Wisdom, by Merlin Mann


Everybody likes being given a glass of water.

This project is a beautiful list of advice. Some random (and not so random ones):

Give kids the opportunity to learn and practice new things in a low-stakes environment. Failure is important in life, but it needn’t always be costly or dangerous.

This applies to adults too.

Open your mail over the recycling bin.

The analogue spam box.

Before deciding that you have solved a problem, it’s useful to ask yourself whether you understand what caused the problem—as well as knowing precisely how your specific choice of solution has “fixed” it. If you mostly just kept trying various random things until something seemed to improve, you just got lucky. Which is different.

It’s still a valid approach to problem solving.

Three is two, two is one, and one is none.

Applies to employees, and toilet paper rolls.

Every project is a triangle made of time, money, and quality; shortening the length of one side necessarily lengthens one or—more often—both of the other sides.

Seen this one also worded as “Good, fast, cheap. Choose two.”


Thanks, Merlin!