The Best of NewCo Shift — February 7th
Our best stories of the past month, served up fresh.
Here’s your latest edition of NewCo Shift Monthly, a roundup of top NewCo Shift stories. Highlights include Facebook’s conundrum, tech addiction, an alternative in Pinterest, the impact of Amazon Go, and a sneak peek to NewCo Shift Forum February 26th-28th, in which we will be discussing some of these issues with key players in business and society.
Let us know the type of stories you are interested in us covering at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading, and for those Medium claps. It means a lot to us.
After Mark Zuckerberg announced his new year’s resolution of fixing Facebook’s flaws, we argued that Facebook can’t be fixed without completely gutting its advertising-driven business model. And doing that will anger its shareholders in the short term, and it likely would completely change the social network’s nature. Facebook has gotten too big to pivot to a new, more “sustainable” business model, so we posit two scenarios for what might come of Zuckerberg’s 2018 quest. Which pill will Facebook choose?
It’s has been a while since we’ve internalized our kids’ addiction to tech — kids are going to be kids, and they’ll always send those Snaps, right? Danah Boyd writes about how young people are using technology to communicate with their friends non-stop, at a point in their life when everything is about sociality and understanding your place in the social world. Can parents do anything to curb this addiction or even fight their own? Boyd offers some ideas that don’t preach to parents, but instead help create different methods when it comes to dealing with tech in a household.
On the topic of tech addiction, are all social media networks created equal? In this interview with Pinterest’s co-founder and CEO Ben Silbermann, we saw the company’s core DNA, its platform mechanics, and its advertising model, and we sensed a new approach is taking hold. Silbermann tells us — over and over — that Pinterest is a mission-driven company. And that mission — to help you discover and do what you love — is all about you. Not “us,” not “we,” not “them.” But you. What you want to do. What inspires you. What you can do with your time to make your life a little (or a lot) better.
In this way, Pinterest is not a social media platform. It’s far more like search in the early days — but with all the trimmings and chrome of a modern digital platform. It’s not about sharing, validation, likes or Instabragging. It’s about getting sh*t done.
Amazon Go launched last month, a grocery store run by the tech giant that loses the humans in the name of efficiency and convenience. But will the displaced workers find new, more fulfilling roles in society? Or is this part of the trend in tech companies to get rid of any human interaction left in the world? These companies have decided that society collectively decided no longer values the produce guy, the butcher, or the cashier who knows our kids and asks how our mother in law is faring. What about you?
In one of our Medium Premium series, Peter Leyden, founder & CEO of Reinvent, continues his fascinating series about the future of politics in America, using California as the example the rest of the country will soon emulate. The Golden State adapted early to the challenges of the 21st century by pioneering new and innovating ways forward in both politics and business. But before California became a progressive standard bearer, it had to endure an ugly political civil war. In his latest installment of “California Is the Future,” Leyden and partner Ruy Teixeira write that California’s demographics, technology adoption, and adaptation to immigration, globalization and climate change are harbingers of how the rest of the country will soon respond.
We are also pleased to announce the nominees for the NewCo Honors, our annual awards for organizations doing well by doing good. Nominees are all market leaders and well-known names in their respective sectors, but what makes them significant through the NewCo lens is their commitment to leading in a new market with significant positive impact. They are the embodiment of business on a mission. NewCo Honors are given annually for actions in the previous year. See our complete list of nominees and the work they’ve been nominated for.
Finally, NewCo Shift Forum unveiled its Agenda and the thesis of this year’s Forum: Business Must Lead. This theme will be integrated throughout the Forum’s program, from the in-depth interviews with CEOs, policy makers, and foundation chairs to presentations from a truly diverse group of startup founders, innovators, and free thinkers. And for our second straight year, Shift Forum is committed to gender equality and diversity onstage — we’ve worked hard to ensure the broadest range of compelling and challenging voices will be heard. And the most important voice — the Delegates — will be central throughout. We’ve left lots of time for networking, for Q&A, and for participation in the program. This is a conversation, after all, not a broadcast. Get your tickets here.