The Magic Words

Danielle Messler
March 9, 2021

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The TL;DR:

  • On this episode, we get into some of the major changes at Thunk— turns out ‘journaling’ is a great practice but not the most exciting positioning.
  • Andrew discusses the conversations that led up to the change and how it comes down to reading into energy levels.
  • Andrew and Danielle talk about overnight success, and why building in public is so hard.
  • Danielle talks about the ‘responsibility’ to play with our creativity.


Episode Transcript

Andrew:

Welcome to another episode of Finding the Net. I'm Andrew product designer, CEO, and creator of Thunk, a journaling app that lets you find patterns in your thinking.

Danielle:

And I'm Danielle a self-conscious creator and content strategist, building Thunk's audience alongside Andrew.

Andrew:

This podcast is an inside view of what it's like to build launch iterate on and grow a consumer application from the ground up.

Danielle:

We're on a mission to get a thousand people using and loving. And we want to bring you along for the ride.

Andrew:

As you listen to Finding the Net, you learn from our mistakes and our wins, and you'll find new ways to approach your own creative journey.


Both: Let's get into the episode. 

Danielle:

Yes, this was a pretty big week at Thunk. And we've talked a lot about this, but you had come to this realization that we really need to be kind of repositioning and the app is building into this much bigger thing. So why don't you explain the background on that before we get into the deeper issues?

Andrew:

Well, there's an art and a science here and I'm actually going to focus on the art part of this, which is sort of an intuition about energy level.


Certainly journaling is something that's interesting. Certainly it's something that brings value to people and it's something that I think Thunk will continue to deliver for our customers, but when it comes to positioning, it just doesn't get people to a level of excitement and energy.


Journaling just doesn't sort of raise that interest level. And I've noticed that in various conversations. So I ran some sort of rough experiments over in Ness Labs and also talked to some friends of mine, pitching the tool as more of a thinking tool and something that helps you make connections, discover new patterns. And certainly this is a conversation that is not completely new.

Andrew:

It's been a thread that we've been exploring for a long time, but some of the feedback that I'm getting, especially when I start to show prototypes of what a thinking tool might look like is really on a different level and the interest and the sort of responses I'm getting from people are much stronger. There ultimately is this emerging market of enthusiasts around this idea of all, there's a lot of words for, digital gardening, personal knowledge management, networked tool thinking all this sort of stuff, back links.

Danielle:

All of the buzzwords.

Andrew:

Yeah.

Danielle:

That come around.

Andrew:

But there's a, right, but there's excitement there and where there's excitement, there's people who are really want to try new stuff. And when we launch a new product, we really need that level of excitement because the product is rough at first. And people have to have excitement about the space that we're in, in order to try out something that's maybe a little janky and isn't totally polished like many of the tools that you'd be used to using.

Danielle:

Yeah. That's a really good point that excitement level. And I think, and I even saw this in Ness Labs and you started talking about like all these different features and you got the feedback of someone being like, "Oh, is this in the app?" And it was, I think one of our early access members.

Andrew:

Yeah. So, I mean, what happened was we built a sort of prototype video of linking ideas together in the app. And I just noticed that that was a big driver of me wanting to do this change is customers were already using the tool were coming in, asking for that feature. People who had previously gotten a message from me saying like, "Are you sure you want a beta invite?" Never responded. But as soon as they saw that video, they came back and said, "Oh yeah, I'm going to want that invite." You want to pay attention I think when you see changes like that, because it means that there's something that's calling to people a little bit more than what you did before. And so I did, and I think that's a big driver behind us making the change.

Danielle:

And those signals are so important to pick up on and the same thing happens with content and marketing too. You notice when you make those changes and you start getting back a bit more than you're even putting out, and it's just such an exciting feeling and it kind of just starts guiding the way.

Andrew:

Yeah. I mean, I think I was on some call and I was showing one of these features to a customer that I was interviewing and I finished up and I said, "What do you think? What would that be like for you?" And he goes, "Well, if you can do that, it's magical. I mean, this is the dream of this network thinking thing." And when you hear people use language like that magical and the dream you're starting to get into the right territory and that's the type of enthusiasm that we want to have. And that's the language that we want to hear that indicates to us or starting to get somewhere. And there's really strong interest here.

