Can we ‘power pose’ our way out of a debt crisis?

Something is clearly happening to the prices of commodities over the last year.

  • Soybeans: +59%
  • Copper: +46%
  • Coffee: +25%

In 1956 a gentleman named VF Ridgeway stated:

‘What gets measured gets managed.’

The quote implies that the metrics we choose to focus on impact behavior in an organization.

But what is management? Is it leadership? Is it spin? Is it manipulation?

Are elites properly managing the KPIs of economic stability? Or are they…

Image Credit: Disney / the CCP

The apparent liability of individualism

In the early dawn of the American experiment, a man uttered:

“Give me liberty, or give me death.”

Along with ‘don’t tread on me,’ these words form the seemingly unflappable center of the American value of individual sovereignty. Most Americans couldn’t imagine any value superseding the notion that inalienable rights both exist and must be protected.

On a zoomed out timescale of human civilization this idea is pretty dang unusual. It’s even somewhat novel amongst this motley crew of modern nation states we have to choose from today.

Simple regression to the mean logic suggests the staying power of individualism…

I used to be subscribed to about 25 podcasts. Some of them caught me up on politics, others explored philosophical ideas, still others covered technology.

Now I’m down to five, because I realized I was smothering my own creativity. The same thing might be happening to you.

Don’t get my wrong, the revivification of the ancient oral tradition through podcasting is a good thing. It has boosted the bioavailability of high-quality information, especially for blue-collar workers who listen to such programs while operating cranes, trucks, and working on factory floors.

But I noticed a problem with my own consumption of…

Effortlessly processing occurrences without losing internal calmness is a great gift to give yourself. Recently I’ve noticed I’m doing a better job staying centered when things go south.

This feels suspiciously like happiness, and I’m here for it. This skill breaks the linkage between internal state and external stressors, leading to a calmer life.

The best podcast of 2019 in my opinion.

The best podcast of 2019 for me was Naval Ravikant’s Wealth Creation podcast (based on a tweetstorm).

The advice he gives on building wealth overlaps with a few principles I’ve been learning the hard way over the last few years, so I found his advice highly actionable.

In this article I summarize my takeaways from listening and add some of my own gloss atop his ideas so that they better fit in my own jigsaw of mental models.

I encourage you to listen to the bundle episode and work the ideas that resonate with you into your own models for…

Illustration by: Lauren Stilwell

Theranos, Elizabeth Holmes, and the lure of fakery.

“If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them.

But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”

― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Theranos started out as a noble quest to change the world.

The fraud emerged later on — when a damaged moral compass met a vicious survival situation.

Her device was named the Edison, after one of her heroes. The name is fitting, as…

Yes, I know that GoDaddy is not a great company to support given their SOPA / PIPA lobbying. That said, I’ve been buying domains here since I was in elementary school. I am a creature of habit, don’t yell at me you internet nerds.

Recently I went into the rats nest that is GoDaddy’s dashboard to setup a free email forwarding address for a side project. I found it fairly impossible. Thus leads me to this post.

Here is how to do this in the 2019 version of GoDaddy’s dashboard and Gmail. It will take you about 30 minutes. …

Why unchecked openness will destroy your company

More of an audio person? Listen to this blog post here.

What are the traits of great founders? A 2006 study by Zhao, H. & Seibert, S.E. meta-analyzed 23 studies and mapped the findings onto the Big Five personality model.

The paper reveals entrepreneurs tend to exhibit higher conscientiousness and openness when compared to non-entrepreneurial managers. While interesting, the study failed to correlate these traits with the financial outcomes for the founders in the study. …

“Holding wrong opinions in one’s head and making bad decisions based on them instead of having thoughtful disagreements is one of the greatest tragedies of mankind.” — Ray Dalio

The evidence shows humans are wired to organize people, objects, and ideas into stacks prioritized from ‘top’ to ‘bottom.’ In the context of human organizations, this biologically wired human behavior gives rise to the canonical Org Chart.

In recent years, we’ve seen experimental departures from the traditional org charts at companies like Medium, Valve, and Zappos. These experiments have lead to generally poor results.

The difference between functional and corrupt hierarchies…

I’m ruthlessly particular about which software I organize my life within.

I’ve learned almost all software is complete crap. So, when I find a tool that really works for me it’s an exciting day.

The same is true of productivity workflows. Most are nonsensical crap. A few though, are great.

The effective marrying of workflows and software is the best way I know to wrangle daily noise and win the fight over workplace entropy.

This post runs through how I’ve merged my favorite email workflow (One Touch Email) with my favorite email and to-do list apps (Google Inbox and Airtable).

What is One Touch Email?

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