The Net is not television. It is the finest direct-marketing mechanism in the history of mankind. It is direct mail with free stamps, and it allows you to create richer and deeper relationships than you've ever been able to create before.
Habits like blogging often and regularly, writing down the way you think, being clear about what you think are effective tactics, ignoring the burbling crowd and not eating bacon. All of these are useful habits.
The thing about information is that information is more valuable when people know it. There's an exception for business information and super timely information, but in all other cases, ideas that spread win.
And it turns out that tribes, not money, not factories, that can change our world, that can change politics, that can align large numbers of people. Not because you force them to do something against their will. But because they wanted to connect.
The way to work with a bully is to take the ball and go home. First time, every time. When there's no ball, there's no game. Bullies hate that. So they'll either behave so they can play with you or they'll go bully someone else.
The wettest, weirdest environment is human interaction. Whatever we build gets misunderstood, corroded and chronic, and it happens quickly and in unpredictable ways. That's one reason why the web is so fascinating-it's a collision between the analytic world of code and wet world of people.
If a product's future is unlikely to be remarkable - if you can't imagine a future in which people are once again fascinated by your product - it's time to realize that the game has changed. Instead of investing in a dying product, take profits and reinvest them in building something new.
Canoeing was hard and scary, and the wind could blow you across the lake if you did it wrong. After a year of not doing it right, I could talk to people and get them to sit up straight, take different kinds of chances, to breathe differently, to engage in the moment in the boat. And I changed them, and I changed me in the process.
The competitive advantages the marketplace demands is someone more human, connected, and mature. Someone with passion and energy, capable of seeing things as they are and negotiating multiple priorities as she makes useful decisions without angst. Flexible in the face of change, resilient in the face of confusion. All of these attributes are choices, not talents, and all of them are available to you."
It's rare to find a consistently creative or insightful person who is also an angry person. They can't occupy the same space, and if your anger moves in, generosity and creativity often move out. It's difficult to use revenge or animus to fuel great work.
Your audacious life goals are fabulous. We're proud of you for having them. But it's possible that those goals are designed to distract you from the thing that's really frightening you--the shift in daily habits that would mean a re-invention of how you see yourself.
Remarkable visions and genuine insight are always met with resistance. And when you start to make progress, your efforts are met with even more resistance. Products, services, career paths... whatever it is, the forces for mediocrity will align to stop you, forgiving no errors and never backing down until it's over
A well-defined backup plan is sabotage waiting to happen. Why push through the dip, why take the risk, why blow it all when there's the comfortable alternative instead? The people who break through usually have nothing to lose, and they almost never have a backup plan.
Being an artist isn't a genetic disposition or a specific talent. It's an attitude we can all adopt. It's a hunger to seize new ground, make connections, and work without a map. If you do those things, you're an artist.
The mistake so many marketers make is that they conjoin the urgency of making another sale with the timing to earn the right to make that sale. In other words, you must build trust before you need it. Building trust right when you want to make a sale is just too late.
The unhappy theory of business ethics is this: you have a fiduciary responsibility to maximize profit. Period. To do anything other than that is to cheat your investors. And in a competitive world, you don't have much wiggle room here.
My best advice: win little battles. Get in the habit of winning, of shipping, of having customers that can't live without you. Once you've demonstrated you know how to do the art, then go after the windmills.
The librarian isn't a clerk who happens to work in a library. A librarian is a data hound, a guide, a sherpa and a teacher. The librarian is the interface between reams of data and the untrained but motivated user.
Who you hang out with determines what you dream about and what you collide with. And the collisions and the dreams lead to your changes. And the changes are what you become. Change the outcome by changing your circle.
Every day I meet people who have so much to give but have been...frighten ed enough to hold it back. It's time to stop complying with the system and draw your own map. You have brilliance in you, your contribution is essential, and the art you create is precious. Only you can do it, and you must.
We know what you want to accomplish... The real question is, 'what are you willing to push through the dip for?' What are you willing to stand up for, bleed for, commit to and generally be unreasonable about? Because that's what's going to actually get done.
