“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.”
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:
- Peter Thiel(2013) — You Are Not A Lottery Ticket — Great framework for how to think about the future.
- The Paris Review (2014) — Adam Phillips, The Art of Nonfiction No. 7 — Introduced me to the concept of tyrannical other lives in an unforgettable way.
- Buster Benson (2013) — Live Like A Hydra — Buster is one of the most thoughtful people when it comes to behaviour change and this is my favourite piece of his.
- Richard Hamming (1986) — You And Your Research — An incredible blueprint for how to do great work in any field.
- Oliver Emberton (2014) — Life Is A Game. This Is Your Strategy Guide — Strategy guide for life from the perspective of gaming.
- Paul Graham (2013) — Startup = Growth — The simplest expression I’ve found of what it means to startup.
- David Foster Wallace (2005) —This Is Water — A post best described by its subtitle: “Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life”.
- 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
- Atul Gawande (2011) — ‘The Hot Spotters‘ — This was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me starting Sessions. There is so much in common between promotoras and our coaches.
- Daniel Duane (2011) — Everything You Know About Fitness Is A Lie — The article that turned me from gym-hater to gym-lover.
- Merlin Mann (2009) — Mud Rooms, Red Letters, and Real Priorities — A great refresher on real priorities.
- David Grann (2011) — A Murder Foretold — Simply, the BEST article I have ever read.
- Hybrid: Fred Wilson (2010) — What A CEO Does + Adam Bryant (2010) — Does Your Team Have The Four Essential Types? — The two articles I most often reference when thinking about my job and my team.
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.