Becoming More Unique [Weekend WRAP 89]

Hey Reader, wanted to give a quick "Happy Mother's Day" to all the Moms who are reading! I'm rooting for you and thankful for the daily impact you have in the life of your children.

A quick but fun announcement that I am starting a newsletter rewards program this week! All the details are at the end of this email, but you can get cool stuff like a custom sticker, Baronfig notebook, and more!

💡 One Big Idea: How to stand out in an AI World

I've written before about how I'm using AI for research — it's a trend that's not going away and will impact society and work in ways we don't even realize. Deep fakes, chatbots, and content are at the forefront of what AI will change. And it's already happening in a big way.

The AI Drake and The Weeknd song Heart on my Sleeve is a compelling example. Without any collaboration or permission from the actual artists, Ghostwriter977 trained a model, wrote the lyrics, and set the beats for a track that went viral (and sounded really good!) before being taken down.

There's an opportunity within the AI developments to be more authentic, more in-person, more unique, and more YOU.

There will always be an element of humanity that AI can't fake. But for that to be true, you have to be willing to stand out, make mistakes, try new things, take unexpected risks, and connect with people directly.

You can't become a commodity. You have to become a person of substance and unique style.

I'll wrap this up with a Taylor Swift story. Swift was back home in Nashville this past weekend for a 3 show set at Titans stadium with over 200,000 total attendees. I had several friends that went and had an amazing time, none moreso than my cousin who went Sunday night.

A 3 hour rain delay meant the show didn't start until 11pm (still raining a bit) and Swift went on to play for nearly 3 hours. In the rain. With lightning (safely) crackling in the distance. In front of 70,000 people.

You can't get that experience with AI. And you never will.

Video to Watch: Aaron Draplin Makes Cool Stuff

Aaron Draplin is the founder of DDC and co-founder of Field Notes. He's my favorite graphic designer and a helluva presenter. This TED talk is all that Al can't be - because it's Aaron.

Aaron tells his story, his growing up, his old photos, his desire to be in graphic design, his work with Nike, why he started Field Notes, how he thinks about art and design - all in his unique style and flair.

What stands out to me is Aaron does unique things in his own unique way.

When I see him, I know he is him because what's happening is a little unexpected. You can't write prompts for the unexpected.

video preview

📰 One Article I Read: Are you playing the right game?

I came across this article from a Tiago Forte tweet and this sentence grabbed me right from the start:

"Make sure you’re playing the real game, not some more complicated game you’ve made up for yourself."

The quote hit me on many levels, but the most striking was how often I make "the game" of jiu-jitsu, business, or relationships more complicated than it needs to be. There are often very simple and direct paths to victory, success, and love, but I can get in my own way mentally and emotionally.

Chin (the author) calls this Scrub behavior. Scrubs get upset when people are playing a different game, don't adhere to the same rules, or play in a different style than the Scrub thinks is proper. Chin shares his own story of being a Judo Scrub and how it impacted his training.

There are other takeaways in the article which I found really interesting, like the story of how John Malone built TCI in less-than-moral terms but completely within the law. Malone wasn't interested in a complicated "customer service" game when the "make the most money and build the biggest company" was the right game for him.

Chin then talks about Maestros, those incredible people who choose to do things the "right" way with no ethical obligation but still are able to be the best in the world at what they do.

Have a great weekend,

Matt Ragland

p.s. if you have a (literal) minute to share feedback, click here.

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