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Reality channel

Who chooses? You or your filters?

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Crystalline integrity

Integrity is fragile, critical and expensive.

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Leverage brillance: embrace weakness

Problems are opportunities. What will crisis drive you to do?

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Bigham’s system

Strong process is core to small business success.

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Haute coutre, universal appeal

It's only when we forget all our learning that we begin to know.

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Twitter tested, top two-week links

Most popular links, based on twitter account stats.

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Arcing abundance and the future of limits

What does the Singularity invite us to ignore?

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Pinnacles and plains

Stop bleeding brilliance. Find a pinnacle. Climb together.

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Now

What changes if all we intend to give, is given now, instead of the future?

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Labyrinth’s tangle

Bad is born of unbridled good. Wicked good is barely bridled.

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Where bad became good

Drayton Valley is like many small Alberta towns except, its turning bad to good.

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Preempting wicked problems

Were wicked problems once wicked goods. What flipped?

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Loaded for battleships; firing without reason

In what ways will you do which things that change what course to what end?

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Foundations for air castles

For impact investment to thrive, the castle needs a foundation.

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Context of choice in impact investment

Impact investment means managing portfolios in addition to choosing individual investments.

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Precision – a manifesto for impact investment

Drive investment: deliver results, be precise, embrace complexity and create clarity.

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Being maker changes what?

What changes when we get more makers?

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Wanted socks. Got advice.

When life is busy, advice is a third-level need.

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Loaded for seagull, built for battleships

Two essential decisions lie between you and greatness.

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Top ten reasons to never pay for foresight

How to avoid getting scammed by foresight vendors.

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The ‘in’ and ‘no’ of innovation management

Business innovation starts on the inside. And, more often than not, it begins with No instead of Yes.

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Three responses to recession

How pressing, playing the odds, and driving results changes the game.

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Overview of Business+Strategy Posts

This category covers issues in business and strategy for entrepreneurs, SMEs and large corporations.

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Convert core competencies for value creation

To enjoy consistently superior performance, you need to know where to focus your practice.

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Strategic fit of place

Strategic fit, between the character of place and local industries, increases investment success.

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When awkward is best

For small companies, awkwardness is an oft unappreciated asset.

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Three ways rituals change business

Which rituals for business would remind us of what matters most?

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The renaissance of old technologies (or the cost of new in innovation)

Seeking innovation in only new places means giving up on the value and principles intrinsic in old technologies.

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Principles of economics; meaningful as ever

Timeless principles matter

I’ve been lucky and had good teachers. The best encouraged my natural interests. One of these passions, probably inspired by countless fantasy novels growing up, is the timeless and often ancient principles of art, architecture, literature, philosophy …

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Perfect logo

Help us choose our logo. List your three favourites and the reason for your choices.

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Grow your business: better, not bigger

Small businesses, gazelles, and large corporations all face enormous pressure to grow. This pressure exists whether or not growth is a good idea.

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Coach a bully CEO

Brilliant CEOs look like bullies. Good boards know better.

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Coaches for CEOs

Goalies only stopped being twitchy when they started getting coached. Who helps quirky CEOs?

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The future of now

What you anticipate in the future is a product of your past and everything you count meaningful right now.

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Terrior. Not frightening. Not a dog.

How the character of place influences and shapes everything it makes.

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Build simple tools. Honor complexity.

When we build tools for decision-makers, we follow two intentions: Build simple tools and honor complexity.

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Why the back-side of innovation matters

Innovation gets an awful lot of attention these days. But most of the fanfare is focused on starting new things. What about finishing? Who's got that job?

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Jeremy’s been…

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About

“We can locate almost anyone for anyone anywhere, and we are ideologically promiscuous.”

– Louis, French informer, from the movie Munich, 2005

This site explores business, foresight, intelligence, metaphors, and, at times, the life of its author …

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What you stand for and what it means for your business

How lessons learnt twenty years ago are changing the business I am a part of today.

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Key ways story-arcs change business strategy

The best writers arc their stories to intriguing and unexpected ends. Can we arc businesses too?

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Old news, new news


“sift” isn’t new. The company started about the same time as this website (circa 2006). That’s the old news.

New news: We’re now at this full-time. Have been since November 2007. And we are so grateful to say that business …

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Revolution. With who?

Ralph Waldo Emerson, History:

“Every revolution was first a thought in one man’s mind, and when the same thought occurs to another man, it is the key to that era.”

What is your revolution? When will you give …

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Walk consciously, then leap.

From Henry David Thoreau’s journal:

“Find out as soon as possible what are the best things in your composition and then shape the rest to fit them. The former will be the midrib and veins of the leaf.

There …

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Embracing elitism

Here’s another question for Chris, Siona, and Dave: What is a facilitator compared to a host? And compared to a coach? And finally, compared to an artist?

I ask because people keep suggesting I’m a facilitator. But …

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as vendors of Lucifer matches

Henry David Thoreau:

It would be worth while,
once for all,
fairly and cleanly
to tell how we are to be used,

as vendors of Lucifer matches

send directions in the envelope,
both how light may be
readily procured
and …

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How to do only that which you can do

How do we get started on a path to doing things that express our genius?

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“do only what you only can do”

It was hot. Having Chernobyl just a few hours away didn’t help.

I was lying on my back, slung between two seats in the bottom of the row boat. My self-appointed advisor sat sweating in the bow. His fat white …

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Passion metric

I battle an internal suspicion that I’m too naive for business. Maybe I think too big, measure obstacles as too small, and expect too much? But maybe we live too small, ask too few important questions, focus on the middle …

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Blue ocean revival

Within my small circle of aquaintences, Blue Ocean Strategy is popular again. Reading it through for the third time (the last time was more than a year ago), the book is so smooth and so rich compared to the business …

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Fiction society: moving beyond crowds

Before moving on to a review of John Ruskin’s book, On Art and Life, there’s one more bit to synthesize from the first two (here and here). Trouble is, I’m not sure how to say this best. …

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De-patterning: refining the first stage of thought

After finishing New World, New Mind I was convinced of two things. First, more attention is needed around staging our thinking processes. Second, the authors didn’t had no idea how to do it.

So, while Cuban waves tickled the beach, …

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Set up your mind for better decisions

Our ability to understand issues is increasing exponentially but our mental hardwiring isn't being upgraded. We understand more every day but instinctively respond to events like monkeys.

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Experiencing insight: which comes first, age or beauty?

Can a group of eclectic and divergent innovators pick winners in ways "experienced" veterans can't? Is experience all it's made out to be when the game is new ventures?

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Forget tailor-made, just get it second-hand.

In an offline note a good friend challenges the concept of new, tailor-made companies. Instead he asks, “What about companies that need tailors … companies that need a new dress, ugly companies, those ones that need new shoes … …

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Creating tailor-made companies

I keep running into amazing people. Each one stuck in a job that uses a tiny part of what they're great at. Here's a plan to use a bit more.

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A master at play

Henry David Thoreau’s taste for life is, for me, unmatched in its perception, power, and vitality. From earnest to silly, most of it sings. His journal … it’s like watching Michelangelo whittle. The rippling strength of a master at play.…

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Synchronizing greatness

Here’s an unsolved riddle: How do we get the minds of widely dispersed, brilliant people to focus on critical problems/opportunities? How do we synchronize greatness?

Dave Pollard brought this up a few days ago. He writes:

“… we don’t need …

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Invoking innovation: moving beyond serendipity

Innovative brilliance is fortuitous. It's an accident. The challenge is moving beyond serendipity and to intention.

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Invite and inspire brilliance

How do we invite brilliant people to try and fail quickly, over and over again, in very small ways?

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Up on a soapbox

When do we get to play? Why does brilliance need an excuse?

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Never provoked

From the Thoreau blog:

“Some men make their due impression upon their generation, because a petty occasion is enough to call forth all their energies; but are there not others who would rise to much higher levels, whom the world …

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A distinct view of the naked whole

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations:

“When an object presents itself to your perception, make a mental definition or at least an outline of it, so as to discern its essential character, to pierce beyond its separate attributes to a distinct view …

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That one fleeting instant

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus, Roman Emperor from 161-180:

“… the passing minute is every man’s equal possession, but what has once gone by is not ours. Our loss, therefore, is limited to that one fleeting instant, since no one can …

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Codex

I’ve been working, since the canoe trip this summer, to refine a few of the most important pieces I’ve written about on this site. These ideas are important to me as I seek to understand both my way forward and …

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Tatts and cards

Life bulges with banality. Quantifiers like unanimous, majority, and average somehow dominate decisions. If it’s at least above middle, then it’s worth doing.

Even vices like poker and tatoos can finally trumpet their triumph at conquering the middle-class. Yet, would …

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Concrete straightjacket

This summer’s canoe trip was, for the most part, a fairly placid experience. Smooth water, subdued weather, genial wildlife.

But there is a stretch of river where things get pretty inspired. Rounding a corner the river suddenly picks up its …

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Life imagined

Are we not always living
the life that we imagine
we are?

– Henry David Thoreau…

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Gatherings that changed the world

From wikipedia on the Slovay Conference:

“Perhaps the most famous conference was the October 1927 Fifth Solvay International Conference on Electrons and Photons, where the world’s most notable physicists met to discuss the newly formulated quantum theory. The leading

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Of foxes and pixies

A fox came to visit yesterday. The first I’d ever seen outside a zoo.

A cascade of red, white, and nearly blue color – she poured down the hill. Her hair glistened, rolling with her tiny muscles.

She trotted along …

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Thoreau as poet

Thoreau’s prose turned to poetry:

it is only when we forget
all our learning
that we begin to know.

to conceive
with total apprehension
approach it as something
totally
strange.

if you would make acquaintance
with the ferns
forget your …

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How would you be?

When you dream of an ideal space to do what you do best, what does it look like, sound like, and feel like?

