#22 Measure twice, cut once
How to do more, better and learn from almost anything
Recently, a colleague shared that he has hired an ‘analyst’ to do research for him. The analyst does deep dives for various topics of interest that my colleague shares. And then, he provides well-crafted summaries and a curated list of references. Interestingly, these briefs do not need to restrict to work-related topics.
At first, I found it odd. How can one outsource 'thinking'? Isn't this what we white-collar workers are supposed to do. But, as I think more about it, I find it actually a very smart move. This approach has two powerful benefits:
1. It allows one to best use his time for the job most suited for his calibre & expected impact.
2. It aids one with extra capabilities - those he may not be good at to start with. It's especially true when you're looking for skills like sketching, writing, fieldwork etc.
There are a lot of things, we don't think we can do. Or we should do. Only when we do them, we realize the real value they can unleash. If you're looking for some inspiration, 'things you're allowed to do' has some good tips.
Today, I discovered many gems from across the world, so have a long list ahead of interesting readings for you. Let’s dive in right away.
The balance between "build fast" & "first time right" is a delicate one. There is a cost of everything - including a missed or a delayed launch. Experienced operators rely on their past experiences. It may not be perfect but works ok most of the time as it is based on learnings acquired by doing. Openness to iterations and 1% improvement mindset helps hone this further. But, If you lack experience, awareness of risks & rewards can be a good starting point.
This article builds on the wisdom of the carpentry world - Measure twice, cut once. It shares some perspectives for product designers and coders. You can easily extend the logic to your work if you're a creator.
Once in a while, you come across some weird theory explaining life’s lessons in their own unique ways. Below I share two interesting examples. You may agree or disagree with the theory itself. But the logical approach and creative expression are worth the read.
Helsinki bus station theory: A hundred self-help books urge you to have the guts to be "different": the kid who drops out of university to launch a crazy-sounding startup becomes a cultural hero… yet the Helsinki theory suggests that if you pursue originality too vigorously, you'll never reach it. Sometimes it takes more guts to keep trudging down a pre-trodden path, to the originality beyond. "Stay on the fucking bus." Also, because in the first weeks or years of any worthwhile project, feedback – whether from your own emotions, or from other people – isn't a reliable indication of how you're doing. So stay persistent.
Russel’s teapot: if you are going to make claims that are difficult to verify, the burden of proof lies on the one making a claim — not on any skeptics to disprove it. Here’s a beautiful sketchplanation about the same.
Image credit: Sketchplanations
A rolling inside can for easy emptying
A sensor to alert workers when a can is full
Durable to withstand street life
That was the brief. The city’s envisioned a top price tag of less than $1,000 a can. But it looks like now that this will come at as high as $5,000 a can. San Francisco will spend from $6.6 million to $16.5 million to replace the city’s existing public trash cans, and those are estimates made at the present moment. Who knows what things will cost when the manufacturing actually commences.
The story in this article felt so much like a Jaspal Bhatti episode. And guess what, it's is not yet over. If I ever go to SFO, will keep an eye out for those $5000 trash cans. They need a better name, I must say.
Little moments of Joy: Starting this new section to share some remarkable works of art & words. Ektara publishes books, magazines and other stationery like this card to help raise interest in Hindi literature for kids of all ages. It’s been fun & nostalgic for me. Hope you will like it as well.
Credit: Ektara & team.
Some random goodness from the internet:
Web: The Dry Stone Wall Association of Ireland organized a miniature dry stone walling competition. Wait! Who? What? See for yourself. I’m confident, you have played this game at least once in your life.
Web: An artist can create a world with just their imagination. Here is a great example. These photos are like the most beautiful & distant places on earth, just that they are not.
Instagram: Avatars, 3D, Typography - I’m sold. Yippiehey is one of the most beautiful & cute accounts I discovered recently. I envy folks who can create such fun stuff.
Instagram: Album covers, Lego - Adnan’s upupv account is like the minimal poster on creative adrenalin.
Twitter: I shared some secrets about sources of my recommendations in this thread here. If you’re on Twitter, do follow @8priteshj on Twitter for more such threads & posts.
Before we sign off, here's a snapshot of a tweet (actually two tweets) worth saving.
That's all for this week, folks!
Last week’s post had a 38% open rate. Something really broke last time, I still don’t know. If you know or have a hunch, do share.
130 subscribers will get ‘Stay Curious’ in their email this week. I write this newsletter to share what I learnt from others. If you learnt something from this today, why not share it with a couple of your friends to continue this chain?
PS: Today's post is grade 5 as per https://hemingwayapp.com/