8th Layer Insights 9.20.22
Ep 24 | 9.20.22

The Secrets to Consistently Creating Great Content


Perry Carpenter: Hi. I'm Perry Carpenter, and you're listening to "8th Layer Insights." Today's show is going to be a little bit different than any other episode that I've done before. There is no interview today. There's not a lot of funny skits going on or anything like that. This is going to be an episode that is based on a presentation that I gave at the SANS Security Awareness Summit a few months ago. And at that summit, what I talked about were seven tips that I use to keep me motivated and to keep me going whenever it comes to this thing that we call content generation. And so I'm going to share those seven things with you. But before we get there, let me set the stage.

Perry Carpenter: A little while back, I saw a YouTube video that really stuck with me. This person was talking about the way that they view storytelling and they were actually very, very negative about it. The context that I first heard this in was somebody talking about the backlash against all of the people that call themselves storytellers. And this stayed with me because on one hand, it seems to make a really good point. On the other hand, it feels shortsighted. So I'm going to play you the audio of that right now, and then I'll come back on the other side and we'll debrief a little bit. 


Stefan Sagmeister: OK. Hi. My name is Stefan Sagmeister. I am a Austrian graphic designer who lives and works in New York City. Well, I'm actually quite critical of the storytelling theme. I think that the - all the storytellers are not storytellers. Like recently, I read an interview with somebody who designs roller coasters, and he referred to himself as a storyteller. No, f**khead you are not a storyteller. You're a roller coaster designer, and that's fantastic and more power to you. But why would you want to be a storyteller if you're designing roller coasters, or if you are storytelling, then the story that you tell is bull***t? It's like this little, itsy-bitsy little thing. Yes, you go through the space and, yes, you see other spaceships and yes - that's your story? That's a f**king bull***t story. That's boring. 

Stefan Sagmeister: People who actually tell stories, meaning people who write novels and make feature films, don't see themselves as storytellers. It's all the people who are not storytellers who kind of, for strange reasons because it's in the air, suddenly now want to be storytellers. There is this fallacy out there. I mean, I don't think that I fell in - fell for it, but somehow, maybe unconsciously, I did. You know, that you sort of feel - I've seen a lot of films, so I must be able to do one. And of course, this is the most stupidest thought ever. You know, it's like, oh, I've watched the Philharmonic. That's why I am a virtuoso violin player, you know? Well, I'm not, even though I've watched a lot of Philharmonic concerts. I think by now, in our space, meaning in the space of design, it sort of took on the mantle of bullsh*t. You know, now everybody's a storyteller. 

Perry Carpenter: OK. So quite an opinion, right? I'll put the link in the show notes so that you can view that natively and hear it without the bleeping and everything else if you want to because it is a tour de force of the use of language. But as we think about the point that was being made, I understand where he's coming from. There is a frustration when everybody is saying, I have a story to tell and I have a story to tell and I have a story to tell. And on the face of it, what he's talking about, especially when it comes to that roller coaster designer, that makes sense. There can be a very, very small story about this roller coaster and the hills that it goes up and the dips that it goes down and the loops and everything else. And on its face, that is not a great story. But again, I think that's a shortsighted way of looking at it. 

Perry Carpenter: If I was the roller coaster designer, what I'm probably talking about isn't just the roller coaster itself. It is the entire experience associated with it. It is the theme park that decided that it needed this roller coaster and why. It is the experience of, let's say, a father and a daughter walking through the theme park and seeing the roller coaster, and maybe one of them being a little bit afraid to get on it. The other one talks them into it. 

Unidentified Child: Come on. 

Perry Carpenter: They go through, they hand their ticket or they stand in line and swipe their pass and they sit down, they get strapped in, and then the coaster starts to get pulled up the sharp incline of the first hill. 

Perry Carpenter: And then there's all the different plunges and the ways that it goes around the curves and everything else, and at the same time that it's doing all of that, they are looking at each other and they are enjoying their time together. 

