Welcome to issue #38 of Modern Makers.
This week in the agenda:👇
📜 3 principles to live a better life
🖥️ How NFTs could help the creator economy
⏳ A new GANTT view now available on Airtable
🗣️ Focus on Voiceflow 2.0, a no-code tool to create conversational apps
Welcome to the new makers who have joined us since last week's newsletter. I hope you had a great week!
For my part, I decided to get back to work on a project I told you about last December. As you probably suspect if you read this newsletter regularly, I love reading (especially non-fiction books). I would like to create a platform to showcase the most inspiring quotes from my favorite books. The platform would also include an upvoting system and the possibility for users to submit their favorite quotes. A very modest project that will not change the world, but one that is close to my heart. In terms of no-code stack, I’m going with Softr and a database on Airtable. And Zapier to automate certain things. To follow the progress of the project, you can follow this thread on Twitter. And if you wish to receive an early access once the project is online, send me a message by email or on Twitter and I will add you to the list!
I also started using Pocket, an app that allows you to save articles and create highlights of your favorite readings. I can synchronize Pocket with Readwise, which will automatically send my highlights to Notion and Roam Research. Instapaper also offers the same type of functionality. My first impressions are quite positive, reading the articles in Pocket is extremely enjoyable and the highlights are very easy to create.
Finally, I started reading Get Things Done by David Allen. A book that will probably be highlighted in next Sunday's newsletter, if I manage to finish it by then 🙂.
📚 Book of the week
Author: Jordan B. Peterson
Release date: 2018
I often heard about this book, which has sold more than 5 million copies worldwide since its release in 2018. I finally took the time to read it and I have absolutely no regrets. What a book! Jordan gives us 12 suggestions of rules to apply in order to live a better life and navigate the chaos of the world in which we live. One rule per chapter. Some chapters are more consequent than others (they range from 25 to 90 minutes of reading for the longest ones). Jordan also released this week his new book, Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life, which I will definitely read at some point this year. As part of the promotion of this new book, Jordan was invited on Tim Ferriss's podcast, here is the link to listen to the episode. Here are 3 of my favorite rules:
Rule #1: Stand Up Straight With Your Shoulders Back - In the face of defeat, our posture collapses. We feel threatened, hurt, anxious and weak. If things don't improve, we can become chronically depressed. In such conditions, we cannot easily fight the kind of battles that life imposes on us and we become easy targets for others who are more hardened than we are. If you behave like someone who is defeated, people will feel it and the world will treat you accordingly. On the other hand, if you start to straighten up, then people will look at you and treat you differently. Standing up straight with your shoulders back means accepting your own responsibilities. It is deciding to face the chaos inherent in life. It is accepting our mortality. So pay attention to your posture and the message it sends to the outside world. Don't bend your back. Say what you think. Take responsibility for what you say. Do not hesitate to put forward your desires. You have the right to do so after all, at least as much as the other people you interact with every day.
Rule #3: Make Friends with People Who Want the Best For You - People sometimes tend to surround themselves with the wrong people when they have a negative opinion of themselves, of their own worth or when they refuse to face their responsibilities. Perhaps they think they don't deserve better friends. Just one negative person is enough to affect the dynamics of a group. This is especially the case at work, where a grouchy, lazy, cynical or arrogant employee will be able to pull down an entire team. This point echoes what the CEO of Netflix also mentions in his book No Rules Rules (Modern Makers #32). "Down is a lot easier than up". If you have a friend that you wouldn't recommend to your parents or sister, why is that person your friend? Seeking to surround yourself with people who want to make things better, not worse, is not a selfish act. These people who are always pulling you down will probably be the first people to be jealous of you if you succeed as you will only highlight their own failures.
