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3 Things: Books to read, Shows to watch, and a visit to Chicago

1. TWO BIG BOOKS TO WATCH FOR THIS SPRING
One of the few perks of being a writer is that publishers send me lots of books. In the last few months, two have crossed the transom here at Pink, Inc, world headquarters that I’ve found especially compelling.

The first is Michael Pollan’s HOW TO CHANGE YOUR MIND: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence. As the title suggests, this one’s about LSD, magic mushrooms, and drugs of that ilk. Pollan argues that these substances have been unfairly demonized and that they offer clues about our psychic woes and perhaps even the meaning of life. One of the most fascinating books I’ve read in a long while. (Pub date: May 15, Publisher’s link

The other is Carl Zimmer’s SHE HAS HER MOTHER’S LAUGH: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity. If you’re even slightly confused about genetics and heritable traits — what we know about these topics and how we know it —this book is essential reading. (Pub date: May 29, Author’s link)

My only gripe with these books is both would be twice as good if they were half as long. But they’re worth checking out when they come out later this spring. I guarantee you’ll be hearing a lot about these titles in the coming months. 

2. COUCH SHOWS, PHONE SHOWS, & THE FUTURE OF MEDIA
Back in America’s pioneer days (circa 1993), people sat in their living rooms at specified hours to watch television programs that were available only for a single, fleeting slice of time. 

I can’t remember the last time I watched TV that way for something that wasn’t a live sporting event. But my media behavior has also changed in ways that I’m just realizing. 

At first by circumstance and then by design, I now group programs into two categories: "Couch shows" and "phone shows." 

Couch shows are those I record or stream and then sit on a couch to watch with Mrs. DanPink.com. At the moment, only one show occupies this category: The Americans

Phone shows are those I watch in the interstitial moments of my life — a long wait at an airport gate, a late-night Uber ride, and so on. Four shows fit that heading: Silicon ValleyAtlantaUgly Delicious, and Billions

And that got me thinking. Is this how all media works today? Does every offering — from books to podcasts to social media to magazines to television and radio — fall into one of three categories: intentional (couch shows), interstitial (phone shows), and invisible (the vast majority we don’t even notice)? 

If so, our jobs as creators just got tougher — and, in certain ways, easier. 

3. MESSAGE FOR CHICAGOANS
Hey, readers in the Windy City. I’ll be in the Chicagoland area this week for a bunch of WHEN events

Today (Tuesday, April 24), I’ll be at Loyola Law School in downtown Chicago at 4pm and at Glenbard South High School in Glen Ellyn at 7pm.

On Wednesday (April 25), I’ll be giving a Grand Rounds lecture in the morning and will be talking WHEN in Winnetka in the evening as part of the Family Action Network author series.

All of the events are free (though a couple now have waiting lists). If you’re interested, check out this site or this PDF

PINKCAST: This is how (not) to calm your nerves
There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who feel a little nervous before big presentations . . . and liars.

For all of us in the first group, this 86-second Pinkcast — it’s a phone show, folks! — offers a simple, science-based technique for redirecting those butterflies down a more promising emotional path. You can watch the video below. 
 

LINKS AND FURTHER READING:

  • The research cited in this video is “Get excited: Reappraising pre-performance anxiety as excitement,” which appeared in the June 2014 edition of The Journal of Experimental Psychology. You can find the complete paper here.

As always, thanks for subscribing.

Cheers,
Daniel Pink

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Each Issue Features:


3 things that have caught Dan’s attention recently: Books, movies, ideas, tools, quotations, etc.

 
A Pinkcast: Dan’s popular 90-second videos that offers tips for working smarter and living better.