This Week’s Wrapup Is Brought To You By The Ghost Of Grantland

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I spent most of this week battling a cold, but fear not – I still found time to do my share of roaming the Internet to bring you a bunch of interesting things.

Here’s what caught my eye…

5 More People You Should Know

Another week, another five fascinating people profiled on A Person You Should Know. This week’s batch includes freelancer evangelist Paul Jarvis, blogger Elan Morgan, social media critic Brandon Mendelson, rock star/crowdfunding queen Amanda Palmer, and marketing professor Adam Alter.

They’ve all got some amazing things to share so it’s worth taking some time to click those links.

Grantland Is Dead. Long Live Grantland!

Grantland, the best sports/pop culture journalism site on the Internet since, well, probably ever was unceremoniously shut down this week by ESPN.

To me, it was inevitable after founder Bill Simmons’ departure a couple months ago, but it’s still a shame. It spawned a lot of Twitter chatter including some people wondering what hope we have if a site of Grantland’s quality can’t attract enough people to succeed.

But personally, I think that’s asking the wrong question.

I do think Grantland had a large enough audience to succeed – what it didn’t have was a business strategy and brands that are willing to pay for that audience. They’d rather buy fake traffic and gamed slideshows on crappy sites that deliver more worthless “impressions” because that looks better on the reports that media buying agencies deliver to brands.

That’s probably a media buying rant for another day, but regardless it’s a shame to see Grantland go.

Oh, and speaking of Grantland – you should read Bob Lefsetz’s take on the situation.

I Now Believe Just About Every Company Has Been Infiltrated By The CIA

Don’t worry, I’m not becoming a “truther.”

But I came across a screenshot of a 1944 CIA document (via this tweet) that outlined advice for CIA agents who had infiltrated organizations with suggested methods for them to sabotage those organizations.

It reads like a To-Do List for what goes on at just about every company these days. And I don’t mean that as a compliment.

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This Is Where The Sports Things Go

If you’re not a sports fan, feel free to skip down a bit. But if you are a sports fan, here’s some things I watched multiple times in the past few days.

First, I’m obsessed with Pulaski Academy (it’s a high school in Arkansas) football coach Kevin Kelley whose teams never punt and always onside kick – because he’s awesome.

His team wins a lot (undefeated this year) and recently went to Dallas where they beat a high school there who hadn’t lost at home in 17 years.

I’m officially starting (and probably ending) the campaign for him to become the next coach of the University of Maryland right here.

Anyway, this is a long-winded way of saying you should watch this video featuring an example of all the onside kicks (including some unique formations) he used in one game.

Of course, the real must-see sports play of the week was the ending of the Miami-Duke game. I’m sharing it here in case you somehow missed it (which seems really unlikely).

Recommended Reading

It turns out you don’t need more sleep – you just need more darkness?

God, Facebook really does think of everything.

I miss malls. I miss record stores. I miss 1989.

It Might Be Time To Put Your Phone Down

Photographer Eric Pickersgill has taken a series of great photos that are made infinitely more interesting by the fact that he edits out the cell phones people are staring at in them.

Here’s an example – and here are a bunch more.

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If you’re not watching You’re The Worst, you should be. I told you last year, I’m saying it again now.

You’re Still Here?

Wow, you must be like a super fan or something if you’re still reading this post. I appreciate it, so here’s your thank you gift.

This Week’s Wrapup Is Brought To You By Adele’s Flip Phone

It’s Sunday night, so you know what that means? Probably not.

It means it’s time for another of my Weekly Wrapup posts!

(Here’s a tagline I’m currently workshopping: Weekly Wrapups – Bringing you mildly entertaining content since about four weeks ago!)

Moving on…

Here’s 5 New People You Should Know

Another week of A Person You Should Know is in the books and here’s a look at who I featured this week.

Jocelyn Glei, the founding editor of 99u, who can teach you that small focus is beautiful.

Jason Zook, who is one of the most unique entrepreneurs you’ll ever meet.

Sam Horn, who can teach you how to be more intriguing.

Brian Solis, who points out that information overload is actually just a symptom of bad choices we make.

Diana Kimball, who has probably lthought more about what it means to bookmark a web page than you have.

We’ve Got An Oscars Host

Things are definitely starting to get busier at my day job as Oscar season ramps up including the big news this week that Chris Rock will be our Oscars host.

As you can imagine, the choice of host has a whole lot of impact on how the next few months of my life are going to be spent, so it was nice to get a host that I’ve personally been a big fan of for a long time.

It also made me think back to some of the past host announcements during the time I’ve worked at the Academy. If you want to take a trip down my memory lane you can check out this video we made with Seth MacFarlane and his Dad when he hosted the show.

In other day job news, our newest Academy Originals episode is a good one with production designer Rick Carter sharing his creative process:

Everything You Need To Know About That New Adele Song

Adele put out the first song from new album this week. It’s good.

It had a flip phone in it and everybody demanded to know why. The video’s director explained it – sort of.

It made a lot of people cry.

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It made a lot of other people think of Lionel Richie.

