Adrien Book : The Beautiful Humans Of Hacker Noon (Noonies Winner for Best AI Writer, 2019)
mother of unicorns. not a hacker. social distancing since 2018.
The Backstory about the Internet’s most community-focused awards:
The Noonies was conceptualized in early 2019, mostly as a ploy to distract readers from how many things were wrong with Hacker Noon when we first moved off Medium in July 2019.
It did such a great job at generating a tonne of positive social mentions at a time we should’ve been 100% bombing it online, that we decided to make it an annual thing.
We had a wonderful time reading through our little Q&A sesh with Adrien Book
(If you ask me, with this surname, our beautiful human is destined for literary greatness, don’t you think?) He’s known for his work as a management and strategy consultant, and has a pretty impressive website too! Read on to get to know him better.How did you feel when you were nominated (... and won!) the category for AI Writer of the Year ?
At first... surprised. I didn't know "The Noonies" were a thing, and have always been wary of popular votes (for a variety
). I hadn't been writing for very long either, and couldn't understand why anyone would want to read everything I write (that impostor syndrome has since somewhat faded).
Obviously very happy I won; I don't include it in my CV by I did update my Twitter bio after the fact, so... yay ?
What is one mistake you’ve made as a writer?
Oh boy, so many mistakes. I started writing because I had too much random data floating around my brain and needed a place to organise this unedited stream of consciousness. I first created a newsletter to share these various hot takes on politics and technology.
Except that I hadn't thought it through : how do people know about the newsletter if I don't have a platform or an established reader base ?
It took me a year to realise this... This led me to create a profile on Medium, then on Hacker Noon. I have since launched my own website : thepourquoipas.com
, named after the newsletter I started 4 years ago. Build it and they will come does not exist online : it's a mistake not to constantly work on marketing and remarketing one's work to appeal one's target audience.
What is your real job?
These can be organisational transformations, but is often due to legal or technological changes in the market, hence the need to stay very, very up to date. And the need to write to get that knowledge out there.
How do you keep up on your tech industry’s latest developments?
I listen to about half a dozen podcasts, read a lot of newsletters, as well as books and scientific articles. Because they are done by people much smarter than I am and worthy of clicks, I'll outline the best ones below:
And so, so much more. Compounding is one of the most powerful forces in the universe : Reading all this for a few weeks won't change your life by much (in fact, it'll be a pain), but compounding the knowledge gained through daily brain-cramming over many years can yield staggering results. Problem is... you gotta do it every day
I purposefuly avoid the overly specific tech matters. API, Python and Blockchain aren't my jam as they're just tools yielded by expert crafts-people in the service of an overall strategy/ corporate ideology.
I'm more comfortable with opinion pieces about business
, as they allow me to confront my ideas with those of people a world away, both theoretically and literally.
What was the last book you read and was it any good?
‘The Innovator's Dilemma: when new technologies cause great firms to fail’, a 1997 book by Clayton Christensen, whom we sadly lost this January.
It's a fantastic look at the unexpected effects of innovation on companies and their industries. I'm not entirely sure how his writting was relevant in the late 90s, but it is VERY relevant today (which I guess is an example of his genius). Honestly, all his books are worth a read.
How many articles did you write last year?
I wrote 11 articles last year (and wrote 9 so far this year). This could be considered a small amount (and it is), but I like to do a huge amount of research before I write anything, which takes time, a lot of time. I also easily work more than 60 hours a week, and writting often takes the back-seat to providing for myself and my family. Pay writers more y'all (and check out my OnlyFans).
Do you have a writing process? Please share details.
I save every interesting thing I read in Pocket and categorize in according to a specific topic I'd like to write about one day. When that day comes, I'll write down an article plan (Introduction, Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis, conclusion) to avoid being overly influenced by what others have to say on the subject.
I'll then read everything I can get my hands on while noting what this makes me think about.
The idea is not to copy what has already been said but to go one step further to ensure that everything written on the article adds to the conversation in a significant way. I generally have more than 6 or 7 articles ongoing at any point in time, which helps to not get bored.
If you could vote for your favourite Hacker Noon feature, what would it be?
I like the stats dashboard. It shows that, on aggregate, people have spent more than one month reading my articles
. I've wasted a month of humanity's time all by myself. pretty nifty, right ?
What’s your biggest vice?
I mean... I'm assuming this interview is PG-13 ? So I'll go straight to my 4th or 5th biggest vice : PokemonGo and Reddit. I spend way too much of my time on both. However, the wise man says, "Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time".
Would you like to share more on what you are working on right now?
I have several drafts in the work. One is "Tech’s “Next Big Thing” : 20 innovations to know about", which will be published on HoneyPot.io on the 20th of July, which is fairly exciting.
Two others are "Business Model Innovation : Change drivers for 2021" and "3 Quick lessons for AI transformation". You will be able to find them on Hackernoon, and on my website
What is one thing you’d wish to change about yourself?
My total lack of superpowers. I think if I could overcome that barrier my life would improve drastically.
Is there anything else you wish the readers to know about you?
As technology affects each and everyone one of us, I believe that making the discourse surrounding it accessible to all is paramount. Including as many stakeholders as possible to the discussion is key to making technology work for everyone. Hence The Pourquoi Pas' tagline : Tech made Easy.
To this effect, you will find within the site a plethora of content :
Where are you living at right now? Paris, France. Bet you couldn't tell English isn't my mother tongue.
What is your favourite breakfast meal? English Breakfast, in the South-west of England. They don't do it right elsewhere.
Favorite color? I'm an adult, I don't have a favourite colour.
Favorite song at the moment?
Слэмятся пацаны by Little Big & Руки Вверх. It slaps and so does the music video
Favorite podcast? Pivot, hosted by Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway.
Favourite tech app you use daily? I have no idea what a "tech app" is. But I love Fishbowl, which is a social network specifically for consultants (degenerates, the whole lot of them).
A tool you can’t live without? My stove. I wouldn't be able to cook my food without it.
What would Hacker Noon be without writers? The Noonies 2020 Awards are here, and open for nominations right now! Sooooo... if you have enjoyed articles from these writers in the past, don’t forget to make your vote count on 13th August.
For now what you can do is to submit a nomination for the best AI writer here
, the best cybersecurity writer here
, the writers who help us with job opportunities, here
. We also have a special award for new Writers, nominate them here
Once again, we convey special thanks to our last year’s winner, AI Writer of the Year, Adrien Book!
The 2020 #Noonies are made possible by Amplify Brokerage, a firm launched from the belief that cryptocurrency trading platforms in the market today are taking advantage of traders. Putting people before profits is the ethos of Amplify; and their traders are at the heart of every decision they make. Check out what they have to offer: https://bit.ly/2O9xrzJ
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