Whatever Next #1: Online selling and working during COVID crisis

This week you'll finds topics about e-commerce during COVID, anxiety management, leadership of the goat, a blog post, and some other things and curiosities.

Hi @ll! My name’s David Viñuales. This is the first newsletter of many (I guess), where I will be sharing different topics that I found interesting last week. Only ten sections per newsletter, I don’t want to bother or bore you!

In case you are interested in who I am, you could find me at My Blog, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

If you find the topics interesting, don’t miss the next newsletter and join!

Opinions and selection of topics are my own.

📜 My latest post

Well, it is my newsletter so it is normal to add a link to my blog it there is a new post there. Sorry, and don’t worry, I don’t write articles very often.

This is my new post from my recent experiences: Online selling from Stores during the lockdown.

🙇 Managing anxiety

Maybe you could find this topic boring, but anxiety is a real problem while we stay at home locked, with limited access to outdoors. This Covid-19 situation affects all the people, doesn’t care about managers or employees.

In this twitter thread, HBR does a recap of articles about anxiety management in many ways. You’ll find articles about being a leader living with anxiety, how to not stress out your teams, accepting the situation, and accepting the issue.

Also you’ll find curious tricks from past great leaders. Effective leaders find whatever it is that will help them release their fears, and do it regularly to stay grounded.

If you’re interested in the topic, check this twitter thread:

💸 Ecommerce in times of COVID

This crisis forced the e-commerce players in a way that they weren’t prepared. I also mentioned in my last post, we have been living in a permanent Black Friday.

It was published recently a report based on the Adobe Digital Economy Index that reflects how the COVID is pushing e-commerce trends. In numbers, sales increased by 49% in April. It is easy to see the influence of the stay-at-home and work-from-home during this period, the highest increase is seen at online groceries with a 110% (March-April), and also consumer electronics has also increased by 58%.

E-commerce has been forced to grow, and customers have been forced to buy online (home delivery or pick-up, which increased more than 200%). But is this experience from a new customer point of view enough to repeat after COVID? What could we expect for the following months?

🏠 Working from home extended

The world is changing, and so the jobs are also. When “remote working” was a perk only available for some jobs, now most of the companies were forced to adapt to it.

New Normal” will come with many changes, now experts are demanding larger workplaces. And last days and weeks, different companies announced extensions for working from home.

So e.g. people from companies like Amazon or Microsoft will be able to work from home until October, Facebook, and Google extended to the rest of the year 2020, and last but not least, Twitter employees will be able to work from home permanently.

This article from Forbes was updated last 12th of May and is currently outdated, so stay tuned because this may change every week.

😞 Layoff tracking

This crisis is affecting lots of companies. We were able to read that AirBnB had to cut 25% of the workforce, Uber also with 3700 jobs, and the last well-known technology companies that I saw are Stackoverflow with a 15% cut, and Kickstarter also with 39%.

These aren’t topics to joke with, but do you know there’s even a website for tracking the layoffs?

🐐 Leadership of the GOAT

I haven’t seen all the episodes yet of “The Last Dance”. I saw this tweet by chance and I saw some of the comments, and also comment from people who were sharing. There is a word that was repeated more often: leadership.

If you just spend a few seconds searching about the meaning of that word, you’ll find that is “the ability to guide others without force into a direction or decision that leaves them still feeling empowered and accomplished” (Lisa Cash Hanson), or the “art of motivating a group of people to act toward achieving a common goal”. You could go deeper and look for the characteristics of a leader (e.g. communication, building relationships). Then you read about his constant team bullying, and that people were afraid of him.

I have no doubt that he is the GOAT, that he was a born winner, a terrific player who pushed the team to the limit, and without whom the Bulls wouldn’t have won, the outcome is there, but… Did he win for the team, for his mates, hor his coach, for a higher purpose, or only for himself? Was he the true leader or the leadership reference that all the media is claiming? As I said, he was the winner. But IMHO, he was not the leader, as I expect a leader to be. I will probably write a post about this topic, so I would love to know your thoughts on this.

💻 Websites are all the same

I don’t know if we needed this but at last science confirms what is probably evident: All the websites look the same.

That doesn’t mean that the websites look like they used 10 years ago. Technology and trends evolve. But everything looks to follow the same patterns.

It is easy to think that most websites get inspiration from the big players. “They surely have a huge team of people analyzing trends and running tests, so if they did the job, why repeating? We should just follow what they did”. Another argument could be, “If customers are used to this, why changing?”.

Are these arguments enough to forget about changing the status quo? Websites are step by step closer to customize the experience based on the customer, so this could change. Maybe in a close future we will move the initial assertion to “All the websites visited by this customer look the same”.

📖 Books

This week I started reading a new book named “The Making of a Manager” by Julie Zhuo, former VP of Design at Facebook, and who has also a newsletter at substack.

It is very early to make a review but after the first chapters I have a very good feeling about it. Here I will share an excerpt:

Your role as a manager is not to do the work yourself, even if you are the best at it, because that will only take you so far. Your role is to improve the purpose, people, and process of your team to get as high a multiplier effect on your collective outcome as you can.

📻 Podcast

I am not very used to podcasts. I am interested in them, but as I am to other topics, and now I have difficulties looking for time to read, meditate, or workout, so podcasts aren’t top priority. Anyway, I found this one from Jocko Willink interesting. Jocko is a former SEAL and a well-known leadership author.

Check this video out from Business Insider, where he recommends waking up earlier to get your things done (e.g. HIIT workout), and go earlier to bed avoiding unproductive waste (e.g. social media time before bed). "More discipline equals more freedom".

🎁 Curiosities

I found this story that is a very nice, real UX fail from the greatest.

Another feature from the time capsule… Last week it was shared through social media that the original SpaceJam movie website was still published, and it was a great example of the past websites. Sadly, somebody decided to turn off so it is not accessible for this newsletter…


So in its place, I will share another oldie one, from Jurassic Park: The Lost World movie which is also an oldie but goldie example.

And… That’s it! If you arrived here, thanks for reading. I hope you like it!

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