๛Nº242 Consider before you start: listening is a lost art 🗣️👂



The last week's edition garnered more nice replies than usual by far which made me feel this issue had to be more than just on par. (And kicking off with a rhyme is just the start!)

Listening to the feedback people share each week is an aspect of my listening technique. The topics that make people keen to click, compelled to respond, and even those rarely so incredulously inflamed to inspire fiery rebuking replies are all aspects of listening with my eyes.

So when I recently read Abby Farson Pratt's piece on the joy and challenge of designing for people who are very different from us, I immediately thought of all the ways I personally and the extended Twotone team can sometimes be tasked to promote tools, products, pitches, and promotions that may not interest us personally per sé but need to be engaging for our audience, our client's customers and/or others in the industry.

To accomplish this with as little cognitive bias as possible: we need to listen. Listen to the media we communicate with, marketing managers who hire us, and members of the general public who purchase these products. Well, Abby's eloquent example of content marketing (albeit more about design than consulting ultimately) got me stoked so I'm sharing the cliff notes here:

  1. Practice the art of forensic listening – "It’s listening — but listening with an active wisdom." I like their idea of leveraging their team's expertise to bear on what they hear & distilling that into a road map to then blaze a trail.
  2. Ensure we’re solving the right problem – Forensic listening creates a healthy sense of caution to avoid proposing easy or common solutions to the issues they hear from clients. i.e. "what worked for one client may not work for another. Even within the same organization, needs can be vastly different from project to project."
  3. Know when to apply gentle pressure – "The hard work is knowing when it’s right to push back and when it’s right to yield. This is true of any healthy relationship, whether it’s a friend, partner, or client. Balance is essential." Finding that balance is really tough because due to the "relatively short timeline of a client engagement (compared with, say, years of marriage), trust has to grow and evolve rather rapidly."
  4. Reject trendiness; favor elegance – Like Abby confirmed: "our tastes differ from the end user’s. What shouldn’t change is the elegance of our solution" In their work, this may often mean declining the most fashionable solution & opting for a more resilient and sustainable option. Biasing toward elegance over trendiness is an admirable goal IMHO.
  5. Have the humility to revise –  stay humble & remember an opportunity one should never forsake, is that to make a new mistake. Paradoxically, it is vital to flex on being experts but also experts who can admit they’re wrong.

I hope these points piqued your own ideas of upping your listening game & check out more of Abby's wise writing on Journey Group's Medium page.

thank you, as always, for reading & sharing this newsletter,


📡 @themechanicsofjoy 📻 @echoboxradio Thursday 14:00 CET

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Happening now: KROMVOJOJ

Happening now: KROMVOJOJ

Kromvojoj is a word that comes from Esperanto and describes possible and diverse paths. The first edition of this race kicked off nearly 3 days ago and the top riders are all close to 1000 km! Looks like an awesome race!

📸 @arrieredupeloton

Ford says Park the Car

Ford says Park the Car

Park the Car is a new initiative from Ford about supporting and investing in schemes that encourage active travel, and care for our environment and health.

Greenwashing or common-sense? A PR move for sure but really reminds me of cigarette companies telling you not to smoke, lol.

Exposed by a Strava KOM: The many lives of a fake pro cyclist.

Exposed by a Strava KOM: The many lives of a fake pro cyclist.

A mega long read from Iain at Cycling Tips.

I suggest a coffee & your laptop or desktop screen.

Seem too heavy? I also suggest Spencer Powlison's piece about how Crust is changing the face of cycling.


Why Marketers Are Returning to Traditional Advertising

Why Marketers Are Returning to Traditional Advertising

This is a great one.

One that Jess at Offline Matters has been saying for years.

Here's your spoiler alert of why HBR thinks why:

1. Breaking through the digital clutter.

2. Capitalizing on consumers’ trust in traditional advertising.

3. Preparing for the decline of third-party cookies.

4. Tapping the growing medium of podcasting.

5. Exploiting the digital lift of traditional media.

6. Fine-tuning brand and market fit.

7. Revisiting digital effectiveness.

PR.Co is hiring a Head of Copy & Communications

PR.Co is hiring a Head of Copy & Communications

"If you’re a native English (copy) writer and content strategist with a PR, communications, or journalism background, and are intrigued with the prospect of working for a fully remote tech startup– have a look!"

A radical role at a company I truly admire!

Conductor is hiring a Motion Graphics Designer

Conductor is hiring a Motion Graphics Designer

Looks like an amazing role for someone "with a keen eye for typography, layout and graphic design and a desire to create world-class motion graphics."

Work will range from short videos for social media content all the way up to full product and brand launch films.

Very cool!


Self-Supported Principles: The Dos, Don’ts, and Blurry Middle

Self-Supported Principles: The Dos, Don’ts, and Blurry Middle

Earlier this month, my friend Jackie Baker wrote a long read about what self-supported ultra-distance bike racing really means. In her essay, she outlines three guiding self-supported principles for bikepacking. Awesome work & conversation in the comments!

The Serendipity Flow Chart (Section 3.3, Figure 1) she links to that James Mark Hayden made is indeed elegant.

CIRCO by our friends at Shift Cycling Culture

CIRCO by our friends at Shift Cycling Culture

Over a period of 6 weeks (~4-6 hours/week), teams will:

• Learn about circular design strategies and business models

• Redesign a product or service

• Develop a circular business model for their product or service

• Create a roadmap for implementation

• Build a strong network of like-minded people and companies

Dates: Tuesdays - 31 May, 7 June, 14 June, 21 June, 28 June, 5 July 2022

Times: 16:00-19:00 (CET); 15:00-18:00 (GMT); 10:00-13:00 (ET); 07:00-10:00 (PT).

Learn more here.

New Startup Ride Tuesdays at 6:45am

New Startup Ride Tuesdays at 6:45am

My freiend Nick is starting a new ride very Tuesday of 34-39km at a grupetto pace of 32-34km / hr average.

Also: the #Workspace666 ride restarted last week on Wednesday evenings from Workspace 6 at 7pm & of course you always have Roll Call on Fridays at 6am!


Stream Telecast - #031 by Space Kadett

Stream Telecast - #031 by Space Kadett

Guy's latest mix is online! Enjoy!

  • 001 Kaya Project - It Never Rains… (Zheng ’22)
  • 002 Sydka & bawab - Last Call for the Bayou
  • 003 Pérola Branca - Selva Blues ft. El.llorón
  • 004 Sydka & bawab - Aphaea's Souiree
  • 005 Vincent Gericke - Orbital Debris
  • 006 gázel - Closer
  • 007 Sydka & bawab - Scarlet
  • 008 Kermesse - Corriente
  • 009 Paul Traeumer - Embrace the Dark (Atric Remix)
  • 010 Ouhana & Urem - Halbschatten
  • 011 Narcisse - Caught
  • 012 kyongpaul - Slowly
  • 013 Felix Laband - Kill the Boer
  • 014 Kevin Morby - A Coat of Butterflies

Here's to Consider before you start:  listening is a lost art this week!

Written by
Jon Woodroof
♥️ @Kristyspark✨, Otto, Mira, Errol, Simone, Brayden & Rowan 💡 living the dream @Workspacesix & @Twotoneams 💌 I love to send special stuff to special people weekly.
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