Month: September 2015

Publications I Can’t Live Without

While many people look at Sunday as the day of rest, I look at it as the day of reading. It’s the one day of the week that I have enough free time to sit down and go through my ever-growing Safari reading list. Besides the startup/VC blogs, three publications constantly find themselves in that list and they consistently have fantastic content.

Vox

Starting with the 2012 election, since that was the first time I could vote, I have constantly had one ear listening to politics. The problem I had with reading and hearing about political news is there is a knowledge barrier. Gaining access to the articles is easy but the problem is understanding what they mean when they throw around things like “The US and China are engaging in a cap-and-trade program again…”. A what-now?

What Vox does is combine the headlines with the background so you actually know what is going on and you don’t have to do multiple Google searches every time you read an article.

Note: subscribe to their newsletter, they do an excellent job outlining the top headlines succinctly so you can get back to living your life while still being in-the-know.

Wired

For science class in sixth grade we would have to pick out an article from a magazine and then write a summary and our thoughts on it every so often. I would always write about Popular Science since they would talk about the latest gadgets and developments in the different science fields. Wired is the same thing but with better writing and a thoughtfully designed pages that make for an enhanced reading experience.

Note: I despise looking at ads. I find them to be intrusive and clutter up a page. Because of that I subscribed to Wired and get an ad-free version sent to my iPad. Speaking of ads, if you hate ads like me but want to still pay for the content you are viewing, check out Contributor by Google.* Instead of seeing an ad, you see a box saying, “Thanks for being a contributor”. Paying $5/month blocks hundreds of ads a month but you don’t feel you are cheating like when you use AdBlock.

Wait But Why

WBW is hands down the best place for amazing, long articles that will change your perspective for the better. I discovered Tim Urban’s website this summer right before he published his epic three part story on Elon Musk and his companies. He takes a concept – be it Tesla Motors, Graham’s number, or mundane Wednesdays – and breaks it down until you have a complete understanding of why it exists and what makes it important. Plus he adds in comical drawings that make things like artificial intelligence easy to digest.

 

-Adam


 

No, I am not being paid to write about any of these, I just truly enjoy their content and want to spread the love. Plus, the more people reading WBW and using Contributor means they will be around longer so I’m partly doing this for my own selfish reasons. But after you check them out you won’t be able to blame me so go check them out.

*You may need an invite to join, if so, leave a comment and I can send you one. For whatever reason I have 50 that need a home.

A Genuine Interview

I’ve never quite understood the interview. It’s fake.

We dress up in clothes we rarely wear and often don’t feel comfortable in. We put so much importance on a single block of time which results in tons of build up, stress and anxiety. Why are we creating this fake environment instead of showing our real selves?

When looking at a full time job, a third of our day, if not more, is going to be spent in the office working with these people who we are dressing up to impress. During all those hours we are portraying the true versions of ourselves since we are doing what we, hopefully, enjoy. While the interview feels gross and awkward.

Let me take a step back. There are examples where dressing up in our Sunday best makes sense, specifically when the interview outfit and work day outfit are one and the same.

However, I’m talking about jobs where in the interview we are dressing up and for the average work day we are putting a slight bit of thought into our outfit and that’s it. These unofficial uniforms then carry over to the overall culture.

The first time I met the CEO of National Galactic (formally Colupon) I wore a button down and jeans. My average outfit during the week? A button down or sweater with jeans (it gets cold in Connecticut). And during that first meeting at our local Starbucks, it was a relaxed conversation where we were getting to know each other and the opportunity at hand. I wasn’t trying to impress anyone, I was simply being myself.

On the other hand when I worked at Apple in retail, during every part of the interview process I felt obligated to dress up. Wearing those clothes made me feel uncomfortable and made the experience more formal than it was. When I started working there, dressing up was optional. Wearing shorts or jeans with our Apple shirt was the norm. Almost every day I worked there it was a fun and engaging experience, which is the exact opposite of the interview process.

Again, one size doesn’t fit all but I think there is room for us to rethink what an interview is and how it plays into the overall culture that the company is cultivating.