Weeknotes #275

Photo of the week:

This week I did:

Accept change

Had a couple of interesting chats this week that made me think about the assumptions we carry into our interactions and how they are always hidden from us until a situation makes them apparent, and more broadly about how we think about change and flexibility. The first conversation was about how we’d ‘missed’ things from earlier discovery work, which reveals how much of a engineering mindset we still have where we expect to be able figure everything out upfront. If we’re approaching problems/projects/work/life with a design mindset then we should know that we’ll never know everything and should be trying to discover new things all the time. The second conversation was about an expectation of using a certain way of working, to which my response was that we don’t have fixed ways of working and favour flexibility. There’s still a long way to go with feeling ok about accepting change.

October retro

I wrote my retro for October. The main lesson was that my interest in new ideas tends to follow a power law distribution. I put lots of time and energy into exploring new things but quickly have to fit them in with all the other things I’m already working on and so the pace of progress slows. The answer, obviously, is to get better at throwing out ideas sooner, so I need to work on figuring out how to identify the better ideas.


My attempt to write a blog post every day for November is going well. It always feels like there’s a bit of tension between writing just for the sake of maintaining the habit and actually having something vaguely interesting to say, but so far I’ve had plenty of ideas for things to write about.

So far, I’ve written:

I realise I’m a few years behind the NoBloPoMo trend but I’m ok with that.


Sent out my second Irregular Ideas email. I’m interested in figuring out the difference between writing blog posts and writing emails. There are quite a few dimensions the comparison can be made on, including a known/owned audience vs unknown/organic audience and immediate vs longevity and which bests meets the audiences outcomes. I don’t suppose I’ll ever settle on a single channel but it would be good to settle on a strategic understanding of how the channels/platforms fit together.

And I thought about:


I invented a new type of organisation. A Distributed Autonomous Charitable Organisation. One of the blog posts I’ve been writing is about how closely aligned charity and web3 are, and it got me thinking about what a web3-based charity of the future might look like. Future.charity is on my list of projects to pick up again so now I’m thinking about how I can build a proof-of-concept DAO that operates like a charity.

Online courses

I’m quite interested in online learning and the increasing variety of ways to approach online courses. The standard logic for creating a course is to teach what you know. That doesn’t work so well for me because the stuff I know is too niche. Who else wants to know what I know about product management in charities? Regardless of the content, I’ve been thinking about the timing and spacing of an online course. Is it better to be self-paced or for the pace to be set, or is there a way to have flexibility in between? I like the idea of using emails for delivering learning content. It plays into the current newsletter trend and they can be far more easily accessed than a dedicated platform. Maybe I could reuse my idea about how to learn Nesta’s Future of skills as the basis for an experiment.


I’ve been wondering if things like the creator economy trend and the remote working trend are part of a mega-trend of shifting the economic power from organisations to individuals. The fundamental idea of capitalism is that the power is in the hands of those that own the capital and not in the hands of those that do the work, and there are lots of ideas about what the future of capitalism might look like, but if those power relationships are shifting slightly then it may decouple having capital from having power a little bit.

Read this week:

The Obstacles You Don’t See

The Hidden Brain podcast episode on how to get new ideas adopted or get people to do things says that often the better approach is to remove the friction that is prevent progress rather than pushing harder to force progress. Our tendency is to do more in order to achieve the things we want, especially when it comes to lasting change, when it could be that removing the barriers would be more effective.

Undecidable problem

I’ve been reading about and trying to understand problems better. Mathematical and computational problems have a clear expression, and I think in modern product work we think all problems are expressed in this way through problem statements, but I suspect that tacit knowledge which cannot be expressed in that way forms a large chunk of how we experience and understand problems.

Minimalist entrepreneur

I started reading Sahil Lavingia’s book about being a minimalist entrepreneur, which ties very closely with the trends we see in the creator economy, things like ‘build an audience before you build a product’.


I’ve been reading a few things about the metaverse this week, and what I’ve noticed is that it’s hard to find anything that isn’t tied up with a moral judgement about Facebook. Ideas aren’t neutral, of course, but it’s more difficult to discuss what the metaverse might or might not be critically if no one can present opinions that aren’t viewed from a position of moral panic. My opinion at the moment is that metaverses (plural because all the big tech firms will develop their own and they won’t be interoperable) will become a thing over the next few years but given that technology business models won’t have changed much by then they are really just the next level of data collection from wearable devices for that data to be used in advertising. So, more of the same rather than anything radical.

Growth area for this week:

Where to point attention

I’ve been more consciously choosing to point my attention at things that don’t have much attention. If something already has four people working on it, me adding my focus only increases the attention that thing has by twenty percent, where as if something has no one working on it and I focus on it, now that thing has 100% more attention than it had before. I haven’t explained the maths of that very well, but I know what I mean.