decade of mismanagement that broke the team’s spirit and condemned them to failure.

CEOs, Michael Cohen, AT&T, Annapolis, Detroit, Cincinnati, Elon Musk, Warren Buffett

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CEOs, Michael Cohen, AT&T, Annapolis, Detroit, Cincinnati, Elon Musk, Warren Buffett

The Weekly | Brigadoon
May 13, 2018
Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia

The Weekly  = Enterprise + Culture + Sport + Policy

Subscribe here:


What CEOs need to learn from Michael Cohen and AT&T

One of my all-time favorite political campaign books is The Selling of the President.

Written by Joe McGinnis, the book covers the story of how Richard Nixon was repackaged and reshaped for the American public as a candidate for president in 1968. Eight years after Nixon’s losing presidential campaign and his lackluster television performance at the Nixon-Kennedy debate, he faced all the old image problems.

Nixon hired then 28-year old Roger Ailes to remake his image. An image that would win at the ballot box, and more importantly, on television. Ailes created television moments that made Nixon, not smart, not knowledgeable, but well-liked. Ailes created television moments that engaged numerous constituents on their terms.

1968 was no time for policy, it was a time for charismatic personality and shared values.

McGinnis’ book makes clear, presidential candidates can be rebranded and remarketed. Television does not expose and demystify the powerful. Instead, it makes personality stronger. Television ensures style is substance.

David Miller, of the legendary political consultancy Sawyer Miller, saw how television and mass communications would change not only candidates but commerce. He wrote in an article for the Yale School of Organization and Management that just like candidates, if done correctly, corporations could use the tools of television and campaign management to ensure market size and good paying consumers.

Miller wrote: “Corporations must recognize that it is now in their long-term self-interest to develop much more democratic relationships with all of their shareholders, community members, and the public at large.”

Miller foresaw how the corporate world was quickly resembling a politician’s world and how a politician relates to constituents. 

As information channels increase, multiply, focus on niches and distinct tastes and thoughts, corporations need to forge an emotional bond with their various constituents - just like a politician.

The only sensible and meaningful way to do is - establish a relationship and commercial transaction based on shared values.

Today’s masters of the universe CEO is poor decision away from disrupting a relationship based on shared values. Corporations can no longer control the flow of information and can lose control of the narrative within hours.

Corporations are under assault from government regulators, reporters, shareholders, and employees all demanding style that supersedes substance. 

CEOs today need to woo their customers, engage regulators, listen to shareholders, reinforce employees, and make their case daily. CEOs need to communicate more often, on more platforms, and more broadly. Sawyer believed CEOs needed to define themselves before someone else set them - just like a candidate who works like they are up for reelection daily.

As all significant institutions continue to lose sway and influence, the pressure on corporations and CEOs to fill this void increases daily.

For AT&T it wasn’t the paying for access, advice, and public affairs expertise which was a bad idea, it was that they paid an individual (Michael Cohen) who was out of step and not in line with the shared values of AT&T’s numerous constituents.

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said as much in a memo distributed to employees last week.

“Our reputation has been damaged,” Stephenson wrote. “There is no other way to say it—AT&T hiring Michael Cohen as a political consultant was a big mistake.”

Companies need to sell worthwhile goods and services - this for sure will continue to matter. But the transaction now has an emotional connection as well.

As pointed out in Edelman's 2018 Trust Barometer: "A good reputation may get me to try a product—but unless I come to trust the company behind the product, I will soon stop buying it, regardless of its reputation.

63% of those surveyed agreed with this statement.

The Edelman Trust Barometer provided a clear directive for today’s CEOs - building trust is job one.

Winning commerce of the future will happen when a company is trusted, provides high-quality services and products, and where business decisions reflect shared values.

AT&T hiring Michael Cohen is losing commerce.

It is not essential to much to be smart and knowledgeable, but it is necessary to be well-liked.


