Beautiful Polished Rocks

"You can't come up with a formula to change the way you experience the world." - A Beautiful Mind


Hi again, I’m Steve Makofsky and this is a somewhat weekly list of interesting articles, books, podcasts, music and videos that I come across during the week that helps me grow my mind garden. I hope you enjoy it, find something new to think about, and share it with your friends.

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Lately I find myself spending a lot of time thinking about team dynamics, leadership, humans, and what are the traits that comprise the best teams that I have been a part of in my career. These may not have been the most "influential" or ones that made tons of money, but instead I wanted to focus on the teams that have impacted me to be a better human.

As I approach 50 perhaps I am getting a wee-bit sentimental, but was surprised to discover how deeply these gut feelings around what makes teams great have been resonating with people. I've been sharing a lot of these ideas on LinkedIn and as blog posts on Medium as a stream of consciousness (such as "carry the fire"). We'll see where it all leads; like I've said before, this is all a work in progress.

If you're interested in my daily ramblings, follow me on Twitter or my posts on Medium.

Forward Thinking

From 1993, Bill Gates explains the Internet to David Letterman.

Thought of the week

One video that I like to reference when talking with colleagues on psychological safety and differences of opinion as a key factor to elevating a team, is from a 1996 Robert X. Cringely "lost interview" with Steve Jobs.

In it, Jobs tells a story from his youth, and a "metaphor for a team that is working really hard on something they're passionate about." .. Take the 5 minutes to watch, it's worth it.

Here's a few of the articles and videos that resonated with me over the last week:

  • The power of walks is something that I need to work more of into my work interactions, and frankly, my entire life. Walk with me - More
  • A long and poignant read from Tim Urban on The Fermi Paradox; the simple question around if there is intelligent life in the universe, where is everybody? - More
  • Clubhouse has been a curiosity and I'm not really a fan; but I can why it appeals to some. In Clubhouse Cured My Imposter Syndrome they put into words some of the things I've been feeling - More
  • Distractions can pull you away from things you want to do, and diversions can be healthy. Life Hack: Understand the Difference Between “Distraction” and “Diversion” - More
  • Animagraffs are animated infographics about everything; this is something wonderful about the Internet - More
  • I love that there are people that think about this stuff in Why Paper Jams Persist - More
  • Ryan Holiday has 100 Very Short Rules for a Better Life - More
  • The Cube Rule of Food Identification in which the author provides an answer to the age old question of "Is a HotDog a Sandwich" - More
  • File under super creepy. AI ‘Deep Nostalgia’ brings old photos, including very old ones, to life - More
  • Do you miss the noise from your local bar? Or looking for some great background noise to pipe into your Zoom calls? Check out - More
  • “True Crime Addict” and the Problem of Internet Sleuths- More


As WandaVision comes to a close, for me (and a large part of the Internet) this is the scene that the series will be remembered for. I'll do a deeper review on what I think of the whole 9 episodes, but not yet.