Perry Carpenter: And then as they get off, each of them knows that this is a day. This is a time. This is an experience they will both carry with them for the rest of their lives. Because the story isn't the roller coaster. The story is the reason that the roller coaster exists and the experiences that it enables, the relationships that it impacts and the stories that those people tell. And as that father and daughter walk away, you can almost see them each grab each other's hand. And then the little girl turns to say... 

Unidentified Child: I love you. 

Perry Carpenter: ...I love you, daddy. That's a story. That is what each of us can do because each of us has a role in the grander story of life, in the grander story of business or security or content creation or whatever it is that we do. Each of us has a story that is part of a much larger story, and our job as people who are trying to create content, people who are trying to get our messages out in the world is to figure out what the story is, what the most impactful throughline of that is and then how to tell it. What is the most effective way to get that out? And so that's what today's episode is about. It's going to be me providing just a few tips about how I approach content creation, the mindset that I try to adopt, the standards that I set for myself and the way that I view what success looks like. So if that sounds interesting, stay with us. 

Perry Carpenter: Welcome to "8th Layer Insights." This podcast is a multi-disciplinary exploration into the complexities of human nature and how those complexities impact everything, from why we think the things that we think to why we do the things that we do, and how we can all make better decisions every day. This is "8th Layer Insights," Season Three, Episode Four. I'm Perry Carpenter. 

Perry Carpenter: Welcome back. So as we get into this, there are a couple of concepts that I want to provide right before we get into these seven tips that I have. And the first one is something that you may have heard of before, and I want to use this as a jumping-off point into another concept. If you've been following software development or project management for a while, you may have heard of this thing called the iron triangle. And you might not know that term. You might not know that name for it. But you've probably seen the concept. And so if you imagine in your mind a triangle - and I'll put a link to this in the show notes as well. But imagine a triangle. And on one side you have cheap. On the other side, you have good. And on the third side, you have fast. And the idea with the iron triangle is when it comes to any project or any software development effort, you can only have two of those three. You can't have something that is fast, cheap and good. You have to sacrifice one of those. If you want something that's fast and good, you're going to pay a lot for it. And if you want something that is good and inexpensive, it's going to take a lot of time. And if you have fast and cheap, you're sacrificing quality. So you get the idea. You can only have two of these three things at the same time. You're always sacrificing one so that you can achieve the others. 

Perry Carpenter: Now, when it comes to content creation, I think there's another triangle that comes into play. And this is an idea I've been playing around with for a while, so it's not fully formed yet. But I think the content creation triangle has three sides, and the more of these that you have, the more attention somebody is going to pay, the more they're going to get out of this. So on one side of the triangle, you have excellent production. That means the sound is good. The picture is good. If it's in print, the layout looks appealing. You get the idea. It means that there's nothing wrong with the perceived quality of the thing that you've delivered - 'cause everybody's seen bad videos. Everybody's seen bad layouts. Everybody's heard a podcast that had horrible audio. And that production element is something that you pay attention to. If it's not good, you immediately start to look for reasons to bail out. On the second side of the triangle, you have engaging presentation, or you have the concept of engagement. How well does this engage the person that is consuming the content? How is it drawing them in? What is it doing to keep their attention? And the third side of the triangle is the relevance of the content. Is this a relevant, audience-centric topic? 

Perry Carpenter: And so what you can start to see is how these are additive. If I've got something that's relevant, but the production is not good, and it's not very engaging, I'm going to have a hard time getting people to pay attention to that. The other thing when it comes to relevance is you have real relevance, and you have the perceived relevance of the person that's trying to engage with that. There are tons of things that are relevant in real life, but we don't necessarily know it or appreciate it. For example, if I've got a piece of content about how to create and remember a good password, well, that's a real skill. Password management, password hygiene is a real skill that's relevant for everybody that touches computer systems. But not everybody views that as relevant. So we have to understand that there is real relevance and there is perceived relevance. And only when the relevance is truly perceived and felt by the person trying to consume the content will that relevance piece be something that makes that content sticky for them in some way. But relevance is one of those things. 

