Here at cred, we work with a list of clients who have turned inklings of ideas and moments of inspiration into influential businesses. While collaborating with these founders and funders, one of the biggest lessons I’ve taken away is that inspiration can be found in the most everyday experiences, and you can inject creativity into even the most routine projects.
What’s one everyday experience most of us share? The commute to work. Whether you’re on a train, catching a bus, walking to work, or sitting in traffic on the highway, you’re probably wearing headphones, scrolling through the news on your phone, or reading a book. For me, this is a time for catching up on news or listening to music, but I find that the entertainment I use to drown out BART noise often shows itself in my work.
Below are a few of the things I’m enjoying on my way into work, then incorporating into my work day:
What I’m Listening To (Podcast Edition): ZigZag
While listening to a recent episode of 99pi, I heard a preview of a new show called ZigZag— ”mini-stories about entrepreneurship, deciding how to align your values with your ambitions, and building strong partnerships”—and immediately subscribed. At cred, we work with many clients on both sides of these partnerships, both founders and investors; and while we know their stories—the successes, the challenges, the roadblocks—it’s a completely different experience to listen live as the hosts, Manoush and Jen, allow listeners to sit in on a meeting with a potential investor, or be a fly on the wall during their conversation weighing the pros and cons of building a business with venture funding. I’ll be tuning in over the next few weeks, to follow their progress and get an up-close and personal look into the life of an entrepreneur.
What I’m Listening to (Playlist Edition): Hit Parade’s “Feat. Don’t Fail Me Now” Playlist
Can you tell that the backup vocals in Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain” are Mick Jagger? Or that the high pitched voice in David Bowie’s “Fame” is John Lennon? You wouldn’t know from the way the songs are credited. A recent episode of Hit Parade explored how the music industry went decades without crediting featured artists, and they made this playlist of songs featuring uncredited artists—a lot of them music industry royalty. How has this fit into my work day? In the cred office, almost every project we work on is a group effort, and listening to this playlist has been a low-key reminder to collaborate whenever possible, ask for ideas, always give a shout out to people who helped push a project toward the finish line. (Bonus: This playlist functions as a great lineup of classic hits, for when you need to throw on your headphones and focus).
What I’m Watching: Explained
If you’re someone who prefers to watch a quick episode of TV on your train ride, Explained may be the show for you. After many, many coworkers recommended this show, I had to check it out (at home, not in transit), and it’s the episode on cryptocurrency that really stuck with me. We work with leaders at the forefront of the blockchain space—a huge sphere of innovation to learn the basics on—and this quick lesson was the perfect primer on currency exchanges. If you’re more inclined to written word than ledgers, the episode on the exclamation point is another great choice.
Do you have a favorite podcast, book, movie, or song that’s inspiring your work? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!