👓 Reflecting on My Failure to Build a Billion-Dollar Company | Medium

Read Reflecting on My Failure to Build a Billion-Dollar Company by Sahil Lavingia (Medium)
I left my job as the second employee at Pinterest–before I vested any of my stock–to turn Gumroad into a billion-dollar company. And…
A great little essay. We need more entrepreneurs building things like this rather than chasing the dream of being a unicorn. We need more stories like this, because this is how the world really works, not the other way around.

👓 WTF Is Going on at Wright State? | Inside Higher Ed

Read WTF Is Going on at Wright State? (Inside Higher Ed)
It's ugly, but it was foreseeable, maybe even inevitable.
The glut of Ph.D. graduates is slowly killing academia. We need a better pathway for highly educated people to do something besides teach with these degrees because there just aren’t enough spots to employ them all.

I’m curious what other economic pressures are causing this issue and ones like it? Solidarity and unions are a stopgap at best, eventually the entire system is going to come down unless some drastic changes are made. Eventually it’ll only be the tier 1 schools that have tenure anymore, and everyone else will just be teachers. But even the tier 1 schools may have problems eventually too…

Apparently tenure numbers in rankings don’t mean enough after some point to force colleges to grant it at a reasonable level.

👓 Instacart and DoorDash’s Tip Policies Are Delivering Outrage | The New York Times

Read After Uproar, Instacart Backs Off Controversial Tipping Policy (New York Times)
The delivery app’s practice of counting tips toward guaranteed minimum payments for its contract workers drew accusations of wage theft.

👓 I don’t want to be a brand. | Cheri Baker

Read I don't want to be a brand. by Cheri BakerCheri Baker (social.cheribaker.com)

I attended a training program on author marketing recently, and while I appreciated most of the advice, and the speaker was excellent, I’m struggling with one piece of it, which I’ll paraphrase here:

“You should write down your brand statement, and then EVERYTHING you communicate online (or around your customers) should be in line with that statement. In short, if it doesn’t advance your brand, don’t share or say it.”

And my heart rose up in revolt and shouted: F@CK THAT SH*T!

Some great sentiment here on just being a person.

📑 I don’t want to be a brand. | Cheri Baker

Annotated I don't want to be a brand. by Cheri BakerCheri Baker (social.cheribaker.com)

“You should write down your brand statement, and then EVERYTHING you communicate online (or around your customers) should be in line with that statement. In short, if it doesn’t advance your brand, don’t share or say it.”

And my heart rose up in revolt and shouted: F@CK THAT SH*T!

Almost as iconic as “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take this anymore!”

👓 High demand from retirees to live on campus at Arizona State University I InsideHigherEd

Read High demand from retirees to live on campus at Arizona State University (insidehighered.com)
A sold-out housing complex for senior citizens on Arizona State University’s Tempe campus sparks a conversation about whether universities are doing enough to engage with older people.

🔖 Creative Clarity by Jon Kolko

Bookmarked Creative Clarity by Jon Kolko (Brown Bear LLC)

This book is built on a simple premise: Most companies don't know what creativity really is, so they can't benefit from it. They lack creative clarity. 

Creative clarity requires you to do four things:
1. Choreograph a creative strategy, describing a clear future even among the blurry business landscape.
2. Grow teams that include those creative, unpredictable outcasts;  give them the space to produce amazing work; and build a unique form of trust in your company culture.
3. Institutionalize an iterative process of critique, conflict, and ideation.
4. Embrace chaos but manage creative spin and stagnation. 

This book is primarily for people in charge of driving strategic change through an organization. If you are a line manager responsible for exploring a horizon of opportunity, the book will help you establish a culture of creative product development in which your teams can predictably deliver creative results. You'll learn methods to drive trust among your team members to enable you to critique and improve their work. And as an organizational leader, you'll complement your traditional business strategies with the new language and understanding you need to implement creativity in a strategic manner across your company.

In a creative environment, chaos is the backdrop for hidden wonderment and success. In this book, you'll gain clarity in the face of that chaos, so you can build great products, great teams, and a high-performing creative organization.  

hat tip: Human Current

🎧 Episode 082 The Complexity & Chaos of Creativity | Human Current

Listened to Episode 082 The Complexity & Chaos of Creativity from HumanCurrent

How does chaos influence creativity? How can “flow states” help teams manage feedback and achieve creativity?In this episode, Haley interviews designer, educator and author, Jon Kolko. Kolko shares details from his new book Creative Clarity: A Practical Guide for Bringing Creative Thinking into Your Company, which he wrote to help leaders and creative thinkers manage the complexity and chaos of the creative process. During his interview, he explains how elements of complex systems science, including emergence, constraints, feedback and framing, influence the creative process. He also provides many helpful tips for how to foster a culture of creativity within an organization.