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Of avarice and spiritual penury

As written yesterday – Thoreau was tuned to nuances in life that most of us pass without noticing. More than that, he recorded the observations and, by the account of many others, he regularly revisited and rewrote those tiny tales. …

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Observing our moments instead of the future

Might seeking a future be short-sighted if it keeps us from seeing where we are?

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Time management

From the Thoreau blog:

“Nature never makes haste; her systems revolve at an even pace. The bud swells imperceptibly, without hurry or confusion, as though the short spring days were an eternity. All her operations seem separately for the time,

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Want raw

It’s been surprising how much people have resonated with the canoe trip stories. Not just the “week away” part … actually, not that part at all.

Interest has been in the expression of that trip. The emerging strength of the …

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Lost winters

From the Thoreau blog:

“Thinking this afternoon of the prospect of my writing lectures and going abroad to read them the next winter. I realized how incomparably great the advantages of obscurity and poverty which I have enjoyed so

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Give me eyes to see

From the Thoreau blog:

“The poet is a man who lives at last by watching his moods. An old poet comes at last to watch his moods as narrowly as a cat does a mouse.

I omit the usual—the hurricanes …

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Beyond the edges

I don’t want to make a big show out of that canoe trip. It really was just six days paddling around a lake. But it was also a window to a part of me that lay nearly forgotten.

There are …

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Find a niche, get happy

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Collective intelligence

From Les invasions barbares (2003):

“Intelligence isn’t an individual trait. It’s collective, national, and intermittent.

Athens, BC – Euripides premieres his Electra. Two rivals attend, Sophocles and Aristophanes. And two friends, Socrates and Plato.
Intelligence was there.

Firenze, Palazzo

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Socrates

Just finished reading the Apology of Socrates. Three things stood out:

1. Socrates was at home. He knew everyone. It’s a record of conversations with people he knew all his life.

2. Socrates believed that the wisdom expressed by …

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Is this elitist?

From the Thoreau blog:

“As I go through the fields, endeavoring to recover my tone and sanity and to perceive things truly and simply again, after having been perambulating the bounds of the town all week, and dealing with

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Attending intention

By becoming present, focusing on moments exerts enormous attention.

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Dying to remember

My Dad, brother, brother-in-law and I just finished a week-long canoe trip around the Bowron Lakes circuit in B.C.. It was wonderful.

The lakes run along the foot of several mountain ranges. Peaks rise up on either side to tower …

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Reviewing profound

Time away brings introspection.

Long hours in a canoe give lots of room for thought.

While I sort through those ideas – here is a compilation of favourite ideas from the past. It’s a series of posts about purpose, perfection, …

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Low-tech sabbatical

Am leaving today for a mini-sabbatical – a canoe trip deep in the sticks of British Columbia.

No net. No phones. No batteries. Posting will be even lighter this week than it has been the last few.…

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Keystone questions

As investors we ask a lot of questions. It’s the part of the job I enjoy the most.

I’ve always been attracted to important questions … this work has cemented that interest.

Here’s a question I found a while ago. …

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Begging for wonderful

From sites around the net: “brilliant”, “genius”, “inspiring”.

The world is begging for wonderful.

P.S.: If reading this via RSS – Go here.…

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More taps

While doing my MSc, I explored the economic costs of a massive ice storm in Eastern Ontario. One of the women on the project focused on the costs specific to maple syrup producers.

Maple syrup production is lovely – tucked …

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Staring at the meek

What do you think of this? Is it a power worth using on trifling things like brow-beating gas boys or getting a window seat? It feels a bit more special than that.

A friend and I used to talk …

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Revisiting abductive thinking

Retro post #143

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biomimicry startup

So, I’ve been fiddling lately. Toying. Poking and prodding. A bit itchy I guess. I want to play a little. Something related to biomimicry I think.

Biomimicry or biomimetics is the study and imitation of nature. Taking inspiration for natural …

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sift experiment no. 1

So, I’ve been fiddling lately. Toying really. Poking and prodding. Dilly-dallying. A bit itchy actually. I’d like to play a little. Something related to biomimicry I think.

Biomimicry or biomimetics is the study and imitation of nature. Taking inspiration for …

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I am …

A good friend and I were chatting about personal branding, it started with the regular hoopla: posture, piercings, language, work ethic, body odour, etc. Gradually we got to talking about how we perceive ourselves and how we each perceive the …

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Everything else is proofreading

Retro post: No. 99

Philip Pullman in the Guardian:

“It’s when we do this foolish, time-consuming, romantic, quixotic, childlike thing called play that we are most practical, most useful, and most firmly grounded in reality, because the world itself is

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Creative execution

Retro post #89

There are at least two ways to effect change.

One is to complain liberally and bitterly until noone can stand it
and the move is made. Many bloggers live here.

Another is to criticize by creating (Michelangelo).…

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The evolution of intuition

Answer both of these questions based on intuition alone. Who’s going to win the NFL playoffs this year? What is the future of your company? Bet you’re ready to answer both but only willing to put one answer on the …

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Going up

“I don’t know why people feel unhappy when the curve
of a graph fails to keep going up, but they do. Even
when we find something we’d like to reduce, such as
highway fatalities, it doesn’t always sound as though…

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Reawakening eccentricity

Eccentricity comes from the Greek phrase "to prick". I dream of working with eccentric people that dance within chaos and fragmentation.

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dream job

To work with people that have embraced their brilliance. To work with people who are brilliant. People who intend to shine.

I want to work on innovation, creativity, and insight. I’m keen on educating for creativity and insight, creating markets …

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Killed by ninjas

Retro post #91

Great find by Johnnie Moore, John Kay’s article on Obliquity is excellent. Kay writes that goals are often best achieved when pursued indirectly – this is the idea of obliquity.

Like Johnnie it reminds me of …

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How to be introspective

Introversion isn't bad, it just has consequences.

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One thousand paintings – got mine

Got it – 945, the smallest odd abundant number.

1000paintings.com


Sweet. Thanks Sala.…

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Archive

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Making my name

There’s an unobservable line between ambition and growth. Where movement can be too early, just right, or too late. When does growth stop and stagnation take over? When is a switch premature?

I don’t think the answer is outside us. …

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Higher levels of life

David Thoreau Journal – July 13, 1857:

“The price of friendship is the total surrender of yourself; no lesser kindness, no ordinary attentions and offerings will buy it. There is forever that purchase to be made with that wealth which …

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Never look like an artist

Spent the weekend with a good friend.
Both of us love words. Somewhere on
one of our hikes we started rolling
through favourite quotes. He pops
out with this: “True artists never
look like artists.” It’s something his
Dad said …

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Pitching, flipping, and pinging – forgotten principles

Before pitching, or flipping, try pinging.

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Imagine a future …

Ritva VoutilaThis talk by Sir Ken Robinson is gorgeous. I’ve listened to it four times and watched the video twice. I’d love to meet him some day.

Even before I had my son I was passionately interested in education. Since he …

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I will not be that man

Albert TissandierFrom the Guardian, “The former Enron chairman whose name became a byword for boardroom deceit and corruption, Ken Lay, died in an exclusive ski resort yesterday while awaiting sentence for his involvement in America’s biggest ever corporate fraud.”

What …

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The gift I’d give

Ever looked at your CEO? Ever watched the Prime Minister when he isn’t speaking? I don’t mean: glanced at his shoes or hair style. I mean really looked – actually observed.

Did you see her eyes darting around the room, …

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The edge of greatness

Look across all “great” achievements and imagine what it was like to be on the verge of those things. Imagine the youthful, burning passion from which that accomplishment was borne.

Look across the spectrum of actions and decisions and sacrifices …

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Things as they are (rather than what we wish they were).

Retro post: Revised based on “Look!” from November 30, 2004.

John Oliver (past President of DowElanco Canada Inc., a joint venture between Dow Chemical and Eli Lillys), once told me what he looks at when considering novel products. …

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What’s in?

Retro post: September 12, 2004

(A Billy Collins poem. Rated PG)

Purity

My favourite time to write is in the late afternoon,
weekdays, particularly Wednesdays.
This is how I go about it:
I take a fresh pot of tea into …

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Bahauddin’s flower

Bahauddin, the father of Rumi:

When I deeply know my senses, I feel in them the way to God and the purpose of living:

Look at this surprising flower
which cannot be seen, and yet
its fragrance cannot be

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Where taking is giving

Sometimes giving less room means giving more value - a simple principle of economics.

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Purposeful thought

Action is directed by ideas. Action realizes what thinking has designed.

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Innovation begets innovation

Jared Diamond won the Pulitzer Prize for his book Guns, Germs and Steel. In it Diamond describes one of the key principles of innovation: technology begets technology.

Using examples of neighbouring New Guinean, North American Indian, and Mexican Indian …

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Principles of being

Live intentionally in this moment. Become all you've struggled to be.

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Intentions

Creating art and creating brilliant business can be a long, tedious process. But both require a set of intentions instead of a series of responses.

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Bit of art, bit of history: perfect

I’m a sucker for a good story.

Just bought number 945, the smallest odd abundant number.

Smallest … odd … abundant … number. Hilarious. Brilliant.

Thanks to Seth Godin for the link.

Site Search Tags: , …

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Goad us to action

From the Blog of Henry David Thoreau:

“With all this opportunity, this comedy and tragedy, how near all men come to doing nothing! It is strange that they did not make us more intense and emphatic, that they do

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Finding your genius

The difference between success and obscurity is self-knowing.

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Category two

Intuition drives science and entrepreneurial innovation. Why doesn't it play harder at the boardroom table?

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All that can possibly concern

Thoreau on love.

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Real-time never existed before

Real-time never existed before today's networked technologies.

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Not enough time is all about trust

The natural timing of life requires trust.

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Powerful beyond measure

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

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Thoreau on character

Pity the man who has a character to support.

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Quotes by Einstein

The important thing is not to stop questioning.

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Listen child

by Shel Silverstein

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What’s this for?

Leached here.