Danielle:

Yeah. That's a really good sign. And I think what's interesting is that this all kind of came about because you were showing things that you were working on that weren't even finished, little features and just asking for feedback. And that can be a really scary thing to do for a lot of reasons. Like, "Hey, I'm showing this linking thing and like, what if no one likes it? What if someone steals it?" Did you have any like hesitation just sharing those kinds of things?

Andrew:

Yeah. So many times this week. Here's a funny one. So I'm having these conversations and I'm starting to delve into this topic of connecting thoughts and having the thoughts you've connected, be more useful in ways that you can explore them. And I'm finding other people having conversations similar to this, and someone commented on one of the things I wrote and I was like, "Oh wow. He really is interested in this space. I want to get on a call with him." So I schedule a call with him. And then a couple of days later, I noticed he is making a tool that is like designed to help you find connections. And I start to get really worried like, "Oh man, what if we're building something that what if we're competing with each other? What if I don't know if I want to show this guy. What if he's takes some of the ideas? You know, what if I'm inspired by his ideas and I want to go build something similar and now he feels like I'm this awful thief."

Andrew:

So I had all is fear and hesitancy about sharing with him. But I really tried hard to like squash that stuff and believe in this idea that there's this phrase in economics, like a rising tide lifts all boats, meaning the space is large, the ocean is large and we all do well together and do poorly together. And if we forget about competing with each other, it can be beneficial to all of us. So I get on the call with him and I just tell him right away, I'm like, "Hey, I want to tell you, I'm kind of afraid to talk to you, because I'm worried that we're in the same space and I don't know how that's going to turn out."

Andrew:

And I think in a way that broke the ice because he's like, "Hi, you don't need to worry about it." And then we showed each other our tools and they're actually really different approaches to the same problem. And it was a really fun and engaging conversation. So that's one example, but there are so many more where I just came across. I mean, even in that and other conversations, I've been talking to other people who are creating stuff and noticing that people who have frankly really developed thoughts and skills of people who are hyper-organized in ways that makes me really jealous are having the same feeling that I'm having.

Andrew:

And they're not talking publicly about what they're doing. They're not sharing it. And I don't even know what they're working on. Even people I've had a call with, I don't know what they're working on sometimes because that's how tightly they're holding onto it. So I've just noticed, well, I've noticed that this is universal and I've absolutely been feeling it myself as we've gone through this process and simultaneously realized that this might be the real key to making progress for myself personally and for the entire project.

Danielle:

This approach of sharing and showing or the whole idea of network thought.

Andrew:

Yeah. I like the language you used on that by the way, share and show. So the middle of this-

Danielle:

I totally stole it from your notes.

Andrew:

That's great though, because I think what that ... So last week we talked a little bit about this, like wanting to build in public more and wanting to share things more and I'm going through writing stuff down and I'm realizing that at my last company, someone there really taught me a lot about sharing more internally and now here at Thunk, I'm realizing the best thing I can do for this team is talk all the time about what I'm thinking. If I'm in the content channel, I need to be saying like, here are illustrations that I think are great. Here are some ideas and some phrases and words that I think might resonate with our customers. If I'm in design, I'm like, here are a bunch of prototypes that I'm making and showing them to the team constantly as I'm thinking through them and they're evolving. And I'm like, look at how much better this is for the team.

Andrew:

And I'm noticing that, and then I'm going out into the world and I'm like, why am I treating the world differently than the team? If the team is getting all these benefits from it, why don't I do that more externally? And so that led to really writing it down as a value. I actually originally had it show and share. And I don't know, as I thought through it, I thought share is such a nice word. It really gets to this idea that you're not showing off. You're not promoting what you're doing is really positive thing. It's about sharing and it's about just helping others to know what it is that's going on.

Andrew:

And it's really funny, but seeing other people in the space who are working alongside me, I really noticed how important it was that I talk more, whereas you, it's easy to look at it and think you're exposed. I think that's where the fear is, is that you're like vulnerable when you're talking and sharing and showing. But ironically it's the opposite is what's true. Which is that the more you're sharing and showing actually the more powerful you are and the more influential you are. And it's great for everyone, not just you, but the other people around you to see what's going on and to know where you're coming from.