Rule #4: Compare Yourself to Who You Were Yesterday, Not Who Someone Else is Today - may be my favorite chapter in the book. It used to be easier for people to be recognised as an expert or as the most competent person in a particular field. If you were the best shoemaker in your town of 5,000 inhabitants, you were perceived as such by the people who had very few points of comparison anyway. With the advent of the internet and the digital era we now live in, the competition is global. No matter what is your field of expertise, no matter what criteria you use to evaluate yourself, you will inevitably find someone ahead of you and with more success and recognition. It’s an endless game. You can no longer be unique. Life is not just one "game". You probably want to have a great career. A successful wedding. A happy family. To be healthy. To take care of your body. To learn new things. But you can't win at all these games. Or if you do, it probably means that you don't take enough risks. You don't push your limits. You don't grow. What if growing up was finally the greatest victory? "Should victory in the present always take precedence over trajectory across time?”. Be careful when comparing yourself to others. We tend to see the present as eternally absent and the future as eternally better. What if we instead try to enjoy the present a little more? And accept it as it is. We should start by setting small goals. What if your goal each day was to make the things in your life a little better than they were that morning? Repeat that goal. Every day. For weeks. For months. For years. By doing so, your baseline comparison gets a little bit higher. You start to aim higher. "What you aim at determines what you see.” Ignore the overwhelming complexity of the world and focus on your own problems. Turn every day into a victory.
Some other content that caught my attention this week:
🧠 7 Ways to Retain More of Every Book You Read - James Clear - Reading allows us to change our interpretation of the past, based on the new things we have learned. James Clear gives us some tips to help us better retain what we learn during our reading. These include taking notes, writing a summary in our own words and making connections between our notes. This is one of the reasons why I love Roam Research so much! James also invites us to read our favorite books more than once.
🤔 The Soul of The Creator Economy - Boundless by Paul Millerd - a very interesting reflection on the creator economy and the dangers it could face in the future. Paul also offers 5 suggestions to ensure that the positive vision behind this movement that allows anyone to create content and speak out can be realised.
🏟️ NFTs and a Thousand True Fans - Andreessen Horowitz - This article talks about NFTs and how they could help accomplish the famous 1,000 fan theory developed by Kevin Kelly in 2008. With the help of the blockchain, NFTs can remove the middlemen between creators and fans, offer granular pricing levels and turn users into true owners
🌎 What’s new in the world of no-code
A new GANTT view is now available on Airtable. The Gantt chart is particularly popular for project management, allowing the different tasks in a project to be viewed on a timeline. Six time intervals are currently available: week, two weeks, month, quarter, year and five years. There is also an option to hide weekends so that only the days of the week are displayed on the timeline.
Voiceflow has officially launched Voiceflow 2.0. Voiceflow is a no-code tool that facilitates the creation of conversational applications, whether it is an Alexa assistant, a Chatbot Messenger or a drive-thru voice terminal. This new version brings a host of new features, including real-time collaboration, the ability to leave comments and share Workspaces, a Desktop application and the Voiceflow SDK. Voiceflow customers include Google, The New York Times, Spotify, BMW and Amazon.
More news from Softr. It is now possible to select the field of your choice to be used in the search bar of your application. To give you a concrete example, in the context of my personal project, this means that users will be able to filter the quotes in my database that contain the keyword "happiness". Softr has also released a new version of its text editor, an interesting feature especially for those who would like to add a blog section within their app. More details here
Figma's Slack application allows you to receive notifications in Slack whenever you are mentioned in Figma, a colleague responds to one of your comments, or a new comment is added to one of your projects. Even better, you can reply to a comment directly from Slack. Very handy for those who use Slack and Figma in their daily work. More details here
📦 And also…
Lambda School launched a free mini Bootcamp to learn how to code
Notion has launched Tools & Craft, its official blog
Microsoft presented Power Fx, a new language based on Excel, which includes syntax, functions and declarative formulas.
A preview mode for Tablet is available on Glide
Makerpad has published an interview with the CEO of the agency no-code 8020
6 Google Chrome extensions to know for designers
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I also invite you to contact me if you have questions or need help with no-code tools or if you want to have a virtual coffee with me ☕
Have a great week, and keep building!