Yaks Do Innovation Consulting

Plus: A Recap of Yak's Output So Far, What We're Reading, and a Call for Contributors to the Next Round of Yak Projects

“The Dog Daies”

It’s been a relatively quiet week at Yak as we lope into the Dog Days of Summer: Pandemic Edition.

Historically, the “dog daies”, as medieval scribes called them, begin on July 3rd, and coincide with the time of the year when the Sirius star system appears to come closest to the sun. The name Sirius comes from Homeric Greek, referring to "Orion's dog".

To the ancient eye, this seemed to be the reason summer was the hottest at this period: the brightest star in the night sky at it’s closest point to the sun, augmenting the power(read: the heat)of the sun. In fact, Sirius is 8.7 light years away.

For this reason, the dog days of summer have historically been regarded as an apocalyptic and unlucky time of the year.

"Dog Days [were] an evil time; the Sea boiled, the Wine turned sour, Dogs grew mad, and all other creatures became languid; causing to man, among other diseases, burning fevers, hysterics, and phrensies."

- John Brady, 1813: Clavis calendaria; or, A compendious analysis of the calendar, illustrated with ecclesiastical, historical, and classical anecdotes.

Since forming in March of this year, the Yak Collective has been chugging along, completing two project cycles in a span of four months, as well as completing its first paid project for a client, involving nearly 20 Yak contributors.

As the collective matures(and as we go deeper into the hottest season of the year), we recognize the need to focus on the quality of projects over the speed at which they are completed, to ensure that all Yak projects are of a high caliber.

That said, we are on the cusp of beginning our third round of projects, and releasing a collection of essays focusing on the problems executives face in adopting innovation.

As they say, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Yaks Do Innovation Consulting

Currently, David McDougall and Vaughn Tan are leading a to-be-published essay collection at Yak Collective that addresses challenges regarding why corporate executives often fail to foster and implement innovation at their own companies.

The project is currently seeking contributors for the second phase of the project, which is a collection of “solution essays”, in response to the first round of “problem essays”.

The essay collection tentatively will be released in late Summer 2020.

If you’re interested in contributing writing, editing, marketing, or project management to the project, join Yak Collective via this short sign-up form, or respond in the comments.

What We’re Reading

Vaughn Tan continues his exploration of Uncertainty in his newsletter The Uncertainty Mindset, and asks:

Why do we find it so difficult to recognize a situation of tremendous uncertainty even when, as now, it has come up and essentially punched us in the collective face?

Anne-Laure Le Cunff published an excellent piece this week interviewing Alyssa X, an “incredibly talented designer, full-stack developer, and entrepreneur”, which only begins to do her output and abilities justice. She’s also 19, and won Maker magazine’s “Woman Maker of the Year” award in 2018.

Ben Thompson published this excellent post deconstructing dynamic and productive tensions between the Apple and Facebook ecosystems.

Call for Project Contributors for Yak Project Proposals

Yak Collective is seeking project contributors for it’s latest round of project proposals. This will be the second round of project proposals since forming in March of this year.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • There are four projects, and each has 2 proposers and 2 referees.

  • Each also is trying to level up previous projects in one way or another, so this third round should hopefully be an overall level-up.

  • You have until midnight, Sunday July 5th to express interest.

  • All projects that get at least 8 expressions of interest in participating will be greenlit (though 3 of them can handle more participants).

You can access the form to review the projects and express your interest in one or more of them via the button below.

View Projects and Sign Up

Useful Links

Apply to become a Yak here

Interested in hiring the Yak Collective? Send a message to vgr@ribbonfarm.com.

This newsletter authored by Alex Wagner, with feedback from Grigori Milov, David McDougall, and Will Schutze.