Showcasing some of my favourite weekly reads and articles on startups, business, and the world.
In 2015, The Lancet (a medical journal) defined "tobacco-free" as a smoking rate that was lower than 5%. They envision a tobacco-free world by 2040.
Fast forward to 2017: the European Union is smoking at a wide variety of rates between countries. Bulgaria is sitting at 36%, France is at 33%, Spain and Italy are around 25%, and the UK is doing relatively well for itself at 16%. And then there's Sweden, two decades ahead of everyone at 5%.
What's the secret? Snus, a little pouch of tobacco you tuck under your upper lip. Users get their fix of nicotine in a way that doesn't kill you like cigarettes. As a result, Sweden has the lowest death rate of lung cancer in Europe. It's a "reduced harm" harm approach backed by strong evidence that's doing wonders, but for some reason, most countries aren't convinced - the West strongly believes in eradicating all forms of tobacco and nicotine. Sometimes perfect is the enemy of the good. (via Bloomberg by Joe Nocera)
Russian entrepreneurs are tapping into our vanity. If you're looking to boost up your recent selfie, vacation photo, or picture of last night's dessert, head to a Russian mall and hit up these vending machines. 100 Instagram likes go for 88 cents, and if you're looking to treat yourself, 100 followers will cost you only $1.75! Don't worry, these aren't the annoying bots who comment with a random emoji - there's a real human behind the like and "nice pic!" They're being paid to look at your food. (via Dazed by Sasha Raspopina - thanks to Flo for sharing this!)
In a struggling retail environment, T.J. Maxx is enjoying higher profits and is looking to open 250 stores this year. (In Canada, they operate as HomeSense, Marshalls and Winners.) While everyone is shopping online, what does it offer that Amazon and e-commerce can't? Simple: a constant, unpredictable treasure hunt that revolves around fresh and discounted brand name goods. (via Wall Street Journal by Suzanne Kapner; read by following the tweet)
"Employers may think a room full of smiling employees is a sign of a productive, successful office. But research shows that forcing workers to appear more pleasant and more cheerful than they actually feel can lead to a whole host of negative consequences —from emotional exhaustion to withdrawal. And women in particular suffer from the expectation that they should constantly demonstrate happiness."
No one is happy 100% of the time and we shouldn't expect ourselves to be, especially at work. Off-days and outside distractions are inevitable, and having to bear our emotions while still doing our job can be exhausting. Here's an argument for why it might be better to stay grumpy. (via Quartz by Meredith Bennett-Smith)
Evan Sequeira is a Queen's Commerce '14 grad who's a Business Development Manager for Capitalize for Kids, a startup non-profit. When he told the founder of a private equity firm that he was leaving his job at BMO to pursue his current position, he received this nugget of advice: “You either have a rich dad, a big heart, or you’re a complete moron.”
As someone whose currently interning this summer at a non-profit, Evan's thoughts on career development, salaries out of graduation, and the non-profit sector resonated with me. He's a year into his position at the startup, and he's still able to buy flowers for Mother's Day, eat three meals a day, and cover his rent while working for a cause that's meaningful to him. What more can you ask for at the end of the day? (via LinkedIn Pulse)