Look beyond what you see

Sometimes, the connection between things is not evident, but it doesn't change that there's a connection.

We all have catchphrases of sorts. Personal or industry jargon that we use often, without much thought. When I wrote poetry regularly, I found that getting away from these was hard work. Some of my favourites continue to be words like ramblings and cacophony and infinite and sometimes.

When it comes to my work, I love narrative and ecosystem. I am always talking to clients - and anyone else who will listen - about creating a content or editorial ecosystem. I stay fascinated by how things connect, sometimes overtly, often subtly.


Who knew that Pablo Escobar’s impact on Colombia went beyond cocaine. Colombia’s cocaine hippos and the complex impacts of invasive species explores how he altered the ecology of Columbia and delves into what can and should be done about animal species that are not indigenous to an area.


Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings is a phenomenal platform. I have followed it off and on for years now. Tim Ferriss recently reposted an interview he did with Popova on the Tim Ferriss Show. It is well-worth the listen; like Brain Pickings, it is timeless.


Another site I follow closely is Austin Kleon’s and I have all his books, including Steal Like An Artist and Keep Going. I have often shared his posts in this newsletter. Having run my own site/blog for over ten years, all the while grappling with what to do with it and why I blog, 15 years of blogging (and 3 reasons I keep going) has reignited my drive to keep going.


I am fascinated by craftsmanship, by how things are made. I once spent an hour watching the master cooper at the Jameson Distillery in Midleton, Cork, take apart and put together a barrel. The Japanese have long been gifted craftsmen and I remember reading about the impact of the 2011 Tsunami on generations of craftsmen and women. Yasuhiro Hirakawa is a master blacksmith, fifth generation bonsai scissors maker and the last traditional Bonsai scissors maker in Japan. I have always wanted to get into Bonsai trimming but, while it would be dope to have, $35,000 is a little out of my league, right now.


Staying in Japan, Blitz the Ambassador posted this video of filmmaker Akira Kurosawa some years back and I keep coming back to it, especially while I write my book. A word at a time. A sentence at a time. A paragraph at a time. A page at a time.

Back to writing and as always I begin with a word from the sensei Akira Kurosawa. 🥋🇯🇵✍🏿
May 5, 2020


Hopefully, there will come a time when people realise that they have biases and these biases play out constantly, in ways that are subtle. Until this happens, we will continue to grapple with how tone deaf business can be. Your cultural biases can impact research design.


South African singer Nakhane redefines ideas of masculinity. I am a fan of Nakhane’s art and have always loved how he lives life on his own terms.

That’s it for this week. Please do share or, if shared with you, subscribe.