Zack Shapiro

Founder of Silencer

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The home screen is your digital living room

The home screen on your phone says a lot about you. What your values are. Your daily activities, rituals, and habits. It speaks to the space that you enjoy and need, relative to the rest of the world. Your home screen has a function as well as a style. It’s meant for you; it’s meant for showing off to others. In many ways, the home screen is your digital living room.

When I think back to the best living rooms, the ones I’ve spent to most time in, all of them combined the unique personality of the owner with a high degree of usefulness.

Proximity to other rooms was important but more importantly, it was about the space that the living room allowed for.

Recognize that the living room can be used as both a private (sharing intimate moments with a partner) and public (hosting parties with friends) space. Create living room spaces that foster comfort, relaxation, and refuge.


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6 months. 1 fear. Are you ready to lean in?

If you could overcome any fear that you have in the next six months? What would it be?

Think about it. Write it down.

It doesn’t have to be public. It can be big or small. But it should be real. It should come from the real, vulnerable you.

But write it down, stare at it.

Mine (now revised after some reflection), is losing the momentum for changes that I want to make in my life after The Bold Academy.

You can overcome any fear, whatever it may be, but to do that you need to do two things:

1) Pick date that you must smash that fear by (so six months from you reading these words).

2) Find someone to hold you accountable to overcoming your fear by that date.

The template above you can use for conquering just about any fear that you have. The following story is how we used this question and template on a random morning in San Francisco to bring joy and delight to hundreds of...

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Translating “I wish I could…” into actual results

I’ve started teaching myself how to design. It’s something that’s intimidated me for years because what comes out in Photoshop isn’t the same thing as what’s in my head. And that’s really frustrating!

Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still...

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Why Muting is the next big era of the Internet

I’ll be the first to say it, the Internet can be exhausting sometimes. Everyone has an opinion, status updates from some app just keep coming…or maybe a bunch of people you follow are at a conference this week and tweeting about #whatever. Ever look at one of your social feeds and think, “Is there any way to turn off all of this stuff about CES?” We’ve all been there.

I’ve lost track of how many sites are on the Internet or how quickly we can now create the same amount of data as we created between the beginning of letter writing and 1850.

When something big is going on in the news. I don’t think it’s wrong to say that you can get tired of hearing about it.

We need to be able to Mute the Internet.

So often we refer to Twitter, or news in general, as a “firehose,” Tweetbot gives you the luxury of turning the firehose down, if just a little bit.

With Tweetbot, you can mute users...

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