You did what to a tape dispenser?

Thoughts on friction, LinkedIn, and photography

Hey everyone,

This issue is a little late.

If you comment on these Substack posts or reply to the emails, I’m going to start sharing my favorite one each week. Last week, Christian left a really nice comment.

If you ever have books, essays, music, or resources you think would be worth sharing with everyone - feel free to reply in order to send them my way. I want to share more.

Quote of the week:
“I like to imagine that the world is one big machine. You know, machines never have any extra parts. They have the exact number and type of parts they need. So I figure if the entire world is a big machine, I have to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason, too.”
Brian Selznick, The Invention of Hugo Cabret

One more thing. If you’re new here, maybe stick around awhile?


I’m moving this week.

I moved to this apartment (sight unseen) back in February for a new job. You could write a dissertation on my experience at this place. I’ll leave it at that.

Tonight, I was packing my stuff away into boxes when the tape dispenser jammed. You know, when the tape sticks to itself and won’t peel apart.

Out of frustration, I would start texting or scrolling social. And then I’d return to the tape dispenser. Defeated, I would start texting or scrolling social. Rinse and repeat.

I must have done this 3-4 different times. And now? I’m writing this newsletter.

This type of thing isn’t uncommon. When presented with just an ounce of friction, most people will defer to the easy way out. Myself included.

There’s a valuable takeaway here. As leaders, as employees, as humans: We need to make it as easy as possible to get the job done. Actively work to reduce barrier, and if you can’t, try and knock something else out for awhile instead of procrastinating.

Tonight, I think I’ll just start packing something else for awhile.


Is LinkedIn the most ridiculous platform of all time?

Yes. An unequivocal yes.

Every day I log in to new strangers inviting me to connect with them. It’s absolute insanity. And if you accept the requests, you’re digging your grave even further.

But there’s more to it then that. The content on the platform is bland. Half of it is random made up stories that all end in “Agree?”

And while it may be the most ridiculous platform of all time, it’s still valuable. I’ve spoken to business owners that have drummed up hundreds of thousands of dollars of business from it.

I’ve gotten jobs through LinkedIn DM’s. Sometimes, I do learn something.

Just please understand that a lot of it is mind melting, made-up gibberish and there is absolutely zero redeeming value in having a network of people you never actually connect with.


Storytelling with imagery

Storytelling is challenging. I’ve struggled with the last few issues of this newsletter because I was worried about the story. It’s constantly a mental exercise:

  • Am I offering too [much/little] information?

  • Is it captivating?

  • Will the reader become better from having read this?

And while writing a story can be tough, capturing one is nothing short of magic. I’ve always been impressed by photographers and videographers that authentically (and technically) capture the heart of a moment.

Please check out Erick Orlando’s work. He does an incredible job of this.


Next week, I’ll be on time.

Wishing you and yours the absolute best the world has to offer,

Cullin