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On to the Medley!
🤔💭 Obama published a fantastic article on how he approached the toughest decisions as President.
"So rather than let myself get paralyzed in the quest for a perfect solution, or succumb to the temptation to just go with my gut every time, I created a sound decision-making process — one where I really listened to the experts, followed the facts, considered my goals and weighed all of that against my principles. Then, no matter how things turned out, I would at least know I had done my level best with the information in front of me."
🧠 One part of his strategy I really liked is how he calls out interrupting the process to give your brain some time to process:
"Remember that dinner and haircut break I took during that marathon economic session? That mattered, too. That was part of making the decision. Even in situations where you have to act relatively quickly, as was frequently the case during the financial crisis, it helps to build in time to let your thoughts marinate."
🔙 It's hard to take time to step back and let your thoughts percolate, but it's essential, and if Obama had time for it, we do too.
💼 Packy McCormick makes the best case I've read for why offices will never be the same post COVID.
One very compelling point he makes is that any company that expects their employees to come into an office 5 days a week will only be able to hire B and C players.
"The best employees have more options now than ever before, and they’re not going to work for companies that make them shave, get dressed, hop into a car or a crowded subway, and sit at a desk in an office five days a week with their headphones on trying to avoid distractions and get work done... Remote Co can attract A players from anywhere in the world, including Local Co’s hometown. Local Co is left with the B and C players in its hometown."
❌ And if you think this is limited to tech, you're wrong:
"It’s not just tech employees, either. I have one lawyer friend who just chose one offer over another because its location was going to be more flexible, and another friend in finance who told me that he’s going to look for a new job as soon as his firm asks him to come back to the office."
🏢 I like his framing of how companies can re-think their office spend to provide interesting new perks:
"On average, companies in major cities spend $1-2k per month to keep their employees at a desk in an office because that’s just what companies did. Imagine what they could do with $20k per person per year, a blank slate, and a desire to organize themselves around what they want to achieve... Buy Pelotons for every team member to bond over morning rides instead of water cooler gossip."
And how Zoom is just the beginning. There will certainly be new tools that enter the space to address what Zoom lacks: serendipity.
💸 Finally, a last interesting point he makes about the third order effects is how investing and spending might change:
"Some third-order effect might be that because they’re saving more money, they have more money to invest, and the trends that I wrote about in Software is Eating the Markets towards more retail investment in stocks, art, real estate, and more will accelerate."
📈 Which could also feed back into the growing creator economy, leading me to:
🤯 I was blown away by the stats in this article on the growth of OnlyFans.
"The company has 85 million users, upward of 1 million creators, and will generate more than $2 billion in sales this year, of which it keeps about 20%. That puts the site on track for $400 million in annual net sales — dwarfing Patreon, a platform devoted to helping creative types monetize their work, which is valued at more than $1.2 billion."
☝️ One thing that stands out is the importance of framing:
"I like that it only takes 20%, which is much lower than the prior industry standard of a 50% minimum,” Jones wrote via email."
Coming from any other industry, giving up 20% of your membership fee is wild. Substack takes 10% and that feels pretty high too. Memberstack, what I use for my membership, only takes 1%. But if your only other options for distributing adult content take 50%, then that 20% sounds like a good deal.
🎬 It does create some huge barriers for OnlyFans to grow beyond porn though. Why would a non-porn creator use them if they have to give up so much of their revenue? OnlyFans says it wants to expand beyond NSFW creators but that seems almost impossible given their pricing.
Maybe I'll be wrong though!
✍🏼 And Cal Newport wrote a great piece about the problem with the Getting Things Done methodology in the new world of knowledge work.
"In the nineteen-nineties, the spread of e-mail had transformed knowledge work. With nearly all friction removed from professional communication, anyone could bother anyone else at any time... Work lives that had once been sequential—two or three blocks of work, broken up by meetings and phone calls—became frantic, improvisational, and impossibly overloaded."
🤷♂️ The core problem that Newport addresses is that no matter how productive you are on an individual level, it doesn't matter if your organization isn't productive:
"the shortcomings of personal-productivity systems like G.T.D. become clear. They don’t directly address the fundamental problem: the insidiously haphazard way that work unfolds at the organizational level."
⏳ So if you run an organization or have the power to affect it, think about ways you can empower your employees to be more productive and not get their days constantly interrupted.
"We must, in other words, acknowledge the futility of trying to tame our frenzied work lives all on our own, and instead ask, collectively, whether there’s a better way to get things done."
💐 It turns out the Tulip Mania story is mostly made up. Who knew!
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