Talks, Tech, and Toys

Jun 24, 2021 4:31 am

Hey there,

Thanks for joining me. I just celebrated my 25th birthday on Tuesday, and I'm already starting to feel my age. I'm no longer in university anymore, which means I'm officially in the "real world", so that means I'm in the same boat as most of you now. I'm not sure how to feel about that, but I'll probably have some reflections that I'll share at the end of the year.

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Interesting Finds

Harder Than It Looks, Not As Fun As It Seems: "Good advice that took me a while to learn is that everything is sales. Everything is sales. It’s usually framed as career advice – no matter what your role in a company is, your ultimate job is to help sales. But it applies to so many things.

Everything is sales also means that everyone is trying to craft an image of who they are. The image helps them sell themselves to others. Some are more aggressive than others, but everyone plays the image game, even if it’s subconscious. Since they’re crafting the image, it’s not a complete view. There’s a filter. Skills are advertised, flaws are hidden."

A great reminder from Morgan Housel that the grass is always greener on the other side.

How to Sound Smart in Your TEDx Talk: This is a great 6 minute video I came across weeks ago about how to speak well. Cheeky title aside, it's a masterclass on how tone, pace, and body language can help you give an engaging talk even with no content whatsoever. I had a good laugh, and I hope you do too.

The Next Big Thing Will Start Out Looking Like A Toy: "Disruptive technologies are dismissed as toys because when they are first launched they “undershoot” user needsThe first telephone could only carry voices a mile or two. The leading telco of the time, Western Union, passed on acquiring the phone because they didn’t see how it could possibly be useful to businesses and railroads – their primary customers."

This is an old piece by Chris Dixon, but it's worth thinking about. Most of the things we can't live without now weren't always obvious - for example we only put wheels on luggage in 1970 - and it's a fun thought experiment to consider what non-obvious technology we have right now that's going to be huge in the future. Write it down, and 20 years later, the answer might surprise you. 

Status As A Service: The first thing to note about this piece by Eugene Wei is that it's an extremely long read. Like 19,000 words long. The second is that this is a very detailed and fascinating take into what makes social networks take off. The short of is that all humans seek status, and the the best social media platforms have developed a way for its users to accrue more of it. I imagine most of you don't have the 30-40 mins it'll take to read this in full, but if tech and media are things you're interested in, you'll want to bookmark this.

Mimetic Theory and Desire: ICYMI, I compiled some notes on Luke Burgis' book, Wanting, a couple of weeks ago. It's a great introduction to mimetic theory, which I think everyone would benefit greatly from understanding.


As usual, let me know what you think.

Talk soon,