Search results for “work”

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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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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Arcing abundance and the future of limits

What does the Singularity invite us to ignore?

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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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Loaded for seagull, built for battleships

Two essential decisions lie between you and greatness.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Where taking is giving

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

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Finding your genius

The difference between success and obscurity is self-knowing.

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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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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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In all its glory

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

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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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Where questions are windows not battering rams

Pursuing definitive answers often erodes principles.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Optimize the ride

Past, present, future: What of strategy?

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Better for the effort

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

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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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“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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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.


CEO: So, how much do I make this …

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Doula for start-ups

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

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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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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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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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Business book list for entrepreneurs

An aggregated, curated list of business books.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Intellectual entrepreneurship

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

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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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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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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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Principles for innovation

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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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