What You Need to Know Today: August 11

Your Early to Rise daily briefing. Today, a lesson in what’s truly important, Spotify might be offering premium-content, Steven Spielberg’s secret to success and more.

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What Google’s restructuring teaches us.  Google announced on Monday it was restructuring to become part of a larger company called Alphabet (Business Insider). The reason why is simply to separate Google’s highly profitable core search and internet advertising businesses from other, less profitable and potentially distracting, ventures (think: self-driving cars, DNA research, smart thermostats). What does this teach us? The importance of protecting our 20%. Pareto’s Law states that 80% of the results come from 20% of the effects. You can start protecting your 20% today by following this simple 5-step action list.

+ One diagram that explains Alphabet.

“[Spotify’s CEO] Ek hates that idea, and I mean hates it, but he may have to give an inch on that one,” says a source close to the negotiations about Spotify offering premium-content to paying subscribers. October 1st is the renewal date for 3 of Spotify’s major labels: Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, and Universal Music Group. If Spotify hopes to re-license The Big 3 they need to play ball and offer more incentives to convert free listeners into paying subscribers. Otherwise, Spotify could end up like Columbia House.

Twitter’s conference we never heard of. Today at Twitter’s San Francisco HQ they are holding the first ever Hatch conference with 10 startups pitching to a panel of judges for a bevy of incredible prizes (ListHunt). This is the first, many (including myself), have heard of the conference, probably because we were all too busy watching interim CEO Jack Dorsey, “investing in @twitter’s future.

+ Soccer moms will love this finalist pitching at the Hatch conference today.


Who let the dogs out? If you’re a dog lover, keep reading. Niall Harbison is the founder of a “Birchbox for dogs” subscription service called Ruby & Duke. Harbison wrote an article explaining exactly how he built €20,000 ($22,000) in monthly recurring revenue for Ruby & Duke within 90 days of launching. If you’re considering starting a subscription service business, this is a must-read.

A lesson in budgeting from an NFL wide receiver. “Spend as you would like over the next few months. Figure out your means. Then set a budget, live within it and invest the rest.” This was the sage advice a financial planner told Detroit Lions wide receiver, Ryan Broyles. Broyles’s signing contract is worth over $3.6 million. But I bet you’ll never guess how much his yearly budget is? Answer.

Spielberg’s secret to success. Long before Steven Spielberg made E.T., his dad told him to “work his way up” to the director’s chair. Spielberg wisely ignored his father’s advice. He said, “The first film I do, I will be the director.” He never worked in the mailroom and never brought anyone coffee. Instead of painstakingly working his way up through the ranks, he made amateur films – and heck, he even charged some of his friends 25 cents to watch them. And when the time was right, Steven Spielberg was the director on the first professional film he worked on. I call this strategy “Cutting The Line,” and that’s just one of the seven secrets of wildly successful entrepreneurs.  – Derek Halpern, founder, Social Triggers.


Summer’s ending soon…why not visit one of these 13 affordable countries.

Psychological tricks you need to know. Here’s a trick to sell expensive products: “The ad featured three subscription levels: $59 for online only, $159 for print only, and $159 for online and print… the option to pay $159 for print only exists so that it makes the option to pay $159 for online and print look more enticing than it would if it was just paired with the $59 option.” This is called the “Decoy Effect.” If you liked that, here’s 11 more.


Actor and comedian Robin Williams died one year ago today, on August 11 2014, at his home in California in an apparent suicide. He was 63. Here are 10 of his best moments on film.

+ One of the most amazing tributes to the late actor.

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