➡✉FORWARD: Have you broken your New Year’s resolution?

2021 appears to be off to a rough start. How will you make it the best year of your life? Consistent incremental improvements and by simply beginning again.

🚫🙈 TL;DR:

2021 appears to be off to a rough start. How will you make it the best year of your life? Consistent incremental improvements and by simply beginning again.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I earn commission if you purchase. If you no longer want to receive these e-mails click the unsubscribe link below.

🎌🚗 Must Read: (8 min)

Kaizen: The Power Of Incremental Improvement

Consistent incremental improvement will change your life.

Math Geeks: 1.01^365 = 37.8

Bonus Read: Ed Tierney replied to my comments on Time Distortion in the last FORWARD with this very educational article from Reuter: Why Time Feels so Weird in 2020

⏲⬛ Must Try:

The Complete Guide to Time Blocking

“A 40 hour time-blocked work week, I estimate, produces the same amount of output as a 60+ hour work week pursued without structure.” – Cal Newport, Author of Deep Work

🌄🌅 Must Watch: (3 min)

Simply Begin Again – The secret to long term success. Forgive yourself and start over. You are human, you are fallible, but you can refuse to quit.

💵👨‍💼 Must Subscribe:

Painting of Fred Wilson

Fred Wilson’s Blog – AVC.com
I’ve been reading Fred’s blog since 2014 when I was founding Heads Up Display. I was googling “What’s a VC?” and his blog was the top result. 😝  

The 3 letter domain name certifies that he’s an early adopter. So enjoy his thoughts on the future of technology and startups.  

Less interested in tech? Check out Wilson’s MBA Monday archives. 

(Bonus Link: Paul Graham’s Essays – another archive of a prominent VC’s wisdom) 

🧘‍♀️🧘‍♂️ Must Listen: (7 min)

Presence by Ty Burhoe, Bill Douglas and Amy Ippoliti

My favorite song that the downdog algorithm plays during śavāsana. You don’t have to be in Corpse Pose to enjoy it, but I wont blame you if you stop reading and assume the position.

In case you want to sing along, here are the lyrics:

ॐ नमः शिवय गुरवे

सचिदननद मुतयै

निसपपचय शनतय

निरलमबय तेजसे

🎉🎇 In Conclusion:

I spent the last 2 weeks reflecting on 2020. The year consisted of a lot of forced change, challenging me to assess my needs and my wants. Showing me how little control I actually have over my life.

My take away from 2020?

Consistent incremental improvement unlocks life goals.

You might want to do the research, to plan, to wait for the perfect time. Instead I encourage you to: Just start.

Commit to putting in 15 minutes of work today. Then do 15 minutes of work tomorrow. Keep showing up, again, and again. Until one day you’re there.

I set my 2021 goals, I started the work.

Then this week happened.

Civil Unrest in the capital, a culture war cleared hot.

I broke my resolutions about food (“Honey, lets order a pizza.”), drink (“Do we have any beer?”), and fitness (“Why is my knee clicking?”).

So tonight I forgive myself and tomorrow — I simply begin again.

With Kindness and Respect,

✅Action Items:

🔲 Simply begin again
🔲 Forward to a friend

Did someone Forward you this e-mail?
You can subscribe here: http://www.clarkdever.com/forward

➡✉FORWARD: Will you reconcile with 2020?

FORWARD Newsletter Logo

🚫🙈 TL;DR:

I expose you to art, writing, and music from Northern Europe. You try a new tool to reconcile your year. And — Oh yeah — biological robots built through machine learning and biotech.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I earn commission if you purchase. If you no longer want to receive these e-mails click the unsubscribe link below.

👨🐦Must Read:

In Norse mythology, Huginn (“thought”) and Muninn (“memory” or “mind”) are a Odin’s Ravens. Daily, they travel the world and report what they have seen to him.

Odin with Hugin and Munin on his shoulders.

O’er Mithgarth Hugin and Munin both
Each day set forth to fly;
For Hugin I fear lest he come not home,
But for Munin my care is more.

