Consuming Nutritiously: Food, Writing and Otherwise

I like the article in the NY Times today about Medium, a new platform for blogging. The guy who co-founded Twitter, Ev Williams, is now interested in promoting longer form writing. The website is clean and beautiful, and man the headlines!, well they actually seem like meaningful news.

I also like the analogy of tweets to snacks. “Twitter… is to long form what snacks are to dinner: sometimes a prelude, often an appetite killer.”

This could be a new analogy question on the SAT, seeing as it’s so essential to understand what Twitter is these days, and also not to forget about the existence of long form. (But I think they removed that section from the SAT.)

What about the idea of “nonnutritious bites” in the form of trashy tweets, erroneous “facts”, mind clutter? Genius.

If we are what we eat, or at least deeply influenced by it (mood, health, mobility, jittery, grounded), we want to eat well, at least most of the time.

But maybe our food is more than just the caloric, energy-giving kind. Our food is whatever we consume, be it books, articles, music, films, conversation, experience…tweets. So let’s get some of the good stuff.

After reading the NY Times article, I went to check out Medium. It looked great, as I said above. I looked at the headlines but was not so inclined to read them. I get overwhelmed by too much information and already had the NY Times and Medium open on my screen. I was already feeling excited by the article I’d just read, enough so to make me want to write about it.

How much more excitement on a screen could I take? And, it is just a tea-drinking morning, too?!

So I poked around a bit without going into any one article. I guess this makes me the typical consumer, wanting the headlines without the substance. But no…I just wanted to choose my read carefully.

I cam across an article by Ev Williams that I definitely wanted to read. “Formula For Entrepreneurial Success”, 1 minute read. (Yes, every article had a modifier beside its headline, so you can decide if you want to invest the reading time required).

This is what he wrote:

I am now an Ev Williams fan. Are you?

Formula for Entrepreneurial Success

1. Work with Amazing People

Don’t compromise on who you choose to found your company with and hire. Do not put up with ego-centric personalities or downer attitudes.

2. Take on Big Challenges

It’s pretty simple: Hard things are valuable; easy things are not so valuable. Reaching the mountaintop is rewarding because it is hard. If it was easy, everybody would do it.

3. Focus

Say no to most things: Features. People. Partnerships. “Coffees.” Projects. Only a few of them really matter. (Yes, it’s hard to know which.) Don’t get distracted.

4. Take Care of Yourself

When you don’t sleep, eat crap, don’t exercise, and are living off adrenaline for too long, your performance suffers. Your decisions suffer. Your company suffers.

5. Love those Close to You

Failure of your company is not failure in life. Failure in your relationships is.



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