Setting the bar low

If a job is too big, if standards are too high, it will never get done. It might never even get started. Setting the bar low, on the other hand, is a great way to get started. A drop in the bucket, a brick in the wall at a time – sooner or later you’re talking about something concrete. A…

Being prolific

How many ideas have you lost out of pure inertia? I don’t just mean all the ideas you’ve had that you never did anything about – you lost those too, but many of them probably weren’t that good anyway.  Doing something with an idea is often the fastest way to check if it’s important. You might do a bit of…

A small thing that might be useful

Here’s a small thing that might be useful: a link (or better, if I can manage it, an embedded video) from Derek Sivers about getting on with making small things that might be useful to someone and that they’ll actually pay for for, as opposed to waiting for the chance (i.e. money) to build something huge and tremendous. This blog post…

Possibility: learning to see

This morning one of my sons was trying to put a new water bottle in a bottle holder: “It doesn’t fit.” I laughed at him, because I’d put the same bottle in the same holder a day before. I told him. He tried again. It fitted easily. We’re often terrible at looking for things unless we know that they’re there.…

No Guru

I love gurus. The feeling of hope and promise of new efficiency, productivity and meaning that a good one brings. Insights. Ideas. The catch is how easy it is to end up chasing the feeling and not the ideas.  Or to chase the ideas, and not the difference they might make. A weekly in-person meeting with your favourite guru would…

It’s not for you

It’s so easy to want everyone to love what we do. When we’re writing, we want everyone to think it’s great. In our work building a service or product, we want everyone to buy in – to join us, or support us in some way. This leads to problems: By trying to make something that pleases everyone, we end up…

Who is it for?

This is a lesson that I’ve been learning slowly, and for a long time. When presenting to a group or leading a training it’s easy to fall into the trap of focusing on your own performance: Am I looking good? Am I doing well? It’s also easy to focus on what you want to get from the people you’re working…

One cigarette

Which smoke will kill you? According to a load of research, smoking just one cigarette a day does almost half the damage of smoking a whole pack. They expected the health risk of one cigarette to be five percent of the risk of smoking 20 (one divided by 20; this is true for lung cancer risk). But they found that…

Air Pollution

Air Pollution

The air is terrible in Jakarta at the moment – two or three times over the WHO recommended maximum. It’s easy to go down a technical rabbit hole here, which I won’t. The question is – how can little us have an impact on such a huge problem? Some thoughts: 1) Understand it better. Read about it. Measure it. 2)…

100 posts for… us?

I’m a practising writer. These posts are first of all for me, and for no-one else, for the time being. No sharing until I hit 100 at least. Then they’re for the readers and co-workers who will hopefully be blessed by the small percentage of useful ideas that come out of the regular work. And for the people we’ll serve…