Two questions mid-Covid

For any of the things you do… What don’t you / your customers miss about doing this in person? What do you / they miss? Whatever “real life” looks like in the coming months, it will help if the things we’re glad to see the back of stay gone, or stay at a minimum. Losing these things is likely to…

In it to win it (2): OK Go on the sandbox theory of how to find a wonderful idea

This may seem to you like testing, but it really isn’t, because at this point we don’t yet know what our idea is: we don’t have a plan to be testing. We’re just trying everything we can think of because we need to get the idea space filled with a chaos… because then… if we can… get just a few…

Portfolio

Not: “I worked at this company.” “I held this position,” or even “I performed this role.” But rather: “I helped these people.” (Please go and talk to them.) “I made this thing” (Have a look and try it out.) “I caused this to happen” (Let me tell you how.) And most importantly: “It made this difference.”

The process

This is the process: Do some work. Just start. Work on it until the excitement of fresh ideas crumbles on contact with reality into the funk of “Why am I even bothering?” Recognise that this is part of the process – and that learning to get through it is quite possibly the key to success. Make something that’s so-so. Edit,…

Broker books

There are network effects between books / knowledge gained from books; Not all network connections are created equal; New books within your areas of experience and specialism will strengthen that part of your network but are subject to the law of diminishing returns: once you’ve read the classics, the remaining books are likely to be less good; The best books…

Tyler Cowen on reading fast, reading well, and reading widely

This is a great riff on how reading works and on the network effects of reading. Links below. Tyler says: … I go through five or ten books a day. And which parts of them I’ve read you can debate – maybe it washes out to be two or three books a day. Some good nights you can get through…

Ben Dreyer on Good Writing and the Nonrules of English

Here’s rather a long extract – one I heartily agree with – to wet your whistle. Then go and get the book. I have nothing against rules. They’re indispensable when playing Monopoly or gin rummy, and their observance can go a long way toward improving a ride on the subway. The rule of law? Big fan. The English language, though,…

McDonald’s miracles and me

McDonald’s gets a lot of stick, much of it deserved. But critics of McDonald’s are often blind to the value it adds – in large part because we never knew (or have forgotten) the context it emerged in. In the pre-McDonald’s era, I suspect more so than now, the quality of food and service available in local restaurants across small-town…

Who says?

Does it matter who says it? Science says: “It doesn’t matter who said it. What matters is the evidence and the reasoning.” Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts Richard Feynman Thomas Hobbes said much the same: Words are wise men’s counters, they do but reckon by them; but they are the money of fools, that value them…