The book I'm most excited about at the moment is Jo Walton's Necessity. It's the third in a series about the lessons that gods and humans can learn from each other. I tore through the first two books and will be a little sad to reach the end of this one!
I've been thinking a bit about Tobias van Schneider's article on the Ringelmann Effect. Basically, it describes a phenomenon where individual productivity tends to decrease as group size increases.
I think this might partially explain why the early days of startups have such an amazing learning curve and sense of personal contribution. If you don't pull on that rope, your idea literally won't go anywhere. Or, as my friend Tyler Wanlass put it, "Make it happen. No one is going to do it for you."
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When we focus too deeply on our productivity, it becomes easy to see ourselves as a collection of outputs. But we are more than just the sum of what we’ve accomplished. We’re also the sum of what we’ve learned, heard, read, watched, reflected on, believed in, and listened to.
After two years of helping Buffer launch validated features, I've noticed that confidence often looks (and feels) a lot like excitement. That means that, if your team isn't excited about what they're working on, it might be a customer development challenge.
One of the most freeing thoughts I’ve come across is that, outside of mathematics, it’s a lot harder to be wrong than you think.
I’ve always been interested in the stories of how our common design elements came to exist, and I think the history of the “magnifying glass” search icon is especially great because it shows how metaphors can creep into our designs and take on a life of their own.