7 Insights From Reading How The Internet Happened by Brian McCullough

Why Read This Book?

First, Crypto Mania. Is bitcoin a bubble or truly a revolution? Have all the blockchain opportunities been exploited or are we still early to the party?

To answer this question, I decided to study the history of the internet. It’s the closest situation we have for comparison’s sake.

Second, General Interest. I’m passionate about technology. Learning the history of any subject typically proves to be useful and enjoyable.

* all quotes are from How The Internet Happened by Brian McCullough

The Takeaways

1) User Interface as a Barrier To Adoption

Widespread adoption of the internet did not occur until it was user-friendly.

The Internet, in short, needed its own GUI…

Fun Times With Fun Side Effects

But First, The Side Effect Mentality

Process-oriented living is massively under-appreciated.

Alabama football coach Nick Saban’s coaching philosophy epitomizes this idea.

Nick Saban doesn’t focus on winning games, he focuses on executing every single play. If he does that, he will probably win the game. His results, 7 national championships, speak for themselves.

Cookies, Guts, Independent Thinking, Consistency, and Small Bets

Last year, to preemptively manage the inevitable coming of age shenanigans of a soon-to-be 21-year-old, I wrote myself 21 rules to stay on track and avoid the downsides of too much debauchery.

Largely successful in adhering to my own advice, I picked up six additional life lessons since last year. Enjoy!

Six Things I Learned Since My Last Birthday

1) Give More Credit To Intuition

“Your mistakes normally come when you’re listening more on the outside than you’re listening more on the inside. Your correct decisions come more when you’re listening more on the inside than when you’re listening more on the outside.” — Joe Wehbe on The Louis & Kyle Show

This year…

A Simple Technique To Manage Your Emotions

Certain problems are easy to solve.

If you are thirsty, you take a drink. If you are hungry, you grab some beef liver (or at least I do).

By now, most of us have learned how to handle these common biological signals. But what about some more complicated ones.

What do you do when you are bored? Unmotivated? Burning out? How well do you handle these emotions and triggers?

Just like keeping NyQuil on hand in case you catch a cold, I propose proactively setting aside helpful resources for the major negative emotional states that inevitably crop up.

I call…

A Dead Simple Tip For Looking Smart & Funny By Winning Predictable Moments

You are wasting frequent opportunities to look smarter, wittier, and more confident.

Where are these charisma freebies hiding? As is too often the case, the answer lies in plain sight.

Brief intro: I’m Louis and I love learning. I finished my bachelor’s in Computer Science 16 days ago, and I’ve already started my next degree.

With my STEM foundation firmly established, I’m focusing on “soft skills” to counterbalance years of conditioning from spending too much time with introverts.

To do this, I’m going all-in on a self-designed program: a Ph.D. in schmoozing.

This past weekend, while conducting research for this…

The self-improvement habit you should do more often

Without hesitation, daily journaling is my go-to self-improvement recommendation.

I define journaling as a solo dialogue where you deliberately ask and answer questions.

What does that look like?

Tony Robbins is credited with saying that “the quality of your questions determines the quality of your life.”

Journaling with quality questions will uncover good ideas and expose areas for improvement.

Here’s an example:

If you can do the 75HARD, you can do anything.

You are capable of achieving much more than you think.

You aren’t held back by a fundamental shortcoming or genetic inadequacy. You have not been taught the art of execution. You could do more, but you do not know how.

This is why I am deeply passionate about the 75HARD. The 75HARD teaches the art of execution — the art of winning the war with yourself. Once completed, the 75HARD framework can be applied to achieve any goal.

You can do more than you think you can. You just need the framework.

The 75HARD is a mental toughness challenge that demands flawless execution of 6 tasks every day for 75DAYS.

  1. Drink a gallon of water 💧
  2. Take a progress picture 📷
  3. Read 10 pages…

One simple step to reclaim your humanity

When you are out and about, keep your head up. Look around.

Try it everywhere you go. You’ll notice the same thing.

Everyone else is a zombie.

Their faces are smothered by screens. Their ears are plugged, covered, or closed. The sounds of nature are overpowered by numbing entertainment of their choosing.

They are held hostage by their custom virtual universes.

They are all zombies. All of them.

All of them, except you. Keep your head up. Look around. Choose to see the world. Remember how to experience it. Allow thoughts to wander.

Observe as the zombies passively go about…

7 Better Things To Do Instead

Graduating So Soon?

As an aspiring entrepreneur about to graduate college, the natural next step would be to start my own company, right?

Despite the simplicity and romanticism of that path, I’ve come to the conclusion it’s actually a bad idea for four reasons.

  1. A solution in search of a problem: If you start a company for the sake of starting one, more than likely you’ll end up creating what you want to create — not what the market wants (and is willing to pay for).
  2. Short Runways: Fresh out of school, you presumably don’t have baskets of cash. …

Advice I’m Proud That I Ignored

I got laughed at for starting a podcast at the beginning of the pandemic.

Launching a podcast in the midst of COVID was so popular it became a meme in and of itself. Did the world need another 21-year old with a microphone?

Despite everyone telling me how crowded the medium was, I decided to give audio a shot.

This week marked one full year since releasing the first episode of The Louis and Kyle Show. We didn’t miss a week. Not even one.

This short post reflects on some wins, losses, lessons, and areas for improvement from a year…

Louis Shulman

Insatiably Curious | Compute Science at The University of Alabama

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