#13 The Challenge Network

Adam Grant's Challenge Network and Maggie Appleton's Digital Garden.

Welcome to Hunter-Gatherer, a weekly newsletter where I give you one thing to try, to think about and a question to respond to nurture your relationship with the Internet. In an online-first world, we're all hunters & gatherers of information.

Hey, Hunter-Gatherer!

My last letter on How a certain-type of Live Online Courses can Fix Education? seems to have struck a chord with many of you. A key direction I want to grow this newsletter is to help everyone become a self-learner on the Internet.

We learn from feedback, on our ideas and our work. But getting feedback is intimidating and asking if someone is an introvert or not was usually the question. But now, it doesn't matter. In the digital realm, there is a way for everyone's comfort. Hence, you must now focus on: "what mediums do I pick to communicate?"

đź› Try this

Create a challenge network of 10 people and communicate with them weekly.

At the 18-minute mark of a Tim Ferris podcast, organizational psychologist and admittedly an outlier, Adam G. Grant is asked about his Challenge Network. He explains it as:

"A cohort of people that give unvarnished feedback."

Now, admittedly the idea is simple but so powerful that it forms the atomic unit of the biggest hedge fund in the world: BridgeWater Associates, where Grant first came across this term. In practice, it's a challenge and a support network of people who tear your logic and ideas apart to see if there are any holes in it because they want you to improve and succeed.

While writing my blogs, from coming up with an idea, to an outline, to the first draft and all the way to publishing, I've conversations at each stage to vet my ideas. It helps me see my blindspots and explain what I assumed was obvious.

The first step to building this challenge network is to share your thoughts, and ideas and projects you're working on. One simple way to do this is to write a weekly update email to 10 people whose opinion you respect. People who will push you because they believe in you.

As a matter of fact, I am going to do it with you. Starting this Monday, I will be sending an email with interesting ideas, content, and the projects I am indulging in every week. Share me yours!

If you're interested in receiving this email, I must tell you my primary curiosities are product thinking, philosophy, persuasion and craft coffee. And I will also throw in a timeless song recommendation!

Check out Here!

If you think I can help with your work and want me to be in your challenge network, you only have to ask!

🚍 It's Field Trip Day!

Maggie Appleton, Art director, anthropologist, & metaphor designer at EggHead.io:

(MY) DIGITAL GARDEN: An open collection of notes, resources, sketches, and explorations I'm currently cultivating. Some notes are Seedlings, some are Budding, and some are fully grown Evergreen.

This reminds me of something Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter and Square, once said to his colleague Sarah Friar :

"Allow yourself to fail in public.

We've talked about pushing yourself to take more risks, to be more creative, and question the traditional path. You won't be successful at any of those unless you allow yourself to fail in the eyes of the others. Risk, Creativity and Defining your own path is made possible only by a series of failures, some big, some small. Hide none of them. Show all of them! Take your pride in your ability to recognize them faster and better than anyone else, your drive to learn from them to improve yourself."

(Link to the original Twitter Thread)

With that said, I invite every one of you to spend a little time in Maggie's Digital Garden. It's the best manifestation I've found of Dorsey's advice and the collaborative world we’re moving towards!

CLICK HERE to Maggie’s Digital Garden.

âť“Reply to this

What mode of communication are you most comfortable with sharing your ideas (with one or many)?

I am especially interested in how you communicate incomplete projects.

As for me, I've found a certain comfort in the Newsletter. It allows me to get into a conversational mindset where I can write with the simplicity of writing a message with no implicit character limit or need to publish a finished idea. Will be sending one every week.

You may reply now E-Mail, or via WhatsApp.



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Also, I will be interested in having any and all conversations you might want to have about your self-learning. As NNTaleb once said, "Self-Learners are the only free people."

Check out Previous Letters.