Six Links Worthy of Your Attention #494

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Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (Solve for Interesting, Tilt the Windmill, HBS, chair of Strata, Startupfest, FWD50, and Scaletechconf; author of Lean Analytics and some other books), Hugh McGuire (Rebus Foundation, PressBooks, LibriVox) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person “must see.”

Check out these six links that we’re recommending to one another: 

  • The Art of Influencing. A Thread – Thread Reader – Phil Venables. “The older I get, the more I realize that things don’t get done on merit, they get done on influence. So if you’re doing something worthy, you still need to influence culture and stakeholders to get buy-in and achieve whatever you’re after. This is a good short read, whether you’re navigating PTA politics, pitching a tech acquisition, or trying to save the world.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • What happens when you add a new teller? – John D. Cook Consulting. “Queueing theory is freaky. I’ve been obsessed with stuff like Benford’s Law (seemingly random things aren’t random) and the Central Limit Theorem (many of a random thing stop being random) lately. But here’s a good, simple explanation of queueing, with some astonishing results. When we proselytize about e-commerce, we often forget fundamentals like this that affect conversion and profitability in the real world. Also a great stat for talks to omnichannel marketers: What’s the point of all that conversion optimization when it hits a queue?” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • The Data Show That Socialism Works – Current Affairs. “How do ‘socialist’ countries fare against the less socialist countries? In innovation? Life satisfaction? Health? Wealth accumulation? Productivity? Pretty well, it turns out. (Interestingly, Canada is smack in the middle of whatever characteristic you want to analyze).” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • How to Wrap a Goat for Christmas – Goat Life – YouTube. “Like many people, I often give live baby goats as a holiday gifts this time of year. But every year I have trouble wrapping my goats. If you have the same problems, here is a tutorial to help you out. I know it’s helped me.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • This is How a Society Dies – Umair Haque – Medium – Eudaimonia. “Put aside whatever side of the political spectrum that you are on. Put aside what you think about nationalism in a globally connected world. Put aside whatever bias and wealth class that you find yourself in. Put aside that everything you have is (basically) some rando biological/genetic lottery (when you really think about it). Put aside that the only difference between you and any other human being on this planet is nothing but space and time. Put aside that in about 110 years every single human being walking on this planet will probably be dead and a new crop of humans will be wandering around. Put that all aside, and give this a read. It’s not about left or right… it’s about all of us needing to be right about how we want things left. Worst play on words ever, but you get the  idea…” (Mitch for Alistair). 
  • The Library Fire That Ignited an Author’s Imagination – The New York Times. “We need to go back in time. I saw this online course about creative non-fiction. As a huge non-fiction/business book nerd, I paid attention. The course was given by Susan Orlean. I had heard about some of her books (and writing), but had not been paying any real attention to it. Still, I loved the course. So much so, that I invited Susan to be a guest on the Six Pixels of Separation podcast. She agreed (you can listen to our conversation from 2014 right here: SPOS #434 – Understanding Creative Non-Fiction With Susan Orlean). Since then, I have been following her work. Her latest book, The Library Book, came out in 2018. Being the book and library nerd that I am, I bought it immediately… but didn’t read it. Last Saturday – for some reason – the book seemed to be calling me from the shelf, so I picked it up and could not put it down (I read it in less than 48 hours and was dreading the end of it, because it was so enjoyable). It is written in a totally mesmerizing way. The way Susan writes is… just… well… amazing? That word doesn’t do it justice. So, the holiday season is upon us. If you’re looking for a great book to read… this is it. Promise.” (Mitch for Hugh).

Feel free to share these links and add your picks on TwitterFacebook, in the comments below or wherever you play.