The real reason

June 4, 2018

The real reason the United States hasn’t adopted the metric system is that “kilometers, and kilometers, and kilometers” doesn’t make nearly as good a country music lyric as “miles, and miles, and miles” does. 😉 What’s the real reason why you haven’t specialized your services? Maybe it’s not the right time? It definitely is a…


The broom and the vacuum cleaner

June 1, 2018

Sometimes a broom creates more value than a vacuum cleaner. The broom is almost certainly cheaper than the vacuum cleaner. It’s a dramatically simpler machine. It’s even cheaper to operate cause there’s no electricity cost. Yet, in some situations, it creates far more value than even the world’s best vacuum cleaner would. Tight quarters are…


Would-be specialists interested in mission-driven orgs

May 31, 2018

Apparently lightning does strike twice! A few weeks ago I let y’all know about a project opportunity for a specialized developer. I don’t know what ultimately came of that since I purposefully didn’t make myself an intermediary (recruiting is not a business I want to expand into 🙂 ), but I’ve got another one that…


Would you pay someone else to think for you?

May 30, 2018

Why would you pay someone else to think for you? Isn’t that something best done ourselves? Whelp, I do that, and lots of others do too. I pay a personal trainer. She doesn’t lift the weights; I do. But she does all the thinking about which ones, how much, and how frequently. And I’m happy…


Selling advice was the weirdest thing

May 29, 2018

List member Alessandro sent me the following and I immediately asked him for permission to share here because it’s such a crystal clear illustration of a super-important concept. I’ll follow this up with a few comments after, but first, here’s what Alessandro wrote me (shared with his permission): —— Hey Philip, Recently, I’ve been on…


New version of

May 28, 2018

I’ve recently switched my hosting for from Pagely to Cloudways, and I figured I’d tackle some long-planned updates to at the same time. So, I’ve got a new version of for you. This website template is specifically meant for just a few situations: You’ve just decided how to specialize, and you don’t have a web presence that fits…


An interesting market position

May 25, 2018

List member Ari Lamstein shared the following really interesting example of positioning (shared here with permission): —— As I gain more experience with R training I’ve started to try and figure out how effective my training programs are. It turns out if you google “how to evaluate training programs” you will continually run into one…



May 24, 2018

A platform focus can be quite fragile. In recent news, Adobe has acquired Magento. This is a very interesting rundown of some of the concerns around this acquisition: A key point from that blog post: —— What Adobe are very good at is monetisation. Magento is going to the cloud, let us stop even having…


Independently wealthy

May 23, 2018

I was speaking recently with someone who mentioned that their business partner, who is basically independently wealthy, is far more discerning about which clients to take on than they are. I know that for lots of us, the ability to say no to shitty clients is a luxury we have to earn, but I wonder–as…


It was so unremarkable

May 22, 2018

When I lived in Nashville, TN in the 90’s I drove the Natchez Trace parkway twice. Not back-to-back, but a year or two apart. On one of those road trips, I remember taking a quick side trip to Muscle Shoals, AL (population 13,831 in the year 2016) Before I go any further in this story, in…