Curiosity and Craft

Read Julian's thread about curiosity. If anything, it'll give you permission to explore your own creativity, hopefully with constraints that help you improve your career potential.

Curiosity and Craft
Photo by Malek Dridi / Unsplash

I came across a tweet about how to hire good employees, that said the answer is to try to assess their curiosity (and provides questions to ask in the interview process):

I know I'm generally curious, but as I read Julian's questions at teh end of the thread, I realized that I'm probably well more than "generally curious".

But, it's more than curiousity, it's craft

I appreciate Julian's perspective but I'm not quite sure it's only curiousity. There's the application of curiosity towards a goal, maybe putting some constraints around it so that the "exploring" can be focused on improving your craft, rather than just wandering and gathering ideas. The latter quickly devolves to dissatisfaction. It's the fine line between 'complaining about everything' and 'seeing areas for improvement everywhere'.

The contraint that focuses curiousity into something productive is a bias towards building expertise. Towards developing a craft.

I've been blogging for over 15 years. My audience never really took off. For a bunch of reasons. Quite possibly the main one being that I write for me, and to help me be good at what I do.

Since then, I've been very successful inside of organizations using this "influencer technology" approach of blogging, tweeting, emailing, and storytelling to have a pretty big impact. It started with curiousity and evolved into my craft.

The future of your career is going to be more like this 'painter's pallette that represents your unique experience' and less like a 'corporate ladder that you climb'.

I believe that building influence and authority is an important part of the future of work even at big companies. Instead of 'climbing the corporate ladder' we're 'building portfolios of work, and collaborating with others towards a shared, if temporary, goal'.

On my craft

For about two years I've been experimenting with Ghost. It's simpler than Wordpress and deeply integrates sending posts or newsletters via email. I've gone full in. I've switched to point to my Ghost site (breaking all my old links AND dropping all my old SEO <– Not ideal if I'm building an audience, but just fine if I'm building my craft). And, I've dropped (a great URL, but something I really just wasn't that interested in; if you want to beat your head against a rock, but find it's not painful enough, go read parent technology forums).

I've not yet got a concise topic that I'll be writing about, but as always, it'll be a mix of things related to expressing the complex world of B2B software technology with regular, human, language. I'm also perpetually disappointed with the state of technology delivered by large companies because I know we can all do better. I'm always looking for ways to express my dissatisfaction constructively in order to develop a better way of doing things.

And, I'll continue to experiment, as I have this morning by adding my site to a new Ghost content directory. I think this might be Ghost's attempt to solve for the problem that Substack gets dinged about... how to leverage network effects for independent creators on the platform. Only, Substack is coming at it as a business model where Ghost comes at it for an open-source cultural commitment. Ghost is trying to help creators, Substack is trying to create a reason for large publications to stay on Substack. </tangent>

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