Weekly Edition #009

A new entry in the race for a vaccine: hope

Artwork: GZERO Media

Early progress has been reported on several vaccine efforts, as scientists scramble to test ways to protect people from the coronavirus. In labs around the world, there is now cautious optimism that a coronavirus vaccine, and perhaps more than one, will be ready sometime next year.

More than 100 research teams around the world are taking aim at the virus. Companies like Inovio, Moderna, and Pfizer have begun early tests in human subjects. Researchers at the University of Oxford in England, who are also testing vaccines in people, say they could have one ready for emergency use as soon as September.

So...there's a major political, epidemiological, and even moral question ahead: Who should get vaccinated first? Eurasia Group's GZERO Media breakdown the options:

  • The highest bidder. It's not cheap to develop and produce vaccines. If this vaccine goes first to governments or individuals who pay the most for it, the large profits can then be reinvested to produce more vaccine for more people more quickly.

  • Citizens of the country where the vaccine was made. If you're French, and a French company develops the vaccine first, shouldn't French citizens benefit first?

  • Front-line workers. Keep the vaccine in-country to save the lives of our compatriots but give it to front-line health-care workers first. More lives will be saved as hospitals become safer. And let's reward their courage.

  • Who decides? Should the decision on the first dibs be made by the CEO of the company that gets there first? Or the government of the country where that company pays taxes? The World Health Organization? A vote of the United Nations General Assembly? Someone else?

Here are the latest updates and maps of the outbreak.


Remote jobs

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Artwork by Al Power

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Tools

🧠 Service Design Tools open collection of tools and tutorials that helps dealing with complex design challenges.

⚡️Command E blazing fast search across all your docs and records in G Suite, Salesforce, LinkedIn, Dropbox, and 20+ more tools via one easy keyboard shortcut.

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🤩 Raindrop all-in-one bookmark manager. Intuitive. Powerful. Runs everywhere.

👩‍💻 Stack is a smart browser for internet multitaskers. Manage all your social media, messaging, e-mailing, and productivity apps from one place.

👓 Untools collection of thinking tools and frameworks to help you solve problems, make decisions and understand systems.

⌨️ Mouseless unleashes your keyboard’s superpower. Wading through shortcuts, and it’s too hard to remember any? Get those keystrokes ingrained in your muscle memory for good.

Product & Design Resources

🤩Bookmark our ever-growing resources hub with UX design tools and much more.


Articles

Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Photograph: Erik Tanner / The New York Times

Sundar Pichai says Google doesn't plan to go entirely remote

wired

In an interview, the Google and Alphabet CEO discusses working from home, weathering antitrust probes, and how the company needs to do a better job on diversity.

🎙Bonus listen: The CEO of Google and Alphabet joins The Vergecast

Gradually, then suddenly

matt

The future of work has been arriving quickly. This week, a wave of companies representing over $800B in market capitalization announced they’re embracing distributed work beyond what’s required by the pandemic.

Form design: multiple inputs versus one input

adamsilver

While using multiple inputs can be helpful, most of the time it’s completely unnecessary and it has a number of drawbacks.

Joe Rogan got ripped off

supercast

How Spotify tricked him into giving up billions.

Habits of high-functioning teams

deniseyu

I’ve luckily spent time on some very high-performing teams. When I’ve been on those teams, I was excited to come to work every day, I wasn’t afraid of disagreeing publicly with those more senior than me, and I felt like my voice and my work had an impact.

If your product is Great, it doesn't need to be Good

paulbuchheit

By now, everyone is tired of hearing about the iPad, but the negative responses are so perfectly misguided that it would be wrong to waste this opportunity. Even better, we can look back at the 2001 iPod launch and see the exact same mistakes. But this isn't about the iPad or the iPod -- it's about product design.

Work from home is dead, long live work from anywhere

techcrunch

“Work From Home” is terrible branding, precisely because it fails to communicate the fundamental freedom that comes with these new policies. It’s not about further imprisoning us in our homes — it’s about empowering us to think and work exactly where we are personally most productive.

Mood as extrapolation engine: using emotions to generate momentum

fortelabs

You would think that not having moods — simply doing whatever is the next thing that logically needs to be done — would have given our ancestors a decisive evolutionary advantage. Fast forward to today, many people seem to think that banishing their moods and suppressing their emotions would give them a superhuman ability to get things done. An intriguing answer is suggested by this paper: that the function of moods is to represent momentum in the mind.


