WordPress Interview With The Repository

The Repository is probably the best regular WordPress newsletter. The team do a great job of featuring weekly news in context, featuring a wide range of quote from people in the business.

They asked me five questions for a recent edition.

1. A podcast worth listening to 

Founders is the podcast I’ve listened to most often during the last year. It starts with a simple concept: each week the host reads the biography of an entrepreneur and summarizes the highlights. It’s helped me fill in many gaps in my knowledge of business history, from the story behind car companies Rolls Royce and General Motors to tech companies like Intel and HP. The best episodes inspire me to read the original book, including Swimming Across by Andy Grove which is the most memorable book I’ve read in years.

2. A concept worth understanding 

Radical Candor by Kim Scott has been very helpful when managing people. It helped me understand that I used “Ruinous Empathy” far too often. If you’re like me and naturally shy away from awkward situations, Radical Candor is a very useful concept: “To build strong relationships, you have to Care Personally … and Challenge Directly. Challenging people is often the best way to show you care.”

3. A Twitter account worth following 

I’m going to cheat by naming several related accounts that focus on Gutenberg: Rich Tabor, Birgit Pauli-Haack, Brian Gardner, and Justin Tadlock. If you follow those four people, you’ll be able to keep up with the cutting edge changes in Gutenberg. Their signal-to-noise ratio is incredibly high.

4. An article worth reading 

Ten Lessons I Learned from Peter Drucker”. The whole of this article is good, but the final item has stuck with me for years: 

“It seems to me you spend a lot of time worrying how you will survive,” said Peter. “You will probably survive.” He continued, “And you seem to spend a lot of energy on the question of how to be successful. But that is the wrong question.” He paused, then like the Zen master thwacking the table with a bamboo stick: “The question is: how to be useful!” 

Too many times, my instinctive mind recoils at the ideas of doing something useful because of the cost, and I have to remind myself of this story.

5. A habit worth forming 

Journaling. I’d often resisted doing this, but a couple of years ago I stumbled on this post by Thomas Griffin from Awesome Motive, and also downloaded the Day One app. Suddenly, things clicked and I was away. Even if you don’t find yourself with anything special to say, just noting down the events of each day has a calming effect. And over the longer term, you start to notice patterns in your life and behavior that just don’t become obvious until they’re written down.