Any customer that walks away, disrespected and defeated, represents tens of thousands of dollars out the door, in addition to the failure of a promise the brand made in the first place. You can't see it but it's happening, daily.
If you borrow money to make money, you've done something magical. On the other hand, if you go into debt to pay your bills or buy something you want but don't need, you've done something stupid. Stupid and short-sighted and ultimately life-changing for the worse...
Normal is fading away. Governments and industries and schools like normal, because it's easier, it scales and it's profitable. But people don't like it - we want to be who we are, not who some marketer tells us to be.
It's impossible to have a coin with only one side. You can't have heads without tails. Innovation is like that. Initiative is like that. Art is like that. You can't have success unless you're prepared to have failure. As soon as you say, 'failure is not an option,' you've just said, 'innovation is not an option.'
The goal of a marketing interaction isn't to close the sale, any more than the goal of a first date is to get married. No, the opportunity is to move forward, to earn attention and trust and curiosity and conversation.
Make something happen today, before you go home, before the end of the week. Launch that idea, post that post, run that ad, call that customer. Go the edge, that edge you've been holding back from... and do it today. Without waiting for the committee or your boss or the market. Just go.
The easiest way to thrive as an outlier is to avoid being one. At least among your most treasured peers. Surround yourself with people in at least as much of a hurry, at least as inquisitive, at least as focused as you are.
In a long distance race, everyone gets tired. The winner is the runner who figures out where to put the tired, figures out how to store it away until after the race is over. Sure, he's tired. Everyone is. That's not the point. The point is to run.
If you do a job where someone tells you exactly what to do, they will find someone cheaper than you to do it. And yet our schools are churning out kids who are stuck looking for jobs where the boss tells them exactly what to do
Most of your competition spend their days looking forward to those rare moments when everything goes right. Imagine how much leverage you have if you spend your time maximizing those common moments when it doesn't.
Most people with a big idea, great talent and/or something to say don't get lucky at first. Or second. Or even third. It's so easy to conclude that if you're not lucky, you're not good. So persistence becomes an essential element of good, because without persistence, you never get a chance to get lucky.
The joy of art is particularly sweet, though, because it carries with it the threat of rejection, of failure, and of missed connections. It's precisely the high-wire act of "this might not work" that makes original art worth doing.
The problem with taking offense is that it's really hard to figure out what to do with it after you're done using it. Better to just leave it on the table and walk away. Umbrage untaken quietly disappears.
The opportunity of a lifetime is to pick yourself. Quit waiting to get picked; quit waiting for someone to give you permission; quit waiting for someone to say you are officially qualified... and pick yourself.
The media wants overnight successes (so they have someone to tear down). Ignore them. Ignore the early adopter critics that never have enough to play with. Ignore your investors that want proven tactics and predictable instant results. Listen instead to your real customers, to your vision and make something for the long haul. Because that's how long it's going to take, guys.
Art is frightening. Art isn't pretty. Art isn't painting. Art isn't something you hang on the wall. Art is what we do when we're truly alive. An artist is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity, and boldness to challenge the status quo. And an artist takes it (all of it, the work, the process, the feedback from those we seek to connect with) personally.
I don't think we have any choice. I think we have an obligation to change the rules, to raise the bar, to play a different game, and to play it better than anyone has any right to believe is possible.
Librarians who are arguing and lobbying for clever e-book lending solutions are completely missing the point. They are defending the library-as-warehouse concept, as opposed to fighting for the future, which is librarian as producer, concierge, connector, teacher, and impresario.
Success comes from doing the hard part. When the hard part is all you've got, you're more likely to do it.And this is precisely why it's difficult to focus. Because focusing means acknowledging that you just signed up for the hard part.
Self sufficiency appears to be a worthy goal, but it's now impossible if you want to actually get anything done. All our productivity, leverage and insight comes from being part of a community, not apart from it. The goal, I think, is to figure out how to become more dependent, not less.
