Uncategorized

Skills vs planning

If you’re a gardener, planting orange trees in Ottawa, and nothing’s growing, it’s possible to beat yourself up, burn yourself out and say, “I’m a bad gardener.”

Or,

You could realize that oranges aren’t easy to grow in Ottawa. You could either move to Cuba or plant winter wheat instead.

But don’t beat yourself up just because the climate doesn’t match your seeds.

Reblogged from: here

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Self-Realisation, Uncategorized

Worth paying for

When you bring a product or service to the free market, the market decides what it’s worth. If you don’t want to be treated like a commodity (a race to the bottom), there are two paths:

Through scarcity: This is worth extra because there’s not a lot of it or we’re the only one who’s got it.

Through connection: This is worth extra because everyone else is already using it.

A little or a lot.

Few substitutes, either because it’s hard to get or because you’ve got all the good folks already.

We pay extra for something because it’s the only one its kind, because we’re quite thirsty and there’s nowhere else to stop, because we think it will go up in value, because it’s our best option from a limited selection. Right here, right now, you’re the best option. In other words, scarce.

Or…

Because we don’t want to be left out/left behind. It’s worth more because it connects us.

Value is not profit. Widespread and cheap innovations are valuable indeed. Profit, though, often has a different calculus, the creation of things that (some) people think is worth paying extra for.

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation, Uncategorized

The problem with coming attractions

“Knock, knock…”

That’s not a coming attraction. It’s an invitation. An opening. A bit of tension in terms of closure.

A coming attraction, on the other hand, gives it all away. It says, “here’s a bit of what we’ve got, and the rest of it is just like this, but almost as loud and almost as shiny.”

In the short run, coming attractions work faster. They get you a certain kind of audience and they lead to less disappointment.

But the alternative, the hard work of creating tension and then delivering on it–that’s where our best path lies. It requires trust, not proof, and the patience to find an audience that cares enough to work with you to get to where they’d like to go.

If someone insists on experiencing your experience before you give them the experience, it’s really unlikely you’re going to be able to delight them.

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

Uncategorized

Hiding from the mission

We do this in two ways:

The first is refusing to be clear and precise about what the mission is. Avoiding specifics about what we hope to accomplish and for whom. Being vague about success and (thus about failure).

After all, if no one knows exactly what the mission is, it’s hard feel like a failure if it doesn’t succeed.

The second is even more insidious. We degrade the urgency of the mission. We become diffuse. We get distracted. Anything to avoid planting a stake and saying, “I made this.”

It’s possible to spend 7 hours and 52 minutes out of an eight-hour day in doing nothing but hiding from the mission. And it’s exhausting.

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation

The toddler strategy

Most people don’t get too upset at anything a two-year-old kid says to them.

That’s because we don’t believe that toddlers have a particularly good grasp on the nuances of the world, nor do they possess much in the way of empathy. Mostly, though, it turns out that getting mad at a toddler doesn’t do any good, because he’s not going to change as a result (not for a few years, anyway).

Couldn’t the same be said for your uninformed critics? For the people who bring you down without knowing any better, for those that sabotage your best work, or undermine your confidence for selfish reasons?

It’s hardly productive to ruin your day and your work trying to teach these folks a lesson.

Better, I think, to treat them like a toddler. Buy them a lollipop, smile and walk away.

Reblogged from: here