Interesting finds / 1

Interesting finds is a weekly blog post that details some of the products (both tangible and digital) I discovered on the web and recommend that you check out. Thanks for supporting Wellsbaum.blog with these affiliate links. Learn more.

1. BRAIN KNITTED HAT UNIQUE THINKING CAP

$29.99| Amazon

Fall is around the corner. Winter is looming. What better way to protect your noggin and boost your IQ than with a woven brain hat. If you read the customer comments, it looks like it fits those with big heads the best.   

2. HARRY POTTER HOUSE TRUNK SETS

$275.00 | Amazon

I just finished Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. While I know I'm incredibly late to the best-selling book series in history, I stumbled across this tasty seven-book trunk that has me thinking about finishing the rest.    

3. HOW TO EAT IN THE WOODS 

In the quest to have a Walden moment some time in my life, it might be worth reading how one could actually survive in the woods: A Complete Guide to Foraging, Trapping, Fishing, and Finding Sustenance in the Wild. I knew Boy Scouts would've been critical. 

4. PET PEEK FENCE WINDOW FOR PETS 🐶

$41.26 | Amazon

This is genius. Every pooch deserves their very own peephole for door or gate. If you live in a fenced area, I'm sure the neighbors will be cool with it.  If not, quote Milan Kundera: “Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring–it was peace.”  

5. GET SHIT DONE THERMAL CERAMIC COFFEE MUG 

$18.99 | Amazon

My mantra: Less talk, more doing.  As UCLA basketball coach John Wooden said it best: “Don’t whine, don’t complain, don’t make excuses, just do the best you can do.” Snag the Get Shit Done mug if you need subtle reinforcement.

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Jeff Bezos 1997 interview

Taped in June 1997, the founder of Amazon Jeff Bezos outlines his vision for his company's music and books webstore model.

Flash forward 21 years later, and the company is not only corroding the retail sector by selling everything online, it also owns everything from grocery stores, newspapers, its own web services, to who know's what next.

“Inventing and pioneering requires being misunderstood for long periods of time.” — Jeff Bezos

What's your vision?

profgalloway_2018-Jan-20
Jeff Bezos in 1990

Becoming Amazon-proof

Amazon buffets the shores of brick and mortar retailers. No business is Amazon-proof. No business is sacred in the internet-era.

We have to assume that everything we do today will at some point be replaced by something quicker, cheaper, and more personalized.

Dumping the problems on tomorrow will get us rekt.

How do we remain anti-fragile?

The first thing Darwin's finches did was grow adaptive beaks. They survived by optimizing their behavior for the micro-market. Some formed specialized beaks just for eating seeds, other grubs, buds and fruit, and insects.

Specialization prolonged their survival.

Sure, the big companies have all the data. But their experience at harvesting attention often fails to attract the customer in search of a unique experience.

People want to consume things they talk about. And they don't always want Starbucks.

‘Whatever diminishes constraint, diminishes strength’

Poetics of Music in the Form of Six Lessons, books

“I shall go even further: my freedom will be so much the greater and more meaningful the more narrowly I limit my field of action and the more I surround myself with obstacles. Whatever diminishes constraint, diminishes strength. The more constraints one imposes, the more one frees one's self of the chains that shackle the spirit.”

—Igor Stravinsky, [easyazon_link identifier=”0674678567″ locale=”US” tag=”wells01-20″]Poetics of Music in the Form of Six Lessons[/easyazon_link]

‘Time is to clock as mind is to brain’ 🕰️

Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time

Time is to clock as mind is to brain. The clock or watch somehow contains the time. And yet time refuses to be bottled up like a genie stuffed in a lamp. Whether it flows as sand or turns on wheels within wheels, time escapes irretrievably, while we watch. Even when the bulbs of the hourglass shatter, when darkness withholds the shadow from the sundial, when the mainspring winds down so far that the clock hands hold still as death, time itself keeps on. The most we can hope a watch to do is mark that progress. And since time sets its own tempo, like a heartbeat or an ebb tide, timepieces don’t really keep time. They just keep up with it, if they’re able.

— Dava Sobel, [easyazon_link identifier=”0007902506″ locale=”US” tag=”wells01-20″]Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time[/easyazon_link]

Craving wilderness/Out to Live

More ‘inspiration boost’ patches from the [easyazon_link keywords=”Asilda Store” locale=”US” tag=”wells01-20″]Asilda Store[/easyazon_link].

One of the main benefits of walking in nature is that trees inspire feelings of awe./ [easyazon_link identifier=”B01I4RSHP0″ locale=”US” tag=”wells01-20″]Craving Wilderness Embroidered Sew or Iron-on Patch[/easyazon_link]

Craving Wilderness Embroidered Sew or Iron-on Patch
Craving Wilderness Embroidered Sew or Iron-on Patch

Disconnect and live a little./ [easyazon_link identifier=”B017GI0HJ2″ locale=”US” tag=”wells01-20″]Out to Live Glow in the Dark Outdoor Embroidered Sew or Iron-on Patch[/easyazon_link]

Out to Live Glow in the Dark Outdoor Embroidered Sew or Iron-on Patch
Out to Live Glow in the Dark Outdoor Embroidered Sew or Iron-on Patch

Inspiration boost patches: You can’t delegate thinking/Offline is the new luxury

Digging these tech-related ‘inspiration boost' patches from the Asilda Store.

