Listener #2

"Upstream", "That Will Never Work", Morgan Neville, MKBHD

Writing this on a Sunday night. I put Fight Club on in the background. (Which I haven’t watched entirely in probably 20 years.) Current drink: water again.

A quick note on remote work from a random person…

I spent over a year working remote and found out that, hey hey, it wasn’t perfect. Some things I’d do if I re-did that experience:

  • Put a (real) desk outside of your bedroom—I had a desk but it was in my bedroom and it just didn’t provide the right amount of separation mentally. I then had a setup on the dining table but it didn’t provide the right amount of separation mentally.

  • Take a walk every morning—Good advice if you’re remote or not. It’s supposed to be good for sleep and circadian rhythms and all that to get some sun first thing in the morning. But I’m mostly recommending it because it feels good to get some fresh air. Leave the house for a bit.

  • Have more analog conversations with friends—This recommendation would be to schedule meetings with friends in person but, well, you’re probably working form home for the next few weeks (and likely more) exactly so you aren’t around other people. In the meantime, use the phone, get on FaceTime, and catch up with some people who aren’t from work. It’ll be good.

And now, what I’ve been reading and listening to recently.

Reading Log

Didn’t make a ton of progress reading this week.

Had a little bit left in Upstream and finished it earlier this week. The lessons in the book skyrocketed in relevancy from when I wrote about it last week to writing about it now. One of the later chapters opens with a recap of Y2K preparation and goes into simulations of hurricanes in New Orleans. When preventative measures work as intended, it can look like people were overreacting (since the disaster doesn’t take place because of the preventative measures).

Get your software ready for ‘99 switching to ‘00. Get the New Orleans highways ready for contraflow. Wash your hands and work from home.

Started reading this earlier this week and have enjoyed it so far. Wrote a post on my blog with some initial lessons: starting a tech company was much different in the late 90s, having streaming and Netflix Originals wasn’t a grand master plan from the start, but having good recommendations and understanding customers was a focus very early on.


Neville and Chang talk about making Ugly Delicious together. The second season came out recently.

My favorite part: They talk about the steak episode (which I jumped straight to when I started watching the second season). Chang talks about working on the episode and not knowing what his thesis really was through most of the production of the episode.

By the end, though, it was pretty clear what the episode was about: judging people based on how they enjoy their food (and mostly that you shouldn’t, especially when nostalgia is involved).

My cousin visited me in New York recently. It was his first time in the city so we hit most of the tourist spots and we had something like 11 meals to work with so I tried to pick some mix of tourist places and personal favorites. Some are both. I love Levain and Peter Luger (pictured above). But at the same time am somewhat hesitant to say so because I know people are quick to call them overrated and for tourists.

The steak episode goes into some similar things with people talking about situations where they enjoy their steaks well done but will order medium rare so that they aren’t judged. (Chang verifies that, yes, waiters and cooks commonly judge those orders.)

So watch the steak episode of Ugly Delicious and then listen to Neville and Chang discuss the ins and outs of the show.

  • MKBHD on That Creative Life

If you watch LeBron in high school, you can see that he was already better at basketball than anything you’ll ever do. It’s inspiring in a different way. Like, I don’t know, seeing a comet and being awed by the universe.

Watching MKBHD enthusiastic about having 74 subscribers in his 100th episode (2009) is inspiring in a different way. And a way that I think is more useful, particularly if you make things on the internet. Because you can truly trace the path video by video of evolving from a teenager interested in tech to someone millions of people want to hear from when the latest tech comes out.

Consistency can take you a long way. An idea I’ve returned to a lot this year is from a Copyblogger FM episode (”Consistency Will Take You Further”). You can say you’re passionate about anything. But you show passion through consistency. MKBHD never has to say he’s passionate about tech for you to know that he is.

My favorite part of the podcast episode: MKBHD gives

(And just check out the “That Creative Life” archive. Sara Dietschy does a great job interviewing her peers and you get to learn about all the work that goes into being a creative entrepreneur.)

Usually I want to get to 2 books and 3 podcasts but I’m going to cut this short. Fight Club ended so that’s a sign that I’ve been at this for a bit too long. More book and podcast recommendations next week. Thanks for checking this out. Stay safe out there!