Back to Work

Back to Work

Back to Work is an award winning talk show with Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin discussing productivity, communication, work, barriers, constraints, tools, and more.

Hosted by Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin.


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#167: Second Banana

April 15, 2014 at 2:00PM • 1 hour 12 minutes

TOPIC: Ubi Sunt, LCS?

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about the uneasy future of local comic shops—especially in light of Amazon's announced acquisition of comiXology.


#166: 404 - Friends Not Found

April 8, 2014 at 12:00PM • 54 minutes

TOPIC: The future we can't know.

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about how quickly technology is evolving, how janky that evolution can be, and how terrible we all are at forecasting what will come next and beyond.

Could Merlin have ever imagined he'd pay $3.00 for an episode of Under the Gunn? No, he could not.


#165: The Opposite of Attrition

April 1, 2014 at 1:00PM • 1 hour 13 minutes

TOPIC: Words mean things.

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about the blight of buzzwords, jargon, and douchespeak writ large.


#164: Back in the Medieval Village

March 25, 2014 at 1:30PM • 1 hour 38 minutes

TOPIC: Curiosity & Creativity

This week, Dan and Merlin talk more about expertise and how it relates to the ineffable qualities of curiosity and creativity. Can curiosity be inspired or taught? Or, is it just something you either have or don't? How do we buck the implicit authority to explore the vast universe of "unnecessary things?"


#163: Head Lice :-(

March 18, 2014 at 2:45PM • 1 hour 26 minutes

TOPIC: LEGO and Expertise

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about LEGO and what becoming a Master Builder can teach us about expertise.

Also: tooth fairies, binder clips, and the pedagogical warning shot.

WARNING: This episode of B2W contains information about holiday-related personalities that may be of a sensitive nature. Listener discretion is advised.


#162: We're All Waiting in the Same Line

March 11, 2014 at 4:15PM • 1 hour 24 minutes

TOPIC: ““Experiencing Issues”” with Customer Service

This week, Dan and Merlin analyze what's really going wrong when we get bad customer service. Spoiler: The brand is only as sound as its day-to-day implementation.


#161: Zeitgeist Helmut

March 4, 2014 at 7:00AM • 1 hour 32 minutes

TOPIC: Time, Sleep, and Aspirations

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about impossible trade-offs and the benefits of remembering this is actually your life.


#160: Reverse Spider Sense

February 25, 2014 at 6:00PM • 1 hour 14 minutes

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about shaving, lights, and Dan's amazing new superpower.


#159: You Become Your Catch Phrases

February 18, 2014 at 1:00PM • 1 hour 27 minutes

Merlin and Dan talk about Library Elf, app launchers like Quicksilver and Alfred, Stanley Kubrick, pushing people to create greatness, not knowing what you like until you see it, the typefaces of Moon, and more.


#158: Merlin-Sized Hole

February 11, 2014 at 2:00PM • 1 hour 38 minutes

TOPIC: Why We Have Doors.

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about internet nostalgia, hacking vs. whacking, and why we have doors for a reason.