How I Got My Brain Back, ConstitutionDAO Takeaways, and More
Here's everything we published this week.
Knowledge Partner: McKinsey & Company
Combating the Great Resignation. Pop quiz: what’s the top reason people leave their job?
- The pay
- The benefits
- A feeling of being undervalued, and sense of not belonging in an organization
Most managers pay attention to #1 and and #2 on the list, but McKinsey research finds that employees typically leave their jobs when they feel like they don’t belong, don’t have enough autonomy, and don’t like their team.
So what makes a workplace the kind of place that employees want to stay? A recent episode of The McKinsey Podcast explains.
The weather is colder, the days are shorter, and we didn't buy the Constitution. But we do have a breakdown on the iconic movement that was ConsitutionDAO, which we think is a decent consolation (and the best we can do!).
Our top article this week has some practical advice on combatting the seasonal depression (or post-auction sadness) you might be experiencing. We also have Adam Davidson's debut essay on storytelling, a deep dive into the wild housing market and the corporations cashing in on iBuying, and an analysis on Reddit.
Let's get into it, shall we?
Brie Wolfson/ Superorganizers
Productivity is more than grinding out to-do lists. It is more than just accomplishing a task. It means finding health, safety, and joy in what we do. But even the simplest of tasks can feel impossible in the depths of a mental health rut—let alone finding “joy” in your work.
Guest writer Brie Wolfson tackles this predicament frankly and beautifully in our top essay this week. Brie talks openly about her recent battles with depression and shares the system she developed to reclaim her health. We hope you love it as much as we did.
Nathan Baschez / Divinations
ICYMI this week (because maybe you were on a social media cleanse or living in a cave in the woods or something?), ConstitutionDAO took over Twitter. The goal of the DAO? Pool money to buy a copy of the US Constitution at the Sotheby's auction so it would be owned "by the people, for the people" rather than a single private collector.
Unfortunately, it didn't quite work. But it certainly made waves, raised over $40m in under a week, and gave us a whole collection of Nicholas Cage memes. Nathan's piece helps us see some of the key takeaways after this whirlwind of a week, along with this golden nugget of advice: "It sucks in the moment, but it is a necessary and valuable experience. Failure is progress. It all depends on what happens next."
Evan Armstrong / Napkin Math
The traditional path to home ownership is easy—just work through 12 intermediaries, 4 banks, an animal sacrifice, and pray your standing is good before the Lord, and you'll get a house! Simple.
Mixed into this craziness are the iBuyers (like Opendoor) and Private Equity Funds (like Blackstone) who are pioneering new models of home ownership. This week Evan teamed up with Marc Rubinstein from the newsletter Net Interest to examine whether these businesses are investable and how they work.
Rohit Kaul / Every
How can Reddit be so culturally powerful but simultaneously financially insignificant? In a guest post this week, Rohit Kaul argues that Reddit's reliance on ads for monetization (they are on track for $350M this year) is hindering their growth. Because Reddit ads are primarily for awareness rather than purchase conversion, they end up competing against Meta, which has far superior targeting. Instead of trying to steal ad dollars, Rohit writes that Reddit should pursue “embedding commerce in culture” by giving its creators new monetization tools.
Adam Davidson/ Masterful Storytelling
In his debut article for Every, Adam Davidson (co-founder of NPR's Planet Money) lays out the argument that we are leaving the age of branding and entering the age of storytelling as a marketing strategy. Using Oatly as his primary example, Adam shows us how storytelling can help companies appeal to a niche—but more dedicated— audience. "Once understood, [storytelling] creates a degree of passionate engagement that more traditional approaches can’t achieve."
We're so excited to have Adam writing with us, and this piece makes a compelling case for throwing out the traditional branding playbook.
One More Reading Rec
A little tidbit of useful information this week.
Thomas McKinlay / Ariyh
Current ‘best practices’ in customer interactions are based on a 1982 study that says company agents should downplay their “self” and emphasize the “firm.” However, more recent studies show that you should do exactly the opposite to increase customer satisfaction.
There is a lot of marketing advice on the internet, but very little is research-based, or even good advice. So how do sift through the junk? That's where Thomas McKinlay's newsletter Ariyh comes in. Ariyh gives you 3-minute marketing tips based on actual scientific research from the top business schools, such as saying "thank you" instead of "sorry" and showing your costs can increase sales by 15-20%.