Resource: Seth Godin on Business Models

I think of the business model as the enabling “wrapper” around the “technical” solution you make happen. If you’re a plumber, it’s all the business stuff. If you’re a teacher, it might be the whole infrastructure of a school. In a non-profit, it’s the rest of the “onion” around the thing you want to do that actually makes a difference…

A project

The thing that I’m recommending for a lot of people now is to find a sphere of activity, no matter how small or how local, that you feel you can control and you can do at home and you can contribute to. This feeling of powerlessness may set in that will cause people to panic more or become too depressed…

Bear hunt

We can rarely go around – or over, or under – the big, difficult things. If we could they wouldn’t be big or difficult. The only way is through.* *Hopefully with a minumum of “Stumble Trip! Stumble Trip! Stumble Trip!”

Voices

This is true all the time, but it’s more relevant than ever in months like the one we’re having, and probably for several months ahead: it matters which voices you listen to. Here are two recent quotes from Seth Godin about this – the first about who shouts loudest, who we listen to, and our choice to lead instead of…

Crossing the street: Seth Godin on monopolies

Every successful business has a monopoly—a monopoly on what it makes that someone else can’t make the way they make it. That leaves out commodity businesses—people who bring coal out of the ground. I don’t think of those businesses as particularly successful. I think of them as useful. I’m glad if I need a bag of coal someone’s doing it,…

Building systems, questioning statistics, finding things out, decline and fall

Four interesting, tangentially-related things worth checking out: Wired article by Adam Rogers on how Singapore built a system that was ready to respond to Covid-19; Another Wired article by Ferris Jabr looking at the obviously wrong but overlooked commonly cited statistics about Spanish Flu fatality rates and how they became “standard”; A twitter thread from Patrick Wyman about the decline…

Resource: Steve Blank on the startup journey

“How to Raise Money – It’s a Journey Not An Event” (blog post and podcast by Steve Blank, embedded below) is a fantastic resource for understanding the different stages of development in the early life of a new company, and how priorities shift. It’s helpful for anyone who wants to understand the world of funding rounds for startups (seed funding, Series…

Bill Gates’ onion

This is a nice illustration of a set of nested problems (a.k.a. “The Onion“) in development from Bill and Melinda Gates’ philanthropic work. Often – most of the time? – the technical solution is only a small part of a whole system needed to bring about change. See also The Wrapper. … In the case of global health, I thought…

Tom Peters on the “services added” narrative

“It helps to be as helpful as you can be” Rolls-Royce now earns MORE from tasks such as managing clients’ overall procurement strategies and maintaining aerospace engines it sells than it does from making them. Thus the quintessential lumpy object producer, akin to yesteryear’s IBM, principally becomes a services-added company that also happens to make lumpy objects. … Twenty years…

On Jean Valjean’s carriage, technological progress and interchangeable parts

Jean Valjean – in a desperate hurry to save an innocent man from being condemned – has stopped to rest his horse and discovered that his carriage has a broken wheel: This excellent beast had covered twelve and a half miles in two hours and had not a drop of sweat on its rump. … “Can you repair the wheel…