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“When you know how to listen, everybody is the guru.” ~ Ram Dass

Since I first started using the invite-only audio app, Clubhouse, in December, their user base has grown ten-fold, from a reported 600,000 to 6.0 million users as of February 1, 2021. Likewise, its valuation has gone from $100 million to $1 billion since its launch in the spring of 2020.

The reason I’m hitting you with numbers first is not to wow you with the iOS-only’s turbo-charged growth. …


Why great design is a must for everyone.

charles eames lounge chair set on a grid to show composition of an image.
charles eames lounge chair set on a grid to show composition of an image.

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the instant economy and how having everything at our fingertips is an existential danger. Faster, easier, cheaper is a destructive battle cry, fueling planet-decimating things like fast fashion.

If the Great Pause of the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that things have to change. Our accelerated culture, which skimps on integrity to cash in on volume, comes at a devastating price: socially, environmentally, and humanistically.

This is where aesthetic integrity comes into play. It’s the antidote because it’s all about quality. …


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There is no doubt that things appear pretty grim lately. One glance at your tiny rectangular distraction machine (aka your phone), and you’re down the rabbit hole. A dark place where, left unchecked, no good can come.

This is coming from a person who makes a living designing demand for brands primarily through digital experiences. I know, you’re probably wondering where I’m going with this.

Good! My mantra has long been that curiosity and creativity are broken in business. If you want to fix these vital change agents and get back to kicking ass in your work and life, you’ve…


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If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that the only constant we can count on is change.

Of course, this isn’t news. However, now more than ever, we see twists and turns play out in everyday life. With every little shift, each bit of new information and knowledge, we’re forced to adapt. Flexibility is essential.

To me, the most eloquent way to articulate and leverage incremental change over time goes back to ancient Greece: the concept of Delta, Δ.

Now, don’t worry that I’m going to geek out and make you try to remember delta-driven lessons from economics, chemistry, physics, or…


Everything starts in the dark.

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The end of Adobe Flash is here.

For many of us forward-obsessed creative technologists, we’d moved on from Flash a long time ago. But I have to admit, the software’s death feels bittersweet.

It’s got me thinking about not just how far I’ve traveled but also how far we’ve come from a time when websites were just flat, blue and white links rendered in 2D.

It also makes me reflect on simpler days. Given that my time nowadays is filled attending seemingly endless Zoom meetings, reviewing virtual stacks of documents, and, on the rare occasion I leave my home office…


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Every year I’m excited to see what Google’s “Year in Search’’ reveals about society. And in 2020 — the most tumultuous, uncertain time in recent history — search was dominated by a small but highly impactful word: WHY.

If you haven’t seen the video yet, take a look:

As a Design Thinker, the first line of the video resonates with me most: “The most human trait is to want to know why.”

Which gets me thinking: why is that?

Before you Google “Why why?” here are some answers.

Curiosity is Life-Affirming…

When facing life’s uncertainties, Buddhist nun and author Pema Chödrön advises…


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This year has been full of so many surprises, and most of them have been pretty horrendous. So like millions of others, my wife and I turn to Netflix for some escapism and fun. This brings me to one of the most delightful surprises all year: I’ve found some kinship with, and inspiration from one of the top streaming shows this season: Emily in Paris.

Now, I’m not here to critique the show itself, which has mixed reviews. It was a combination of nostalgia (my wife and I got engaged in Paris) and a low commitment (30-minute episodes) that got…


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When you think about entrepreneurs, who springs to mind?

I’m guessing a fearless, larger-than-life, risk-taker like Steve Jobs, Oprah, Sir Richard Branson, or Elon Musk. The type of person for whom working for “the man” (or woman) was never an option.

While I’m fascinated by anyone who has the guts to strike out on their own, I have a special place in my heart for entrepreneurs who never imagined they’d have their own business. The kind of person who has no choice but to answer the call of a burning passion or crushing problem.

This entrepreneurial subset is small yet…


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Even if you haven’t, you can gather from the title that it’s about how destructive the mechanisms of digital interactions can be. As the New York Times points out, the film is “remarkably effective in sounding the alarm about the incursion of data mining and manipulative technology into our social lives and beyond.”

While I agree there are some nefarious implications in people’s personal lives, there’s a real dilemma that’s affecting our working lives, too.

The instant economy is rewiring our brains to think that everything is a click away. The easier it is to get our needs met, the…


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We’re at that time of the year when planning for 2021 is in high gear. But unlike prior years, the new year promises multiple unique challenges, all of them fueled by the dumpster fire that has been 2020.

So the question is, how will your business, like a phoenix, rise from the ashes? And can you do this knowing that uncertainty is the one thing we can count on for the coming year?

One of the pandemic’s silver linings is that it has opened up space for reflection and perspective. This is an invaluable opportunity to take stock of all…

Pete Sena

Founder and Force-multiplier @digitalsurgeons. https://www.linkedin.com/in/petersena/ & http://petesena.com/

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