Updating My Text Playlist

Volume IV

“I keep a list of the best writing on the web. I take this list and revisit and reread it every 4 to 8 weeks. You could almost consider it a playlist of text: it’s very select … and the order and pacing is very purposeful … It’s almost a pep talk in text form. I visit it when I’m down, when I’m lazy, when I’m feeling the inertia take over.”

In May of 2010, inspired by the above Frank Chimero quote, I created my text playlist. Since then, I’ve added to it once in February, 2011 and once in November, 2012.

I don’t do the ‘reread every 8 weeks’ thing, but it’s fair to say I think about these articles very regularly and have read them all multiple times.

Here are the 2013/14 additions:

  • Ben Horowitz (2005) — Good Product Manager, Bad Product Manager — Still the seminal framework for how to be good at my job.
  • Steve Jobs (1995) — One Simple Fact — “Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you.

Updates from 18/11/2012

Updates from 13/02/2011

  • Dennis Crowley (2010) — Top 5 Pieces of Advice for Entrepreneurs — One of the best Quora answers yet, this whole post can be boiled down to ‘just do it’ but it’s really worth reading the whole thing.
  • Jeff Bezos (2010) — What Matters More Than Your Talents — A beautifully simple recasting of the idea of gifts and choices and the importance of understanding both.
  • William Deresiewicz (2009) — Solitude & Leadership — Essential reading, especially for those who live in the hyper-connected, short blast world of Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook. This is the best thing I have read in the last 12 months.
  • Louis CK (2009) — Everything’s Amazing and Nobody’s Happy — Louis CK’s seminal counterpoint to the I am always right and I need everything now generation (of which I am definitely one).

Original from 29/05/2010

  • George Orwell (1946) — Politics and The English Language — For me, the defining text on how to write. I break so many of these rules so often that I need to refer back to this regularly.
  • Steve Jobs (2005) — Stanford Commencement Address — You can’t connect the dots forward, find your passion, don’t settle, and remember, everyone you know, someday will die. I have thought about this speech every day since I first watched it.
  • Derek Sivers (2009) — Ideas Are Just A Multiplier of Execution — A constant reminder that the important stuff comes in getting things done.
  • Tim O’Reilly (2009) — Work on Stuff That Matters — A simple, timeless message summed up by Henry Kissinger’s quote: ”Do the most important thing you can think of doing every year and then your career will take care of itself.”
  • Jonathan Harris (2009) — World Building In A Crazy World — This is beautifully explains how I think about the web, not as it is, but how it should be. Inspiring.