Good Things Shouldn’t Have to End

Innovation begins with humility.

From a strategic perspective, it’s always helpful to start
from the assumption that the marketplace is crowded. That whatever product
you’re trying to sell, whatever message you’re hoping to spread, the world doesn’t
need another one.

you focus on that, you make sense, not noise. When you act from that place of
humility, it’s much
easier to smash down the mysterious doors of the
impossible and give people what they actually need, not just what you want them
to want.

In reality, what
the world needs is somebody, some organization, to invent new ways to use
what’s already successful. That’s what innovative companies do. Instead of
reinventing the wheel, they find a wheel that already works and make run better.

point is, good things shouldn’t have to end.
What’s good is of utmost
importance to our culture, and should be discovered, respected, shared and enhanced.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, but don’t stop making it

Make it do things nobody’s seen before.

Caution, Designed to Get Better With Use

Once you have email, you want everyone to have email.

That’s why it works. It’s a product designed to get better
with use. As the idea grows, it becomes more valuable. The more of your friends
who sign up, the better it works for everybody.

And as the web evolves, we’re starting to see this trend in
a number of industries.

Media streaming services get better the more they know about
your interests. Gaming platforms unlock skills, levels and surprises the more
you play. Search engines algorithms get more informed and accurate with every interaction.
Social networking services are launching online art projects that grow more
unique with every user interaction. Thermostats learn your schedule and program themselves the more you come and
go. Speech recognition programs enhance language understanding with every word
spoken. Adaptive learning technology better gauges student progress with every chapter.

like denim jeans and leather boots, but more social.

your next marketing push, before hawking your product to the users, try harnessing the collective intelligence of the users to make your system better.

Less Talkey, More Doey

Why give up freelancing and work for someone else?

know. I never thought I’d do it either.

in addition to being bored with the work, tired of running my own business, burned
by an incestuous industry, sick
of sitting at home all day, sick of waiting for that one email that changes
everything, done bloodying my knuckles knocking on a door that was never going
to open,
with my first career and finally okay with who I am as a person, here’s the
other big reason I recently made a job transition.

Less talkey, more doey.

If I don’t go get raw and engage in the real world, if I’m
not constantly tested in the crucible of everyday life, then my ideas will only
exist in my own head.

If I don’t step outside of the echo chamber, get out into
the cold and hostile world, then I’m stuck in a fantasy land with no basis in
objective reality.

If I try to make it solely on personality, spending all my
time pontificating on the stage and on the page without actually executing,
I’ll just annoy people.

If I continue resting on my laurels, solely milking work
I’ve shipped in the past, I’m just another blowhard who has lost credence.

Feels pretty amazing.

Impossible to Keep Your Name a Secret

It’s easy to do right thing when people are watching.

keeping a promise when you could have gotten away with breaking it,
taking the blame when you could have gotten away with shifting it, and telling the truth when you
could have gotten away with hiding it?


a software developer, is one of the rare companies that painstakingly maps out
detailed audio soundtracks to enhance their user’s virtual experience. Tons of
of love and attention go into creating their games, and if you read any of
their online forums or message boards, you’ll quickly learn how ecstatic their
users are. According to one thread, the sonic architecture is so real, it sends
chills down your spine.

best part is, Gearbox doesn’t put in this extra effort to get ink or to justify
charging more for the game. They do it because they’re craftspeople,
pure artists, who care deeply about the value of their work, who put obsessive
amounts effort into the art they do, because
they love their users and they’re proud to see them enjoying the game they
worked so hard on.

If you become known as someone who puts in a hell of a lot of hard
work when nobody’s listening, watching or expecting, all in the name of
service, all in the name of the people who matter most, towards a
promise that’s big and useful enough, it will impossible to keep your name a secret.

Little Old You, Doing Everything

As an entrepreneur, it’s always cheaper to hire yourself.

The only problem is, when you hire yourself to do the work,
there’s nobody left to get new clients, nobody left to do marketing and
networking, nobody left to figure out strategy, nobody left to raise money and
nobody left to grow the business.

Unlike a traditional company, your enterprise isn’t boosted
by a powerful machine working every angle.

It’s just little old you. Doing everything.

Which works well if you’re an incurable control freak and a
consummate individualist, but after a while, especially if you want your
enterprise to evolve, trying to wear every hat every day is unsustainable over the long term.

Imprint Customers With Your Idea

Games make dreams come true.

They give people a powerful and vicarious life. They let
them do what they’ve always wanted to do, but were too afraid to try. And they
create an interactive experience that doesn’t try to persuade them of anything,
but rather, creates a playroom that rewards
and validates users.