Site Search Tags: ,

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Lemmings …

Click anywhere.…

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Stuff I haven’t read that I think I ought to:

Architect Unknown: For each of these buildings the architect is unknown. I should get this site to cycle through a few photos whenever I feel driven to make a lasting, unforgettable statement.

In The Traditional Japanese Garden: An …

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Just asking: Hugh on speaking out loud

Hugh, you’re doing way more talks right? I think it’s so bizarre to be able to follow you around the world, watching/listening through all these little web portals. I got a question for you: In which conversation (this

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philologr: apt

apt — apt (ăpt) — an adjective describing something/someone exactly suitable; appropriate; having a natural tendency; inclined. It comes from Old French apte, which is from Latin aptus, which is the past participle of apere, which is “to fasten”.

Found …

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philologr: obsequious

An adjective describing one who is full of or exhibiting servile compliance; fawning.

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Mistaken beliefs

© sift (Jeremy Heigh)…

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Breeder wanted

There’s been a big dust up between Robert Scoble, Shel Israel, and Werner Vogel (CTO Amazon).

The hubbub brings to a point several interesting dynamics:

1. Bloggers are entrepreneurs unable to strategically quantify their intuition (and that’s fine).…

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We need a breeder – intuitive strategists that bridge

Shel Israel and Robert Scoble are bloggers, the increasingly influential authors of the book Naked Conversations, and now speakers rising in popularity. Recently they were invited to join a caravan of blog-savvy evangelists (Seth Godin at Google, …

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Links for 03/19/2006 – 03/29/2006

Stuff I haven’t read that I think I ought to:

Wicked problems: Beyond Innovation: Richard at cph127 on peripheral vision, pattern experience, and solutions as questions when beating down wicked problems.

Technorati faves
: I don’t get it. This …

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ASCII me

me:

from this:

from here.…

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In all its glory

Invest in knowing what perfect is and then spend the time to build it.

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How to get attention

Focus on your recipe.

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How to talk to busy people

Guidelines for conversations with busy people.

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Embracing obscurity and the b-side career

Jason Fried (37 Signals) posted about embracing obscurity.

“The beauty of starting a side business is that you can fail in obscurity. Many people worry that they’ll languish in obscurity. Don’t worry about having a great idea that no one

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(un)sift’d: Feb/Mar links for review

Here’s a list of pages I’ve cruised by lately that seemed to merit another peek. Mostly a list of pages I want to get back to, but may be of interest to others too.

Flickr: Scaling Fast and Cheap — …

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Celebrating my friend

My good friend, Bob Klager, just got a swanky new job. Details aren’t available but I wanted to celebrate his change.

Congrats Bob. I’m proud of you.…

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Too much noise: Chaos and communication clarity

Seth wants less noise.

Citing the mounting tidal wave of blog posts he suggests that “by writing too much, too often, we’re trouncing on the attention of the commons.”

He’s right if the singular value of blogs is communication …

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Planning: Goals versus resolutions

"To-do" versus "To-be"

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The seventh resolution of Jonathan Edwards

What to do in the last hour of life.

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Get your awe on

Learning how to taste a room.

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Web 2.0: Cutting through the hype

Is surfing worth the effort?

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Where questions are windows not battering rams

Pursuing definitive answers often erodes principles.

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Simple is dignified; easy is brutal

Become less. Be more.

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The nobility of nature and the wrath of our indifference

What would the elephants say?

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The desperate fear that lives in every man:

get happy ……

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Metaphors of re-innovation

To see further, stand on giants.

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Regaining the helm of time

You are invited to stop.

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philologr: poignancy, sublime, prosaic

Nothing can be ravishing that is not pervasively beautiful.

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Wholemindedness: The brilliance of an unfettered mind

Time management's greatest gift is wholemindedness.

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Deliberate attention to presence

Every moment is the last we will ever have.

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philologr: bumptious

bumptious — bump·tious (bÅ­mp’shÉ™s) — an adjective describing actions that are crudely or loudly assertive; pushy.

It is, perhaps, a blend of “bump” and “presumptuous”.

From Jane Jacobs in The Death and Life of Great American Cities:

“As children

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The brilliance of moments: how success is ultimately determined by now

I travel from Edmonton to Calgary and back almost every week.  It’s a three hour drive one-way, so I have a big chunk of time to listen to podcasts.  This week I listened to an interview, by Todd at …

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It is only fear and it’s mine to own.

The first scene in the Matrix shows a woman, Trinity, sitting alone in a dark room. It’s obvious she’s hiding from something, wispering away on the phone.

Her back is to the only door in the room. With the requisite …

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People first. Marketers … later.

I’ve hit a snag with the Foundation Series. It reads like crap.

I’m still wobbly on what I ought to say so I default to obfuscation. Orwell said it best, “The great enemy of clear language is insincerity.” I’m …

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Anniversary

Today my wife and I share our 8th anniversary.  And tomorrow is Valentines.

So … a love song.  Get the tune here.

“If single words like love mean more than ever before:
you’ve brought back life to time
and

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RSS: Pick your watershed

Eric Schwartzman recently interviewed Doc Searls.  In the chat, Doc talked about the ways he uses RSS.  Listening to that conversation I finally understood the tremendous power of RSS functionality.

Until now I’ve just used RSS to keep me …

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Advice for visionaries

Christopher Alexander in an interview with Kenneth Baker:

“If you start something, you must have a vision of the thing which arises from your instinct about preserving and enhancing what is there. … If you’re working correctly, the feeling doesn’t

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Unfussy and whole

Have you heard of Christopher Alexander? I’ve written about him before (1, 2, 3).

I’m fascinated by his ideas and have yet to read a single book he’s written. But his interests in the human response …

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philologr: platitudinous

platitudinous — plati·tu’di·nous — a derivative of plat·i·tude (plăt’Ä­-tÅ«d, -tyÅ«d), a noun meaning a trite or banal remark or statement, especially one expressed as if it were original or significant. Without freshness or appeal because of overuse: banal, bromidic, clichéd, …

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philologr: flibbertigibbet

flibbertigibbet — flib·ber·ti·gib·bet (flÄ­b’É™r-tÄ“-jÄ­b’Ä­t) — a noun meaning a silly, scatterbrained, or garrulous person. A derivative of flibberty-gibberty.

Quoted by Malcolm Gladwell in Troublemakers — What pit bulls can teach us about profiling:

“There are a lot of pit

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Comprehensive character

One needs to have a comprehensive character.

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philologr: jubilant

jubilant — ju·bi·lant (jÅ«’bÉ™-lÉ™nt) — an adjective meaning exultingly joyful; full of high-spirited delight; bursting with happiness. Derived from mid-17th century latin it’s the present participle of jubilare which means to call out and shout for joy.

Peekaboo Paradox by …

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Yes (and other lies): Know thy enemy

Every new seat at the power table must weather the intense scrutiny of all ordained power holders.

Perched precariously between a growing power holder and the ensconced, legacy power holders – every neophyte endures just one important question: Are you …

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Wrestle or dance

To some, my thoughts on beauty and on power are contradictory. While juxtaposed, they aren’t opposite.

Most see Sun Tzu’s advice as the “Art of War” but a few see it as the “Art of Peace“. …

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philologr: specious

specious — spe·cious (spÄ“’shÉ™s) — an adjective meaning having the ring of truth or plausibility but actually fallacious; deceptively attractive or superficially correct but actually worthless

“The distinction between children and adults, while probably useful for some purposes, is at

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Not for us.

It is too easy to grow desperate.

As though life were a hill. The greasy floor of the slaughter house. At the bottom lies the gaping maw of desperate living, foul choices, and black thoughts.

It seems so but isn’t …

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Dollars and scents: Bagging the loot

To get inside with a power holder: see where they are vulnerable.

To see where they are vulnerable: stop watching them.

Just as you stopped watching the speaker, now stop watching the obvious power holder. Hiding behind a quiet façade …

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Dollars and scents: Picking the lock

The fledgling power holder is continually distracted by the need to build more.

That’s why they’re so negligent. They are looking way up above them and don’t see what’s happening where they are. This leaves them vulnerable, though they usually …

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Dollars and scents: Debt and investing

Debt is easier to generate than equity. This is as true for corporate-types as it is for entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs always max out their lines of credit. Max out yours.

In this case your credit is bandwidth. The time and resources …

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Celebrate milestones (no matter how small)

Unlike Hugh, I still check my stats fairly regularly. I enjoy it. It’s marvelous that we can own words or ideas, even if it’s just for a flicker of time. Imagine owning the two-word phrase “sift experiment“. …

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Dollars and scents: Know your banker

The first job of every entrepreneur or corporate dilettante is to know your banker.

The mistake made by entrepreneurs is assuming their key resource is ideas. And corporate-types always mistakenly assume it’s knowledge.

For entrepreneurs the key resource is cash. …

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You&Co: Foundation Series

I’d like to start working through some parallels between entrepreneurs and corporate/bureaucratic types.

Before extending the role of any aspiring corporate player, there’s something to be said about the foundation that it’s built on — a common paradigm needs to …

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Role of wisdom

Are you allowed to want to be a CEO?

I’m not sure if I do. And no one has ever asked me — except one lunatic headhunter. But isn’t CEOing something that requires an invitation?

Where else … name any …

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Wheelbarrow: Metatags

What’s with the wheelbarrow? This is a placeholder where I want to begin to use and understand the humanity of tags.

More here.

Metatags: first derivative of thought.

Metatags are key to meta-knowledge

Clay Shirky: “Taggers …

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philologr: incredulity

incredulity — in·cre·du·li·ty (Ä­n’krÄ­-dÅ«’lÄ­-tÄ“) — a noun meaning the state or quality of being incredulous; disbelief, dubiety, dubiousness, incertitude, uncertainty

“There is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to

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You & Company

I’ve been thinking about the things corporate salary-type folks could learn from entrepreneurs. It’s actually an old idea of mine … not really an idea I guess … more of a recognition — entrepreneurs have lots to teach innovators within …

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philologr: brouhaha

brouhaha — brou·ha·ha (brÅ«’hä-hä’) — a noun meaning an uproar; a hubbub; a confused disturbance far greater than its cause merits.

