What I’ve Been Learning — Dec 2021
Over at Taught by Humans, a big part of our ethos is our love of learning. Learning tech-related things, yes, but also just constantly learning news things and improving on what we already know. Each month we are going to give a short update on what we’ve been learning — here’s mine for December 2021.
December is a weird month — it’s a mix of rushing to get things finished by the end of the year, and slowing down as “it’s Christmas”. I’ve been embracing the slowing down side of things, particularly as I (finally) completed the first draft of my PhD thesis the first week in December, which is now out of my hands for a while.
My newest hobby which I mentioned last month is knitting! Well, I bought a book — I love learning from books. I enjoy the structure, I like a mix of theory and exercises which the best books, including this beautiful one You Will be Able to Knit by the End of This Book. It includes an intro on different stitches, how to to troubleshoot and read knitting patterns, before having many patterns to practice your skills. Now all I need is some chunky wool. My current project is making myself a purple headband, which requires three steps per stitch.
Again with books, I am trying to learn more about business strategy to give Taught by Humans some solid direction in 2022. Last year I attended the Enterprise Nation NextGen conference where Jamie Waller, the founder of The Jamie Waller Foundation, spoke about his success. One tip which stuck with me was not always reading books about billion pound unicorn companies, reading ones from founders of smaller companies (if that is your aim). As such, I started reading Big Ideas for Small Businesses. It has some really useful tips on reframing thinking around “lifestyle businesses”. You will never agree with 100% of any book — I personally don’t think expecting people to work for free or not being impressed when an interviewee asked if bus fare would be covered is a good business attitude — but I enjoyed a book which wasn’t focused on getting your business investment ready as so many are.
I’ve also been working through the Strategyzer books — Business Model Canvas, Value Proposition and Testing Business Ideas. I love these books, they are full of diagrams and examples to inspire your thinking. Based on these books I have defined Taught by Humans’ core products, and am now working on speaking to our target audiences (something which I am finding amazing fun).
Finally, I am back to working on the Taught by Humans website. I had forgotten how much I love web dev — and how much I am always learning when I do so. I do, obviously, have some books on web dev, but I enjoy reading online tutorials and the ease of testing everything out. This month I have been focusing on accessibility and a homepage redesign (which is still in the works). One excellent resource I’ve found this month is the Hubspot blog which includes Social Media, Marketing and Web Design articles (for example, 12 Must Haves Every Homepage Needs to Include).
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We are always learning, and want to share our passion for learning (about everything, not just tech) in this monthly blog series.