The networked world provides us the chance to expand our spheres of influence and choose the streams of information that shape our thoughts and actions.
In my case, the wealth of information shared online has given me the chance to travel beyond my limited experiences and tap into the knowledge of those I look up to. Blogs have inspired me to think harder, learn more, and appreciate a world of opportunity.
Since the early 1990s, people have been using the transfer protocols of the World Wide Web to share ideas and document their lives.
Here are some of my favourite products of that. The ever-changing list I share with friends, family and anyone wanting to know what I'm reading.
Not Boring by Packy McCormick
Newsletter for discovering interesting ideas in the world of technology and business. Packy does a great job to break down complex topics from the perspective of a non-expert who has done enough reading to explain things to newcomers while avoiding presenting ideas in an overwhelming and unapproachable way. Each post is a deep dive (20-25min articles) that builds a comprehensive argument on topics ranging from NFTs and the creator economy to company spotlights and imagined mergers/acquisitions.
Recommended reading: Power to the Person, The Value Chain of the Open Metaverse
The essays on Farnam Street do a great job of distilling ideas as a gateway to further reading - books, mental models and frameworks from interesting and inspiring people. Whenever I came across a new term on a Podcast I was listening to or blog post I was reading, my curiosity would bring me to a Google search page that inevitably had a Farnam Street post as one of the top results. Ever since I added FS to my RSS feed, it has become a stream that surfaces new ideas and topics to incorporate into my life.
Recommended reading: Mental Models, 12 Life Lessons From Mathematician and Philosopher Gian-Carlo Rota
Paul Graham founded Y Combinator, the startup accelerator that helped launch companies including AirBNB, Twitch and Reddit amongst others. Graham is a great writer and thinker who draws from his experiences to talk about passion, technology, business, creating, productivity, writing and above all, choosing to do good work. Startup founders all are a bit crazy in one sense or another and I think that has given Graham a lot of life advice to share from the things he's witnessed.
Recommended reading: The Lesson to Unlearn, The Bus Ticket Theory of Genius
No introduction needed. The blog that became Atomic Habits - necessary reading for anyone interested in taking control of their life and becoming more intentional with how they live.
Recommended reading: The Beginner's Guide to Deliberate Practice
Tiago Forte is a productivity machine. His posts are in depth explanations exploring how we can design systems for learning, thinking and doing that align with our intended outcomes. His systems for Personal Knowledge Management and digital organisation have inspired the way that I take notes and retain + put to use the ideas I come across.
Recommended reading: The PARA Method: A Universal System for Organizing Digital Information
Venkatesh Rao: Breaking Smart
A series of essays written in 2014 that act as both biography and crystal ball for how the development of software has consumed (and will continue to consume) the networked world that we now find ourselves in. A great introduction to the processes and frameworks that continue to drive rapid development in in software and technology. If this doesn't get you excited in learning more about the startup world, I don't know what will, but even for those not interested, there are a lot of models that can be applied to how one chooses to live.
Recommend reading: Tinkering versus Goals
David Perell writes about everything, but some of his best essays centre around the future of work & education, interesting aspects of culture and the process of writing itself. I read David's Ultimate Guide to Writing Online the week before I started this blog and it was the straw that broke this Camel's back. The week after, I shared my first post.
Recommended reading: Why You Should Write
Erik Torenberg's Thoughts
Erik Torenberg founded On Deck which provides a suite of courses for developing skills that take advantage of opportunities provided by the internet. He writes a weekly newsletter where he breaks down viewpoints of himself and others on: the state of education & work, business & startups, markets & society amongst other things.
Recommended reading: Opportunities in Education , The World According to Peter Thiel
Nat Eliason writes about marketing, creativity, productivity and life/work on the internet. He wrote another one of the posts that inspired this blog (How to Start a Blog that Changes Your Life) and continues to deliver interesting ideas after moving on from the marketing agency he founded.
Recommended reading: Improving Idea Flow