Better with time

Some things (and people) disappoint us after first acquaintance. Others seem to gain value as we get to know them better, giving greater satisfaction with time and use: Well-made shoes Good relationships Foundational knowledge in a given field Cast iron pans Empathy Good pillows Life experience Well designed spaces Good sleep Solidly made furniture Kindness, patience, and other virtues Imagination…

Gotong royong (on finding co-owners)

Gotong Royong [Indonesian: to carry together] Friends and champions are indespensible for your project; just as vital are co-owners – people who will actually carry it together with you. Without co-owners, your project will die when you do. With co-owners, it’s much more likely to keep going, and you’ll live longer too: a trouble shared is a trouble halved.

Burn rate (1): the formula

Your organisation’s burn rate is the amount of money you “burn” each month to do what you do. It’s a simple sum, but few organisations seem to keep a close eye on it. Expenses How much are you spending each month? Make sure you count everything – especially big annual expenses you need to be saving towards, or reserves you…

Seth Godin on slack in systems

If you ask most people who run a factory, or an organisation or a sports team, what they’re looking for is a taut, firm connection between and among everybody: everybody busy all the time. The reason that a bucket brigade is so much more efficient than people running back and forth and back and forth to the source of water…

Kicking cans: job descriptions versus culture

A few days ago I watched a schoolboy kicking a can down the road. He kicked it a couple of times and then miskicked, sending the can flying into the road, where it landed at the feet of an off-duty city cleaning worker, still in his orange uniform. These guys are fantastic: they put in the hard yards of sweeping…

Anything yet: the hockey stick

Sustainable growth? I was going to call this ‘the exponential function’, but I didn’t want to put you off. This is a key force behind much of Anything Yet: if things grow steadily (say, at the rate of few percent per year) and continue to grow at that rate, it doesn’t take long for that growth to become enormous – we might say…