March 3, 2020

Weekly Must Reads - 03/03

Starting out with the stuff that will probably rot your brain — but in literally the best possible way — I joined millions of Americans in binge-watching Tiger King last week. Netflix’s new documentary is a rocketship from start to finish and gives a glimpse into the incredibly vast world of big cat owners in the United States. Headlined by Joe Exotic (a gay, meth smoking, gun-toting, Floridian) and Carol Baskin (a total nutjob of a conservationist that may have killed her husband), this show is what America needs to get through the 2020 quarantine. Seriously, watch it.

I tried to stick with some entertaining educational content for the rest of this post and even managed to dig up some content that isn’t directly tied to the Coronavirus. Pretty proud of myself for that. This week’s topics include thoughts on design thinking, how COVID-19 is crippling American businesses, an interesting story about a busker’s rise to chart-topper, the 10-day development of a new ventilator, and the role of billionaires in modern philanthropy. The TL;DR version: it’s a lot of different stuff.

As always, your suggestions for next week’s edition are greatly appreciated. Send me a DM on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook and I will make sure to read and, hopefully, include your suggestions next week.

Design Thinking: Levelling the playing field for non-designers

By Devika Goel | UX Magazine | March 23, 2020

This article caught my eye because I have become a huge proponent of design thinking after being introduced to it by Taoti’s resident UX expert and new mama, Emilie Romero.

Design thinking is an exercise in uncovering the ‘why’ behind a project and I have had the fortunate experience of being able to see it dramatically improve project outcomes in real-time. More often than not, clients leave design thinking exercises with a clearer picture of what they are trying to achieve, how it fits in with their organizational priorities, and how they can develop solutions that their users will actually use and enjoy.

This article examines another side of design thinking, primarily that it opens ‘design’ as an area of work to those with less traditional design educations. I would tend to agree since I might be a poster child for exactly that, and this article is a great (albeit a little longer) read for anyone that wants to think about design thinking (sooooo meta!) in a slightly different way.

Read the Article >

Tom Colicchio Spent 19 Years Building a Restaurant Empire. Coronavirus Gutted It in a Month.

By Aaron Gell | Marker | March 27, 2020

This is a tough read, but also a necessary one. There are millions of Americans (and many more internationally) that are currently struggling with the COVID-19 quarantine. I have found it particularly brutal reading about small business owners that are closing their doors for good as the result of financial hardship brought on by the global pandemic.

You have been forewarned that this is not an uplifting read, but I do hope you find it as stimulating as I did!

Read the Article >

The story behind Tones And I, the Australian busker topping the charts with ‘Dance Monkey’

By Rhian Daly | NME | December 19, 2019

I am obsessed with Tones and I’s music, but really got sucked in when I learned that the singer used to be a busker. There isn’t much more that I can write without revealing too much of the story, but trust me when I tell you that it is well worth the 5–10 minutes read time to learn about this truly remarkable chart-topper.

Read the Article >

In Just 10 Days, Dyson Designed a Completely New Ventilator Specifically for COVID-19 Patients

By Jason Aten | Inc. | March 27, 2020

Holy crap. This man-made the suckiest (literal sucking power) vacuum of all time and when prompted by the U.K. government, designed a brand new ventilator in 10 days. Yep, 10 days.

Take a second and appreciate how fast that is. I don’t know how your company works, but most companies can’t review and approve a blog post to be published in ten days — much less design and move a ventilator to production. It is truly mind-boggling.

Read the Article >

Zuckerberg, Gates team up to contribute $25M for research into coronavirus treatments

By Marty Johnson | The Hill | March 28, 2020

The role of billionaire philanthropists like Dr. Priscilla Chan and Facebook founding husband Mark Zuckerberg in modern philanthropy cannot be understated. When making donations in the tens or hundreds of millions, it is hard to understand the impact that kind of money can make to a philanthropic effort. But I was interested in this article because of the criticism that this billionaire couple received for donating $25M to coronavirus research.

The overarching sentiment was positive, but it was drowned out by a lot of people criticizing the fact that $25M is such a small portion of the family’s overall wealth. I see both sides of the argument, but land pretty firmly on the side of “$25M is a shit ton of money and will do a lot of good — go them”. You may have a different opinion, but reading about the effort and challenging your thoughts might be good mental exercise while you are cooped up.

Read the Article >

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