Spotted at Bloglines Highlights: “Crashes in Japan, Chocolate Cities and Body Armor Brouhaha”

Technorati Tags: ,

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Avoid prestigious

From Paul Graham on How to Do What You Love:

“It might be a good rule simply to avoid any prestigious task. If it didn’t suck, they wouldn’t have had to make it prestigious.

Similarly, if you admire two

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philologr: randy

randy — ran·dy (răn’dÄ“) — an adjective meaning lascivious, lecherous, or if you’re a Scot, ill-mannered. Likewise, it has meant obstreperous, unruly, rampant (The 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue by Francis Grose).

Spotted at 43Folders, by Merlin Mann:…

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sift everything; experiment

the sift everything experiment
sift. everything. experiment.
sift/experiment …

sift everything; experiment

s*e…

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philologr: flummoxed

I’m a fan of words. It’s the biggest reason I love T.H. White, Billy Collins, and E.B. White — their delightful choice of words.

So, for kicks, here’s philologr: A pop of perfectly placed words in a world of abused …

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Slow design

My days are a blur of chaos.  Too many new things. 

New son.  New house.  New city.  New job.  New friends.

I don’t mind the pace … usually.  But just the idea of slow makes me realize how fast I’m …

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three point oh

Web 1.0 … 2.0 … 3.0 … is well ahead of me. I still muck around with tables, html, and color schemes. And my friends think that’s impressive — both of them.

But I could understand Jeffrey Zeldman and that’s …

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sift experiment … evolved

[posted January 16, 2006]

Below is the purpose I had for sift when I started this experiment.

I’m still all in on those ideas but I think the purpose is quickly evolving away from purely entrepreneurs and purely business. Just …

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A genius …

“I have met with but one or two persons in the course of my life who understood the art of taking walks daily … who had a genius, so to speak, for sauntering.” Henry David Thoreau

I am of two …

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How to get paid more

Here’s a chore: Define what you’re worth for a day.

Don’t turtle and say it’s your wage; or if you’re an entrepreneur, what you pull down — you’ll miss too much.

Include your thought time, all the stuff you decide …

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Three ingredients for change: talkers, wallflowers, and movers

I love conferences.

There’s no better example of how dedicated we are to ignoring everyone else. Conferences are even better than meetings because we actually pay to be there. We pay for speakers to come just so we can ignore …

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Integral to strategy

Strategy is a mindful, present response to hope.

The difference between hope and strategy: hope is a prerequisite to strategy but not a sufficient condition. Action is also required but also insufficient. The equation must also include understanding and for …

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Blogs are like flashers; books are like strippers. And six other similes.

Blogs are like flashers; books are like strippers.

Blogs give only a glimpse of substance where a good book builds to full revelation. Blogs present a snapshot of an idea’s evolution; a book constructs the idea from its creation to

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Optimize the ride

Past, present, future: What of strategy?

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Better with less?

Malcolm Gladwell tells a story about symphony auditions. Until relatively recently, auditions required the player to walk out in front of the judges, sit down and perform. And while the pool of players was racially diverse and often included women, …

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Life is now

The only moment for color, joy, love, and grace is now.

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“… crack cocaine of the thinking world …”

The Edge Annual Question — 2006

WHAT IS YOUR DANGEROUS IDEA?

“The history of science is replete with discoveries that were considered socially, morally, or emotionally dangerous in their time; the Copernican and Darwinian revolutions are the most obvious. What

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Doesn’t guarantee nothin’

 
These may grease success but they can’t ensure itCrappy looking, high quality still succeeds when high finish, low quality falls flat.  Even Seth’s site isn’t super sharp.

So, how does this reconcile with all the hubub …

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In every entrepreneur

In the heart of every entrepreneur is an island.

The saddest things I’ve done, as an investor, is convice an entrepreneur the island isn’t there.…

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Wheelbarrow: Naps

Men’s Journal is no steadfast literary friend but I am fascinated by napping, so here’s their article.

It’s almost worth a wheelbarrow, no?  Heck yeah, toss’er in.

A good nap is:

– Had in the morning or just after

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Performancing

Don’t know how I found it, but I’m using Performancing for Firefox to post.

Brilliant.…

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Merry Christmas

In case I forget, in all the hubub of tomorrow: Merry Christmas.

Hope you have a rich time with people you love.…

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Swear as necessary

[All technical words italicized for easy skimming]

I’m no plumber but I like to pretend sometimes. In our new house the tub’s hot water tap leaks (leaked, past tense began 3 minutes ago). And feigning competency I decided to solve …

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Still juiced

One late, introspective night in early 2003, I closed my eyes and typed till done. Dave Pollard’s recent post reminded me of this note to self:

If I dream about what would make me happy or content. Satisfied. Stopped and

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Functional todo’s

Whilst lolling despondently on the sofa: “When will I start doing the things I am great at? I keep doing things that help me be greater.”

Good friend in from old places: “Maybe guys like you just keep growing and …

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Sneezers

Seth Godin on idea viruses:

“Delighting them, enraging them, hospitalizing them or surprising them–that’s how sneezers [or spreaders of viruses] are born.”

Part of the viral framework?…

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Why the people part of Web 2.0 matters

This map of the web was rendered in 1998 by Bill Cheswick and Hal Burch of Lumeta Corp. It was generated from data collected in mid-September and the color scheme is based on the IP address of the nodes. To …

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Ah … Web 2.0 is about people

Web 2.0 … first time I’ve typed out those words.

Dion Hinchcliffe finally clarifies, succinctly, why it matters:

“Web 2.0 ideas [are] successful because they effectively put people back into the technological equation … [it] fundamentally revolves around us

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Circle of competence

In a Google-world, owning anything text based is a stretch. But somehow, Warren Buffet (renown investor, maker/breaker of fortunes, and deity of the stock exchange) has cornered the market on the phrase “circle of competence”.

“The most important thing in

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Black, pink, brown, white

A few months ago I was talking to a guy I grew up with. We were chatting about work. Me flashing over to Paris for international meetings and him driving truck. We had started out in the same place but …

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the secret

there are things
down
there
still
coming ashore

Loren Eiseley, translated by Dave Pollard

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shedding

every time we walk along a beach
some ancient urge disturbs us
so that we find ourselves shedding shoes and garments
or scavenging among seaweed and whitened timbers
like the homesick refugees of a long war.

Loren Eiseley, translated by …

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universe at bay

for just a moment
I held the universe at bay

by the simple expedient
of sitting on my haunches before a fox den
and tumbling about with a chicken bone.

it is the gravest, most meaningful act I shall ever …

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Three ingredients in a leader

Beyond bellowing bunters and mussed hair, what makes a good leader? Who draws in the cash when everyone else is furiously writing proposals?

Three must-haves: trustworthy, deeply knowledgeable, and all-in.

1. Being trustworthy covers a multitude of sins. A mistake …

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Create the game

Most play the game they're given. Only a few create the games they play.

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People business

The company I work with invests in three areas: financial capital (of course), intellectual capital, and managerial capital.

Financial capital is really the grease that gets everything else moving. Without it there’s mostly friction, lots of heat, but little else. …

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Wheelbarrow: Metatags

What’s with the wheelbarrow? This is a placeholder where I want to begin to use and understand the humanity of tags.

Metatags: first derivative of thought.

Metatags are key to meta-knowledge

Clay Shirky: “Taggers are good at …

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beneath every no

beneath every no
lays a passion for yes that had never been broken

– Wallace Stevens, Esthétique du Mal…

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So good

pandora

What I’ve been missing since the old Napster went away.…

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Innovation: tactics and strategies

While I haven’t been posting at all, I have kept up on my reading. This post by Dave Pollard is worth noting.

Dave has an incredible capacity for synthesis and generating copious insights across a wide range of areas. The …

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I’d rather talk about $1 Million

Back to perfect, one million one-dollar products vs. one million dollar products, and all these entail:

In my …

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Stupid … it’s obvious

Not every opportunity is hidden.

I just spent a few hours hob-knobbing with Fed/Prov Ministers, Ambassadors, CEOs, and Commissioners. These events are always a frenzied fury of networking but fortunately I’m an accidental deviant and happened upon a glaringly obvious …

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Less fat, more meat

Holidays, long absences (or large abscesses), and in my case a gynormous move, threaten the very foundation of something like a blog. In reality a blog is incredibly fragile. Mostly carried by the resolve of a single author, a blog …

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Skeleton of a plan

Johnie Moore on Hugh on marketing:

1. The tone of invitation. No hard sell, just the presentation of an interesting idea to take or leave as you please. No grandiose posturing.

2. The sprit of experiment. Selling isn’t all about

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Offline

Big move to Alberta today.

Will be offline for several days.

Be back soon … ish.…

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Customers like commodities

Hugh MacLeod from Jeff Jarvis on Dell:

“The thing is, when you start turning your products into commodities, you start treating your customers like commodities.”

Wondering: Is this what it takes to make a million $1 sales? Treat customers …

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Rapid experience

Love this stuff.

Ever hear of the The Ad Lib Game Development Society (ALGDS)? The ideas behind it go anywhere. ALGDS is an attempt to rapidly gain experience which is usually hard-won and takes tonnes of time to build. …

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Design thinking

Dan Shaffer on “design thinking“:

“… design thinking is creative, innovative, and focused on problem-solving. But so is the thinking of many different types of professions: lawyers, engineers, and contractors, to name only a few. So lets remove

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Design as story-telling

Design as Story-telling by Thomas Erickson.

(via cph127)…

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Either way, there’s money

The cool part of Albert’s story is its utility. There’s no riddle to solve. Just choices to make.

You can choose high design, narrowly defined clients, exceptional service, concierge-level attentiveness — and the lifestyle that goes with it.

