WTF Fun Fact 13226 – The Amazon Two Pizza Rule

One of the secrets of Jeff Bezos’ success may just be the Amazon Two Pizza rule.

What is the Amazon Two Pizza rule?

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos apparently requires his senior executives to abide by a Two Pizza rule. Any team that can’t be fed with two pizzas is too big and should be broken into smaller teams. The rule ensures that teams include only essential members and that everyone stays focused on their specific area of expertise.

This rule encourages efficient and effective teamwork and ensures that communication remains open and clear.

Bezos believes in the importance of keeping teams small and nimble. He believes that small teams can move more quickly and make more efficient decisions. He also believes smaller teams are better equipped to communicate effectively. When a team is too big, communication breakdown can lead to delays and inefficiencies.

Bezos believes smaller teams are more focused. As a result, teams are more likely to work on the most important tasks and make the best use of their time. In the end, it’s all about preventing teams from becoming bogged down in tasks that are not relevant to their goals and allowing them to focus on delivering value to customers.

Small teams and success

Business leaders believe the Amazon Two-Pizza Rule helps foster innovation. Small teams ensure members are more likely to feel comfortable taking risks and trying new things.

In addition, by keeping teams small, managers and leaders get to know their team members. This helps them understand their strengths and weaknesses. This helps managers develop their skills in areas such as coaching and mentoring.

The purpose of pizzas

Amazon applies the Two Pizza rule in various forms, with teams ranging from two to a dozen people. It has been widely adopted by other companies.

By keeping teams small and focused, companies can ensure that they are able to work together effectively, deliver results quickly and foster innovation and creativity.  WTF fun facts

Source: “How Jeff Bezos Used the 2-Pizza Rule to Put an End to Useless Meetings at Amazon” — Inc.

WTF Fun Fact 13225 – Emotions and the Stock Market

There is a connection between emotions and the stock market. In fact, the stock market can move dramatically even when the underlying fundamentals suggest it should move in the opposite direction.

What’s the connection between emotions and the stock market?

The stock market is driven by a variety of factors, including economic indicators, company performance, and investor sentiment. However, research has shown that emotions play a significant role in stock market behavior, and can often drive prices higher or lower regardless of the underlying fundamentals.

For example, studies have shown that stocks tend to perform better on sunny days, when investors are in a positive mood, and worse on cloudy days, when investors are in a negative mood. Similarly, stocks tend to perform better on days when there are more positive news articles, and worse on days when there are more negative news articles.

How does human behavior affect stock prices?

The stock market is often thought of as a rational, data-driven market, but emotions can have a major impact on prices and investment decisions. Investor sentiment can be just as important as financial data in determining stock prices.

When investors are feeling confident and optimistic, they tend to be more willing to take risks and invest. This, in turn, drives prices higher. When investors are feeling uncertain or fearful, they tend to pull back from the market, thereby causing prices to fall.

This emotional component of the stock market is particularly evident during times of economic uncertainty, such as recessions or market crashes, when investor sentiment can change rapidly and drive large swings in stock prices. In these situations, emotions like fear, panic, and greed can drive investor behavior and create market volatility.

While emotions can have a significant impact on the stock market, economic indicators, company performance, and macroeconomic factors such as interest rates, inflation, and political events play an integral role in determining stock prices.

Still, the emotional component of the stock market is a key factor to consider for investors. They need to be aware of how their own emotions and those of the market can impact their investment decisions.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “How emotions affect the stock market” — OUP Blog

WTF Fun Fact 13221 – Yung Gravy Donates Bras

“Yung Gravy donates bras” is probably not a sentence that makes much sense to most of us. But it’s actually a good deed done by a 26-year-old Minneapolis rapper.

Yung Gravy donates bras to a good cause

Women apparently throw A LOT of bras at rapper Yung Gravy during his concerts. In fact, he ended up with quite the collection.

The rapper, whose real name is Matthew Hauri, told his 7+ million TikTok fans recently that he had over 1,900 bras. He also planned to donate them all to women’s shelters.

And to top it off, he promised to match the value of the bras and donate the money to a breast cancer foundation. Of course, he needed to ask his fans how much a decent bra goes for these days. (He had to be pretty startled when he found the cost of 1,900 “decent bras.”)

