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The Inner Circle - Issue #8

My new crypto course, and why I'm using screen time on myself.

Sean Johnson
Sean Johnson
3 min read

Happy new year! Hope you enjoyed your holidays and are getting back into the swing of things.

In this issue:

  • The Crypto Course is Ready
  • My New Reading Process
  • Most Recent Podcasts

Helping 3s Become 2s - Going down the crypto rabbit hole.

In the last issue I mentioned I was going to work on a course about crypto, designed to try to gently educate folks on the ecosystem and how they could participate.

Well, I wrapped the course up and pushed it live today. It’s called “Helping 3s become 2s”, and it provides covers a fair amount of ground.

Topics covered include:

  • What is Bitcoin?
  • How to buy your first BTC
  • Crypto wallets and why you need one
  • What is Ethereum?
  • What are Stablecoins?
  • Decentralized Exchanges 101
  • What is Decentralized Lending?
  • What are NFTs?
  • How to Go Cross-Chain
  • What are Rebasing DAOs?

I hope you find it helpful - feel free to share with others!

My New Reading Process

I’ve read 4 books so far this year.

Part of that has been the fact that I’ve been unusually excited to read these ones. But the bigger change has been how I set up my evenings.

In short, I used screen time on myself.

I had set this up for my son when he got a phone. But I realized that too many times I wasn’t using my evenings the way I’ve wanted.

By having my phone effectively turn off at 8, I’ve managed to channel my restlessness into getting more reading done.

Which is good. Two of my reading goals this year are to complete a survey of the major philosophers throughout history, and to read the complete 11 volume Story of Civilization series by Will and Ariel Durant.

The other big change has been how I approach note taking.

Too often I’ve found myself thinking forward to when it was done, and the notes I’d want to move into my note taking system. But it’s a stupid an unnecessary distraction.

So lately I’ve just started to dog-ear the book in places I want to refer back to later. I don’t worry about highlighting, just dog-ear and move on.

Then, when I’m ready to process the book later I go back through and just look at the dog eared pages. I pretty quickly find what I was looking for and drop that into my notes system.

We’ll see if it sticks, but the result has been more reading, more present reading, more enjoyable reading.

My most recent podcasts

I’ve been wanting to do this one for a long time. Amit Gupta is one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met. He was one of the early pioneers of the coworking movement, he created a photography company called Photojojo that enjoyed a rabid following and was eventually acquired. And now he’s working on Sudowrite, an AI enabled writing assistant.

In this conversation we get into Amit’s background, what he learned working with Seth Godin, how he approaches building products with personality, what he’s learned about building AI-enabled products, and much more.

When I’ve talked to founders or my students at Northwestern about building in public, the example I’ve most frequently used is Amanda Goetz. Amanda is the founder of House of Wise, a DTC brand offering CBD-based products to improve women’s health.

In this wide ranging conversation we discuss the origins of House of Wise, what it’s like building a DTC business from the ground floor, how Amanda developed an intuitive understanding of her customer, how startups can invest in brand early on, proactively building community, the benefits of building in public and leading with authenticity, and much more.

Thanks for Reading!

As always, if you have ideas for how to make this better, please let me know. Thanks for being in my life ❤.

-- Sean