/ Swipe File

Why Moon Shots Matter

Hey there,

Hope your week is off to a great start. Enjoy this week's issue and if you're feeling inspired, pass it on.

1. Why Moon Shots Matter

I've shared this article before, but it's one worth reading every now and then. Page's take on innovation is downright inspiring. This is one to bookmark.

[Google cofounder] Larry Page lives by the gospel of 10x. Most companies would be happy to improve a product by 10 percent. Not the CEO and cofounder of Google. The way Page sees it, a 10 percent improvement means that you’re basically doing the same thing as everybody else. You probably won’t fail spectacularly, but you are guaranteed not to succeed wildly.

That’s why Page expects his employees to create products and services that are 10 times better than the competition. That means he isn’t satisfied with discovering a couple of hidden efficiencies or tweaking code to achieve modest gains. Thousand-percent improvement requires rethinking problems entirely, exploring the edges of what’s technically possible, and having a lot more fun in the process.

2. The Free-Time Paradox in America

Most Americans can afford downtime but don't take it. Why is that?

While some of the hardest-working rich Americans certainly love their jobs, it’s also likely that America’s secular religion of industriousness is a kind of pluralistic ignorance.

That is, rich people work long hours because they are matching the behavior of similarly rich and ambitious people—e.g.: “he went to Bowdoin and Duke Law just like me, so if he stays in the office for 13 hours on Wednesday, I should too”—even though many participants in this pageant of workaholism would secretly prefer to work less and sleep at least until the sun is up.

3. Quieting the lizard brain

I'll bet most of you have read this before, but like the Larry Page profile above, it's worth reading once more. Seth Godin sums up what may be the biggest challenge that most of us face in creative work.

The resistance is the voice in the back of our head telling us to back off, be careful, go slow, compromise. The resistance is writer's block and putting jitters and every project that ever shipped late because people couldn't stay on the same page long enough to get something out the door.

The resistance grows in strength as we get closer to shipping, as we get closer to an insight, as we get closer to the truth of what we really want. That's because the lizard hates change and achievement and risk.

4. Oceans and Clay

No description necessary, just read it.

Have a great week!

Jimmy