Excellent Things: 02

Nick Crocker
Mar 29, 2016 · 5 min read

I finally watched The Godfather.

I did a Pacino deep dive. Serpico, The Godfather, The Godfather II, Godfather III (which I couldn’t finish, because it was so clownish), and Scarface (which I also couldn’t finish, because tonally it just felt weird to watch Pacino go from dark Italian to neon Cuban).

Through Serpico, Godfather, and Godfather II, you just want Pacino on the screen as much as possible. He’s so magnetic that in scenes where he’s absent, you find yourself feeling impatient for his return.

40 years after The Godfather, Pacino hammed it up in Adam Sandler’s ‘Jack & Jill’ (Tomatometer: 3%).

In terms of an artistic descent, that’s the precise same as if Mick Jagger went from Exile in Main St (1972) to singing backing vocals on Michael Buble’s 2011 album ‘Christmas’.

Three Ideas

So far this year, three ideas have stuck.

The Power of Planning

There is nothing quite so useless, as doing with great efficiency, something that should not be done at all.” — Peter Drucker

Plans are nothing; planning is everything.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower

The Real Meaning of Strategy

Sequencing events so as to build strength is fascinating, even at the level of a single day.

Paired with John Wooden’s ‘make every day a masterpiece’, you get:

Sequence the events of your day to build strength and make a masterpiece.

The Need For Truth

A lie is sweet in the beginning and bitter in the end. And truth is bitter in the beginning, and sweet in the end.

Twitter Timelines

Reading someone’s Twitter timeline as a single stream can be really great. @pieratt’s for example, where you dig up stuff like this.

There are two alternative views of Twitter that are also fascinating.

1.Daily 140 let’s you follow the follows and the favourites of up to 10 people.

2.Bio Is Changed alerts you when someone’s Twitter bio changed.

The signal in those two sources is surprising.

Three Longform Essays To Read

Adele’s Voice Though

No matter how often you hear it, Adele’s voice is amazing.

And so was Amy Winehouse’s. Watching the documentary ‘Amy’ gave me a whole new appreciation for her.

These Award Shows

Did you miss Kanye’s ‘All Day’ at the BRIT Awards?

Or Kendrick at The Grammy’s?


Kendrick’s ‘untitled unmastered.’ is the best album of the year so far.

Thanks Lebron.

Watch the whole Noisey Bompton series, or check out my Vevo playlist if you want more Kendrick.


The Obama Doctrine is long and good.

Obama’s Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee with Seinfeld is a shorter, lighter counterweight to the Atlantic piece.

Related: His former speechwriter John Favreau joins Bill Simmons to talk politics.

NBA Podcasts

There’s been a run of amazing NBA podcasts recently, featuring NBA coaches, managers and a killer Andrew Bogut interview.

Coaches: Vinny Del Negro, Tom Thibodeau, Brett Brown, Scott Brooks, and George Karl.

Managers: Bob Myers (Warriors), Daryl Morey (Rockets).

Andrew Bogut

Related, this great video for people who love strategy and preparation:

I also feel somewhat relieved that the number of people born in 1983 that made more than 100 FG in their NBA careers was 38.

A lot more than 38 tried their hearts out to get there and didn’t.

Under Armour ‘Rule Yourself’

These What You Do In The Dark spots are epic.

The whole Rule Yourself series is worth your eyes.

Dash Cam Obsession

I’m a bit obsessed with the Dash Cam Owners Australia YouTube channel. It’s made me a better driver. It’s helped stave off the occasional homesickness. It’s mesmerising.

It was never between you and them anyway

RG III’s departing salvo against the Washington Redskins was surprisingly poetic.

:) Nils, Keith & Nico

A new mix from Nico (skip ahead to 9:30 as the initial vocal sample is annoying):

A grainy improvisation from Nils & Jon Hopkins.

An old classic from Keith.


If you get a shot at happiness, is it really the thing you want?

Do you want to be happy? Or do you want to minimize regret?

And if you choose to pursue happy, when do you want to be happy, and for how long?

And what if you miss? Or get it wrong, and optimize for the wrong things and end up not happy at all?

Making life decisions to optimize for happiness turns out to be very difficult.

You have to live with the possibility that the best path forward may not be the one that guarantees the most happiness.

It’s confusing.

For past editions of this series, see:

Excellent Things: 01

Nick Crocker

Things I’ve Written

    Nick Crocker

    Written by

    General Partner @BlackbirdVC. Supporting Australian startups @Startmate. Sequencing the journey to build strength along the way.

    Nick Crocker

    Things I’ve Written