To Be And To Last #32

This week we explore the philosophy of Shopify, a formula to make gratitude more expressible, and a special number format for spreadsheet nerds like me.

Who are you grateful for this year?

It’s (always) a great time of year to express thanks to those who have gone above and beyond, but knowing exactly what to say can be tricky. For something like a decade now, I’ve relied on this article for a beautiful recommendation formula.

You obviously still want to say your piece in your own words, but the basic formula takes some of the writer’s block out of saying “thanks”.

I mostly do this over email these days (not so much on LinkedIn), and I’ve found it’s often great to email the person you want to thank, plus a couple others to join the celebration (their manager, close teammates).

The number format that Google Sheets needs

I frequently work with numbers in Google Sheets, and the default number format isn’t exactly human-friendly. This wonderful number formatting trick has become indispensable over the last few months (h/t Morgan Brown IIRC).

Inside the mind of Tobi Lutke of Shopify

Aiming to be the “retail operating system” of the world, Shopify has already built a US$140B business, while countering many Silicon Valley tenets (including that of physically being in Silicon Valley).

In one of my favorite interviews of the year, Tobi Lutke (founder / CEO) shares a behind-the-scenes into the thinking that makes it all possible.

On the formula for creativity (and how to become more creative):

“…I think that creativity generally is people using lessons from one field in another field in different ways. Because of this, I find learning fascinating.”

On building an independent working culture:

“[new hires get a note that reads] ‘Hey, the reason why you've got this job is not because of everything you know, but because you seem like the kind of person who can figure it out when you need to know something.’ That's very basic but also very liberating.”

We talk about the trust battery as a metaphor… I can have a conversation with someone saying, “Hey, you made a commitment to ship this thing, and you did. That's awesome. That's a super big charge on the trust battery, but you’re actually late for every meeting. Even though that's relatively minor—like it decreases 0.1% on your battery—you should fix that.”

To Be And To Last: Thinker Nate Desmond’s weekly roundup of long reads, contrarian thoughts, and hidden jewels that aren’t getting enough attention.

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