Hope you're having a great week. Here are a few things I've been reading and pondering lately. Enjoy!
Mailshake’s ebook on cold email is a must read for anyone doing email outreach. Written by the great Sujan Patel, it covers everything from the framework, how to increase open rates and boost replies. Best of all it comes with free templates and is ungated.
This article is fascinating.
It focuses less on the appeal of sports and more on the frustrations involved with making money: boring work, lack of measurable goals, commuting, etc. The reason rich people love endurance sports is because they are painful—and that's a welcome departure from the rest of their lives.
In his book 'Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work,' philosopher Matthew Crawford writes that “despite the proliferation of contrived metrics,” most knowledge economy jobs suffer from “a lack of objective standards.”
Ask a white-collar professional what it means to do a good job at the office, and odds are they’ll need at least a few minutes to explain their answer, accounting for politics, the opinion of their boss, the mood of their client, the role of their team, and a variety of other external factors. Ask someone what it means to do a good job at their next race, however, and the answer becomes much simpler.
“The satisfaction of manifesting oneself concretely in the world through manual competence has been known to make a man quiet and easy. He simply points: the building stands, the car now runs, the lights are on.”
This is an interesting post from Ryan Holiday. It's packed with a number of good examples that helped me understand why the idea of a "perennial bestseller" is so powerful.
Perennial sellers are movies like the Shawshank Redemption, artists like Iron Maiden, startups like Craigslist, books like the 48 Laws of Power, (and The 4-Hour Workweek, which is 10 years old and still sells more than 100,000 copies per year in the U.S. alone). Look at Craigslist, now 20 years old, which makes annual profits of over half a billion by monetizing just 2-3 categories of listings.
These are the kind of products that customers return to more than once, and recommend to others, even if they’re no longer trendy or brand new. In this way, they are often timeless and unsung moneymakers, paying like annuities to their owners. Like gold or land, they increase in value over time because they are always of value to someone, somewhere.
Worth bookmarking. I just saved it on my Kindle (via Instapaper) to read in-depth later.
And here's another from Farnam Street. Here's a snippet:
- Amateurs stop when they achieve something. Professionals understand that the initial achievement is just the beginning.
- Amateurs have a goal. Professionals have a process.
- Amateurs think they are good at everything. Professionals understand their circles of competence.
5. Random Links
- Here are five common mistakes freelancers make.
- John Gannon runs a really great blog + newsletter for VCs. Check it out here.
- Unpopular opinion: Google Docs isn't that great.
- If you don't already, I highly recommend following @loneblockbuster.
- From Paul Jarvis: Small Is Beautiful (I apologize in advance for sending you to Forbes.)
Have a great weekend!
PS - I'm looking to partner with a few great businesses to sponsor this newsletter. It reaches a bunch of smart folks from places like Google, Apple, Spotify, New York Times, Marriott and Harvard. Shoot me an email if you're interested in working together.