Update #6: The present reality and the future vision

Friday, September 11th, 2020

Shane here again.

As part of the “build in public” model, I promise to send a Friday note to everyone who signs up for the Magnificent Irrelevance email list.

This Week: Figuring out how best to put these few hours to good use

It would be easier not to do this.

Easier to stop. Easier to not start. Easier to give up.

But when that happens, when you find your way into that massive messy middle ground between The Idea and The Vision Becomes Real, it’s important to figure out the stuff that’s important and the stuff that’s not.

And there is loads of stuff that’s not important, not important at all.

In the context of this journey to building whatever Magnificent Irrelevance might become, here’s some stuff that right now is not important at all:

  • The start of the Premier League this weekend
  • The size of the exit clause in Leo Messi’s contract
  • Novak Djokovic and the Professional Tennis Players Association

And here are a few things that are important:

  • Each half hour spent with the latest instalment of “Where is George Gibney?”, the new investigative podcast from Second Captains and the BBC (and the voices of so many people, suddenly given airtime and attention 20 or 30 or 40 years after the fact)
  • How it’s happened that two Slovenians are dominating the Tour de France (and doing so with sportsmanship and friendship)
  • The lessons learned from paying attention to Tom Brady, who this weekend starts his 21st NFL game, and first since leaving Boston for Tampa Bay. I was familiar with Brady the Athlete long before I was familiar with Brady the Person. The “Tom vs Time” documentary a couple of years back showed a side of him I hadn’t been aware of, and a new interview this week, on the Armchair Expert podcast, underlined it again.

There is a lot of noise out there. Noise about stuff that doesn’t matter.

The business models of many organisations depend, in some way, on noise. Create a din, and somehow some of the noise will register. Throw enough mud against the wall and some of it will stick. We don’t know what will stick, but we know it’s a numbers game. If we throw a hundred darts, chances are at least one of them will hit the bullseye.

Magnificent Irrelevance is, at least in part, about separating signal from noise.

It is about finding real, human story amid all the empty hype and commerce.

And it’s about allowing the time and space for those stories to be told, and about bringing those stories to people who want to read them.

Because great stories well told can change lives.

Where this is (a website created to tell a little context and invite people to add their names to an email list) and what the vision is (a publication bringing one carefully constructed, heartfelt, soul-searching piece of writing each week, from some of the greatest writers in the world, with sport either centrally or tangentially involved) are miles apart.

But checking in with the vision when the reality feels like tiny steps forward or sideways or occasionally backwards is important.

The thing about the noise is that it’s noisy. It’s hard to ignore noisy, especially when we know there’s signal somewhere in there.

A slow week with slow progress. But slow progress is still progress.

Pre-Launch Email List Sign-up Update

Here’s the numbers update.

Over the past week there have been 22 visits to the website, with one recorded sign-up.

That’s all for this Magnificent Irrelevance build in public weekly update.

If you’d like to receive these updates each Friday by email, make sure to sign up here.

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