This page is dedicated to my old podcast! If you're looking for my new, technical one, it's at

The Music Makers Podcast

There was a time where I hosted a solo podcast. It was called "The Music Makers", based on the line from the Willy Wonka movie: "We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams", which originally is from a poem by Arthur O'Shaughnessy called Ode. I ran it for a little less than a year, putting out a show or two every week. The premise was simple, I would take an article that I had found online, read it in its entirety, and then talk about it! That's it. At the end, I felt like I had said everything I wanted to say for a time, so I declared it "mission accomplished" and stopped recording. I have since uploaded all the episodes to YouTube and present them here for archival purposes. They are available here on this page and also as a YouTube playlist.

Episode 001: Do Things, Tell People

This is the first episode of The Music Makers podcast, where I read things out loud to you. This episode is based on an article called "Do Things, Tell People" which you can find at I chose this as the first article to read, because it is my "doing something" and "telling people". We are the music makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams, Wandering by lone sea-breakers, And sitting by desolate streams;— World-losers and world-forsakers, On whom the pale moon gleams: Yet we are the movers and shakers

Episode 002: What Have You Tried?

This episode is a reading of the article "What Have You Tried", by Matt Gemmell. The premise is this: If you go asking for help, either online or in person, you had better be prepared to answer the question "what have you tried." If the answer to that question is "not much", then you aren't ready to be helped just yet. If you'd like to read Matt's follow up article "Hindsight", you can do so here:

Episode 003: Luck Surface Area

The original article can be found at Jason's podcast is called Tech Zing (, and is awesome if your a hacker / developer. Luck Surface Area is defined as being equal to d * t, where d = doing and t = telling. The more things you do, and the more people you tell, the luckier you will get. How are you increasing your Luck Surface Area? What are you doing, and who are you telling? ## Episode 004: Do The Work

This article comes from one of my favorite bloggers, Lore Wilbert, over at The original article is at My favorite part about this article is what Lore calls "the long obedience". Writing a book, raising children, becoming sanctified. What is your long obedience? Have you ever thought about it? ## Episode 005: Why I'd Rather Be Crazy Than Boring

This article was written by Allison Vesterfelt, and can be found at The takeaway here is, so what if people think you're crazy? Who are these people, and why does it matter if they think you are crazy? Wouldn't you rather be crazy and do things you've dreamed of than be safe and boring? ## Episode 006: Create Time For What Is Necessary

What is That Thing you've been meaning to do, but haven't had the time to do? You're never going to have the time if you don't create it yourself. This article was written by Leo Babauta, and can be found at ## Episode 007: Hang Around With People Who Get Sh*t Done

You become the people you spend most of your time with, so if the people you hang around don't do ever do anything, odds are you won't either. On the other hand, if all your friends are constantly doing cool things, you are going to be inspired to do cool things too. This article was written by Jackson Miller, and can be found at

Episode 008: Entreporn: The Fallacy That Wastes Your Life

Everyone has an idea for the next billion dollar business, but a vanishingly small number of people will actually create a billion dollar business. All that dreaming doesn't actually get you anywhere. I'm going to encourage you to think smaller, think more realistic. Like your parents always said, "Dream small, kid." The talk by David Heinemeier Hansson can be found here: This article was written by Justin Vincent, and can be found at

Episode 009: Don't Follow Your Passion

"Follow your passion" isn't good advice. "Follow your effort", or how you spend your time, is much better advice. You can say you're passionate about something, but if you never spend any time doing it, are you really passionate about it? This article was written by Mark Cuban, and can be found at

Episode 010: Most People Won't

Most people want to do something, but most people won't. For you, that's both good and bad news. This article was written by Bryce Roberts, and can be found at

Episode 011: Dads: Be Doers

I'm grateful that I grew up with a dad who was a doer. I hope that one day, when I have kids, I can do the same for them. This article was written by Sarah J Baker. I had it saved in my Evernote, but her site is gone now. You can see the archived version here:

Episode 012: Career Advice: Don't Try To Be The Best

Scott Adams says that to be successful, you can either be crazy good at one thing, or pretty good at 2+ things. I'm gonna give you a couple of examples where I think this is the case. The episode of Product People that Patrick McKenzie was on can be found here: This article was written by Scott Adams, of Dilbert Fame. You can view the original here:

Episode 013: Tomorrow Is Not A Suitable Day For Doing Things

We like to put things off until tomorrow, because tomorrow is a safe place. We'll address our fears tomorrow, we'll work on our dreams tomorrow. Well, tomorrow is not a suitable day for doing things. There is, in fact, no tomorrow. This article was written by David Cain. You can view the original here:

Episode 014: Confessions of a Recovering Lifehacker

Is it possible that we spend so much time coming up with systems to be more efficient because we don't actually want to ask the difficult question: what am I doing with my life? We need to stop hacking our lives and start focusing on the things that actually matter. This article was written by John Pavlus. You can view the original here:

Episode 015: The Power Of Sponge Learning

Learn a new word and then suddenly hear that word everywhere? Buy a new car and suddenly see it on the road everywhere? Sponge learning is not all that different. Once you know a topic exists, you start to pick up more and more facts about it with relative ease. Links - Original article:

Episode 016: But You Did Not Persuade Me

Lots of people like to assume that the world is logical, but it isn't. Being right isn't enough, you must also be persuasive. You can hate that idea, but unfortunately it's how the world works. Links - Original article:

Episode 017 - How To Blog and Give Zero F***s.