Instead of working so hard to prove the skeptics wrong, it makes a lot more sense to delight the true believers. They deserve it, after all, and they're the ones that are going to spread the word for you.
Great innovations, powerful interactions and real art are often produced by someone in a state of wonder. Looking around with stars in your eyes and amazement at the tools that are available to you can inspire generosity and creativity and connection
The brand of the future...is patient, consistent, connected, and trusted. The new brand is based on the truth that only comes from experiencing the product, not just yelling about it. Word of mouth is more important (by a factor of 20) than TV advertising, and the remarkability word of mouth demands comes from what we experience, not from spin or taglines or a campaign slogan.
The biggest takeaway for anyone seeking to write is this: don't go looking for the way other authors do their work. You won't find many who are consistent enough to copy, and there are enough variations in approach that it's obvious that it's not like hitting home runs or swinging a golf club. There isn't a standard approach, there's only what works for you (and what doesn't).
The problem with words is that they easily lose their meaning. Say something often enough and it becomes a tic, not an expression of how you actually feel. Not only that, but words rarely change things. Actions do.
If you speak up online and your ideas have currency, people are going to show up and want to connect with you. What we need more of are people with the guts and emotional labour to do this. The greatest shortage in today's society is an instinct to produce.
If your project or organization depends on knowing things that other people don't know (but could find out if they wanted to), your days are probably numbered. Ask a travel agent The alternative, while difficult, is obvious. Provide enough non-commodity service and customization that it doesn't matter if the ideas spread. In fact, it will help you when they do.
You're competing against people in a state of flow, people who are truly committed, people who care deeply about the outcome. You can't merely wing it and expect to keep up with them. Setting aside all the safety valves and pleasant distractions is the first way to send yourself the message that you're playing for keeps
Anxiety is experiencing failure in advance. Tell yourself enough vivid stories about the worst possible outcome of your work and you'll soon come to believe them. Worry is not preparation, and anxiety doesn't make you better.
Two different things: A crowd is a tribe without a leader. A crowd is a tribe without communication. Most organizations spend their time marketing to the crowd. Smart organizations assemble the tribe.
If it were any other way, it would be easy. And if it were any other way, everyone would do it and your work would ultimately be devalued. The yin and yang are clear: without people pushing against your quest to do something worth talking about, it's unlikely it would be worth the journey. Persist.
I find that I have about six bloggable ideas a day. I also find that writing twice as long a post doesn't increase communication, it usually decreases it. And finally, I found that people get antsy if there are unread posts in their queue.
...treasure what it means to do a day's work. It's our one and only chance to do something productive today, and it's certainly not available to someone merely because he is the high bidder. A day's work is your chance to do art, to create a gift, to do something that matters. As your work gets better and your art becomes more important, competition for your gifts will increase and you'll discover that you can be choosier about whom you give them to.
A business owner is the boss, but it's a job, a place that is stable and profitable. An entrepreneur is an artist of sorts, throwing his/herself into impossible situations and seeking out problems that require heart and guts to solve. Both are fine, but choose.
A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.
All great programmers learn the same way. They poke the box. They code something and see what the computer does. They change it and see what the computer does. They repeat the process again and again until they figure out how the box works.
And in a world where we have too many choices and too little time, the obvious thing to do is just ignore stuff. And my parable here is, you're driving down the road and you see a cow, and you keep driving 'cause you've seen cows before. Cows are invisible. Cows are boring. Who's going to stop and pull over and say, oh, look, a cow? Nobody.
And it doesn't matter to me whether you're running a coffee shop or you're an intellectual or you're in business or flying hot air balloons. People who can spread ideas, regardless of what those ideas are, win. But consumers, they got way more choices than they used to and way less time.
And the reason is that until Wonder came along and figured out how to spread the idea of sliced bread, no one wanted it. That the success of sliced bread is not always about what the patent is like or what the factory is like, it's about can you get your idea to spread or not?
