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…

Striding Edge

One of the most famous walks in England is along a high ridge in the Lake District called Striding Edge. It runs to the east of the mountain called Helvellyn, one of the highest mountains in England, and particularly in bad weather, one of the most dangerous. Most English mountains are relatively safe, but that’s one of the ones that…

Bread and butter: unbundling complex products

There is a place (a big place!) for custom work – people pay more to get difficult jobs done well, and the craft required gives you an opportunity to do work that people will notice and “cross the street for.” But if everything you do is complex and nuanced, such that every quote is a custom quote, and every sale…

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,…

Obviously

If they knew what you knew, felt how you felt, had the right perspective, it would be obvious to them too. But they don’t. This means that – assuming that it’s necessary and helpful to point out the obvious in this case – the way you do it matters a lot: What are you going to do to help you…

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…

Gordon Brown: All for one

An ideology of “everyone for himself” will not work when the health of each of us depends so unavoidably on the health of all of us. Gordon Brown in The Guardian: In the coronavirus crisis, our leaders are failing us Gordon Brown’s timely reminder about health applies equally to… General economic prosperity; The quality of our education systems; The civility…

Questions from today

Which jobs absolutely must get done today? Which jobs can we (must we) push back – and to when? Who is waiting for my input? What’s the minimum I can give them so that they can do the maximum without me? How can I make the process and decisions explicit so that in time they might do it without me?…

Competent

Maybe you think of yourself as competent, or maybe you don’t. Self-talk I tend to say things to myself like: I can do this. I could do that. I could do that, too, if I spent some time learning how. I understand how this works, even if I’m sketchy on the details. I’m not doing this very well in this…