Or you …

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Keynote by David Kelley

Keynote by David Kelley, Founder and Chairman, Ideo, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, Founder of Stanford’s New “D” School:

– doing well in technological innovation, rounding the corner on business innovation, but still have lots to do on human-centred …

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What kind of person?

To me this is incredibly interesting. And maybe it’s obvious to the rest of you and you wish I’d clam up. But the gorgeous climax of these dynamics is the lifestyle and ether it affords Albert.

Ever been to LensCrafters? …

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Pass protected

Thought I’d try an experiment: Pass protected posts.

My posts are sometimes a bit mysterious. Leave the punchline out. Let you think a bit.

I’m trying harder to see what sings for people. But I often get questions like, …

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All parables, all together

Compiling a list of lessons, this post presents a series of parables on entrepreneurism, perfect-for-purpose, and peerless innovation.

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Upper-class, middle class, lower class

How being exclusive creates wide-ranging success.

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Idea x Execution

Ideas are worth nothing unless executed.

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Better for the effort

The consequence of absolute understanding? Perfect expression. Graceful execution.

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The present future of conversations

Kottke writes:

“… can we have a discussion about where technology and user experience on the web are headed without using any of the following words or concepts:

Ajax, web services, weblogs, Google, del.icio.us, Flickr, folksonomy, tags, hacks, podcasting,

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Unquestionable

When I went to Albert we must have tried 40 pairs of glasses … 40 pieces.

Stacked up on the table in front of me were frames nearly indistinguishable from each other. And tirelessly he placed them on me, stepped …

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Blackjack & entrepreneurs

In the theme of all things gambleSteve Pavlina on blackjack:

Novices miss golden opportunities.

“Novice blackjack players will almost invariably play their hands too conservatively. They’ll stand too often when they should hit, and they’ll fail to double

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Innovation … ?

Rich Pan’s got some great questions on innovation.…

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Shake your tree

Stuck in a rut? Maybe these ideas will shake you loose.

(via Business Opportunities Blog)…

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Organic knowledge

Groove, watch Wikipedia grow — and mourn with London (or drink tea).

This is absolutely stunning in its implications.

(via Amit Gupta)…

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Biomimicry

Biomimicry.net:

“Biomimicry is a new science that studies nature’s models and then imitates or takes inspiration from these designs and processes to solve human problems.”

“The core idea is that nature, imaginative by necessity, has already solved many of

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Choices

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Goldfish

Into the room walks a professor. In his hands is a jar, filled with water, and in the water swims a goldfish.

Placing the jar and fish on his desk he turns to the single student in the room and …

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Master vs hack

Constraints define innovation rather than prevent it.

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Without peer

A gracefully executed work has no peer.

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Cool model

These guys just asked me to sign up.

“We deploy the world’s most developed expert network: the Councils of Advisors.”

Cool model, eh? And cool name. Who doesn’t want to be part of the swank Council of Advisors?

How could …

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Less smack, more done

Conversation yesterday:

Me: There’s loads of guys doing work that looks just like mine.

CEO: Well, there’s guys that talk smack and guys that get stuff done. Be the second.

Me:

CEO: So, how much do I make this …

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Free under attack

Rich…! on free:

“Think about it, cheap is probably one of the worst marketing strategies around, surely then it stands to reason that free, which is pretty much the deep-end of cheap, ain’t going to be much better, especially

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Short and mysterious

Seth Godin on two kinds of writing:

“If you’re writing for strangers, make it shorter.

Use images and tone and design and interface to make your point. Teach people gradually.

If you’re writing for colleagues, make it more robust.

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One creator, one piece, one city

I had a great conversation with Albert. Instantly piqued, I pummelled him with loads of questions:

How much advertising? None. Just word of mouth.

How long in business? 26 years.

How long just buying one piece of each creation?

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Up sold by $400

I just bought a pair of $750 eye glasses.

They’re made by a group of 25 year-old German “creators” (which is important … read on) and there is only one other pair in the entire city of Ottawa — Albert, …

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Which is easier to get: $1 Million or a million $1?

Loved this mix between science and web-links.

Mike Grehan’s dad in Filthy Linking Rich:

“… in my experience I’ve discovered that looking for the million dollar deal is very difficult. Getting a million dollars from one person is hard.

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Usable you

Found this on Asterisk.

Keith thinks it’s a great read for consultants — I think it’s a great read for entrepreneurs.

With exploding personal networks, niche-marketing, and tribal companies entrepreneurs need to starting acting like the consultants described in …

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VC without the C

I’ve been given several great career options recently. Two were particularly fetching:

1. Stay in government but raise the game to another level — Start helping the highest level bureaucrats identify, learn about, and build strategies on long-range issues facing …

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Pimp your brand

I talked to Doug Hall last week — I’ve been trying to make a few important career choices and wanted his advice. He asked two questions: “where will you grow more” and “what adds more diversity”.

Growth and diversity, these …

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3 minutes: An ocean of time

43 Folders has an excerpt of an interview with Brian Eno.

“Brian Eno … on the creation of “The Microsoft Sound” (the gentle little tune that plays when you boot your Windows PC):

‘The idea came up at the

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Masters of design

Fast Company: Masters of Design

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In search of innovation

Invokative perspective on innovation.…

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SMART vs FLUID

Related to the last post:

If SMART is action steps that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound, and SMART doesn’t work with wicked problems, maybe we should look for ones that are FLUID.

F is for F

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Intense curiosity

I don’t deal in issues as weighty as racism or as complex as a Nasa space shuttle — but I do work on thorny and complicated problems. But I still see, as Patti just experienced, a deep desire to choose …

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In defense of free

If you are an entrepreneur, you need to pay attention to this post.

There is open source business like the business experiment and then there is open door business like Google, Red Hat, and Flickr — come in, walk …

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Pitching, flipping, and pinging

Not too long ago I wrote a series of posts on pitching. It was mostly for my own sake that I put those pieces together — I wanted to better understand what pitching actually meant and where it was …

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Average sheep

Yesterday, Hugh posted on trust and blogging. He said that he’s increasingly reluctant to do business with non-bloggers — that cog in the trust wheel needs to be there.

Seth Godin recently wrote that “the only security you have …

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On the mind of Jeff Bezos


via loic le meur blog

That’s what’s on the mind of Jeff Bezos:

Execution.

Success is almost completely defined by execution. Too many ideas and too few actions. The trick is execution of the right things.…

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Economics of the brain

Science and economics meet: neuroeconomics.…

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Neuroesthetics

From Zack Lynch at Brain Waves:

“Neuroesthetics uses brain imaging and genetic analysis to understand the neural basis of artistic creativity and achievement … and has broad implications for all parts of society, including: our legal systems, business productivity

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Viral experiment

More on viral marketing:

The rules: Create a new site and launch it on May 19, and build the most traffic or get the most Technorati links by June 9 — with no paid advertising.

The lessons:

– the idea …

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Open-source

Starting to see lots of open-source apps for business:

Open-source — Information Week

The Business Experiment
Blowfly

What would open-source mean for your business? How many decisions could you give to a crowd?…

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Business checkup

Good list of things to do this summer for your company — like a pre-winter check-up for your car.…

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What’s next?

Gambling. It’s on my TV, in my online ads, fills my email, and spams my blog. So popular, so suddenly — why?

Back in 3,500 B.C. young Egyptions were already gambling. Now, 6,000 years later, you’d think the hubbub would …

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Science’s remaining opportunities

Science has posted 125 big questions that remain to be answered. 25 of them are described in some detail.

“It is not a survey of the big societal challenges that science can help solve, nor is it a forecast of

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Nosepilot

I could talk about “perfection” versus “getting it done”. Or I could show you.

Nosepilot versus LEVEL 10 DESIGN.

Who you going to hire?…

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Avast ye scurvy dogs

John Moore got me reading the Business Week blurb on creativity.

In particular I like Jeneanne Rae’s business model for Peer Insight … might have to pirate that.

I was a bit surprised to read IDEO’s David Kelley saying …

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Forgetting to remember

I love used bookstores; the messier the better. The owner can’t possibly know the value of all the books when they’re piled willy-nilly around the joint. I feel like a thief, pawing through the dark corners, earnestly listening for the …

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Slavery

fdfd

cartoon by Hugh MacLeod

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No more clichés

I got one clients who’s going to hate this (if he follows this link, he’ll blow his cerebellum). But he’s well ahead of the pack now … he knows he’s doing it. But for the rest of you, if …

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Blogpulse profile

This is fun. Yeah, yeah, I know my profiles stinks. But look at my neighborhood — I really like most of those blogs.…

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More on perfect

Rob’s asking some good questions about perfect. A few things to note:

– He’s talking about a small company.
– The pie shop is in a local, niche market.
– This story is about you.…

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Improv

It’s funny, improv is teaching us to be ourselves. I think, at its core, it’s a method for freeing ourselves from the straight jackets we’ve been taught to wear in various social settings. It frees us up to collaborate, persuade, …

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The simple reality of being outstanding

Be huge in a small place. Be excellent in a big way. Look outside for innovation and inside for delivery.

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Convergence or perfect

I just spent three weeks in Alberta with my wife’s family. While we were there her grandmother passed away. At and after the funeral we spent a lot of time marveling at the impact of that little lady’s life.

Invariably, …

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Tribal companies … continued

Another discussion here of the rapid emergence of small, tribal companies. Look here for a deeper discussion of the same theme.…

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Imagine your board of directors

Defining a dream team board of directors can help you see where you have gaps that need to be addressed.

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Deleted comments and tardy posts

First, among the latest slew of spam were interspersed some valid comments. Unfortunately, I deleted them (inadvertantly, of course).

And I’m on holidays, so the posts are coming slow too.…

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Shifting gears

I used to plant trees in the summer to put myself through university. It’s tough work but it pays well.