HBR: A 40-year debate over corporate strategy gets revived by Elon Musk and Warren Buffett

When Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that “moats are lame” during the company’s earnings call last week, he was calling out Warren Buffett, the chair of Berkshire Hathaway, who uses “moat” to describe barriers to imitation that stave off competition. “If your only defense against invading armies is a moat, you will not last long,” Musk continued. “What matters is the pace of innovation — that is the fundamental determinant of competitiveness.

‘We don’t take cash’: is this the future of money? Tougher for criminals, easier for hackers: what life is really like in a cashless society.

HBR: Having your smartphone nearby takes a toll on your thinking

"In recent research, we investigated whether merely having one’s own smartphone nearby could influence cognitive abilities. In two lab experiments, nearly 800 people completed tasks designed to measure their cognitive capacity."

The 13 best Warren Buffett quotes from the Berkshire Hathaway meeting

One goal of Amazon’s HQ2: Learn the lessons of Seattle. Amazon has surprised officials in cities vying for the company’s new headquarters by asking how to avoid soaring housing costs and paralyzing traffic. 


Brigadoon Annapolis | Salon Dinner + Lectures = September 20-21, 2018

Brigadoon Detroit | Salon Dinner = October 11, 2018

Brigadoon Cincinnati | Salon Dinner = November 1, 2018

Briagdoon Scotland 2018 = November 11-13, 2018

Brigadoon Sundance 2019 = February 24-26, 2019

More details and ticket information @


“Bots won’t be better at being human, just as humans aren’t “better at” being chimpanzees.” -- Damien Patrick Williams, PhD researcher at Virginia Tech, on how robots will experience the world in a way completely different from humans. 


Adventures in Branding: Melanie Spring (Brigadoon Sundance 2018): Over the last 9 years, Melanie has been asked "Can I buy you a cup of coffee & pick your brain?" at least once a week. To celebrate her 9 year anniversary, she dumped 9 years worth of entrepreneurial experience into a 1-hour podcast episode.


She covers why she started her business, when she hired her first employee, how many times she pivoted, why profitability matters, and understanding your core values.

She also provides her three top books to read for entrepreneurs - all of which I promptly ordered. 

It is a good and authentic session. You can listen here:


BBC: Wayne Rooney: Everton forward agrees 'deal in principle' to join MLS side DC United

FIFA pitches multibillion-dollar ‘Project Trophy’ to seven top clubs: NYT reports,  Representatives of seven of the world’s richest soccer teams, including Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid, visited FIFA on Wednesday for a private meeting aimed at winning the clubs in the increasingly fractious battle to set up a new multibillion-dollar world club championship. The group also included the English champion Manchester City, Italy’s Juventus, France’s Paris Saint-Germain and the perennial German champion Bayern Munich. The seven clubs invited to the meeting had combined revenues of more than $4 billion in 2017, and they command a massive global fan base that would be critical to making FIFA’s secretive discussions about the new tournament, code-named “Project Trophy,” a success.

Formula One will attempt to hold a race in Miami next year.

A baseball season with too many awful teams: WSJ reports, only one club has had a 100-loss season in the past four years. This season, six teams are on pace for at least 100 losses.

Towns, Tech Companies, Blockchain, Nir Eyal, Mohamed Salah

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Towns, Tech Companies, Blockchain, Nir Eyal, Mohamed Salah

The Weekly | Brigadoon
May 6, 2018
Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross

Reporting from West Hollywood, California

The Weekly  = Enterprise + Culture + Sport + Policy

Subscribe here:


Being connected to your town is a blessing

I have no idea who the mayor of Alexandria is.

I couldn't tell you who represents me in the state house in either chamber in Richmond.

I know more about what is happening in Theresa May's Number 10 cabinet meetings that I do with my local school board, city council, and planning commission meetings.

Maybe it is because I cover, engage, and care about global politics and its intersection with global business.

Maybe it is because I have more allegiance and affinity for Michigan than Virginia.

Maybe it is because I don't have children that I don't have a vested interest in my city.

Regardless, it is a generally an odd way to move through life. Especially for someone who is so passionate about democracy and the American experience. I am sensing I am missing out on something powerful.

