Best of Web - Dec 6th, 2020
Levels health is slowly gaining traction as a company to watch. They are into metabolic fitness and use the term “fitness” to imply that it is something that you can work on. I agree with their views on this topic and enjoyed their well written post on the reasons to work on your metabolic fitness. In my own journey, intermittent fasting has been a game changer and I can see a discernible difference in productivity levels when I intermittently fast. This ancient Egyptian inscription aptly summarizes the state of modern eating habits.
Humans live on one quarter of what they eat; on the other three quarters lives their doctor — Inscription on an Egyptian pyramid in 3800 BC
Every once in a while, I come across a ted talk that lends better models and words to what I deeply believe in. In this talk, Elizabeth Gilbert offers a mental model for thinking about creativity as process that happens through you with the help of an elusive genius, an experience that is corroborated by many artists. While it does not take away the hard work needed, it creates an objective distance from your work and takes away the fear and angst associated with how it’s perceived. As she says, it is not about “being a genius” but is instead about “having a genius”. If your work sucks, don’t take it personally, you need a different genius. If your work is great, don’t revel in the accolades, pass them on to your genius and get back to the grind.
Code reviews is a simple but perhaps the most important rituals in well run software companies. It helps ship quality software, improves security and most importantly helps engineers get better at the craft of writing code. One of the biggest luxuries of life is to have a community of peers who are practicing the same craft as you are, who are willing to help you get better, as through that they get better. Last week, I was fortunate to find a community of writers at compound writing, a place where you can get your work reviewed and learn from watching other reviewers. Writing is not about publishing. That is just the last step that holds you accountable to the practice. Instead, writing is about maturing your thinking and through that process, being kind to people you are communicating with.
Intrinsic to humans is story telling. In this 18 minute Instagram post that will hold your attention, Dave Chappelle makes a case for boycotting the Chappelle Show. While the topic may or may not be relevant to you, this is a masterclass in story telling.
I have been inspired by American sculptor Elizabeth King’s quote that “Process saves us from the poverty of our intentions”. Whatever be the canvas that you are painting on, be it writing, making music, working with wood, you need to spend a predetermined time each day on that, without excuses. Discipline leads to quantity of output and that is positively correlated with quality.
Other Notable Mentions
AlphaFold from DeepMind promises to unlock secrets of nature by predicting how proteins fold.
Stripe continues to impress by their pace of innovation, most recently with the launch of Stripe Capital for customers of their customers, in a super boring area - financing. Stripe’s access to cash flows at scale helps them assess the quality of businesses better than the actual business owners. That makes me believe that they are still early in their journey.
Forbes piece on the last few months of Tony Hsieh, the person who was obsessed with Delivering Happiness is a worthwhile introspective read.