Danielle:

Yeah. It's interesting because this whole build and public idea, it came across. I don't know, maybe like April or May of last year and connected with some people on Twitter about it. I think I've told you about KP. He has this whole like building and public newsletter that he runs. And then obviously, Anne-laure, because we got to get that mention in for the episode, just kidding. This is not sponsored by Ness Labs. We just love the community. And actually, I came across a good tweet last night and then I made a note because I was like, I really want to bring this up tomorrow when we're recording. And I think it goes back to something we were talking about a couple of episodes ago when we were like a big startup men, I've raised millions of dollars and blah, blah, blah.

Danielle:

And anyways, the tweet was from a guy named [Benji Chaim 00:10:43]. And I am probably butchering that. I'm so sorry, Benji. And it says, "I've noticed that those building in public tend to share their revenue numbers after if they've made it past all the hard parts of growing their business and that kind of defeats the entire purpose behind the concept." Like it's so true. And it's such a good point because it's like now we have this whole building in public and sharing and showing, and there's a lot of places where it's not that different. It's still just bragging and adding in the struggle afterwards. Like I ate a bunch of Ramen, but then I got a hundred million dollars from Google and I'm building in public. I think a really important part of that is also showing those moments where it's like, "Hey, we have five users in here. Like I don't know what to do." And those less made for TV moments.

Andrew:

Yeah. I mean, I think it's pretty interesting because I mean, what that, it's getting at, is calling out some folks who maybe are acting like they're building in public, but they're really just sharing success when success arrives.

Danielle:

Yeah. And it's such a good point because it then contributes to other people even like you and me looking at it like, Oh, they got 20,000 downloads and they launched on Product Hunt at number one. And it's like, it doesn't show the actual six months before that. So then we start to feel like, ah, something's wrong? Why didn't this happen to us with building in public? And it's like, Oh no, no, no, no. You missed the whole five first chapters of the story. We're only coming in, in the middle.

Andrew:

Yeah. It's funny because it reminds me a little bit of this idea where there's like 50 launches. You typically just think of like, oh, there's the Product Hunt launch and then it's like, that's your real launch. And you do that like on the first week. And that's not true at all. I think at least those people who are really successful, don't just launch on Product Hunt right away. They build a groundswell and they know that they have something that people are interested in before they ever go to a platform like that where people are going to be voting on them relative to other projects.

Danielle:

Yeah. Overnight success usually requires a lot of prep work.

Andrew:

Yes. It really does. It's a long night before that overnight. It's like a three year night that you're having. Over the three year night.

Danielle:

As long as the game of Thrones episode, probably just as dark.

Andrew:

What's also interesting is I think that tweet calls out that I think we could talk more about some of those things and more about those other parts of the business like, oh, where's our revenue at and how are we funding this thing? And I think those are still things that are hard to ... You know, it's another example of share and show that's kind of difficult to get yourself to feel comfortable with. Because you're sort of like, Oh man, like really behind the curtain, do we have to show it all?

Danielle:

Why do you think it's so hard?

Andrew:

I think it's hard for a bunch of reasons. I think it's hard because you're afraid of competitors. You're afraid that competitors are going to see that you don't have a lot of funding and that you're weak and that you can be sort, that can be potentially exploited. I think you're afraid of just generally looking bad. It's kind of like the Instagram effect where you want to show the amazing six pack, you don't want to show the two year diet that you went to achieve the six pack or the day when you cried into ice cream or something. So I think there's that.

Danielle:

This is an all taco diet.

Andrew:

I think you're afraid that, I don't know, that there's going to be some cost to being so open and transparent and sharing that much. And it's like, it has to do with some fundamental ideas that we have about success and failure and strength and weakness. And it calls into sort of deep parts of our psychology that are trying to defend us against appearing to not be sort of the lion that's going to succeed. I don't know. That's what I think. What do you think?

Danielle:

This is something that I resonate with deeply. I even wrote like a Twitter thread at the beginning of the year about this, or maybe it was, I don't know, six or so months ago of I really to do this thing. And I think I called it learn in public and that really is what I want to do. And I've been shit at it, so bad. I actually haven't put in like nearly as much effort as I thought I was going to. I was thinking about it a lot. And I think one of the main reasons is that Jay Acunzo who is another awesome creator here in Boston. He's spoken on this a lot about how, when you're creating you think you need to be like the expert and have the answers and it's okay to ask the questions and then find the answers and then talk about it.

