Monday Memo #8: The Virtue of Spite-Driven Career Development
I don’t know who needs to hear this, but you should apply for that thing this week.
Especially if someone thinks you’re not qualified, or expects you to fail.
Especially if that thing triggers your full-on imposter syndrome.
As Michelle Obama said:
"I have been at probably every powerful table that you can think of, I have worked at nonprofits, I have been at foundations, I have worked in corporations, served on corporate boards, I have been at G Summits, I have sat in at the U.N. Here’s the secret: They are not that smart."
Go forth with your audacious ambition and relentless resilience.
Get to it.
🎬 Todrick Hall: Behind the Curtain. Documentary, Netflix. When you’re Black and gay in America, spite-driven career development is fuel for lethal ambition. Todrick Hall’s entertainment evolution from American Idol to YouTube, Netflix, and beyond is a masterclass in this. When he saw Beyoncé’s Lemonade, he decided to make his own. When he wasn’t cast in The Wiz, he made his own music production Straight Outta Oz.
💅🏾 Bonus Points: Watch Todrick’s “WIG” music video for your 5-minute quarantine home dance party today.
Links & Longreads
🕹The Rise of Lifestyle Streamers by Jonathan Lai and Andrew Chen.
“The first generation of livestreaming influencers were professional video game players. With the growth of non-gaming content on platforms like Twitch, Caffeine, and Youtube Live, we are witnessing the rise of the next generation of lifestyle streamers. For them, personality is king—gaming is just one of many ways to engage fans.”
💬Internet Writing: Text & Emotion by Gretchen McCulloch for NYT.
“We’ve been learning to write in ways that communicate our tone of voice, not just our mastery of rules. We’ve been learning to write not for power, but for love.”
🐶Survival of the Friendliest, Not the Fittest by Marlene Cimons for WashPo.
“Survival of the fittest, which is what everyone has in mind as evolution and natural selection, has done the most harm of any folk theory that has penetrated society.”
📚I’ve been using the Libby app to reserve and check out digital e-books and audiobooks from my virtual library, and read them on the Kindle mobile app. Feels good to dive into longreads on my phone instead of the endless feed. Libby rocks.
😋Cravings: Hungry for More by Chrissy Teigen. Even though the height of my “cooking” right now is slathering overripe heirloom tomatoes over toasty bread, I’m excited to thumb through this sequel to Cravings (which I also own) and can concur: Chrissy knows how to pick drool-worthy, comfort soul food with punchy flavors that’s not afraid of spice, thanks to her peppy Thai mom, Pepper.
😂We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby. I knew I would love this from the Foreword: “This book is dedicated to Klonopin.” Commence chortling.
Dope Stuff For Your Desk
🥑 The Autonomous AvoChair. Finally invested in an ergonomic office chair for this indefinite WFH period. While fancy Herman Miller Aeron chairs set the bar, I didn’t want my apartment to feel like a corporate office (nor could I justify spending 4 figures on a chair right now). It took some deep Googling to find a small, ergonomic office chair with a curvier geometry, and at a price point that wasn’t equivalent to the monthly rent of a luxury apartment. Excited to receive my little avocado soon.
Listening: From the Mixtape
🎧 Sharing my personal summer soundtrack for this Corona Summer 2020: It starts off all sparkly glittery pop anthems, thrums with deep bassy remixes, bounces with big confidence bops, then moves into introspective trance for escaping into work wormholes.
🇺🇸AOC 2024 🇺🇸
Click for video clip:
🐝 Bzzzz…. Know any changemakers who want to make some noise in the design justice world? Sign up early for the Pollinator Design Justice Collective, a new initiative from my friend Tan Nguyen, a badass social entrepreneur with passion for food and radical community, and a recent graduate of the first cohort of the Social Innovation Design executive program at UPenn. She’s looking for builders, storytellers, guides, healers, disrupters, visionaries, caregivers, and frontline responders: sign up here.
✌🏽Stay chill and enjoy peak summer,