In his annual letter to shareholders, Jeff Bezos answered a question that had been following him around for twenty years: what does Day 2 look like. Bezos painted a bleak picture of stasis, irrelevance, excruciating painful decline, and ultimately death before describing four strategies to avoid falling into Day 2.1 Bezos’s… Continue Reading Why write?

Think about the last time you were in an elevator. Did you pull out your phone to check your email or get an update on the score of the game? How many people were playing with theirs? Adjusting the song they were listening to as they rocked out in a… Continue Reading Optimizing for the experience

When we meet people for the first time, we are filling in gaps with all of the information we can gather about a person. No matter how good we are at extracting information, blind spots are bound to remain – people are just too complicated to be fully understood in… Continue Reading Where do you live?

Permanence is beautiful. I would argue that one reason we gravitate toward immortal divine beings is that there’s comfort and solace in knowing that they will always be there. From a marketing perspective there’s great appeal too and Ford built a brand around being built to last. Or look at… Continue Reading This too shall pass and thoughts on (im)permanence

I had wanted to write something smart tonight. The topic was all picked out, I had researched it, and I’d even thought of an anecdote about how it related to my life. Then I started writing it and the wheels came off. I tried dozens of different approaches, variations, and… Continue Reading Acknowledge then correct; skip the judgment

“An artist must have downtime, time to do nothing.” — Julia Cameron A few months back, I was talking to a friend who confided that he filled all of the gaps in his day by reading the news on his phone or listening to a podcast. We talked about why… Continue Reading Drowning out thoughts

“Hog Butcher for the World, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with Railroads and the Nation’s Freight Handler; Stormy, husky, brawling, City of the Big Shoulders: ” So begins Carl Sandburg’s poem, Chicago.1 As I was looking out my window at the city of Chicago this week, I was struck… Continue Reading City of Big Shoulders

In my first corporate orientation class, I participated in a professional writing seminar lad by Curry Young Consultants. In terms of return on investment, there are few hours of my life that I’ve referenced as much as that session. I think about these lessons surprisingly regularly, and over the past… Continue Reading Looking at the keys to successful (email) communication

“If they don’t know your dreams, then they can’t shoot ’em down” – J.Cole Most kids learn to share at an early age. It’s a lesson that seems to get pushed toward the back as we grow older and our environment becomes more competitive, however, when it comes to ideas… Continue Reading Alleviating the pressure to be right

Commitments are easy to accumulate and much harder to extricate from. One of the reasons why I’ve felt this week to be particularly appropriate for a reading diet is that while unsubscribing from newsletters and mailing lists, I noticed that the emails that I was most attached to were also… Continue Reading Graveyard of Good Intentions