Notebooks, Business Models, and Solutions



We meet again for another Fantastic Friday.

Under normal circumstances, right now I’d be packing for WWDC. I’ve been to the conference in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.

Alas, this year, I won’t be attending. The main reason being that I have two trips already scheduled for this fall, and felt that was enough travel for the year.

(Side note, come join me for seanwes conference and hear me speak.)

Secondly, we’ve just kicked off Focus Camp, and I wanted to be available to devote my full energy to that.

So, I’ll be watching the WWDC keynote from my basement instead of a hotel room at Parc 55. And I’ll be making my coffee at home instead of standing in line at Blue Bottle. Those of you headed out, don’t have too much fun without me!

— Shawn

And here are some of this week’s best links and items of note.

  • The Baron Fig Vanguard: These new notebooks from my favorite notebook maker are stellar. For me, the vanguard is not a full-on replacement for the Confidant, but I’m putting them to work as a single-purpose notebook. Using a Charcoal, Flagship, Dot Grid Vanguard (whew!) as my dedicated notebook while I work through the courses in Digital Commerce Academy.

  • Ugmonk 2.0: My friend, Jeff Sheldon, makes the coolest t-shirts and mouse pads you’ve ever seen. And he just launched a massive update to his brand and website. I also highly recommend you subscribe to the Ugmonk Journal. Jeff is a guy who walks the walk, and he’s going to be sharing a lot of the behind-the-scenes info of how he runs his business.

  • You Need a Business Model: Fantastic article from Jessica Abel. To make a living doing your creative work you need (a) skill at your creative endeavor, (b) systems for making constant progress, and (c) a business model so you can actually make a few bucks. What’s awesome is that all three of these things can be learned.

  • Quote of the week: “Success is not delivering a feature; success is learning how to solve the customer’s problem.” — Mark Cook, as quoted in The Lean Startup.

    In a world where we value shipping early and shipping often, we can often loose sight of the purpose of shipping. If you’re trying to build a business, grow an audience, and provide value to others, then what you ship should serve that goal.

    And I believe this sits in harmony with the idea of “scratching your own itch”. Because if what you’re shipping is a solution to a problem you face, then chances are very likely it’s a problem other people face as well.

    That’s a pretty wonderful place to be in. Where you’re simultaneously solving your audience’s problems and also building products you love and are proud of.

    If you’ve ever received an email from me where I asked you about your biggest challenge, now you know why. My aim is to get an understanding of what obstacles you’re facing and what tools I have in my tool belt that I can share with you to help you overcome those obstacles.