Recently, James Fallows in The Atlantic penned "The Reinvention of America." You can (and should) read it here: He suggests something powerful is happening with America.

Yes, the problems facing our nation are serious and the challenges real, but in fact, more Americans are hopeful then the national news coverage would suggest. Pollsters have reported this disparity for a long time. The Atlantic with the Aspen Institute commissioned a polling which showed that two-thirds of Americans were satisfied with their financial situation, and 85 percent said they were very or somewhat satisfied with their general position in life and their ability to pursue the American dream. Other polls in the past half-dozen years have found that most Americans believe the country to be on the wrong course—but that their own communities are improving.

Fallows writes: "America is becoming more like itself again. More Americans are trying to make it so, in more places, than most Americans are aware. Even as the country is becoming worse in obvious ways—angrier, more divided, less able to do the basic business of governing itself—it is becoming distinctly better on a range of other indicators that are harder to perceive. The pattern these efforts create also remains hidden. Americans don’t realize how fast the country is moving toward becoming a better version of itself."

I saw this type of local civic engagement Fallows is speaking about for myself this week.

Chris Keldorf (Brigadoon Sundance 2017) has launched Dads on the Rise where he has engaged his fellow citizens of El Segundo, California to be part of a platform to share stories of success, failure, and daily gratitude. The idea of the grassroots group is to empower and the enlighten the next generation of fathers, husbands, brothers, and sons through conversation, engagement, and reflection.

So on this past Thursday night, I found myself sitting on a folding chair surrounded by 40 guys in the back of exercise gym listening to a highly trained and highly serious entrepreneur and special operations Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps sharing with us how to be better in business and in relationships.

The presentation and ideas shared were impactful, but what was more impactful for me was the fact that a good friend of mine launched this dynamic platform and his fellow citizens responded. 

It was refreshing to know beyond the noise and craziness of America’s national political and intense foreign affairs, local citizens are gathering to share in brotherhood and to share in conversation with a simple commitment to be a better person and to take steps to make their community better.

It was a blessing to be reminded that America is moving toward becoming a better version of itself one folding chair at a time.


18 of the top 20 tech companies are in the Western US and Eastern China. Can anywhere else catch up?

Why Karl Marx is more relevant than ever: An upbeat biography places the great thinker in his 19th-century context.

Now emoting in the corner office: The oversharing CEO: WSJ reports, leaders open up about hopes, fears and arguments with mom; uncomfortable for some, but builds trust.

The world’s first neighborhood built “from the internet up”: The Economist reports, Toronto’s run-down Quayside area will have snow-melting pavements, package-delivery robots, and self-driving shuttles.

Blockchain insiders tell us why we don't need blockchain: FT reports, we've written before about how blockchain is a belief system, complete with prophets, disciples, traitors, rituals, and schisms. But recently, faith in the technology appears to be ebbing.

“Look, the internet belongs to the Americans — but blockchain will belong to us.” -- Grigory Marshalko, head of the Russian Delegation to the meeting of the International Standards Organization last year. 


Inside Intercom - Nir Eyal: The products with the best technology aren’t always the ones that win. Often, it’s the products that are first to mind. The products that create habits. Some habits, however, are much healthier than others, so what’s the secret to designing healthy patterns of behavior? As author Nir Eyal has learned, it requires a rigorous commitment to ethics – and empathetically questioning even your best intentions. Nir’s studies sit at the intersection of technology, business, and psychology. A veteran of the advertising and video gaming industries, he has started (and sold) two technology companies and has taught at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design. His best-selling book Hooked explores how to design habit-forming products, and you can keep up with his writing and research at This podcast covers the need for designing healthy habits – and the psychology behind them. 


Pretty Lights - Only Yesterday


Meet Mohamed Salah, the breakout star of European soccer this season. NYT reports, the Egyptian player for Liverpool has scored 43 goals in 48 games in his first season and helped the team reach its first Champions League final in more than a decade. And after each goal, he kneels and prays on the field. At a time when Britain is fighting rising Islamophobia, he is a North African and a Muslim who is not just accepted in Britain but adored.