Archive for November 24th, 2017

Amazon is responsible for nearly half of all online sales on Black Friday so far, according to estimates.

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<p>The Facebook founder has discussed "community" more than 150 times in public. A close reading reveals his road map for the platform’s future.</p>

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As investors’ inboxes once again become clogged with annual outlooks from Wall Street’s scribblers, there is little admission of the nearly universal failure to predict what happened this year.

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The case of Secret Service and other federal uniforms shows just how difficult President Trump’s push to “buy American” is to implement in an age of global trade.

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The emboldened retail investor may be a new catalyst to help take stocks higher.

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Jeff Bezos is the world’s newest $100 billion mogul.

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Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi reportedly learned about a large data breach at the ride-hailing service two months ago and informed potential investor SoftBank before making the incident public.&nbsp;

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Tesla sets the price on the Tesla Semi, offering a top-of-the-line version of its commercial truck that is $50,000 cheaper than its costlier Roadster.

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Predicting the future is hardly a precise science, but it's possible to identify macro trends by paying close attention to what's happening in an industry.

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<p>Black Friday still has shoppers across America lining up outside stores, anticipating deep discounts and doorbusters, albeit spending continues to shift online.</p>

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No more financial support — it’s time to take care of yourselves.

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Two weeks ago I wrote about our Skill and Pace value. Another of our four values is Enjoy The Journey. This one is more axiomatic for me than the others. Everyone at Forward Partners is devoting a significant part of their life to the cause and if it’s not enjoyable, what’s the point? The journey is the destination.

But what does it mean to live the value “Enjoy The Journey”?

First and foremost, it’s about finding meaning in our work.

Straight up fun is also important of course and we go out regularly as a team and with our partner companies to do crazy things and have a few drinks together, but I liken that stuff to the role of an important supporting actor. You need it, and the film wouldn’t work without it, but it’s not enough on its own. The lead actor, the rest of the cast, the script, the set and everything else have to be right too.

I think of table football, ping pong tables, Play Stations and beers in the office in the same way. They can help people enjoy their time at work but they are a sub-plot, not the main story. It’s been said many times recently, but perks are not culture.

So how do we find meaning in our work?

First, there’s a question of attitude. You have to want to find meaning in your work, and to be willing to work at it.

I love this from Tim O’Reilly’s recent introduction to Azeem Azhar’s Exponential View newsletter:

From When Nietzsche Wept, by Irvin Yalom: First will what is necessary. Then love what you will.

There’s a profound insight there that I’ve tried to live by, long before I read the quote. Life asks many things of us that we don’t want to do. Some of them are distractions, but some of them are necessary. It’s so easy to be full of resentment toward things that we feel are keeping us from our joy. Finding joy in what needs doing is magical. Learning to love the things that are necessary—like daily chores—is the secret of happiness.

For most of us at Forward Partners meaning can be found at three levels:

  • Taking joy in helping founders build their companies
  • Taking pride in their role in building Forward Partners
  • Mastering their craft, be that design, development, growth, talent, back office or investment

Taking insight from Dan Pink’s seminal book Drive and Paul Dolan’s Happiness by Design, the final components that bring enjoyment and fulfilment are autonomy (i.e. the ability to control our own work life and schedule) and some time having plain old fun – which is where the beer and ping pong comes in.

Our job as a company is to create an environment which makes it as easy as possible for our people to find meaning at all three levels, provides for autonomy and is fun to work in. Here are a few of the things we do:

  • Manage by objectives
  • Provide regular feedback
  • Back companies that go on to enjoy significant success
  • Be clear about our mission and the contribution we all make to our success
  • Recognise success
  • Celebrate our wins (big and small)
  • Find interesting work for people to do
  • Offer training and development
  • Maximise on-the-job learning opportunities
  • Encourage people to blog, speak at conferences and become recognised experts in their field
  • Recruit and promote people who get on with each other (this is why many companies have a ‘no assholes’ rule)
  • Create opportunities for friendships to build, especially cross team
  • Go out and have fun together every now and again

So far, I think we are pretty good at this, but can definitely do better. We do many of these things well already, but some of them we could do with more conviction. Living our Enjoy the journey value is journey in itself, and to really live it requires constant thought an iteration.



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The holidays are a time when many of us reflect on the meaning of home.&nbsp;

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Want to make sure your car won’t wreck your budget? Here’s a chart that might help work out the cheapest and priciest approaches to car ownership.

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The request, while unlikely to be heeded, highlights a critical question over who would benefit the most from the tax bill: shareholders or workers?

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