3 min read

A confession, a question, and some links

Welcome to the new year (yes, I know this isn't my first post of the year)

I'm just going to come right at it with the confession: I started this year with no idea what I was doing. For the longest of times now, when the calendar turns over to December I've got a pretty good sense of my themes for the year to come and just need to put in a bit of legwork to flesh them out.

Not this year.

Sometime around January 3rd, I tried to write something down...and this was what I wrote:

  • Embrace natural rhythms
  • Strengthen the foundation

Which is all pretty hand wringey. Like, what exactly does that mean?1 They aren't bad, exactly, they just don't really provide much of a sense of animating purpose for me.

That absence of a real defining theme is indicative of a deeper truth: I'm at a bit of a crossroads asking some of the bigger deeper questions about "what comes next." I don't like saying this out loud, but I will: I'm trying to figure out the thing for which I want to push all of the chips into the middle of the table, and I don't even really know where to start.

“A man standing on the edge of an unfinished bridge unable to see the other side, stained glass” Stable Diffusion

Fortunately for me, I have an amazing coach and when I shared that with her, she pointed out to me that exploring different possibilities in order to make that discovery might just be the animating theme for the year. And as soon as she said it, it was like a dozen different things all clicked into place at once.

I'm still not really sure what I'm doing...but I'm going to explore, I'm going to look for opportunities that force me to venture out of my comfort zone, and I'm going to see what starts to emerge.

Here's what that means for the newsletter...

My plan for this year is to publish twice a month - one short post that will mostly consist of 3-5 links to interesting things I've come across, one longer post that delves into some aspect of product development, innovation, and/or education.

Which brings us to the question...

For those longer posts:

what would you like to learn about here?

Are there topics you'd like me to cover, questions you're grappling with? Send them my way! I had a great conversation with a friend at the end of last year, and he dropped an idea on me that I hadn't thought about and am pretty keen to share about.

So, just respond to me directly right here2 and let me know. I'll read every response and comment and give them all real consideration3.

  • Craig Mod's essay about how the archetypes we have around us influence us is stunning and really made me pause multiple times to consider how I'm raising my children and what possibilities they're exposed to.

  • Scott Rao is kind of a big deal in the coffee world. He has just started a small batch roastery, and this write up captures so much of why he's a big deal: deep understanding of the why and the how, impeccable attention to detail, and unforgiving standards. If I were in the US, I would absolutely try and get my hands on a bag of Prodigal Coffee.

  • The news of noma's impending closure4 is a moment to reflect on the relentlessness that accompanies so much creative work and who absorbs the hidden costs of those demands. I thought the NYT write up balanced the accolades and the problems of not just the one restaurant, but the restaurant industry more broadly.

  1. True story: they're both still on my theme list, and I'm still not totally sure what it's going to mean to embrace natural rhythms

  2. or even in the comments if you feel so bold

  3. no promises beyond that

  4. yes, yes, in 2024