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Polymathic Monthly - Issue #30: The Struggle, The Messy Middle and The Mother Of Invention


Polymathic Monthly

December 23 · Issue #30 · View online

A curation of articles, tech, books and innovation strategy to enrich your career and personal lives.

Path was an intimate social media app for close friends and family. It launched in 2010 and put a 200 person cap on the number of connections you could have. It was beautifully designed and the user experience is one I would reference time and again. The app also launched ‘reactions’ two years before Facebook emojis/reactions. Like most users of the app, the ability to curate your network and only share with a select few was great. I remember sharing pictures of our son, a few days after he was born, with just a few friends and the one or two members of my family who were on the app.
The app didn’t gain mass adoption, a goal I always felt ran counter to the product promise, and was sold to Kakao in 2015. In times like these, with more Facebook issues reported this past week, one would expect apps like Path would to grow in popularity. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Path shut down in October
One should never listen to what users say they want (‘delete Facebook! We don’t trust Facebook!’) and just learn from what users actually do (‘Check out the intimate family pictures of our holiday dinner!’). That being said, more people are dumping the app.

The legendary Walt Mossberg ditched Facebook.
The legendary Walt Mossberg ditched Facebook.
  • I’m midway through Scott Belsky’s (founder of Behance and now Chief Product Officer at Adobe) ‘The Messy Middle’ and I’ve recommended it to every entrepreneur I’ve spoken to in the last couple of weeks. It’s the book version of Ben Horowitz’s ‘The Struggle’.
  • Craftsmanship. Focus. Symbols. Brand. Tribes. All things Seth Godin continues to preach, this time in ‘This Is Marketing’, as the way to get ahead in this noisy world. Pair with the ‘1000 True Fans’ article above.
  • If you don’t have time to read a long book over the holidays, go with a short book that also helps you live a healthier life. Go with ‘A Short Guide To A Long Life’.
  • I’ve never been into poetry. But as a logophile I’ve always wanted to read stuff by Pablo Neruda. ‘All the Odes’ took me me a while to get through. But I think I might now love words even more. You can read ‘Ode to things’ to get a taste.
  • The Girl Who Saved The King of Sweden’ was the bedside book at a friends place on my last work trip. I couldn’t finish it before heading back home but had to pick it up once I got back to Austin. Implausible. Farcical. Hilarious. Fantastic.
  • If it’s not on my calendar or on my to-do-list, it doesn’t exist. I’ve used Trello for business purposes but, on the advice of my closest confidant :), I decided to try it for personal productivity. It’s going well so far.
There is something symbolic about this being the 30th issue of PM… It’ll also be the last issue for 2018. Thanks for going on this journey with me. I hope you’re enjoying it as much as I do…
Happy holidays and I wish you the very best as you step into 2019.
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