tag:k7v.in,2013:/posts Go Flip Yourself. 2024-04-15T09:27:33Z kev tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2103757 2024-04-15T09:27:33Z 2024-04-15T09:27:33Z Assorted links from week15, 2024

Many great interviews last week 👇

🪴 between Brian -from Frontier- and David and Sarah from Terremoto, the Los Angeles– and San Francisco–based landscape design firm. “A garden or landscape is a process, not a product.

Platform Park, Los Angeles. Image courtesy Terremoto.
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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2102354 2024-04-09T03:40:43Z 2024-04-14T17:17:43Z Working like Jean-Michel

As far as I remember, I've always loved Jean-Michel Basquiat's work. Something from his world touched me deeply. The apparent chaos, the multiple layers of reading, the proliferation of messages, the raw material of the streets as his canvas -- all of these resonated deeply with me from a very young age. As a skateborder, all of this looked like my environment. I got his crown tattooed on my front arm. 

A Panel of Experts
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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2102078 2024-04-08T08:58:45Z 2024-04-08T08:58:45Z Assorted links from week11 to 14, 2024

👧👦 the title says it all and Mariana is delivering an extremely important read. It’s not for parents only. Why children need risk, fear, and excitement in play.

What kids are dying from today are mainly car crashes and suicides, not playing outside unsupervised with friends. Parents are worrying about the wrong causes of injuries and harm. In fact, the very strategies that parents use to try to keep their children safe – driving them around, maximizing supervision, and minimizing freedom – are unintentionally increasing the likelihood of injuries and even death.

The solutions are both simple and hard. We know what children need to thrive. The three key ingredients necessary for thriving play environments are Time, Space, and Freedom.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2095766 2024-03-11T05:23:24Z 2024-03-11T05:23:24Z Assorted links from week10, 2024

🌀 There some extremely meaningful pieces of wisdom in this 40 life lessons I know at 40 by Mark Manson. #40: IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO CHANGE is quite powerful:

A friend of mine once told me a story about his grandmother. He said that when her husband died, she was 62 and for the first time in her life, she began to take piano lessons.

For weeks, she practiced all day, every day.

At first, the family thought it was just a phase, a way for her to process her grief. But months went by and she continued to play every day.

People started to wonder if she was crazy or something was wrong with her. They told her to give it up, face reality. But she kept going.

By the time she was in her 90s, she’d been playing piano every day for over 30 years, longer than most professional musicians have been alive. She had mastered all of the classics—Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Vivaldi.

Everyone who heard her play swore that she must have been a concert pianist in her youth. No one believed her when she said that she took her first lesson in her 60s.

I love this story because it shows that even at an impractical old age, you still have more time left to learn something than most professionals at that thing have even been alive.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2094495 2024-03-05T05:06:53Z 2024-03-05T05:06:54Z Kids playground inside trains

While 'Le Monde' [big french newspaper] was publishing a 'no kids zone' article two weeks ago, we were in Switzerland and discovered a whole kids playground inside their train. A proper family dream on wheels.

Exploring the moon as an astronaut, diving into a jungle wilderness or experiencing the world of dinosaurs – there is no boredom during a train ride in Switzerland. All InterCity double-deck trains are equipped with a jungle style family coach marked “FA”. Mid-upper deck, these offer a playground with fanciful jungle motives for children to play and frolic around as much as they please. Additionally, exciting board games such as “Jungle Hunt” and “Snake Game” have been installed on the upper decks of family coaches. The playing pieces for those board games can be obtained from SBB restaurant/bistro.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2094244 2024-03-04T05:02:59Z 2024-03-04T05:05:58Z Assorted links from week9, 2024

💼 Hermės story is unique and Acquired did an awesome job to encapsulate it. Stewarded by one French family over six generations, Hermès sells the absolute pinnacle of the French luxury dream.

My own relationship with Hermès started very early since my mom’s best friend when I was young [from my 5 to 12 year old] was working in the atelier near Lyon, France where they were making silk scarves.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2093488 2024-02-29T05:09:10Z 2024-03-05T04:34:50Z Car uniform anyone?

I spent last week in Zermatt with the kids, Mathilde and some friends. I'm lucky enough a close school friend of mine has a flat over there. This little swiss town is amazingly beautiful. Constantly dominated by the Matterhorn.

Photo from Patrick Robert Doyle on Unsplash
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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2093070 2024-02-27T14:27:27Z 2024-02-27T14:58:02Z Assorted links from week8, 2024

🚗 I almost cried reading this manifesto: the car will be unbundled. And - obviously - I can’t agree more with the conclusion.