From Grímnismál

📅🧭Must Try:

YearCompass YearCompass helps you close your year and plan the next one. In the routine of everyday life it’s easy to lose sight of your true goals and aspirations. YearCompass works simply. Using questions and exercises rooted in psychology it takes you through the past year, then helps you turn your dreams into achievable goals.

(h/t: My brother, Grant Dever’s newsletter. If you know a student leader, you should buy them a copy of his book: Lead The Future)

🤖🧬Must Watch:

Xenobots - Simulation and Reality side by side.

Meet the Xenobot, the World’s First-Ever “Living” Robot

🧠💲Must Subscribe:

Andreessen Horowitz - The a16z Podcast Icon

a16z Podcast – Andreessen Horowitz (aka “a16z”) is a premier Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm. The a16z Podcast brings in amazing analysts and business owners to discuss tech and the future.

💀🎶Must Listen:

Heilung | LIFA – Full Show Heilung (a German word for “Healing”) describe their music as “amplified history from the early iron age in northern Europe.” They’re an experimental neofolk band. They rank along side Rammstein and The Glitch Mob on my list of experiential shows to attend.

⌛⏳In Conclusion:

I spent long hours with Odin’s ravens this year.

Reviewing all 12 months on my calendar, I was shocked by the time distortion.

Some weeks felt like months (*cough* March and April *cough*) and some months went by in a week. I experienced both extreme novelty and mundane routine.

Stress, novelty, sleep deprivation, all change our perception of time and the world around us. Which isone reason you should keep deeply exploring the human experience. Through trying new things, you’re extending the perceived duration of your life.

Now you can enjoy your bacon and eggs, guilt free, as long as you listen to new music while you eat them.

Reply and let me know one action you take to invite new experiences.

With Kindness and Respect,

✅Action Items:

🔲 Reconcile with 2020
🔲 Forward to a friend

Did someone Forward you this e-mail?
You can subscribe here: http://www.clarkdever.com/forward

➡✉FORWARD: who will tell your story?

At his wake, hundreds attended. The wealthy and powerful, the poor and the meek, the innocent and the guilty.


🚫🙈 TL;DR

I share some thoughts on personal legacy. We explore luxury and values. I’m testing a more succinct format. Please reply and let me know what you think.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I earn commission if you purchase. If you no longer want to receive these e-mails click the unsubscribe link below.

🩸😢Must Read: (1 min)

Theodore Roosevelt

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

― Theodore Roosevelt

💰🚘Must Watch: (8 min)

Why Rolls-Royce Cars Are So Expensive.

🤝🤗Must Try:

Stop being nice, start being kind. Niceness appears virtuous, but is vacuous. Kindness exudes from genuine caring for another human.

🗽📝Must Listen: (3 min)

Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story (Original Broadway Cast of Hamilton)

👮‍♂️👴In Conclusion:

When I was 15, my “Grandpa Chuck” passed away. A humble man, he was kind to those he met. His career included being a U.S. Marine, a Police Officer, and a long time Detective for the Rochester Police Department. His capability as a Detective was built through decades of treating those he met with respect. This accrued social equity provided information that other detectives could never attain.

At his wake, hundreds attended. The wealthy and powerful, the poor and the meek, the innocent and the guilty. RPD escorted him to his burial; shutting down a major highway to keep the procession uninterrupted.

This fundamentally shifted my understanding of success. I will never know how successful I was in life; I won’t be at my own funeral.

Legacy is more valuable than currency.

With kindness and respect,

✅Action Items:

🔲 Strive valiantly
🔲 Forward to a friend

Did someone Forward you this e-mail?
You can subscribe here: http://www.clarkdever.com/forward

➡✉FORWARD: why didn’t ancient Greeks see the color blue?

🚫🙈 TL;DR

I share historical ephemera. Who invented Christmas Cards? Why didn’t ancient Greeks see the color blue? How come in 1984 a 100 year old ballad from the United Kingdom was being sung in Appalachia? Why do we all have the “Legacy of Kings”, where everything we do online is saved in Utah?

