The Volume, Issue 23: A hot hot dog controversy (and our Series A!)

The Volume is our monthly collection of our own data and insights, plus the best things we’re reading elsewhere. We hope you enjoy and tune in to get next month’s issue :)

60 Decibels
3 min readFeb 16, 2022

> ESGsential reading
Our co-founder Tom Adams is always up-to-date on the latest in ESG, and he shared this hard-hitting Bloomberg piece, The ESG Mirage, with our team. The article gets under the hood of mega-index fund company MSCI, revealing a disturbing fact: “[ESG] ratings don’t measure a company’s impact on the Earth and society. In fact, they gauge the opposite: the potential impact of the world on the company and its shareholders.” Put another way: what matters most for a good ESG rating is whether environmental, social and governance risks might hurt your share price. That’s why McDonald’s, which produced 54 million tons of emissions in 2019, can be an ESG darling. Not lovin’ it.

> Which is a ’wich?
We thought the big debate was ketchup vs. mustard, but it turns out that folks are up in arms about whether a hot dog is a sandwich…or a taco?? This mouth-watering debate is settled with the “Cube Rule,” which helps define everything from toast (bread on one side) to calzones (bread on all sides). More troubling: Pop Tarts are, in fact, ravioli. In less controversial news, we were happy to learn that what you put between two slices of bread is called “pålegg” in Norwegian. Check out Eunoia for the list you never knew you needed: 500+ words that don’t translate to other languages.

The ingenious Cube Rule

> Wordle em Português
Like everyone, we’ve gotten a bit obsessed with Wordle. But did you know that Wordle’s also available in Portuguese, Turkish and even Tamil? So, if you found ‘FRAME’ yesterday and needed another challenge, you could have hopped over to Termo, the Portuguese Wordle created by Google Engineer Fernando Serboncini. Hint: use the word ‘GENTE’ (‘people’). *Swoon!*

> We raised $8.8M in our Series A from FPE Capital (!!)
In late 2021, we closed our Series A round, raising $8.8 million from FPE Capital. This is a big vote of confidence in the importance, and potential, of listening at scale. A huge shout-out to our seed-stage investors who got us to this point: Acumen, Ceniarth, and DOEN Foundation. With this investment, we have our eyes set on ambitious targets — strengthening the quality of ‘social’ data across all of ESG, and expanding our impact benchmarks to create social performance ratings. Oh, and now is a great time to join our team: we’ve got tons of open roles, so check them out or share them with a friend.

> In other measurement news…
In 2010, the late HBS professor, Clayton M. Christensen, asked the question: How Will You Measure Your Life? This timeless piece offers guidance on how to think more purposefully about the balance of our professional and personal priorities, and about what it means, and why it’s so important, to stick to your values. To celebrate HBS’ 100 year anniversary, this article is available for free — run, don’t walk!

> Do you listen…like you mean it?
Another must-read came across our desk(top) recently and the title says it all: Listen Like You Mean It, by Ximena Vengoechea. Take Ximena’s quiz to find out what your default listening mode is — and about how to better match your listening mode to the moment (as in: you might be a default devil’s advocate in a situation that calls for a cheerleader). You can find more tips and tricks to master our favorite art form in First Round Review’s The Art Of Becoming A Better Listener.

> From Sasha: Terror/Freedom, Calm/Structure
After a busy 2021 (recap here), Sasha got to thinking about the dynamics of productivity (hopefully while drinking a well deserved cocktail in Costa Rica). In his latest post, Terror/Freedom, Calm/Structure, he proposes a handy 2x2 to diagnose what work environments help us thrive. Bonus: you can use this framework to quickly figure out whether different teams are likely to succeed. Have at it!

> Shall we work together? Give us a shout.
Have a specific pain point in the world of measurement? Ambitious impact performance goals? Or simply interested in learning more about what we do? We’d love to chat.



60 Decibels

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