Who says?

Does it matter who says it? Science says: “It doesn’t matter who said it. What matters is the evidence and the reasoning.” Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts Richard Feynman Thomas Hobbes said much the same: Words are wise men’s counters, they do but reckon by them; but they are the money of fools, that value them…

Some questions

Who for? Who will you serve? What do you think they need, what do they want, and what story will you tell to align the two with what you offer? What contextual factors and wider systems do you need to take into account? How far? Which pieces of the puzzle will you take responsibility for? What will you do to…

Vitalstatistix: 5000+

Yesterday (7th May 2020) DriverlessCroc hit 5,002 views, not counting views via email or from RSS readers. The last thousand views (from 3,000 views on 14th November 2019 to 4,000 views on 25th February 2020) took 103 days at 9.7 views per day. The most recent thousand took 73 days at 13.7 views per day. In November I speculated that…

Use it or lose it

In this time of change, what skills and processes are you and your team using more than you used to? What have you stopped doing? If any of the things you’ve stopped doing are going to be important when things go forward (not back) to (the new) normal, find ways to start doing them again. If it’s impossible to do…

Nested problems, nested solutions (8): the leadership and ownership problem

This is part of a series thinking through the different layers involved in solving real-world problems. It’s a sketch of ideas in process. The final layer of the onion is about leadership and responsibility for the whole organisation: setting tone, maintaining or correcting course, and thinking about what needs to happen next to grow it has a healthy, impactful and…

Astro Teller on planning, experimentation and innovation

This extract is from another great interview on Exponential View with Azeem Azhar. Depending on how you count, [at Google X] maybe 1000 ideas turned into ten ideas. … I would put it this way, with respect to how we think about X: if you’re serious about innovation, you would be lucky to succeed one percent of the time. You…

Paul Graham on doing great work

The distinctive thing about people who do great work is not that they spend every waking hour working on things that matter. It’s that they consistently spend two or three or four hours a day working on things that matter, rather than zero. Paul Graham – tweeted here Even an hour or two – consistently – makes a difference.

Thomas Hobbes and Fatboy Slim on arithmetic and getting things done

When a man Reasoneth, hee does nothing else but conceive a summe totall, from Addition of parcels; or conceive a Remainder, from Substraction of one summe from another: which (if it be done by Words,) is conceiving of the consequence of the names of all the parts, to the name of the whole; or from the names of the whole…

Nested problems, nested solutions (7): Astro Teller on management and organisational culture

Yesterday’s post ended with the tension between designing systems and fostering a culture – writing scripts and setting tone – that will make it possible for an organisation to achieve its goals. In this great – and perfectly timed – interview on the excellent Exponential View podcast with Azeem Azhar, (Google) X’s CEO (or “Chief of Moonshots”) Astro Teller talks…

Nested problems, nested solutions (6): the management problem

This is part of a series thinking through the different layers involved in solving real-world problems. It’s a sketch of ideas in process. So now you’re operating: you’ve got a solution to a problem that people want, and you’ve got the systems and people in place that you need to make it scaleable and repeatable. By now you’ve probably got…