Building a digital garden: Slow Growth Lessons in a Hack-Assed World


Hatched by Glasp

Aug 19, 2023

3 min read


Building a digital garden: Slow Growth Lessons in a Hack-Assed World

In today's digital age, where information is constantly flowing and evolving, it can be challenging to find a space to store and develop deeper, long-term thinking. We have streams like Twitter for real-time updates and campfires like blogs for engaging with others, but what about gardens? Gardens are the spaces where we can store and nurture our ideas, allowing them to evolve over time. However, finding the right platform for this can be difficult.

Many people have gravitated towards platforms like, but for some, it just doesn't work. It's important to find a platform that suits your needs and allows you to cultivate your ideas effectively. Stock and flow are two important elements to consider when building a digital garden. Stock refers to durable content that remains interesting and relevant over time, while flow is the ongoing communication and engagement with your audience.

The key is to find a balance between the two. You want to maintain a constant flow of communication while also working on creating kick-ass stock in the background. This hybrid strategy allows you to build a strong foundation of content that will continue to attract and engage fans over time.

Creative research is all about collecting the dots. We can only hold a limited number of things in our brains at once, so having a space to collect and organize our ideas is crucial for thinking and creativity. Folders and files have been deemed the best tools for personal information management. However, other methods like search and tags have been suggested as well.

Interestingly, information scientists have found that these alternative methods work better for public information management than for personal information management. This raises the question of why this is the case and what makes folders and files the superior choice for personal information management.

In a fast-paced, hack-assed world, it's important to embrace slow growth lessons. Yelp, a local review site, took a slow growth path to success. They focused on building a strong community of dedicated users who would provide authentic and valuable reviews. This approach allowed them to avoid shortcuts and quick fixes that could compromise the authenticity of their brand.

So, what can we learn from Yelp's slow growth journey? Firstly, it's important not to settle for parity. In a competitive landscape, you need to find a way to stand out and offer something unique. Perpetual benchmarking is also key – constantly assessing the competition and finding ways to differentiate yourself.

Additionally, building a strong team is crucial. In-person interactions and collaboration are invaluable for fostering creativity and innovation. Taking little bets and experimenting in different cities or markets can help you refine your approach and find what works best for your brand.

Authenticity should be a top priority. Building a brand that is true to its values and resonates with its audience is essential for long-term success. Finally, it's important to remember that you can't growth hack community. Building a strong community takes time and dedication, and it cannot be achieved through shortcuts or manipulative tactics.

In conclusion, building a digital garden requires finding the right platform, balancing stock and flow, and embracing slow growth lessons. By following the actionable advice of not settling for parity, perpetual benchmarking, and prioritizing team collaboration, you can create a digital space that nurtures your ideas and fosters long-term success. So, take the time to cultivate your garden and watch it bloom.

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