This week, here are five things you need to know:
1. I read the story of the Billy bookcase from IKEA. We have no less than six in our house. Did you know the same Swedish factory has been making mostly Billy bookcases since 1978? IKEA founder, Ingvar Kamprad, was 17 when he started the company and the innovation of the flat-packed furniture was his. While the look of Billy hasn’t changed over the years, how it gets made has. Sometimes innovation isn’t always the one big idea but ongoing small ideas, tweaks and refinements.
2. My son just got his driver’s license, so I was especially interested to learn that UPS drivers only turn right (mostly). Apparently, there’s good reason—scientific evidence and all that. Turning left across traffic is dangerous! Turning right is not only safer but saves fuel (if you’ve optimized your route correctly). I’ve floated the idea.
3. Chris Guillebeau writes about side hustling, personal projects that make you money on top of your regular job. If you are trying to get out of a rut, a side hustle may be the answer. But what to choose!? Chris Guillebeau has turned side hustling into an art. He wrote Born for This and runs a website about side hustles. Every day you can listen to a short seven minute podcast about people doing everything from writing fish tank reviews to selling homemade gin kits.
4. I’ve been reading more about E. B. White and found this piece why he wrote Charlotte’s Web. He also favoured the essay, and wrote the other half of the classic Elements of Style. I especially love White’s introduction in that little book, a tribute to founding author William Strunk Jr.
5. This excellent video from Ira Glass on the creative process is worth bookmarking, sharing, and re-watching regularly.
What have you been reading?