Adam Grant: Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers (TED)

I really like this video. It articulates what I’ve intuited for years—that procrastination is a method of refining good ideas. I can also appreciate that trying and failing repeatedly is another source of success. Original thinkers would rather mull over their ideas for a long time, rather than rushing them into the world. Yes, they fail the vast majority of the time, but the good ideas will outlast the weak. This is well worth a click.

Briefly. What is a Creative Brief?

Agencies all over the world work on interesting problems, complex problems, all with seemingly unreachable goals. In the large majority of cases those problem solving endeavors begin with a short document that sets the objectives, the restrictions, and the goals—the Brief. This video captures the thoughts and recommendations from a wide swath of creative leaders about how to come upon a great brief—that leads to amazing work. The video, produced by Bassett & Partners, features the thoughts and ideas of Yves Behar, John Boiler, John C. Jay and Frank Gehry.

Gary Vaynerchuk: How to Tell Stories in an A.D.D. World

Vaynerchuk gets right to the heart of the matter and calls BS on the vast majority of marketers. In a wide-ranging, concentrated 16 minutes of marketing insights, GV goes beyond just storytelling in a world where attention is the highest valued commodity, he lambasts the notion that you can do marketing as a broadcast media in “social media,” he recognizes that out of home advertising is dying because 23-3 out of 5 drivers on texting. The heart of the matter, as Vaynerchuk sees it, is we are all human beings and we want to be respected, engaged on quality and value, rather than BS sales and marketing-speak.

Zeitlisting: Listing the Year-End Lists

Imagination is more important than knowledge. – Albert Einstein

I love lists, especially end-of-the-year lists, which obviously lean in one of two directions — looking forward or looking back. The best backward-looking lists capture the zeitgeist of the year and bundle everything I summarily ignored at the time into a neat little heap that I can rummage through while I wait out the end of the year. I am assured by the content generators that I can make up for a ton of inattention and neglect over the last twelve months in a single fell swoop, and proudly carry a dab of cultural momentum into the new year. I’m skeptical of the hindsight of others, experience is too subjective, knowledge contained in lists is too localized to carry through.

Predicting the future takes a great deal more imagination, and is somehow less objectionable and self-serving. It’s more work to extrapolate, for sure, but it carries far fewer risks than a pithy summary of things we’ve already experienced. We all overvalue our own opinions too much to let other people decide what past pith is perfectly indicative of the year. The future? Well that’s just speculation. What do we care. Have at it.

I acknowledge that most of these year-end list are basically self-promotional, or an equal measure of wishful thinking and educated shot in the dark. I thought I would work toward the mean and create a matrix of the best thirty five articles available, extracting out the individual keywords, and tracking the number of mentions. I was curious if a consensus could mitigate some of the blather a little bit. I think it did, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Here are the five ideas that made the most 2014 lists this year:

The Internet of Things: Wearable Computers, Google Glass, Smart Watches, Sensors on Everything

I think in 2013 Edward Snowden revealed a lot about what happens to our online activities as their remnants pass through the ether. If we can track even more about ourselves, to the nanosecond and to the millimeter, and every single device we touch reports back to the host(s), then any pause we have been given by the abuse of our current data ought to transform into a progressive full-stop.

Big Data: Predictive/Visualized/Simplified/Actionable Big Data

The flip side of trend number one, is that the owners (or viewers) of all of that data place a tremendous amount of value on the results therein. The conclusions and resultant actions will feedback an equal and opposite reaction to each and every one of our actions, and it’s going to get awfully pingy up in here.

Cloud: A $100B Cloud for Everything/Personal Cloud Services

Everything, everywhere should be centralized and stored, always on, always addressable, and omnipresent. That is assumedly easier for everyone—all of tracked and all of the trackers. And let’s just hope that we all have electricity forever and forever, or else the sum of all knowledge, and a full record of our culture, will come with a kill switch.

3D Printing

And here, finally, we find evidence that the real world is still affected by the digital age in a way that’s not purely reactionary. Yes, Virgina, there can be output from the online world that finds it’s way back into our offline lives (and landfills).

Raging Against the Machine: Turning off/Tuning Out/Better Work/Life Balance

And here we end. With the most revolutionary idea of them all: turning off, tuning out, and just be-ing. As someone conceived in the Summer of Love it seems only fitting that this trend enter the charts at the grassroots, and sit poised to transform into a movement away from the echo chamber of digital hype cycles—which is what all of these lists really are all about. Going offline is only measurable if there was a line to be on in the first place. If you haven’t done it lately, it’s worth asking Siri again to define “alone” and “quiet.” You probably haven’t logged into either of those accounts in quite a while.


Inspired by Fast Company and Lifehacker. Here are some notes about how I get things done (GTD) day-to-day.

Time I Get Up:

7 AM.

First Thing I Do Each Morning:

Currently, I remove a 5 year-old foot from my face. Then I get up, make the bed, and change the water in the family kamidana. Email waits until after breakfast.

Apps and Other Assistants:

New ideas and random thoughts always go into Evernote if they are for me to think about later. Twitter is for the random thoughts that I want to throw into the ether.

I have all my online magazines, blogs and news sites aggregated into and I scan through them once or twice a day to try and keep up with the latest.

iOS/OSX Reminders Apps with location and time triggers. helps me time my shared links. Pintrest collects my favorite images, particularly my favorite iOS UX screens to reference. IFTTT gives me additional reminders or social media triggers so I don’t have to remember to post.


I was born and raised as a Liberal Arts major with a great appreciation for serendipity. I want to know a little about a lot of things and only dive deep into a few key subjects. I love new experiences. My advice to strive to never say no to a new experience.

Last Thing I Do Each Night:

I like to fall asleep brainstorming something from the back-burner. So the last hour or so of the day is reviewing a handful of zeitgeist sites: is my favorite, Hacker News,, Medium, Stellar, the first two or three pages of Reddit (and no more).

Time I Go To Bed:
1 AM

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