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I earn commission if you purchase.

🎄💳 Must Read: (5 min)

The First Christmas Card

While preparing my family’s Christmas Cards. I started wondering about the history of the tradition and how many cards are sent in the US. My guesses were pretty accurate. The tradition started by a Postman. Over 1.3 billion cards a year are sent through the USPS.

To guess the number, I used Fermi estimation. I know there are 330MM people in the US. The average size of a house hold is 3 people. I estimate 90% celebrate Christmas (at least the secular holiday). I estimate 30% of those households send cards and on average they send 30 cards.

Estimate: (330,000,000/3) x .9 x (.3 x 30) = 890,000,000

Simplified: 100,000,000 x 1 x 10 = 1B

I learned this skill through the techniques taught in Cracking the PM Interview. I use it frequently to help Founders estimate their TAM SAM SOM.

FACT: My favorite Fermi problem is the Drake Equation.

🙏🍴 Must Try: (1 min)

Every day, we start dinner by telling each other 3 things that we’re thankful for. My pre-school age children get really into it. It makes you pause and think about your day. My personal goal is to appreciate new things each evening. It’s increased our happiness as a family of four. Inevitably, I end up thankful for all 12 things.

💙📘 Must Watch: (6:30 min)

Why The Ancient Greeks Couldn’t See BlueAncient cultures never mention blue in their texts. They describe the ocean as wide, stormy, silent, but never blue.

“Black and White are all I see in my infancy; red and yellow then came to be.” – Tool, Lateralus

👴🎶 Must Listen: (9 min)

Young Beichan is a ballad (circa 1884) from the UK, with Norse, Spanish, and Italian variants. 100 years later it’s sung in the Appalachian Mountains. The meme crossed the Atlantic through the power of oral history.

If that past paragraph intrigued you. Read American Gods AND Snow Crash, they both highlight the power of oral traditions. They are two of my favorite novels.

🎭🖼 Must See: (1 min)

The British Museum Galleries are available in high resolution for free. Take a break and enjoy some of humanities finest creations from the past.

I’m thankful to have seen some of these artifacts in person. But I’ve never seen the details so clearly.

Check out the Rosetta Stone, The Younger Memnon, Pectoral, a Mask by the Tetela, or The Sloane Astrolabe for starters.

🏠📲 Must Subscribe: (15 min)

imageI’ve been a subscriber to Home Screens since the edition featuring Jack Greco. The newsletter reminds me of looking at a friend’s music collection on their iPod back in the early 2000s. You can learn much about someone based on the apps they use and how they organize their smartphone.

Jason Bartz interviewed me in this week’s edition. We covered building Startup Communities, ASTP, why you should use encrypted messaging (Hint: Utah Data Center), and of course – the coolest apps on my phone.

😓⏩In Conclusion:

Writing FORWARD is scary for me. I spend about 5 hours a week crafting it. Then every time I click “Schedule”, I get really nervous.

What fact did I get wrong? How many errors are there? Should I have shared something that personal? Will I offend someone?

Knowing that it’s read a few thousand times gives me anxiety.

But I ship it!

I ship it, because of the kind replies I receive each week. We’re all indebted to the people who take the time to write back. FORWARD wouldn’t exist without them.

My hope is that this newsletter inspires you to explore more. To push out of your comfort zone and create something out of love and share it with your community.

Reply and let me know what you’re researching and making!

With kindness and respect,

✅Action Items:

🔲 Start that personal project you’ve been putting off
🔲 Forward to a friend

Did someone Forward you this e-mail?
You can subscribe here: http://www.clarkdever.com/forward

➡✉FORWARD: Do you want a B.S. in Business from one e-mail?

🚫🙈 TL;DR

This week I introduce you to my biggest mentors, Grove, Dalio, and Ferriss. We’ll also explore the works of J. Cole and Alex Grey. Last but not least, we meet the man who survived The Snappening!

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I earn commission if you purchase.

