5 articles I shared with friends this week

Michael Jackson’s prototype of Thriller
When the song that became Thriller was first considered for the album that also became Thriller, it was called Starlight and had totally different lyrics.
Kottke

What Google learned from its quest to build the perfect team
Down the line Project Aristotle landed on the most fundamental component that ultimately makes a team successful: psychological safety.

Psychological safety enables employees to be comfortable opening up to their colleagues and taking risks.
Business Insider

12 kids’ bands making music that’s better than whatever you’re listening to right now
Fatherly

How to invest in yourself
Medium

Dumb-ass stuff we need to stop saying to dads
Rosie Writes

A hollowing out of our world

Ryan Holiday nails it in this piece from the Observer. Read it twice.

It’s about time that we come to terms with a fundamental reality of this attention economy we live in: human beings will put up with all sorts of indignities, rage, criticism, mockery, and disdain in exchange for getting attention. They’ve learned that if they simply wait out the knee jerk reactions and noise, they still get to stay on stage. And often in the competitive, noisy times we live in, the easiest way to get on that stage in the first place is to do something dumb, out of touch, ridiculous, provocative, offensive or shameless. Especially if the attention that behavior earns can be more easily translated into money than other more rational acts.

there’s nothing you can say that would offend Martin Shkreli and Vladimir Putin that won’t also embolden them. There’s no truth that one can print that doesn’t help ISIS recruit or PETA raise money. They need you to talk about them and to insult them, to make fun of them is to do that. You are the oxygen to the fire of their fame. They have no reputation to ruin, only notoriety to gain. They don’t care what most people think, only what will traffic with their followers.

Observer

5 articles I shared with friends this week

Read this Google email about time management strategy
It’s been said there are two paradigms to scheduling — the manager and the maker.

The manager’s day is cut into 30-minute intervals, and they change what they’re are doing every half hour. Sorta like Tetris — shifting blocks around and filling spaces.

The maker’s day is different. They need to make, to create, to build. But, before that, they need to think. The most effective way for them to use time is in half-day or full-day blocks. Even a single 30-minute meeting in the middle of “Make Time” can be disruptive.
Fast Company

We all need to be makers.

‘Design Thinking’ for a better you
To get started, design thinkers focus on five steps, but the first two are the most important. Step 1 is to “empathize” — learn what the real issues are that need to be solved. Next, “define the problem” — a surprisingly tough task. The third step is to “ideate” — brainstorm, make lists, write down ideas and generate possible solutions. Step 4 is to build a prototype or create a plan. The final step is to test the idea and seek feedback from others.
NY Times

Marriott is removing desks from hotel rooms in a strange bid to please millennials
Yahoo! Finance

The success habit I wish I knew 18 years ago
Look at the calendar of most people and you’ll find a good assortment of the usual events like team meetings, one-on-ones, lunches, etc. You might also find some personal events scheduled, such as family dinners, soccer games, birthdays, etc.

But what won’t you find on 98% of calendars?

Time blocked out to just think. Blocks of 1, 2 or even 3 hours at a time with no agenda. No additional attendees. No anything. Just “thinking time”.
Medium

How should the creative brief change in the always-on world?
Advertising has radically shifted to be more agile, useful, and relevant in the always-on age of mobile. Yet the foundation of creative work, the creative brief, remains largely unchanged.
Think with Google

Art of knowing when to make a decision

Great advice from a former Google executive on making tough decisions quickly. Applicable for all industries and pay grades.

We’re deeply driven by the belief that fast decisions are far better than slow ones, and radically better than no decisions. From day to day, hour to hour, we think about how important each decision is and how much time it’s worth taking.There are decisions that deserve days of debate and analysis, but the vast majority aren’t worth more than 10 minutes.

It’s important to internalize how irreversible, fatal, or non-fatal a decision may be. Very few can’t be undone.

