What You Need to Know Today: December 8

Good afternoon, Early Risers!

Here’s what you need to know


The beginning of the end of Gmail. Last night, I received an email that said: “Hello Nick, It’s with heavy hearts that we let you know Mailbox will shut down on February 26, 2016.” In case you’re not familiar with Mailbox — it was a standalone email app created by Dropbox in 2013. I haven’t used Mailbox in months — I wasn’t a fan of the search options. However, Mailbox pioneered some cool features, like swiping emails to archive or delete — both features Google’s new Inbox app adopted. This morning when I woke up, I saw this article calling it the beginning of the end of Gmail. What’s going on? Is traditional email being disrupted? It looks like Google is testing out its Inbox app in prime time, but this could be a lot bigger.

+ Now you can add to-dos to your Google Calendar. Full details.

+ + Why Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things are inseparable. A series of unfortunate tech predictions.


The man who got rid of bosses wants to rent porta-potties? About a year ago, Tony Hsieh decided to get rid of all bosses at Zappos. Now that the busiest retail season is upon us, everyone is wondering will it work? A better question, asked byThe Washington Posts’ Lillian Cunningham is “Why is he doing this?” “The first thing to understand about Hsieh’s decision to introduce self-management to Zappos is that he sees it as a strategy, not an experiment,” says Cunningham, “According to Hsieh, the restructuring is ultimately in service of an expansion into new industries.” One of these new industries is porta-potties — a $2 billion per year industry. But just because it’s a big industry, doesn’t make it a good idea. Here’s why.

+ When your ant farm is not enough… Farm In A Box is a new startup that transforms shipping containers into digitally connected farms. All you need to get started is some capital, business smarts, and a few days to get trained.

What’s a Minimum Viable Mission? André Staltz believes defining your MVM is more important than building your MVP. Full story.


When bigger is always better. “Perhaps the strongest case for a household full of print books came from a 2014 study published in the sociology journal Social Forces. Researchers measured the impact of the size of home libraries on the reading level of 15-year-old students across 42 nations, controlling for wealth, parents’ education and occupations, gender, and the country’s gross national product. After GNP, the quantity of books in one’s home was the most important predictor of reading performance,” says The New York Times. Read: a free pass to buy all those books on your wish list.

+ Lebron James can buy a lot of books with his latest contract.

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Rolling Stone released its 50 best albums of the year

Not surprising, Drake, Adele, and Kendrick Lamar took the top spots. Full list.

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