Mixed Signals: Personal amusement

No. 35 – 14th of May, 2023

Maximum Effort is a film production company and digital marketing agency.

It exists, “for the personal amusement of Hollywood Star Ryan Reynolds.”

If it's good enough for Ryan, it's good enough for me.

One of the upsides to being a grownup is the freedom to follow what interests you. To choose your interests, to buy the books, to watch the TV shows.

There's no curriculum for life.

Yet it feels like many of us don't realise that. At the very least, we need regular reminders. Our time in school has conditioned us to think in a way that we're now able to free ourselves from.

So here's this week's newsletter. For the personal amusement of me.

Enjoy! ~ GKT

Strategic comedy

I'm a big comedy fan. My kids may dispute this. 👀

Steve Martin is one of the greats. And it was lovely to hear him (and his friend/neighbour, Adam Gopnik) in conversation with organisational psychologist Adam Grant. The podcast reminded me of one of the few novels I've read (and enjoyed), The Pleasure of my Company.

It got me thinking how comedy is strategy:

  • There's a playbook to provide structure and rules
  • Sometimes you should break those rules
  • Overdoing it won't work
  • Great strategy is worthless without great execution

+ Steve Martin on finding your authentic voice

+ The Pleasure of my Company by Steve Martin

The Lagerfeld Library

At the end of every Reading List email, Ryan Holidays says:

“I promised myself a long time ago that if I saw a book that interested me I’d never let time or money or anything else prevent me from having it.”

It's an excuse I've referenced often. Just not as often as Karl Lagerfeld did.

In the BBC documentary covering his life and career, they visit his favourite bookshop in Paris. In this (fairly large) store, they have 30,000 books. Karl's collection? 300,000. 😳

+ Inside Karl Lagerfeld's massive library

+ Karl Lagerfeld Has Arranged His Floor-to-Ceiling Library Sideways

+ The Mysterious Mr Lagerfeld


I'm two episodes in on this three-part documentary from Paddy Wivell.

Channel 4 were granted access to children in care, by a forward-thinking Coventry City Council. Sensitively put together, and attempting to understand the layers of complexity, this is an incredible (and incredibly important) piece of work.

+ Channel 4: Kids

+ IKEA: Proudly the Second Best

+ This is why the internet was invented