Bennett Green

March 22, 2021

B5L #018 -- Mentors, Mailoji, and magenta mini-Monets

Ahead of his time

This has made me laugh nearly every time I come back to it. Now we all half expect children or pets or front-door-knockers or break-and-enterers to walk through the background of our vidcons. This man was truly ahead of his time.

Happy 4 year anniversary to the best interview of all time


I love me a good domain name ‘just in case’ registration. But this guy has me beat. Have a go at his story registering 300 emoji domain names from Kazakhstan because he thought it would be cool and because, well, ‘might come in handy one day’. 

I cried into my keyboard forking out yet more money for a llama emoji that I probably didn't need.

Will you be my Ment-ugh.. nevermind..

I enjoyed reading this list of four lessons Chip Huyen learnt as he started working out of college. But, I might disagree with one point he makes - 

A more senior member on our team took me under his wings. He became my biggest advocate and taught me so much, from writing papers to handling corporate politics – inevitable in any big corporation – to choosing what waterproof shoes to buy. I wish I had been more proactive in learning from him.

I’m surprised that many don’t have a mentor for their first job. It’s not that they don’t want one. They just never ask. When starting a new job, you should choose a coworker with whom you get along and ask them to be your mentor. If they say no, try again with someone else. Most people are receptive to being a mentor – it’s flattering to be asked. Check in with them once a month to talk over what you’re working on, understand what they’re working on, and get their thoughts on your progress. Your managers can be your mentors too, but it’s nice to have a second opinion.

Is this for real? Are there people sliding up to senior co-workers these days with a notepad and maybe a few flowers and asking ‘will you be my mentor?’. Seems gross to me; and I wouldn’t be surprised if many of the recipients’ immediate response was ‘this fuckin’ guy has got another job for me to do!

My suggestion would be to try to be a bit less awkward about it. Follow the permission-less apprentice approach. If you see someone you’d like to learn from, first think of something you can do for them, and learn your lessons as you work together. 

And even then - don’t ask with cow eyes ‘is there anything I can do for you, my mentor?’ but go ahead and do the [thing] and offer it to them. Maybe some research you think they might find interesting. Some new spreadsheet helping them with their daily work. Explain TikTok to them (and me too while you’re at it). Then leverage that initial value into ‘maybe there are some other things I could help you with - let’s talk about what you’ve got on and how you do it’ etc. 

I don’t know - you do you - but my suggestion would be to add value first and your lessons will come second. 

Good article though — worth a read! 

Non-Fungible Twaddle

You may have heard a little bit about NFTs lately. NFT stands for Non-fungible token — it’s a bit like intellectual property rights distributed on the blockchain. 

NFTs are blockchain-based records that uniquely represent pieces of media. The media can be anything digital, including art, videos, music, gifs, games, text, memes, and code. NFTs contain highly trustworthy documentation of their history and origin, and can have code attached to do almost anything programmers dream up (one popular feature is code that ensures that the original creator receives royalties from secondary sales). NFTs are secured by the same technology that enabled Bitcoin to be owned by hundreds of millions of people around the world and represent hundreds of billions of dollars of value.

But in the same way Bitcoin is not an asset with intrinsic value it’s simply a currency, an NFT is not an artwork with utilitarian or aesthetic or cultural value it’s simply a token. A token that represents a package of intellectual property rights. 

It might have speculative value - that is assuming the next person might want to pay more for it later. 

Or in some topsy-turvy world it might even have currency value - that is assuming in future we can pay for our flying-car-service with three tiny pieces of a Monet. 

But while I agree NFTs are a fun quirk on an interesting technology (i.e. blockchain), if these things start to make a real, lasting dent in the creator economy, I’m going to mark this as the moment we all jumped the shark. 


Another new-agey WFH-era video that made me laugh.

 When you’re trying to print something

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- Bennett Green

Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash