Merlin Mann on Future Proofing Your Passion

Benjamin W.

May 18, 2010

Merlin Mann distills the unbelievable amount of over lapping anxieties in my head into small chunks of advice that make me think there might be another way of doing things that isn’t so painful. His new post on 43folders is no exception.

Just go read it.

Seth Godin: Linchpin Series.

Benjamin W.

April 22, 2010

If you are creative at all in any way, if you’re wondering how in the hell you’re going make a living doing something you love, download and listen to this talk right now.

April Linchpin Session – Seth Godin.

It is something I needed to hear. It’s for anyone who wants what they love and what they do for money to be the same thing. And anyone who wants to change things.

For more on Seth Godin, just google him.

Baratunde Thurston

Benjamin W.

April 19, 2010

“There’s something superhuman about really being yourself.” -Baratunde Thurston

This is a quote from his interview in “Life in Perpetual Beta”. Something else you should check out.

iPad. I want one but until then…

Benjamin W.

April 7, 2010

John Gruber wrote his review of the iPad. It’s really good. It’s extensive but in the right way. Hater or lover, you’ll get a sense of the possibilities and limitations of this beautiful piece of delish.

I’m a little tired of the “closed system” argument although Cory Doctorow’s post is very thought provoking. This device is bringing joy to a lot of people and a ton of inspiration. You may not be able to create apps right on the device or open it up or geek out customizing the core functionality but I have a MacPro and I’ve never written an app and wish I never had to open it up and have opened the Terminal once. I’ve never been more inspired than right now to write code, create, design and help others to do so with my mac, the iPad and the web. It may not give you tools that directly allow tinkering but it gives you a reason to care about tinkering. It doesn’t make tinkering easy, it just makes it worthwhile. At least for me.

So, stop your whining and do something. I know that education about our culture and what it should be is doing something. But education will only change things when those you teach actually build something real. So build something. Use the limitations of the iPad to inspire creativity or use your hatred of closed systems to build something open and better or encourage others to do so. Apple is a company putting out products that they (Steve) love and that others love too. It’s as simple as that.

I don’t wish the iPad was more open. I hope that Steve Jobs and those at Apple, stick to their guns and keep making things the best way they know how. But I want thousands more people to do the same. I’m not in the cult of Mac. I’m in the cult of Make Shit You’re Proud Of. And Apple does that better than anyone. More please.

The Law of Anti-Attraction by Sonia Simone

Benjamin W.

April 6, 2010

The law of Anti-Attraction.

Just a quick link to a post that really makes sense to me. The big secret in business or anything for that matter, there are big secrets.

Dont be stupid but don’t be a coward!

Benjamin W.

April 5, 2010

I’ve been listening to a couple new podcasts my Dan Benjamin. The Conversation and The Pipeline are really good. I also just read REWORK by 37signals. An awesome read.

There’s some really good advice in both. And though I agree, I couldn’t help but feel that there’s another side to it.

When 37signals says, “Don’t quite your day job” This isn’t an encouragement to be lazy, or afraid or anything else. They’re encouraging smartness. Most of the stuff you think you need to do to accomplish something isn’t actually necessary. The time or money you think you “have to” set aside to get something going is probably an overestimate. You’re making it harder on yourself than is necessary to get started.

Listening to The Conversation, I almost feel discouraged from going out on my own. There are comments from Garrett Dimon that make it sound like it’s a hassle to have a successful app that’s actually making money. And I know that Dan would definitely want to encourage people to do their thing. Whatever their thing is. And sometimes that takes courage.

I think you need smarts and courage and sometimes they go against each other. It takes courage to ignore every excuse and impulse you have to do anything but what really matters to you. And once you’ve overcome that bullshit, it takes a lot of learning and getting kicked in the teeth to make it work so you can keep doing what matters to you.

People have to do what matters to them. So, if what matters to me is hard to do, I only want to hear your advice on how to make it easier or how to deal with it. Don’t tell me how I should reconsider because it’s tough. Anything worth doing is tough. Get smart and get brave.

You spam too.

Benjamin W.

March 27, 2010

I along with pretty much everyone on earth, I hate spam. I don’t know why it exists. The only explanation that I can come up with is that 1 out of 1,000,000 people responds. And that is a good enough excuse to hit the send button since it costs you nearly nothing to do so. But all this has been said.

I was reading a recent post on the 37signals blog, Spam is a way of thinking. And I think Jason touched on the exact thing that I hate about it. There’s no effort. It’s impersonal. It’s easy. It requires no thought. And we do it too.

There is the really spammy spam. The emails about getting better in bed or medical marijuana. The kind pretty much anyone can rally against. But then there’s the less obvious stuff. The “I’ve met you in person so It’s ok that I’m sending you and everyone else I know the same facebook message in hopes of getting something out of it” spam. This is the type we sweep under the rug and ignore and yet it clutters up my inbox and creates more anxiety than any of that other crap.

I’m not saying this because I hate it and it’s wrong and you people should be punished. I’m guilty of the same thing. What I want to say is that it is actually a no-win game for everyone involved.

I truly believe that you get out of the universe what you put in. So if you are cutting corners, writing boring shit and blasting everyone you know with the generic “hello my friend” greeting, you are pissing people off and more importantly, you’re not making them feel good, important or special and they won’t feel compelled to respond.

If you think I can help you, ask me. Call me up. Write me an email. Explain what you need and how you think I can help and I’m telling you, I will respond with enthusiasm and be so much more helpful than the fast, unthoughtful, response I would contemplate but never send after getting your spam.

Letter Case

Graphic Design & Web Design

Letter Case was my one-man design shop based in Los Angeles, CA.
I ran it for 2 years until I joined Typekit in January 2011.

In my spare time I've been learning to program by building my first web application.
A simple tool called Talkative to help people publish their talks on the web.

My current project is The Briefcase. A blog and podcast.
It's a place for me to create and publish stuff.

If you have any comments, thoughts or questions,
feel free to contact me at: benthomaswelch [at] gmail.com.

Thanks for checking out my blog. Cheers!

Simplicity is harder than it looks.