Perry Carpenter: And so you get the idea of, if you have one of these things - if you have great production or great engagement or great relevance - that's a start, but it's not usually enough to keep somebody there. I can have something that's relevant, but if the production is not good and it feels really, really boring, well, then somebody is going to bail, and they're going to find something else that feels relevant to them. Or if it's very, very engaging, but it doesn't feel relevant or it's not produced well, or it doesn't feel relevant and it's not produced well, then it's just kind of, like, a clattering noise. It's meant to be engaging, but it doesn't feel relevant, and it's not done well. So somebody would just move on from that. Or we've all seen things that have great production, they have great sound, they have great video, but if it's not engaging or it doesn't feel relevant, well, then, again, it's not going to do much. It's just going to be boring or annoying. 

Perry Carpenter: And so from a content creation standpoint, if you have two of these three things, you're doing pretty good because I can have good production and something that is engaging, and it can keep the attention of somebody that doesn't yet feel the relevance, at least for a while. Or I can have something that's really relevant and engaging, but the picture or the audio might suffer. But because of that person's investment, they will likely persist because they feel the relevance. Or I can have something that's got great sound and picture and well laid out and everything else and feels relevant, but it's not engaging. But at the same time, that person's sense of relevance in it, and the fact that the audio and video and everything else isn't distractingly bad, well, that naturally encourages somebody to feel more engaged in the content. So again, the content creation triangle, from my perspective, is production, engagement and relevance. And the more of those that you have, the better off you'll be in producing content that people will pay attention to. 

Perry Carpenter: OK. So that's the content creation triangle. What I'm going to go to now is the recording of me giving that presentation at the SANS summit. I'm going to do some minor editing just to clean things up a little bit, and then I'll come back at the end of that, and we can summarize. Here we go. 

Perry Carpenter: When I'm thinking about content, for me, the scariest thing in the world - and this may be also the same for you - is the blinking cursor on a blank page because, at that point, we don't know where to start. We don't know what's going on. We have no idea where - maybe we'd have an idea. Maybe if somebody says, you need to write a newsletter about passwords or you need to write a video about passwords - but then at that point, you're like, OK, maybe I can do a bullet-pointed list about all the great things that you need to know about passwords and where the password manager is. But then how do I make somebody actually want to read it? Or how do I even get the idea of what is going to be most relevant for my people? And so that's what I'm hoping to help us all get past. 

Perry Carpenter: I'm going to go through seven different things that have helped me over the past several years. And No. 1 is this attitude that I developed, I think, out of desperation. And the attitude is, is that I can learn from everybody. I should be able to learn from anybody out there. If that person is - especially if that person is doing significantly better than I am in the way that they produce and the things that they're creating, I can learn from that person. Even if I don't appreciate or like that person's content or genre or personality or anything else, I can learn from that person. And so something like MasterClass is a great example. I subscribe to that. I learned a lot about writing from Dan Brown. I hate his books. I learned a lot about production from people that I've never listened to their records. But these people are recognized masters in their industry, and they're constantly producing things. So they probably know something that I don't know yet. 

Perry Carpenter: The other thing is, is that - is they're talking about all that, and they're showing their things. Our minds naturally start to make connections. Even if it doesn't feel relevant at the time, you'll be going through some - you know, driving the next day, and you'll go, oh, you know what? I saw this comedy thing from Steve Martin - now, that's somebody I do like - he was talking about X, Y and Z. And in my program, this seems like a totally unrelated thing. But now, all of a sudden, these ideas fused together in a unique and interesting way that may just capture somebody's attention. If not, maybe it's enough to get me unstuck where I can write the first few words of whatever that is. So learn from everybody. Learn from all different types of genres, content types, and so on. 

