As you know, I'm writing a daily newsletter on LinkedIn for the next couple of months. This week, I wrote about urban planning, remote work, asynchronous work, focused work, and the productivity of American volatility. All the pieces are below.
A couple of announcements:
🎤 Next Wednesday, I'm hosting a live stream with Kasey Klimes to talk about "Designing for the Future of Work." We are facing a historical shift in how & where people work, live, and socialize. This shift has consequences for how our cities, offices, & homes are designed. Sing up here. It's free.
🧠 The following week, I'm kicking off the 6th cohort of my Hype-Free Crypto course. Now's a great time to consider the business models, user behaviors, and financing methods that survived the crash. Speculators got destroyed, but the largest companies and investors are more committed than ever. Join us to separate the signal from the noise and figure out the opportunities for your company or career.
Remote and the Geography of Nowhere
Commuting had a disastrous effect on urban planning. It made people more isolated and segregated. It wasted precious resources. And it increased emissions. Remote work is redefining the relationship between the workplace and the home. This creates an opportunity to make things better — and worse. What is most likely to happen? Continue reading...
Remote first, Async second
The office as we know it is the physical embodiment of the manager’s schedule. It is a place for observing, instructing, receiving updates, and providing feedback. An office is a management tool.
But most people aren’t managers, they are makers. They code, write, and do other things that require long stretches of focused work. For such people, a single meeting often messes up a whole day. And that’s before we even get to emails, messages, office small talk, and other distractions.
As more companies embrace remote work, they are also embracing asynchronous work — empowering their people to choose where, when, and how to be as creative as they can. Continue reading...
Distracted by Default
In most companies, distraction is the default. You must book a time for focused work.
But for most creative jobs, focused work should be the default. Anyone who wants to distract us should book a time — including ourselves.
The productivity of manual laborers increased 50-fold during the 20th Century. To achieve a similar increase in productivity, knowledge workers should radically change the way they work. Flipping our approach to focused work is a good place to start. Continue reading...
Productivity and Inequality
In the industrial world, productivity growth meant more people could live with dignity and the rise of a middle class.
In the post-industrial world, productivity growth means something very different. We live in a world where one person can produce and distribute something that 100 million people pay for.
This is an incredible increase in productivity. But this increase is not spread equally. And it gives rise to a narrow class of high-earners who pull ahead while the middle class falls behind. Continue reading...
The American Meme (4th of July Special)
America is an idea that generates and refines other ideas. The intensity of debate makes it look volatile and chaotic. But the only thing worse than embracing volatility is suppressing it. Continue reading...
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