Selective serendipity: places, people, ideas

This morning I listened to Nicholas Bloom lamenting the current absence of conferences and seminars in the Covid-19 era in part because of the loss of the sort of selective serendipity that exposes him to new collaborators and interesting ideas. Then I found myself in a large, good quality bookshop for the first time in (at least) several months and…

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…

Matt Ridley: invention vs innovation

[Public service announcement for email subscribers: sorry for the unfinished post you may have received out of the weekend – I was having issues with the WordPress app.] Innovation is different from invention. Invention means coming up with a new thing; innovation means making that new thing available, affordable and reliable in such a way that people actually go out…

Gravity bites

Watching skate videos – try this one, or this one – is great. You can kind of imagine doing those tricks. Watching beginner “how to” skate videos – try this one – is fun too. You can definitely imagine doing those tricks: “So I just put my foot here, then I jump like this…” You can learn a lot from…

In it to win it (2): OK Go on the sandbox theory of how to find a wonderful idea

This may seem to you like testing, but it really isn’t, because at this point we don’t yet know what our idea is: we don’t have a plan to be testing. We’re just trying everything we can think of because we need to get the idea space filled with a chaos… because then… if we can… get just a few…

The Toolkit – Part 0: Action. Now. (4) – Action as idea filter

This post is part of the working draft of the DriverlessCrocodile Toolkit (read more here). I’d love comments, links to resources related to the theme, and original contributions. Action is also sort of evolutionary filter for separating your good ideas from your bad ones. Woolly ideas and unrealistic idealism evaporate on contact with the world. The death of long-cherished dreams…

Seth Godin on physical books

A book is a souvenir of an idea. You come in here, and you see something, and you go “Oh yeah!” and then you can go do something.Whereas who knows where it is on my harddrive? They’re like old friends.…I think that the magic [of a book] is sort of like how people used to talk about radio, as “Theatre…

Crunch time

… isn’t the push to meet a tight deadline, or what you do under pressure. Crunch time is when you have a bit of time, space and discretion about what to do, and you don’t really feel like showing up. It’s paying attention to people and processes when they’re doing well, long before they break down It’s committing a bit…

Marc Andreesen on ideas vs execution

… there was a great Dilbert strip where the pony-haired boss says, “You know, I have a great idea for a startup. All I need is for, you know, somebody to actually, like, write the code and do all the work.” And Dilbert says, “The technical term for what you have is, ‘nothing’” … right? Right? [see it here] ……

How tools spread

How do tools – ideas and understandings, practices, and real physical tools – get to the people who need them? Some tools may only need to be seen to by copied and spread. A tool will spread if it is: Visible – people need to see it (or hear, or read about it) Beneficial – people need to see that…