What You Need to Know Today: October 21

Good afternoon, Early Risers!

Here’s what you need to know


“For millennials, this is the thing in wireless that frustrates them the most.” Verizon’s CFO Fran Shammo understands what makes millennials “can’t even” when it comes to their mobile devices. What Shammo is doing with this information is starting to shape Verizon Wireless as a company. The only thing that may be more frustrating than this is how long it takes for Microsoft Office to open on a Mac.  

What Mad Men and Match.com have in common. Do you remember that episode in Mad Men where Peggy Olson — a copywriter — is tasked by her church minister to create a flyer for the Catholic Youth Organization dance? Even if you haven’t watched the show, you’ll find this interesting. The problem Peggy was facing is similar to the one Match.com faced back in 1995. At the time, only 10% of Match.com users were female. Gary Kremen and Fran Maier, the site’s founders, quickly realized that in order for Match.com to be successful they needed their website to appeal to women. “We thought that if we got the women, men would follow — women are the scarce resource on the Internet,” says Maier. If you recall, Peggy came to this same conclusion. She opted to create a flyer that would appeal only to girls. When she was confronted by the church minister about alienating the boys, she said something similar to what Maier said about the boys following the girls. Just last week, Match.com announced it was going public. Fast Company wrote a great piece revealing some of the marketing tactics used to grow to a $260+ million in profits per year company.  


How an F student became America’s most prolific inventor. “… he’s not terribly good with the ordinary aspects of life — paying bills, say, or car washing. He’s too consumed with inventing solutions to the world’s problems. Ideas — really big ideas — keep bombarding his mind. ‘It’s like the rainforest,’ he says. ‘Every afternoon, the rains come.'” Lowell Wood broke Thomas Edison’s patent record and helped bring down the Soviet Union, says Ashlee Vance. In this remarkable story Wood shares with us the one habit he learned to come up with millions of ideas.  

Trump’s Third Act. “Do you know the story of John McCain? He was a prisoner of war in Vietnam. That’s a third-act problem, and the perfect set-up for running for president. That’s why we like war heroes such as Bush senior and Bob Dole. They have the third act built into their natural stories. Obama’s third act, obviously, was the country’s legacy of slavery. Timing doesn’t seem to matter as much as whether the story has a third-act problem that the public recognizes by reflex. Once we recognize the movie form, we root for the hero, automatically. We have been trained by Hollywood to do that… But Donald Trump did not have a natural three-act story. He was born advantaged and stayed that way. Sure, he emerged from bankruptcy, but that story is boring and sounds routine in 2015. So Donald Trump created his own third-act problem…” Scott Adams shares with us another interesting article as part of his Trump persuasion series. Read more

Meet the fintech company that used good old-fashioned marketing to grow its lending by 2000%


Trouble falling asleep? Tim Ferriss, author of the four-hour-everything shares with us his best sleeping hacks

 “Can hummus help foster chickpeace in the Middle East?” That’s what Khushbu Shah and Humus Bar — a restaurant in Israel — is hoping. Humus Bar is in the city of Netanya, 62 miles northwest of Jerusalem. Last week the restaurant launched a deal offering a fifty percent discount on each plate of hummus ordered by tables of both Jewish and Arab customers dining together. This idea of conflict-dining is not new. Conflict Kitchen a restaurant in Pittsburgh offers a similar experience, serving food from countries the U.S. is currently in conflict with.    

Halloween is only 10 days away. Here’s the best unoriginal costume idea.  

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“Joke Memo” 

October 21, 2015 is the day Marty McFly and Doc Brown time-travel to in Back to the Future II. Your News feed is probably blowing up as I write this with lists of things that were predicted in the movie and later came true. But, here’s something you probably didn’t know. According to Shortlist Sid Sheinberg, head of Universal Pictures, suggested the movie’s  title be changed to Spaceman From Pluto as he thought the title Back To The Future would put people off. He was shamed into backing down when producer Steven Spielberg thanked him for his “joke memo.” Ouch. 

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