Phil Nguyen on Simplicity and the Pink Flamingo

Brian Burkhart Maximizing Opportunity Podcast Leave a Comment

Chances are, you deleted countless emails from your inbox today from email lists you regret signing up for. I’m also willing to bet it’s because the message is too complicated, or the content just isn’t relevant. Simplicity is key to communicating effectively, and nobody does this better in emails than Phil Nguyen of the Daily Water Cooler. The DWC is a daily email filled with short snippets of information intended to prime you for daily conversations about worldly events including business, politics, sports and culture. This is one email you’ll open up every day and refuse to unsubscribe from!

If you left immediately to go subscribe to the DWC, we understand… but would also encourage you to scroll back up and listen to Phil chat about utilizing simplicity and why he identifies with pink flamingos.

Interview Notes

1:12 – The Origin Story

2:09 – Does Phil even own a water cooler?

2:29 – Why the four topics? (ie. Business, Politics, Sports, & Culture)

3:30 – When things don’t make sense, complexity becomes a problem.

4:09 – How does Phil select the stories?

5:47 – Tip: Find what’s important and cut out the rest.

6:38 – Add personalization to make the experience more human. Happy birthday Phil’s mom!

7:16 – The initial goal of the DWC, and its evolution.

7:37 – Information is a commodity. Curation is key to helping people access it.

8:50 – How can you find/sign up for the DWC?

9:52 – How much does it cost?

10:10 – Phil’s spirit animal… The Pink Flamingo!


Maximizing Opportunity Host

Brian Burkhart

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Brian is on faculty at Northwestern University and is Founder of SquarePlanet Presentations in Chicago. Through his work with TED speakers, Shark Tank contestants and business leaders around the globe, Brian’s mission is to help bring innovative ideas to life through the power of communication.

Maximizing Opportunity Co-Host

Derek Rudel


As SquarePlanet’s Curator of Growth + Marketing Solutions, Derek leverages his unique combination of creative, design and technical skills to lead the charge on all things marketing, community engagement and workflow optimization. He is also the co-host of the Maximizing Opportunity Podcast, and hates the taste of cilantro.