Rejecting A Cold

And just like that, Brendan Iribe, Kevin Systrom, Mike Krieger, and Jan Koum. They all left. Facebook lost them to their own ambitions.

Who knows who will really come out on top. Truly, all four of them could colossally fail, be an absolute success, or most likely be some mix there in-between.

No matter what, Facebook is leaking founders.

They are leaking starters

They are leaking innovators

They are leaking leaders.

It is well above my pay grade to guess the nuanced reasons as to why they are leaving. But the reality of it is, they are leaving. Much like your body will reject a cold, flu, or stomach bug. These people are leaving. Again, I do not know why, but the body of Facebook could continue as it was and keep these people a part of Facebook and so they left.

Similarly, when you are leading, when you are a part of a group, when you are doing the work that matters. Pay attention to the people around you. You will be attracting people like you and people unlike you will not stay around. When people do not resonate with you or engage with you, stop and assess what the difference was.

When someone does not stay around, stop and assess a few things in yourself, your group, and your organization/family:

What did I not resonate with them about? What is so different between us? What is so similar between us? What quality would they add to us? What can we add to them? How can we help them? How could they help us? What would I want them to add to the team? What should change about the team so someone like them can connect in the future?

These are a few ideas. You, your team, and your group is not for everyone but you should be intentional about who your group is trying to attract.

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Pudding

Wisdom is a brain-space. It is the area in the brain where you decide to save for retirement rather than buy a Ferrari. Wisdom is choosing to make a decision for the betterment of the whole.

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The issue with wisdom is when you find out whether or not you were wise. Generally, you never find out you were wise till after the situation plays itself out. You have to decide to deny your immediate wants and desires to make a longterm choice. But when it comes to retirement, if you save up and invest with the wrong firm, you lose it all and have no retirement and no Ferrari.

With wisdom, the proof is in the pudding.

You do not get to save yourself or others until the results of your wise decision come to fruition. Wisdom is not self evident. Wisdom is proven by her children, not on her own accord.

What risks have you taken to be wise? Where have you been wise previously? Who is helping you make wise choices? Who is you helping make wise choices?

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In My Head

In my head, I compare myself to other people.

I compare myself to people, and I tell myself they are more fit and athletic than I am.

I compare myself to people, and I tell myself they are smarter than I am.

I compare myself to people, and I tell myself they are more successful than I am.

I compare myself to people, and I tell myself a lie. I tell myself an assumption.

A fictional story about who they are, how they got where they are, and why they are better than I am.

What stories are you telling yourself?

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No Way

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In improvisational theater they have a rule of thumb. When another player on stage does something, you always say, ‘Yes.’

Occasionally the new idea is at odds with the direction of the improvisational scene and then the players have to act on the Rule of Yes. Their tool of action is to say, ‘Yes and...’ With ‘yes and’ they can move the scene forward in a meaningful, often hilarious way, and engage one another. The scene becomes more because the players on stage are saying, ‘Yes and...’ and the scene is moving forward. Constantly being added to.

The scene grows with each passing action, line, and move. The players deftly navigate a scene about deep sea fishing to battling an ancient leviathan with QTip swords and armor made of canned tuna.

At work, how much more limited are you? Can you really not participate in that new project or are you saying, ‘No’ because you don’t like the project? Can you be a part of the project and add meaning to it rather than nay say and shame it? When your family wants to go on a crazy vacation, do you shoot it down because it is out of the ordinary? When a friend calls you about a new project, do you say ‘yes and...’ or make excuses for why you cant?

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Picking Winners

March Madness. Fantasy Football. Fantasy Baseball. Fantasy Basketball.

They are all systems of picking winners. Picking winners based on statistics and biases developed by the “experts” who spend a bunch of time with the statistics and biases that we all have access to.

They then use those numbers to quantify a player or team’s value summed up in a number of points they might profit your team or bracket as you play against another team. This is purely speculative based on people’s opinions and how high or low profile the given team or player is.

When choosing a player or team for any given matchup, we choose based on our own hopes and dreams of what we hope the player will do. We choose based on our own biases. We choose because we think based on the commentary we like from the “experts” we agree with.

We choose not because we have any hard and fast data. We choose because we are hopeful.

