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Hi and welcome to the post #119.
I am enjoying a small break in God's own country. This post was programmed & scheduled on Friday night. But that does not change anything for you & me. “Stay Curious” focuses on ideas that are timeless and will always remain relevant.
Let’s see what’s in today’s catch:
🪞Art of Self-Awareness
🔫 Seeing the Matrix
🤝 Creating Connection
🛠️ A Blacksmith’s Sign
✂️ Psychology x Rock-Paper-Scissors
And much more…
And with that, let’s dive in.
1. Art of Self-Awareness
Dr. Emily Anhalt’s post for First Round Review – “The art of self-awareness” – builds on a core idea:
Successful leaders keep an eye on the personality traits that have helped them achieve their success. Strengths without self-awareness become weaknesses. Strengths examined regularly become superpowers.
She has taken 5 commonly found traits in behaviour of successful entrepreneurs.
She talks about how each trait can be an incredible buoy when the seas are choppy, and how it can also become an anchor scraping along the bottom, hindering progress.
Her observations are highly relatable and solutions worth exploring! If you’re in that ‘startup’ phase of your career and life, then this post has a lot to offer to you.
2. Where do you get your dopamine?
Nat Friedman’s about me page (or is that his complete website?) has a lot of gems. Here’re two of my favourites:
It's much easier to work on things that are exciting to you
It might be easier to do big things than small things for this reason
Energy is a necessary input for progress
Where do you get your dopamine?
The answer is predictive of your behavior
Better to get your dopamine from improving your ideas than from having them validated
It's ok to get yours from "making things happen"
3. “Seeing The Matrix” For A Product Leader
If you have seen The Matrix (original) or are a Keanu Reeves fan, then I don’t need to describe what “Seeing the Matrix” means.
Scott Belsky takes inspiration from that and collated what essential realizations cause product leaders to see every challenge and opportunity differently?
It’s a brilliant list covering things that are difficult to give a name to or teach in a course. Here’re a couple of picks from the list:
That, as a startup, you should only do half of what you want to do (only half the options, half the tabs, half the offerings, and half the target audience) to compound your chances of true PMF.
That the best way to review a product experience is to ask 3 questions on EVERY screen: “how did I get here?” “what do I do now?” “where do I go next?” — these questions will reveal flaws in object model, UX, onboarding, and orientation.
That you only get what you inspect, not what you expect.
That the best new products ultimately take us back to the way things once were, but with more scale and efficiency.
I love Scott Belsky’s writing. His book “The Messy Middle” talks of a phase of startup journey that’s rarely spoken about. In case you’re interested, I had covered key learnings from this book in #37, #38 and #39.
4. Thankyou, No problems or My pleasure
Another gem from Seth Godin. Taking liberty to snapshot and share it in full.
5. A Blacksmith’s Sign
John V Willshire’s “10 years later: a decade of Smithery” covers 5 key learning he collected from his journey. I liked this as these are not the usual lessons and articulation you find in such posts. Here’s one that connected me the most - a blacksmith’s sign. Below I share a snippet covering the same:
Another one that gives a good framework to think about where to put your energy.
Knowing what good looks like: Find a way to find a balance that does you good in a variety of ways. Long term and short term. Financially, intellectually and emotionally. Know what good looks like for you.
6. Light reads
Some interesting posts & essays from not so usual topics of interest.
The Psychological Depths of Rock-Paper-Scissors by Greg Costikyan
[...] At first glance rock-paper-scissors appears to be a guessing game, with victory going to the player who can outguess his opponent; at second glance, it appears to be purely arbitrary; and at third glance, the original supposition is justified. It is, in fact, a guessing game with victory going to the player who can outguess his opponent, but there are strategies to “outguessing.”
In command by Jason Cohen
By being “in command” doesn’t mean you’re constantly telling people what to do. It means you’re acting as an editor, not a writer, unless being a writer is necessary to make progress. And if that is happening constantly, that you make a change on the team so that it’s not happening constantly. That might mean changing someone else, or changing yourself1.
7. Everything else
Some random goodness from the internet:
Ornamental Hermits were 18th-century England's must-have garden accessory.
Duolingo’s Brand Book is a great reference for new age brands. It’s got a lot of details, but never misses clear and sharp articulation.
A funny thread on corporate accounts that are big in the shitposting game! Hats off to the brand managers who green signal such efforts.
The title of today’s post is from Smithery post by John V Willshire.
That's all for this week, folks!
I hope I've earned the privilege of your time.
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