👑🤘 Must Survive:

After many weeks of split tests, a choose-your-own-adventure, and RNG guessing games. David Bachowski emerged as the sole survivor of “The Snappening”. Click his name to get introduced. Welcome home, David! Enjoy his autobiography.

David Bachowski's Headshot

David Bachowski is a habitual line-crosser. Sometimes funny, sometimes wincingly painful, sometimes just corny. He’s crossed organizational lines, state lines, international lines, emotional lines, and career lines. In general he tries to make the world a happier, less serious place. He just moved back to Buffalo after spending some years in some big cities. He’s excited to get back into the startup/tech community in a safe, socially distant manner.

🥚🥓 Must Read:

Cover of Andy Grove's High Output Management

High Output Management is a legendary business book. A synthesis of Andy Grove’s experiences building and leading Intel. This well worn book has a permeant place on my bookshelf. I reference it at least once a quarter. The explanations are simple, poignant, and timeless. After the first few chapters, you will never look at breakfast the same way again.

🙅‍♀️🙊 Must Try:

Don’t volunteer information. Information asymmetry is a huge strategic advantage in negotiation, defense, and life.

Make simple and concise statements and then getting comfortable with silence.

💱🍿 Must Watch: (30 min)

You’ll learn more in Ray Dalio’s video “How The Economic Machine Works” than I did in two years of B-School. Like many specialties, Economics can feel intimidating to outsiders due its vocabulary. This simple video describes the words and market forces that impact us daily.

👨‍👩‍👦‍👦🎧 Must Listen: (4 minutes)


J. Cole is a mentor and mentee wedged in between two generations of successful artists. MIDDLE CHILD has been in my heavy rotation playlist for the past few months. I hope you enjoy!

💕🌌 Must See: (1 min)

The most thoughtful gift I’ve ever received was a surprise from my wife on our wedding day. A signed print of “Love is Cosmic” by Alex Grey. Despite her more traditional leanings, she embraced my appreciation for psychonaut artwork. Understanding that the painting would live on our walls for the duration of our marriage.

What more can you ask for than acceptance, as you are, from the ones you love?

💲📈 Must Subscribe: (2 hours)


If you’ve never heard Tim Ferriss’s podcast, I assume that you don’t listen to podcasts. His episodes have over 500MM downloads. His reputation grants him access to top performing humans from around the world. I’m thankful for the impact his work has had on my life. Give it a listen, I recommend his episode with Jamie Foxx and Hugh Jackson.

🦃 Closing Gratitude:

This week I made my 500th introduction in the past 6 months. This milestone made me reflect on how thankful I am for you.

You’re part of a large community of people who help to lift each other up. I don’t know how many get to experience this level of mutual support, but I am grateful to be one of them.

I hope you have a wonderful week. Take a moment to appreciate the good in the world.

Reply and let me know what you’re currently thankful for.

With kindness and respect,


✅Action Items:

🔲 Feel Gratitude

🔲 Forward to a friend

Did someone Forward you this e-mail?

You can subscribe here: http://www.clarkdever.com/forward

➡✉FORWARD: want a great investment tip?

🚫🙈 TL;DR

“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes.” Smart Investors study history, read books, understand strategy, and follow principles.

*Click linked names to ask for an introduction. Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I earn commission if you purchase.

💥📚 Must Read:

The Upstate Unleashed keynote featured Nasir Ali (CEO, Upstate Venture Connect) and Brad Feld (Partner, Foundry Group). The book recommendations were outstanding during their fireside chat. Zach Marshall (Head of Business Development, Accrete.ai) and I scribed so we could share them with you.

Interested in joining a Book Club focused on Startup Communities? Join the WNY Startup Community Slack and DM me! We’re reading The Startup Community Way and More Good Jobs is next.

⏪🕰 Must Try:

My yoga instructor says, “Stay on your own mat.


Comparing your life, financial situation, or career, to others is masochistic. Compare your current state, to your past state. Analyze how your principles and habits effected your results.

✈🔎 Must Watch: (6 min)

The Strategic Reconnaissance “Speed Check” by Major Brian Shul, USAF (Ret.) is a classic tale among aviators. If you’re short on time you can read it here.

