People are yearning for texture.
When we deliver things that are tactile and usable in the
everyday world, they’re satisfying in a way that pure pixels are not. And in the battle of bits
versus atoms, in our hyper accelerated culture where we all hunger for life
beyond the screen, anything we can do to promise people a moment of slowing
down is worthwhile.
is the master of texture. They’re a letterpress printer and design studio that
makes cards, posters, tags, books, pamphlets, brandtags and a ton of other
works of utmost artistry.
astounding is, it’s all done by hand. They combine antique printing technology
with new thinking to design and produce objects that people enjoy seeing and
feeling. Even though they used computer design software to conceive ideas, they
still carve the woodblocks and do the printing by hand.
when customers walk in their store, not only is it hard not to slow down and
touch everything they see, it’s even harder not to take out their wallets and
buy everything they touch.
Physical is starting to earn
as much traction as digital, because it breaks through the screen and comes
through the door.
Everybody needs a good on ramp.
A ritual that prompts a work mindset to start our day. A
process that merges us into the real world and ensures our days have a cadence
and rhythm. A routine that gets us in the mood, in the flow and in the zone so
that by the time we actually hit the highway of life, we’re traveling at the
same speed as traffic, and can navigate the road effectively.
In the past decade, I’ve tried a heap of helpful practices
including morning pages, spiritual devotionals, daily appointments with myself,
self-hypnosis, mindfulness incantations, pregame breathing exercises, hot yoga,
meditation, and my recent favorite, subway karaoke, as variations of my on
It’s less important what you do, and more important that you
Not just for your own sanity, but for the sanity of the
people you work with.
Set a tone that says work
happens here, and let it ring.
Most traditional marketing actually becomes less effective
companies continue to spend millions of dollars irritating their way
into people’s inboxes, and as buyers
behaviorally and technologically tune out these interruptive campaigns, the
law of diminishing returns settles in. And organizations end up hurting their
brands the more that they market them on depreciating platforms.
Unless you give your army the means to convert for you.
What if you offered your untapped tribe a reason to take up
arms and champion you? By putting the right people in the right situations
where they become the marketing,
where they become the heroes, passion
and heart and connection and generosity will fuel your movement, and everybody
will come out better.
Sure beats pulling the big slot machine arm and hope the
audience shows up.
If your company is trying to market a new product in an
innovative way, instead of pushing rocks up the mountain, trying rolling
snowballs down the hill. Build assets that grow more valuable over time.
Invert the marketing graph and reward longevity and
Human beings are driven by a desire to create.
To contribute to the world’s intellectual and artistic
commons, to express their individuality and vibrancy, to come alive through the
pursuit of their ideas, to satisfy the biological compulsion to render their
feelings and to use their imaginative endowments to make cool stuff.
The question companies should be asking is, how can we help people
use our products to scratch that creative itch?
Earlier this year, I was a passenger on the maiden voyage of
the Disney Fantasy. And without a doubt, the highlight of the trip was dinner
in the Animator’s Lounge. At our tables, the placemats doubled as drawing
templates. And servers instructed us to use markers to draw faces and bodies inside
One hour later, after we’d handed in our drawings to the
staff, our table’s artwork showed up on the big screen and started dancing
across the wall. We were spellbound. The experience of seeing our own drawings come
to life, right in front of our eyes, was the most satisfying creative feeling
anyone could imagine. We went from amateur doodlers to professional animators
in a matter of minutes, and we would remember that experience for the rest of
Consider my creative itch scratched.
The point is, at the heart
of what it means to be a person is the act of dreaming, doing and finishing.
If your organization’s products can help facilitate that process, everybody
Social media isn’t the answer.
every marketer in the world clamoring to make their message heard, social media
has gone from the golden child to the pool filled with golden water. The
place is so crowded, nobody goes there anymore. And the days of buying likes,
tricking people into consuming content and bothering customers into doing
business are over.
Ten years ago, when the web was just a baby, and when we
didn’t know any better, the set it and forget approach to marketing might have worked.
But we’re big boys now.
And if companies were smart, instead of drinking the pee
water like everybody else, they would do the bold thing, initiate brave conversations
about something bigger and create a whole new pool.
That way, they could be everywhere the competition isn’t.
