“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while.”—
The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.
Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company…a church…a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.
We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play the one string we have, and that is our attitude…
I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you…we are in charge of our Attitudes.
“You’re not going to learn faster (or deeper) than everyone else if you seek inspiration from the same sources as everyone else.
Educators know that we learn the most when we encounter people, experiences, and ideas that are the least like us. And yet, we spend most of our time with people and in places that are the most like us — our old colleagues, our familiar offices, our reassuring neighborhoods. If you want to learn faster, look and live more broadly.”
“We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state and our educational system.
We are here to drink beer.
We are here to kill war.
We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.
We are here to read these words from all these wise men and women who will tell us that we are here for different reasons and the same reason.”—
"The more than 480 platforms currently available on the market all tend to be affected by similar issues: the obsession with shallow volume-led metrics, the inability to measure exposure, the lack of context to the social data, no understanding of the audience and poor data manipulation and visualization interfaces…
But the analytics approach has also lead to another big misconception. Social data is not quantitative data, rather qualitative data on a quantitative scale. This might sound like a very byzantine distinction to some but over the past ten years this approach has had huge implications on the way social data has been modelled, analysed, sold, delivered and used by organisations worldwide.”
Firestein proposes that science is really about ignorance — about seeking answers rather than collecting them.
He ‘fesses up: “I use this word ‘ignorance’ to be at least, in part, intentionally provocative, because ignorance has a lot of bad connotations and I clearly don’t mean any of those. I don’t mean stupidity, I don’t mean a callow indifference to fact or reason or data,” he explains.
“I mean a kind of ignorance that’s less pejorative, a kind of ignorance that comes from a communal gap in our knowledge, something that’s just not there to be known or isn’t known well enough yet or we can’t make predictions from.
In July, Brendan Fitzgerald of The Morning News reached out to interview me for a column asking journalists what readers/listeners/viewers should demand from their reporters. I was tragically late in getting back to him and missed the deadline – my answer remains that a great journalist should…
"Empty space means that you control your time, and that you do not have to bend to other people’s schedules and whims. If you want to work from home — and then go swimming at 3 p.m. on a beautiful August afternoon — you can do so. If you want to spend the morning thinking through a perplexing but promising new line of business, you can…
That is power. It’s not about having a million things to do. Everyone has a million things to do. The ultimate sign of success is having a million things to do but only doing a few of them.”
I love my work intensely & I wouldn’t be in it if I ever stopped loving it, I would shift it and go over into something else. … I don’t think life is worth living unless you’re doing something you love completely, so that you get out of bed in the morning and want to rush to do it. If you’re doing something mediocre, if you’re doing something to fill in time, life really isn’t worth living.
I can’t understand people not living at the top of their emotions constantly, living with their enthusiasms, living with some sense of joy, some sense of creativity & I don’t care how small a level it is.
I don’t care what field it is though, and there’s gotta be a field for everyone.
6. Improve your email etiquette. Email is a productivity killer and usually a distraction from tasks that actually matter–don’t fall into this productivity trap. For example, people often copy multiple people on emails to get it off their plate, but this is a sign of laziness and actually distracts everyone else by creating noise against the tasks they’re trying to accomplish.
As a rule, if you receive an email where many people are CC’d, do everyone a favor by BCC’ing them on your reply. If your email chain goes beyond two replies, it’s time to pick up the phone.
Every week, it seems, I’m approached by another industry colleague or small business owner, passionate about their need for a Facebook page. Or a Twitter account.
"How do I use Twitter anyway?" they ask - eyes twinkling with misguided, very real enthusiasm. "Should we be on Google+?" I cringe, take a deep breath, and carefully consider my approach:
"Well, why do you want a Twitter account?" I ask, thinly veiling my condescension. I swear, I don’t mean to be a jerk.
"What are you hoping to accomplish with your account? That is, what kind of conversation do you want to lead or contribute to?"
They say something about their competitors, maybe SEO or SEM, as if keywords will throw this hound dog off their track. Then begins the barrage. I can’t stop it, like a mighty marketing firing squad, my tongue is much sharper and faster than my deep want for gentle consult:
"Who wants to talk about _(insert random export or middleman service)_? Is there a conversation already happening around this topic? Who’s talking about it? Are you hoping to influence or make friends with these folks? Do you have content to add value to that conversation? Moreover, do you have the internal resources to manage the build and maintenance of a community? Are we trying to reinvent the wheel here, when maybe we should ‘go to where they are’?"
