???? COOL THINGS CURATED IN OUR UNIVERSE
1. On building things
This - via DJ Patil - former U.S. Chief Data Scientist - is the best advice on building: dream in years, plan in months, evaluate in weeks, ship daily. If you're in the trenches building something, his 2020 commencement speech is a must read (or skip to the highlights here ).
Plug: I discovered this link via startupy friend Nathan Baugh 's amazing newsletter - subscribe here: worldbuilders.ai
2. On the perils of standardization and productivity
So many gems in Kunal Shah's podcast interview with Shane Parrish . My favorite passage: Everything that feels soulful in life is inefficient. Standardized things are easier to scale, but non-standardized things are harder to destroy. Standardizing is the enemy of soulfulness.
Which reminds me of this passage from the best book I've read this year: 4,000 weeks :
Productivity is a trap. Becoming more efficient just makes you more rushed, and trying to clear the decks simply makes them fill up again faster.
Which brings me to this hilarious tweet. My belief is the obsession with productivity software is often a symptom of deeper dissatisfaction. Productivity tools are too focused on the day-to-day details of how we get work done when what most people actually need is more clarity on what to do in the first place.????????
3. Highlights that made us think
One of the fundamental aspects of leadership, I realized more and more, is the ability to instill confidence in others when you yourself are feeling insecure. - via Howard Schultz, Pour your heart into it: How Starbucks built a company one cup at a time
“What’s working, and how can we do more of it?” Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Yet, in the real world, this obvious question is almost never asked. Instead, the question we ask is more problem focused: “What’s broken, and how do we fix it?” - via Chip and Dan Heath, Switch: How to Change Things when Change is Hard
Rule of 3 in conversation. To get to the real reason, ask a person to go deeper than what they just said. Then again, and once more. The third time’s answer is close to the truth.” – Kevin Kelly, 68 bits of unsolicited advice
If you're struggling with negative thoughts, achieving flow is probably the best medicine. Contrary to popular wisdom, forced positive thinking often makes things worse. - via How to be happy in Happiness
There are two kinds of people in this life: Those who walk into a room and say, ‘Well, here I am!’ And those who walk in and say, ‘Ahh, there you are.' - via Leil Lowndes, How to talk to anyone in Conversations
4. On building for human well-being
The humane tech topic page on startupy is on ????????????. So much inspo and great projects to inspire the creation of technology that protects well-being and treats human attention as sacred.
???? Use the Startupy randomizer to get inspired ☝️
???? COMMUNITY HEALTH
Welcoming Leila Boujnane , Aron Shelton , Marc Goldenfein , Jason Levin , and Brian Sholis to our Season Zero cohort this week and virtual high-fiving Mo Shafieeha , Yaro Celis , Stuart Evans , and Pawan Rochwani for their contributions.
339 contributions this week
Why is longitudinal work an interesting topic?
The short-snapshot-rewarding, instant-dopamine-fix nature of the social media that shape how many of us take in new information can lead us to believe that all success stories are overnight success stories as our attention spans stretch thinner and thinner.
The relentless acceleration of reduced attention spans and shortened time horizons for success across many domains makes me wonder whether it is possible to create works that are valued over a long period of time, and how to create those kinds of works.
The answer of how to make something that is valued over a long period of time may lie in how long it takes to create the work.
Perhaps the longer either the period of focused work necessary to build a project or the time horizon for success, the more likely that a project is valued in the long term, in addition to other factors like the universality of the work.
If this is the case, I'm interested in longitudinal work – work that has an ultra long time horizon for success and/or takes an ultra long time to complete.
The Great Women Artists Podcast: Tracey Bashkoff on Hilma af Klint
"In her will, Hilma af Klint wrote that her abstract works must not be made accessible to the public until at least twenty years after her death. She was convinced that their full meaning could not be understood until then. 100 years ago, Hilma af Klint painted pictures for the future." – Moderna Museet
The Panama Canal took a decade to complete, after a previous failed attempt took fourteen years.
This TV episode does an excellent job of detailing how the second attempt succeeded after the first attempt failed.
The Writing Principles of Robert A. Caro
Robert Caro is widely known as one of the greatest biographers ever (though he would argue that never set out to write "biographies") as a result of his exhaustively researched, multi-decade writing process.
Projects worth following?
Posthaven is super fascinating to me – they are a blogging platform that promises to be around forever.
Eric Reis's Long-Term Stock Exchange seems like a powerful way to get large corporations to think a bit longer-term, and I think it was underreported in my world that there are now two major public companies listed
There is a photographer very loved by some of the world's most wealthy, powerful, and famous people – including a few tech billionaires – who hasn't released new work to the public in twenty years, though he has been working non-stop the entire time. It will be fascinating to see what happens when he debuts new work.
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