The SR-71 is the pinnacle of manned, high altitude, high speed, aeronautical flight. It’s 35 year career helped to fend off nuclear war. Unmanned Systems might exceed its capabilities – but they will never create the same lore.

If the “Speed Check” made you chuckle, dig deeper. Unfortunately, the wildest stories are lost to history. They were only whispered to other squadmates in the ready room.

👨‍🎤🎧 Must Listen: (>1 hour)

When I need focus, I put on my headphones and instrumental mixes. YouTube creators often segment their videos to highlight track and artists names. It’s a great way to expand your musical horizons.

👑🐕 Must See: (1 min)

/r/historymemes sorted by Top – All Time.


Pro-Tip: Use Reddit Enhancement Suite, ‘x’ expands the thread, ‘j’ moves you down, ‘k’ moves you up.

💲📈 Must Subscribe: (~60 min)


Patrick O’Shaughnessy sources outstanding investors and thinkers for Invest Like The Best. The conversations are informal but information dense. I’ve never made it through an episode without forwarding it to someone in my network. There are great show notes on his blog. 15,000,000 downloads and counting.

🧠💬 Closing Thoughts:

You’ve rehashed and rehearsed your personal narrative many times. That doesn’t mean it’s true. Stories and behaviors useful at one point in our life, are not always the ones that allow us growth in the future.

In other words, “Past performance is no guarantee of future results.”

Take a moment and think about your autobiography. Is there a part of it that limits you? Can you reframe your retelling in a way that encourages your growth?  

Block some time on your calendar, sit with your history (or a therapist), apply an analysis framework. Based on what you find, what strategy can you invest in to carry you FORWARD?

With kindness and respect,


p.s. Which format do you prefer, last week’s “vertical theme” or this week’s “horizontal theme”? Please reply and tell me why.

✅Action Items:

🔲 Get comfortable being uncomfortable

🔲 Forward to a friend

Did someone Forward you this e-mail?

You can subscribe here: http://www.clarkdever.com/forward

➡✉FORWARD: Trick or Treat?!

📏👀 TL;DR

We learn about creating wealth, saving time, and making great art.

🗽😄 Must Read: (7 min)

Naval Ravikant’s life is the American Dream. An immigrant youth who struggled in NYC, he overcame adversity and built his fortune. His advice is worth considering because he’s also a genuinely happy individual.

His famous tweetstorm on Wealth Creation will make you reconsider your work.

The Navalmanack is about building wealth and happiness into your life (Free epub, mobi, and PDF).

2️⃣⏩ Must Try: (<half the time)

Save hours by scrubbing past sponsor promos and setting YouTube playback speed between 1.5x to 2x. Install an AdBlocker and pay for Premium, your time is worth more than $15/mo.


✏👹 Must Watch: (<58 min)

Creature Design with Scott Flanders is dense with insider secrets about creation and perception. Concept art is one of the first steps in the creative process for video games and movies.

I’ve spent hundreds of hours learning about concept art. This video is one of the most succinct and practical videos about iterative design that I’ve found.

🎸💀 Must Listen: (<2 min)

Saying “Halloween” by The Misfits is a Horror Punk classic is an understatement. It’s been covered ad nauseum. In fact, if you want a more melodic version — you can listen to Jeff Manning’s acoustic cover of Alkaline Trio’s cover of The Misfits’ original. Maybe AFI’s pop punk cover is more your style? Southie Punk? Try Drop Kick Murphy’s. Prefer to Skank on Halloween? Enter The Holophonics’.

Modern Musicians pay to have their perfect digital recordings trampled to a gritty analog feel by Producers. The Misfits recorded with potatoes and a 4-track cassette deck in Glenn’s garage.


Ephemera: In true punk rock fashion, The Misfits appropriated the “Fiend Skull” in 1979 from a 1946 movie series “The Crimson Ghost” by Republic Pictures. Although Republic Pictures never attempted to defend their Intellectual Property. When Danzig split with the band, the avatar became a central component of their court battles.

