Welcome to another edition of the Pink newsletter, which goes out to more than 150,000 subscribers every other Tuesday and always offers 3 interesting things and 1 short Pinkcast video.
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!
“WHEN brims with a surprising amount of insight and practical advice.”—Wall Street Journal
“Consistently applying the principles laid out in the book could have dramatic impacts on one’s life and on society.” —Washington Post
3 Things: How a rubber chicken might rescue your pointless meeting — plus reading recs and tour dates!
1. An offbeat solution for useless meetings
One reason I became self-employed 20 years ago was to escape meetings. (Alas, that hasn’t proved a foolproof solution because of the hideous ascent of conference calls. But that’s a rant for another day). Most meetings, I found, were aimless and unproductive. And I could never find a way to put a brake on all the pointless posturing and pontificating.
Dom Price of Atlasssian (one of my favorite companies) has a solution that I wish I’d considered. A rubber chicken. Yep, you read it right. In an Inc. column, Price suggests placing the floppy bird in the middle of the meeting table and "when the conversation starts going in circles or off on a tangent, anyone in the room can squawk it to signal it's time to bring things back to center.”
Don’t be chicken, folks. Give this one a try.
2. A trio of tech articles worth reading
Bitcoin. Uber. Twitter. If you were reading this newsletter ten years ago, those three words wouldn’t have meant much. Now when we see them, we know instantly what they mean. Or do we?
In the last week, I’ve read three outstanding magazine stories that helped me make sense (not always in a good way) of this tech troika.
In the NYT Magazine, Steven Johnson offers the most cogent explanation of bitcoin and the blockchain that I’ve read.
In Bloomberg Businessweek, Eric Newcomer and Brad Stone chronicle the fall, fall, and further fall of Uber founder Travis Kalanick.
And also in the NYT Mag, four writers tell the sordid tale of the many celebrities and online "influencers” who buy Twitter followers and retweets, and thereby demonstrate how much of social media is built on a house of cards (or at least a house of bots).
3. WHEN tour: Florida, Massachusetts, Texas, Pennsylvania, California
One evening 17 years ago, when I was promoting my first book, I arrived at a Barnes & Noble store near Las Vegas at about 6:15 for a 7:00 book talk. As a first-time author, I was pumped — especially when I saw that the booksellers had set out about 50 chairs in neat rows for the many Nevadans they expected to attend.
By the time 7pm rolled around, the audience had filled in — 3 people and 47 empty chairs. Bummer. But I steeled myself, approached the podium, and began talking about the book with all the gusto I could muster. Within minutes, one of the three attendees stood up, said, “I’m sorry. I’m in the wrong place” — and departed. Ten minutes later, one of the two remaining people left, leaving me with an audience of exactly one guy who bought precisely zero books.
I tell you that story because I’m back on the road promoting the new book WHEN. I’m no longer (okay, less) concerned that nobody will show up at an event, but I'm always grateful when anybody does.
So if you’d like to stop by an upcoming book talk, I’d like even more to thank you in person for making the effort. The next few cities on the list (along with links and ticket details) are below:
- Feb 2: Tampa. Oxford Exchange Happy Hour Book Talk and Signing
- Feb 5: Boston/Cambridge. Harvard Bookstore at the Brattle Theater
- Feb 6: Dallas. Authors Live! at Highland Park Church
- Feb 8: Philadelphia. Free Library of Philadelphia
- Feb. 11: Carlsbad, CA. Adventures by the Book at the Carlsbad City Library
- Feb. 11: San Diego. Adventures by the Book at the San Diego City Library
- Feb. 14: San Francisco. Arts and Ideas at the JCCSF
More: 2018 WHEN Book Tour
PINKCAST: How to be great at work: Do less and obsess
We’re all looking for a performance edge. But is the secret to doing more the commitment to doing less? That’s what University of California-Berkeley professor Morten Hansen has found in his research.
In this 78-second Pinkcast, recorded at the American Booksellers Association Winter Institute, he explains. You can watch below.
LINKS AND FURTHER READING:
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