When I worked at The Futures Company I had the luxury of editing—with my colleague J. Walker Smith—a weekly email called ‘Read One Thing’, which was a collection of links that seemed interesting, or provocative, or resonant. The intention was to get people’s heads up from their desks and deadlines and take a wider view.
After I left the business in 2019, I tried to do something similar here in the ‘Sixes and Sevens’ format, which worked for a while, but lost momentum during the pandemic at a point where my workload also ramped up, and became a bit sporadic. It’s one of those things you have to do regularly to make it work, I think.
But I missed it, partly for selfish reasons. The discipline of both reading articles and summarising what is relevant about the best ones makes me a better futurist. I miss less; my worldview is challenged more often.
So I am going to have another go, in a different format. I have today launched on Substack a newsletter called ‘Just Two Things’. The plan is to put up two links a day, Monday to Friday, which seem, well, interesting, provocative, or resonant. The first one went out this morning.
For clarity, I’m not planning to charge for this, certainly while I’m still working as a consulting futurist, which is likely to be for a few years yet.
Substack being Substack, this will come to your inbox as a daily email. You can sign up here: https://justtwothings.substack.com/p/coming-soon
Given my reading, I expect that these will most be about economics, sustainability, technology, and bit of politics, with dashes from my futures thinking and some bits of culture thrown in from time to time.
I’m going to try to keep it reasonably topical, but not slavishly so. I’ve written some of the first week already to test for what it feels like to read it and to write it.
Part of the inspiration for this change of approach came from the blogger John Naughton, who does a daily blog at Memex 1.1, which also gets published through Substack. He had shifted to daily blogging during the pandemic, inspired by Dave Winer’s daily blog, and found the engagement levels much higher. Let’s see what happens.
The signup link again: https://justtwothings.substack.com/p/coming-soon
Calendar image via OneDesBlog.