Recipes that cook themselves
Altering your method to achieve better madness, the Recognition-primed decision model, and why some dude filled his computer with beans
Hello, friendly human. Every week, this dispatch helps you make better creative and strategic choices through the exploration of decision-making frameworks. It’s good to see you.
When we use the decision-making language of business—when we talk about strategies and frameworks, algorithms and business models—we’re really just using different words to say the same thing. Everything we do, from marketing to coding, from creating content to selling a product, all of it is just the act of creating and following recipes.
A recipe requires ingredients.
Those ingredients are things.
A recipe also includes steps.
Those steps are actions.
When you follow a recipe—when you take action upon those things—your goal is to create an outcome.
You want that outcome to duplicate the results of previously successful attempts to follow the recipe—otherwise the recipe wouldn’t be worth following. A delicious dish, a compelling article, an award-winning product, etcetera etcetera.
Everything works this way, from the simple to the complex, from cooking mashed potatoes to making a car in Detroit. You’re following a set of actions on a set of objects to create a result.
The act of experimenting with recipes is itself a recipe—one that varies an approach to create a variety of competitive results.
You can change how closely you follow the recipe—how exacting you are with the actions, how similar the ingredients you use. This is a line cook making the chef’s meal, or the faithfulness of a workout routine.
You can change how quickly you follow the recipe, producing more outcomes more quickly with less regard for quality. This is DDoS attacks, and shitposting, and automatic gunfire.
And you can change how many times you follow the recipe, producing a greater amount of outcomes with less regard for quality or speed. This is crap. This is mass produced crap.
Happily, these rules of fidelity and speed and amount align with that old saying about hiring somebody to get work done:
You can have them make something good.
You can have them make something fast.
And you can them make something cheap.
But you can’t have all three at once.
You can only have two.
"Take a recipe website URL and remove the cruft”
Filling my PC with Beans and Hiring a Repairman to Fix it
twitter dot com
Too Many Cooks
By Adult Swim. If you don’t enjoy this video you’re a cop.
Gif by Miguel E.
Currently working on
Unfuckulating content strategies for a culture design agency and developing healthcare content for a marketing agency. Do you need something unfuckulated? Get in touch. P.s. I was delighted to be interviewed about my media consumption habits for Why Is This Interesting last week—hello to the 100+ new subscribers who joined :)
Want to chat? I host Office Hours every weekday to talk with anyone/everyone about content marketing, editorial ops, managing writers, the joy of playing D&D via zoom, how to diet while still eating Cheez-Its—literally anything! Grab a 30-minute meeting. I’d love to meet you.
Last week’s most clicked links:
A crowdsourced spreadsheet of creative industry freelance day rates
Why you should spend on marketing and advertising during a recession, according to several studies
The Righteous Joy of Finding the Right Simplifier: on the need for a moral compass instead of a precise map
What is the Recognition-Primed Decision Model?
Using the example of how experienced firefighters know what the right course of action to fight a fire is immediately—without pausing to consider alternatives—researcher Gary Klein explains the recognition-primed decision model: i.e., when a reasonable decision is the very first one that is considered. You can find Gary’s work on RPD in Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions.
A framework for your ultimate self
From Adobe’s 99U Conference, a video of Kickstarter co-founder Yancey Strickler explaining his '“Bentoism” methodology of working towards his ideal “future me” and “future us” state. An interesting way to model decisions. (via swiss-miss)
A short history of color theory
From the book Programming Design Systems, this is a wildly interesting (and footnoted!) look at the histories of artistic and scientific color theory. Includes nuggets like “the colors on Newton’s circle have asymmetric distances to each other because Newton wanted the circle to have seven colors – the exact number of days in a week and musical notes in an octave”. If you enjoy this, you’ll also enjoy Kassia St. Claire’s book The Secret Lives of Color.
How can I help you?
This 100% organic, free-range, desktop-to-inbox newsletter is devoted to helping you make better creative decisions in marketing and beyond. Delivery at 6pm ET every Sunday, sharp as cheddar. Your host is Steve Bryant, who is for hire. Three reasons to get in touch:
1. You want to develop, manage, or staff your brand’s content marketing (content marketing strategy, content product development, team building, ops modeling)
2. You want to develop or augment your native content studio (branded and sponsored concepting and proposals, event ideation)
3. You want to develop content ideas and proposals for a pitch, or manage content programs for clients.
If you found this dispatch useful, please forward it to friends, lovers and, well, anybody who holds a budget I guess. Thanks for hanging out. Be seeing you.