In July: Sponsoring the Lakers, watching #TDF2018 while working & vaporware horseshit


Zoox Bloomberg Businessweek PrintIn July, we became FIFA World Champions and the Tour de France has provided us with 3 great, entertaining weeks of racing. In this post I share my 5 favorites articles of the month: why Wish sponsors the LA Lakers, how Dribble’s product team works, where Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku comes from, when Airbnb adopted storyboards and what “vaporware horseshit” product Zoox’s team is working on.

The young and fast-growing e-commerce company Wish has inked a USD30M deal to appear on the Los Angeles Lakers’ jerseys. No bigger than a business card, the logo will still generate a considerable amount of visibility for the shopping app, both on the buyer (“The Lakers are an iconic, everlasting, global brand that people admire“) as well as the seller side (“the Lakers are one of the most popular NBA teams in China [where] the vast majority of businesses that sell on Wish are based.“), as the company’s CEO explains in this article.

InVision App is a tool for designers, I don’t use it, neither does the team at WiSEED. But I still find their newsletter and blog quite informative; great content that  tells stories and shares insights rather than hard-selling their software. In this interview, Dribble’s (another tool for creatives) Head of Product explains how she organizes her job and team, and gives the best tips of all: “Ensure your workspace has a second display so you can watch pro-cycling events while you work. [I love] everything about the sport. The culture, the history, watching races, building bikes, and especially painting bikes“.

Belgium did play a great World Cup tournament, despite the elimination by France in the half-final on July 7th. One of the team’s best players, the sympathetic striker Romelu Lukaku, wrote this article in The Player’s Tribune in which he recalls his childhood, the early days of his career and his pride to play to the Belgian national team: “When things weren’t going well, they were calling me [the] Belgian striker of Congolese descent. If you don’t like the way I play, that’s fine. But I was born here. […] I’m Belgian. We’re all Belgian. That’s what makes this country cool, right?

Along the same lines… above is a viral Twitter reply, from French player Benjamin Mendy, to a (well-meaning) tweet of the sports portal @SPORTF. In all their diversity, the soccer world champions are French. Period.

When Airbnb was entering hyper-growth mode, Airbnb’s leadership enlisted a Head of User Experience Research and Design to help Airbnb keep its product-market fit – “the only thing that matters.” Despite the exagerated title, this interview give provides a nice illustration of the importance of user-centered approaches and their value for business strategy. It’s not an in-depth or thoroughly researched article, it’s a quick read.

I read this article on the paid print version of Bloomberg Businessweek, and it didn’t have as many photos, so consider yourself lucky having access to the free and enriched version (thank you Bloomberg.com). This is the story of Zoox, an independent player in the autonomous car race, founded by an Australian salesman and a Silicon Valley engineer. Written in a witty style, illustrated by anecdotes and facts, it’s a cool read for anyone interested in entrepreneurship and innovation.

Enjoy your month of August!

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