Plan Your Next
Plan Your Next
Plan Your Next #40: Progress through pressure

Plan Your Next #40: Progress through pressure


👋 Hello! I'm Nate Kadlac, and this is Plan Your Next. It’s a newsletter that connects design, creativity, and how you prepare for your next thing.

Every Sunday, I aim to make this newsletter as timeless as, 2020? If you’re new here, join us!

What’s new this week

🎤 Andrew Barry continues to innovate with these small clips from his interviews. My podcast snippet is here, but I recommend checking out Robbie Crabtree’s on learning persuasion.

📷 Unsplash continues to be a fun platform. In one week, my night sky camping photo from Joshua Tree National Park was featured and accounts for well over 150k in views. (And already being used in random Instagram posts) My goal in a few months is to track them down online and see if they can serve as backlinks.

🚗 Today, we’re heading to the Grand Canyon, then Santa Fe for the week!

Good morning from Los Angeles, and the last PYN letter of 2020!

I’ve got so much to be thankful for, it would sound like word vomit to list them all. So I’ll save you from that. You’re welcome.

But, thank you for being here on this little journey with me this year. Writing a weekly newsletter has become an outlet to have conversations with new people, think through different ideas, and to watch something get built, if ever so slowly.

If you have ever wanted to start one, let’s chat about it!

Without the pressure of publishing every Sunday, I wouldn’t be able to do this consistently at all. In fact, I am the worst at feeling productive without constraints.

And while 2020 has been a dumpster fire of a year, vaccines wouldn’t be made in record-breaking time without the pressure of a pandemic. Pressure is why the Pomodoro Technique works so well for productivity. Even diamonds wouldn’t exist without the pressure needed to create them.

Add some pressure; then move fast

Technology by default stands still. It doesn’t move forward inexplicably. Like a steam engine, it requires pressure to move forward.

Given the right constraints, there are many examples of how fast we can move to build.

Patrick Collison, the co-founder of Stripe, has aggregated a list of feats accomplished quickly. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Disneyland was brought to life in just 366 days

  • The Eiffel tower was built in two years and two months.

  • Apple hired Tony Fadell to create the first iPod in 2001. 290 days later they shipped it.

  • Amazon launched Amazon Prime just six weeks after starting the project.

  • Early this year on January 10, the SARS-CoV-2 genome was published. 45 days later, Moderna shipped their first batch for the Phase 1 clinical study. On November 16 (266 days after study), Moderna announced that the vaccine's efficacy was 94.5%.

How to add pressure

Build in public
Talking about your idea in public is one way to involve others in the process. It can also bring clarity to your own questions, and help you see blind spots. Being active on Twitter, starting a newsletter, or writing publicly are other forms to talk about your ideas publicly.

Invest time in communities
If you’re not surrounded by people who level you up, there are many online communities to join that might offer you a new perspective. Especially if you haven’t built an audience yet, this is the most critical time to make friends who have similar goals. Take them on the journey with you. Consider looking at On Deck, Ness Labs, Indie Hackers, to find smart, independent thinkers.

Set deadlines for yourself
Thinking about where you want to be and working backward from there is a great way to plan your goals. Make monthly or weekly milestones, filling out the steps in between.

This past year taught me there are pressures we can’t foresee, and when the world cracks open, there are opportunities to build. Build new relationships. Build companies. Build new ideas.

What’s your next idea?

⚡️ Inspiration for your next week

Quick Draw

I have never wanted to deal with a green screen when shooting videos, but this software removes complicated backgrounds really well.

$4/hour janitor turned millionaire

An incredible story of empowering “act like an owner” thinking. The story of Richard Montañez and how he came up with the idea of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.

Plus, Minus, Next annual review

I’ve learned a lot from Anne-Laure this year, and her simple method of creating three columns to review your year worked for me. Here’s my tweet on how to do it.

👋 See you next Sunday

If you’ve forgotten who I am, here’s a little bit about me. As always, my calendar is always open to chat about your crazy ideas, or if you’re creatively stuck.

Have a great week,

Twitter: @kadlac

Plan Your Next
Plan Your Next
I'm Nate Kadlac, designer of Plan Your Next. A weekly newsletter that connects design, creativity, and how you prepare for your next thing.