Friday Coffee, Austin

Hey and hello from Austin, Texas, Ya’ll.

I’m writing from a cafe downtown after a bit of a walk around Congress. Last night I was treated to the food scene here. We started at Ramen Tatsuya (http://ramen-tatsuya.com/) which had a line outside the door and then ended up at Amy’s (https://amysicecreams.com/) for vegan ice cream.

I’d like to meet Amy Simmons sometime, her brand is amazing and quirky and the exact type of brand I was hoping to see in Austin. I will be looking out for others.

Their tagline is: “Without Ice Cream There Would be Darkness and Chaos.”

Other Brands I’ve Spotted

– Yeti HQ (https://www.yeti.com/en_US/flagship.html) is right by downtown.
– The Line (https://www.thelinehotel.com/austin/) on the river (I’m going to stop in, as I’m curious what shops are inside).
– Goop (https://www.austin360.com/entertainmentlife/20190208/gwyneth-paltrows-goop-is-coming-to-austin-with-sound-baths-and-tarot-readings) just opened a physical retail location here.
– Luminary Podcasts (https://luminarypodcasts.com/?country=US) , the “netflix for podcasts” who just raised obscene amounts of capital had some billboards up, no doubt for SXSW.

Webflow

I spent a bunch of the weekend going through Webflow (https://webflow.com) . I was raised on Squarespace, and before that, Tumblr. I skipped the computer hacker-kid phase and instead chose to play sports. In retrospect, dumb decision.

Then again, electrical engineering and programming aren’t my thing, for me, it was sports and…

Art.

Particularly Sketching on the pad with a pencil or charcoal. That was until I took a film photography class.
We still had a darkroom, and you’d spend the weekend taking images and then developing the negatives.

You’ have your hands stuck in a black bag trying to reel the film out of its container without it getting exposed to the light. Then you’d head into the tight quarters with the trays of chemicals to see if what you shot was any good.

I’m a messy creator.

I need to get all of the ideas out and then cover up or erase or run it through a few times before the right piece shows up. So the more roles of film, the better.

It’s kinda like my Mac, which expands and contracts based on projects, from clean to cluttered to clean again.

Expansion

After stepping out from the day to day of Death to Stock I had to explore new areas. I had to mine the archives of what I learned along the way. I had to understand the landscape I’d traversed, not to go backward, but to go forward.

And this leads to an immediate wave of creation. This newsletter being part of that wave. But many other projects, too. And many other conversations.

Many other messy experiments, until…

Consolidation.

You refine what you’ve gathered from these experiments and find focus. Not just focus in terms of limited scope, but focus on a big vision.

You being to see with more clarity, like the image developing in the water as it comes to life and into view.

And now you see the new mountain.

You look back and you see the valley you came from, and the previous peak back in the distance that’s barely viewable through the cloud cover. And you return your gaze forward and gear yourself up for the ascent…

But before you leave, you train.

For me, that means forming of the ritual. It’s the uncompromising devotion. It’s the practical experiments.

It’s testing the potion, and then going back to the lab based on its effectiveness.

I’m feeling really energized, but know that this is a long journey ahead, so I’m not getting too overzealous tiring myself out too quickly when it’s a long climb.

Workflow

Part of this recent reflection has been a refinement is workflow. Most systems we use are 5-10 years old. But to adapt to the technology of the day is to maximize your leverage.

You test out new tools, and ask yourself, as the Amish do, “Will this help me accomplish my goals?”

And is there a multiple that makes it worth switching costs?

And some new questions:
* Where would you begin if you were to start from scratch?
* What tools are available today that weren’t available 5 years ago?
* What functions do I perform which should never be outsourced, but instead support me? And which functions should I outsource?

The answer is not always technical, but it’s the easiest to cover. I could give you a list of tools, but the truth is they work in unique ways to the individual, and are entirely dependent on what’s being done.

Right now my focus is on developing a workflow that uses smarter tech to help outsource minute that I don’t want to think about. It means batching tasks. And mostly I’m hacking stuff together with Zapier (https://zapier.com) , Webflow, Pocket (http://getpocket.com ) , Airtable (https://airtable.com/invite/r/BkckmEyP) etc. Ben Tossell (https://twitter.com/bentossell) has been a big help here.

I don’t intend to indoctrinate you into the world of Weblflow and Zapier just yet. But I have a note that will bug me if I don’t get to it.

Thanks

Thanks to Super (https://twitter.com/suprasannam) for some help on dissecting a few ideas and viewing them as drafts.

Thanks Marc (https://twitter.com/MarcEglon) , for including me in your roundup of newsletters and for sharing your digital hackpreneur mag with me.

Thanks Daria for forwarding this to your friend.

Thanks Elisabeth (https://www.instagram.com/etavierne/) for sharing on Instagram.

Good Catching up this morning over coffee, back to it.

Speak soon,

xx David

 

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