I tend to share things of interest mostly on twitter (@brewerma) and not on the blog. However, I thought today I’d share a few interesting readings of late.
The High Cost of Fitting In by the founder of Puppet Luke Kanies. We shouldn’t be trying to fit in.
The formula for winning at life is actually incredibly simple which includes several pearls like ‘write it down’ and ‘realize you are responsible for this.’ The article was written by Mark Manson.
Stop asking for easy on the besomebody.com site. Worth the watch and following along.
And an interesting article about Occam’s Razor at a wonderful site that has lots of interesting material. Follow them too.
And How to Overcome Your Fear and Get What You Want on Medium by Josh Spector. The point about ‘the alternative is scarier’ is one of my favorites. We can’t be comfortable with the status quo and we’ve got to try new things.
In the past few years, I’ve been aware of two different organizations that have been greatly impaired by failures of a single person. In the first case, a trusted leader failed to properly do their job and accomplish their responsibilities and the organization nearly sank as a result. I don’t know what that person was thinking. In the second case, one arrogant leader who thought he knew everything and didn’t need any advice from anyone else made poor decisions, spoke authoritatively of things he knew little about and left key resources to neglect.
Great processes and lots of good people, can be overwhelmed by a single bad leader in the wrong place.
When I wrote earlier about autonomous vehicles and mentioned trucking and truckers I hadn’t even considered the idea that someone could move faster if they didn’t try to solve the problem of the ‘last mile’ and instead just focused on autonomous driving of trucks on the highways and interstates. Have the vehicle drive itself 95% of the way there, but then have a ‘real driver’ meet the truck for the last leg of the delivery. Use real drivers out and into cities and complicated areas.
See a write up about it here.
A really great post about priorities and how we really don’t work on the things we ‘say’ are our priorities. We don’t want to do the work or pay the price to do that which we say is a priority.
We spend lots of time talking about our priorities, but not nearly enough time actually working on them.
I shared this with a friend who works on a college campus and she said she is reading this to everyone who enters her office.
I’ve read a few books over the years about creativity and innovation and it is part of numerous posts on this site. Scott Berkun just released his latest book entitled, The Dance of the Possible: the mostly honest completely irreverent guide to creativity which I just bought and read today.
This is probably best, fast, focused book on the ideas around creativity that I’ve read:
We spend so much time trying to be efficient that doing anything interesting feels like a waste of time. And in this tendency is another misconception: creativity is rarely efficient. It always involves taking chances and trying things that might work but might not.
To create means to make something new, at least for you, and to do something new is like going off of the map, or more precisely, deliberately choosing to go to a part of the map that is unknown.
I especially liked the idea of writing down your ideas. I remember one of Tom Clancy’s books, I think it was Executive Orders, where there was the repeated line that ‘if you don’t write it down, it never happens’ and then that becomes a key part of the story development. Loved it. I write a lot and take notes as much as possible and I save lots and lots of notes, clippings, articles, etc. for future reference. Love this.
But I know that if I don’t write it down, I’ll never get a second chance to evaluate it again. Despite my convenient hope that I’ll remember it later without writing it down, I know, scientifically, that I’ll likely forget it, and forget that I forgot it.
and finally, this comment about just doing the work required to get it done.
The simplest habit is to work on your project every day.
If you are looking for a fast refresher on creativity and how to think about creativity, this is a great place to take a look. Recommended.
So there is a story on Mashable called The Latest Tool in Medicine? The iPhone which highlights some studies where iPhones are being used to collect data as part of medical studies.
Yes, carrying around a powerful compute device, that you can interface with, that is connected to the mother ship for two way communications might result in some powerful new medical studies, advances, options and ideas. Duh.
It is not really the iPhone, it is the mobile, connected, compute device that people have with them all the time (and won’t leave behind) that is the key here. I love my iPhone, but that is not the advance, it is the connected device connecting to the patient/subject.
There will be huge things coming from this as has been written about elsewhere. Immediate detection of crisis events, more frequent sampling of data in studies, ability to trigger something to happen to the patient (administer something), etc. etc. Lots of things can come from this.
Yesterday at exactly 5:59 PM I received an email from the car dealer where I bought my car before the current one. I bought it probably 6-7 years ago and traded it in 1.5 years ago for a different car at a different dealer. The email was from a person I don’t know there complete with their picture letting me know that they were thinking about me on my birthday (today) and were wanting me to have a fantastic birthday complete with an exclamation point.
Two minutes later, I received an email from the dealer of my current car saying they were thinking of me and they were hoping my birthday would be amazing. This was from someone I didn’t know either.
Two minutes later, and four minutes after the first message, I got an email from the dealer where we bought my wife’s car 4 years ago, wishing me a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY.
Emails at 5:59 PM, 6:01 PM and 6:03 PM.
I’m really touched that these people were having coffee at the end of the day and looking through the list of their prior customers and thought they’d drop me a note wishing me a happy birthday.
What are the odds that these three separate car dealers owned by different auto groups happened to be thinking about me all at the same time and wanted to drop me a note wishing me a happy birthday?
Organizations try to automate parts of their customer relationship management and more times than not they fail completely. I’d rather get nothing about my birthday than get an automated message trying to look personal. But I do think less of them when they have automated the whole process to a 3rd party and at an appointed time a cron job runs and I get fake personal email from them.
We wanted to wish you a
VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY
from all of us here at XXX
Hope you have a great one and