Thoughts
January 4, 2023

A few things I'm curious about in 2023

At the beginning of last year, instead of a resolution, I wrote a list of things I was curious to explore more in 2022. I did so-so.

  • Delight: I enjoyed plenty of delightful things, but this interest pivoted a bit into simplicity – which ultimately turned into a book. Not bad!  
  • Jellyfish: Well, I bought a book about them but didn't read it yet. And I went to an aquarium, I guess. Not so good.  
  • Creative Writing: I definitely wrote more in 2022 than in any prior year, though it was mostly still in service of the book or blogs. There are certainly storytelling aspects to this though, so also not bad!  
  • Plant Identification: Got a guidebook on American trees that I flipped through a few times, and went on some hikes with more intention. And anybody I spent time with this summer heard me gripe about the devilish Emerald Ash Borer that's wreaking havoc on our area. So, decent.  
  • E-commerce: I started a really fun project in this space that I'm looking forward to picking back up now that the manuscript is done. One of the better ones!  
  • Carbon Capture: Beyond watching a couple YouTube videos, not my best work.  

Overall, I'd give myself a C+/B- on these topics. I could have checked in a few more times on them, but the point was for this to be a more casual expression of interest than a homework assignment. That being said, here are a few of the new things I'm curious about in 2023:  

AI  

This might be a cliche given how much commotion there is around the generative AI space in the past few months, but I believe the stuff happening in this sector is more useful and more interesting than crypto/web3 ever was. The technology, and what it enables, is fascinating, but the cultural and political issues that arise from it are also likely to be defining issues of this decade.  

Baseball  

There was a period of my childhood when I exclusively wore Yankees attire. Somebody recently asked what my favorite year was, and I answered 1998 because of that legendary Yankees squad. As I've gotten older, I've still always been a fan – but I've frankly had less time to pay attention to the sport. Watching Aaron Judge do his thing last season re-ignited that love, and I'm excited to see this team make another run at it this summer.  

Kayaking  

Over the years I've paddled on fun little day trips on the East River, or out on Long Island, and have always enjoyed it. My wife and I bought a pair of foldable Oru kayaks this past summer, and we had so much fun using them on the neighboring reservoir upstate that I want to find more places to explore this year.  

Podcasts  

I've listened to thousands of podcasts, and I technically even had one during the iPod era when I hosted a radio show in college. I don't have any immediate plans on starting my own, but I hope to find myself on more of them as the book launch comes up. I'm also curious about the modern business model of the platform, inspired by a few recent pieces.  

NASA's Artemis Missions  

When Artemis I launched in November, I was surprised by how much this mission captivated me. For the first time in my life, there was a ship designed for humans (though empty) on its way to the moon. For several weeks, it blew my mind to look up at night and think that there was this little tin can floating way out there in the darkness. While the next mission isn't until 2024, I'm looking forward to following along more closely in the lead-up.  

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Like last time, some of these are professional and some are personal. Some are big and some are small. Either way, I'm excited for a new year. Remember, only boring people are bored.

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About the Author

Ben Guttmann ran a marketing agency for a long time, now he teaches digital marketing at Baruch College, has a book coming out in 2023, and works with some cool folks on other projects in-between all of that. He writes about writes about how we experience a world shaped by technology and humanity – and how we can build a better one.

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