Summary of “Being Different Beats Being Better”

Who cares about a marginally better product or service? That’s the problem with most businesses and even people.
These artists didn’t try to become better versions of Jay-Z, Madonna, Beyonce, or whoever came before them.
You see, it’s not about being better, it’s about being different.
“When you launch a new product, the first question to ask yourself is not”How is this new product better than the competition?” but “First what?” In other words, what category is this new product first in?”.
Don’t ask yourself, “What am I better at?”.
The easiest way to be different is to combine skills that are new in a certain area.
“Notice I didn’t say anything about the level of proficiency you need to achieve for each skill. I didn’t mention anything about excellence or being world-class. The idea is that you can raise your market value by being merely good-not extraordinary-at more than one skill.”
Public Speaking – Getting comfortable with speaking in front of a group makes you a better leader.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Inside Juicero’s Demise, From Prized Startup to Fire Sale”

On Sept. 1, as many U.S. businesses closed early for the Labor Day holiday weekend, Juicero Inc.-a lavishly funded startup that once sold a $699 Wi-Fi-connected juice press-announced it was shutting down forever.
Months before the end, a few of Juicero’s investors had lost faith in the press, touted by founder Doug Evans as a powerful machine capable of squeezing bagged chunks of fruits and vegetables into fresh juice.
After months of limited sales last year, Juicero’s board decided to drop the price to $399. By October, the board had replaced Evans with a more polished operator, Jeff Dunn, a former Coca-Cola Co. president.
Since launch, Juicero sold more than a million packs, with the average machine owner pressing nine packs per week, two people familiar with Juicero’s business say.
The negative media cycle raised questions about Evans, and several venture funds expressed concern that he had promised a smaller and more capable press than what Juicero ultimately delivered.
The loss of financing was a devastating blow to Evans, Dunn and Juicero’s board, which included Randy Komisar, a partner at Kleiner Perkins, and David Krane, a founding partner of Google’s venture fund, GV. In June, say two of the people, tensions boiled over at a board meeting when Dunn criticized Evans for meddling in company operations and being a disruptive influence on staff.
Worse, Juicero wouldn’t be able to produce its Hail Mary product, the Juicero V2. With few other options available, Juicero’s board convened on Aug. 23 and voted to wind down the company’s operations.
As Dunn prepared the statement and communicated with Juicero’s board and executives about how to break the news to staff and the public, Evans was as far away as some directors had long wanted.

The orginal article.

Summary of “NFL season begins with eyes on Florida, Hurricane Irma”

f. Graphic of the Day, when the CBS cameras showed Marshawn Lynch early in Nashville: “First NFL game in 602 days.”
The Red Sox used electronic means-an Apple Watch, according to the New York Times-as part of a system to steal signals from the catcher to the pitcher in a series against the Yankees, and maybe in more games than that.
The NFL shelf life for the Brady story-through the months of the reported $8 million investigation, the initial sanction, the court battles, the Brady suspension and all the way to the Thursday night game last week when Roger Goodell finally reappeared on the field in Foxboro and got massively catcalled-is 32 months.
I think there’s one postscript to that, and to what will be the lingering Ezekiel Elliott story, possibly well into 2018, and maybe to the 11.5 percent drop in ratings from the 2016 opening game to Chiefs-Pats last Thursday: The NFL has to start building more bridges, starting with the fractured relationship with players and the union.
Last year, with no Peyton Manning in the game, and no megamarkets, and the contentious presidential campaign election siphoning away marginal viewers, the Denver-Carolina ratings were down 6.8 percent from the previous year’s Brady-Ben Roethlisberger opener.
I think the unique football TV show of the week, and it’s not close, will be Tuesday at 9:30 p.m. ET, on ESPN. It’s a short documentary, “Strike Team,” about one of the most famous stings in law-enforcement history-and it involves an NFL game in Washington in 1985.
Before the Cincinnati-Washington game on Dec. 15, 1985, the U.S. Marshals Service worked a scam by inviting a long list of outstanding fugitives in the District of Columbia to a party at which two game tickets per attendee were the lures.
Beth Mowins becomes the first woman play-by-play voice to do an NFL regular-season game in 30 years.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Stanford psychologist Kelly McGonigal has a simple mental exercise for tackling student anxiety”

Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist at Stanford, thinks we spend too much time worrying about stress and not enough harnessing it to learn and grow.
“If I am stressed, it means I care,” McGonigal said on School’s In, a Stanford podcast.
Whatever the challenge-inviting a new friend over, trying out for a sports team, or starting a new school-the anxiety that comes with stress looks and feels a lot like excitement.
McGonigal cites research that shows that people who reported more stress were 43% more likely to die prematurely; however, that was only for those who believed stress was toxic.
The third kind of stress response is a “Growth” response, according to McGonigal.
“If you think stress is to help you run away from a tiger, of course that’s not a helpful way to respond to life. But if you understand that what you experience as stress is the biological mechanism by which you are going to learn and grow and develop your strength, now that’s a totally different way to understand why your heart is pounding, or why you’re having trouble falling asleep at night because you’re thinking about something stressful that happened.”
Denise Pope, a professor at Stanford and founder of Challenge Success, which helps kids redefine success away from just grades and college admissions, agrees that we need to arm kids with positive coping strategies for stress.
Kids who are stressed feel they don’t have the resources they need to rise to the challenge, putting their stress is squarely in the harmful “Threat” category.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Harvey and Irma, Married 75 Years, Marvel at the Storms Bearing Their Names”

Harvey was first used as a storm name in 1981, and six other storms have had that name.
Given the ferocity of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in 2017, this will probably be the first and last time the names appear in tandem.
The Schluters, by contrast, have been appearing in tandem since the 1940s, when Harvey was visiting his brother at a duplex in Spokane and ran into Irma, staying with her sister in the apartment below while she attended high school.
The future Mrs. Schluter, Irma Schumacher, was more hesitant.
In a story to mark their anniversary in March, The Spokesman-Review of Spokane reported that they had taken in 120 children over the decades, a number that Mrs. Schluter confirmed.
Mr. Schluter opened his own business in the Hillyard suburb of Spokane, Harvey’s Shop, and worked as a barber for 45 years.
In their long lives and travels in a motor home to visit their grown foster children, the Schluters managed to avoid the major hurricanes that struck hard enough to have their names retired over the decades.
In a new century, after 75 years of marriage, they can only watch as their names flicker across the screen with reports of death, destruction and evacuation.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What Happens When a Science Fiction Genius Starts Blogging?”

Le Guin has always been fascinated by the subversive possibility of imaginative writing, and the central conceits of her two best-known series explore it.
Humans can travel between these planets, but they cannot travel faster than light, and so the expenditure of time is prohibitive; but they remain connected through Le Guin’s signature SF invention, the “Ansible.” The ansible is a communication device allowing near instant communication between any two points.
The condition for using Old Speech-that you must find out a thing’s true name-suggests a condition for good writing: you must describe the world accurately.
How could a writer of science fiction and fantasy suggest such a thing?
Le Guin has stated that she thinks of genre as a formal constraint, the way a writer of sonnets might treat the fourteen lines as a limitation that allows for otherwise impossible effects.
Often Le Guin’s protagonists are strangers exposed to new societies, and their visions of otherness become vehicles for the reader’s self-reflection, highlighting the strangenesses in our own world that we’ve become too accustomed to to notice.
For Le Guin, imaginative fiction is not “Escapist” in the usual, derogatory sense, but in a different, subversive sense: “The direction of escape is toward freedom,” she notes.
Between each of No Time to Spare’s four topical sections are essays entitled “Annals of Pard.” Devoting such time and interest to the observation of a cat might seem to represent the commonest impulses both of internet culture and old age; but, as always, Le Guin wades into her new genre to deepen and expand it.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The best scenic train rides around the world”

Whether you’re writing the great American novel or taking a romantic getaway, a scenic train ride is one of the best ways to get around.
The August/September issue of National Geographic Traveler rounds up images of the best train trips in the world, according to one seasoned rail rider.
Royal Rajasthan on Wheels is a luxury resort aboard a train – complete with a spa – that takes riders past India’s temples, forts, and Taj Mahal on a seven-night passage.
The Glacier Express connects two major mountain resorts in the Swiss Alps, giving riders a whirlwind tour of Switzerland’s snowy peaks, mountain meadows, and storybook villages.
The Train to the Clouds follows zig-zag tracks across the rugged Andes on its way from Salta, Argentina, to the Chilean border.
It’s one of the highest train rides in the world.
The century-old Orient Express transports riders to the golden age of rail travel, with its four-course dinners and black-tie glamour.
In New Zealand, the TranzAlpine lets riders take in the epic vistas and awe-inspiring plains between Christchurch and Greymouth.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How disreputable rehabs game Google to profit off patients”

