Recommendations curated for you
The Grinding Wheel vol. 8
Welcome! If you’re new here, The Grinding Wheel is a semi-regular series of curated recommendations to help make you sharper … and some just for fun.
To maximize the quality, I limit the frequency of these posts to a few per year (the last was back in November!) and the number of recommendations per post.
I hope you enjoy these recommendations below. As always, please share with me what you’ve read / watched / listened to that you think I should checkout.
For remembering special days (app)
For me, the era where I relied on Facebook to tell me about birthdays is long gone. I now spend more time texting than I do on social media. But I still want a way to remember to reach out to my people on their birthday. I recently discovered birthday.app, a free site that sends me reminders via text about birthdays (one week beforehand and on the day of). It is a great way to remember the important days to important people in my life.
Note: the app is designed for birthdays but you can use it to get a text reminder about anything.
For achieving your goals (article)
This write-up of 10 documents to make more impact (8 min read) by Brie Wolfson includes some gems that you should consider using. For example, Brie recommends a post-it at your desk called “It’s only the weekend when” where you capture tasks that you must complete before beginning your weekend. Another is a personal press release to clearly envision what it is that you aim to accomplish next quarter or next year.
For building a great team and organization (book)
After helping to build Google during its formative years, Claire Hughes Johnson served as Stripe’s COO for seven years. She recently published Scaling People, which is a modern textbook of best practices for how to build a strong team and a high-performing organization. This book is so packed with actionable advice. I enjoyed the section on writing your personal operating principles (chapter 1). Many companies could benefit from the advice on hiring (chapter 2) and feedback (chapter 5). The book comes with a workbook inside it! I highly recommend if you lead a team or work within a growing organization.
For a taste, you can listen to this interview with Claire.
For a partnership story + great music (film)
There are so many valuable lessons in The Defiant Ones (trailer here), a documentary mini-series about the partnership between music executive Jimmy Iovine and artist Dr. Dre. After producing music together, the two formed Beats by Dre in 2006. In 2014, their company was acquired by Apple for $3.2B. The film features some excellent first-hand accounts from Bono, Eminem, Gwen Stefani, Snoop, Nas and others. I especially enjoyed the story of Iovine’s relentless efforts to sign a deal with a young Trent Reznor.
Note: this film was produced by HBO and it is so good that Peacock acquired the exclusive rights. To watch it, you’ll need to drop $4.99 for a Peacock subscription … just don’t forget to unsubscribe.
“I wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then.” - Bob Seger