What You Need to Know Today: November 30

Good afternoon, Early Risers!

Here’s what you need to know


Cue the awkward high fives.

Bruce Wayne: People are dying, Alfred. What would you have me do?

Alfred: Endure, Master Wayne. Take it. They’ll hate you for it, but that’s the point of Batman, he can be the outcast. He can make the choice that no one else can make, the right choice.

Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, and a roster of other high-profile tech figures are making the right choice by launching the Breakthrough Energy Coalition (think: Justice League for clean energy). Here’s everything you need to know.

Shifting shopping habits. “Some 103 million Americans shopped online over the Thanksgiving-Black Friday weekend, slightly more than the 102 million who went out to stores,” says Fortune. This marks the first time ever e-commerce sales outnumbered brick-and-mortar sales — a shift in shoppers’ habits we can’t ignore.

+ Watch Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson unveil Amazon’s new hybrid delivery drone.


The unfair truth about success. “When he was just a young man in his early twenties, Ernest Hemingway moved from Chicago, Illinois to a poor district in Paris. He had just returned from a short stint of serving with the Red Cross in World War I and wanted to pursue a career in writing. There was just one problem: he didn’t have much exposure to other writers,” says Jeff Goins. Hemingway’s decision to move to Paris was pivotal. Before living in Paris, Hemingway had some success as a journalist, but it wasn’t until he started hanging out with other great writers like Gertrude Stein, James Joyce, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Ezra Pound that he would become great. Paris meant a lot to Hemingway, and Jeff Goins explains how you too can find your Paris in this essay.

+ If you haven’t already, listen to this: Skip to the -3:21 mark, where Craig Ballantyne explains another way you can find your Paris with only $500 in your pocket and a laptop.

Always be selling. The difference between good persuasive writing and great persuasive writing comes down to one thing. Emotion. This essay by ETR founder Mark Ford demonstrates the great kind of persuasive writing I’m talking about. Notice how Mark’s five statements tap the reader’s emotions, rather than appeal to their logic. Whereas Seth Godin’s list of statements tap the reader’s logic — of course it makes sense that an entrepreneur will need to take on risk to succeed. But emotionally, that’s not what most of us feel. We have stronger emotions telling our brains to avoid risk — which lends well to the big hook The Reluctant Entrepreneur.

Career ending poem. Hate him or love him, Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest basketball players of all time. On Sunday, Kobe announced this year would be his last in poetic fashion.


Living in a van down by the river IRL. “To pull off homelessness in a way that impresses national news outlets, it helps to have a job almost no one can get, like Google programmer or professional athlete,” says Malcolm Harris. The millennial housing crisis’ only savior could be tiny homes. Full story (see: hobo chic for decorating ideas).

Why people who pay it forward scare us. Have this free coffee. What’s the catch?There’s a psychological reason behind our suspicion for people who are kind. Learn about it and use it in your marketing.

+ There’s a free wedding-gift trend that’s hot right now.

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Happy Birthday, Mark Twain!

Today, Samuel Langhorne — aka Mark Twain — would have turned 144 years old. Here’s one of the many gems of wisdom Twain left us:

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”

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