Sign in

Marker
Pop business for the intelligent reader. A publication from Medium.

Productivity

In Marker. More on Medium.


With fewer hours of daylight and countless workers on the brink of mental exhaustion, writer Maya Kosoff argues that it only makes sense to take winter Fridays off. Earlier this spring, Marker made a similar recommendation for corporate America to use this year’s remote work upheaval to adopt a four-day workweek and cancel Fridays. Without daily commutes and other distractions, most workers have gained a couple of hours back into their workday, which has led to increased productivity as well as burnout. “Why not try it?” Kosoff asks. “We have nothing to lose, aside from our futile attempts to force…


Number of the Day

Remote workers are watching more TV during working hours

26 — How many more minutes of TV work-from-home professionals and managers watch daily during work hours this year (Nielsen)
26 — How many more minutes of TV work-from-home professionals and managers watch daily during work hours this year (Nielsen)
Photo illustration, source: Murai.hr/Unsplash

26: That’s the increased number of minutes that professionals and managers working from home spent watching TV during work hours, as of October, according to Nielsen. A spike in daytime viewing (defined as 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) was expected early in the pandemic era when offices closed abruptly and widespread lockdowns stranded a huge chunk of the workforce indoors. But this year-to-year comparison, which cuts across age segments, shows a 21% increase and suggests a more profound shift, Nielsen argues: “daytime has become a second primetime.”

The increased tube attention (which includes streaming video and DVR viewing) works out…


Some words of wisdom from author Susan Orlean who makes the case for looking presentable to enter into productivity mode. “It’s hard enough to delineate home life and work life,” she writes. “I can’t think well unless I’ve showered and put on something decent.” Turns out, Orlean may be onto something. As Marker recently reported, nearly 9% of Americans have been working 24 or more hours a week from their beds since the start of the pandemic, according to a survey by Tuck Sleep. …


Avoid the danger of filling all your early leadership roles with C-level and VP-level titles

Photo: John Lund/Photodisc/Getty Images

A long time ago, I was consulting for a company that raised its first big round of VC funding and then immediately hired a dozen VPs away from companies whose names you would be familiar with.

I’ve never seen 12 people do more damage to a business in a shorter amount of time. You couldn’t have more than two of them in the same meeting without it devolving into an ugly, awkward argument over who knew better based on their experience at the dying brand-name corporation they were so eager to leave.

I’ve come to believe there is one universal…


Everyone claims to be an expert, but can they really help you build your business?

A group of miniature builders trying to erect and pull a giant gold key.
A group of miniature builders trying to erect and pull a giant gold key.
Image: Paper Boat Creative/Stone/Getty Images

There are three types of people an entrepreneur needs to build a successful business: employees to build the company, advisers to influence the direction of the business, and investors to provide the fuel and connections.

Within each of these three groups, there are a lot of folks who will call themselves “startup experts,” but there are very few with the experience to help you build something from idea to reality and generate revenue. If I had to pick one adage that I rely on most often as a startup founder, it’s this: There is no single best practice for any…


Here’s how to act strategically in the face of uncertainty and fear

A silhouette of a business man contemplating while standing in front of three open doors.
A silhouette of a business man contemplating while standing in front of three open doors.
Photo: francescoch/iStock/Getty Images Plus

My career has been long enough that I was working on startups during the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s and the Great Recession of the late 2000s. I’ve lived and worked through panicky times before, and I can tell you that right now I’m seeing that exact same kind of panic, squared. I can also tell you that the main reason for the panic, strictly in a business sense, is that we’ve gone way too long without answers. The longer we go without answers, the worse the panic gets.

I’m not going to tell you that it’s no big…


About 11,000 business books are published every year. Here’s a strategy to get through the most important ones.

A young female customer  at bookstore standing against a bookshelf picks up a book and reads through it.
A young female customer  at bookstore standing against a bookshelf picks up a book and reads through it.
Photo: Luis Alvarez/DigitalVision/Getty Images

During my sophomore year of high school, a family moved into our rural southeastern Wisconsin school district. The two kids had been educated at private schools in the inner suburbs of Chicago, which was immediately evident by the books they were reading. The son was a year older than me, and his selections of Poe, Twain, and Fitzgerald were distantly familiar, but one day he entered reading Mortimer Adler’s How to Read a Book. …


Avoid useless coffees without missing out on real opportunities

Photo: PhotoAlto/Frederic Cirou/Getty Images

I still take too many meetings.

Even after 20 years in the business of being an entrepreneur, I wind up booking at least one useless meeting a month. I’m probably not going to change my ways because I’m at a point in my career where my radar is probably as finely tuned as it’s going to get, and wasting an hour here or there is no big deal.

Let that be my first point: Being an entrepreneur isn’t a laser-focused vocation. Far from it. I personally know a few successful entrepreneurs who never have time for anyone. …


Here’s what makes an advisor different than an investor, consultant, or employee

A photo of two men with their laptops talking about work in a cool office setting.
A photo of two men with their laptops talking about work in a cool office setting.
Photo: Carlina Teteris/Getty Images

The role of a startup advisor, or for that matter, any business advisor, is often misunderstood — even by those would-be advisors themselves.

I regularly write startup advice on product, growth, tech, company, and leadership. The posts work when they address a topic that the entrepreneur is dealing with right now. When that doesn’t happen, or when the entrepreneur needs to dive a little deeper, they might reach out with a question. Occasionally, they’ll offer coffee or beer or lunch for a meeting.

But once in a while, they want an ongoing advisor relationship. And about half the time, they…

Marker

Pop business for the intelligent reader. A publication from Medium.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store