What I learned week 13 2023

Rereading Jakob Greenfelds excellent article ”Build a business, not an audience” I realised I’ve been sharing too much content, and not enough of experiments and results. So here’s what I learned the hard way in the last week.

Reaching out to internet strangers

Reaching out to people you discover on the internet used to be a thing. As in something a lot of people did. In the early days of social media, 4sqr and Twitter were used not just to sell courses, but also to meet people that said or did interesting things.

I think it’s sad that many of us have forgotten that we can do this.

A few weeks ago I checked into a favourite coffeeshop (I don’t know why I sometimes still use foursquare, but I do), and I noticed someone I’ve been following on Twitter for years was the major. So these days we live in the same city, I’ve followed their stuff for years, and yet we’ve never talked.

Yesterday we met for coffee, and I had one of the better conversations I’ve had in a long time. We ended up chatting for an hour instead of our scheduled 30min.

The internet is still a magic place filled with interesting people. Why not reach out to someone?

Digital terroir - making products more interesting

Terroir is a term from wine culture that means something like the land and culture that produced this taste of wine. It means everything that goes into the taste of the wine, from the bacteria in the earth, to the work ethic of the winemaker. It’s not a subtle thing, but a distinct tone of each wine.

Jordan writes about how the digital world has lost some of its flavour as we optimise everything into looking and working the same. Our tools have become flat copies of Linear’s design. And he asks an interesting question, would digital experiences be better and more interesting with some terroir?

What if our products were more distinct, more opinionated. Would that be more interesting for people to discover and use? How much local culture and personal flair can we add to our products without losing usability? Quite a lot probably.

As AI continues to take over and make things like UI and feature sets increasingly flat and uniform, maybe digital terroir becomes the defining experience.