And then, as their mouth hangs wide and lips begin to putter something about unreasonable C-suite demands, contrived urgency, or their adoration for their own product, I interrupt once more:
"Are we really talking search here? Do you need PPC ads or better UX for your ecommerce site? Do you need to do some B2B work? Network with folks on LinkedIn?"
"What is the nut of the nut?" I cry out, too impassioned for this casual conversation. "What is the real problem we’re trying to solve?”
You take your lunch tray and leave the corporate cafeteria much faster than I’d like. But, I say to myself, you’re just making it so much harder on yourself.
I lick the chip crumbs from my fingertips and write “follow up with ___ re: objectives” in my Evernote app.
Q: You’ve remade the company into one that doesn’t just sell to, but hires younger, globally diverse workers. How does your leadership philosophy mesh or clash with those those groups?
A: It specifically works with the millennial generation. They expect it. They don’t relate to the old traditional leadership style. These kids were born connected. If anything, it impacts them more than the traditional guys who have been sold to their whole lives. …So I think that the next generation want greater authenticity, greater connectivity. They want it sharper. They want it fast and thoughtful, fast and funny. That’s all part of creating the energy.
“SEO used to be this thing that people thought of as happening in the dark corners of the web where you could do anything you wanted and magically, you’d get more search traffic. More importantly, they thought they could do anything they wanted and it wouldn’t impact their brand. For example, they could publish crappy content, and since no one ever read it, it didn’t matter,” he said.
"What’s really clear now as Google enforces its policies for good and bad links, for example, is that publishers are going to be pushed more and more into viewing link building as an integral component of brand building and vice versa, as a component of brand building is really smart link building. Those two things are going to be harder to separate.”
With today’s communications technology, is metadata really less revealing than content? Especially when we’re dealing with metadata at the scale that we now know the NSA and FBI are receiving?
Metadata ultimately exposes something deeper, far more than what a target is talking about.
Metadata is our context. And that can reveal far more about us — both individually and as groups — than the words we speak.
Context yields insights into who we are and the implicit, hidden relationships between us. A complete set of all the calling records for an entire country is therefore a record not just of how the phone is used, but, coupled with powerful software, of our importance to each other, our interests, values, and the various roles we play.
The purpose of customer interviews is to extract insights from the minds of your customers. Talking can’t achieve this; only listening can.
It may sound like a trivial case of semantics, but it is a widely overlooked concept: people often seem to equate “talking with customers” with “telling them all about the product”.
Telling customers about your product is not customer development, it is marketing. Customer development is listening to customers so you can better understand and serve them.
When you speak, you’re not listening. If your conversations with your customers are only about getting your message across, you’ve stopped listening. When you stop listening to customers, your company starts dying.
A wise old owl sat in an oak
The more he saw, the less he spoke
The less he spoke, the more he heard
Why can’t we all be like that bird?
When I’m interviewing customers, I challenge myself to speak as little as possible, so I can listen as much as possible.
In fact, I even substitute the phrase “talk to” with “listen to” for all of my customer interview calendar items (e.g. “Listen to David of CompanyX”) - it’s a small but persistent reminder of what I should really be focusing on in the meeting.
In order to understand what causes customers to buy, I need to hear how they articulate things themselves. How they rate their issues. The sequence in which they remember things. The connections they make between things that I never would have thought of.
If it’s in person, I leave dead air to the point of awkwardness - people will often blurt out any old thing to break the silence, and this sort of blurting is usually unfiltered and straight from their subconsciousness. That is gold.
I listen carefully to the words they use to describe their situation, so I can use those words to communicate at scale to other people just like them.
Most importantly, I avoid the temptation to insert my thoughts into the mix at all costs. I’m there to have my mind shaped, not to shape theirs.
This is not to say you should never open your mouth. Go out of your way to make them comfortable and put them at ease, and by all means poke, prod, backtrack, summarize and ask for clarification.
Just be vigilant in remembering which way the intellectual value should be flowing: play the role of the psychiatrist, not the politician.
Give the customer freedom to wander intellectually. They will inevitably go off in directions you hadn’t considered before. This is a good thing. Follow them - they’re showing you the path to success.
“The stuff you want to do is your hobby. The stuff we’re paying you for is the difficult emotional labor of looking people in the eye and telling them the truth. And telling them the truth in a way that makes them change. Change in a way that creates more beauty. Change in a way that creates more difference. It’s more important that we do work that’s important than you do work that’s pretty.”—Seth Godin at Creative Mornings