This manifesto is a call to use our superpower to make moving better.

Better by getting there happier, healthier and more in harmony.

In harmony with our environment and with each other.

👕 I’ve followed Bobby for my time in LA more than a decade ago now. So reading him talking about the power of ‘enough’ made me truly, genuinely, happy. Because yes, this is something we hope to spread more with Objet too.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2090789 2024-02-19T14:43:01Z 2024-02-19T14:43:01Z Assorted links from week7, 2024

♟ Because we might all be status-seeking monkey anyway [as suggested by Eugene in Status as a Service] and because “at the same time, taste games are supposed to be human nature.” This post is definitely a must-read: Taste Games.

⚜️ Found out this wonderful manifesto lately: a call for friction in digital culture.

With movement comes friction. The more we move and act, the more friction we encounter. The more friction there is, the more we engage and care. Friction drives our engagement. Friction, in this context, is neither synonymous with anger or conflict, nor is it malfunctioning technology. Friction is an essential ingredient that makes up our humanness and sparks human connection. Friction is thus a lively, intrinsic experience.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2087937 2024-02-12T05:04:33Z 2024-02-12T05:04:55Z Assorted links from week6, 2024

🆕🛒 That one feels very special to me. Alongside my partners in crime Max and Mathilde we published LE NEW CONSUMER” manifesto. With Objet we are working on a joyful system that will enhance and reward new consumers’ behaviours and actions, online and offline. This mission is thrilling. And huge. We won’t do this alone.

It’d mean the world to me if you’re signing this manifesto [if it resonates of course]. CO-SIGN.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2086395 2024-02-08T05:51:33Z 2024-02-08T05:51:33Z LEGO, long-term, and the cockroaches

I read something yesterday mentioning LEGO and their exceptional rebound, 20 years after being near bankrupt when they were close to 1 billion dollars in debt. I instantly thought: they deserve their spot in the cockroaches page. Which then sent me back down the memory lane and their incredibly rich story.

Memory lane cause we spent a day at Legoland in The Hague last Xmas. The kids loved the place, obviously. Mathilde and I were disappointed but I'd say it's more because we were expected something more 'grandiose' - a la Disneyland - than just the space not being cool. It still reminded us countless hours of playing with bricks coming from our parents childhood. Our own kids are now crazy about it. I spent a few hours the other day building with them a 15-bedroom house for all their super-heroes toys.

A few month ago we spent a weekend at some very close friends house and the guy is still obsessed with LEGO. He got a whole collection of old cars, sport ones, the Millennium Falcon and other artefacts in his basement, proudly displayed next to his collection of wine. It's pretty impressive.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2085562 2024-02-06T05:29:20Z 2024-02-06T05:29:20Z Assorted links from week5, 2024

👧👦 It feels like I’ve been on a ‘kids spree’ lately. Maybe this is the ‘I want to be a better Dad’ thought kicking in. It started with Henrik’s great recommendation — following my own ‘Our relationship to children’ — Derek Sivers asking: Who is parenting really for?

Because I realized that the parenting things I do for him are also for myself. And that’s an idea worth sharing.

PG detail some of the lies we [adults] tell kids. He starts with ‘Protection’:

If you ask adults why they lie to kids, the most common reason they give is to protect them. And kids do need protecting. The environment you want to create for a newborn child will be quite unlike the streets of a big city.

That theme fits perfectly with Etienne’s take on ‘risky play’. I can’t agree more with him when he writes:

society has moved towards an overabundance of caution around kids

I do have many stories to tell here. I also think there is an asymmetry of caution between the physical and online world.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2083429 2024-02-01T05:49:07Z 2024-02-01T05:57:16Z Children of the Internet

Since kids go to school only in the morning on Wednesdays, my routine is to drop them off and then head to a nice coffee shop in the neighborhood before picking them up and heading back home to have lunch. I really like spending some time observing people in the coffee. And everytime, I'm quite disturbed by the omnipresence of our smartphones.

Typically yesterday, due to noise that was bothering me and a few loud discussions I didn't want to follow, I took out the earpods and started listening to music. While doing it, I realised how I was [intentionally in that case] disconnecting myself from the surroundings. I was putting myself in a 'physical bubble'.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2079432 2024-01-31T05:10:37Z 2024-02-22T19:34:58Z Our relationship to children

Two weeks ago my oldest had some fever. Result is he didn't go to school and stayed at home with us. Since Mat went to Paris I was alone with both kids on Thursday. We dropped the youngest at school and then, I spent the whole day with the oldest. There were many scenarios for this specific day. The most common one being: putting the kid under the 'digital nanny' supervision -- aka movies on the laptop -- and trying to work as much as possible in the meantime.