Danielle:

And I think that, that's definitely something that I've resonated with because for me I'm like, "Oh, if I'm putting all these thoughts out there, what if people think I'm not good at my job? Or I'm supposed to be this marketer and content creator and blah, blah, blah. And what if people I know or work with judge me or they think less of me." Which is just not reality, it's probably not going to happen. And it's where that self-conscious creator piece comes in, where I think we start out or at least I did like starting out like, "Oh, I have to be this expert in this thought leader and blah, blah, blah. Like all of the bros on LinkedIn that know everything about humanity from giving people jobs and writing about it." And I don't know, what is it, iambic pentameter?

Andrew:

Yeah, that's it.

Danielle:

But I think the people I've really enjoyed following that I've enjoyed learning from are people that are learning themselves. They don't position themselves as experts. And I actually kind of stopped following people when they get to that fortune cookie level of insight where it's, I don't know, just like super generic advice where it's like, "Life is hard, friends make it easier." Oh, thank you. They almost just get so much safer too.

Andrew:

You're bringing up a great point, which is this desire to be the expert and the comfort of being the expert and the sort of belief that, that is the natural place that you should be and that you should want to be and there, and sort of status. And maybe it's a status seeking thing, but I've also noticed a funny trick in forums and in communities, which is if I let other people be the expert, which is the comfortable place to be. And I just ask questions and I start deferring to them as the expert, I start just asking like, yeah. So help me understand how do you approach? And I just totally treat them as the resource that knows everything. Then they engage with me in a completely wonderful way.

Andrew:

And if I can just get over my own ego and my need to sort of have all the right answers and I can let them be that person, the interaction that we have is actually kind of wonderful. And they open up in a whole different way and they engage with me much more readily. So I feel like that is a totally real part of why this build in public thing is so challenging or learn in public or anything that you're trying to do where your vulnerability is exposed, because it kind of runs contrary to this belief that we have, that we should be experts and of high status and have all the answers.

Danielle:

Yeah. I think there's a flip side to that too, and we were just having this conversation like before we started recording that, it's nice to talk about stuff you know. And I think one of the reasons I like that, because it does feel good when you're like, okay, I can explain this and I can tell you about marketing and you can tell me about product design. One of the reasons I like it is, because I always realize, Oh, I actually know a lot more than I think I do. There's actually some knowledge in there.

Andrew:

Yeah. It reminds you of all the work that you put in and you feel like, ah, I'm not, I don't know. Maybe it's, I mean, is this a thing for you? Here's the thing that totally happens for me, where I'm just like some days I'm just like, God, I have no clue what I'm doing and I'm totally forgetting. I'm like missing everything. And then when someone approaches you and asks you questions and you have all the answers, it feels really good. You're like, Oh, this is so relieving. I know all these answers and maybe things are simpler than I think they are. Does that happen for you at all?

Danielle:

Yeah, it does so much with, especially with social and marketing stuff and these things that I know and think that everyone knows not because I think that they're so basic, but just cause I'm like, Oh, if I know it, then the real experts are the real people I'm talking to about have to know this, but it's not true. It's really easy to forget that we all started with nothing, no knowledge base.

Andrew:

Right. Yeah. We were all like babies that didn't know anything. You know what I mean? It's actually kind of fun to hang out with little kids to just see them discovering just really basic stuff that you just totally take for granted now. And they're just constantly so excited because every day is a day of incredible discovery. And they're not self-aware enough to be self-conscious about the fact that they don't know these things yet. There's no idea that you're supposed to know it when you're three years old. You don't have that as a thing in your brain. And you're just kind of like, Oh, okay. Yeah. Here's another piece of information, that's fun. So much so that kids become irritating by asking why repeatedly. Adults could learn a lot from kids and just like ask why like 10 times and probably get a bunch of new, interesting information that's powerful.

Danielle:

And then you're like kind of forced to answer. And you're just like, I don't really know the answer, but I kind of want to now.

