Long-time readers will know that for the past several years the original Monument Valley soundtrack is part of my daily, morning writing routine.

Well, a few weeks ago the soundtrack for Monument Valley 2 came out and it’s fantastic. I’ve been listening to it all this week instead of the original soundtrack. If, like me, you like music while you work but you need something that’s instrumental and isn’t too crazy, this is perfect.

And speaking of, the soundtrack for Land’s End is also quite excellent.

Monument Valley 2 Soundtrack

Over on The Sweet Setup, we’ve put together a breakdown of some of awesome apps that will come in especially handy over coming weeks.

On my iPhone, Day One, Paprika, Deliveries, and Apple Music all get used a bit more than normal during the holidays. And, for me personally, instead of AnyList, my wife and I are using a shared note via Apple’s Notes app to keep our Christmas shopping list in sync.

And lastly, I’d add one thing to entertainment: The Kindle (the actual gadget, not the app). I’ve got Andy Weir’s newest novel, Artemis, lined up next.

TSS: Apps and Services for the Holidays

Christmas Photos from Castle Rock, Colorado

We were in Colorado for Thanksgiving weekend, and downtown Castle Rock is just amazing during the holidays.

My family and I spent this past Saturday evening walking around the downtown area, and I took this nighttime photo with my iPhone X and then edited a bit with the VSCO app…

Not bad! Especially when you compare it to this next pic, that I took few years ago on that very same street corner. Except that this one I took with my fancy Olympus camera and the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 lens:

Christmas Photos from Castle Rock, Colorado

How to Tell You’ve Created Something Worthwhile

There will be some people who strongly dislike it.

I’ve always felt that great design is polarizing. There will be some who love it and others who hate it.

For example, I recently received a request for a refund of the Focus Course from a fellow stating that the content was “inane, generic, bland and full of nothing but buzzwords.”

Negative and vile feedback like that used to really throw me for a loop. I’d worry, What if they’re right? What if I’m selling snake oil I and don’t even realize it?

There is a difference between constructive feedback and angry feedback. If the former, I’m all ears. I am happy to learn from genuinely unsatisfied customers who tell me they were expecting one thing but got another. That is a great way for me to improve my marketing, products, and more.

But angry feedback just comes from angry people. They feel entitled to something and they want you to know just how angry they are. Angry, hyper-negative feedback is not a reflection of you nor of your products. It is a reflection of the person giving the feedback.

And so, in times like that, I choose to politely refund their money, delete their email, and go about my day creating new things and working toward what’s next.

(As a side note, I’d rather get negative feedback than no feedback at all. Perhaps the worst response to a product would be indifference.)

It’s not easy to make something and put it out there.

Another way to tell you’ve created something worthwhile, is to look at the people who are talking about it, sharing it, and using it.

Look around at the people who are gladly doing business with you. Are they people you respect? If so, then you’re doing it right.

Sometimes it’s hard to get a clear picture of the work you’re doing. You’re so immersed in the product and the message that you can’t easily step back and see it all with fresh eyes.

But if there are people who you find awesome, and they are happy to be around your work and they actively seek you out, then you are on the right track. You’re serving the right people doing something worthwhile. Good job.

How to Tell You’ve Created Something Worthwhile

Seven years ago today it was a Saturday morning, and I was standing in line to buy an original iPad.

Since then I’ve owned an iPad 2, iPad 3, and a 2nd-generation iPad mini. The latter is the one I’ve been using most for the past few years.

Until last week when I bought a 9.7″ iPad Pro. I picked up this iPad Pro for two very good reasons:

First of all, I’ve begun traveling quite a bit more, and needed a portable computer for when on the road.

Secondly, I’ve been trying to keep my home office reserved for work-only. Which means that in the evenings or on the weekends when I have home-related computer-y stuff to do, I needed another device I could use upstairs on the kitchen table.

It’s now been seven years since the original iPad shipped. And the basic landscape hasn’t changed all that much. This is simultaneously good and bad.

…bad because the iPad is fantastic device, and yet it’s not the go-to platform for the best apps and innovations.

But good because it means the iPad is still full of simplicity and promise.

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P.S. Here are a few other fun articles I’ve written over the years:

Diary of an iPad Owner (circa 2010)

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