Perry Carpenter: The second one is - and I alluded to this a little bit - is we have to think about branches, trenches and pivots in our content. And I'll explain what those are so that you actually have some context. For me, any time I've already created something or there's a topic that I want to cover, your first immediate thought is, how do I vector into that? What is the associated idea that I can use? I mean, I can be really upfront and forward. If it's passwords, the first line in the video or the first line in the (inaudible) be, people have lots of questions about passwords. But it might not be the most interesting, relevant, well-produced way to do it. If I'm doing a hacker movie, I might show the result of a data breach that's happened because somebody lost their password in another breach or had it hacked, and then now it's causing this cascading failure. Or I can find an analogy where it has nothing to do with passwords, but it relates to kittens in some way. So you can find lots of different ways that you can tie things together. And in any of these, you're always thinking about, what are the branches, what are the trenches, and what are the pivots? 

Perry Carpenter: So a branch is starting with one idea and then figuring out how I can extend that out - so moving from passwords to something that's a little bit related to that. It would be, well, password management, creating and remembering a good password - not just the topic, but let me figure out a nuance of that. A trench is very similar. It's going as deep into the weeds on one specific nuance as you can go. So a branch - think about that as a nuance, but then just a very general high-level view of that so that somebody gets appreciation and maybe one or two tips. A trench is one of those branches - and I'm mixing metaphors here - one of those branches, but then you go really, really deep with it. So a piece of nuance and then you uncover as much of that, over and over and over, as you can and get as deep in the weeds as you need to with that. And then a pivot is starting with an idea and then hitting an adjacent idea off of that. And so these are things that you realize as you're having these little epiphanies and as you watch other pieces of content or read other books. And you're like, oh, this idea relates to that. I could pivot off of that. I could use that as a vector. Or this sprung another idea in my mind simply because I was thinking about one thing, and then all of a sudden, I get hit with another problem that seems totally unrelated, but it's actually a pivot point. 

Perry Carpenter: So the other thing is - in all of this is silence is our friend. These points of epiphany or serendipity that you're going to come to as you're thinking about branches or going deeper or how to pivot - these come generally in times when you're not filling your mind with something else - so the proverbial shower serendipity that people get. Well, it's because they don't have earphones in, most of us, they don't have something else coming in. It is just the white noise of the shower and their own thoughts, and all of a sudden, the mind starts to surface all of this stuff it's been chugging on for a long time. And so for us, I think we need to cultivate - if you're in a creative field and you're trying to create constantly or even trying to get started, cultivate silence in some way. So use things like MasterClass, use things like webinars, books and so on. Fill your mind a lot with diverse pieces of content from a diverse and wide variety of people. And the other thing is then give yourself silence for your mind to start to surface things that are interesting and useful. 

Perry Carpenter: And then the other thing is, noise is also your friend - right? - because a lot of these ideas will only come to us as we're figuring out how we populate our mind because every bit of content that we read, everything that we consume becomes something that can then become a branch, a trench or pivot or something else that we utilize in an interesting way. And that's going to come in important in just a minute. 

Perry Carpenter: So the other thing that I like to do is create artificial constraints for myself. So anybody that's listened to the "8th Layer Insights" podcast that I do, there were a few things that I really experimented with over the past season. One was - and I'll give an example of that in a minute - one was writing a series of scripts where I had several different personified security tools, like a piece of facial recognition software - actually, not even just tools. I did a secure email gateway. I also did - what was it? - a password and then also a phishing email. But with each of those scripts, I said, for each of these, I'm going to basically set a timer. And at 45 minutes of that script - of writing that script for each person, I'm going to stop. And I'm not going to go back. I'm not going to do any corrections other than egregious stuff. And you can go hear the results of that. It's Episode 16 - or Season Two, Episode Six, however you count those things. And there's - you know, there's - from my perspective, there's obvious flaws. But from everybody else's perspective - and it's been listened to by tens of thousands of people - nobody's ever surfaced those to me. 

Perry Carpenter: And so then, as you're thinking about those constraints - it could be time; it could be a tool set; it could be anything that you could find that's going to hamper you - put that constraint on yourself and then see what happens. You generally work smarter and faster and get a lot more creativity as soon as you feel bounded because it is the limitless freedom of exploring anything you want in any way that you want that causes paralysis, at least for me. And I think that that's probably shared among a lot of people. That's what scares us with that blinking cursor. Putting artificial bounds means you have to get started or you have to start with a certain thread. 