Read These Things

It turns out putting something healthy on a menu actually INCREASES the chances that you’ll order the LEAST healthy item on the menu.

No celebrity understands the Internet better than Drake.

If you’re working to minimize criticism, you’re doing it wrong.

The New York Times is wondering what happens when the future of news is not an article, which pretty much says everything you need to know about the current state of media.

Your reaction to this essay will 100% depend on how you feel about your job.


The studio gave Steven Spielberg some not-great notes on Back To The Future:

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There’s a book store where books are wrapped in paper with short descriptions on them so that “no one will judge a book by its cover.” (via this guy)

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This Seems Like A Good Place To Stop

Thanks again for reading all the way to the bottom of this lengthy rambling – here’s your reward.

This Weekly Wrapup Was 75 Days In The Making

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This pic has nothing to do with this post, but had something to do with my week. Good luck solving that mystery!

Here’s a look at some of the things I found interesting this week…

75 People, 75 Days

When I featured branding expert Martin Lindstrom on A Person You Should Know a couple days ago, it marked the 75th person I’ve profiled on the site.

It’s been an amazing experience bringing this idea I had back in June to life and I’ve profiled a new person every weekday since launching in July.

The site has attracted more than 1,300 subscribers – each of whom get sent each day’s person by email every morning (you can join here) – and I’m thrilled with the comments I’ve heard back from subscribers about the value they’re getting from the people I profile.

It’s still very early, but I think A Person You Should Know has a real chance to become a project I’m even more proud of than what I’ve done with Connected Comedy over the years.

And in case you missed last week’s people, in addition to Lindstrom I featured Brazilian entrepreneur Bel Pesce who shared her inspirational story, the head of the Cornell Food Lab Brian Wansink who had some amazing insights about eating habits, letterer Jessica Hische whose wisdom applies to much more than designing pretty things, and Gary Vaynerchuk who’s one of my personal favorites and has been a huge inspiration on my own career path.

This Will Make You Want To Watch An Old Monty Python Movie

Our newest Academy Originals video featured a look back at Monty Python and the Holy Grail and I guarantee it makes you laugh and want to rewatch the classic comedy. I know it did for me.

This Is Worth A Listen

This recent episode of the James Altucher podcast features an interview with Ev Williams, who was a founder of Blogger, Twitter, an early podcasting company and now Medium.

It’s two smart guys talking about smart stuff and well worth your time.

Here’s a slightly paraphrased Ev Williams quote that stuck with me:

“There’s no reason you need a website. You need an audience. There was a time when everybody thought they needed to own their own land, but then they moved to cities.”

On a completely separate note, another thing worth putting in your headphones is this Roots song from a couple years ago.

Larry David Killed It This Week

In case you forgot, Larry David is one of the funniest people on the planet and he sent a reminder with his SNL appearance as Bernie Sanders in this sketch that opened the show this week:

In other Larry David is hilarious news, I came across this Instagram post from his daughter that made me laugh.


Two Quick Opinions

Maybe at some point I’ll expand on these, but for the moment here’s a couple quick things that have been on my mind.


Can we stop saying the Internet posed a “challenge” to the newspaper industry? It didn’t (and doesn’t) post a challenge – it presented an opportunity that the industry chose to ignore and is now suffering as a result.

(PS: That thought was inspired by this article about newspaper reporter being one of the world’s most endangered jobs.”)


Good advertising provides as much value to the audience as the advertiser. But the sad truth is most brands would rather do easy advertising than good advertising. And most brands judge their advertising by the wrong metrics – awareness is overrated.

Three Other Things You Should Read

This Derek Sivers post about why you should probably relax.

This Jeff Jarvis post that includes his creative plan for Entertainment Weekly magazine.

This Robert Scoble list of 22 tips for making your Facebook experience better.

That’s it for this week – thanks for reading all the way to the bottom of this post. Here’s your reward.

Third Time’s A Charm For My Weekly Wrap Ups


This photo has nothing to do with anything in this post, but something to do with something that happened to me this week. Good luck solving that mystery.

If you haven’t been paying attention lately, each week I’ve been writing weekly wrap ups to share some of the interesting things I’ve come across recently.

If you missed them, you can catch up on the first one or the second one. Or, you can ignore those and just read this one knowing that you’ll have missed some previous awesomeness.

On to this week’s stuff…

The 5 People I Thought You Should Know Last Week

The five people I featured on A Person You Should Know last week included:

• Philanthropist/marketer Sloane Davidson, who will encourage you to  put down your cell phone and launch a movement.

• Designer James Victore, who will convince you that your work is a gift.

• Twitter design researcher Ximena Vengoechea, who can teach you how to architect your life with just 100 post-it notes.

• Author and marketing professor Jonah Berger, who can tell you how to go viral.

• Author Whitney Johnson, who can teach you how to disrupt yourself.

It’s a great group and there’s probably not anything you can do to get more out of 15 minutes of your time than to check out those links – then again, I may be slightly biased.

The Casting Of Argo

Our new Academy Originals episode this week shares some interesting backstory about how the movie Argo was cast. Check it out:

Need Some New Music To Listen To?

