2019-01-02 3 min read


It's a week for retrospectives.

I write to you from the Pacific northwest, where I'm both disconnected (my daughter is almost two, and interacting with her - both as a parent and as an observer - is just *such* a treat) and, if I'm being honest, a bit preoccupied. As usual I've got too much on my plate; if I owe you something, I apologize for my tardiness.

I want to start this week by recommending a few things I read this year that I find myself referencing again and again:

On my own output: Managing this newsletter took up more and more of my time this year, and much of the energy that I would otherwise have put into writing (which I did a little bit of - I wrote proper pieces on my personal blog eight times) went instead into streamlining The Prepared's operations (more on this next week, I hope) and managing its original content initiatives (which got a lot of love last week, thanks in part to Tyler Cowen, Patrick Collison, Alexis Madrigal, and many others). I also spent a considerable amount of time this year meeting *you.* Through the "coffee's on me" link at the bottom of the email I met or talked to 99 new people - almost two per week.

There are any number of things that didn't happen this year: Deadlines that were passed, targets missed, meetings that no-showed. Many of my own efforts have been inadequate; presumably I'll have chances to redeem myself.

Happy New Year, everyone!

The most clicked link in last week's issue (~7% of opens) was an update on HondaJet's tentative success.

Planning & Strategy.

Making & Manufacturing.

Maintenance, Repair & Operations.

  • Shellfish filter feed, removing toxins from the water and concentrating them in their shells. If you take those shells and abrade/grind/work with them, you can ingest some pretty nasty stuff.

Distribution & Logistics.

Inspection, Testing & Analysis.


A really delightful (if a little aloof) visit to a glitter factory.

Thanks as always to our recurring donors for supporting The Prepared. Thanks also to the following readers for sending links: Jordan, Andrew, Drew, Daniel, Kevin, Ed, Santosh.

Love, Spencer.

p.s. - We should be better friends. Send me a note - coffee's on me :)
p.p.s. - Whenever possible, we work to encourage inclusivity. Here's how.

Spencer Wright
Spencer Wright
Spencer Wright is the (mostly accidental) founder of Scope of Work, which he started writing (as The Prepared) in 2013. Today he serves as its editor-in-chief and chief dilettante.
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