Weekly Digest: March 31, 2017

Weekly Digest

Zdravo (hello in Serbian)! Here is your weekly dose of my best tips for how to travel the world while you grow your career and make a difference.

Travel the world

I’ve been testing all the travel bots on Facebook Messenger and here are the useful ones I found: Skyscanner provided the cheapest flight options, Kayak is the only one giving good flight and hotel options, and TripAdvisor is the only decent one that allows you to search for things to do (although I’m not a fan of the actual recommendations). Right now, the bots provide a quick and simple way to get a summary of what you will find on their website, but they lack the flexibility to do much filtering/personalization. It’s helpful if you are doing simple discovery and it’s worth paying attention to this space – simply message each company on Messenger to test it out. Once the AI is improved and there is more data, I believe we will all be saying “Ha, remember when we used to open up a website to search and pay for things?” If WeChat in China and these early developments are any proxy, Facebook Messenger is going to soon become a much more meaningful platform for travel and will be a major part of how we search, shop, and interact with companies going forward.

Grow your career

I highly recommend Ben Horowitz’s book, The Hard Thing About Hard Things. It’s perhaps the most practical and honest business book out there. Here’s an excerpt: Every time I read a management or self-help book, I find myself saying, “That’s fine, but that wasn’t really the hard thing about the situation.” The hard thing isn’t setting a big, hairy, audacious goal. The hard thing is laying people off when you miss the big goal. The hard thing isn’t hiring great people. The hard thing is when those “great people” develop a sense of entitlement and start demanding unreasonable things. The hard thing isn’t setting up an organizational chart. The hard thing is getting people to communicate within the organization that you just designed. The hard thing isn’t dreaming big. The hard thing is waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat when the dream turns into a nightmare.

Make a difference

A group of researchers spent the last eight years trying to answer a a tough question: “What are the world’s biggest and most urgent problems?” It is worth reading what they have concluded and why ending diarrhea might be as transformative as world peace, why artificial intelligence might be even more important, and what to do in your own career to make the most urgent changes happen. You can find their analysis here at 80,000 Hours.

Fun updates:

Have the best weekend ever.


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