Seeking (better)

Seeking better … seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Jesus of Nazareth – in Matthew’s Gospel There are times that we know what “better” is. We’ve been there before, or seen it from afar, or can at least imagine it. So we seek it: we head in its…

Seth Godin: “This might not work.”

“This might not work,” is at the heart of all of our most important work, but often we let the possibility of failure put us off, or we make the equal-and-opposite error of not making a proper go of something so that we have an excuse if it falls flat. Risk is part of the game. Interesting and important problems…

Responsive: faster feedback

Are there times, in your line of work, when faster feedback is more effective than thorough feedback? Little bits of feedback, fast and often, are often best. Where could you follow up and reply to things more quickly? Which things demand closer, more thorough attention? How good are you at differentiating between the two?

It could have been better (3): Seth Godin on “good enough” and the pursuit of perfection

The pursuit of perfection gets in the way of doing the work that we need to do. … What does perfection actually mean? … It is entirely possible that, as a marketing effort, your definition of “good enough” is “much better than people expect”. If you define “good enough” as “remarkable in the way that customers experiences it,” you’ve still…

It could have been better (2): Seth Godin on limits to quality

We must never accept shoddy work – it doesn’t make any sense to make something not as good as it should be. But we are always making things that are not as good as they could be, because if we have unlimited time and unlimited money of course we would make something differently. But we don’t have unlimited time, and…

Recommendation: Econtalk with Matt Ridley on How Innovation Works

I highly recommend this episode of Econtalk with Matt Ridley talking about how innovation makes inventions useful by making them available, affordable and reliable. The Academy of Ideas podcast is a good overview of the book’s key points about how innovation works and made me feel that I probably didn’t need to read it. This excellent interview with Russ Roberts…

Incremental innovation: coffee cups from Ikea

It’s a small thing, but it’s very thoughtful of them. Ikea (they probably got the idea from someone else) added drainage slots to the bases of their coffee cups so that they dry better. This is particularly good news for users of dishwashers: there are few things more annoying than sprinkling brackish dishwasher juice from the base of a mug…

Matt Ridley: 15 principles of innovation from “How Innovation Works”

I think it [Innovation] is the most important thing that happens in history, bar none. It’s what explains all the trends that happen in the world, it’s what explains the prosperity, but it’s also what explains all the other cultural trends – it explains how social media has gone crazy and things like that. Innovation is at the heart of…

Orders of magnitude / next size up

There are lots of things that are easy enough to do once. Doing the same thing a second time can be almost as big a step: you’ll have learned some useful lessons the first time round but might also have used up non-renewable resources (available time, money, enthusiasm) or discover that you’ve picked the lowest-hanging fruit. If you’re serious about…