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Gloom (and doom)

Doom is inevitable. Gloom is optional. Gloom has no positive effects on ameliorating doom. Doom happens. Gloom is a choice. ; ; ; ; ; ; Article by Seth Godin's Blog on marketing, tribes and respect. Read entire story here. … [Read more...]

“Zeige Deine Wunde” (show me your wound)

Joseph Beuys didn't make pretty art. When I was 12, I saw an exhibit he had at the Guggenheim in NY. As its centerpiece was a 3,000 pound block of lard, wrapped in felt. It was bizarre, it smelled a bit and forty or more years later, I haven't forgotten it. Beuys was transformed by near-death experiences he had as a youth. And that wound informed the art that he made. He shared his pain … [Read more...]

Zoom & Skype call tips (the secrets of video conferences)

If you’ve ever joined more than three people on a Skype or Zoom conference call, I hope you’ll appreciate these tips, and perhaps share them: Sit close to the screen. Your face should fill most of it. Use an external microphone or headset. When you’re not talking, hit mute. Don’t eat during the meeting. When you’re on mute during an audio call, you can do whatever you … [Read more...]

Difficult decisions

These are the decisions that are forced on us, the ones that feel unfair, the ones where there are no seemingly good outcomes. How to proceed? Acknowledge that it sucks. That you’d rather not be in this situation. That it’s not what you hoped for. You can return to this step as often as you like, but don’t permit it to have anything to do with the other steps in the process. … [Read more...]

The wrong bus

Your first mistake was getting on the A53 bus, the one that goes crosstown instead of to where you're going. Mistakes like this happen all the time. The big mistake, though, the one that will cost you, is staying on that bus. I know it wasn't easy to get on the bus. I know you got a seat. I know it's getting dark outside. But you're on the wrong bus, and staying on the wrong bus … [Read more...]

Smooth water

Everything moves better in smooth water. Engineers spend a lot of time and energy to avoid cavitation, the often dangerous bubbles that are caused by pumps or propellers. And sailors and surfers prefer to do their thing without excess chop. As we apply pressure to an organization, the same thing happens. At first, people engage with change as an opportunity, doing their best work in the face of … [Read more...]

Beyond posturing, placebos or belief

Statistics, well done, are astounding. They tell us, clearly and completely, what is actually happening. Ignaz Semmelweis saved a million lives (eventually) with his approach to statistics, despite the fact that he was arguing for a significant change and was not at all well liked. There are volumes of detailed and verified statistics about carbon and other emissions. They’re easy to find if … [Read more...]

‘Fountain’ matters now more than ever

A hundred years ago, Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, the original punk artist, and also a Baroness, created a work of art that caused a sensation. Her friend (put that in air quotes, please) Marcel Duchamp came to her rescue when the work was originally rejected by the art show she submitted it to. He got it photographed and the world of visual art changed forever. Over the ensuing years, Duchamp … [Read more...]

People are real, but the crowd disappoints

Every crowd, sooner or later, will let you down. The crowd contains a shoplifter, or a heckler, or an anonymous boor who leaves a snarky comment. The crowd loses interest, the crowd denigrates the work, the crowd isn't serious. Worst of all, sometimes the crowd turns into a mob, out of control and bloodthirsty. But people, people are real. People will look you in the eye. People will keep their … [Read more...]

Thanks

In just two days, my new course for freelancers is the fastest-growing one of its kind in Udemy's history. I'm thrilled to see that so many of my readers are eager to dig in and make a difference. The course has already transformed the work of thousands of people. The half-price discount expires soon, and this will be my last post about it. I hope it resonates with you, and thanks again for … [Read more...]

Reckless abandon (is neither)

It's not reckless, because when we leap, when we dive in, when we begin, only begin, we bring our true nature to the project, we make it personal and urgent. And it's not abandon, not in the sense that we've abandoned our senses or our responsibility. In fact, abandoning the fear of fear that is holding us back is the single best way not to abandon the work, the pure execution of the work. Later, … [Read more...]

Terroir

You can taste it. Heinz ketchup has no terroir. It always tastes like everywhere and nowhere and the same. A Dijon mustard from a small producer in France, though, you can taste where it came from. Foodies seek out this distinction in handcrafted chocolate or wine or just about anything where the land and environment are thought to matter. But we can extend the idea to you, to your work, to … [Read more...]

To overcome an irrational fear…

replace it with a habit. If you're afraid to write, write a little, every day. Start with an anonymous blog, start with a sentence. Every day, drip, drip, drip, a habit. If you're afraid to speak up, speak up a little, every day. Not to the board of directors, but to someone. A little bit, every day. Habits are more powerful than fears.  ; ; ; ; ; ; Article by Seth Godin's Blog on marketing, … [Read more...]

Product adoption: different problems for different folks

The product adoption cycle is one of the most essential things to understand when you seek to launch a product or service, or make any sort of cultural change. Different people sign up for new ideas at different rates. Some farmers, for example, are eager to try a new type of seed or irrigation device. Some farmers will wait years, or a generation, to try the same thing. Some people start the … [Read more...]

Good design (and serial numbers)

Bosch puts the serial number for its dishwashers on the side of the door, not the top. Which means that 50% of the time, if the device is mounted in a corner, it's impossible to see the serial number. Most companies use 0 and o and O in their serial numbers, as well as 1 and I. If they used nothing but letters, words in fact, there'd be no confusion. Make a list of 1000 short words, use each word … [Read more...]

I didn’t see it because I wasn’t looking

My friend Alan came over to dinner the other night. Unbeknownst to me, he had a few plastic scorpions in his pocket (a reminder of a recent adventure). I saw a plastic scorpion on the bowl of nuts, but I didn't see it, I just moved it aside and went ahead preparing dinner. A few minutes later, I saw a second plastic scorpion on the counter, but again, I didn't actually see it, didn't pause or … [Read more...]

The naked corn paradox

Sometimes, the thing that's done to market something makes it worse. And so, the corn at the local supermarket is already husked, because it looks better, sells better but tastes worse. And stereo speakers are designed with extra bass, so they'll demo better, sell better but sound worse. The market isn't always 'right', if right means that it knows how to get what it wants in the long run. Too … [Read more...]

Discovery fatigue

When Napster first hit the scene, people listened to as many different songs as they could. It was a feast of music discovery, fueled by access and curiosity. Now, the typical Spotify user listens to music inside a smaller comfort zone. When blogs were fresh and new, we subscribed to them by the hundreds, exploring, learning and seeking more. Over time, many people stopped following the outbound … [Read more...]

Owning vs. renting

{}You don't own attention or trust or shelf space. You don't even own tomorrow's plans. It's all for rent, with a cancellation clause that can kick in at any time. The moment you start treating the rental like a right, it disappears. Article by Seth's Blog. Read entire story here. … [Read more...]

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