#25 Opinions are like belly buttons - everyone has one, and they are all different.
Love letters, mental models, tools & a joke worth enjoying
In Professionals, hacks and amateurs, Seth Godin uses the lens of ‘resolve and intent’ to explain the difference between a professional & an amateur. Here’s what he describes as an amateur.
The amateur contributes with unfiltered joy. There’s really no other upside—create your work because you can, because it helps someone else, because it makes you feel good.
I found this reference in Tools for professions, tools for amateurs where the author has compared Seth Godin’s take to a couple of other definitions. You may subscribe to any version. But, the take on tools is actually very accurate and surprisingly simple. It’s so much enjoyable when someone puts a complex idea in such simple terms.
I’m an amateur at writing and in many other areas. My real joy is in creating (curating to be more accurate). That, it helps someone else, is a bonus for me.
And on that thought, let’s get to today’s findings.
Most mental models sound or read so simple. They almost always come with Déjà vu feeling. Still, that’s not their real game. They are simple, but not easy if you want to apply them effectively. This post on Future from a16z is a great read on this topic. It goes to a great depth explaining two powerful mental models: Network Effects and Critical Mass.
For the young readers, examples like Friendster and Beta/VHS might sound unfamiliar. But don't worry, this essay does a great job even without them.
For all the supply chain enthusiasts, Ryan Petersen is the person to follow on Twitter. He is the CEO of Flexport, a freight forwarding and customs brokerage startup based in SFO. His recent threads on his observations from Long Beach (here and here) cover a lot of basics on the supply chain.
If you've read The Goal, you will find his approach very familiar.
The story of Jani, a 4-foot plush giraffe is another good take on the ongoing supply chain crisis. Loved the length to which TIME has gone to make this topic interesting & relatable.
Storytelling is more than getting the word out, it’s about getting through and being felt. Kat Cole described some nuance of this art in this insightful post in her newsletter. She calls her approach - The ‘Love Letter’ Framework. She recommends:
Write a love letter to each of these groups.
Customers & Community: a love letter to your key stakeholders, what they go through, and the impact they have on your company and the world at large
Founder and Origin Story: a love letter to your roots and beginning
Brand, Business, Product: a love letter about what you make and what you stand for
I got to work on each of these areas in the last few years. From employee onboarding to change management - I tried to rely on telling the 'why' and from the core of my heart. I guess I have started on the love letter framework already, have to keep mastering this now.
Our jokes were more innocent and funnier when we were kids.
Credit: Ektara & team.
Some random goodness from the internet:
Instagram: Martin Naumann gives a makeover to popular logos at @mnaumanndesign. Superman & Batman are my favourites amongst his work.
Web: Bryan Braun creates many things - animations, images, videos, interactive games - all using checkboxes. What do you think - creative or geeky?
Short read: How Flow Saved a Chef, behind the scene from the life of a famous chef. His workflows & ideas are so simple. It is the execution that makes them powerful and worthy of a blog like this.
Short read: Progress vs Perfection, another gem from my friend Satyajit Rout. Good read on when to stay lo-fi and when to aim for the most beautiful version out there.
Longread: The Strange, True Story of John Williams and Charles Pennock. In the early 1900s it wasn't unusual for men to suddenly go missing. Among them were two accomplished bird experts whose lives turned out to be surprisingly intertwined. This is Netflix documentary stuff.
Before we sign off, here's a snapshot of a tweet worth saving.
That's all for this week, folks!
If you enjoyed this post, show your love by commenting and liking it. 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?
Great collection of ideas in this piece. I realised there's a decent overlap between what you and I read. Thanks for curating!
On the professional and amateur difference, I was having this conversation on two ways of achieving expertise. One is knowing the end goal and working intentionally and the other is not knowing the end but following your curiosity. My hunch is that the creator economy is being kind to hobbyists and allowing them the space to discover where they want to go--something we didn't always have.