Whatever Next #13: Leave Out your Social Activism and Politics away from the Company

About Coinbase's mission-focused statement, Pau Gasol's leadership insights, Facebook Growth, Product Management, Marketers mistakes, Burnout, and other topics.

Hi @ll! Welcome to another issue of the newsletter. Number thirteen has always been linked with superstitions. Most countries find it unlucky, while a few consider it lucky. In my case, I was unable to send the newsletter last weekend, but I guess it will luckily end it successfully.

During the last weeks, I experience a combination of a lack of motivation and something similar to a writer’s block. I also have tons of blog posts pending to publish. By chance, last week was by far the week I received more traffic in my blog.

According to the results of a poll that I did about the newsletter, I am going to reduce the length by reducing the number of topics in this issue. Please, share with me your feedback!

In today’s issue, I share a wrap-up of the last two week readings, with topics like company values, leadership, startup growth, product management, marketing mistakes in attribution, a compilation about reading advice, and others. The title is related to the first topic I am sharing.

As I always share with you, please, do not hesitate to add your comments or share your feedback. One of my goals is to learn from you. And if you like it, please share it.


🏢 Mission-Focused Company Statement by Coinbase CEO

Last week, Brian Armstrong, Coinbase co-founder and CEO, published an article at the Coinbase blog about the company's mission. There are some similarities with Frank Slootman's LinkedIn post that I shared in the last newsletter. The post aims to share the company mission, which is to create an open financial system for the world, and how they will achieve success focusing on that mission, on what unites and not divides, on building a high-performance team.

Brian defends that while most social-related activism or activities are well-intentioned, they distract from the company focus, and they divide people. In the end, they could destroy the value of the company. The company is first, and individuals are second. Even if they agree that something is a problem, they don't agree on how to solve it. Coinbase's investor Paul Graham also applauded it and predicted that most successful companies will follow Coinbase's lead.

This "leave politics at the door" or "no-politics rule" has been received with diverse opinions and reactions. While many people applaud it, several voices appoint that this raises diversity and equality issues. You could find several twitter threads about it, like the one I share below.

It was also a topic for the All-In podcast with Jason Calacanis, Chamath Palihapitiya, David Friedberg, and David Sacks.

You could find a recap of reactions in this Bloomberg article. Also, you could easily find Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and Dick Costolo public reactions.

I like the opinion of leaving most of the activism and politics at the door and agree that companies should stay away from politics and focus on their mission. But when we talk about individuals, I also understand people who can’t stay away and empathize with them. We aren’t ruled by machines yet, so we are humans, and I am closer to an “Individuals first” position.

Statistically, the primary demographic for who “doesn’t care about politics or socials”, which means a conformist or favorable position regarding a situation or topic, are straight white males. Again, we have to remember and understand privileges, don’t you remember from past issues? Privilege is the absence of inconvenience, impediment, or challenge. People directly affected by an unfair situation can’t avoid it.

Coinbase blog post generated an exciting debate. I don’t think this discussion will end up with a consensus or will change anything. People who agree and don’t will probably remain the same. But these questions usually help us to remember which are our priorities and goals. Did you read about it? What are your thoughts about it?

🏀 Pau Gasol’s Opinion about Leadership and Good Leaders

"Misunderstood leadership" is an article published first at Expansion in Spanish, that Pau also shared on LinkedIn. Based on his experience, he shares his idea about how a good leader should be.

There are many interesting ideas. For example, "leadership status is recognized by others, not by oneself ", "the intelligent use of authority", or not being an authoritarian jerk or tyrant but a humble communicator and servant leader. I also shared a blog post about it using The Last Dance reference called The leadership of the GOAT. What makes a leader?

Pau's article is a quick read. Don't miss the opportunity to read it in English or Spanish.

📈 Facebook Story about Growth and Product Development

Dan Rose shared a great story about Facebook’s taking off, how they unlocked their growth potential, successfully increasing their users.

Whatever your thoughts and opinions are about Facebook, this is a fantastic thread about growth, strategy, and product development.

Also curious is to see that half of the people who shared it with comments are talking shit about Facebook.

💸 Common Mistakes Marketers Make in Attributing Conversions

This is a post from Grant Lapping about understanding the whole data and customer journey, overinflating and overcounting the metrics, and using the right tools to understand how different channels lead to conversion.

In the post, he identifies five mistakes:

  • Mistake 1: Taking Google Analytics web traffic data at face value

  • Mistake 2: Overcounting conversions from tags

  • Mistake 3: Errors in assisted conversions in analytics

  • Mistake 4: Putting too much faith in post-view conversions on re-marketing campaigns

  • Mistake 5: Not having the right tools and models to correctly credit traffic sources for conversions

Fixing these common attribution mistakes will enable you to get the best possible ROI and optimize costs as far as possible.

⚙️ The Product Management Journey

Effective Product Management is a fascinating medium article about Product Management. It sets a clear vision of what is a product manager, its zen, and key attributes. Based on experience, it also includes things that in his experiences worked, and what didn’t.

Product management’s primary allegiance is to the business.

Great product managers lead, they don’t necessarily ‘manage’ in the traditional sense. It is a role of influence rather than direct authority.

😫 Preventing Burnout and Knowing When to Quit

Did you know that burnout and fatigue are equally concerning for employees working remotely and in a physical workplace? A recent survey showed the same result for both.

Burnout is always there. And in times of stress, it explodes. Empathy, support, safety, trust, recovery, and relationships can help mitigate burnout in these uncertain times.

From balancing family burnout, to the fears associated with entering a physical office, to managing overwork, to protecting lives, they reinforce the reality that taking a one-size-fits-all approach to burnout prevention won’t help. Resilient leaders make quick pivots and remain nimble. Empathetic leaders dial in to the needs of their employees and adjust to the moment. And human-centered leaders give their companies a fighting chance to flourish in the middle of a global pandemic.

Also, I decided to include the following twitter thread about "Grit or Quit". It's essential to follow a dream, but it's more important to know when to find a new one. Pursuing a frustrating goal could have consequences in other areas of life.

Seth Godin said that "Winners quit all the time. They just quit the right stuff at the right time". So Yes, grit is overrated.

📚 Reading Advice from Best-Selling Authors

If you would like to read more, maybe you’ll find the following thread interesting with reading advice from top-selling authors like Naval, Celebrity Brain Trainer Jim Kwik, or Atomic Habits author James Clear.

For example, you could find screenshots like the one below from Jim Kwik’s Limitless book.


By the way, following Jim Kwik’s tips, you could also use a visual pacer for reading faster. Let Jim explain it to you in his Kwik Brain podcast and article about How to Read Faster.

That’s it! Thanks for reading. I hope you liked it!

Please, do not hesitate to add any comments. I am open to any suggestions, so if you want to add a comment or contact me, I encourage you to do it.

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