What You Need to Know Today: November 16

Good afternoon, Early Risers!

Here’s what you need to know


Why Paris and not Beirut? This was the million-dollar question following the bombings Friday in Paris. Facebook drew criticism after its new Safety Checks feature was activated in Paris, but not in Beirut, Lebanon — that was tragically bombed the day before. Mark Zuckerberg offered this explanation.

Your smart TV is watching YOU. “Cable TV companies and video rental companies are prohibited by law from selling information about the viewing habits of their customers. However, Vizio says that those laws — the Video Privacy Protection Act and cable subscriber protections — don’t apply to its business,” says Business Insider. Unlike Samsung and LG smart TVs, Vizio smart TVs track your viewing habits by default. This information is sold to advertisers who combine other information associated with your IP address to sell you more ‘relevant’ products. If this sounds like something you didn’t sign-up for, you can opt-out of Vizio’s tracking by turning off the “Smart Interactivity” feature. Read more.

+ Opting-out of your lease just got a lot easier.


One question Facebook advertisers need to ask. “The expectation for marketing on Facebook and other mobile apps is that brands show up in a delightful, useful way — otherwise you are noise; consumers want you to add value to the experience,” says Carolyn Everson, vice president of global marketing solutions at Facebook. One of the ways you can do this is by creating ‘thumb-stopping’ content. “What is the ‘thumb-stopping’ content?” is an important question, says Everson.Here are some tips for creating Facebook ads that sell.

“Captain, to the bridge.” “Mike LeFever, captain of the USS Destroyer, was abruptly awoken to these words at 3 a.m. to learn that a newly appointed officer had nearly crashed a $100 million cruiser into a fishing boat. As LeFever approached the officer, he could see a bead of sweat running down the young man’s neck. First, LeFever asked a set of rapid-fire questions: What happened? Is anybody hurt? Is the ship okay? The officer answered concisely, but still braced for the worst. Instead, he heard, ‘What did you learn? Let’s talk about this in the morning. You have three more hours on watch duty.’ Then LeFever returned to his quarters.” The military uses these 3 techniques to improve team decision-making.

Why surveys are a waste of time. “The story is told of a focus group for a new $100 electronic gadget. The response in the focus group was fabulous, people all talked about the features of the new device with excitement. At the end of the session, the moderator said, ‘thanks for coming. As our gift to you, you can have your choice of the device or $25.’ Everyone took the cash.” What people say, rarely reflects what people do, explains Seth Godin. This is exactly why your products need to deliver at least 10x-100x the value of what they cost. (Rule 2 of Yanik Silver’s Maverick Entrepreneurs).


How much is a breakup text worth? The Breakup Shop estimates around $10. How about a 1-minute it’s-not-you-it’s-me call? $29. The list goes on…

This is a good sign you’re learning. “As much as flip-flopping makes it hard to predict a candidate’s actions, though, it is one of the best predictors of how successful that candidate will be in office. Intelligence is often defined as the ability to learn, and a sign of learning is changing your views over time.” — The Virtue of Contradicting Ourselves.

+ 16 CEOs share their best goodreads.

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Why we love amateur everything.

From the New York TimesThe Cult of the ‘Amateur’

Since 1990, most Americans have told Gallup that we get our sense of purpose through our work, but in recent years we also say that we hate our jobs, which must mean on some level that we hate ourselves. Amateurs get their name from the Latin amator, or ‘‘lover,’’ and we turn to them to model a type of work freed from the constraints of the workplace. Win or lose, Ohio State’s football players end their games by rushing to the end zone, joining arms and belting the school’s alma mater with the crowd. We click through videos of supposedly amateur porn performers and feel safe in the fantasy that they’re really getting off. We suspect that traditional politicians have been squeezed by special interests, filtered through focus groups and massaged by advisers before being cleared to approach the podium, whereas the amateurs saunter up to the stage and express who they really are.

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