The Future of Creators, A Chess Rabbit Hole, and a Productivity App to Speed Up Your Workflow
A little bit of everything this week.
Hello hello and welcome back to another issue of the newsletter! I've got a few interesting topics in store for you this week. We'll talk about some more thoughts I have on good design vs extensive features, discuss a new utility app that has been a game changer for my workflow, and highlight an online community I've joined (Nat Eliason's spoiler alert) and how I think online communities can positively impact the future of creators. If you have thoughts or want to say hello, you can find me on Twitter!
A case study on Matter - a mobile reading app
I spoke about this in last week's newsletter issue but wanted to expand my thoughts on why good design should be valued over extensive features especially for beta apps in a crowded space. There is value in winning early users over with good design as you work to develop more extensive features. Transparency is still key here with what you plan to make but design will keep average users happy and pro users engaged as new features are being built out. You can read the full article here.
Matter is already delivering on their promise of feature development and is keeping their user base happy:
As a student, a lot of the things I view on a day to day basis come in the form of PowerPoint or PDF. I have to learn from these mediums and incorporate the information into my own notes. This has traditionally been a copy/paste workflow which can be tedious - so tedious that it sometimes turns into a screenshot workflow that is not helpful in the the long run since I can't search images for text.
Recently, Brandon Toner showed me a tool called TextSniper that solves this problem. It’s an app where you can take a screen shot of any static text and convert it to actual text that you can then copy and paste into word processing apps like Roam. It has improved my workflow drastically and I can now guarantee that my notes are not full of screenshots but rather searchable text that I can reference later. It is well worth $6.50 I paid for it.
Nat Eliason's Online Community
I've written in the past why I think we should all join online communities.
It's a great way to meet likeminded people who are interested in the same things you are interested in. There is a feeling of accountability but also belonging. This is especially important as the world becomes more digital and more so in this time period of quarantine and social distancing. Humans need social connection and online communities are one way to achieve this.
One added benefit is of course "access" to people who's work you respect and want to learn from. Nat Eliason recently launched his community on Circle (I'll do a roundup of community apps at some point), and I immediately joined.
Some key benefits for me will be:
The ability to learn directly from Nat and understand more about his process
Connecting with new people who are interested in similar spaces that I am but also staying connected to friends I have made online who also joined the community. It's nice to have a crew!
Being able to support a creator that you think provides value
The last point is an important one and something that I think we often overlook. My favorite photographer, Andrew Kearns, used to have a Patreon that I instantly backed. Not only was it was great to learn photo editing tips directly from him but there was also value in supporting someone who is doing good work. I felt that he had given me so much value already and I wanted to be a part of his journey. It almost felt like I was coming full circle.
I recently listened to a podcast that was talking about the future of creators and how it would make a lot of sense (financially) for current creators to invest in and bring up future creators. There could be a world where Nat Eliason is able to help other creators rise and grow and essentially be the person who "discovers" them. Similar to music artists who find new singers and songwriters, current creators could actually invest in future creators as they work to help them grow. This would not only help develop the next generation of creators but also be a good model of growth for current creators. They already know what good looks like and have a process that has helped them get there. Creators today are mostly monetizing what they create, but their biggest asset lies in what they know about the creation process.
With this mindset, having a community is almost a no-brainer if you're a current creator and also a great way to join the next wave of creators if you're aspiring to do so. It's a win-win for both sides.
Chess channels - GothamChess, GMHikaru, Eric Rosen, John Bartholomew, Botez sisters - I've been getting back into chess and this week spent some time learning the Slav defense to play against Queen pawn openings like the Queen's Gambit. Of course, this led be down a rabbit hole of different chess YouTube accounts and there is so much educational stuff out there. Check out the accounts linked if you're interested!
Nobody Tells This to Beginners: An oldie but a goodie that I visited this past week as I'm working to continue writing online and starting a YouTube channel (two videos done!). Worth the watch if you're starting out in something.
Thanks for making it to the end! If you enjoyed the newsletter and got some value out of it, I'd really appreciate it if you could send it to one friend. We are at 175 subscribers as of today and rounding out 2020 with 200 subs would be a nice feeling! Also if you want say hello or drop me a line, you can find me on Twitter!