Andrew:

Yeah. I mean little kids can get you into a real existential hole by just asking you why over and over and over again.

Danielle:

What is the meaning of life?

Andrew:

It's only like five or so lies before you're like, I don't know, I'm completely lost.

Danielle:

This ties back really well to kind of this new positioning that we're working on and the new features that you're building, because it brings back that kind of childhood feeling of just exploring and asking questions and making connections between things. And you know, why is the sky blue? Nitrogen. I think that's the reason, I have no actual idea. I know it's something in the atmosphere. And then you just explore and you get to this point where you kind of realize that a lot of things are connected and it feels like a game a little bit. I felt this when I started getting into this note taking community and this networked thought that we've talked about a lot about, and it really is bringing back that childhood curiosity of asking why or what would happen if, or are these things similar? Are they not similar? And that's just a really powerful thing as adults when we haven't really been taught to think like that or encouraged to think like that for a while.

Andrew:

Yeah. I mean, one of the ideas in this sort of emerging, we'll call it network thought space, is that the traditional setups on computers encourage you to put everything in files and folders. You know these files and you're storing them in these folders. And those require you to be really thoughtful about where to go before you start. You have to think when you're beginning to do something, you have to think, where does this thing go? Where am I going to put this thing that I'm not really even sure what it is? And this emerging space of connecting thoughts or digital gardening, whatever we want to call it has this idea that you just write a note and you just start wherever, you're just writing and you just start connecting it to things. And the organization sort of emerges from doing that.

Andrew:

And what I love about that idea is it gets all of the, everything out of your way so you can start creating. And anybody who's ever created something probably has had this experience. I've had it with music, I've had it with writing where you want to start recording something or whatever. And you have this burst of excitement and energy and interest. And you're like, okay. And you're getting the microphone out. And you're like connecting all the wires. And then you're like opening your software and you're okay. Yeah. You get the software open. And then you're like, ah, that plugin needs to be updated. And you're okay. Now I'm updating that and do all this stuff to set it up. And by the time you get to actually like creating something, you've lost that energy and interest and that spark.

Andrew:

And that's, those things are pretty deep into, we've talked about joy and beauty and delight. We've talked about creators being kind of our people. And I think play and creativity and finding these connections and having that serendipity, that stuff really excites me and engages me. And I'm so thrilled to like, let's go into that. Let's really focus into that area and let's make it fun to write. Let's make this like a playful experience and having these links that kind of take you forward and backwards and on this little path that you didn't expect to go on in your own note taking is very much that that feeling of play. And it really is so exciting to think that, that could be an experience that people have. I just really want to make that happen.

Danielle:

Yeah. And some of the space now, and we've talked about this as super intellectual and that makes it very intimidating and it ties back the building in public thing too. Like, Oh, I'm super smart network thought man, with my billion connections and PhDs, and it's intimidating to be a creator. Or my notes, I've read a thousand articles this year and blah, blah, blah. And it makes it really hard to get started. And I think that's a really good point that you made that it's like, we want to be able to have someone come in with nothing and just create from their own minds.

Andrew:

Yeah. And explore. And figure it out as they go. I think that's the worst thing that can happen is you're trying to make something and you go into your tool and your tool slows you down and stops you and makes you pause and doubt yourself. And then Nigel shows up and he's like, "That's not even the right thing to do anyways. Why are you doing that?"

Danielle:

Yeah. Oh, Nigel and Julian. I don't think we've talked about them on the podcast.

Andrew:

Oh my Lord. We have to talk about Nigel in Julian.

Danielle:

I feel like they deserve a whole episode.

Andrew:

Yeah. It's just quick explanation. Nigel and Julian are a couple of characters that we have for Thunk. Very early in the process we were thinking about this idea of creating and creativity and writing. And there are these sort of two parts of yourself, the inner child that is really playful and you just throw a pen and paper in front of them and they'll start doodling or drawing. And then the sort of critic or the inner sensor that has a role to play, but ultimately is slowing down that creative spirit that we have that just wants to get things on the page. So we thought it be really fun to personify those.

