What I'm Reading, Vol. Twenty-Two

Thursday, August 07, 2014

The Crazy Ones, The Lost Ones (via Wit & Delight)
Powerful tools are only as effective as their user. Having the world in the palm of your hand comes with a responsibility and begs for boundaries. At first, we tested the limits of these new platforms, building digital resumes and personal brands, connecting with like-minded individuals through web blogs and tweets. Some of us have built businesses and found ourselves in positions of influence. Some use the medium to share idealized snippets of our lives with perfect strangers, each photo weaving a tapestry threaded with projections of perfection. They could be seen as digital stories that say more about who we want to become, and less about who we actually are. And maybe that's okay, as long as we don't lose contact with who we are today, and leave room for our private lives to grow and flourish.

Time spent Consuming vs. Creating (via Elise Blaha Cripe)
 If you're struggling to get your own shop going or your own blog running or your own business idea off the ground, reading about other people stories is only inspiring to a point. Eventually you have to turn it off and sit at a desk and hammer it out. You have to embrace that not as enjoyable part because that's teh part when it's actually happening. The best example I can think of is writing. We hear all the time that if you want to be a good writer you have to read a lot. (I totally think this is true.) Reading provides access to new ideas. It helps you figure out what you like and don't like. It can help you narrow in a bit on your own style. But you know what really makes a good writer? Someone who writes.

Brainstorming doesn't work; try this technique instead (via Fast Company)
Because brainstorming favors the first ideas, it also breeds the least creative ideas, a phenomenon called conformity pressure. People hoping to look smart and productive will blurt out low-hanging fruit first. Everyone else then rallies around that idea both internally and externally. Unfortunately, that takes up time and energy, leaving a lot of the best thinking undeveloped. We've all been in meetings like this: Some jerk says the obvious thing before anyone else, taking all of the glory; everyone else harrumphs. Brainstorming session over. To avoid these problems, two professors Thompson and Nordgren suggest another, quieter process: brainwriting. The general principle is that idea generation should exist separate from discussion. Although the two professors have slightly different systems, they both offer the same general solution: write first, talk second.

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