Self-Realisation, Uncategorized

Dumber angrier louder

When someone tries to engage you with a pitch that’s simple, visceral and more direct than you’re used to, it may be that their vitriol is hiding the fact that they’re afraid.

We race to the bottom, or we climb forward.

Stereotypes, shortcuts and shallow invective are effective in the short run, but they’re not useful, important or the best we can do.

Reblogged from: here

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Self-Realisation, Uncategorized

The risk of the Bixby button

The new Samsung phone has a hardware button on it that goes straight to their digital assistant.

The good news is that adding a hotline/dedicated button/clear signpost is a dramatic and effective way to influence customer behavior. “Pull rope to stop train” is much more efficient than navigating three pages of menus. It also communicates your point of view and confidence to the user.

The problem is that Bixby buttons are also stepping stones on the way to cruft. Once you create a dedicated sign or button or resource, it’s very difficult to uncreate it. The few who count on it will scream if you try to take it away. The elegance and efficiency of the tool you built will forever be hampered by the fact that you have to support a Bixby button.

Your microwave has 26 buttons on it now. Each one seemed like a good idea at the time.

Once you put up a stoplight at the intersection, or build a new exit, your highway ceases to be what it used to be. Forever.

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation, Uncategorized

Profitable, difficult, or important?

Apple became the first company to be worth a trillion dollars. They did that by spending five years single-mindedly focusing on doing profitable work. They’ve consistently pushed themselves toward high margin luxury goods and avoided just about everything else. Belying their first two decades, when they focused on breakthrough work that was difficult and perhaps important, nothing they’ve done recently has been either. Tim Cook made a promise to the shareholders and he kept it.

Amazon became the second company to be worth a trillion dollars. And just about everything they focus on is difficult. They carry more than a million products, ship on a moment’s notice, rarely have a glitch, host a bulk of the internet’s traffic and disrupt one industry after another. Tons of tiny details, many leaps. Investors have patiently waited for them to be incredibly profitable, but the company focuses on the relentless, incremental work of the difficult instead. A totally different promise, kept.

But the most daring and generous, those that are often overlooked and never hit a trillion dollars in the stock market, are left to do the important work. The work of helping others be seen, or building safe spaces. The work of creating opportunity or teaching and modelling new ways forward. The work of changing things for the better.

Changing things for the better is rarely applauded by Wall Street, but Wall Street might not be the point of your work. It might simply be to do work you’re proud of, to contribute, and to leave things a little better than you found them.

Profitable, difficult, or important—each is an option. A choice we get to make every day. ‘None of the above’ is also available, but I’m confident we can seek to do better than that.

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation, Uncategorized

Skiing out of bounds

Some people find a thrill in going under the rope and skiing on the cliffs or other terrain outside the ski area.

They’ll tell you that the runs are better.

But if the ski area extends the boundaries, suddenly those spots aren’t as attractive. Now, it’s the next bit that’s seductive.

Because the thrill comes from the out of bounds part, not the skiing part.

A different feeling with a similar boundary issue is the magic of a first class seat. It doesn’t matter that first class seats are often smaller than they used to be. What matters is that they’re better than coach.

“Compared to what,” is often the cornerstone of our narrative.

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation

Toward the honest job interview

The candidate thinks, “I really need this job.”

The hiring manager thinks, “I’m tired of this, I really need to fill this job.”

As a result, the candidate says what he thinks will get him hired. He’s not listening, not really. And he’s not telling the truth, not really. He knows that he needs to thread a needle and say what needs to be said to get the job. He lies to himself about what he wants and lies to the interviewer to get the job.

As a result, the hiring manager isn’t really listening, not really. She’s looking for clues, unstated hints about what this person is really like. And when she shifts to sell mode about the organization, she alternates between glossing over the bad bits, exaggerating the good ones (“Everyone here is really creative, and there’s no office politics…”) and being impossibly skeptical about the potential of the person across the desk.

No one is acting badly here. Cognitive dissonance is real, and the hope is that once in the new role, the hired person will grow to love it. And no job is static, and the hope is that with the earnest and generous work of the hired person, the role will get better.

But…

We could all save a lot of time and energy if we could figure out a way to find an actual fit.

One person thinks, “I have room in my career for just a dozen jobs. Is this one worthy?”

And the other realizes, “We could outsource this work, but we’re going to keep it in house if we find the right match. Is it you?”

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation

Tighter

Since dawn of the industrial age, tighter has been the goal.

A tighter system, with less slack.

Tighter connection with customers.

Even plastic surgeons deliver tighter skin. No one ever goes seeking more folds and flab.

The thing is, tighter is fine when you’re trimming a sail or optimizing a production system.

But many things in our lives need to be looser. More room for innovation. More slack for peace of mind. More spaces for surprise.

Reblogged from: here