Quick Reads: Link Roundup

I’m trying to catch up on my reading this weekend. I have so many things bookmarked in my Twitter favorites or Google Reader (starred, that’s how I use them) to “Read Later” that I want to get through before I start on my real fall reading (see photo).

A few things you might be interested in too:

What Every CEO Can Learn from Best Buy’s (Continued) Branding Mistakes at Fast Company.

The article itself is pretty weak, but I love a Venn diagram and this is one is good.

An Interview with Sol LeWitt from 2003, BOMB Magazine.

As a fan of conceptual art and of LeWitt’s art in particular this was a great read. If you’re not into that sort of thing YMWDV, and I don’t think this will convert you from a view that it’s all just wankery. It is, but it’s delightful and thoughtful wankery!

SL What it looked like wasn’t important. It didn’t matter what you did as long as the lines were distributed randomly throughout the area. In many of the wall pieces there is very little latitude for the draftsman or draftswoman to make changes, but it is evident anyway, visually, that different people make different works. I have done other pieces that give the draftsperson a great liberty in interpreting an action. In this way the appearance of the work is secondary to the idea of the work, which makes the idea of primary importance. The system is the work of art; the visual work of art is the proof of the system. The visual aspect can’t be understood without understanding the system. It isn’t what it looks like but what it is that is of basic importance.

The system is the work of art; the visual work of art is the proof of the system. I cannot stop thinking about this.

How to be Unhappy from The Art of Unconformity.

I might be doing one of these right now and he’s right, it’s making me miserable. Time to change!

Why Remote Workers are More, Yes More, Engaged from the HBR.

One they they don’t list is that familiarity breeds contempt. It’s super easy to be distracted and annoyed by people who you are physically close to on an ongoing basis. Having a physical distance can help because then your interactions are focused on the work and on relationship building as a means to accomplishing tasks and not just the suspicious glances of “are you the one who put fish in the microwave at 10:30am?”.

Also from the HBR blog network: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less (and another Venn diagram!)

Not Free, Not Easy, Not Trivial — The Warehousing and Delivery of Digital Goods from The Scholarly Kitchen.

I work in publishing and know that publishing something online vs in print has real costs that people don’t often anticipate. I get literal pains when someone says that digital good are free. Like right below my belly button it twinges. There’s some good discussion there too.

How You Get Unstuck by Sugar on The Rumpus

I could link every single Dear Sugar column as they’re all amazing (and now in book form) and, if you haven’t read any, I advise you start now but also bring Kleenex. This one is no exception. It isn’t about business at all, but it’s about resiliency which is one of those deep character things you need to have to do anything successfully.

… and while you have the Kleenex out…

Printed 3-D Prosthetic for a 3-year old

Why Just Do It is Bullshit by Buster Benson (he started HealthMonth, among other things, which I have participated in and really enjoyed).

All of these “nothing is impossible” affirmations also downplay the fact that natural advantages exist, and that advantages can compound, especially when timing and economic conditions and luck are amongst your natural advantages.

And no, we are not all doled out the same number of natural advantages as everyone else. Obviously. It’s not fair, but it’s true.

By accepting the role of natural advantages in the world, you can try to magnify your own natural advantages to see if they lead somewhere interesting and extraordinary. No guarantees, but it’s a good place to start.

What Audiences Want: Study Uncovers Possible Futures for Storytelling, a summary of a Latitude study on audience expectations for content.

By analyzing our participants’ responses and the storytelling concepts they generated, we were able to uncover four elements—the “4 I’s”—that will continue to play a significant role in our experiences with narrative-based media. Immersion and interactivity primarily help an audience to go deeper into a story, while integration and impact are about bringing a story of out of the screen, into our actual lives.

Someone tweeted this (and now I can’t find out who, as I wrote it down and twitter searching is terrible) and I really love it. I am naturally a regular and ordinary person and I hope that doing so allows originality to inform my work:

Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work. (Gustave Flaubert)