Cover art for The Complexity & Chaos Of Creativity featuring Jon Kolko

Quotes from this episode:

“A constraint emerges from the creative exploration itself….these constraints become a freeing way for creative people to start to explore without having rules mandated at them.” - Jon Kolko

“Framing is the way in which the problem is structured and presented and the way that those constraints start to manifest as an opportunity statement.” - Jon Kolko

“The rules around trust need to be articulated.” - Jon Kolko

“Chaos is the backdrop for hidden wonderment and success.” - Jon Kolko

Some interesting thoughts on creativity and management. Definitely worth a second listen.

I’ve seen the sentiment of “thought spaces” several times from bloggers, but this is one of the first times I’ve heard a book author use the idea:

Often when I write, it’s to help me make sense of the world around me.

—Jon Kolko

👓 Silicon Valley pledged to break up the boys’ club of investing in 2018. How did it do? | Recode

Read Silicon Valley pledged to break up the boys’ club of investing in 2018. How did it do? (Recode)
Venture capitalists spent 2018 welcoming women to the fold, but the welcome has been fitful, uneven and, scariest of all, tentative.
Lack of diversity is going to be like the cigarette problem of the early 70’s. We know that it’s bad for us, but in the present it doesn’t seem as significant on a marginal individual basis. But worked on over decades it will make us and our society much healthier and richer for having solved for it.

👓 #MeToo law restricts use of nondisclosure agreements in sexual misconduct cases | LA Times

Read #MeToo law restricts use of nondisclosure agreements in sexual misconduct cases (latimes.com)
Among victims and advocates, an important step in dismantling the pervasive problem of harassment and the system that has kept it under wraps for so long is to void or curb the use of NDAs to settle sexual abuse cases.
The tough part is recreating a better system and predicting the potential future abuses that may continue in such a system. How do we enforce fairness fairly? What unintended consequences might there be?

👓 I Used to Write for Sports Illustrated. Now I Deliver Packages for Amazon. | The Atlantic

Read I Used to Write for Sports Illustrated. Now I Deliver Packages for Amazon. (The Atlantic)
There’s a certain novelty, after decades at a legacy media company, in playing for the team that’s winning big.
Replied to How Long Should a Podcast Be? by Jeremy CherfasJeremy Cherfas (Jeremy Cherfas)

Podnews has a piece that many podcasters could usefully read. The bit that resonated was this quote from Roman Mars:

If you have 100,000 listeners and you edit out one useless minute you are saving 100,000 wasted minutes in the world. You’re practically a hero.

Not quite a hero, I can at least count myself a mini-hero. 

Definitely some sage advice. I recall The Economist going a step further in their analysis a few years back and providing visuals on a 4 minute video: The hidden cost of Gangnam Style: What humanity could achieve if it weren’t galloping in front of computer screens

The hidden cost of Gangnam Style

👓 Following People or Feeds in the #IndieWeb #mb #DoOO #edtechchat #literacies” | Greg McVerry

Read Following People or Feeds in the #mb #edtechchat by Greg McVerryGreg McVerry (quickthoughts.jgregorymcverry.com)
I am scrolling through history (h/t to Kevin Marks for reminding of the ccurated posts by danah boyd) as we discuss how best to follow people in social readers on the IndieWeb. Tantek Çelik has suggested nobody ever on the history of the web wants to follow feeds. danah seemed  to agree in 2004. T...

👓 Best Answer to “Sell Me This Pen” I Have Ever Seen | LinkedIn

Read Best Answer to “Sell Me This Pen” I Have Ever Seen by Girish AmanapuGirish Amanapu (LinkedIn Pulse)

I personally never thought anyone would actually say, “sell me this pen” in a sales interview. I was wrong. It will happen to you too. And to avoid panic, you should know exactly what to say back.

I am going to give you the right sales framework to respond perfectly every time.

📑 Best Answer to “Sell Me This Pen” I Have Ever Seen | LinkedIn

Annotated Best Answer to “Sell Me This Pen” I Have Ever Seen by Girish AmanapuGirish Amanapu (LinkedIn Pulse)

Here’s the simple sales framework I used to answer “sell me this pen”. Memorize it for yourself.

  1. Find out how they last used a pen (gather info)
  2. Emphasize the importance of the activity they last used a pen (respond to info)
  3. Sell something bigger than a pen, like a state of mind (deliver info)
  4. Ask for the buy (closing)