Art is what we call...the thing an artist does. It's not the medium or the oil or the price or whether it hangs on a wall or you eat it. What matters, what makes it art, is that the person who made it overcame the resistance, ignored the voice of doubt and made something worth making. Something risky. Something human. Art is not in the ...eye of the beholder. It's in the soul of the artist.
Art...is the intentional act of using your humanity to create a change in another person...Passion is caring enough about your art that you will do almost anything to give it away, to make it a gift, to change people.
As the amount of inputs go up, as the number of people and ideas that clamor for attention continue to increase, we do what people always do: we rely on the familiar, the trusted and the personal. The incredible surplus of digital data means that human actions, generosity and sacrifice are more important than they ever were before.
Basically you create your experience through your beliefs about yourself and the nature of reality. Another way to understand this is to realize that you create your experiences through your expectations.
But if the cow is purple, you'd notice it, OK? The thing that's going to decide what gets talked about, what gets done, what gets changed, what gets purchased, what gets built is, is it remarkable? And remarkable's a really cool word 'cause we think it just means neat, but it also means worth making a remark about, and that is the essence of where idea diffusion is going.
But what if I fail? You will. A better question might be, "Βafter I fail, what then?' If you've chosen well, after you fail you will be one step closer to succeeding, you will be wiser and stronger and you almost certainly will be more respected by all of those that are afraid to try.
Courage doesn't always involve physical heroism in the face of death. It doesn't always require giant leaps worthy of celebration. Sometimes, courage is the willingness to speak the truth about what you see and to own what you say.
Decide, before you start, that you're going to change three things about what you do all day at work. Then, as you're reading, find the three things and do it. The goal of the reading, then, isn't to persuade you to change, it's to help you choose what to change.
Discomfort brings engagement and change. Discomfort means you're doing something that others were unlikely to do, because they're hiding out in the comfortable zone. When your uncomfortable actions lead to success, the organization rewards you and brings you back for more.
Emotions are far more contagious than any disease. A smile or a panic will spread through a group of people far faster than any virus ever could. When you walk into the office or a negotiation, then, wash your bad mood away before you see us. Don't cough on us, don't sneeze on us, sure, but don't bring your grouchiness, your skepticism or your fear in here either. It might spread.
Empathy requires something extremely difficult: accepting the fact that we are not and never will be in the other person's shoes. There's no rational, universal course because individuals have different goals, different worldviews and different experiences.
Entertainment has seduced us into believing that we have a chance to live the life they live in the movies. Even the people in the movies don't live that life. It doesn't take 135 minutes to make a life, it takes almost a century. Everything doesn't depend on what happens in the next ninety seconds. Ever.
Everyone has failed, everyone has misspoken, everyone has meant well but done the wrong thing. Your favorite restaurants, cafes and books have all gotten a one-star review along the way. No brand is perfect, no individual can pretend to be either. Perfect can't possibly be the goal, we're left with generous, important and human instead.
Everyone we interact with is changed forever. The only questions are: How will they be different (and how different will they be), and how will we be different (and how different will we be) as a result?
Fear is the workout we give ourselves imagining what will happen if things don't work out. . . . Worry is our effort to imagine every possible way to avoid the outcome that is causing us fear, and failing that, to survive the thing that we fear if it comes to fruition.
Forgive yourself for not being the richest, the thinnest, the tallest, the one with the best hair. Forgive yourself for not being the most successful, the cutest or the one with the fastest time. Forgive yourself for not winning every round. Forgive yourself for being afraid. But don't let yourself off the hook, never forgive yourself, for not caring or not trying.
Fundamentalist is a person who considers whether a fact is acceptable to their faith before they explore it. As opposed to a curious person who explores first and then considers whether or not they want to accept the ramifications.
Good advice is priceless. Not what you want to hear, but what you need to hear. Not imaginary, but practical. Not based on fear, but on possibility. Not designed to make you feel better, designed to make you better. Seek it out and embrace the true friends that care enough to risk sharing it. I'm not sure what takes more guts-giving it or getting it.