🎃💖 Closing Thoughts:

Halloween is my favorite holiday. It’s genetic! My 3 year old daughter also loves Vampirina, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and everything spooky.


But why do we love it?

It’s a chance to express repressed parts of your subconscious. No one knows if you’re being ironic, festive, or yourself. It’s your chance to be the trickster, to instigate, to act out! Also — free candy.

Do you wear a mask everyday or just on Halloween?

With Kindness and Respect,


✅Action Items:

🔲 Trick a friend

🔲 Treat an enemy

🔲 Forward to both

Did someone Forward you this e-mail?

You can subscribe here: http://www.clarkdever.com/forward

➡✉FORWARD: Rest, Recover, Bake Cookies, and Oxford Comma.

📏👀 TL;DR

I didn’t “ship it” last week. People noticed! 😣 I didn’t beat myself up about it. 🥰 This week we’re going to talk about taking time for yourself, being present, and experiencing life.

🤑🌎 Must Scroll: (5 min)

Matt Korostoff dropped an interactive experience that helps you conceptualize Jeff Bezo’s $200B personal wealth. If you scroll long enough, he addresses the wealth distribution of the US (Spoiler Alert: 400 people own more assets than the bottom ~200,000,000 people combined.) If this creates cognitive dissonance for you, he also provided links to his sources.

Pro-Tips: If you’re on mobile, rest your thumb and grab an ice pack, it’s a long scroll. If you’re on a desktop, hold the right arrow key.

🎃🔪 Must Watch: (3 min)

He started his career as a school teacher, but is now the most famous pumpkin carver in the world. Ray Villafane took the art to a new level applying sculpting tools from the world of clay to America’s favorite form of cucurbitaceae.

There’s a wonderful celebration of impermanence in Ray’s sculptures. Building masterpieces in an ephemeral medium reminds me of Tibetan sand mandalas.

🚶‍♀️🗣🔤 Must Try: (1-15 min)

That certain someone is walking past your house again, talking to themselves. You see them all the time, always walking, always talking to themselves. What a weirdo!

I’m that guy! It’s great! It’s changed my life in the past 3 weeks.

When I’m not marching in the endless parade of zoom calls, I walk around Hamburg, NY dictating my thoughts into my phone. Android and iOS both have a dictation feature. You click a microphone icon and they will translate your words to text in any app. Both systems are INCREDIBLY accurate! Thank you robot overlords, we live in the future!

I walk about 20 extra miles a week and complete 60% of my knowledge work while I do it. Buy a Bluetooth headset with noise-cancellation to improve dictation accuracy. It improves your clarity when forced to call in because you’ve misjudged your ETA on your return trip.

☸🔛🔛 Must Listen: (5-8 min)

A masterpiece of 90’s Ambient Techno featuring the drums of the Roland TR-909. Halcyon (Live at Glastonbury) brings the original recording to the next level. 5:00 in to the track, Orbital weaves two loops featuring Bon Jovi and Belinda Carlisle. The samples create new sentences as the choruses overlap.

This was the first mp3 I downloaded (Circa 1999). I’d reboot to DOS and use DOSAMP to play it. My computer didn’t have the processing power to decode the mp3 while running Windows.

👨‍👩‍👧‍👦🍪 Closing Thoughts:

Enforce time off for yourself. Even if it’s only an hour during the work day or your weekend. Disengage and unplug! Sheltering in place blurs the boundaries between home and work. These changes are here to stay, even after we defeat the viral threat. You need to adapt to maintain our health.

It’s easier to say no when you have a why. My personal “why” is my children, I’m unbookable from 5pm until 9pm when they’re asleep. That’s their time and I refuse to give it to someone else unless their need is both urgent and important. They’re also part of the reason I spend time on my physical and mental health, I am a strong role model for them.

Commit to blocking time on your calendar. Explore the ideas and practice activities you want to improve in. Spend it working on your physical and mental health.

