Assorted links from week28, 2024

🚶‍♀️I can’t agree enough with Patricia's title ‘solved by walking’. I’ve personally always loved walking. I’m currently in Berkeley, CA and I’m very surprised by the low amount of people walking -especially in the hills. Below are Russel's words:

In addition to physical exercise and my family fondness, walking remains important to me as an emblem of the sacredness of life. Humans think. Human feel. Humans move.

We encounter others in our walks. The world – nature, cities, streams, forests – unfolds underfoot. Walking remains a primary way we go beyond ourselves.

Photo by Karthik | Louisville, USA

Assorted links from week27, 2024

🪡 The first name of my very first company -back in 2010- was ‘My Tailor is My Friend’ so this new section by Mathilde on The Objet Journal feels quite special. Clara Metayer is a Parisian tailor, founder of Sauve qui Peut and tailor-in-residence at Patine.

Over time, I realised that I didn’t want to sell new products. We already have so much. How about keeping those we have and love? This opened a brand new world! Mending is made of so many techniques. For one given challenge, there are a thousands solutions: visible -embroidery, patches,…-, invisible - darning, or the art of recreating fabric literally, be it jeans or wool stitches,…

Anni and Josef Albers at the Musée d'Art Moderne de Paris

Assorted links from week26, 2024

🤰 This testimonial by Daniel is a must read: Looking for the Anti-Mimetic Doctors. The subtitle says it all: “Rethinking Medical Interventions, and the Courage to Do Less”. On many aspects, it reminded me Mathilde's experience -and I know she might share it all soon on A Wander Woman.

As doctors, we know full well that tracking the baby’s heart rate during labor has increased interventions but has not improved outcomes. In simpler terms, tracking the baby’s heart rate during labor has gotten more women induced or sliced open, but has not decreased stillbirths or postpartum deaths. Then why do we do it? Because it’s scary not to, that’s why. And I speak from experience.

“The Doctor”, by Sir Samuel Luke Fildes

Launching your startup while having very young kids

Yesterday I saw a post popped up in the Acquired slack's #parents channel. Marc basically asked: "has anyone started a vc-backed company while having very young kids or planning to? [...] how did timing it with a young family impact it [your company] longer term?".

This was my answer:

one thing i didn’t expect when starting something new while becoming a parent [and i can speak on behalf of my wife too who’s launched something new too while pregnant]: having young kids at home makes you so much more efficient. and i’m talking like 1,000x more efficient. period. both in terms of: (a) prioritizing what to work on [answering the simple question: what would seriously move the needle?] and (b) decreasing time between starting to work and being 100% focus/ deep in flow mode (procrastination just completely disappeared)

Assorted links from week25, 2024

📝 I’ve been touched by Rob's ode to manifestos in Manifestos are magic spells. I can’t agree more with this typically:

The process of writing a manifesto, at its core, is the process of clarifying your desire. In a world that's constantly distracting us with digital noise and shiny objects, keeping us running on a mimetic treadmill of manufactured desires, getting clear about what you want, deep down, is a radical act. Exploring and articulating what matters most, then committing it to writing, is a bit like waking up to your own humanity after a deep slumber. It kicks off a journey of coming home to yourself.

Which is exactly why we wrote ours at Objet: "LE NEW CONSUMER".

Assorted links from week24, 2024

🏛 Great article on The Hacking of Culture and the Creation of Socio-Technical Debt.

Like any well-designed operating system, culture is invisible to most people most of the time. Hidden in plain sight, we make use of it constantly without realizing it. As an operating system, culture forms the base infrastructure layer of societal interaction, facilitating communication, cooperation, and interrelations. Always evolving, culture is elastic: we build on it, remix it, and even break it.

That line made me think of New_ Public work and what they study/ fight for:

As more and more spaces for meeting in real life close, we increasingly turn to digital platforms for connection to replace them. But these virtual spaces are optimized for shareholder returns, not public good.

John Fullmer, Yzy Gap Psyop Red Round Jacket, 2023. Courtesy of the artist.

Kids protection gone too far

Do I want my kids to be hurt? Of course no. Do I want them to be constantly afraid of everything in life and paralysed in face of every challenge? Hell no. We -society- have a problem in the way we let kids learn and experience life. As usual the challenge lies in finding the right balance. Every time I talk to my grand-ma it's like she's sure 'outside' is utterly dangerous. Worst, she's certain it's more hostile than during her youth. Unfortunately this feeling is widespread. But the victims are the kids. We don't let them roam outside and explore. What do we do instead? Give them a screen and off to the couch, which is way more tragic.

I don't have any solution, yet, except letting my own kids take risks. Every time we do this with Mathilde, we can feel the 'pressure' from others, parents and whatnot. So I wanted to present here a collection of personal anecdotes, as well as great pieces of writing and excerpts from other people.

I think I'll come back to this topic quite often here. Kids are the future. Period. The way we raise them has a profound impact on tomorrow's society.

Children's Games by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1560)

Assorted links from week23, 2024

🏡 One of my observation following my latest US trip was: “In both NYC and SF people were defining themselves and thought on a 'neighborhood-basis'.” Ava and Phil demonstrated this perfectly in their discussion about the importance of picking your neighborhood.

All this to say, my neighborhood choice has really affected my experience of San Francisco. So when I started chatting with Phil Levin, who founded Live Near Friends and Radish, a multigenerational compound in Oakland with 20 adults and six children living across 10 homes, and he mentioned that picking your neighborhood is more important than picking your city, everything clicked into place.

Mindset differences between Europe and the US

I've been thinking a lot lately about the differences between Europe and the US. I'm a European first -I grew up in France- but I've always felt strongly attracted by the US. It's been a love at first sight since my very first visit in Boston when I was 16 y/o. Since then I've been countless times and I got lucky enough to live in LA, California and a few years later in Boulder, Colorado. We now have a routine with Mathilde and the kids, we go back to the US altogether every year, home-swapping for the whole summer.

As an entrepreneur, I've experienced firsthand the biggest differences in terms of mindset between both places. But it is only now that I spend more time over there as a parent that I realise how impactful -for life- are all these differences. Many of them can be trace back to some of my observations following my last 2 weeks over there.

Golden Gate bridge by Joshua Sortino

Assorted links from week22, 2024

☠️ I’ve already sent this post to a few friends last week. Henrik at his best: Don't sacrifice the wrong thing.

You don’t have to do things others do, or have things they have, at the expense of the deeper things you want. You really don’t. Almost everything is an option. You have full permission to ask yourself what really matters to you—whatever that is—and then optimize for that in all hard tradeoffs of life.