Innovation is guts plus generosity

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Guts, because it might not work.

And generosity, because guts without seeking to make things better is merely hustle.

The innovator shows up with something she knows might not work (pause for a second, and contrast that with everyone else, who has been trained to show up with a proven, verified, approved, deniable answer that will get them an A on the test).

If failure is not an option, then, most of the time, neither is success.

Its pretty common for someone to claim that theyre innovative when actually, all they are is popular, profitable or successful. Nothing wrong with that. But its not innovative.

Allow generosity to take the lead and youll probably discover that its easier to find the guts.

The solo marathon…

The usual marathons, the popular ones, are done in a group.

They have a start time.

A finish line.

A way to qualify.

A route.

A crowd.

And a date announced a year in advance.

Mostly, they have excitement, energy and peer pressure.

The other kind of marathon is one that anyone can run, any day of the year. Put on your sneakers, run out the door and come back 26 miles later. These are rare.

Its worth noting that much of what we do in creating a project, launching a business or developing a career is a lot closer to the second kind of marathon.

No wonder its so difficult.

You cant outtrain a bad diet

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Its way easier to eat lousy food than it is to exercise it off. Your effort is undermined by your inputs.

And the same thing is true for corporate culture.

You can work as hard as you like to create expectations and policies. But the people you begin with their dreams, their narratives and their habits are difficult to transform.

Successful projects and organizations require more than good intent. They require inputs from committed people who are going where you’re going. And they require a strategy that rewards not just short-term effort, but thoughtful direction and useful daily engagement.

Start with the right people. Figure out what the market needs and turn that objective into a daily practice, step by step. There is no such thing as an overnight sustainable success.

The moment of maximum leverage…

It’s the moment before it tips, that split second where a little effort can make a big difference.

We wait for this. For the day when participating will truly pay off, for the mechanical advantage that gives us the most impact for our effort.

It’s a myth.

Maximum leverage is the result of commitment, of daily persistence, of gradual and insane and apparently useless effort over time.

When it works, it merely looks like we had good timing.

Price and satisfaction


You dont need to read many reviews to realize that the correlation between price and satisfaction isnt what you might have guessed.

Its super rare for someone to write, 5 stars. The product wasnt perfect, it wasnt exactly what I needed, but it was really cheap, so, good job!

In fact, things that are free (streaming music or movies, blog posts, speeches, etc.) almost never get bonus happiness because they had the lowest possible price.

And almost as rare is the review that says, This is terrific, it was magical and solved all my problems, but Im only giving it three stars because it had a high price.

If you want to create satisfaction, the two elements are:

Make useful promises

Keep them

Price is unrelated, except for one thing: Charge enough that you can afford to actually keep your promise. The thrill of a low price disappears quickly, but the pain of a broken promise lasts a very long time.

Are you hiding from the mission ?

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We do this in two ways:

The first is refusing to be clear and precise about what the mission is. Avoiding specifics about what we hope to accomplish and for whom. Being vague about success and (thus about failure).

After all, if no one knows exactly what the mission is, it’s hard feel like a failure if it doesn’t succeed.

The second is even more insidious. We degrade the urgency of the mission. We become diffuse. We get distracted. Anything to avoid planting a stake and saying, “I made this.”

It’s possible to spend 7 hours and 52 minutes out of an eight-hour day in doing nothing but hiding from the mission. And it’s exhausting.

This year be different;

1.Be clear and precise about what the mission is. Be specifics about what you hope to accomplish.Measure that daily,weekly,monthly depending on your goals,target and activities needed to achieve that.

2.Write it down on MS word or excel.Save for reference.

3. Avoid distractions,it could be your phone,certain individuals,websites,apps,spending habits,fears,laziness.

Good luck.keep reviewing and adjusting daily 🙂

 

What will you do with your surplus?

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If you have a safe place to sleep, reasonable health and food in the fridge, you’re probably living with surplus. You have enough breathing room to devote an hour to watching TV, or having an argument you don’t need to have, or simply messing around online. You have time and leverage and technology and trust.

For many people, this surplus is bigger than any human on Earth could have imagined just a hundred years ago.

What will you spend it on?

If you’re not drowning, you’re a lifeguard.

The taxi or the cruise ship..?

The successful cab owner knows this:

Every ride is custom

People choose a cab precisely because they can ride alone, on their own terms

Empty trips are part of the job, and it’s okay, because the next ride will pay for it.

On the other hand, the person who chooses to run a cruise line knows:

Every cruise is designed by me, and people sign up precisely because I chose well

People choose a cruise ship to be with other people, to benefit from economies of scale and to be part of something

Empty trips (or worse, half-empty trips) can put the line out of business

It’s pretty easy to get into the cab business. Do a few rides for friends, then list online, or join Lyft, then go full-time.

On the other hand, it’s much more difficult to get into the cruise business. There’s a critical mass, and the minimum number is a lot more than one customer.

Each business can be a good one if you do it at the appropriate scale.

The warning, and the purpose of the metaphor, is to realize that it’s not a matter of gradually going from one to the other. Remember that running a taxi is a fine sort of business, but don’t expect to turn it into a cruise ship. And vice versa.