POSTED August 18, 2013
Sunday Morning Reads ⚓
Some good pieces I’ve read this morning while sipping some Vietnamese coffee in Seattle, saving here for later:
- A lecture from a Coursera Stanford class on startups about the idea maze. The main takeaway: in addition to continuing to be a student of the history of the space we’re going after with Designlab, I’ve started a spreadsheet where we jot down every idea that we could even potentially implement down the road… before we say no to 99% of them.
- A blog post on the difference between values and vibes in a company. This week at TechStars Seattle, Rand Fishkin from Moz spoke to us about his company’s values as being immutable cornerstones that guide their employees’ daily decision-making, even when inconvenient or detrimental to the company (like in this case, where their value of transparency potentially conflicted with their ability to raise money). This post from the CEO of Gnip restates that thesis - values should never really change. That’s what culture is.
- Presentation Zen on storytelling - probably the one skill I’m most actively trying to improve.
POSTED August 08, 2013
I remember reading Ken Kesey’s Sometimes a Great Notion as an over-imaginative 18-year old and immediately falling in love with the idea of Oregon — in my mind, a magical state with lush forests, flowing rivers, and endless greenery. It turns out that the real Oregon is even better than what I’d expected. ⚓
" alt="I remember reading Ken Kesey’s Sometimes a Great Notion as an over-imaginative 18-year old and immediately falling in love with the idea of Oregon — in my mind, a magical state with lush forests, flowing rivers, and endless greenery. It turns out that the real Oregon is even better than what I’d expected."/>
POSTED July 07, 2013
If the government wants to make an example of you by pounding you with a wholly disproportionate use of force, it can. It’s rare that courts or politicians even object, much less impose consequences.
The increasing militarization of our police force is one of the trends I’m most worried about. This Salon piece paints a terrifying picture of cops running around with impunity - using SWAT teams to raid poker games, killing dogs, assaulting peaceful protestors. There needs to be a stricter level of oversight on police actions - otherwise our cops are just thugs with guns, acting with no regard for consequences against the very citizenry they’re intended to protect.
POSTED July 06, 2013
Go for a walk; cultivate hunches; write everything down, but keep your folders messy; embrace serendipity; make generative mistakes; take on multiple hobbies; frequent coffeehouses and other liquid networks; follow the links; let others build on your ideas; borrow, recycle, reinvent.
- The last paragraph of Steven Johnson’s Where Good Ideas Come From, a neat summary of the book’s ideas on how creativity and innovation happen. Definitely worth a read, but if you don’t have the time: there you go.
POSTED June 15, 2013
on writing ⚓
Feels like I haven’t written online in a while.
Creating work that’s meant to be shared leads to a quest for perfection, a sense that you can only put out thoughts that are “right” or “fully-formed”.
What you learn in this pursuit of perfection is that writing is easy; editing is the hard part. It takes time & effort to craft a coherent statement with a clear thesis, whittled down to its essence. More than anything, it requires you to know what you’re talking about and what you want to say.
To express an idea elegantly is to understand its essence - and that’s no easy feat. I’m discovering that I need to spend more time exploring & cleanly synthesizing my ideas to get to thoughts truly worth sharing.
Good writing is good thinking.