COVID-19 on Economy

Artwork: Sarah Grillo / Axios

  • Coronavirus speeds the way for robots in the workplace. Adopting robots and AI could keep businesses going during social distancing and reduce health risk to human workers. But with unemployment already at Great Depression levels, many of the jobs lost to automation might never be regained.

  • On the distributed front, the future of work has been arriving quickly. This week, a wave of companies representing over $800B in market capitalization announced they’re embracing distributed work beyond what’s required by the pandemic:

    • Coinbase is going remote-first.

    • Facebook wants to be “the most forward-leaning on remote work.”

    • Twitter has allowed permanent work-from-home.

    • Shopify is now a “digital by default” company.

    • Square has indefinitely extended remote work.

    • Spotify is allowing work-from-home through 2021.

    • Visa extends work-from-home for the majority of employees through 2020.

  • The Atlantic has been widely praised for breakthrough COVID-19 coverage. But yesterday, the magazine announced it was laying off 17% of staff following cuts at other digital media companies like BuzzFeed, Vice, and Quartz.

  • Apple will open about 100 more stores in the U.S. this week—most will only offer curbside service.

  • Latam Airlines, Latin America’s largest air carrier, filed for bankruptcy.

  • Fitness clubs lost out on $10 billion in revenue due to COVID-19, per the investment bank Harrison Co. 


What else

Photographs & visuals: Space X

  • SpaceX to make history with crewed ISS mission and poised to ignite a new era of human spaceflight today when its Crew Dragon capsule carries two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).

    • Scheduled to launch at 4:33 p.m. ET on May 27, marks the first time in nearly a decade that a crewed journey into space will lift off from a launchpad in the United States—and the first time a private spaceflight company has used its own rocket and spacecraft design to fling humans into orbit. Good luck folks!

  • Joe Rogan taking his smash-hit podcast exclusively to Spotify in a licensing deal worth more than $100 million. 

    • The podcast will be available on Spotify on Sept. 1 and become exclusive to the platform later in the year. Rogan said it will remain free. There will also be video episodes available from within Spotify's app.

  • Apple and Google on Wednesday released long-awaited smartphone technology to automatically notify people if they might have been exposed to the coronavirus.

  • HBO Max landed overnight (Only US), the latest big-league streaming service with shows, movies and exclusive originals, making it the third and final major streaming service to launch during the pandemic. (Quibi launched April 6th and NBCU's Peacock launched April 15th.) At $14.99 monthly, it's the most expensive offering within its competitive set. But it also launches with a slew of exclusive fan favorites, ranging from "Friends" and "The Big Bang Theory" to "Game of Thrones."

  • New York Times phasing out all 3rd-party advertising data.

  • Google Cloud has landed a deal to help the Department of Defense combat cyber threats worldwide. The deal will see Google's cloud division provide tools to the DoD's Defense Innovation Unit.

  • Hulu’s biggest redesign in years offers a more standardized experience, improved navigation, and discovery.

  • Netflix says it will now start to cancel accounts that have watched nothing in more than a year but have still been paying subscription fees.


This week rocks!

Do something special this week.

Artwork: Evgenia Balchinova

Mini Garden

You can go completely pro on this can get something like the IKEA Växer but you can also consider something low tech.

You can use a leftover peanut butter jar or an old mug as a place to grow the greens. Put a little bit of soil in it, put in a few seeds and make sure that it receives water.

Here's a video on how to grow an infinite amount of basil from a single plant.

Open-source, feel free to collaborate. If you want to commit to this idea, consider reminding yourself via dearme.email.

Useless facts

For looking smart at dinner parties.

🥗 American Airlines saved $40,000 in 1987 by taking out an olive from First Class salads.

🛏 In case of an emergency, Switzerland could fit 114% of its population in bunkers.

🔤 The Hawaiian alphabet has only 12 letters.

🙀 The only domestic animal not mentioned in the Bible is the cat.

🍜 Chuck Norris called 911 to order Chinese food and got it.


So what happens now?

Take a deep breath. In this crazy time, there are still amazing tales of purpose and dedication, exploration that leads to discovery and understanding, and a natural world that often astounds us.

That’s it for this edition. Here some functional music to improve focus and a quick chess game for brain candy. See you next week.


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