Strands of Genius: How to Turn Around a Bad Day, 'Nicer' Feedback Holds Women Back & The Furniture Hustlers of Silicon Valley
plus: An Oatly coincidence / integration
WRITING FROM | New York, NY
WORKING ON | a strategic sprint for a media company
Feb 26-March 9 | Long Beach and New York, NY
March 9-20 | Nashville, TN
March 20-24 | Beersheba Springs, TN
March 24-April 6 | TBD (Chattanooga?)
May 1- June 9 | Seattle, WA
:: WHAT’S NEW & WEEKLY GRATITUDE ::
(Rosie) In a somewhat serendipitous turn of events, we ended up in NYC just before the arrival of our March 27th leavingversary. It’s hard to believe that it was almost 10 years ago that we left New York City. Because it was the last place that we had an apartment or home base, I can’t help but still imagining our NYC apartment as it was. I know, logically, it’s not true — but some small part of me weirdly believes that if we walked back into 95 Wall, our apartment would still be there and set up just as I remember it. I remember the layout and the furniture and the art and the trinkets more than I remember moving out, or the empty walls and rooms without furniture.
Every time we return, I fall in love with the city all over again. And every time we return, I’m also reminded by just how exhausting it is being here.
There’s so much to do, and so many people to see, and unfortunately we’re not here for a vacation, but for work — so we’re having to schedule social outings around work things, like, you know, people normally do. But, we’re letting people down because we have a finite amount of time here, and because we need some rest and recovery ourselves. That’s the hardest part about *visiting* NYC as it seems that there’s an unwritten rule: every moment should be scheduled, and if you’re not busy are you even living, bro?!
I had two different friends tell me they were disappointed, based on scheduling, and it prompted a chat on the text thread with my sisters — Friends are allowed to feel disappointed, and we should be comfortable telling each other what we’re feeling. Equally, we’re all allowed to have plans change, and someone being disappointed in you/with you shouldn’t wreck your day, right?! Except both times I heard that, an immediate lump in my throat appeared. We’re all socially primed to seek the approval of others and don’t want to disappoint people but also need to take care of ourselves.
In a semi related note, Faris got some outreach asking him not to disappoint them this week:
This week, we’re especially thankful for:
our friends and colleagues for dealing with scheduling snafus, Gwenyth, for an incredibly generous response over text when I did have to cancel, Shann & Marina, for letting us stay at their gorgeous home while we were visiting, ramen with my favorite Magic Mike, Kim and the ladies of LWS, Cristina & Ryan, Mark, cucumber vodka shots, bacon egg & cheese bagels, Shake Shack, Hadestown, the street art in NYC, Ben, late nights with great friends, Alex & Collin, Uyen, Kenny, Drew, Koun, Jim & YOU.
:: THE LINKS ::
FOUR WAYS TO TURN AROUND A BAD DAY
When things are tough, I often find myself saying to Faris, “Give me a few minutes — I need an attitude adjustment.” It’s something that my mom would say in my house growing up, and I guess with years of practice it mostly just works. I’ll go do a handstand or go for a walk or sing a country song at the top of my lungs, and then reset. But when people have asked “How do you do the whole attitude adjustment thing,” I haven’t have a good answer. This article, though, provides some very specific intel on how you can adjust your attitude, and I’m realizing that some of their tips are embedded in my own practice — from activating the parasympathetic nervous system to flooding the body with feel good hormones to writing out a to do list. (Berkeley)
WOMEN GET ‘NICER FEEDBACK’ AND IT HOLDS THEM BACK
Let’s start with the facts from this recent study around feedback : “Whether they self-identified as male or female, liberal or conservative, our participants consistently reported being more motivated to be kind when giving feedback to a woman than when giving it to a man.” And while there was no evidence that people were *trying* to hold women back, and no evidence in a belief that women were less competent than men, people provided nicer feedback to fake participant “Sarah” vs “Andrew.” It’s problematic for two main reasons: Firstly, “nice” feedback tends to be less actionable, and that can lead to women missing out on important job assignments or promotions. Secondly, it can contribute to a toxic gender norms, where men may receive more actionable feedback, but the person giving the feedback doesn’t take into account their emotional well-being. Might be time to audit your how you and your organization delivers feedback… (Harvard Business Review)
THE FURNITURE HUSTLERS OF SILICON VALLEY
As more and more technology companies shutter their doors in favor of remote work, what happens to all the furniture?! A fascinating dive into the second hand furniture market…”Last month, Twitter held a public auction for some of its furniture, hawking dry erase boards, conference tables and a three-foot blue statue of its bird logo.” (NY Times - Archive Link)
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AND NOW THIS…
On the way back from a client meeting I walked by these billboards by Oatly advertising its “SPAM” newsletter with a expensive joke, strategically placing a single feed line poster next to its punchline in a very visible high profile location to attract social and media coverage, in line with their Office of Mind Control media hack model (look, it worked!).
It happened to be on the same day I saw a film our dear friend Billy made for Oatly, as they test launch their new plant based cream cheese exclusively in Philadelphia, where they have apparently had a secret innovation lab working on it.
Billy is the voice asking the questions and it’s great - enjoy!
faris & rosie & ashley | your friends over at geniussteals.co
@faris is always tweeting
@rosieyakob hangs out on instagram
@ashley also writes for deaf, tattooed & employed
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It's called Genius Steals because we believe ideas are new combinations and that nothing can come from nothing. But copying is lazy. We believe the best way to innovate is to look at the best of that which came before and combine those elements into new solutions.
Co-Founders Faris & Rosie are award-winning strategists and creative directors, writers, consultants and public speakers who have been living on the road/runway since March 2013, working with companies all over the world. Our Director of Operations is nomadic like us, our accounting team is based in Tennessee where our company is registered, our admin extraordinaire is based in Playa del Carmen, and our collaborators are all over the world. Being nomadic allows us to go wherever clients need us to be, and to be inspired by the world in between.
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