Skip to content

MC#026: It's a Fine Line

The subtle difference between totally brilliant and totally f*cked

Jason Shen
Jason Shen
2 min read
MC#026: It's a Fine Line

Hey friends,

This is the 26th edition of Making Connections, where we take a random (illustrated) walk down tech, fitness, product thinking, org design, nerd culture, persuasion, and behavior change.

If you found this via social media or a friend, why not subscribe?

Subscribe now

🖼 Visual: It’s a Fine Line

Whether you’re a product manager, entrepreneur, or just trying to make something cool within a system, sometimes the difference between being brilliant and f*cked is very small indeed.

🧠 Thought: The importance of Confronting Reality

In a continuation of MC#021: The Three Skills of Resilience, I published a new piece in Fast Company that unpacks the first skill of resilience: responding pragmatically. A key part of that skill is confronting reality: accepting and making decisions on the truth, however inconvenient, of our situation.

While seemingly obvious, one of the most difficult things to do during a period of adverse change and hardship is to confront reality. To seek out the truth, stare it in the face, and make decisions based on facts, not wishful thinking. That’s what Grove and Moore [the founders of Intel] did while facing an onslaught of competition. They looked at the competitive landscape, their company’s strengths, and recognized that the moment called for a hard choice to exit a market they could not succeed in.

Along the way, I talk not just about Intel, but emergency first responders, Trump’s COVID response, and the run up to Healthcare.gov:

But a blindness to reality is not just reserved for the current administration. Though not as deadly, the disastrous initial rollout of President Obama’s Heathcare.gov website was marked by delusional thinking. While critical risks of the project and the technical systems had been identified by third-party auditors such as McKinsey and an independent software verification firm, they were not surfaced to executive leadership prior to launch. On September 29, the day before launch, the White House Chief of Staff Denis McDounough would write in an email, “Based on the reports I’m getting, I think we’re going to knock your socks off tomorrow.”

Read the whole thing on Fast Company: This is the skill you must cultivate to make good decisions in a crisis

👉 Check out: Voice Tweets

Twitter has been testing a new capability for the iOS app that lets you record and tweet audio from your mic. They call it voice Tweets. I finally just got it myself and made one.

It feels like a way for Twitter to take on podcasts, Clubhouse, and maybe even Tiktok all at the same time. I could see myself enjoying having a “voice” conversation with people in threaded replies on Twitter (of course only with people I actually like and respect).

I’ve also recently been having walkie-talkie conversations on Messenger with friends so the fact that they’re going to get the feature in DM’s makes a lot of sense to me!


Welp, that’s all for this weekend. Stay safe, wear a mask, and make a plan to vote if you haven’t already!

Yee to the haw,

Jason

PS — I enjoyed this YouTube video on the destiny of Star Wars


Newsletter

Jason Shen

Human(e) technologist on a mission to help build resilient teams and organizations. Former NCAA gymnast and three-time startup founder.