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#6: Taming the Mammoth
How Coda Builds Product, 36 Ways to Live Differently, Earning the Gift of Life, Living Intentionally, Valuing Time, Prioritizing Relationships, and Taming the Mammoth.
👋 Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of Pursuit. I spend over 10 hours each week learning about building great products and living fulfilling lives. I created "Pursuit" to share these discoveries with a larger community and connect with others who share similar interests.
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This week’s discovery:
How Coda Builds Product - #product
36 Ways to Live Differently - #life
Earning the gift of life - #life
Living intentionally, valuing time, prioritizing relationships, and more keys to a rich life - #life
Taming the Mammoth: Why You Should Stop Caring What Other People Think - #life
Forget Scrum Masters. Focus on Outcomes. - #product
⭐ A website, documentary, and music tracks…
How Coda Builds Product
Coda is a modern document platform that combines the expressive power of documents, the collaborative power of spreadsheets, and the data-driven power of databases in one platform. Think Notion but x10 more powerful.
This article explores their product-building philosophy, which is centered around three core principles: learn fast, think big, and build fast. You’ll get a sneak peek into their doc templates, rituals, and their ways around product work. My favorite part is where they talk about their product and design forums (Catalyst & Design Huddle).
36 Ways to Live Differently
Stop trying to be “balanced.” Balanced people don’t change the world, nor are they particularly interesting. Be yourself, embrace the highs and lows, live a little.
Stick to a schedule most days, and once in a while, break it entirely. Both are critical to success. Some of the most ambitious people live the most boring lives—they know what they need to do, so they keep their heads down and focus on that. But if you do that all the time, you risk becoming stagnant and stuck in your ways. (Yes, this is one place where balance is needed.)
Earning the gift of life
Ric Elias, the CEO of Red Ventures, reflects on his experience surviving a 2009 plane crash and the profound shift in his outlook on life that followed. He talks about how the experience made him realize that life is a gift and that it's up to us to make the most of it. He encourages us to live our lives with a sense of urgency and to remember that there are no guarantees in life. He also talks about how he's applied this newfound perspective to his career and life, such as shifting his focus to family, relationships, and helping others. He emphasizes that we should use the gift of life to make a difference in the world and to make sure we're living our lives to the fullest.
🎧 107-min - Full Episode
Time is our common currency, and we can never get it back. It's important to be mindful of how we are using it and prioritize it accordingly, even if that means saying no to certain requests that don't fit in with our goals. Taking the time to reflect on how we're spending our time can help us make sure that we're using it right.
🎧 4-min - My favorite snippet
Living intentionally, valuing time, prioritizing relationships, and more keys to a rich life
Ric Elias continues his conversation with Peter Attia in Part 2. He emphasizes the importance of cultivating a healthy relationship with oneself in order to have better relationships with others. He also shares his insight on guilt, which he believes is a useless emotion. To combat this, Ric encourages people to be kind to themselves and to speak to themselves with love and understanding. He believes that taking the time to focus on self-growth and being mindful of one's inner dialogue can have a profound effect on one's life and relationships.
I highly recommend listening to the entire episode, but if you're short on time, just listen to my favorite part: 🎧 2-min
Taming the Mammoth: Why You Should Stop Caring What Other People Think
We all have an inner mammoth — an irrational side that causes us to worry about what other people think and act in ways we wouldn't otherwise. This can lead to us making decisions that aren't in our best interest, and it can keep us from living out our true potential. The part that resonated with me was where the author talked about finding your Authentic Voice (AV).
The most obvious way to find the mammoth is to figure out where your fear is—where are you most susceptible to shame or embarrassment? The second place a mammoth hides is in the way-too-good feelings you get from feeling accepted or on a pedestal over other people. A third area the mammoth is present is anywhere you don’t feel comfortable making a decision without “permission” or approval from others.
It’s not realistic to kick the mammoth entirely out of your head—you’re a human, and humans have mammoths in their heads, period. We all need to carve out certain sacred areas of our lives that must be in the hands of the AV and free of mammoth influence. There are obvious areas that need to be made part of the AV’s domain, like your choice of life partner, your career path, and the way you raise your kids.
We think: “Everyone is talking about me and my life, and just think how much everyone will be talking about it if I do this risky or weird thing.” No one really cares that much about what you’re doing. People are highly self-absorbed.
Forget Scrum Masters. Focus on Outcomes.
Experts explain that following the Scrum process can lead to people focusing on the process rather than the outcomes. They recommend that project management should be part of an Engineering Manager or Senior IC's role and that an Engineering Manager should take on the role of Scrum Master to make decisions and resolve bottlenecks.
When teams start allowing the date to dictate the way they operate, it’s a little like the tail wagging the dog. It comes down to company culture and everybody involved understanding that things do change. If we learn that the task is way more complex than we thought and we need to build something first for us to be able to achieve our initial goal, we shouldn’t look at it like we’re behind schedule. We should accept it and see it as an impactful learning that allows us to reset and go forward with the new information.” — Matt Merenghi, former Vice President of Engineering at Netflix
Top Random Picks of the Week
Elicit: Do you have a medical question? AI can help! It can search a database of 175 million scientific papers, providing you with relevant papers and their summaries. Instead of relying on a Google search, use AI to find the answer.
Dealt: Sixty-two-year-old Richard Turner is renowned as one of the world’s greatest card magicians, yet he is completely blind. This is an in-depth look at a complex character who is one of magic’s greatest hidden treasures.
Top Tracks of the Week
You’ll find mostly Ethnotronica, Organic House, World, and Organic Electronic here👇🏼