Word gets around

When you have over 7 million social media followers, words of your good deeds get around.

According to Rare (cited below), “The rapper’s video posted on November 28 had the simple caption ‘save the nip’ below it. Footage of Yung Gravy getting practically smothered in fan bras accompanied a vow to donate the bras. He also promised to match the final value of the bras to a breast cancer foundation…In less than a month, his video has received over 16 million views and nearly 3 million likes.”

Eventually, the I Support the Girls Foundation (ISTG) heard that Yung Gravy donates bras and reached out. “ISTG’s mission is to work with a wide network of affiliates to collect and distribute essential feminine items, including bras and hygiene products, to impoverished women in need of them,” according to Rare.

Yung Gravy donated the bras to ISTG and helped sort through them. Some of them still had tags on them, meaning that they were purchased just to throw at the rapper!  WTF fun facts

Source: “Rapper Yung Gravy Donated 1,900 Bras Fans Threw at Him on Stage” — Rare

WTF Fun Fact 13220 – Chat Checkouts

Have you ever been in line at the store and rolled your eyes at the person chatting away with the clerk instead of getting their things together and leaving in a timely manner? That’s most of us. But for some people, that trip to the store may be one of the primary sources of socialization. That’s why the Dutch have invented “chat checkouts” (or Kletskassas). They’re primarily geared towards elderly people who want to take their time and chat people up at the store.

What are chat checkouts?

Chat checkouts are a type of Kletskassa, or social gathering, for older people. Community centers, cafes, or other public spaces often play host to these events. They provide seniors with an opportunity to socialize, make new friends, and engage in various activities such as playing games, singing, and chatting.

The goal of Kletskassa is to help combat feelings of loneliness and isolation among older people and provide them with a supportive community. So it makes sense to open up this opportunity in a place where everyone needs to go – the grocery store.

Jumbo’s nod to elderly shoppers

Dutch supermarket chain Jumbo announced the program in 2021. It said it plans to introduce 200 “chat registers” in its stores. These are for customers who aren’t in a hurry and want to have a chat during checkout, according to VICE (cited below).

“The initiative, announced by the popular supermarket chain Jumbo on Monday, is meant to combat loneliness—especially in the country’s elderly population. According to Statistics Netherlands, a government organization, 26 percent of Dutch people older than 15 feel at least moderately lonely. That proportion rises to 33 percent among those over 75.”

Customers were delighted by a pilot program Jumbo did of the chat checkout in 2019. The Dutch government will help sponsor it as part of their “One Against Loneliness” program.

“The Kletskassa is a checkout especially for people who are not in a hurry and feel like having a chat,” a Jumbo representative wrote in an email to Motherboard. “Many people, especially the elderly, sometimes feel lonely. It’s a small gesture, but a very valuable one, especially in a world that is digitizing and getting faster and faster.”   WTF fun facts

Source: “Grocery Store Opens ‘Chat Registers’ for Lonely Customers” — VICE

WTF Fun Fact 13197 – Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Credits

Did you know Steven Spielberg was a college dropout? Well, in any case, he returned to his college, Cal State – Long Beach, when he was in his 50s to earn his BA degree. But the story of Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic credits is less well-known.

A director drops out of college – and comes back

Speilberg has been given some honorary degrees over the years and spoke at a commencement or two. For example, he spoke at Harvard’s 2016 graduation ceremony. It was there he revealed his own college story.

He told students and their parent’s about his own graduation, just 14 years earlier.

Spielberg began college in his teens but was then offered his dream job at Universal Studios in his sophomore year. He told his parents that if his movie career failed, he would re-enroll.

But it didn’t happen quite like that. It did, however, take him 37 years to finally graduate.

He told the audience:

“…eventually, I returned for one big reason. Most people go to college for an education, and some go for their parents, but I went for my kids. I’m the father of seven, and I kept insisting on the importance of going to college, but I hadn’t walked the walk. So, in my fifties, I re-enrolled at Cal State — Long Beach, and I earned my degree.”

Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic credits

It’s probably a lot easier to master college and its demands when you’re wealthy and have nothing to lose. But that’s not an attempt to diminish his achievement (just a nod to college students out there still grinding away)!

