A Brief History of Digital Nomads
Ferriss’s first and most popular book was The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich, published in 2007. Its core argument is that people should design the life they want and see the world now, not work in a soul-destroying job and wait for retirement to really live. In popularizing this idea, Ferriss piloted and promoted a new philosophy of life and work—one that has been simmering away in the background ever since. This notion of exploring the world and enjoying the good life became digital nomads’ guiding principle, and a global subculture of people began pursuing remote businesses, blending work and travel in new ways.
The Network Before the Internet
One feature of big platforms is that scaling on the platform happens faster than the scaling of the platform. Depending on how you count, the highway system took a generation or two to build, but also allowed some companies to go from startups to ubiquitous in just a few years. The same dynamic applies to more modern platforms: a TikTok star's growth curve is more hockey-stick than TikTok's, Zynga grew faster than Facebook by using Facebook's ads and social tools effectively, Compaq set growth records that Microsoft and Intel couldn't match by effectively contributing to their duopoly, and companies that figure out their unit economics with search ads can ride a very steep S-curve.
🚀 Scaling the previously unscalable - in The Diff
Therapists Should Build a New Cultural Competence: ‘Onlineness’
Different online spaces evolve different cultures quickly, as a function of who made it, who shows up, and what they’re trying to do. Attempting to chat with randos in YouTube comments is a whole different ball game than posting that same video on Facebook, where only your long-lost high school friends and distant familial relations would see it. Even an apparently single space can develop radically disparate cultures. Reddit “subs” are well known for featuring both explicitly stated rules and unstated norms. While it isn’t necessary that a therapist become familiar in advance with all of these subcultures (a Sisyphean task anyway), a general willingness to take client reports about them seriously, and envision that online climate as it really is, is needed to close the understanding gap.
👩🎓 When the established institutions urgently need to catch up with new cultures - in Wired by Pamela J. Hobart
🎧 Customer love is all you need, which you can’t buy, hack, or game
Startups, once they get big enough can only grow by word of mouth. All the growth-hacking eventually stops working, if you are going to keep growing exponentially at some point, it is probably going to be because people tell you “you gotta use this product, it’s so great”. These startups…, so much of their value is in the far out years and in those years it depends on continuing to grow at these fantastic rates,…exponential rates, the sort of viral growth that can only occur when the first cohort of users said “you gotta try this” to two friends each, and they say “you gotta try this” to two friends, and so on so on…This can scale to millions of users in a matter of months.
People don’t stick with products that they don’t love. It’s easy to get a lot of people to try something with a clever growth hack, but the value of those users is often very low. You need things that people gonna come back to and use a lot, and it’s much easier to figure that out early, when you can still make a lot of changes to the product.
❤️ Love is better than like 👍 - in Masters of Scale with Sam Altman
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