Tree planting is one of those few jobs that are so hard, so miserable, and so deeply testing that those …

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Incentives and idea generation

This is fun stuff. Olivier Toubia, a Ph.D. candidate at the Marketing Group (MIT) has an article on Idea Generation, Creativity, and Incentives.

He writes:

“Idea generation is critical … However, there has been relatively little formal research on the

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Trendwatching

I’ve read this for almost two years – trendwatching.com. These guys can sift.…

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Don’t suck. Dig it.

Brian Scudamore, CEO of 1-800 Got Junk?, on his his company’s success (two franchises in 1997 to 152 today; expects revenue of $72 million this year, nearly double last year and 30 times higher than revenue from 2000):

“Superior customer …

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Designing viruses

This article is a really tight overview of the principles of design.

I just keep saying this over and over but: designers have lots to teach entrepreneurs.

Design works because it’s a natural interface with the ways we subconsciously gather …

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Return on design

Interesting piece on design. The return on investment pieces are worth the trip through the 1OO+ slides.

This what I’m looking in my search for the viral framework. Any other leads out there? Tag it here.…

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Good artists copy, great artists steal

Another believer in the advantages of innovating on someone else’s (or your own) creativity.…

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Board of Directors for my life

Corporations get boards. What about personal boards?

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Feed: Tailored by you, for me

This is stunning.

I’m sure it will gum up in a matter of weeks, silly people will pile on the crap and Fred will abandon the feed but what a cool innovation. It’s such a great way to reach into …

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A beautiful virus

A client has given me the not-so-small task of helping make his company viral. This seems like an incredible challenge and I’m not sure if it’s even possible with a company like his.

Nevertheless, I think about this assignment constantly …

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Jedi Masters of the sift

ln the end I hope my clients don’t need me. Well, hope is a strong word — maybe it would be more honest to say that “should” be the case. I believe that my business will be more whole if …

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Free up time, use your brain

A friend just handed me a chapter from Peter Senge’s book The Fifth Discipline. In it Peter writes:

“At one of our recent programs, I talked to a manger who has worked in both U.S. and Japanese firms.

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Comments – the saga continues

I’m such a novice. I fixed the comments in the most inefficient of ways. The door is open for comments but also an unabating torrent of spam. Not only that but every comment must await my almighty moderation.

Moderation involves …

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Innovation by replication

I know I’ve been giving Dave Pollard props; but the guy does good work.

Today he has another piece I like. Today he’s describing four types of innovation and overlays it with the methodology from Blue Ocean Strategy.…

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Writing business plans

Lately I’ve been asked about writing business plans. Rather than bomb through all I’ve said, go here instead.

He’s done a good job, my contacts are gritty, and at 8:59 my bed is looking really fine.…

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More on complexity

True to his style, Dave Pollard has a giant post with lots of implications for business. To toot my own horn, I’ve written on complexity too, here the most topical piece of the bunch.

Favourite insights:

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Sorry for griping

Turns out no one could comment for who knows how long. Sheesh.

Still not sure what the problem was but at least you can now comment. Though you may have to wait until I approve (again for reasons I don’t …

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Sprawled on my couch

Every few years there comes a moment where technology reaches into my life and shakes my brain. Today is one of those days.

I am sprawled out on my coach with a Tablet PC perched on my lap. Hugh Mcleod …

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Strategy for small fish

Just found an article at HBS that compliments the things I said earlier today.

Part of the strategy for small niche businesses: leverage the capabilities of other players in your niche.…

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Entrepreneurs are like scientists

Last Fall I bought a copy of Seed magazine to read their piece on Revolutionary Minds: 18 icons and iconoclasts who are redefining science. The story on mathematician, Erik Demaine, tattooed itself on my mind and I’ve thought …

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Just to be undecided

I’ve got a rule. If I read and highlight more than 40% of an article, I don’t summarize it. I just send the whole thing.

In today’s mad rush for productivity, a paper worthy of being nearly half covered in …

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Love and meekness

There are two aspects of business that are immeasurably important but poorly understood. These are meekness and love.

Two of the companies I work with pay me to “think on their behalf – about the company’s strategic direction.” Know what …

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Toilet paper syndrome

So, I’ve got a baby right? And like nearly every other adult on the planet I’m always putting my face about one inch from his cute little nose.

When I’m with him, I’m always right up close and when my …

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Brita-filter for business

I’ve been poking at sift for the last month or two. I’ve been wondering what this blog’s for. Not because I doubt the value of what all this is about. Nor do I question my interest in this work. I’m …

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Sifting without translation

Tom Peters is sifting.

Not sure what I think.

I still think the problem is too much information + translation needed.

Tom’s sorting out the info but not translating.…

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Abundance, Asia, and Automation

Provocative post at Worthwhile.

Dan Pink, author of A Whole New Mind sees three forces that are shaping work roles: Abundance, Asia, and Automation.

“Abundance leads us to move from valuing “utility” to “significance” in the things we own. …

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Perspective is everything

Went for a run this morning and spent the entire time disgusted by all the garbage in the ditches.

Am sitting in my office now and just realized the leaves are out. Bright, shiny and green.

I chose the wrong …

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Teen’s social computing

David Weinberger posts his notes from presentations given by six teenagers from a sci/tech high school. They are talking about how they’re using their computers socially in the course of a day.

I’ve often thought of doing something similar to …

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When sharks visit your blue ocean

Below is a review of a new book by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne: Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant.

I’ve got a question, when sharks come to your blue ocean, …

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Blue Ocean Strategy

Just finished reading Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne.

I enjoyed the book. One of the entrepreneurs I work with, the career coach, is already well …

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The best sort of blue

The good part of Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne.

The best part of the book is their Strategy Canvas. That paradigm alone is worth the …

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When blue oceans turn purple

Reviewing Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne.

Here’s the bad:

The authors forget (or ignore) something fundamental to business — all great innovations are copied. A …

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Opportunity science

Great thought by Rob at Business Pundit.

Opportunity Science: in an age of increasing competitiveness, falling barriers to entry and ever increasing business opportunities, the advantage will lie with the companies that pick the best opportunities to pursue — …

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What do you want to read?

Ok, I’m back.

During the break — in between changing diapers, burping babies and battling a wicked cold, I’ve been thinking about this blog. What’s it for? Who cares? What now?

I asked a few months ago who was reading …

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Masters of Business Imagination

Slowly getting through the mind-numbing, sleepless days with a new baby.

So I’m starting to sniff around the net again finally. Today I found a manifesto calling for a Masters in Business Imagination.

The rhetoric’s not too hot but it …

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Doula for start-ups

We used a labour coach. Maybe your company needs one too?

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Another sift start-up

Decided life wasn’t full enough and tacked another start-up on the portfolio. A baby boy.

Huge initial investment but the pay-back is immediate. Fortunately it’s a growth industry with lots of potential. And it’s something my wife and I can …

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Step-by-step guide to pitching

Top seven steps to the important art of pitching ideas.

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Speaking of design …

… I just recently did a self-constructed readings course on design and creativity. For help on reading suggestions I talked to Galen Cranz at Berkley and Sara Beckman, same place.

If you’re interested I could send you the reading …

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Abductive thinking — not about kidnapping

I love design, even if my vanilla background and black text don’t prove it. In grade five I discovered that Ms. Faulkner gave A’s for illustrated stories and B’s for the plain text version. By 13 I knew that ladies …

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The overview

Having caught their attention with the 60-second pitch, you immediately followed with the 5-minute version and now you’re invited to do a full-blast presentation. How to?

Again, Bill Joss and Fast Company nail down next steps.

Before you get to

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Presenting the bigger small picture: A racetrack analogy

The five-minute rundown, big brother of the 60-second pitch.

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60-second pitch: The three biggest mistakes

This is the last of three street-level bits of advice on pitch giving. Previously covered are 10 points for outlining your pitch and the first 10 seconds of the 60 second pitch. The three mistakes discussed today are just …

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60-second pitch: The first 10 seconds

Yesterday was the first of three pieces on creating a tangible 60-second pitch. Today is the second. For this I’ve used two points made by Mel Perchesky (don’t know who this guy is but his advice is good).

Mel says:…

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60-second pitch: The 10 point outline

Forsaking the metaphysical (1,2,3), today we get into the tangibles of a 60-second pitch. For this I leaned heavily on the advice of Bill Joss and an article in Fast Company called Perfecting Your

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Put the pitch together

Yesterday I laid out Brad Feld’s/Chris Wand’s 13 questions for entrepreneurs and said they would lay the groundwork for a ripping good pitch. Trouble is, once you do that work, all you really get is a ripping big pile of …

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Intentional conversations

While I’m busy fooling around with book lists, Dave Pollard’s dropping gems. He’s not only framed-up my initial idea but already started putting on the drywall. I guess that’s what you get for sharing ideas with bright guys.

I …

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Non-business business book list: a list for business thinkers

Non-business books can teach us a lot about business.

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Business book list for entrepreneurs

An aggregated, curated list of business books.

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13+ questions for pitchers

I’m on the hunt for guidance on the all important, little exercised art of 60-second pitching. Yesterday’s initial landscape got me started but I still need to put the pitch together.

In June of last year Brad Feld scooped from …

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The quest for a 60-second pitch

One of my friends is a teacher. He’s told me many times that the best way to learn something is to explain it to someone else. Well I want to learn to do a 60-second pitch, so here goes.

Over …

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Copy cat

Update: Dr. Ronald S. Burt from the University of Chicago backs up everything written here and adds his idea about “structural holes” — the notion that people can find opportunities for creative thinking where there is no social structure. My

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Wheelbarrow: What about memes?

What’s with the wheelbarrow?

Related to metatags are memes.