Andrew:

Then we created two characters, we call them Julian the inner child and Nigel the inner critic. And they're these little animated foxes that we use to talk about this idea and to sort of convey these two different ways of approaching the act of creating something. And they're actually quite useful now that we have them, we play around with them inside of our internal tools, Slack. We've got accounts for them. And then I go in there and talk as these characters sometimes. We're making Twitter accounts for them. But it really, it's funny. I don't know. They've been even useful internally. I think in a way. What's your experience been like with the sort of personified characters, Danielle?

Danielle:

Oh, I love them. They're like the best Slack reactions in our chats.

Andrew:

Very good Slack emojis.

Danielle:

It just adds like so much fun to it too. That's really what we want to do. And you know, you and I have talked about this a bunch and I just think of like the Duolingo owl coming in to make you do your language exercise. And it's kind of an inside joke between everyone who uses Duolingo that like, Duo is going to fucking find you and he's going to make you take your French lessons or are you going to like murder you. And it's just become this like funny meme within the user base of Duolingo about how often he pops up. I think it's a really fun element of the app for something that's usually very hard.

Andrew:

Yeah. And it brings a certain levity to it and gets back to this idea of play. And it's really funny, I had a conversation with somebody who did some development work on the app recently and she said, "I think as adults," she said, "I think as adults, we forget to play, we really forget that, that's an option. And we forget that we need to do that." That resonated with me so much because I think that's happening a lot in this personal knowledge management space. I mean, what a pretentious name. We get into this really heavy intellectual view of connecting notes and we're acting as if we're at Einstein or something and we want to think of ourselves as the expert like we talked about and really we forget.

Danielle:

We are solving relativity.

Andrew:

Yes. We forget how much it can be to just be curious and to just let our minds wander as we create our notes and to connect those things, kind of looking backwards to just follow that thread of interest and connect those dots, looking backwards. And I think that's a really powerful view. And one that's quite contrary to the way these tools work. What's really funny about it is it makes me wonder how much of this is an accident of the first solution that we came up with. Back in the day, computers don't have files and folders on them. That's just a metaphor that was invented, because we needed to abstract something. You know, back in the day before Steve Jobs went to Xerox and saw the graphic user interface for the first time, there wasn't an idea of folders and a desktop. That wasn't a thing. And what happened was somebody came up with this metaphor at Xerox, what a weird thing. Steve jobs goes to Xerox, takes one look at the thing and goes, "This is amazing. We could sell this."

Andrew:

I think just copies it, recreates it and files and folders became the way that we use computers. It's not actually what's going on under the hood. I don't think people even know that anymore, because that's such an established metaphor. And it's funny to think that maybe there are other options for how to even just think about the abstract words and things that are inside of a computer that they're not in these storage bins, they're in this like much more like networked place. And that's exciting to think that we could help people see it that differently.

Danielle:

It's almost like they hamstrung one of the major benefits of computers by hanging on to how we have to treat physical items.

Andrew:

It's funny though, because it's a useful metaphor in some ways. I don't need to totally shit on it. It's good in some ways, but I wonder if it hasn't hamstrung us a little bit to your point. If it hasn't held us back because we have a limited metaphorical view of what's behind the screen, when maybe there's something much broader there and much more related to how our brains actually work. Our brains are literally a network. And so there's this idea in neuroscience, neurons that fire together, wire together, meaning when pathways in your brain are stimulated at the same time, then they become connected to each other. Well, if that's the way we think, that's why I think these connected tools are so exciting because they're thinking tools and we already think that way. So it's funny to think that in some weird way, maybe note taking is somehow finding a way to go that same path by imitating our biology and the way that we think in a networked way.

Danielle:

Going back to something you said a couple of minutes ago, when you were talking to someone that was just like, we just don't play anymore as adults. At the beginning of the year, I wrote down these, I don't know what I would call them, I don't know, personal mission statements for the year, something like that. And one of them was like, you have the responsibility to play. And those words are kind of conflicting on purpose, like play and responsibility don't actually go hand in hand, because it's something that we have to intentionally carve out now. It really is, I think, our responsibility, because it's just such a big part of life playing and learning and having fun. And I know that sounds like really cheesy and hokey and fortune cookie. Am I already at that level? But it was like a really important reminder.

Andrew:

Well, how did you even decide that that was important?