I chose another one: dropping everything I 'had to' do for work and spend the whole day playing, discussing, cooking, exploring with him. We're still early 2024 but I can tell this was my best day of the year so far.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2082550 2024-01-30T05:00:02Z 2024-01-30T05:20:32Z Assorted links from week4, 2024

I decided lately to bookmark the best pieces of content I was coming across. You can find everything in this collection on Sublime.

🎶 Yancey talks about Pitchfork, music criticism, and culture after prestige in The prestige recession.

Instead, art and culture have been safely neutralized as interchangeable commercial objects just like everything else. […]

At its best, cultural criticism is love and art that exists to give love to other expressions of art. It’s beautiful in its indulgence. A positive feedback loop that gives everybody exactly what they desire. Gods, scribes, muses, an audience, a culmination. This is what we want out of art. Something that feels grand, meaningful, connected to the ages. That doesn’t happen on its own. It needs context, dedicated space, deeper knowledge, appreciation.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2078909 2024-01-22T04:44:21Z 2024-02-05T23:14:49Z Assorted links from week3, 2024

I come across a lot of content during the week. I detailed some of my habits in how I read. I decided lately to bookmark the best pieces. So if you're curious or want to dig more, you can everything in this collection on Sublime.

✈️ Mat gives some backstory about her, Max and I and how our relationship with obects got impacted by our lifestyle during the past 15 years: 18 moves across 4 continents. Which also lead to Objet at the end.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2076368 2024-01-17T05:51:00Z 2024-02-01T19:24:19Z What I've read in 2023

I don't really remember why exactly I started such a list back in the day but it is now a ritual I'm eager to go through. It makes me reflect on the past year through unexpected ways and discover some hidden trends about me, or see the impact of some changes in my life. Previous years are here: 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022. Numbers wise it goes like this: read 21 books in 2019, 26 in 2020, 28 in 2021, 30 in 2022, and 31 in 2023. Last year being still fresh in my mind, I do remember last quarter was more challenging. I was at 24 books read by the end of August -- typically I read 6 books in 2 months during my summer in the US -- and then only 7 between Sept. and Xmas. Which is not that big of a deal in terms of number or anything, just a reminder to me than the last 4 months of the year, back home, with both kids back to school, were more agitated than planned initially.

I detailed how I read recently. I start 2024 with a little change: no more online reading during weekends; magazines only. I'm loving this already.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2075908 2024-01-16T03:34:28Z 2024-01-29T14:35:22Z Week2, 2024 assorted links

👨‍👩‍👦‍👦 Welcoming a bunch of my oldest friends home for Christmas, and talking with them about all their family dynamics, I realised some impacts of the current trend: less kids in total; that you start having later in life.

A study recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences explored how the size and structure of families will change by the end of the century.

And yes, it’ll mostly mean: “smaller family networks, more great-grandparents, and fewer cousins.”

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2073964 2024-01-12T14:50:03Z 2024-01-17T14:18:11Z Some intentions and desires for 2024

Happy new year y'all. I don't really know what to think about the New Year's resolutions tradition. Which made me curious about the whole thing in the first place: where did New Year's reolutions come from? I learnt a few things:

  • Ancient Babylonians might have been the first people to make New Year's resolutions 4,000 years ago
  • Romans apparently did the same in 46 BC. Something I had no idea: January's name was inspired by Janus, the God with two faces -- one symbolically looking back, and one looking ahead
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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2049240 2023-12-08T14:45:41Z 2023-12-08T14:45:42Z Your decision-making skill, focus and working hard

I decided to launch my first startup I was still a young 20-ish student. Back in 2011 in France, there weren't much to rely on. Which - in retrospect - was most probably the beauty of it all. And I've to say this kind of wild-west created very strong and authentic bonds between many 'players'. Typically in my case, we rented out one little room in the basement of the first office of a fresh brand named Jimmy Fairly [still around and thriving -- think of it as the french version of Warby Parker] and that's also where I met Stan; now Dust co-founder.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2056529 2023-11-29T21:32:49Z 2023-11-29T21:40:59Z Logging nov. 29th, 2023

8:59am

On my way from school to a coffee shop, I finished listening to this discussion with Yancey. I highly recommend it. They touched upon so many topics closed to heart. The overall thing questioning the idea of a 'long lasting cultural impact'.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2053953 2023-11-23T08:23:57Z 2023-11-23T08:51:35Z Logging nov. 22nd, 2023

