Canva, EU, Digital Japan, Mitron and EIA 2020: The Week’s Most Interesting

Individual, Company, Country and Continent have all their individual struggles. The most beautiful struggle ever documented is Macbeth’s struggle with his conscience. It’s the most difficult struggle when you need to win over yourself. The concept of the greatest battle of your life is the most common universal theme in the world. And the stories in reality and fiction cover a huge spectrum. From Nelson Mandela’s and Gandhi’s struggles that changed the history of the world to the the ten year mammoth story of the struggle of fictional characters fighting for 6 stones, the world is essentially run by these stories.

There are two fights or struggles that are the toughest. First, the one where you struggle against yourself. It was not him beating Rafael Nadal only at the 2017 Australian Open that made it Roger Federer’s greatest victory. It was the fact that he came back after month’s of injury and an improvement in his own backhand that the world celebrated. And even more difficult is the struggle which you do for someone else’s good. If you think about it, that is the problem of climate change. Yuval Noah Harari wrote that why would some cities in Russia care about global warming. They are landlocked and won’t get submerged. The icy places might change to a temperature that is well suited for agriculture. Why should they switch to most expensive fuels when it would benefit someone else in the long term but only harm them in the short term.

So from there we come to this week’s theme. The one mighty struggle that would define these people/companies/countries in the times to come. We start off with the amazing story of a startup that is taking on the giant of its time: Adobe. Our second article talks about the biggest struggle of the European Union as it embarks on its most ambitious project: Trust within countries. Our third article tell you about how the world’s most efficient country is struggling for years with digital adoption. Its Japanese efficiency vs its flexibility. We end with two India focused articles, India vs Tik-Tok and India vs Environment. I can assure you the second fight is much more important.

So let’s start!

1. Adobe made $1.65 billion from its design unit alone. For a company valued at about $150 billion, a comparatively small startup is becoming a huge headache. Canva is the do-it-yourself version and well everyone today in their own opinion is a designer. Forbes calls her “the Giant Killer”. The first article of the day takes you through a story of how Melanie Perkins, breaking all predefined norms: on the other side of Silicon Valley (Australia), a woman founder, a freemium model is taking on the industry of design.

2. All the member states in Europe never really figured out what to do with the European Union. They knew they needed it but they never really trusted a central authority to make truly important decisions for them. The Northern European countries never wanted to sponsor the poorer southern states and were worried about the freebies and irresponsible decision making. In the South, they worried that Germany, Denmark and Sweden never really cared for them. But COVID, does have the power to make really positive changes in the world. The most ambitious experiment ever done by Europe may actually change the contours of the continent and far beyond.

3. In India and in many other places, we tend to confuse bureaucracy as the absence of digital governance systems, single window approval systems etc. But I tend to think of them as two different problems. Bureaucracy is a policy and process change, while digital is an efficiency channel. To break this down, you could be a really digitally savvy government but still have layers of red tape and approvals reducing efficiency. At the same time you could be a very efficient government but still haven’t leveraged the power of digital processes. I put this article here because Japan for me always has a halo effect. Somehow they are in my head, supremely developed in their structures and processes. But everyone has their own issues to solve, and it is always good to know that no one is perfect.

4. At one point, a quote in this article says that if international companies come to India, hire local talent and build within India, then they would be no match for Indian companies. Restraining myself greatly, I would strongly disagree with the statement because competition in the market is not meant to serve your advantages. But the reason this article comes here, is because it answers, according to our media the most important question of our time (second maybe to : When will the vaccine come): What is India’s replacement for Tik-Tok? The article covers the landscape quite thoroughly and you might find an answer if you were looking for it.

5. Our last article covers perhaps the most consequential struggle. On a recommendation from a friend, I came across the invisible EIA Draft 2020, essentially the act that takes care of the environment. To make things short, it gives the Government a lot more power to destroy the environment and forests etc without really asking anyone. This topic also got my attention to how we have managed to keep international media occupied with other news about India. When Bolsonaro talked about destroying the Amazon forests, the whole world was aghast. It is certainly a skill to have such a draft in circulation and not have the international media gobble it up. Read it simply because in a few years the electricity bills in Mumbai will be more shocking than the one that came in June.

Hope you had fun reading! Look forward to hearing from all of you.

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