Uses This

Interview

What do people use to get stuff done?

Ari Weinzweig

Ari Weinzweig

Co-founder, Zingerman's.

Who are you, and what do you do?

Ari Weinzweig. Co-founding partner of Zingerman's Community of Businesses in Ann Arbor.

What hardware do you use?

I love books. Although reading articles works fine online, I really prefer holding a book in my hand. The paper, the smell, the feel of it is all part of the experience. Just finished reading a hardcover first edition of E.F. Schumacher's Good Work from 1979. I have a large stack of them on my table and I keep ordering more all the time!

I have a high interest in the anarchists - I studied their work when I was in school and have written a lot about how much turn of the last century anarchist thought aligns with what is now progressive business work. They also did some beautiful art work, in particular books. Some of the most amazing of the work was that put out by Joseph Ishill and his Oriole Press. A Romanian Jewish immigrant to the U.S., he published over two hundreds pamphlets and books at his press in Berkeley Heights, NJ. Many were small chapbooks of poetry and the like, but some were more substantial collections - 300 or 400 page tributes to anarchists and free thinkers he knew and held in high esteem. The two volumes of Free Vistas he produced - the first from 1933 and the next in 1937 - are truly some of the most beautiful books I've ever seen (and I've seen a lot of books!). They're very definitely about anarchism, but they're also incredible works of art. Each was printed, by hand, in very limited editions - less than 300 copies - on probably a dozen papers of different textures, colors and sizes. Each has a goodly number of beautiful woodcuts and sketches, woven in with articles, essays, politics and poetry. To say they're beautiful is an understatement.

I have LOADS of CD's and am listening to music at almost every opportunity. I almost never listen to the radio - I like to hear a whole CD set together.

I love black pepper. I have an old German wooden hand-driven coffee grinder that I started using to grind my Telicherry black pepper four or five years ago. Love it!

My shoulder bag is essentially my office - I don't have an actual office so I carry most everything with me. I catch flak for carrying such a heavy bag, but I like having my computer, my journal, reading material, a bit of bread, pens, my pocket watch, etc. all on hand wherever I go!

I journal every day. I do it on a fine lined detachable legal pad and I write with a black roller ball pen. I've been doing it almost every morning for 25 years!

Good bread. I always carry bread with me in my shoulder bag. Just in case! Good tea. I'm a big fan of first flush Darjeeling.

And what software?

Don't know? Word, I guess. I love the sun. Sitting outside on a summer's day is a great thing!

What would be your dream setup?

Putting those together! Sitting outside in the sun writing on the computer or journaling on the legal pad, drinking good tea, nibbling on good bread.

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