Nerd Corner #79

Clean your workspace, Calendly, Justin Kan, Starlink...

Hi friends!

I've been thinking a lot about the importance for knowledge workers to think more like athletes if we want to be at the top of our game. So let's get to it.

Personal Computing Environment

Recently best-seller author Nir Eyal tweeted something that got me thinking about our digital environments.

His advice is on point. Our workspace and environment are often the reflections of the clutter in our brains. In order to do great work, and reduce our anxiety it is best to keep our workspaces in order. But Nir forgets to mention the importance of also cleaning up and curating our digital workspace.

Most of us spend a big chunk of our day in front of a screen filled with open browser tabs (this is so widespread that there are tens of "tab management" extensions) and hundreds of items on our Desktops that would despair the Dalai Lama himself.

Rather than letting our computers own us and make us go crazy, the more our work depends on a computer the more time we should spend architecting and building our "personal computing environment".

This is all part of a bigger theme I've been pondering on and that I'll be expanding over the next several weeks.

It is not just a matter of archiving and deleting files or closing tabs. As the "corporate athletes" and "digital craftsmen" most of us are (h/t to my friend Orlando for the term), we should carve out time in our schedules to carefully select and master the tools that we depend on and build an environment that is conducive to our work much like chefs take care of their kitchen and routinely sharpen their knives.

So, I urge you to stop reading now, open your calendar and schedule time to start thinking about what your personal computing environment should look like. Your future self will thank me.

Twitter Threads 🧵

  • Notes on "Statistical Consequences of Fat Tails" is a great read if you (like me) are considering reading Nassim Taleb's latest and most technical book yet.

  • A short but great one on Calendly's latest funding round. I was surprised to know that the company was bootstrapped and had only raised money twice and has an annual recurring revenue of $70 million 🤯

  • This thread by Justin Kan (founder of Twitch) is a great summary of James Clear's bestseller Atomic Habits.

The Future

Elon Musk's Starlink is one of the most fascinating companies out there. With their proposed constellation of low-orbit satellites and intra-satellite communication via laser, the company has the potential to provide fast connections to any point on Earth at lower latency than that achieved today by fiber-optic connections!

These two videos, "Using Ground Relays With Starlink" and Low Latency Routing in Space, explain in great detail how the company might be trying to achieve this.