On the business side of things, if a game can build a
critical mass of users around it, then it can be leveraged to do something

By helping the customer take their eye off the ball and play
with something that’s unrelated, yet choreographed intelligently, you create a
reason to believe. By encouraging users to actually do stuff, you imprint them
with an idea more successfully.

Why show an advertisement about your cause when you could
could create a simulation that allows people to tackle it directly?

Go Public Early and Often

I’m a firm believer in the art of hiding the art.

Meeting people where they are, taking them back in time,
helping clients forget they’re clients and engaging people a way that they lose
track of time and disappear from the world in a puff of love smoke.

the minute customers start struggling with the ambiguity of the situation, feeling
unsure of the relationship roles and questioning your expectations, every
interaction thereafter is stained.

If a woman doesn’t know she’s on a date until she comes home
from one, somebody failed to communicate. If a hotel guest doesn’t realize
there’s an extra fee until he sees one on the bill, somebody failed to
communicate. If a customer doesn’t know he’s eating at a vegetarian restaurant
until he breaks out in hives, somebody failed to communicate.

When in doubt, map it out.

If you want to knock the socks of the untrusting masses, go
public early and often. Telegraph your intentions. Leave as little doubt in people’s
minds as possible. And never underestimate the power of observable candor.

Because there’s a fine line between frictionless service and
expectational clarity, and it can make the difference between a customer for
life and an online review from hell.

Everyone has an agenda, why not be one of the few to lay
yours bare?

Just Be Completely Honest When Most People Would Say Nothing

The truth is powerful because nobody expects it.

In a
world where most people have been duped, fooled, conned, scammed, spammed and screwed
over too many times, if you can just be completely honest where most
people would say nothing, communicate more than people think is needed, give
more than people think is fair and care more than people think is expected, you
will not be forgotten.

What if, next time you turned down new business, you sent
customers a comprehensive list of your competition’s locations, services and

What if, next time you redesign your website, you included a public
disclosure page of every single relationship you maintained?  

if, next time somebody comes in for a tune up, you teach them how to test on
their own first to prevent unnecessary repairs and replacements? 

What if, next
time you’re making a pitch, you tell the client about a cheaper option that
presumably means less money in your own pocket? 

What if, next time your
company had a failure, you bragged about it as a public badge of lessons

What if, next time a prospect comes in for a free
consultation, you explain what procedures and services are actually extraneous?

Sometimes all we have to do is be radically candid with

To let truth suddenly stare them in the face and change them

How are you branding your honesty?

Work Isn’t Our Plight, It’s Our Purpose

Work is more than a job.

It’s a daily routine that ensures our days have a cadence
and rhythm of movement. It’s a center of belonging where we connect to the
collective human heart. It’s a contribution to the world where we become
productive members of society. It’s the prime means to express our sense of who
we are.

It’s an outlet
for coming alive through the pursuit of our ideas. It’s the thing we do to build
a stable life. It’s a platform we use to do art, hone skills, build a
reputation and make our mark on other people. It’s a holy arena for our highest
self and a home for all of our talents. It is our necessity, our pleasure and our playground.

where we channel our ambition and satisfy the most primal and sacred
fundament of our being. It’s
where we practice the act of dreaming, doing and finishing, getting straight to
the heart of what it means to be a person. It’s what informs our sense of self
and contributes to our identity.

interesting is, a hundred years ago, almost nobody on the planet had a job.

But they still worked.

Because as human beings, work is the organizing principle of
life. It’s the iron rod in the center. It’s the validation of our existence. Work encompasses all we do, paid and unpaid, throughout our lives. It’s an institution that’s a central feature of every stage of life.

And while it’s not the only thing there is to life, without
it, we definitely feel like a big piece of our life is missing.

isn’t our plight, it’s our purpose.

Everything Has the Potential to be Interesting

Interesting ideas are the cornerstone of progress.

Frankly, if the idea isn’t interesting, we’re not

Boring stuff never goes anywhere. It just sits there and laps
up time, money and attention, traveling in a circle, never arriving at its
destination, never quite succeeding, never quite failing.

And when innovation is the code, when outright invention is
the future, there’s a certain responsibility to take the boring ideas, grab the
by the lapel and figure out what would make them more interesting.

A few helpful questions to ask:

What about the fright
Ideas become interesting the moment they start to scare us. Think
about what would make the idea riskier and more provocative. Set aside your
stylistic inclinations try disrupting to the status quo.

What about the arc?
Story satisfies our human need for narrative. Think about the metaphorical
thinking behind the idea. Map out the idea in terms of characters, conflict,
journey and resolution.

The point is, everything has the potential be interesting.

We just have to apply the right filter.

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