Another thing that helped the Hollywood director? Spielberg told that Harvard grads that he was given three credits in paleontology for making Jurassic Park.

Now, if you’ve seen Jurassic Park, you know there’s some sketchy molecular biology in there, but we’re hoping they got the paleontology right!

Regardless, Spielberg finished up his degree in film production. And we’re guessing he had a pretty high GPA by the end – at least in his major!

Here are some other words of advice he had to offer:

“And the way you create a better future is by studying the past. Jurassic Park writer Michael Crichton, who graduated from both this college and this medical school, liked to quote a favorite professor of his who said that if you didn’t know history, you didn’t know anything. You were a leaf that didn’t know it was part of a tree. So history majors: Good choice, you’re in great shape…Not in the job market, but culturally.”

Hey, we know an awful lot of history majors working in museums, journalism, marketing, politics, and law! We even know some who work as consultants on movie sets, Spielberg!  WTF fun facts

Source: “Steven Spielberg to Grads: ‘Earn This'” — TIME

WTF Fun Fact 13196 – Francis Scott Key and F Scott Fitzgerald

Francis Scott Key and F Scott Fitzgerald have some interesting things in common. Fitzgerald’s full name is actually Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald. That’s because his parents named him after his distant relative who wrote the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Francis Scott Key and F Scott Fitzgerald were relatives

Francis Scott Key was an American lawyer, author, and amateur poet from Maryland. We know him best for writing the lyrics to the United States’ national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The poem was originally titled “Defense of Fort McHenry.” Key wrote it in 1814 after he witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the British during the War of 1812.

F. Scott Fitzgerald was an American novelist, short-story writer, and playwright. He is considered one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. We know him best for his novels “The Great Gatsby” and “Tender Is the Night.” Scholars characterize Fitzgerald’s works by their themes of wealth, youth, and disillusionment, and they helped to define the “Jazz Age” of the 1920s.

History.com notes that: “The two were only distantly related—Key was a second cousin three times removed—but Fitzgerald was known to play up the family connection. While driving past a statue of Key in an alcoholic haze in 1934, he supposedly hopped from the car and hid in the bushes, yelling to a friend, ‘Don’t let Frank see me drunk!””

Other fun facts about Fitzgerald

In addition to having a famous relative, History.com revealed that Fitzgerald was also an awful speller. That’s pretty impressive since he made his living writing before the days of the spell checker. Luckily, he lived in the days of good editors.

His book “The Great Gatsby” was also not a bestseller in his lifetime. “It performed poorly compared to his first two novels, selling just over 20,000 copies and only turning a meager profit for its publisher. Popular interest in the book didn’t spike until World War II when some 150,000 copies were shipped to U.S. servicemen overseas.” WTF fun facts

Source: “10 Things You May Not Know About F. Scott Fitzgerald” — History.com

WTF Fun Fact 13192 – Frank Sinatra Was Offered Die Hard Role

It’s hard to imagine anyone but Bruce Willis playing the lead character in Die Hard. But believe it or not, Frank Sinatra was offered Die Hard role John McClane.

Frank Sinatra offered Die Hard role but turned it down

Had Sinatra starred in Die Hard, it would have been a very different movie.

The film is based on a book by Roderick Thorpe called Nothing Lasts Forever. It was published in 1979 and was a sequel to Thorpe’s 1966 novel The Detective.

Now, The Detective WAS made into a movie. And this one did star Frank Sinatra as the main character, Detective Joe Leland. Is it starting to become clear why Frank Sinatra was offered the later Die Hard role?

The Die Hard we know and love

The sequel to The Detective, which we now know as Die Hard didn’t get a green light for production until the late 1980s. That was a good decade after the book was published. And by then, Sinatra was 73 years old.

However, since the movie was technically a sequel, the production company was obligated to offer the role to Sinatra first. As we all now know, he turned it down. (But can you imagine Sinatra as John McClane? We can’t!)

And believe it or not, Bruce Willis wasn’t the second choice. The role was then offered to Arnold Schwarzenegger. According to Business Insider (cited below), “the movie was pitched as a sequel to the actor’s 1985 film Commando rather than a sequel to The Detective. Schwarzenegger also turned down the offer…”

It wasn’t until after the second strike and miss that producers offered the role to Bruce Willis and the leading role was tweaked a bit, with the character renamed John McClane instead of Joe Leland.

