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#83 You should be too busy to “do coffee” while still keeping an uncluttered calendar
Exploring new ideas, expanding the thought process
I just completed “The little book of hygge”. It’s one of the most beautiful books I have read - both for the ideas in it and how it represents them. It describes a life filled with “little moments of joy”. One does not need to wait for major events to happen to experience hygge. Just experience it in small niceties around you - some are there on their own, others you can make available with a little effort.
Give it a read - it will be worth your time in this festive month.
For now, let’s get to today’s discoveries.
1. Internal documentation
David Nunez was Uber’s first dedicated docs hire and the first-ever Head of Docs Content for Stripe. Yes, those are real roles and have been instrumental in creating a culture of internal documentation. In his post for First Round Review, Nunez outlines specific steps for creating a culture of good internal documentation hygiene.
Here’s a quick overview of his step by step guide:
Start with a cultural shift
Get started paying down your docs debt with a mvp approach
Stop the random acts of documentation and get organized
He has shared practical advice to make this post more actionable. I’ve just started on some documentation effort in my team, and I can surely vouch for the usability of these ideas.
2. Zero Click Content
Zero-Click content is content that offers valuable, standalone insights (or simply engaging material), with no need to click. Clicking might be additive, but it’s not required.
It’s the new reality of all content platforms (including google search) where the platform prefers to have the user stay put and not click through to any external endpoint. SERP, tweet threads, Instagram, Tiktok - all are somehow working towards the content that is almost self-sufficient.
Amanda Natividad has done a great job describing the topic and helping identify some approaches to do better content in this evolved world.
I’ve been dabbling between just providing the lead or providing a quick summary/takeaway from most of the content we enjoy here. Finally, I got a name for the approach.
(via Alex Garcia)
3. Understanding search intent
Alex Garcia did a short post on masterclass’s SEO strategy. It does a good job in summarizing a lot of “what” they did. I found this particular snippet about “search intent” very useful.
Masterclass has played a lot for the “information” intent above. Article shares some good examples on that and how it goes further with the re-marketing activities to drive conversions from this traffic.
4. Next wave of social apps
Anu Atluru had a very interesting take on social media in her recent post for Every. She argues - In the next era of Social, build rituals, not habits. She terms the older generation of social apps (Facebook, Twitter, Tiktok) as habitual social where the platforms have optimized for maximizing the daily time spent by the user. Some of the new generation social app like BeReal, Dispo & Wordle are chasing somewhat opposite goals. She termed them as Ritual social apps. She defines - “Ritual social apps aim to create regular, purposeful moments, even if small ones; they’re at their best as a mindful microdose of meaning and feel-good.”
Some interesting observations on user behaviour in social apps and mechanics that are evolving.
5. How to draw ideas
Ralph Ammer’s “How to draw ideas” is a fun read about the journey of exploration to expression. He has used drawings as a medium of expression, but it could very well be any other mode. Here’re the 4 roles “drawing” plays in this process:
Study: Fill your mind
Explore: Let it happen
Develop: See how it works
Show: Share what matters
I loved the way he has told this with his example of finding “ideas for a new flower pot.” Here is the key takeaway from the “Show” stage.
When we show an idea—as opposed to a final product—we usually want to make room for debate. The less we show, the more people can think and say. The drawing should be clear but not too elaborated. The text is kept simple and short. Too much information might suffocate precious feedback from others.
6. 52 things that I learned in 2022
“52 things that I learned in 2022” by Tom Whitwell is a good curation of some of the most interesting stories (and a one-line take away from them) from 2022. A quick read of the list is good fun; read the original posts if you like the summary. Here’re a few that I found interesting:
In the UK and Australia, people tend to turn left when entering a building. In the US, they turn right.
The creators of Sim City had a problem with car parking: “We realised there were way too many parking lots in the real world. Our game was going to be really boring if it was proportional in terms of parking lots.”
The saga of broken McDonald’s Ice Cream machines is the perfect parable of a plucky startup and a slow incumbent.
40% of global shipping involves moving fossil and other fuels (oil, gas, wood pellets) around. More renewables (solar, wind, nuclear, geo), means fewer ships.
I had covered the 2021 list in the post #31 last year, in case you want to read more.
7. Everything else
Some random goodness from the internet:
Rand defines seven levels of busy. He is good. And I am at the intersection of level 2 and 3 right now. (via YC Newsletter)
These images that could be album covers. I don’t need to say more. (via Morning Brew)
57 startup lessons by Slava Akhmechet has a lot of practical advice for those starting up (via Reza’s newsletter)
Spencer Hansen creates mythical creatures out of natural, found and recycled materials (via Dense Discovery).
Floor796 is an ever-expanding animation scene showing the life of the 796th floor of the huge space station! The goal of the project is to create as huge animation as possible, with many references to movies, games, anime and memes. Our “today” is getting preserved in an animation! (via YC Newsletter)
Chris Klimowski made a fun little game titled Six-Sided Streets. Try it out when you’re on a break. 102, that’s my latest score there.
Photography for geeks - quickly brush up some of the basics on light, focus & framing. I am looking for a good guide on how to make outdoor photography with mobile more fun. If any leads, do share.
Today’s post title is attributed to Naval. I picked it from the Almanack of Naval Ravikant.
Before we sign off, here's a quick tip or two from “The Little Book of Hygge”.
That's all for this week, folks!
I hope I've earned the privilege of your time.
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?