A simple change I’d like to see in tech culture is to change how we refer to the notifications feature. We should call them interruptions instead.

Do I want my meeting interrupted if my spouse calls with an emergency? Absolutely.

Do I want that meeting interrupted to find out I’ve been given a $10 Lyft credit? Absolutely not.

That Lyft credit, thank you, can be delivered to the proper home for notifications: my email.

Popping onto my screen over top my current task, buzzing, dinging: these are interruptions and they should be saved for only the cases that require interrupting.

Terrie introduced me to the phrase “The Long Emergency” and what it’s got me thinking about is tactical pessimism. Stoicism is great for this. The tactical piece for me is not to allow myself to ever wait for a return to normal. Most obviously, I’m not thinking about the end of the pandemic. If it ends, great. But if it’s followed by something new and difficult, I’ll surf through that too. Basically, tactical pessimism made me happier and less paralyzed. If bad news paralyzes you though, then try tactical optimism.

Speaking of tactics. I have in my notes Interstitial Journaling

At work, we’ve been doing a lot of branding exercises for our products and those conversations have floundered a bit because I’d never really articulated the brand for the container that these products live in, i.e. my ownership.

Countless spiritual experts point to desire as the root of unhappiness. Find contentment in the present moment and you will be happy. They’re probably right.

And yet, I can’t help but wonder about accomplishments. What are we all capable of?

An example to compare those two approaches, what if instead of meditating to be calm, you meditated to be focused and forceful…

Continuing on a recent theme of looking at Medium through an economic lens, what types of high quality writing does Medium’s payment system support?

Well, there’s been a bit of a backlash by journalists who were occasionally being paid $1 per word or more and think of that rate as a respectable rate for professional writers. Backlash is maybe too strong, let’s just say disappointment that Medium’s economics do not currently support this rate. Eyeballing my own work, I think well-crafted pieces that are chosen for distribution across Medium can expect around $0.10 per word. …

More on the advice I’ve been giving Medium authors.

Write with a book in mind” and “Write articles that are subscription worthy.”

I don’t mean write the book on Medium. I mean write with an eye toward a book. That means test out ideas, share stories, research. But when you write here it still has to work as an article.

Here are some examples from my own writing.

As an author, I’m best known for this iPhone article with 2M views. It’s nearly as long as a book and triggered an editor from a major publishing house to reach out to me about turning it into a book.


That’s basically the best sound bite that I gave when Sinem Günel interviewed me about how writers can succeed here on the platform. She runs a fantastic coaching group for Medium writers and I’m a big fan.

Here’s a longer version of my quote:

There’s this completely bogus media narrative that Medium pivots. And I feel like I’m the only person on the planet that thinks that Medium is completely and utterly predictable.

They made one pivot, three years ago, towards a subscription business. Literally everything they’ve done since then has been predictable.

Now that they have a subscription business…

Musing about a place where I struggle.

Paraphrased from Crossing the Chasm (one of the all time great marketing books):

A market is a group of people who both:[A] have similar needs.
[B] talk to each other.

Most people forget [B]. I don’t forget it, I just can’t stand to commit to it.

Among the products that I’m involved in, a positioning that works is the Coach.me services we offer to coaches. “We help coaches build their coaching business.”

It’s a clear goal and it targets a group of people who do talk to each other, coaches.

Similarly, nailing the “talk to each other” part, our…

An aside from this MTG profile in Politico struck me as an important pattern.

“I can speak from personal experience,” said Chambers, the grandson of a billionaire, “that this sort…

The Coach Life

Lessons & observations from a coach.

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