Perry Carpenter: Use other people's stuff and give them credit for it. So early in my career, in my own hubris, I thought that I had to create everything myself, that for me to be good at whatever I do, it all has to be, at least in my mind, something that I generate, that's fully from my mind, fully formed, comes onto the page, and then people will gasp in awe. That's not the way the world works. The way the world works is that we all leverage each other's ideas, and we stand on the shoulders of giants. You know, the content in my books and articles - stuff most people in this room already know - they have said from the stage. And somebody like me comes along and says, oh, you know what? I got this idea from Lance. I got this idea from Jessica Barker. I got this idea from Oz. And then what we do is we get on a stage like this, and if we're good about it, then we'll give credit to that person. I'll say, you know, I really love Lance's philosophy and the way that he speaks about managing human risk. And so I may start a presentation like that and then I'll give, you know, 30 minutes of presentation based on how we view security awareness from the perspective of managing human risk. 

Perry Carpenter: But if I did that, you wouldn't all of a sudden not give me credit for the 30 minutes of content that I just gave you. You'd say, oh, wow, Perry's actually honest about where this idea germinated from. And then now he went and taught us something. So we have to get past ourselves. I have to get past myself a lot for feeling like I have to originate new stuff. There's tons of great stuff out there. We can serve as really interesting aggregation points for the stuff that has changed the way that we view the world and that we want to impart on other people. 

Perry Carpenter: And so an example - I mentioned this already, which was the "Security Is Alive" episode. There were two things - I was watching a MasterClass from Margaret Atwood, and she was talking about writing and creating different points of view. And she said, all right, now write - you know, write this thing from the point of view of a stapler. You know, what would that be like? If a stapler was wanting to have an affair with a matchbox, how would that perspective be? How would they interact with each other? What would they think about? And so I listened to that. And then there was a podcast called "Everything Is Alive" that is inanimate objects being interviewed. And I was like, well, crap, I could do that from a security perspective. 

Perry Carpenter: And then so now there's these really weird, surreal, absurdist interviews that I have with a secure email gateway. And the email gateway lets me in to see everything that it sees, and it drives me mad and also helps me understand, oh, that's why you don't catch everything because there's so much all the time. And you want to do better, but you just can't. You're, you know, an email gateway. You can only be programmed to do a certain amount of things. And so there's this other human that needs to be able to account for that on the other side. So as you start to pivot around those things, you can come up with lots and lots of different ideas, and they're genuinely fun and consumable. 

Perry Carpenter: Show your work is - admit your own ignorance and leverage the process of learning. There's a new podcast that I'm working on. It's not out yet. It's just called "My Podcast Journey." And it's me and somebody else that I hired in a private podcast company that I started a couple months ago. And it's us talking about the process of trying to learn how to do podcasting. And what it does is it gives us an opportunity to, No. 1, get a podcast out and get listenership and do all the fun things around monetization and everything else that you want to do if you're a company. But then the other thing is it actually serves the public. It serves people that want to do more because it says, all right, here's Perry and Mason, who's my business partner in that. Let's see if they succeed or fail with this idea. Let's see what tools they use. Let's see how those sound. Let's see what they work like. Let's see how they're productive or not. 

Perry Carpenter: And so we can throw ideas out and we don't have to pretend like we're masters. People that pretend like they're masters generally come across as jerks. People that pretend like they're on a journey trying to figure themselves out become way more appealing and kind of welcome people in. And so that's the kind of people we should be, even when we're saying, here's what you need to do with your passwords. You can say, here's the journey that I went on. I was dealing with all this stuff. I was reusing the same password over and over. I had an internal algorithm in my head. And then one day, somebody showed me a password manager. And I was resistant to that at first, and I delayed doing it because of X, Y and Z reason. Tell the story about it. But then you can show the process. And as you're going on a new journey, you can do the same thing, whether that's how you create content - I mean, this presentation is a little bit of a show-your-own-work type of thing. And it's interesting to you because you see me on a journey, trying to figure this out. And you're like, oh, I'm kind of on that same journey, too. This is relevant to me. 

