Ever get tired of the amount of incoming noise when flipping through your daily news? Me, too. Everyone seems to have a handful of websites or authors that they go to during their daily read. I do, too. And I'm sharing my list below. Why this group of folks? I'm bent on the word creative lately. I've always thought creative applied to artists and advertisers. Growing up in a home of creatives, I fell into the trap of thinking creativity = painting, advertising, etc.
Things have changed a bit. Or, more definitively, my way of thinking has changed a bit. I now see creativity in everything: technology, planning, implementation, organization, advertising, marketing, coding, etc. I'm super happy I fell out of my original trap and discovered creative types exist everywhere, in every discipline.
Here are 6 people who I follow regularly and who help me push my creativity to new levels. They may not be creative in the typical sense but their creativity has triggered and influenced change in many different (and overlapping) industries.
Dan Benjamin Dan's a very recent addition to my must-follow list. I haven't looked too far into who is or what he's done. This is probably more of a function of just loving the stuff he puts together. I'm a big fan of audio.
A few vivid memories are surrounded with the radio or other type of audio input. I listened to Jon Miller call the Indians / Red Sox playoff series over a very static radio feed while I was driving in the dark looking for Moab (I eventually found it. Cleveland did not). I remember hearing the term "Inflection Point" from Andy Grove from an audio book while I was driving home from my first college course. 'Click and Clack', 'Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me', and 'This American Life' are regular Sunday comforts since I was, um, much younger. Broadcasters like Gene Burns (KGO), the combination of Krukow-Kuiper-Miller-Fleming (SF Giants), and Dan Rusanowsky (SJ Sharks) brought stories to life.
Dan's 5by5 network is a terrific way to discover insights from today's top talents. I'm starting to fall into the regular schedule of shows - Marco on Monday, Merlin on Tuesday, Geek Fridays - in addition to talks with John Gruber, John Siracusa, and others.
After a slight hiatus (I haven't found *those* broadcasters in New York, yet), I'm super glad I'm tuned back into audio. Thanks Dan (& Team 5by5).
Kevin Rose Kevin's been around for awhile but I'll confess: I don't know much about him either. It'd be super easy to run a few Google searches and find more details, but I'm not there yet. I think he founded / sold Digg or something.
What he's doing now is really cool. He's created this company - an idea lab, really - that's focused on bringing cool products to market. In addition, he's building out great video interviews with today's entrepreneurial rock stars.
The creator of Instapaper. The author of marco.org. The host of Build & Analyze. I've been hooked on Instapaper for quite some time and as someone who picked up the wi-fi only model of the iPad, it's a huge help when I'm on the train between NY and DC. If you've ever listened to Marco's podcast on 5by5, you'll hear someone who is excited, realistic, and cautious about his company. It's really interesting to hear about these challenges and opportunities, and his vision on Apple and the technology industry straight from Marco himself.
MG Siegler I found MG through TechCrunch. Now he's running with TechCrunch as an Apple reporter while focused on his new venture: Venture Capital. Cool stuff.
His technology insights over the past year that I've been following have been great. His reporting style is even better. And now he'll be even deeper in technology while keeping his ear close to Cupertino news?
Michael Arrington It's surprising how little I've invested in finding out who Arrington is. If you go by what is written on the surface, you'll stop thinking about him after the second or third review. (Wait, he's racist? Really?) If you read his stuff, you'll find out what makes him tick.
I've done both and I'm happy I stuck around.
Out of everyone on this group, he's probably the most creative though. I mean, the guy has merged technology and research, with an incredible amount of transparency and confidence. Yeah, I think he's upset quite a number of people but if you take his track record (at least over the previous few years), I think you'll see he's really good at writing and breaking stories in the technology industry.
Also, he seems to care about transparency. In a time where we talk a lot of about the goodness of transparency but don't always operate transparently, it's refreshing to see it in action.
Paul Kedrosky There's something quirky about Paul Kedrosky. Outside of the awesome name for his site - seriously, how cool is Infectious Greed - his writings and tweets seem to be on the edge. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
I like the connection he and Fred (below) are bringing to the masses: fusing technology and the financial aspects of the industry into one melting pot.
If you have a chance to watch his video spots, do it. It's fun.
Oh, Paul likes mountain biking and dislikes travel. At least the part of travel that includes a large tin can, hurtling through the air at 500+ mph, and doused in gasoline.
Fun story: When I first started following Paul's posts (2006!!), I noticed he had a story printed in the New York Times that he hadn't referenced. I sent him an email about it. He replied. I felt important.
He also references Wonder Woman.
Fred Wilson Everyone knows about Fred Wilson, right? Not much to say other than the guy has opened the eyes of a lot of folks: Not just on the VC / Finance side, but also pushing entrepreneurs to new levels.
He's really creative in the sense of his use in technology. If you follow him long enough, you can see he's really trying to do something special: Handle tons of requests in a productive and efficient way. Impossible? Likely. But Fred's one guy who can make it happen.
He's into music, big-time. He puts these yearly lists together running down his favorite albums / songs / artists of the year. We've been finding new music from this list every single year since at least 2006 (I have an "avc.com" reference in my email that points to: http://avc.blogs.com/a_vc/).
I saw Fred on stage at Web 2.0 New York a few weeks ago. Kinda cool.
Upon Review After doing a quick re-read, it seems the longer I've followed these folks, the more I get to know them simply through their writings. I don't know much about Dan but I know a lot about Fred. Makes sense.
Plus, I'm in a groove with Paul and Fred. I know what I'm getting, so my focus is less on their content and more on absorbing their ideas. The others? I think it's still new, so it's taking a bit longer to get comfy (and therefore, I'm more focused on their content and understanding their ideas).