Definition

From Wikipedia:

“Meme, (rhymes with “cream” and comes from Greek root with the meaning of memory and its derivative “mimeme”), is the term given to a unit of information

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Conditions of success

On the heels of my heartfelt yop – Frickin’ amazing vs. the long tail – as if guided by benevolent deities, I found “What really works.” With bemused resignation I note the publication date of July 2003 – if I …

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Play

Philip Pullman, Common sense has much to learn from moonshine in the Guardian:

“It’s when we do this foolish, time-consuming, romantic, quixotic, childlike thing called play that we are most practical, most useful, and most firmly grounded in reality, because

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Sift Technology: Similar Feeds

I keep a ongoing list of sift technologies: Little apps that are miraculous, instantaneous information sorters.

Andrew Grumet has made several that enjoy eminence in this category.

The one with the most quiescent potential is “Similar Feeds.” Type …

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Frickin’ amazing vs. the long tail

Maybe this is an old idea. Maybe I’m the last kid on the block to get it, but it seems to me that “frickin’ amazing” is the new normal and it’s not getting us much.

Read the marketing gurus. They …

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Info by the ship-load

Oh hey, this looks pretty good! Aggregation a la PEI.

Robert Paterson and Jevon MacDonald have started Marketing Filter and it has the promise of being an helpful sift technology.

Some interesting points are raised in the comments. In …

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What question lies at the heart of your work?

In Presence: Human purpose and the field of the future, Peter Senge and others asked leading scientists and business and social entrepreneurs, “What question lies at the heart of your work?”

Jumps out out at you eh?

Makes you …

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Information overload

When I started sift I was working with two entrepreneurs that seemed to be working about 12 hours daily.

Being so busy, these guys weren’t able to keep up with the massive amount of information available to them. My idea …

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Why are you reading this?

About 100 people (give or take 50) read this blog everyday. And I don’t have a clue what you’re coming here to see.

Outside of John Husband, Kevin, Alan, Evelyn Rodriguez, John Jantsch (only because I poked fun of him), …

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Core Competency: Negotiation

Negotiation is the art of making someone offer as a gift that which is your chief design to secure and for many bootstrapping entrepreneurs it’s a core competency.

James K. Sebenius in “Six Habits of Merely Effective Negotiators” (HBR, April …

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Innovation Weblog

I’m a bit late putting this up but Chuck Frey at the Innovation Weblog posted a helpful review of, you guessed it, innovation in 2004.…

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Acquire, bond, learn and defend

From the book, Driven: How Human Nature Shapes Our Choices, by Paul Lawrence and Nitin Nohria:

Lawrence and Nohria spin together lessons from biology and social sciences to describe a theory of human nature. The lessons they highlight …

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Proportion

Thomas Merton, The Seven Storey Mountain

“The wonderful thing about France is how all her perfections harmonize so fully together. She has possessed all the skills, from cooking to logic and theology, from bridge-building to contemplation, from vine-growing to sculpture,

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Be insightful

Gary Hamel, Leading the Revolution

“Today you can buy knowledge by the pound — from consultants hawking best practice, from the staff you’ve just hired from your competitor, and from all those companies that hope you will outsource everything. Yet

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sift happens

Here’s a quick and dirty summary some work I’ve been doing with a company. I use some simple analysis to illustrate the impact of sift.

By the start of 2004 the company was two years old and employed five people.

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Business by numbers

Brad, at Feld Thoughts, writes about the importance of business measures. I’m glad he did because it confirms some recent suspicions I’ve been having.

Let’s compare three of my favourite entrepreneurs. The first is a lawyer who loves …

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Leeches and bullion

1) Don’t work with bad clients.

2) Don’t work with bad people.

The great temptation for every entrepreneur is to take every dollar you can get and hire any cheap brain you can find.

Seth Godin covers this in …

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Checklist for entrepreneurs

Nice checklist for entrepreneurs by Guy Kawasaki.…

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Pure entrepreneurship

Scott Kisner, a contributing editor at Fast Company, has an interesting piece on what he calls “pure entrepreneurship.”

He says pure entrepreneurship “is often driven by a belief that a major shift is coming — and thus it’s hard to …

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Why are you choosing this?

“Why are you choosing this?”

That’s such a gorgeous question.

It’s complete answer either reveals:

– all the information included in decision making,
– the criteria by which choices are being made,
– the rank of alternative paths to action,…

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Stages of entrepreneurial growth

A few days ago I shared supper with the CEO and one of the executives of a small company here in town.

The executive asked me to join them and discuss their company’s strategy — they’re navigating through a growth …

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Like a billboard

In the comments for Optimists die, I wrote something about hiring “sift bandwidth”. That got me thinking of advertising and in particular billboards.

There’s a billboard not far from my place that seems to be one of the most …

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Sing like you don’t need the money

Sharp post by John Jantsch at Duct Tape Marketing (by the way don’t go to his main page with Firefox, that pop-up he has is super annoying – bad marketing John! Update: John fixed his pop-up!).

In a post …

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I hate this = $$$

When I was in graduate school I read an article describing the innovation methods of a successful entrepreneur. He keeps a hate list. It’s a list of everything he and his friends hate with all the violence of a bang-your-knuckles-when-your-wrench-slips …

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Big little steps

Two days ago I sat down for lunch with a new friend. He recently gave up a secure job for a chance to do something new and more challenging.

He’s has a lot more experience than me in almost every …

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Be amazing and make up for it

Be amazing and make up for it - hire people that fill in your gaps.

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Optimists die

Found on Bnoopy: a discussion of the Scotsdale Paradox.

Scotsdale was a high ranking US officer captured and imprisoned during the Vietnam War.

He said the first to die in the prison were the optimists. They died of …

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Intellectual entrepreneurship

Intellectual entrepreneurship is hard to understand - the key is hiding it inside practical entrepreneurship.

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Reading children’s books

In the comments Evelyn Rodriguez writes of her decision “to write more stories and read more stories and put most biz books on the back-burner.” She’s been writing about this theme often lately, see here, here, and here

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When “Yes” is eventually followed by “Damn!”

Poor writing is traditionally the plague of academia. So glory is due Gal Zauberman (University of North Carolina) and John Lynch Jr. (Duke University) for a great problem statement: When “Yes” is eventually followed by “Damn!”

Zauberman and Lynch are …

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Stories

Cluetrain Manifesto, David Weinburger:

“We don’t need more information. We don’t need better information. We don’t need automatically filtered and summarized information. We need understanding. We desperately want to understand what’s going on in our business, in our

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Info triple play

I watched this video clip a few minutes ago and immediately decided it is important. It just isn’t clear why.

Here’s where I’m at so far:

This guy, James Jones, has made a triple play on valuable of information.

Nailing …

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Forward sideways

Great find by Johnnie Moore, John Kay’s article on Obliquity is excellent. Kay writes that goals are often best achieved when pursued indirectly – this is the idea of obliquity.

Like Johnnie it reminds me of a sports metaphor.…

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Catastrophic failure? Restart.

Mistakes teach more than success.

Counterintuitive? Experimentation means being willing to make mistakes. When I am willing to be wrong, I am free to explore unlikely alternatives. Alternatives are key to solving difficult problems.

Imagine a scientist afraid to make …

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Experimental sift

Andrew Phelps has a great idea. B-Side games. The idea is to package experimental games in the same boxes as the already popular. It’s an effort to drive innovation and fringe seeking. While I like that idea, I’m really interested …

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Produce or reproduce?

A man of science doesn’t discover in order to know, he wants to know in order to discover.
– Alfred North Whitehead

I spend a large part of each day getting information for other people. The requests come in a …

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TED sells like Leia

So, this sells.

It sells not just because TED is cool but getting to see that guy and see TED and see the people raving is way more persuasive than reading about it. How expensive could it be to …

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Barborous writing

I’ve worked with several entrepreneurs. It surprised me to realize how few of them write well.

Writing well would come in handy on a blog – of course. But writing emails, presentations, proposals, and business plans each require a steady …

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Be instead of do.

I followed the crowd of slavering Hugh fans to Creating Passionate Users cause, you know, I want to be cool too.

Blind enthusiasm is being replaced by a healthy criticism of Hugh’s, and now Kathy’s, arguments. Headlines like “The

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Creative execution

There are at least two ways to effect change.

One is to complain liberally and bitterly until the rest of us can’t stand it and the move is made. Many bloggers live here.

Another is to criticize by creating (Michelangelo).…

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More on the blog gravy train

Excellent post by Dave Pollard answering parts of my question to Hugh.

Dave writes that business will embrace blogs when they 1) get buy-in from the top and 2) have no choice. Buy-in will happen when a) blogs are …

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Dopeler effect

The Washington Post’s Mensa Invitational asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. One of this year’s winners:

Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid

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Wheelbarrow: Intelligently architected blogs


An interesting comment by Jon about architecture. He was writing about how to use blogs in a corporation and after explaining how he’d introduce them he said, “I’d then consider using blogs in an intelligently architected way …”

Intelligently architected. …

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Ignorance is bliss

Hugh has a good post on the “ignorance premium.” He’s arguing that the fat bank of ignorance marketing is shrinking as other economies come online. I’d say he’s bang-on. This ticket is losing value – but I doubt …

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Easy to love

Christopher Alexander just finished publishing a galloping 2,000 plus page treatise on design and living structures. There’s a small interview with him here.

Take away message: Uniqueness balances repetition.

Alexander talks about a tree full of leaves that is …

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Scratch this niche

Today’s National Post reports that half of Canada’s 2.5 million entrepreneurs are hoping to retire in the next 15 years. A whopping 500,000 plan to retire in the next five years.

That’s nearly half of Canada’s small business owners and …

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Principles for innovation

Make the pool bigger. Look out, not in. Look in the dark, not the light.

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Eat right, eat less, and exercise more.

The principles of successful diets applied to successful business.

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John Moore and JumboShrimp

Another great story from Brand Autopsy on the The Container Store. John Moore calls this a JumboShrimp story: companies that get bigger by being smaller.

He says The Container Store gains their edge over larger competitors through persistent effort …

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Lure of the land

Tribal business is short-form for a movement away from mammoth corporate type jobs toward minute, niche-oriented lifestyle changes.