9:59am

Someone shared in a family whatsapp group a graph on the college tuition fees evolution for the top 5 french business schools; commenting "fortunately you've already graduated". Apparently, these fees have been multiplied by 1.7 since 2011.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2053490 2023-11-22T04:14:50Z 2023-11-22T20:08:17Z Logging nov. 21st, 2023

11:37am

This morning while bringing the kids to school, I realised there were more bicycles than I first thought. Usually, when it rains and the temperature is cold, we're one of the very few on the road. But this morning was different. Not only were there more bikes than anticipated [which is great], I also noticed how well equipped for rain everyone was; with rain overpants, poncho and all. When you look at data around why people don't ride bikes, weather is one of the top [beyond security of course; and terrain]. So this morning was a great sign.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2048799 2023-11-16T09:06:30Z 2023-11-22T20:09:24Z How I read

Someone asked me yesterday "how do you find the time to read so much?". This post is an attempted answer. It always starts with books. I read around 2/3 of them per month on average. I started posting lists of all of them for a given year. Here are the books I've read in 2022 typically. There is no secret. I make time for reading on an everyday basis. It's usually the last thing I do before going to bed. I don't read in bed though. I read in our living room - often with a hot tea - until I feel my body just wants to go to sleep. I usually read for an hour. Sometimes way less, sometimes more. I don't put any pressure on myself. The goal here is just to relax, and read. Across the day, I look forward to that moment.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2048551 2023-11-15T05:06:02Z 2023-11-24T14:06:34Z Now is the greatest time to be alive

I've no idea if this is due to my age or the average age of the people surrounding me - mostly in their 30s - or my parents and grand-ma getting older - the former in their 60s, the latter in her 80s - but I hear more and more 'complaints' about how hard nowadays are, how doomed we are, and how better it was in the past. I know how inevitable it is to think such things when you grow up. This is genetically speaking how we work, how our brain is operating. Which is why we can find some exact same complaints by 'older people' about their youth and current state of affairs from centuries and millennium ago. Still, I find it challenging to watch myself and my closest people fall into this trap.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2048204 2023-11-14T05:40:32Z 2023-11-14T05:40:41Z Costco is special

First time I heard about Costco was in 2014. I just landed in Los Angeles and settled on Venice Blvd and Walgrove Ave. A few blocks away on Washington Ave is Costco - I also discovered and became a regular at the In-N-Out on that block. I didn't fully grasp the power of Costco at first. As a european, it reminded me Metro. Metro is a food wholesaler. We go there to buy high quantity of things we know, at the best price. We needed a 'professional' card to enter the store though. We had one thanks to our society activity [organizing events and weekends]. I remember at school, it was well perceived to hold a Metro card. You could definitely leverage this.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2046739 2023-11-10T05:13:02Z 2023-11-14T19:43:32Z History is storytelling

I read a wonderful - sometimes disturbing - article about history; more precisely about how storytellers (and their biases) crafted our history. I highly recommend it. It also made me realise there is 'story' in the word 'history'. Never really paid attention. By the way, in french, these are the same word: 'histoire' [pronounced his-too-ar]. So we could say 'raconte moi une histoire' [which would translate into 'tell me a story'] and when we're talking about history add something like 'l'histoire avec un grand 'H'' [history with a big H]. I realise now - deeply rooted in our language - how history is only a story of the past we collectively agreed upon.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2046276 2023-11-09T05:55:20Z 2023-11-11T19:16:15Z Do kids naturally hold the keys to a good life?

My kids are still young, respectively 4 and 2 years-old. The more I observe them, the more I tend to think they already hold all the right keys to live a good life. A few things here: it's not about 'my' kids, but kids in general. Since mine are the ones I observe the most, on a daily basis, of course they're the ones I might refer to the most. Then, when I say 'holding the keys to a good life' I mean: they already possess, play and use all the right ingredients to live life at its fullest but of course, everything is still raw. Hence childhood by the way, as a time to mature, learn, develop and we - adults - have such an important role to play here.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2045777 2023-11-08T05:45:17Z 2023-11-09T06:12:19Z We let cars ruin our landscape

I spent last week on the French Riviera, in the south of France. We were constantly contemplating the Massif de l'Esterel, and its quite special red color. Saying that the whole place could look like one of the most beautiful on Earth would be an understatement. And yet, while it could truly be a paradise, we ruined it. We let cars ruin it entirely.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2040742 2023-10-27T04:32:58Z 2023-10-27T04:32:58Z Bike, bus and tram over cars

To stay on that urbanism theme and following yeserday's post Urban planning and the war on cars let's look briefly at Tallinn's example [Estonia's capital city - more about the city itself here - population being around half a million people].

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Kevin Straszburger