Clarity First Newsletter, November 17, 2017

Clarity First
A notebook about how we work and learn and love and live.

This week I’ve been in Portland, OR visiting one of my kids, running a workshop, and attending a conference on preparing communities for climate change. So, this week’s letter is a bit more dashed off than usual…

People don’t have the time to figure out what your brand is trying to solve.

The most successful brands know who they are and their responsibility to those they serve.
Article: Six Brand Strategies Most CMOs Fail To Execute 

The U.S. may no longer be the best place to start a business.

The “Trump Effect” is officially measurable, and research shows that it’s hurt the U.S. as a place to do business. And we were already cringing.
Article: Thanks, Trump: Coolness of American Brand Drops to Record Low

Challenging gender dynamics

Bumble, the female-first dating app, has recently launched ‘Bumble Bizz’ – a new feature aiming to help women network and forge professional relationships via the platform.
Article: Could Bumble Bizz be a Serious Challenger to LinkedIn?

Cool tool?

How can a distributed team whose members are at the mercy of asynchronous time zones and unreliable communication channels share ideas, provide feedback, and continuously deliver? Google has designed the Jamboard to answer the need. Do any Clarity First readers have experience with this new tool?
Article: Realizing an Unfulfilled Promise: How the Google Jamboard Enables True Agility

In the beginning 

On Oct. 27, 1994, Wired magazine’s digital affiliate HotWired ran what later became known as the web’s first banner ad. And the internet has not been the same since.
Article: ‘The Beginning of a Giant Industry’: An Oral History of the First Banner Ad

Knowing what will change is incredibly difficult.

Jeff Bezos doesn’t worry about what will change. He focuses on what won’t change. He built Amazon around things he knew would be stable over time, investing heavily in ensuring that Amazon would provide those things, and improve its delivery of those things.
Article: 20 Years Ago, Jeff Bezos Said This One Thing Separates People Who Achieve Lasting Success From Those Who Don’t

A scientific approach to curbing the spread of violence

Cure Violence stops the spread of violence by using the methods and strategies associated with disease control – detecting and interrupting conflicts, identifying and treating the highest risk individuals, and changing social norms – resulting in reductions in violence of up to 70%.
Organization: Cure Violence

Ditch the highlighter.

Stanford professor Candace Thille is an expert in learning. She’s found that many students could be great learners but fall into unproductive learning habits. She’s found five hacks that can turn anyone into a great learner and help eliminate habits that waste your time.
Article: These Five Hacks Can Help You Learn Anything, According to a Stanford Professor


The story is that Puss n Boots came together in 2008 when Norah Jones began playing Brooklyn venues to practice guitar, with the help of Sasha Dobson. Soon they were joined by Catherine Popper and they gelled into a great band. Here they are playing their song Jesus, Etc. at one of those clubs.

Image of the week

Charles Brabin shoots stark, arresting, and surprising images of urban and industrial scenes, always in black and white. “Thanks to the camera, we can appreciate the elements of our environment that often remain invisible, creating a window to a new world, attractive and fascinating,” says the photographer. Check him out on Instagram.

What’s Clarity First?

If you’re new to Clarity First, it’s the weekly newsletter by Clarity, the consultancy that helps mission-driven companies use their brand – their purpose, values, and stories – as powerful tools for transformation. Learn more.

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