Here’s a couple quick recommendations. First, you should use Spotify if you don’t already. And when you do, you should definitely check out their Discover Weekly playlists, which are custom-curated based on your own individual taste in music and do a remarkable job at surfacing new songs you’ll like each week.

I think it’s some of the best curation of any kind being done right now, and this Spotify press release backs that up with some amazing stats including that 71% of people who check out their Discover playlist add at least one song to one of their other playlists.

Personally, I wind up adding about five songs to other playlists that I discover on that Discover playlist each week.

If you’re not interested in going down the Spotify wormhole, than just listen to this great song by Houndmouth and call it a day.

Now I bet you liked that and want more, right? Ok, here’s a fun cover of “Runaround Sue” by the same band.

Here’s Some Stuff You Should Read This Week

This article about why the social network feed is old news and the future is your interest feed is one of the best things I’ve read in a while – I couldn’t possibly agree with it more.

Twitter launched its new Moments feature this week and I think it’s got a world of potential – though it also has a LONG way to go to get there, especially in terms of the quality of curation. Regardless, this is one of the best pieces of analysis on its debut.

Speaking of Twitter, this is how it has completely changed TV.

Don’t Want To Read Things? Then Watch These…

A director was asked by the San Sebastian Film Festival to make a video introducing himself. This is what he did…because he’s brilliant.

I’m a long-time Gary Vaynerchuk fan and one of his newest videos is a MUST WATCH if you’re starting out your career and even more importantly if you’ve already got an established career.

As usual, Gary nails it. (Yes, I know it’s odd to bury my MUST WATCH video at the bottom of this post, but screw the people that haven’t bothered to read all the way down here – it’s their loss.)

That seems like a good note to end on this week. Now go out there and do something amazing…or at least listen to good music while you don’t do anything amazing.

My Week That Was

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I kind of liked last week’s summary post, so let’s try it again this week.

Here’s what’s been happening in my world lately…

Another Week, Another 5 People I Learned Something From

It was another successful week of profiling interesting people on A Person You Should Know – I’ve now featured 65 people on the site and learned a ton from all of them.

This week’s batch included Zappos founder Tony Hsieh who has turned customer service into an art form, Flickr founder Caterina Fake who has the kind of perspective you can only get from being an early Internet leader, author Chris Guillebeau who wrote one of my favorite books (The $100 Startup), Jane McGonigal who blew my mind with some interesting ideas about why people need to spend more time playing video games, and minimalist Leo Babauta who will make you want to live a much simpler life.

Speaking Of Books…

I just finished reading a book that I highly recommend from one of the other people I featured on A Person You Should Know a while ago – Hugh MacLeod.

The book is titled Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys To Creativity. It’s a very quick read – even if you’re a slow sporadic reader – and it’s full of great perspective on the creative process and what it takes in general to lead a successful life.

Here’s a taste:

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Meanwhile, At My Day Job…

We put out another Academy Originals video this week and it’s a good one. Editor Crispin Struthers, whose edited films like American Hustle and Silver Linings Playbook shared his creative process with us.

Check it out:

The Best Of My Twitter Feed

As I mentioned last week, I seem to be spending more and more time on Twitter lately (follow me here) and finding more and more interesting stuff there. Here are a few things that caught my eye this week:

Vala Afshar dug up this New York Times article from 30 years ago that explained why people would NEVER use laptop computers.

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I enjoyed this Medium article about how to work 40 hours in 16.7 hours using the “Pomodoro Technique.”

This article about the future of the Internet being flow is worth some thought.

As a lifelong hip hop fan, it was interesting to see what happens when you let a 14-year-old student write rhymes as part of a class project. This was the result:

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I also came across a Bob Dylan quote I love:

“Man is a success when he gets up in the morning, goes to bed at night, and in between, does what he wants.”

Billy Eichner, who’s worth a follow on Twitter by the way, shared a clip from the new season of his show and it’s a good one.

This Is Getting Long, But Here’s One Last Thing

I wrote another new post on Medium this week so I thought I’d share it here as well.

It’s titled 5 Quick Thoughts About Email and it features five things I’ve been thinking about that relate to email – clever title, right?

That reminds me – you should also read How To Lose Weight In 4 Easy Steps (it’s not really about weight loss, but it is really awesome) and this Alfred Hitchcock speech includes one of the best lines I’ve read about advertising:

“In the entire history of sadism, the television commercial is the only instance where Man has invented a torture and then provided the victim with a means of escape.”

I didn’t write either of those, but they’re great and I did read them so that should count for something, right?

Ok, that’s how I spent my week – well, at least some of it.

About That Scott Baio Pic…

Now that you got to the end of this post, you might be wondering why the hell there’s a Scott Baio photo at the top of it.

I thought it might be fun (for me?) to include a photo that relates to something I experienced this week that I don’t actually discuss in this post or on this blog. It’s kind of like an inside joke for me and something that you can wonder about.

So sleep well knowing that I experienced something this week that in some way related to Scott Baio.