This weekend I baked cookies with my children. The last time I baked cookies, I was in a Home Economics class in High School. I’m so thankful that I made the time to share an experience with them. We taste-tested chocolate chips, talked about the chemistry involved: ingredients, measuring, heat. The kid delivered them to our neighbors, building community through direct action.

At 36, There are stories that I’ve been telling myself about my future for over 10 years. What if that tomorrow never comes? Only the present exist, experience it. The past is a story you tell yourself, the future is your best guess.

Start today! Do things you’ve always planned to do “when you have the time.”

What activity will you make time for this weekend? Hit reply and let me know!

With Kindness and Respect,


p.s. Thank you for reading FORWARD the newsletter for Curious and Impactful People.

✅Action Items:

🔲 Sit up straight, focus on experiencing 10 slow breaths

🔲 Forward to a Friend

Did someone Forward you this e-mail?

You can subscribe here: http://www.clarkdever.com/forward

➡✉FORWARD: In case of 2020, exercise militant optimism!


📏👀 TL;DR

This week we ignore the drama and wear a smile. Why shouldn’t you? Things are looking up! The poor have comforts that the titans of industry couldn’t get with all their wealth 100 years ago. When things go wrong, you can take a moment to be present — find the “Good” and strengthen your resilience. 

✊💎 The Snappening:

Congratulations on avoiding Rick Astley’s crooning. You survived! Will you pull off the repeat victory? I designed this mashup between a pie chart and classic 1990s mall map to give you the answer. If it can’t figure it out, click the blue button below.


No Whammy!

📖📈 Must Read: (5 min)

Why should you Embrace Militant Optimism? Sci-Fi visions of a techno-utopian society have been around as long as humans have had tools. The stories you tell children inspire the future they will build.

👎👍 Must Watch: (3 min)

Something bad happened? You suffered a setback recently? Good!

Retired Navy SEAL, Jocko Willink will teach you how to deal with bad news or moments of defeat.

👻💨 Must Listen: (10 min)

Tool’s Fear Inoculum is sacred to me. It empowered me to maintain the stream of calm, loving, nothings that I whispered in her ear. We sat on the floor, her head in my lap. The eternal moment. I caressed her, while the veterinarian injected the chemicals that stopped her heart.

A Progressive Rock meditation performed to liberate listeners from mass hysteria. By labeling the shared delusion, you rob it of its power. I invite you to join me in singing the chorus: “Exhale, expel; Recast my tale; Weave my allegorical elegy“.

🐒🧠 Must Try: (infinitely)

You’ve made mistakes during your life. That doesn’t mean you can’t advocate against them. This doesn’t make you a hypocrite. You’re a biological Ship of Theseus. Don’t let people invalidate your current ideas based on your past actions. You have grown and that’s awesome. Go forth and help others.

💖👨‍🔬Closing Thoughts:

Why do I write FORWARD?

After 18 months working to catalyze Buffalo’s Startup Community. My interactions with folks were feeling one-dimensional. People subconsciously labeled me as “startup guy”. I experienced this same phenomena after my Twelve Hours in a City project and my stint as a professional Photographer. FORWARD is the reassertion of the breadth of my humanity.

Americans bind their identity to their job title. My conversations with humans on other continents are much less likely to start with the phrase “What do you do?”. International small talk focuses on shared interests and activities. FORWARD encourages you to celebrate your idiosyncrasies. I want you to ask others about their interests outside of work.

Innovation often occurs by applying a known solution from one problem-domain to another. Curious people tend towards being Impactful People.

What’s your personal interest that you don’t often share with people? Hit reply and let me know!

With Kindness and Respect,


p.s. Thank you for reading FORWARD the newsletter for Curious and Impactful People.

✅Action Items:

🔲 Stop reading e-mail and call the oldest person you love.

🔲 Forward to a Friend

Did someone Forward you this e-mail?

You can subscribe here: http://www.clarkdever.com/forward

➡✉FORWARD: The Snappening

💎🤚Bad news folks!

You’re playing a game of chance using split-testing.

Half of you are about to get rickrolled and lose. The other half will survive to fight learn another day, rewarded for your curiosity. Zeno’s Dichotomy Paradox will continue weekly until a lone survivor is crowned.

