here’s what I got up to since the last update
- Connor Callahan was inspired by my post on the stack behind What to Tweet, to launch his first project, and it ended up at the first spot on Product Hunt. Since I’m not tracking any metrics on my site, it’s awesome to see that someone is actually reading my stuff.
- I followed Nat Eliason’s advice to “publish what you’re scared of” and was surprised that the response to my pamphlet against free products was overwhelmingly positive.
- Wes Kimbell started to include summaries of my Product Ideas podcast in his newsletter.
- I was approached by several people with interesting ideas for collaborations. Not sure what will come out of this but at the very least I got tons of new ideas.
- Had an amazing call with Nick O’Neill during which he convinced me that I need to think much, much bigger.
- Unfortunately, Substack rolled out an update that makes it impossible to fetch subscriber numbers from their platform. Since, I think, this was the main selling point for most people, I’ve decided to discontinue Newsletter Spy for now.
☑️ Completed last week
- I created a product ideation minitool inspired by a conversation with Andrew Kamphey.
- I created a custom version of What to Tweet inspired by a tweet by Dickie Bush.
- Got a lot of reading done, visited my parents, and reflected on what I should do next.
- I was able to automated most of the Product Explorer and Gum Spy data fetching.
📚 Resources I enjoyed last week
- Via a comment on Ribbonfarm I discovered the book Management Myth by Matthew Stewart, and it’s absolutely fantastic.
Although I have a few friends who work as consultants and attended recruiting events by McK & Co in the past, I was never able to figure out why companies are willing to pay so much money for consulting services. Typically, new consultants get a three-week crash course and are then sent immediately to clients who pay ridiculous amounts of money for their time. What exactly can you teach someone in three weeks that is so valuable? While there are certain consulting methods that make sense, most of them are voodoo that can be manipulated to fit any narrative. The key to understanding the consulting world is that it’s not really expertise that’s being sold. The following paragraph from the book nails it perfectly:
“As the shamans who poison chickens and the priests who read entrails have long known, sometimes it is more important to build a consensus around a decision than to make the right decision; sometimes it is better to believe that a decision is sanctioned by a higher authority than to know that it rests on mere conjecture; and sometimes it is better to have a truly random decision than to continue to follow the predictable inclinations of one’s established prejudices. Of course, at other times it is better if you know what you are doing—but in that case why would you hire a consultant?”
- I also enjoyed a few posts by Venkatesh Rao (an independent consultant) that provide an alternative perspective. (His grand-unified-theory of self-improvement is also worth a read.)
Until next time,
JakobSign up below to receive short updates on my progress.