Every successful design is just the latest iteration in a series of failures.

– Khoi Vinh


Artwork by Guillaume Kurkdjian

Dense Discovery
Dense Discovery

I've been thinking about ways to promote Dense Discovery to grow its audience, but as always my aversion to marketing and selling my own work is getting in the way. So I'm doing the lazy thing by asking you: if you were running a newsletter like DD and had a very limited budget, how would you go about finding more thoughtful readers like yourself in a tasteful way? Have you had good experiences with a particular campaign?

(I should say that I won't consider pay-per-click campaigns on social media because I don't believe we should reward those platforms for what they're doing.)

Please reply with your thoughts. As usual, I read every email and will respond to those requiring an answer. Thank you! 🙂 – Kai


Next-Generation CRM


Gmelius  →

Lightweight CRM & Shared Inbox for Gmail

Already trusted by more than 150,000 professionals, Gmelius offers a unique and complete toolset that lets you automate your outreach, collaborate with your team, and manage your support right from your inbox. DD readers get 50% off our Business Plan for the first year!


Apps & Sites

Hello →

Instant video chat

Hello is a browser-based video chat app that as soon as you visit the homepage (and give permission to access the camera) throws you into a chat room with a shareable URL.

Done →

A simple habit tracker

Done encourages you to create healthy routines by “helping you set goals, tracking your progress, and then motivating you with streaks/chains, all in a simple, clean package.”

FontBase →

A new, free font manager

FontBase is a cross-platform font manager with some impressive features, including built-in Google and Adobe Creative Cloud fonts support, fast search, CSS-styling previews, and much more.

Refined Twitter →

Simplify your Twitter experience

Refined Twitter is a browser extension that allows you to customise your Twitter UX and does things like hiding promoted tweets, displaying Instagram photos in-stream, and much more.


Changing the World (Really)


Started by two Oxford graduates trying to figure out what to do with their own careers, 80000hours.org is a research-based non-profit with the goal of providing career advice for people who want to make a social impact. It's a huge and growing resource answering questions like:

What makes for a dream job?
How to make a difference in any job.
What are the world‘s most pressing problems?
Which jobs help people the most?


Goods & Accessories


The Herston →

Self-balancing desk lamp

“Intelligently engineered using a counter-balance mechanism, the lamp can be adjusted to any position in one simple, smooth action. The leaf-shaped cast-iron weights keep it balanced whatever the position.”


Nimble →

A more sustainable USB battery

Can battery packs be environmentally friendly? Nimble, a B-Corp, is trying an alternative approach with more transparency in their choice of suppliers, using the least harmful materials and eco-friendly packaging. They also include an e-waste recycling bag in every order, so you can dispose of your e-junk ‘responsibly’.


Overheard on Twitter

Worst trend of 2018: cancelling people for a single statement. Reducing a human to their worst thought. Ignoring millions of other thoughts inside that city of a mind to annihilate them for one you disagree with. This rate, we'll end up with no-one to like but ourselves.



Food For Thought

The Most Important Survival Skill for the Next 50 Years Isn’t What You Think →


If you haven't read Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari yet, you definitely should. In this brief interview, the author outlines some of this thoughts about the presence and the future, and how you can help prepare yourself for the technological changes to come.

Farai Madzima on Bias in Multicultural Teams →


An extremely informative and well-researched talk about cultural bias at work: Farai delves into what it is and explores why people from certain parts of the world are more likely to have certain biases - making the point that diverse perspectives come with whole people who have whole cultural backgrounds and experiences.

There May Soon Be Three Internets →


With the EU enforcing progressive (?) privacy legislation and punishing anti-competitive behaviour, and China creating its own digital surveillance state, we're heading towards a future with three different types of internet.

The undertakers of Silicon Valley: how failure became big business →


An interesting read about a company that's picking up the pieces of failed Silicon Valley startups. “Silicon Valley thinks it has failure figured out. Even beyond the cliched embrace of ‘failing better’, a tolerance for things not going quite right is baked into the tech industry.”


Aesthetically Pleasing


Stunning nature photography by Nicholas Steinberg.


Quincy's rounded letterforms make it a really friendly and welcoming serif font.


HR software company Gusto is headquartered in a huge industrial building in San Francisco.


Print publication Migrant Journal is a six-part exploration of migration in all its forms. It's absolutely georgeous. (Migrant website)



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2018 hustlers gotta write, whether you like it or not. Get brief notes on writing words you (& your clients) love & why it matters from Kindred Word Studio. Subscribe today!

Curso Online de Branding Estratégico - Aprende a crear una marca diferente y una identidad visual con estilo propio para destacar en el mercado. Video-curso 100% online.

Trying to find thoughtful, tech-savvy beta testers for your project? Book a classified ad right here in Dense Discovery for just $49.

Classifieds are paid ads that support DD. Use them to promote your project, advertise a job opening, find beta testers, etc. Book yours →


The Week in a GIF


Email us the URL to your favourite GIF and we might feature it here in a future issue.

[email protected]


♥︎ Thanks to Gmelius for sponsoring this issue! ♥︎