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Bob Safian

Bob Safian

Founder & Editor-in-chief at The Flux Group

Former editor of Fast Company; executive editor Time, Fortune. Strategic advisor. Public speaker. Family man.

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  • I love the insight at the end of this article: a winning bidder for lunch with Warren Buffett, who put up $2 million — twice — was later hired by Buffett and is now on track to succeed him.

    Good investment indeed!

  • The best TED talk of 2019. Watch it, share it, live it.

  • Four years ago today, I sat down with Barack Obama to talk about how technology could improve government. These are different days, with optimism about bringing citizens together less apparent. Yet the prospects for progress are still strong, if we have the strength to embrace decisions and actions that reinforce a more just, equitable world.

    That day was the 2nd time I’d met Obama. He was warm, funny (he teased me about it being my birthday) and approachable. He was also thoughtful, knowing that

    Four years ago today, I sat down with Barack Obama to talk about how technology could improve government. These are different days, with optimism about bringing citizens together less apparent. Yet the prospects for progress are still strong, if we have the strength to embrace decisions and actions that reinforce a more just, equitable world.

    That day was the 2nd time I’d met Obama. He was warm, funny (he teased me about it being my birthday) and approachable. He was also thoughtful, knowing that the words he used would have echoing impact - on me personally, my readers, and the broader community. He took that responsibility seriously. It’s an attribute that leaders on both sides of the aisle and in executive offices around the world would be wise to emulate. The stories we tell, the language we use, these extend into action and motivation, into strategy and legacy.

    Today is another milestone in my life, but every day is a milestone of sorts. There is no better time to begin to do better, to be better, than right now. We all have a role to play. Embrace yours.

  • We instinctively want to learn from — to model — the winning ways of icons, whether that is Apple, Netflix, Spotify, etc. What this article about the NBA’s Houston Rocket demonstrates so deftly is how each enterprise needs a unique model that maximizes the culture, talent and mission of that organization. One-size-fits-all may be appealing, but the road to excellence is bespoke.

  • Mall vs big-box is the wrong differentiator, to me (though easier to measure). Amazon has raised the bar: why go out to a store if you can just click to buy? Those who answer that question compellingly win.

  • Once this concept is refined and scaled, we might finally have an AI tool that separates truth from fiction/assertion (if only we’re open enough to listen).

  • The “game of thrones” at TimeWarner (or what remains of it) continues, as it seemingly has for decades. Plepler maintained HBO’s relevance at a time when macro trends (ie cable decline, streaming rise) were moving against him. Now with HBO’s competitive set more robust than ever, how will its new owners spark the magically creative output that has distinguished the service? Good luck...

  • The Trump effect deepens: undercut the credibility of independent news sources. That’s how you tamp down dissent and centralize power.

    Media has been culpable too: While reporters very rarely act for personal financial gain (in my experience), media organizations consistently make choices to gain audience share, advertising dollars, etc. That decision — and it is a choice—undercuts editorial trust.

    Where are dedicated journalists best suited to ply their trade? Working for a corporate-owned entity

    The Trump effect deepens: undercut the credibility of independent news sources. That’s how you tamp down dissent and centralize power.

    Media has been culpable too: While reporters very rarely act for personal financial gain (in my experience), media organizations consistently make choices to gain audience share, advertising dollars, etc. That decision — and it is a choice—undercuts editorial trust.

    Where are dedicated journalists best suited to ply their trade? Working for a corporate-owned entity? A venture-capital backed one? A billionaire-supported one? No unconflicted options.

    But then again: there never were.

  • Maturity is acknowledging a mistake, apologizing for it, and correcting it — not sticking to a path just for the sake of pride. Here’s hoping the UK shows it can act like an adult.

    Maybe it will even inspire the US to follow suit.

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