At the time, Bruce Willis was known for his comedy roles, so the producers were taking a risk casting him in an action film.  WTF fun facts

Source: “73-Year-Old Frank Sinatra Was Originally Offered The Lead Role In ‘Die Hard'” — Business Insider

WTF Fun Fact 13189 – I Hate Elvis Badges

Meme sites and Reddit boards have long shared a tidbit of Elvis’s history that people find hard to believe. Elvis Presley’s manager once sold “I Hate Elvis” badges so he could make money off of people who hated The King just as he did with fans. And it appears to be true.

Selling I Hate Elvis badges

Presley’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker was quite the marketing genius. He was also excellent at making himself money in any way possible. Many of Elvis’s early music and performance deals paid Parker half of the money.

By the end of 1956, Elvis’s merchandise was bringing in $22 million! For this, Parker got 25% of the profits. But it was a little reverse psychology that made him even more money.

Not everyone loved Elvis. And we all know that when something or someone is super popular, people take great pride in outwardly hating it to somehow set themselves apart from the “masses.” (Not to mention that older generations saw Elvis as a corrupting influence.)

As a result, Colonel Parker decided to make both sides happy and created “I Hate Elvis” badges for non-fans. That way he could make money off of the other side too. (Too bad he didn’t come up with an “I feel ambivalent about Elvis” badge – he could have covered all his bases.)

In a book titled Colonel (The True Story of Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis Presley), author Alanna Nash mentions the badges. She states:

“Parker, who tied on a vendor’s apron to peddle both I LOVE ELVIS and I HATE ELVIS buttons to folks who reacted strongly one way or another, didn’t care what the newsmen said as long as they said it — and paid their own admission to the shows.”

All press is good press if you’re making money off of it, apparently! You can still find vintage “I hate Elvis” buttons online.  WTF fun facts

Source: “Did Elvis Presley’s Manager Sell ‘I Hate Elvis’ Buttons to Profit From ‘Haters’?” — Truth or Fiction

WTF Fun Fact 13185 – Non-Religious and Atheist People

There are roughly 2.38 billion Christians,1.91 billion Muslims, and 1.16 billion Hindus in the world. But a growing number of people identify as non-religious and atheist. In other words, they don’t affiliate with any specific religion, though their range of beliefs is still quite wide.

It’s interesting to see that 85% of the world still does identify with some organized religious group.

Defining non-religious and atheist people

Of course, religion is complicated. You may identify as a Christian but believe the person sitting next to you in a Church pew is not. However, what matters is how they identify, not whether they act according to a religion’s belief system.

People often associate religion with someone’s morals. But it’s not true that non-religious and atheist people don’t have a set of morals and virtues they abide by. Those “rules” or guidelines simply don’t come from a single, organized religion. And non-religious people and atheists may not even have much in common.

Non-religious people may be agnostic or spiritual. In other words, they may believe in the eternal or an afterlife, but not a deity that controls it). Atheists are a diverse group, though they tend to be defined as those who do not believe any kind of god exists. However, there are generally two types of atheists – those who reject the idea that gods exist and those who aren’t as explicit in their rejection of deities but still don’t believe in any.

While there are famous atheists who have tried to define the word to the world and construct a system of thinking around the world. But atheists are free to reject these words and still call themselves atheists.

Atheists in the world

The number of atheists has always been difficult to measure. Some have posited that the number of atheists is declining because the birth rates in religious countries have gone up. But that implies that those children will not someday identify as atheists (at least on a survey when asked privately!). Others have suggested that there are far more non-religious and atheists in the world who still identify as religious out of social pressure. And since many people incorrectly associate atheism with anti-religious beliefs or fringe beliefs (like Satanism), they may be reluctant to identify as such.

The countries with the most “convinced atheists” (at least in a 2012 survey) were China, Japan, the Czech Republic, France, South Korea, Germany, Netherlands, Austria, Iceland, and Australia (10%).  WTF fun facts

Source: “Religion by Country 2023” — World Population Review