Warning: this episode has a lot of swear words, but they are all bleeped out. Just wanted to give you a heads up. You need to be putting stuff out there into the world and not caring at all what other people think about it. Links - Original article:

The standard pace is for chumps. The only thing that is keeping you performing at the standard pace is your expectations of yourself. Derek was lucky enough to have Kimo set a higher expectation for him, but you can raise your own expectations when you realize that you don't have to follow the invisible scripts of society. Links - Original article:

The question is: can you achieve great things and still have a life outside of work? Can you work hard and be a family person too? These days, the answer is yes, definitely yes. Links - Original article:

Being cool is not better than being nice. Being cool is not better than being excited. And being cool is not better than freaking out when you see a whale. Links - Original article:

Episode 021 - Stop Taking Yourself So Seriously

Have you ever gotten super excited to start working out, and then after a week you never go back to the gym? That's because you're taking yourself too seriously. Stop taking yourself so seriously and just focus on showing up and doing the work. Links - Original article:

Successful people are just normal people like you, except that they can find the time to work on things that move them forward. Where can you find the time? Links - Original article:

The best way to improve your running is to move your feet. This advice holds true for all skills you're trying to learn or projects you're trying to start. Get started, today. You're going to suck at it, but tomorrow you will suck less. Links - Original article:

Busyness is a trap! You can't do deep work if you are constantly running from meeting to meeting, answer emails along the way. You need to create space in your life to accomplish the hard work you're meant to do. Links - Original article:

Episode 025 - A Little Bit of Slope Makes Up For a Lot of


It doesn't matter so much where you start (y-intercept) as long as the rate at which you are learning (slope) is sufficiently high. Given enough time, any line with a bigger slope is going to beat out any other line with a smaller slope. If you can improve yourself, or your skills, 1% a day or a week, over time you will become extremely skilled at whatever you are pursuing. Focus on the small improvements. Links - Original article (on Quora):

Episode 026 - The Finite, Irreplaceable Hours of Your Life

Learn more about this show at Your life is made up of a finite number of irreplaceable hours. How are you going to spend them? Is what you're doing now worth spending those hours on? Links - The original website for this article is gone, but here is a link to the Wayback Machine's copy of it:

Episode 027 - Twenty Six, Unmarried, and Childless.

You need to realize that one day, you're going to look back to this time in your life and say "Man, those were the days." Stop asking what's next, and start asking what's now. Links - Original Article:

Episode 028 - Stuff

Stuff takes mental energy away from you. You shouldn't have anything in your house that you know to be useful or believe to be beautiful, anything else is a waste. Free yourself from the mental clutter by getting rid of some stuff. Links - Original Article:

In this episode, I'll argue that you are fighting a losing battle against some of the greatest minds alive, a battle which you can win by not allowing the cookies into the house. The show notes for this episode can be found at Links - Original Article:

Episode 030 - The One With No Article

An episode where I talk about the show. ## Episode 031 - I Never Finish Anyth

It's way more fun to start things than it is to finish them, but it's way more rewarding to actually finish them! Finishing is a skill, and it's a skill that you can build by practicing. Links - Original Article:

Episode 032 - No Time For Something Important? Try Waking Up


An hour here and there can add up to a mountain of progress. Links - Original Article:

  • Gretchen Rubin's site: ## Episode 033 - How Did It Become OK For People To Be Late For Everything?

People are habitually late because they love themselves. Links - Original Article:

Episode 034 - Subconscious Information Processing

The subconscious mind is a powerful tool that, when used correctly, can make your life much easier. Links - Original Article:

We often assume that being right is enough, when in reality, you must also be kind to be effective. Links - Original Article:

From now until the end of the year, I have removed twitter from my phone to regain some quiet in my life. Links - Original Article: ## Episode 037 - The Top 5 Regrets of Dying People

I promise it's not as depressing as it sounds. Links - Article:

Episode 038 - Winging It

Everyone is winging it all the time, and this should give you great comfort! Links - Article:

Episode 039 - Just

When you say "Just use a pivot table", you run the risk of making people feel very stupid. Links - Article:

You want to write a book? Prove it. Links - Article:

Episode 041 - What Doesn't Seem Like Work?

What seems like work to other people, but doesn't seem like work to you? That's what you should focus on! Links - Article: - Chasing Product:

Episode 042 - Breaking the Chain

What happens when you break the chain? Well, it depends. Article: