The Important Thing

The Important Thing
The Important Thing with Michael (“Rands”) Lopp and Lyle Troxell. Let’s spend a few minutes of your life listening and learning about an Important Thing.

Sep 13 • 13 min
Our much delayed 42nd episode, which was recorded pre-Pandemic, we giggle a bit because we have not been giggling enough. In this episode, we discuss why Rands names his bikes and cars, which results in some helpful therapy. Also, stickers are…
Writing a Book, Pt. 2
Apr 20 • 16 min
In our 41st episode, we continue the discussion regarding how to write a book. Start with a clever name, find a publisher… and then write a lot. That’s about it. Ok, it’s harder than that. (Recorded on February 24th, 2020)
Apr 11 • 11 min
In our 40th episode, we are talking about the practice of networking. Who does it, why they do it, and the very expected and random value that sometimes emerges from it. (Recorded on February 24th, 2020)
Apr 3 • 20 min
In the 39th episode, recorded in a pre-COVID world, we talk about love letters, the challenges of speaking, and the timely pause. (Recorded on February 24th, 2020.)
the Little Things
Mar 31 • 19 min
In the 38th, we lighten it up a bit. Not a lot. A bit. Finding solace in very strange times. Finding comfort while the world appears to be shutting down. Ok, it’s a little lighter than that. Recorded on March 18th, 2020.
the Pandemic
Mar 27 • 36 min
In our 37th episode, it’s a bit dark. Lyle and Lopp talk about the current state of the world. Not much laughing. Hoping that hearing you are not alone might help… it helped us. Recorded on March 18th, 2020.
Disney Follow-ups
Mar 19 • 21 min
In our 36th episode, we’re back at Disneyland. Lyle explains why he is a far better Dad, we talk about how to build a proper lightsaber, and we laugh… because we need a little laughing right now.
Country Music
Mar 1 • 11 min
In our 35th episode, Lopp is listening to country and no one is clear why. Eric Church and Mira Goto feature. Also, the Star Wars Rewatch Grade… and more country.
Time Management
Feb 23 • 21 min
In our 34th episode, we discuss the value created by Executive Assistants, explain what a Chief of Staff does, how to build teams, why calendars are hard, and why Lopp keeps rewriting the book.
Feb 18 • 11 min
In our 33rd episode, we’re talking names. Domain names, nick names, and… inheritances. Wait, what? That can’t be right. Aren’t we talking about names?
Feb 14 • 15 min
In our 32nd episode, Lyle and Lopp go tactical on 1:1s. A bevy of small tips and tricks are discussed along with deep religion on the value of continuous feedback and the practice of finding joy in meetings.
Meetings (Pt. 1)
Feb 10 • 22 min
In our 31st episode, Lyle and Lopp discuss who does what in a well-run meeting. Roles and responsibilities, the value of feedback, and remember that meetings aren’t punishment, but a useful tool in the hands of responsible humans.
Management (Pt. 3)
Jan 28 • 21 min
30 episodes! Whoa. We’re still talking about management. In this third part, we talk about what managers do all day, which probably more than you think.
Jan 27 • 10 min
In our 29th episode, we walk through the perils and challenges of starting a new gig, how to change a culture, and formative stories.
Judgment Errors
Jan 12 • 16 min
In our 28th episode, Lyle’s Lopp visit continues and we learn about various judgment errors in our lives and the resulting lessons. Happy New Year.
Christmas Updates
Dec 22, 2019 • 21 min
In our 27th episode, Lyle visits Lopp’s house and we talk mountain living, dowsing, and various Christmas updates. Happy Merry.
Christmas Trees
Dec 9, 2019 • 4 min
Secret episode. In our 26th episode, we briefly talk about the trials and tribulations of Christmas trees.
the Pro Leisure Circuit
Dec 4, 2019 • 11 min
25 episodes in. In this episode, we briefly talk about Lopp’s founding of the Pro Leisure Circuit and how stress is hard to measure and different than worrying.
Nov 22, 2019 • 39 min
In our 24th episode, we talk Disney. The new Star Wars Experience, flying the Millenium Falcon, Disney+, the Mandalorian, space blacksmithing, and those jerk Stormtroopers.
Nov 18, 2019 • 11 min
23rd episode. A short one about the joys of chainsaws, poison oak problems, why madrones are weird, and how there is always a system.
Nov 13, 2019 • 30 min
In our 22nd episode, we update you on all the things: Lyle’s job status, superheroes, books, iPads, avocados, and beets. It’s a bit of a beautiful yard sale.
