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Postive Slope / S.Belsky - 1

Postive Slope / S.Belsky - 1
By Scott Belsky • Issue #1 • View online
We’re experiencing near white-out conditions in NYC, where I am at the moment. My canceled flight out west leaves me no choice but to finally start this newsletter experiment.
Context: I benefit greatly from the writers and curators in my life that bring insights, research, and alternative perspectives to my attention. With this new ~monthly digest, I hope to do the same for friends and fellow enthusiasts of technology, design, and making ideas happen.
I’m organizing the content into three sections: (1) Thinking About, (2) In Case You Missed It, and (3) Worth Sharing. Subject to change.
Thanks for reading, and for you feedback. -scott

Thinking About...
  • Why Revue / This Newsletter? The future of media is likely to include more direct channels of higher quality content. We will still discover new content sources on noisy social network feeds and algorithms, but we will subscribe to sources we like when we find them - and then have a direct relationship going forward. We will pay for some of these subscriptions and others will be free. What form will these direct channels take? The jury is still out, but email is certainly a great one (and as an investor in “Revue,” the company that made the software for this newsletter, I’m giving it a shot). Hence this new digest in your inbox, direct from me.
  • The Journey In-Between. I’m challenging myself these days to chronicle tactics for enduring and optimizing what I’ve come to call “the journey in-between.” The starts and finishes of projects (and start-ups) get all the press coverage and fanfare, but it’s the highly volatile middle of the journey that matters most. A journey is full of ups and downs, and the best you can do is aspire for a positive slope. As this content evolves, I’ll try to share some here first.
  • Cognitive Costs Of Controversy: What is collective cost to GDP of our attention being consumed by politics? Conversations with some of my favorite thinkers have shifted from projecting the future to attempting to understand the present. The frequency of original thought pieces on Twitter and Medium has yielded to a stream of rants, memes, and analysis around politics. Don’t get me wrong. I care deeply about our country and its values, and the allocation of energy is worth it. But the costs are enormous and hard to measure (dangerous combo).
  • The right customers at the right time. I’ve had some discussions lately with teams at different stages of their journey about their “ideal customer.” The old “take any customer you can get” adage is short-sighted, because the customers you have at different stages of your business impact how your product evolves and how your team prioritizes. Especially for venture-backed businesses that optimize for growth before cashflow, not all customers are equal. What makes a customer attractive throughout the lifecycle of a company? READ MORE >
In Case You Missed It...
Over the past few months, I’ve focused on questions around building better “first mile” product experiences, helping employees of so-called “unicorn” companies better understand their compensation, and what the distant future may hold. Here are some of my latests posts on Medium: 
Crafting The First Mile Of Product
Don’t Get Trampled: The Puzzle For “Unicorn” Employees
Five Forecasts For The Future
Worth Sharing...
Consider this the “curation” section. Here are a few things I came across recently that were worth sharing…
'Sweating bullets' - The inside story of the first iPhone - BBC News
Norway to become 1st country to switch off FM radio - World - CBC News
Is this data about bands making it in NYC an interesting proxy for startups? “What 3 yrs and 75,000 shows in NYC tell us about the chance your favorite band will succeed.”
Team communication moment of the month: Encountered this notification (below) in Slack the other day, and it made me think twice. I am impressed by simple prompts for individual users that boost productivity (and respect) for an entire group. Good job Slack. 👌🏼
That wraps up this first digest. Until next time… -scott
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Scott Belsky

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