Having started out looking for help with her alcoholism, she ended up getting a lesson on the complex, opaque web of treatment centers and marketing operations that use the internet and high-pressure telemarketing techniques to profit off a booming market: addicts in America.
One of Aid in Recovery’s AdWords listings, which I saw on Google in the middle of August when searching for “Treatment center South Florida,” is titled “Addiction Treatment Center – No Medicaid. No Medicare.” When I repeated the search, their listing was titled “Addiction Treatment Center -.” A few days later, I tried “Texas rehab” and got an Aid in Recovery listing titled “Luxury Drug/Alc Rehab Centers. -‎.” All three list different 800 numbers.
In May, a Google “Digital ambassador” was a featured speaker at the Treatment Center Executive & Marketing Retreat, a networking getaway for C-suiters and financiers of addiction treatment businesses.
Patients became gold mines More and more halfway houses and treatment centers opened, flooding the market with businesses relying in large part on trickle-down pee money.
“I could have made millions – multimillions – off the calls I generated for the treatment industry playing the same game as anyone else, but I made pennies on the dollar sticking to raw calls,” he told me wryly.
“Over time, we have developed a full service offering of medical detoxification services, residential treatment, outpatient services, after care services and limited toxicology services. Because we currently offer full treatment offerings and as state laws and regulations have evolved, we now disclose on our AIR website, and in our calls with patients, that AIR is affiliated with our treatment facilities.”
Since the marketing bill passed, Aid in Recovery has toned down the aggressiveness of their website copy some, changing their “In-state versus out of state” page to remove both a statement about how a local treatment center can’t prevent gossip or “People seeing who enters and leaves the facility,” and the incorrect claim that “It has been proven that the success rate is higher when one receives their treatment from rehab out of state.”
Treatment Management Company told me no patients have ever been paid to go to one of their rehabs.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Al Gore’s New Movie Exposes The Big Flaw In Online Movie Ratings”

“An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,” Al Gore’s new documentary, is one of the most interesting films of the year.
It’s really the film’s online reception that’s intriguing.
Because of the politics surrounding Gore and climate change, the film divides men and women, critics and fans, and even people who saw the movie and people who are just rating it.
As of mid-August, 127 documentaries and feature-length films had been released in 2017 that also earned a Metacritic score and at least 1,000 ratings on IMDb.
Usually, the lead in the film will say something like “We made this for the fans” to downplay the terrible reviews, and the film will make $20 million and place third at the box office behind the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie and a Chris Pratt flick.
We initially began monitoring the IMDb ratings of “An Inconvenient Sequel” on July 17, when 678 users had rated the film, including about 45 percent 1s, 38 percent 10s and 17 percent 2-9s. That hundreds of people were able to draw such strong conclusions about the film 11 days before it was released on July 28 is odd.
How did so many people see this film before its wide release? We made efforts to determine whether automated voting bots were used, but the way ratings update on IMDb makes it hard to look for obvious telltale patterns of bot voting.
The democratization of film reviews has been one of the most substantial structural changes in the movie business in some time, but there are dangerous side effects.

The orginal article.

Summary of “5 Ways to Focus at Work, from an Executive Who’s Struggled with ADHD”

Through a lot of trial and error, I’ve discovered several work-arounds that can help anyone struggling to stay focused at work.
Go a step further and look for a job that meshes with the way your mind works.
To keep myself focused only on one task at a time, I make sure nothing else is in my line of sight.
I’m strict with myself, because if I allow myself to shift back and forth between the two whiteboards at any time, I’ll just keep bouncing around among different tasks and not get anything done.
Some people structure their work differently – switching to long-term tasks every other day, halfway through the day, or every other week.
As a result, people know they’ve got my undivided attention – something rare these days.
In my experience, if you give people insight into your world and your unique ways of getting work done, they’re likely to open up to you about their challenges as well.
It leads to a more empathic, collaborative, and human work environment.

The orginal article.