Learning with Max Nussenbaum - Writer and Product Manager at On Deck 💎
"Navigating in a hyper growth company, you constantly have to change"
Hi there 😊,
Episode #38. This week we go back to an interview format. We are thrilled to have with us the amazing Max Nussenbaum, author of the newsletter My Super Secret Diary and Product Manager at On Deck. He shares with us his favorite books, podcasts, and main inspirations. You may know On Deck, a US startup company specializing in cohort-based learning. In brief, they help people start companies, find their next role, and invest in their careers. The few of us who have had the opportunity to meet with Max do know how special he is, either being an outstanding remote entertainer or as an inspiring newsletter writer My Super Secret Diary.
What motivated you to write your newsletter My Super Secret Diary? 📝
It was a case of eating my own dog food: I couldn’t be credible as the Writer Fellowship Program Director if I wasn’t also writing and publishing regularly online! I’ve been a writer on and off my whole life but hadn’t ever put stuff out there on such a consistent, regular cadence. Making a public commitment to writing something every week helps keep me accountable: the embarrassment of potentially missing a very public deadline is very motivating.
Who are your major sources of inspiration? 🤔
I read super widely so it’s hard to keep this list small, but here are a few of the newsletters I’m loving these days:
Money Stuff by Matt Levine. He does a great job concisely—and hilariously—explaining finance, an often-boring topic.
Maybe Baby by Haley Nahman. The author calls it a newsletter about “hard-to-describe feelings,” which I think is pretty accurate.
Stephen Elliott’s Self-Help Newsletter. This one’s ostensibly about real estate investing advice for authors and other creative people, but it’s absolutely all over the place—the pleasure is that you never have any idea where it’s going next. My favorite newsletter right now.
How do you keep learning on a daily basis? What are your learning routines?📆
I don’t really consciously try to learn new things, but I think if you read constantly and surround yourself with interesting people, you’ll inevitably end up learning a ton.
What are your favorite books and why?📚
What is your favorite podcast and why? 🎧
I always have such a hard time picking favorites, so I’ll give two shoutouts:
How Did You Learn That by Andrew Barry, Program Director for the On Deck Course Creator Fellowship
It’s Gotta Be the Mic by ODW1 alums Nate Kadlac and Reza Saeedi
(Coincidentally, I did just happen to be a recent guest on both of those podcasts, but I promise that’s not the only reason I’m recommending them!)
How do you remember what you learn?🎯
I’m not sure I do! My assumption is that I only remember ~5% of what I learn, but if I’m constantly learning, even 5% should be pretty good.
What would you tell the 18-year-old version of yourself?🤫
It doesn’t matter, because the 18-year-old version of me definitely wouldn’t listen.
What is the most important thing you learned over the last 12 months?😍
I recently read Attached, about attachment theory, and it completely changed my perspective on relationships. If I had read this book ten years ago, my whole life would have been different!
What is the biggest challenge you had to overcome this year?📈
Navigating a hypergrowth company. I joined On Deck as the 13th employee and now we’re pushing past 100. Things are constantly changing, so you have to constantly change too.
If you were to stay alone on an island and could only bring one item, what would it be?🔫
Probably a loaded gun or some other method of committing suicide—life isn’t worth living if you’re completely isolated from all other people. Sorry for the dark answer!
See you next Sunday!