The Everything Sunday Digest

Announcing a new show with Li Jin, two looks into the future of fitness, Scott Belsky's Elephant List, Is It New Or Does It Suck, and more.

Welcome to the Sunday edition of Everything, the best business writing on the internet. You’re getting this weekly digest because you signed up for one of our newsletters: Superorganizers, Divinations, Praxis, Napkin Math, and Talk Therapy.

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Hello and happy Sunday! 

What we published this week

We published five new articles this week totaling ~8,000 words. We discovered how Scott Belsky finds the elephants in the room, learned how to deal with the growing pains of trying new things, embraced the value of saying no, examined the lululemon-Mirror acquisition, and reported on the future of gyms. 

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And now, onto this week’s posts.


Napkin Math
Get smarter about investing

📐The Future of Fitness: lululemon Buys Mirror

The recent acquisition of home-fitness startup Mirror by fitness-apparel behemoth lululemon has seemingly many advantages — why pass up an opportunity to hit two affluent millennials with one stone? The catch is that apparel-technology acquisitions have a history of flopping, and this one is far from immune. Read Adam Keesling’s take on whether lululemon will win this gamble.

How the world’s smartest people organize their work

⚡️ Scott Belsky’s Elephant List

Adobe CPO Scott Belsky likes to take action. In fact, the first things you’ll notice on his to-do list are verbs — as far as he’s concerned, if a to-do-list item isn’t actionable, it’s just noise. Part of these actions include addressing one of the biggest hindrances to an organization’s productivity: the elephant in the room. Read his interview with Dan Shipper on how his to-do list helps him find these elephants, as well as how he organizes his three calendars.

⚡️ Is it new or does it suck?

When Dan first started working out, he was miserable. But here’s the thing: He wasn’t miserable because he hated going to the gym, but because it was new. Trying almost anything for the first time is guaranteed to suck at first, but it gets better. Check out his essay on why sticking with something long enough to break through the transitional period can be worth it.

Get smarter about strategy

🔮 Announcing: Passion Economics

We’re thrilled about our latest collab: Nathan Baschez is starting a pop-up talk show called Passion Economics with Li Jin, who was one of the people who coined the term “passion economy” as an investor at Andreessen Horowitz. They recently hosted their first episode with Gumroad founder Sahil Lavingia, and the recording will be made available to bundle subscribers soon.

And, because you’re a paying subscriber (thank you!) you can RSVP to watch and listen to our next episode, on Friday July 17, with guest Greg Isenberg!

🔮 Strategy should be painful

When a business plateaus, it’s usually due to one of two reasons: Wrong Strategy Syndrome or Fuzzy Strategy Syndrome. Many people assume they have the former when they actually suffer from the latter — it’s often easier to think that your strategy is wrong than recognize that your current one needs more focus. Nathan’s biggest piece of advice? Embrace the pain of saying no.

Dive deeper — Here’s one of our favorites from the Divinations archives: “Why is Netflix more profitable than Spotify?” In addition to the title question, Nathan also makes his case for reinventing the listserv and muses on why coughing has evolved to become such a common symptom of infectious disease.

Talk Therapy
What happens when two friends start a business?

💞 #10 - Escaping the trough of writing sorrow

Dan and Nathan commiserate over their writing slump and strategize how to escape it. Meanwhile, Adam’s essay hits the top of Hacker News! To wrap things up, we discuss our technique for delivering harsh feedback to each other without engendering any enmities.

💞 #11 - Two entrepreneurs and a journalist walk into a podcast

Today, Dan and Nathan welcome guest Alex Kantrowitz to Talk Therapy! (This is a special episode that’s twice as long as usual!)

Guest post

🏋️‍♀️ Will gyms ever recover from COVID-19?

We’re psyched to bring you a guest post from Rina Raphael, author of Well To Do, a newsletter about the wellness industry covering everything from crystals to fitness tech. Rina talked to gym and studio owners to determine what the future of working out — in and out of the gym — will look like if and when the world returns to “normal.”

From our network

💪 What's an API?

If you’re confused about what exactly an API is, that’s probably because it actually has different meanings depending on the context: There’s the technical definition of an API, and then there’s how people actually use the concept in conversation. Keep reading for Justin Gage’s extremely accessible explanation of these differences.

👋 That’s it for this week! 

Thanks, and see you next Sunday :)

This issue was written by Tori Smith and edited by Paul Smalera.

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