Quartz

5 articles I shared with friends this week

A learning plan for becoming a full stack marketer
The field of digital design & marketing today is vast and it is very easy to get overwhelmed. You need to stack these three bricks.
Medium

Dan Ball’s unseen, intimate photographs of Memphis’s music scene
If you were in a band that played a show in one of Memphis’s many clubs since the 90s, or if you were one of the many locals who made those clubs their second home, or even if you just caught some music while passing through the city, you might have seen Dan Ball standing in the front row with his camera.
Vice

Introducing the MailChimp style guide
We created this guide after years of using a mishmash of different style guides, along with a supplemental internal document. Different teams had conflicting style standards and content guidelines, and writers didn’t always know where to go with questions. It was kind of a mess. So we designed the MailChimp Style Guide to solve those problems.
MailChimp Blog

When I’m gone
With a shoebox under her arm, a nurse came by to comfort me. The box was full of sealed envelopes, with sentences where the address should be. I couldn’t understand exactly what was going on. The nurse then handed me a letter. The only letter that was out of the box.

“Your dad asked me to give you this letter. He spent the whole week writing these, and he wants you read it. Be strong.” the nurse said, holding me.
Medium

Design thinking comes of age
I could list a dozen other types of complexity that businesses grapple with every day. But here’s what they all have in common: People need help making sense of them. Specifically, people need their interactions with technologies and other complex systems to be simple, intuitive, and pleasurable.

A set of principles collectively known as design thinking—empathy with users, a discipline of prototyping, and tolerance for failure chief among them—is the best tool we have for creating those kinds of interactions and developing a responsive, flexible organizational culture.
Harvard Business Review

Bluffing your way through parenthood

Yes, Dear Parent, of course you influence your children. When you mirror them well, they get a little clearer glimpse of who they are and they settle a little more comfortably into their soul. When you join them well, they learn they have a place to belong, a safe place to return to when the world tries to take a bite out of them. When you see them well, they know they matter , and the world needs kids who know they have a part to play in this great big human project. And when you limit them well—with love instead of power—you teach them the value of finitude, the beauty of boundaries, and the contract for community.

But, Dear Parent, beyond that, there’s not a whole lot you can do about how their lives play out. You have almost no power over who they are going to be. In this great poker game called parenthood, the hands have already been dealt and, for the rest of the game, we’re mostly just bluffing our way through the mystery of it.

So, instead of worrying about our lack of control, or beating ourselves up for the outcome, may we all cut ourselves some slack and focus on becoming the best witnesses we can be.

Dr. Kelly Flanagan

5 articles I shared with friends this week

#MozCon 2015 notes
Chelsea Scholz and Cody Campbell of Unbounce took notes of the ENTIRE MozCon 2015 conference for you. If you missed any of the 3 days or 28 talks — or simply couldn’t keep up — they’ve got you covered.
Unbounce

How to do more in less time
Often our biggest problems when it comes to busyness is the way we talk about busyness. Give up on the idea that busy is cool. Successful people aren’t busy. Successful people are good at budgeting their time.
No Sidebar

The death of conversation
The rise of the smartphone has been so rapid that we have not had time to work out the social etiquette but we desperately need to put some ground rules in place to stop it having a detrimental affect on our inter-personal relations.
Babycakes Romero

Marketing stack
A curated directory of marketing resources & tools.
Marketing Stack

What it’s like to face a 150 m.p.h. tennis serve
The New York Times looks down the barrel of a 150 m.p.h. tennis serve.
New York Times

5 articles I shared with friends this week

The emerging role of SEO in app discoverability
There are many ways to promote apps today: advertising, optimizing for app store algorithms, or even just promoting the mobile app via your website. But Google has also been adding some new ways for mobile apps to be discovered organically, and it’s an something that SEOs today should be considering in the holistic optimization process.
Search Engine Land

The habits behind successful, creative, productive people
It would be easier if there were a one-size-fits-all solution for the habits that make a great leader or a great thinker. But there’s really not. The people who are really successful just figured out what works for them, and they work like crazy to make sure that their environment gives them what they need.
Washington Post

5 iconic road trips to take before your kids grow up
Here are 5 classics that will show them everything from the Grand Canyon to Big Sur and teach them the country’s history from Paul Revere’s ride to Martin Luther King’s Freedom March.
Fatherly

Now you can embed auto-play Facebook video on your site
With a little HTML code work, you can enable Facebook videos to play automatically with sound muted outside the social network.
Marketing Land

Creating demand for products, services, and ideas that have little to no existing search volume
A lot of fantastic websites are in something of a pickle: The keywords they would normally think to target get next to no search volume. It can make SEO seem like a lost cause. Rand explains why that’s not the case, and talks about the one extra step that’ll help those organizations create the demand they want.
Moz