I've spent a lot of this year thinking about attention.
If you want to be an independent worker, your primary job is to acquire attention. How else will anyone know you provide services?
Otherwise you can work for somebody who already has existing customers. If you're an interchangeable bag of talent, how do you get them to choose you above everyone else? I keep thinking about the first time USV asked analyst candidates to send all of their internet presence along with their application, and how that is going to be the norm for every job, especially once we've automated all the menial ones.
Recent college grads have asked me for career advice, and I've told them to figure out how to build an audience. A friend of mine's daughter starts kindergarten in the fall – how do you educate someone for an attention-centric world?
I think (future) wars might be fought over attention. Propaganda is already a global battle. There's certainly a culture war on our doorstep, with attention as the primary battleground.
This has been the background theme for the year as I've passed from the backcountry of British Columbia to New York and Philadelphia, then to Australia and back through LA and Portland. I still think of New York as my base, but I'm not always there. Boulder is next for a few weeks.
More updates and recaps to come, along with other enticements.