Frank Chimero, a designer and author in Portland, Oregon, keeps a collection of articles that inspire him to make things.
I keep what I perceive to be a more valuable, important morgue file: one made of the best writing on the web I come across. I take this list and revisit and reread it every 4 to 8 weeks. You could almost consider it a playlist of text. Most revolve around what it’s like to be making things in 2010. It’s almost a pep talk in text form. I visit it when I’m down, when I’m lazy, when I’m feeling the inertia take over.
It’s a beautiful idea.
Maybe you can make one of your own and share it?
How to Get Started as an Entrepreneur
This is a selection of articles that I keep at hand for when I need a nudge to get started with a project or to help me get started building something to see what it can turn into.
If you don’t have time to read these articles, you should register a free account on Instapaper – a simple tool to save web pages for reading later – and save these articles to read later.
Paul Graham is the founder of YCombinator, a startup incubator in California. If you’ve used Reddit, Dropbox, Scribd, Posterous, or Justin.tv, you’ve used a company that YCombinator has helped create.
I think most people have one top idea in their mind at any given time. That’s the idea their thoughts will drift toward when they’re allowed to drift freely. And this idea will thus tend to get all the benefit of that type of thinking, while others are starved of it. Which means it’s a disaster to let the wrong idea become the top one in your mind.
The Top Idea in Your Mind makes me think about what I’m focusing my thoughts on. What’s the top idea in my mind? Is that the wrong idea to be focusing on?
I suspect a lot of people aren’t sure what’s the top idea in their mind at any given time. I’m often mistaken about it. I tend to think it’s the idea I’d want to be the top one, rather than the one that is. But it’s easy to figure this out: just take a shower. What topic do your thoughts keep returning to? If it’s not what you want to be thinking about, you may want to change something.
Anonymous asked: ‘How do you maintain focus (on work, dreams, goals, life)?’
You do one thing at a time.
Merlin Mann, an independent writer, speaker, and broadcaster in San Francisco, talks about maintaining focus on work, dreams, life, and goals, in a hectic life. The Top Idea in Your Mind makes me think about what idea is at the top of my mind. First, Care, makes me ask if I really care about that idea.
Before you sweat the logistics of focus: first, care. Care intensely.
Specifically, if you discover, in frustration, that you’re pathologically incapable of doing one thing at a time, consider the possibility that you’ve been unknowingly trying to “focus” on two, twenty, or twenty thousand disparate things that you don’t really care that much about. Just consider it.
If I have an idea at the top of my mind, but I haven’t been able to get started on it, I need to consider if I don’t really care about that idea. I need to consider if I should be focusing my thoughts on something else that I can care about.
How to Make Wealth reminds me that the way to make wealth is to do something people want. It’s that simple.
The advantage of creating wealth, as a way to get rich, is not just that it’s more legitimate (many of the other methods are now illegal) but that it’s more straightforward. You just have to do something people want.
My ideas center around making things online, but I’m not a programmer. How to Hire a Programmer reminds me that it’s good to ask for help. There are talented people with skills outside of my area of expertise who want to help turn my idea into reality. It’s good to ask for help.
Do you have an idea for a website, online business, or application, but need a programmer to turn that idea into reality? Many of my friends have been in the same position, so here’s my best advice.
Frank says it perfectly.
I read Merlin’s essay when I’m sad and tired, fed up and cynical. Nothing makes me more angry than the internet some times (sorry, but true) and reading this reminds me that just because a lot of others are making shallow, husk-content, that doesn’t mean we have to.
Text Playlist – Frank Chimero
Better is what I read when I need to be reminded that anything short of better than my previous best isn’t good enough.
All I know right now is that I want to do all of it better. Everything better. Better, better.
100 Rules for Entrepreneurs brings me down to earth. It reminds me that being an entrepreneur is hard work. Bringing something new into the world takes love, time, attention, and pain.
It’s not fun. I’m not going to explain why it’s not fun. These are rules. Not theories. I don’t need to prove them. But there’s a strong chance you can hate yourself throughout the process of being an entrepreneur. Keep sharp objects and pills away during your worst moments. And you will have them. If you are an entrepreneur and agree with me, please note this in the comments below.