on doing things

  • Start small, start now. This is much better than, "start big, start later." One advantage is that you don't have to start perfect. You can merely start.
  • Just begin. There's never a perfect time to begin. You'll never be completely prepared. So just begin.
  • We each carry around a frying pan, looking for just the right size fish to fry. We each have an expectation of what we've got, what we might get and what we deserve. And most of all, we each carry around limits, beliefs about what we're able to contribute.
  • Sometimes, the lower performance gadget is better for our needs than the higher performance one.
  • Train your gut, get better instincts. How do this?
    • Practice going with your instincts in private. Every day, make a judgment call. Make ten. Make predictions about what's going to happen next, who's got a hit, what designs are going to resonate, which videos will go viral, which hires are going to work out. Write them down or they don't count. It makes no sense to refuse to practice your instinct and to only use it when the stakes are high.
    • Expose yourself to more deal flow. If you want to have better instincts about retail, go work in a retail shop. Then another one. Then a third one. If you want to have better instincts about hiring, sit in with the HR folks or volunteer to help a non-profit you care about do screening of incoming resumes.
    • Figure out how to talk about your instincts so that they're no longer instincts. A thinking process shared is inevitably going to get more rigorous. Ask your colleagues to return the favor, by challenging each other to expose their thinking as well.
  • Doing things smarter costs very little. Smart is a bargain.
  • It's tempting indeed to build the one, the one perfect thing, here it is, it's for everyone. But one size rarely fits all. The alternative is break it into components, to find the grid and to fill it in. Not too small, not too big. Grains that match what we're ready to engage with.
  • Don't hide from the mission. Hiding can come in the form of:
    • being too vague about what it is.
    • downplaying the importance of it. Don't do that.
  • When you get stuck on what to do next, think of all the scenarios. Then give the decision to someone else to make.
  • It's better to let something out into the world before it's perfect, than not at all. Just because something isn't perfect, doesn't mean it's not important.

on work

  • People don't pay us for what we're actually worth, they pay us for what they think we're worth. That's why it's so important not to undersell ourselves. But marketing ourselves isn't just about financial amounts, it's about telling our story, by creating value. We need to create a relationship where you work with people not sell to them.
  • It's better to be the least informed person in the room than the most knowledgeable. Why? Imagine everything you can learn!
    • "It's easy to decide to level up. It takes guts to put yourself into a mix where it's actually going to happen."
  • Being an entrepeneur isn't about making money. It's about foresight, about taking risks, about trusting the future. "Entrepreneurial behavior isn't about scale, it's about a desire for a certain kind of journey."
  • Don't say "would you...", say "will you..."

on editing

  • Editing is so difficult because we need to fall out of love with the old idea, not in love with the new idea. "To make the old thing better, you need to destroy it first." You need to care enough to stop loving it.

society & people

  • Kindness scales. It can grow infinitely. Kindness, in one word, is a business model, an approach to strangers and a platform for growth. It might take more effort than you were hoping it would, but it's worth it.
  • the Tragedy of the Commons is not inevitable. We can make it part of our culture to say no to personal greediness and think of the greater good.
  • Instead of expecting people to listen more closely amongst all the social media clutter, try to speak more clearly.
  • Freedom takes extra responsibility -- to make the best choices.
  • Fairness isn't about you, it's about others.
  • Equality is being given the same opportunities. Then it's up to us what to do with those opportunities.
  • There's nothing to lose from offering justice and dignity to others. Everyone benefits from this.

on art

  • Rules for working in a studio:
    • Don’t hide your work
    • Offer help
    • Ask for help
    • Tell the truth
    • Upgrade your tools
    • Don’t hide your mistakes
    • Add energy, don't subtract it
    • Share
    • If you're not proud of it, don't ship it
    • Know the rules of your craft
    • Break the rules of your craft with intention
    • Make big promises
    • Keep them
    • Add positivity
    • Let others run, ever faster
    • Take responsibility
    • Learn something new
    • Offer credit
    • Criticize the work, not the artist
    • Power isn't as important as productivity
    • Honor the schedule
    • You are not your work, embrace criticism
    • Go faster
    • Sign your work
    • Walk lightly
    • Change something
    • Obsess about appropriate quality, ignore perfection
    • A studio isn’t a factory. It’s when peers come together to do creative work, to amplify each other and to make change happen. That can happen in any organization, but it takes commitment.
dec 23 2017 ∞
feb 2 2018 +