Never outsource your chance to think (i.e. Google the answers). / [easyazon_link identifier=”B07468H3GP” locale=”US” tag=”wells01-20″]You Can't Delegate Thinking Embroidered Sew or Iron-on Patch[/easyazon_link]

Asilda Store You Can't Delegate Thinking Embroidered Sew or Iron-on Patch #quote #think #clothing #fashion #design #embroidery #inspiration
You Can't Delegate Thinking Embroidered Sew or Iron-on Patch

Never underestimate a good walk in nature. / [easyazon_link identifier=”B01N6U6EZ9″ locale=”US” tag=”wells01-20″]Offline is The New Luxury Embroidered Sew or Iron-on Patch[/easyazon_link]

Asilda Store Offline is The New Luxury Embroidered Sew or Iron-on Patch #offline #nature #internet #quotes #patch #design #fashion #clothing
Asilda Store Offline is The New Luxury Embroidered Sew or Iron-on Patch

‘I…cannot…even…’

Heads up: I handpick items that I think my readers would like and feature them here. If you buy something, I earn an affiliate commission which helps support the blog. There are also others ways to show your love.

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I Cannot Even, Funny Paper Notepad Stationery

[easyazon_cta align=”none” cart=”y” identifier=”B015I0ZGCS” key=”wide-orange” locale=”US” tag=”wells01-20″]

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Everything is Fine Paper Pad

[easyazon_cta align=”center” cart=”y” identifier=”B00Y1D0QJ2″ key=”wide-orange” locale=”US” tag=”wells01-20″]

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Oh Look a Bunch of Shit I'll Never Do, Funny Paper Notepad 

[easyazon_cta align=”center” cart=”y” identifier=”B01BFSC0W6″ key=”wide-orange” locale=”US” nw=”y” tag=”wells01-20″]

Good Tips

People pay for curation today, not the content. The content is cheap and mostly free.

Apple just have away a U2’s new album. You can already stream any track you want on Spotify, YouTube, and SoundCloud. Unless you’re reading the Financial Times or the Wall Street Journal, there’s no paywall preventing you from getting free news. Meanwhile, Amazon is pushing for an all you can eat books model as part of their Prime service.

Free content means that what people are really paying for are the quality of recommendations thy get in return. Peer recommendations don’t suffice.. You only want to consume the good stuff that master curators spend the time to find.

What made Songza different than the rest of the music streaming networks was its handpicked, contextual playlists based on time of day. Echo Nest plans to turn Spotify into a recommendation engine. What makes Amazon so good at recommending books is its smart algorithm.

The wisdom of crowds theory that said that the best result is the summary of what everyone is looking for is dead. People don’t want to be manipulated by mainstream culture. The best services will find out what niche genres a person likes and make long-tail recommendations around those. Make the users feel like they found it first.

Content and curation are BFFs. The two go hand in hand. The act of curation gives content it’s true value. People just want to hear about the good stuff and ignore the rest.

You don’t own your Kindle books, Amazon reminds customer – NBC News

“The core issue might actually be a simple matter of semantics: when we click a digital button that is labelled “Buy,” we expect that we're actually buying something. But we're not buying anything, we're licensing it.”

Makes you want to only invest in things that are tangible.

Narrowing the Publishing/Sharing Strategy

I remember a few years ago as social networks and self-publishing were taking off that the popular theory was to publish everywhere: Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.

That may have been a good strategy for then as consumers were still sporadic in their social and reading habits. But the Internet has quickly matured.

For me, cross-posting and cross-publishing is a waste of time when 80% of my social activity comes from Twitter and all my book sales come from Amazon. Indeed, FB is a huge referral driver but it's much harder to get going if you’re a smaller brand page with no advertising dollars.  It's also worth noting that the Amazon Kindle and Kindle app have crushed Barnes and Noble e-products.

As creators and self-marketers, time may be better spent publishing to a select number of distributors while you let the crowds spread your content elsewhere. Of course, I’d like to explore Reddit more and possibly be more aggressive on Quora to flex my expertise. But those too come at the cost of time.

I now know that promoting content everywhere is a strategy that calls for inevitable burnout. Share to Google+?  No way, I'm good.  If I had it my way, everything would just emerge from this blog and my Twitter account would be vacant, but I just don’t have the audience yet.

Get Unstuck: 10 Tips to Unlocking Creativity

I published a new book that I think you'll like, Get Unstuck: 10 Tips to Unlocking Creativity.

The book is an aggregation of the thoughts you typically see on this blog. Below are the 10 chapters (tips) to unlocking creativity:

  1. Believe That You’re Creative
  2. Do the Opposite
  3. Break Routines
  4. Copy Someone or Something
  5. Combine Ideas
  6. Curate Instead of Create
  7. Go for a Walk
  8. Take Time to Dream
  9. Do It “Now”
  10. Embrace Your Flaws

I hope you'll support me in downloading this book. I'm happy to send you a PDF version of the book for free if you'll provide an honest review on the Amazon product page. You can also send me an email or leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

Thanks for your support.

Wells Baum, aka Bombtune