Discover more from Stay Curious
🗝️ And the key to culture is it's a framework for making decisions.
Your weekly dose of new ideas & inspirations.
Hi 👋, Pritesh here.
Welcome to the post #114. Thanks a lot for those comments & messages on last week’s post. It means a lot to see that these ideas connected & helped spark a conversation.
A lot has happened since last week.
Zuck started the war with Twitter. Threads is here. I am still figuring out why my threads feed is so weird!
Paul Graham published a new essay after a long time. I am yet to take out a couple of hours to read it.
Case studies of Barbie's movie marketing genius became the next cool thing to cover. I have a 101 on this, in case you don’t want to sound ignorant.
As usual, we will skip what’s in trend and focus only on ideas that are timeless. Here’s a quick glance of today’s post:
3️⃣ Three product teams
🧑🔧 How to operate
🪧 Gestalt Principles of Design
❓ Asking hard questions
🥇 Getting it first time right
And much more…
Please leave a comment or send a message with your feedback. It’s highly helpful & encouraging. If that’s too much of an effort (or not required), at least hit the ❤️ at the start or end of the post to show your love.
And with that, let’s dive in.
1. Three Product Teams
Great thinking models help sharpen the thinking and bring you closer to the actionable inputs. John Cutler’s “Three product teams” shares a great example of that. John explores three popular models for product teams.
Sprint, Story, and Backlog-Centric
Team and Mission-Centric
Engineer-Centric (with Rockstar PMs)
Each model manifests in some core beliefs that led to its success or failure. John’s exploration of these beliefs is a highly insightful discourse. I find them relatable and very helpful in understanding my project/ team dynamics. I had so many ‘aha’ moments reading & rereading this one.
2. How to Operate
Keith Rabois’s input on leadership & execution are the most succinct lessons I’ve seen on this topic. This video “How to operate” is from a lecture that he gave to a class of Y Combinator founders. It's a masterclass in just 45 minutes.
He compares the role of a leader to that of an editor for a magazine. Some snippet covering this (lightly edited for brevity):
The first thing editors do is to take out a red pen and start striking things. Basically eliminating things, the biggest task of an editor is to simplify, simplify, simplify and that usually means omitting things. So that's your job too, is to clarify and simplify for everybody on your team. The more you simplify, the better people will perform.
Second thing editors do, is they ask you clarifying questions. We try to narrow down to, what are the one two three four things that matter most to this company? And only focus on those things. So it allows us to be more decisive and we can make decisions rapidly.
3. Gestalt Principles of Design
The Gestalt Principles of Design are a set of concepts and guidelines drawn from gestalt psychology, which theorizes that the mind tends to process organized groups of things as a whole, rather than a number of individual things. These concepts can help to integrate a better understanding of perception into the way we arrange information, so that we can communicate more effectively.
Christopher Butler has created a series of mini-essays explaining these. Here’s a quick link and one liner intro to the topic they cover.
Proximity: When objects are placed near one another, the mind perceives them as a group.
Closure: The mind is capable of perceiving more information than what is actually visible.
Similarity: When objects look similar to one another, the mind perceives them as a group or pattern.
Continuity: Elements that are arranged on a line or curve are perceived as more related than elements that are not.
Symmetry: We tend to perceive symmetrical elements as being connected, even if they are not.
4. Asking Hard Questions
I am continuing on the theme of leadership & becoming a great operator. In “Ask questions, repeat the hard parts, and listen”, Michael Lopp has a bunch of tricks to help you operate better. The title says it all. If you’re not convinced, this summary can give you more reasons.
So, I listen. I ask questions, and I listen to your answers. I repeat the hard parts, and I watch you listen to me. For the record, these moments are when I most feel like a leader.
5. First Time Right
John Wentworth and David Lorell’s essay “Lessons on how to get things right on the first try” is a masterclass in storytelling to teach new (and complex) concepts. You’ve to read it to experience their way of explaining complex topics. Here’s a snippet for your reference:
Most people have an instinct to pour additional effort into the things they know how to do, rather than spend time finding some way to tackle things they don’t know yet how to handle. Getting the ball in the cup does require some work - estimating velocity from pixels in a video is more work than an equation, especially if you know the math - but it’s more about applying the right kind of effort, rather than applying more of it.
6. Light reads & watch
Some interesting posts & essays that are well worth reading.
I was living under the rock and missed all the Barbie noise. This chitthi did a good coverage and now I can talk about it in a group. Start here if you are also feeling late to the party.
Ari Emanuel is never indifferent - from the Freakonomics radio podcast. If you liked Entourage, you have to listen to this one! Ari is the reason that series existed!
7. Everything else
Some random goodness from the internet:
The Loneliness Project shares weekly stories of loneliness. Visit an apartment to experience it. If I have to share one key message - “there is no single flavor of loneliness”.
World's most inventive clocks. Rick Stanley makes clocks using everything from bottles to bicycles; each one of them completely unique and accurate. (via Rishi’s 10+1 things)
I’m loving “Sandeep Bhaiya” from TVF. Low on drama, high on emotions. TVF is becoming a powerhouse of really sharp & touching storytelling from India.
Every aspirant has three stages - 1) Self doubt - are you made for this? , 2) Self confidence - even if you are made for this, will you be able to do it?, and 3) Anxiety - what if you did not get through.
The title of today’s post is taken from Keith Rabois’s video.
Before we sign off, I want to leave you with this snippet from Gabrielle Zevin’s “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow”.
There is a time for any fledgling artist where one’s taste exceeds one’s ability. The only way to get through this period is to make things anyway.
Thanks Sachin for this recommendation. I am loving this book!
That's all for this week, folks!
I hope I've earned the privilege of your time.