A curation of articles, tech, books and innovation strategy to enrich your career and personal lives.
How did January go so fast?!?? Hope it was a good one for you.
The last few weeks I’ve had attention on my mind. Yours and mine. How it’s so easily sucked away by things we don’t want to spend much time or thought on. Or sucked when we spend more time than we budgeted on the things we intended to do. That news headline. That tweet, which was a reaction to another tweet. That app notification. It’s always something, sucking our attention.
Thankfully, we’re wired to manage this attention suck; we have the ability to ignore.which is a key part of paying attention. But to hone this ability to ignore, we have to understand distractions and attention sucks. As I like to say ’to hack, disrupt or change a thing you have to understand it deeply’. We’ll explore this in the articles and book recommendations below.
1. Two article recommendations
A short one from John Hopkins University on the counter-intuitiveness of how being ability to ignore is a key part of paying attention.
the first one is by Tim Wu (author of one of my favorite books on technology and cycles ’The Master Switch’) and it’s called ‘The Attention Merchants’. This book traces the history from the first attention merchant (Benjamin Day) who figured out how to convert his readers into his product by selling his newspaper for next to nothing and packaging ‘attention’ for advertisers. You can say he’s the forefather of Google, Facebook and Snap(chat).
Since we are the ‘product’ for most of these free technologies and tools we use online, its a good idea to dive into the psychology of how these apps became so addictive. ‘Hooked’ by Nir Eyal, another author I spoke to in my quest to learn more about tech addiction mechanisms, has written a book that every product manager, designer or CEO needs to elevate their product.
3. Product: no tech product this week. I went on a ‘fast’ avoiding social media for a few days and taking notes with a trusty old pen in a trusty old moleskin notebook. Pretty therapeutic.
I received a few emails about increasing the frequency of Polymathic. Many thanks to those who reached out. I’ll probably make it every 2-3 weeks. There is so much to share and so little time (and attention…).
As always, please send your recommendations. Have a great month!
Polymathic Monthly is a newsletter courtesy of Harper Jacobs, providing thought leadership & strategic narratives (content) for tech and energy companies.
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