Should You Read This Book? “The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures”

According to Seth Godin, there are two scarce elements in our economy: trust and attention. I’m going to try and help with that by offering my trustworthy opinion on whether you should give your attention to this book by Dan Roam. If the title of the book, “The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures“ doesn’t immediately pique your interest, it might not be for you. It’s pretty straightforward: this is a book about how to convey ideas with pictures. So why should you trust my opinion? Because I’m on the internet! …If that’s not enough, a few weeks ago I was on a podcast where I interviewed a startup in the data visualization industry, so turning ideas into pictures is …

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on Efficiency, Depression, Happiness, and Beer

The Google Ngram viewer charts the incidence of terms in 5.2 million books dating back centuries. It’s a pretty amazing tool. Choosing the words ‘efficiency‘ and ‘depression‘ I graphed their usage over the last 500 years. I found a close correlation between the terms, with both beginning to rise around 1750 and sharply peaking around 1925. As a control variable I also included ‘weather’, which showed little correlation to either efficiency or depression. Something to think about as we continue to make ourselves faster, better, and stronger! ****EDIT**** To avoid being too much of a downer on a Friday, I want to also include my findings on the relationship between happiness and beer. If this doesn’t demonstrate true progress, I …

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on my Data Trail

I made a list of every website on which I have an account that requires a password – I got up into the forties and realized that I exist in way too many places on the internet. I tried to imagine what it would be like if 40 physical locations I visited asked me for a password every time I showed up. It would be insane, I would stop going anywhere. My data exists all over the place. There are databases that seem to track everything I do, and most of them are smart enough to predict what I’m going to do next: what songs I’ve listened to the most, and therefore which new releases I will like; how much …

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