Perry Carpenter: The other thing is, I have to - because I'm so busy - I have to ruthlessly outsource the things that I'm not good at and/or the things that I don't want to learn or have the patience to learn. Everybody only has a certain amount of hours in the day. And for me at KnowBe4, content production, the stuff that I do, is maybe 15% of my job. Everything else is stuff that I do in the margins for myself. And so I don't have a lot of time to do stuff that I don't have a passion around. And so that could be first-level editing. That could be anything, really, whether that's graphic design - I'm not a great graphic designer on my own, though I do do probably, you know, 98% of my own slides most of the time. But at the same time, if I want something great, I'm going to go spend money and have somebody that's poured their life into that one thing help me be more successful with whatever that is. And it's almost amazing how inexpensive most of this work can be when you're really looking at the tradeoff of your time and what you might be able to create versus what somebody else can help you do so that you further your own project. 

Perry Carpenter: So the other thing is find tools that force you to think in new ways. Again, if I open up Microsoft Word, I almost immediately get a mental block against it. What I found with another new show that I'm working on - this is going to be all about a different intersection between technology and humanity as I explore digital culture. And this one's fully - well, got a lot of additional scripting and sound design and everything else. I was trying to do that in Microsoft Word, and I was looking at the page for way too long. And then I ultimately just said, you know what? This is a script. Let me think about it like a screenwriter. And I downloaded screenwriter software. It's a little bit like an integrated development environment, for those of you that are programmers. Downloaded that, got to know the formatting a little bit - more than I do, 'cause I've read lots of screenplays and scripts, but I've not written any, myself - in that format, at least - and just got to work. And I blew through probably about 10 minutes' worth of what would be a podcast - a really highly developed podcast - in about 20 minutes. I mean, it just flew out because the format changed. It unlocked something within me. 

Perry Carpenter: You can do the same thing with writing. If you need help writing - say, I need to write a newsletter paragraph about X, Y and Z. There are actual tools that you can use like Jasper.ai that you can put the topic and two or three little things that you want to cover in that, and it will spit out a suggested paragraph for you. And it's amazing how good it is 'cause it's scraped enough of the internet to kind of know the valid points. It's a hundred percent original. You will have to go do some fixes on it and make it more relevant, but it can be enough to get you unstuck. 

Perry Carpenter: The other thing is, you know, the freaking notes app on your phone. You're at a stoplight and one of these little epiphanies comes to you. You can either write that down - or wherever you are in your house. The other thing - I do a ton of voice-to-text. I'll send myself text messages and say, hey, Siri, send a text to Perry. And my phone responds, and I just, you know, dictate a note to myself about what - something a character's doing, a plot idea or something else. There are tons and tons of opportunities that you have just to unlock the creativity, simply by changing the format and the tools that you're working with. It's worked for me. I know it's going to work for anybody in here that wants to try them. 

Perry Carpenter: And then the last thing is, don't be afraid to repeat ourselves. We know, as people engaged in the education space, that learning and content retention degrades over time and that it takes several times to tell somebody something before they actually retain that thing. So the problem with us in content creator role is we feel like we have to be new and original and unique every single time, when, in fact, we can just say the same thing multiple ways, multiple times over long periods of time. And you're going to get new audience. You're going to get people - pick it up and see it the first time, or you're going to get somebody that sees it newly for the first time, even if they've been exposed to it before. So we can't and shouldn't feel like we're stuck by the things that we've done in the past, and we always have to move past that. We might have to reframe it, might have to change it up a little bit, might have to find a new, interesting vector into it or take on it, but we can talk about the same thing a lot because that's what we need whenever we're learning something. 