A great example of this is described in a November 2004 MSN article.

The author paints the picture of Bill Wilson, …

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Hugh’s post: Death of the premium

Hugh MacLeod writes often about marketing and what he’s called smart conversations.

I posted the following comment to Hugh’s riff on the market’s willingness to pay premiums:

“The smarter the market, the harder it is to charge a premium.” Right.

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Little global giants

Related to tribal business:

In the 21 September 2004 edition of Reveries, Tim Manners describes little global giants. He quotes Barnaby Feder from the New York Times,

“Big companies are good at identifying the intellectual property that is needed

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evolution = adaptation = innovation

Too much order – no ability to adapt.

Too much chaos – no ability to learn.

Tribal business (1, 2).…

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Dragonfly eye

Edward O. Wilson says that the greatest challenge today is the description of complex systems. Scientists break down systems but reassembling systems is far more difficult. Wilson says the power of prediction will be the true measure of success.

The …

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Entrepreneurial perspective on change

I’m re-reading Edward O. Wilson’s book, Consilience. He describes the biological conception of scale that I tried to illustrate below. He breaks up the magnitude of action by space and time. So, for example, brain synapses are minute, ultra-fast, …

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Has the train already left the station?

Hugh McLeod writes a hopeful piece about the future of corporate blogging:

We want the corporate tipping point to arrive for two main reasons:

1. It validates those of us who got in there early … in the belief that

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Keys for young company success

Robert Patterson highlighted a young company in PEI: silverorange . Amongst other things these guys are part of Mozilla/Firefox’s image team.

Their CEO Dan James published a letter to his team that expresses a rare understanding of humanity – his …

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Ingredients for soup

John Moore at Brand Autopsy (love that photo) has a great post today: Peddling the Soup Peddler. This is the type of post I’d like to emulate in the future.

Ingredients for the soup post:

· Short story

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Blinking at the crowd

I’ve been pondering the relationship between entrepreneurs/young companies and the ideas presented in James Surowiecki’s, The Wisdom of Crowds, and Malcolm Gladwell’s, Blink. Without further synthesis, I’d argue there isn’t one.

Sir Francis Bacon said that “the mind, …

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The wheelbarrow experiment

I haven’t been blogging long, but throughout these novice days I’ve picked some of the fads of the craft. One is: Blog it once and never revise it.

I understand why you wouldn’t want liberal revision. Changing the blog threatens …

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Wheelbarrow: The wisdom of blinking

I’ve been reading a fabricated debate at Slate between James Surowiecki, author of The Wisdom of Crowds, and Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink. I’ll be revising this post, I wanted to get it up while I mull …

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sift deliverables

sift leverages knowledge and thinks on behalf of entrepreneurs.

Knowledge is only valuable when it’s useful. And most entrepreneurs soon discover the paradox of newly emerging opportunities: you know more about your industry than anyone else and you don’t know …

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Open letter to entrepreneurs

Dear entrepreneur,

If you’re someone I want to work with, you don’t have time to read this. I’ll keep it short: If you want to keep innovating, you need my help.

My guess is around three years ago you had …

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Disciplines of innovation

At least two things are true of me. One, I love coffee. Two, I’m a fiddler. Not the musical kind, the annoying kind. Always jigging around, tapping, rattling, bouncing, swaying – annoying.

Being a big fan of experiments, I started …

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Recycling knowledge

Update: The author I had quoted asked that I not refer to his work. To accomodate his request, I have rewritten this post. January 6th, 2005

I recently read a piece where the author claimed that knowledge is perishable and

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Initial public offering: knowledge

A billion-dollar IPO for Johns Hopkins!?! William R. Brody, President of the Johns Hopkins University, is looking for money – or at least for some value. I think he’s found it.

Mr. Brody makes an interesting comparison: Google’s $1.67 …

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Blog pulse: flatline

I was just playing around at BlogPulse. They’ve got a nifty tool for querying the frequency of blogging topics. Now I’m not sure how many sites they scan, but still, the idea is cool even if it’s not statistically …

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Blogs and economists

Do we blog because we want a voice or because we want to act like children?

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Machine guns are to Google as _______ are to profit

I live in Ottawa. Today President Bush came to visit.

H-O-L-Y C-O-W! Cops: everywhere. Helicopters and airplanes all over the place. Super cool snipers sneaking around rooftops. Dogs, barricades, security checks, blinders, tents to get in and out of cars, …

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Entrepreneurial “how to”

One of my clients helps people make career decisions and he’s great at it. He’s also a great entrepreneur. A few years ago he was a top 40 under 40 entrepreneur.

Two nights ago we were draining glasses in a …

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Look!

A few days ago I met one of life’s undeclared mentors. One of those people that have seen so much, done so much, and achieved so much that nearly every idea is weighted with a multitude of applications.

One thing …

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Who’s an ox?

I think I missed my own point last night. The sift experiment isn’t about finding bright answers. It’s about finding the right pieces.

In Davidson’s analysis, the subjects were given more than enough pieces to complete a puzzling problem. …

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Not Einstein? Use sift.

Research says people of average intelligence benefit from help when solving problems requiring insight. Unless entrepreneurs are bright across the board, this suggests sift is verifiably relevant.

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Complexity challenge

I’ve written before on the cross-over from science into business and cited with gushing enthusiasm the insights of Edward O. Wilson. I’ve just finished reading Veran Allee’s book the Future of Knowledge. Her book is a pretty good …

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Feel the biorhythms

We all have our cycles. Evelyn Rodriguez talks about innovation, insight and the incubation thereof. We face a world of difficult challenges. Shouldn't we know more about the nature of human innovation? The economic significance of a better understanding is difficult to overestimate.

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How to be insightful

I'm reading the "Nature of Insight". A compendium of articles by psychologists on the current state of understanding on insight. It looks like we've got some lessons to learn.

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Thunk thoughts

I've been reading Human Action by Ludwig von Mises. He makes two important points: action is preceded by thinking and only individuals think. This is important because economists don't understand individuals.

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What’s a blog for?

Seth Godin says blogs work when they're based on candor, urgency, timeliness, pithiness and controversy. That tastes funny to me.

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Pointers

In the Cluetrain Manifesto, David Weinberger writes that our understanding of knowledge is bound up with things that contain knowledge, not things that point out of themselves.

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Paris vs. Ottawa

Paris is noisy, throbbing and crowded. Ottawa is not. Why don't we advertise this more?

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Building on what we know

A.H. Maslow called for revolution in the ways we edify our children. He sought alternatives to redeem the many ways in which creativity is daily pounded from us. And of all he suggested, I can see none that we’ve adopted.

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A new kind of human

In 1963 Maslow wrote in “The Creative Attitude”:

It seems to me that we are at a point in history unlike anything that has ever been before. Life moves far more rapidly now than it ever did before. Think, for

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Ontogogy = sift

In “The Further Reaches of Human Nature” Maslow starts the trend of naming, knighting, trademarking words. He toys with new names for metacounseling: helping people reach their full human potential. For size he tries “ontogogy” which means trying to help …

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Potent principles

Teach people to listen to their own tastes. Most people don't do it.

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Cost of worry

Worrying costs efficiency and chews up energy - low level, never urgent issues cost us more than we recognize.

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Another note on boutiqu-ing

I am in Paris – land of boutiques. It’s amazing to see hyper-stylish Parisians zipping in and out of tiny stores, purchasing one or two goods from each shop they enter. By the time they’re done, their arms are full,

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Party like a rockstar

When I was in university I used to love swinging by this guy’s site: Analog Cereal. He was on this quest to “party like a rock star”. I’ve never wanted to be a rock star – but the party …

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Faxes, memos and apathy

Am still reading Jared Diamond’s, “Guns, Germs, and Steel.” Am still intrigued by the idea of tribal business.

Diamond runs through an ambitious description of social evolution. He works up from roving bands of nomads all the way to sophisticated …

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Boutiqu-ing

A few weeks ago I wrote about the tension between firm size and firm mobility. As the story narrowed in to the conclusion, I mentioned my concern that the sift experiment might become a bit busy. sift might turn into …

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McManifesto

I’m in a strange pinch. I’ve got two opposing writing opportunities.

On one hand a regular newspaper article in the National Post that is supposed to be “punchy, witty and 100 words”.

One the other hand, an offer to write …

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abbr. resume

My name is Jeremy Heigh. I am a husband, father, son, brother, friend, reader, thinker, economist, investor, gamer, artist, writer, and young man.

I liked school and have three degrees. The last is an M.Sc. in environmental economics. I enjoy …

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Lunacy for hire

Nicholas Negroponte is founder of MediaLab and one of the founders of Wired. In a recent interview he described the evolving direction of MediaLab:

“The biggest criticism I hear is, ‘Nicholas, you’re not crazy enough — the lab should

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Symphonies & physics

In the 2 September 2004 issue of Nature , Sarah Tomlin describes her recent cross-walk between physics and music. The opportunity came when she was invited to hear the product of Piers Coleman, a theoretical physicist at Rutgers University and …

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Google, googleguy & sift

I’ve used Google for a long time but never really looked behind the interface. Now that I have, I see a whole world back there that I need to understand. My first clue came when I read their mission statement …

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Of Mice by Men

Karen Rader just published Making Mice (Princeton University Press, 2004). In the book Karen chronicles three themes – mice, genetic engineer and mice breeder Clarence Cook Little, and Little’s laboratory. Little repeatedly characterised his work as research but his greatest …

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Valuable knowledge is useful

The current state of Russia’s scientific community is a brilliant study of the power of purpose driven (or lack of) enterprise. In the 2 September 2004 issue of Nature they’ve included a brief glimpse into the Russian Academy of Science. …

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Madness & curiosity

In another article in the 2 September 2004 issue of Nature Gautam Desiraju describes the process through which he discovered the birth of crystal engineering which today is one of the principle challenges of modern chemistry. His story is one …

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