Most entrepreneurs go into business as a byproduct of beautiful timing.
Why should their exit be any different?
Here are a few clues that it’s time:
When you feel like you’ve squeezed all of the juice of this
lemon, and there’s nothing left but rind and pulp.
When the drug you used to be addicted to, the one that
served you well and was good to you, no longer has the same effect.
When you reach the point of diminishing returns, bloodying
your knuckles on doors that have no intention of opening.
When you’re executing without elevating, spending all your
time just to make enough money to buy more time.
When you feel like you’re just keeping your head above
water, but never actually swimming anywhere.
When you’re bored with the work, burned out by the hustle
and no longer in love with the future.
When you’re showing up faithfully, every day, shipping your
face off, and still hearing nothing but crickets.
When you’ve hit your growth ceiling and have a hunch that
your golden goose is probably done laying eggs.
when you come to the sobering realization that you can’t keep the fairy tale
It’s time to move on.
No regrets. No shame.
Just gratitude for the past and openness for the future.
Staring harder won’t help.
your brain crashes into a creative wall, the smart thing to do is to get irrelevant on purpose, then
come back to the work.
By walking away, going perpendicular to the flow
of the current activity and mentally and physically displacing yourself, you
inputs that change your perspective for the moment, delivering new insights
that the work so badly needs.
a walk, solve a problem.
Fear is a significant factor in most people’s lives.
And if your organization wants to matter to those people, you
need a tool that helps customers feel less afraid. Some platform, some
interaction or some mechanism that gets their jitters out and gives them something
to face the world with.
is the world’s largest online
platform for investment management. It’s a world of great investors that allows
you to automatically mirror their strategies, trade for trade, all from the
comfort and safety of your own account.
But that’s still scary. When money moves, people take notice.
Covestor understands this fear, so their site let users
try out the service with a hundred thousand virtual dollars, simulated
functionality, account mirroring, performance tracking, for free, with no
obligation and no payment details required.
It’s a safe haven. An interesting place where people can
interact. And a simple, smart and social platform, free from the constraints of
regulation, that identifies the line between what financial companies can do
and can’t do, and lets people play right on top of it.
Most importantly, it’s a compelling case for why investing
doesn’t have to be scary. And it’s a reminder to people that they’re all good
investors, they just don’t know it.
Are you letting fear boss your customers around?
Reinventing yourself isn’t about changing everything.
It’s about springing yourself past a frontier and letting
the constellation of your identity expand so you can see the beginning of a
different and more courageous dream.
about letting go of everything you’ve tried and built and accomplished and
accumulated so far, except for the person you’ve become, and using that as the raw material for whatever
about interrogating what it is that you’re intrinsically the best in the
world at, that you have been put on this earth to do, that you’ve already been
doing your whole life, that nobody can take away from you, and that people will
value and pay money for.
It’s about evolving your work strategy based on market
feedback, changing your path path to get somewhere new based on what you’ve
learned along the way, keeping your career in permanent beta and remaking
yourself as the world changes.
And how will you know if you’ve done a good job reinventing
If you feel like a whole new person, and yet, more like yourself
than ever, you did a good job.
I’ve been an inventor my whole life.
Making things has always been the most natural way for me to
engage with the world. When I get up in the morning, there’s this mechanism
inside me that wonders what I’m supposed to make next. And it’s relentless. Like
the junkie who walks thirty miles to get twenty dollars, the mechanism doesn’t shut
up until it finally gets its daily fix.
That’s why, if I don’t spend at least a little time each day,
tinkering away, I grow restless. I don’t feel like myself. And I won’t feel
like myself until I make something.
But that’s just me.
Or is it?
Maybe it’s not a personality thing. Maybe it’s a person
Human beings, by their very nature, are builders. We make art
to capture our feelings, we make tools to amplify our potential, we make games
to express our playfulness and we make rituals to celebrate our experiences.
We’re created to create.
And we should never stop. No matter how good, how popular, how
useful or how meaningful our creations are, we should never stop inventing. Ever.
Because when we stop making things, we lose our innovative edge. And when we
lose our innovative edge, we fail to serve the progress of humanity.
Fear not innovation. Fear only that which dims your capacity
Stay calm and carry on?
More like get excited and make things.