Perry Carpenter: So if I were to summarize, here are the seven different points - learn from everybody; think about branches, trenches and pivots; create artificial constraints for yourself; use other people's stuff and give them credit; admit ignorance and leverage the process of learning - we just talked about that; ruthlessly outsource; and then find tools that help you or force you to think and work in new ways. And then there's a bonus one, which is that don't be afraid to repeat yourself. 

Perry Carpenter: And so what now? I would say if you're going home tonight, tomorrow, and you want some things to do as soon as possible, sign up for MasterClass or something else that's similar that is going to constantly be feeding you the opportunity to learn something that may be interesting to you or might find an interesting vector into the things that you care about. You want to commit to finding ways to create at least 30 to 60 minutes of quiet every few days so that you can have these little serendipity moments bubble up, your mind can process and present you new things that you go, oh, that's a good idea, oh, that's a really weird idea - never do that - or this is an out-of-context idea that may be useful somewhere else. 

Perry Carpenter: Find at least one aspect of your current creative process that you can outsource, and then find your best tool to continually capture those in-the-moment ideas, whether that's a notes app on your phone, whether that's Google Docs, something that synchronizes in the cloud if you're using non - you know, non-private information is a good thing because it doesn't matter what your device is. So I can do a note on my phone in notes or Google Docs. Then I can access it on my computer. Then I can also share that to somebody else or a different device. It just gets to be where you're removing barriers as much as possible and trying to get yourself into a flow state where you're constantly generating ideas, putting them in some kind of form so they're out of your head and you don't forget them, and then you have a chance to revisit those later on. 

Perry Carpenter: And then look at anything you've created in the past and say, what would I do different now? How would I do that thing different now? If I talked about passwords, how would I approach that same topic this year as opposed to last year to put a new fresh spin on it or to engage a different audience that maybe I had an unconscious bias against. And that's the other thing that I think - if we were to have a realization among ourselves, is that any time you create a piece of content, any time I create a piece of content, we are accidentally injecting our own framing biases on that piece of content. And so when you look at it fresh, six months from now, it can look completely different. You go, oh, you know what? If I actually wanted to capture my marketing department, my PR department, my IT department differently, maybe I need to change these terms. Where did I accidentally put in my own bias, my own preconceptions, have my own blind spots? Or where can I inject new, fresh creativity that wasn't there when I first did it? And that's it for me. Thank you. 

Perry Carpenter: And that's it for today's episode. I hope you enjoyed hearing this presentation that I gave a few months back at the SANS Security Awareness Summit. If you weren't able to catch all those, 'cause I didn't mention the numbers during the presentation, No. 1 was learn from everyone, including artists, genres and people that you don't particularly enjoy. No. 2 - think about branches, trenches and pivots. No. 3 - create artificial constraints. No. 4 - use other people's stuff, and be sure to give them credit. No. 5 - admit ignorance and leverage the process of learning. No. 6 - ruthlessly outsource. And No. 7 - find tools that force or help you to work in new ways. And then, of course, there was the bonus of don't be afraid to repeat yourself. Don't be afraid to repeat yourself. Don't be afraid - OK. I'll stop now. Thanks so much for listening. As usual, you'll find all the links and references that are mentioned in the show notes, and I'll also list all seven of those points out there for you, as well. 

Perry Carpenter: If you've been with me for a while and you haven't yet, please consider rating and leaving a review in Apple Podcasts, Spotify or any other platform that allows you to do so. Ratings, reviews, and word-of-mouth recommendations really do help people trust that this show is worth their most valuable resource - their time. Of course, if you haven't yet, please go ahead and subscribe or follow wherever you like to get your podcasts. And if you want to connect with me, feel free to do so. You can find my contact information at the very bottom of the show notes for this episode. 

Perry Carpenter: This show was written, recorded, sound designed and edited by me, Perry Carpenter. Artwork for "8th Layer Insights" is designed by Chris Machowski at ransomwear.net - that's W-E-A-R - and Mia Rune at miarune.com. The "8th Layer Insights" theme song was composed and performed by Marcos Moscat. Until next time, I'm Perry Carpenter, signing off.