Danielle:

It came out actually, when I was doing my morning pages and journaling one day and I just, it stuck with me. And it was like, we have this responsibility to play. And then I was like, no, you have this responsibility to play and just be curious and ask questions and follow what interests you. And I'm laughing, because I don't know if you saw this to this new story this week that NPR has this program called All Things Considered. And this eight year old kid wrote into them being like, "You don't actually consider all things, because there's no dinosaurs on this show. So it should be called All Newsy Things Considered."

Andrew:

I love that.

Danielle:

And I was just like, that's amazing. It's just so good. Like all things considered should include dinosaurs and all the things that we want to learn. And if they're dinosaurs, then yeah.

Andrew:

What would a good perspective. See, you can never get that from an adult. An adult would never call in and be like you guys don't talk about dinosaurs, so not sure it's really all things considered. I love what you're saying though, because I think that's something that I've been trying to examine for myself recently. I don't know if we talked about this last time, but I've been noticing that I don't take a lot of time off. And I noticed, I went into my screen time, well, actually my screen time notification came up and it said, "Hey, you've spent on average last week, Monday through Sunday, you spent about 10 hours a day on this computer, including Saturday and Sunday." And I had this realization, like I'm sitting at the computer, I'm pretty much working. I've kind of gotten over that thing where I screw around and check Facebook.

Andrew:

And for the most part, maybe I'm reading an article here and there, but for the most part I'm involved in working and I just that's too much time. And I do think that as you put it, maybe I'm sort of letting myself down in this responsibility to both rest and play and to have some more time that I refresh myself. I think both you and I kind of hate hustle culture. I certainly hate it. And there's this-

Danielle:

I hate it so much.

Andrew:

Yeah. Okay, good. Sometimes Elon Musk will get on and I don't think Elon Musk is a 100% a hustle culture guy, but he has this idea that I think the hustle culture people love, which is if most people work 40 hour weeks. And then I work at 80 hour week, then I'm going to get twice as much done as they get in the same time period.

Andrew:

So in six months I'll be twice as far as they are. Or if I work a 100 hour weeks, I'll be like even that much farther. And I think that way of thinking, maybe that's the way it works for Elon Musk, because he's somewhat of an alien, but I don't think that, that's the way that it works for most human beings. Our output is not linear in that way. And that idea that if we just sit at the computer for another five hours and work, that we are going to be twice as productive with just twice as much time, I think it's a lie and we really need to spend more time doing some of the things you're talking about, where we play and we rest. And our work now is creative work, it's knowledge work and rest matters and taking time away. Oftentimes I've found that I come back and immediately, my thinking is fresher, it's clearer, it's more creative and it's better. And we don't maybe take that as you put it that responsibility to play seriously enough.

Danielle:

I noticed that too, just taking time off over Christmas to just have lazy days and do whatever I wanted and not guilt myself into the productivity of like, "Oh, I should vacuum, or I should wash the shower or the floors, or like, I should, I should, I should." One funny line from Sex in the City. Oh, what is her like signature line? "And I had to wonder, are we shitting all over ourselves?" It's so cheesy.

Andrew:

It's cheesy but it's good.

Danielle:

It's so good, because it's just like, yeah, we kind of all are shitting all over ourselves and our time. I think next week, something that would be really fun to explore and they do deserve their own episode is this idea behind Julian and Nigel and how we want Thunk to be the opposite of that intellectual [Rudel esque 00:35:14]. I'm thinking of like Soviet Russia in the seventies, like building-wise. We want it to be much more fun and playful and really encourage that sense of playfulness. And we can talk about how we're doing that and how you're bringing it into the brand. And I think it'll be a really good topic.

Andrew:

Yeah. It's funny. Because it surprises me how hard that actually is to do now that I see it as a mission to get that in there. But I think that there's plenty of fodder for that. And there's a ton of things that we're trying to do to bring that into not only the experience directly with the product, but the way that we're talking about it in the external world. And I'm excited to dive into it.

Danielle:

Yeah, me too. So if you were listening, thank you. And we will be back next week to introduce you to Julian and Nigel. As a reminder, if you want to get in on Thunk, you can send an email to podcast@thunkjournal.com and be invited to our early access program.

Andrew:

Thank you so much. And we'll talk to you next week. Bye bye.