If you win, you’ll have bragging rights or survivor’s guilt. You’ll be featured in a short bio in Forward (Let’s all pray that you’re as interesting as you are lucky). Last but not least, I’ll ship you an Infinity Gauntlet for your trophy case.


The only question that remains: Will you survive? *SNAP*

I Feel Lucky!

No purchase necessary, void where prohibited, must be subscribed before 9/28/2020 to participate.

🚀📅 Must Attend:

Buffalo Startup Week launched yesterday! This year’s conference hosts 30+ events featuring top talent from around the world. There are tracks on Startup 101, Game Development, Design, Legal, Finance, and Software Development. It’s a grassroots organized event, please use this click-to-tweet to help raise awareness on twitter 🐦📢.

❄💵 Must Watch:

I Was a Teenage Drug Lord Making Millions in NYC

The inspiration for Uber, DoorDash, GrubHub, and (Buffalo’s own) BraidBabes. The plot catalyst for Half-Baked (everyone’s favorite PSA about equine diabetes 🐴🍬). By the time he was 18 Coss was making 3 million a year via his revolutionary, tri-state drug delivery service. Presently, he’s building a fitness startup named CONBODY that’s raised >$250K in seed capital. I’ve been researching prison reform and entrepreneurship post-incarceration since attending TEDxAttica last year. This autobiographical oral history is worth the watch.

Reply if you’re curious about the visceral experience of being inside a maximum security facility. I’ll share what I learned from the impactful men who reside there.

🚂🎻 Must Listen:

Enjoy the raw emotion captured in this impromptu performance of Cold Beer by freighthopping Canadian🍁 crust punk Jesse Stewart. See if you can make to the end of the track without falling off the wagon 🍺.

If you enjoyed, toss him a few bucks for another Ice House 🤢 via:

Paypal: 2poor4soap@gmail.com


ETH: 0xe11742F9c07D82bc3A36d836CcA0e20045F6d085

That’s right, he has crypto addresses — bet you didn’t see that coming.

📖📈 Must Read:

1,000 True Fans

Kevin Kelly is an Optimistic Futurist. This article laid out the future business model of being a content creator in 2008. If you sell things, you should read it.

🥫🍲 Must Try:

Fall is in the air, that means canned soup for lunch! But, I hate struggling to free the gelatinous cylinder of soup. It really sours my appetite. Shake well and pat the bottom of your soup can to easily pour its well mixed contents into your bowl. I hope this makes your lunch just a little more enjoyable.

🤝Closing Thoughts:

Americans share more commonalities than differences. We should be working in solidarity to defend our democratic republic’s ideals. Politicians, the media, and algorithmic Filter Bubbles aren’t the only actors trying to polarize us. There are active psychological operations (psyops) targeting us (you and me). We lack a meaningful national dialog about influence operations, but you can help change that. Start with this video on how the KGB convinced American Media Companies to report that HIV/AIDS was an American made bioweapon targeted at our own citizens. Then get real curious and share your new found knowledge with your friends.

Commit to reaching out to your family (despite their latest Facebook post). Start a chat with your neighbors (despite their lawn signs). Building lines of communication is the first step toward deescalating extremist viewpoints. Violent extremism is driven by creating an “Us” and a “Them”. You defeat it by realigning people so they see each other as humans or part of a more inclusive version of “Us”. The best way to do that is to spend time together (shared experiences) or talking about your common ground. Humans are born without agenda. So that means Hate of another group is learned behavior. We can all learn acceptance as well.

With Kindness and Respect,


p.s. Thank you for reading FORWARD the newsletter for Curious and Impactful People.

Action Items:

If you learned something, please do one of the following:

Going to send a link from this newsletter to a friend?

Please Forward this email instead and tell them to subscribe here: https://www.clarkdever.com/forward

Reply with your favorite musical track that you think I’ve never heard before. If I use it in a future newsletter I’ll give you props!

Reply with one thing you would change going Forward