Hello world and welcome back! If this is the first you’re seeing of this email, feel free to check issue #1 to understand my hopes and goals for this.
After staying near the DC area for over 7 months, I was able to visit my home in St. Louis this past week. The realities of the common work schedule are apparent: most weeks are spent working with time off as needed. I learned my patterns and picked up a routine fairly early on, and felt I was getting the time to do what I wanted outside of work. But as the new year passed and the cycle continued, it struck me how little time I spent reflecting on priorities of the past and future, and intentionally removing myself from this constant course. I enjoy my day to day, yet the takeaway is independent of career. Time easily escapes us, and limits the ability to reevaluate priorities and focus on parts of life that are truly meaningful. For some it’s work and for others it is family and others eating certain foods. Home was a needed reminder to recognize internal priorities. I recently read an article that captures this in a more visual manner - check it out here.
“It turns out that when I graduated from high school, I had already used up 93% of my in-person parent time. I’m now enjoying the last 5% of that time.
I do make it a priority to talk to my family on a regular basis, but the statistics show that our time is not distributed evenly. Different relationships fill various gaps, making it ever more important to recognize and act on each. Cherish those close to you, especially immediate family. Sometimes the tail end of that that ‘person’ is closer than we think.
Anyway, round 2 of SB:
Who I'm Thinking About
What I find most striking about leaders, particularly entrepreneurs, CEO’s, heads of organizations, is the downstream flow of vision and the way in which it emanates throughout their group of ‘followers’ (employees, mentees, public). My last article touched on the varied role of the COO and their complementary nature to the CEO. At the top of the pyramid, the attitudes and personas are exposed. Through interviews, strategic decisions, and overall lifestyle, true character is eventually revealed, and will usually bubble down and influence the company/organization culture. The way such leaders view others and the world as a whole often acts as a strong indication of what problems their organization will be working to solve and the means in which they get there. I’ve dug into a few of the more prominent leaders to try to better understand how these personalities truly shape the structure and values of organizations - my most recent focus has been the small town Omaha visionary Bill Gates. His passion for tackling problems, digging into complexity, and relentless optimism continues to amaze. My recommendation for the week is ’Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates’ on Netflix. More than just a recount of his work, it gives a glimpse into his philosophy on life and goals. As Davis Guggenheim states:
As I’ve gotten to know Bill in this phase of his life, it seems like he’s turned his whole life into one long, continuous work think week.
Gates’ framework on problems and life and data is simply arcane - his ability to break down any scope of problem and focus entirely on the pieces that can be improved makes for a captivating watch.
What I'm Reading
A more data-centric approach to Spotify and some of their predictive and statistical analysis. Spotify clearly has been instrumental in progressing music industry (pun), and their approach to music filtering and discovery is unmatched. Would highly recommend both articles on Discover Weekly as well as Spotify Unwrapped
Spotify’s Discover Weekly explained — Breaking from your music bubble or, maybe not?
The three algorithms behind Discover Weekly and the similarity/diversity problem.
Ad I'm Watching
A bit late for Super Bowl talk, but I recently read another article on the basis of change and how innovation is tangibly constituted - In this case, the powerful and influential Apple 1984 ad. How better to depict the ideals of being and building something different. Completely altered the landscape of super bowl commercials.
1984 Apple's Macintosh Commercial (HD)
http://www.mac-history.net/apple-history-tv/ads/2011-07-12/1984-the-famous-super-bowl-spot "1984" is an American television commercial which introduced the Apple Macintosh personal computer for the first time. It was conceived by Steve Hayden, Brent Thomas and Lee Clow at Chiat/Day, Venice, produced by New York production company Fairbanks Films, and directed by Ridley Scott. Anya Major performed as the unnamed heroine and David Graham as Big Brother. Its only U.S. daytime televised broadcast was on January 22, 1984 during and as part of the telecast of the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII. Chiat/Day also ran the ad one other time on television, in December 1983 right before the 1:00 am sign-off on KMVT in Twin Falls, Idaho, so that the advertisement could be submitted to award ceremonies for that year. In addition, starting on January 17, 1984 it was screened prior to previews in movie theaters for a few weeks. It has since been seen on television commercial compilation specials, as well as in "Retro-mercials" on TV Land. The estate of George Orwell and the television rightsholder to the novel 1984 considered the commercial to be a flagrant copyright infringement, and sent a cease-and-desist letter to Apple and Chiat/Day in April 1984. The commercial was never televised as a commercial after that.
Album I'm Listening To
Porter Robinson performed at Vandy during my Freshmen year and I can’t help but think back whenever I listen - love his Worlds album.
Thanks for reading! Again, my primarily goal is to share content that interests both me and you, and create a flow of relevant material. If there is anything you’ve enjoyed reading/watching, would love to hear.