Management (Pt. 2)
Nov 8, 2019 • 50 min
The long-awaited 21st episode. Lyle is still thinking about becoming a manager. Lopp (still) has thoughts. We discuss what kind of leader you might be, how not to be overwhelmed, the sounds of modems, and why anger shouldn’t feel like progress
Management (Pt. 1)
Jul 6, 2019 • 33 min
The mighty 20th episode. Lyle’s thinking about becoming a manager and Lopp has thoughts. It’s a job with infinite variables, strange feedback loops, and endless decisions. Also, it’ll take three years minimum to become competent.
Jun 24, 2019 • 27 min
Nineteen episodes people! Lyle and Lopp walk through their thoughts on 2019’s WWDC. We also take a trip down memory lane to discuss the Apple II+, BBSes, and spinning cursors. Trippy.
Jun 19, 2019 • 30 min
In our eighteenth episode, I can’t stop giggling about my problems with sugar. Lyle deftly navigates us through all the sugar vectors, proper movie candy protocol, the perils of cinnamon, and why candy corns… are the best.
Writing a Book
Jun 11, 2019 • 37 min
In our seventeenth episode, we walk through the process of Rands writing his third book. We cover all aspects, familiar and strange, of the writing process, including editing, design covers, and figuring out who’ll write the foreword.
Avengers: Endgame
Jun 1, 2019 • 49 min
In our sixteenth episode, we nerd it up on Avengers: Endgame. Topics include Rands not shutting up during the movie, the best moment, the trials of time travel, and why Captain America is just… the best.
Feedback (Pt. 2)
May 25, 2019 • 46 min
In our fifteenth episode, we go deep on feedback. We learn where Rands’ feedback religion came from, we walk through a couple of specific feedback scenario, and we discuss why you should be investing in a feedback culture - right now
May 20, 2019 • 21 min
Lyle returns from and talks about Japan in our fourteenth episode. Subways, signage, robots, and great food are among our topics. Back in the states, we talk about the Rands Biking Protocol and Rands Eating Protocol.
Flow and Anti-Flow
May 4, 2019 • 19 min
Lucky 13th episode! Lyle and I talk Flow and Flow’s companion Anti-Flow. Also covered, writing, breaking Flow, a bit about Bear the App, and trying to understand from where Flow flows. Bikes, too!
Feedback (Pt. 1)
Apr 29, 2019 • 24 min
In our 12th episode, we start talking feedback. Using feedback on our podcast as a jumping off point, we consider the topics of giving proper attribution, the art of arguing about empty boxes, and the fact the Rands is a control freak.
Apr 22, 2019 • 11 min
In our eleventh episode, we dissect “You Only Live Once”, we talk about paying for BETA software, and the value of building things with your hands.
Apr 15, 2019 • 29 min
We’re double digits! 10 episodes. Nailed it. In this episode, we talk about the perils of travel as an introvert, we examine each other’s travel bags, and we learn that Rands is a control freak.
Manager READMEs
Mar 26, 2019 • 18 min
In our ninth episode, we discuss the idea of Manager READMEs, vulnerability in the workspace, how Toyota empower its humans, and how much Rands detests drama.
Mar 11, 2019 • 15 min
In this episode, we talk about process being documented culture. How do we keep all the plates spinning? Who are good plate spinners? Why are there plates in the first place? This and more is answered in this episode of The Important Thing.
Lyle and Spider-Man
Mar 2, 2019 • 30 min
In this episode, we introduce you to my co-host Lyle – pre-eminent listener, longtime radio host, and fellow mountain resident. We also spend time talking logos and introversion… and then we finish with a strong Spider-Man chaser.
Feb 26, 2019 • 26 min
In our latest and greatest episode, we talk about the craft of communication. After a brief introduction, we talking about Werewolf, lying, death in D&D, and the art of yolo’ing it.
The (Brief) One About Pens and Typography
Feb 6, 2019 • 7 min
Don’t tell anyone. We’re still producing episodes. In this brief episode, Lyle and Lopp talk pens and typography and how they help us say what we need to say.
Understanding the Why
Jan 27, 2019 • 14 min
In our surprisingly quick to arrive fourth episode, we briefly giggle about the clickity-clack of a mechanical keyboard and then talk about a time at Apple where it was critical to understanding the why.
Jan 20, 2019 • 65 min
In the second episode, I am excited to be joined by my fellow John Siracusa to discuss the video game Destiny. Proudest moments, total time wasted, and the reality of the Hunter handicap – it’s all there.
Information Consumption
Jan 20, 2019 • 49 min
Two years later, we’re back with the Important Thing. Lyle and Lopp talk information consumption. Notification purges, marking all as read, and figuring out how to catch the most important information are just a few of the tips and tricks we discuss. …
Jan 16, 2017 • 63 min
I’m just delighted to kickoff the first episode with Tiff Arment where The Important Thing is pens. In this first episode, we talk pen origin stories, we dive deep on fountain pens, and, uh, we talk video games, too.