We choose because we are biased to like our own opinion and listen to the people we agree with most.

Unfortunately, this is also how we choose our political views, financial views, family views, and spiritual views. We find the thing that sounds the best coming from an expert and go along with it. We do not spend the time challenging the assumptions and research made by the “experts” we agree with.

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What “experts” are you listening to? What does the other side say about your “expert”? When was the last time you reviewed your values and beliefs based on what the expert thinks and believes? Who are the experts in your life helping you along?

BONUS EXERCISE: Take a minute with one of your values or beliefs and assume that you are wrong. Now look up some articles proving you are wrong. What do they say? What valid points do they make? How can you improve yourself using one of these valid points?

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Internet Time Machine

Think about this. Once upon a time, so long ago, approximately during the 1990’s, I would have an idea, and then think about it for a while. My idea would ruminate inside my own head, then I would tell my friends about it.

On a good day, I would have several friends readily available to me the same day. It might have to be later that week before my friends would be available to talk. I would then tell my friends about the idea and they would weigh in. If they like the idea, they might tell some of their friends about it and get some feedback on my behalf. And then those friends would share with their friends, so on and so forth.

My friends and I would continue to talk about the idea on occasion. They might even remember to give me some of the feedback they received and share it back with me. I would be encouraged or discouraged to act on my idea. All in all, it might take a few weeks before I am really able to say whether or not my idea is going to take root.

Today, I can post on Facebook and Twitter, get the simultaneous feedback of everyone the algorithm allows within minutes.

I very-well might be able to get more feedback on more ideas faster than I can come up with ideas.

At this rate of ideation I could actually get more feedback on more ideas in a single day than I could have potentially gotten within a month during the 1990’s. And more feedback than I might have been able to get in a year in before the 1950’s.

Given the ability of so many people being able to weigh in so quickly. We are now able to iterate faster than ever before.

How are you using your friends and family connections on Facebook? What thoughts and ideas are you sharing on Twitter? How are you weighing in on the ideas you see others sharing on social media?

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Death & Taxes

Two guarantees in life.

Death & Taxes

Unless you are Santa Claus.

I mean, I have not heard of Santa’s elves filling out any 1099’s for their consulting. Filing any injury reports for elves who hurt themselves on the job. Or maybe there is an underperforming elf and, the organization decides to make a change and performance manage the poor little elf into a new life role outside of the Santa’s Workshop™.

What would you tax him on? Assuming he does not have an income and his toys are made from naturally occurring products at the North Pole, do we tax him on his gift output and assume he is interrupting the market because he is providing a free service on products that other companies charge for?

Or is Santa financed by playing the market and we should tax the capital gains of his investment portfolio and he uses the proceeds from his investment portfolio to finance Santa’s Workshop™.

How about death? Does Santa live forever?

This is a thought experiment, applying the mundane to the fantasy. What else can you experiment with today?

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Assumptions

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I was pacing around the apartment for uninteresting reasons. As I paced I started finding a warm spot in the carpet.

Once I convinced myself I had not spilled warm liquid, my son had not drooled or peed, and the warm spot on the carpet was not about to spontaneously combust. I then decided that spot in the carpet was warm because of my pacing.

Obviously, I kept stepping in the exact same spot over and over again. The friction from my pacing then started to heat the spot, and only that spot, in the carpet. Then reality came crashing down.

The spot I kept stepping was warm because it was right next to the oil electric heater we had been running in the apartment.

This was a quick, 30 second, event. This is only a symptom of what I do all the time.

Convince myself of something completely inane using flawed logic leading to a crazy assumption.

What are you convincing yourself of? What is your thought process to get there? Where have you been using flawed logic? Who can help you sort out where you are using flawed logic?

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Consistency

Posting so frequently I have to regularly be writing and producing posts. I am constantly observing to find more ideas. Many ideas. I have to come up with enough ideas that I can throw out the bad ideas and keep the good ones. Sometimes the bad make it through too.

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As much as I like the ideas I have, they all are not good ideas and not all of them turned into a post. My ideas page is full of ideas that will never be posted because I know the ideas are not worth the time it takes to post much less the time it would take to read it.

The idea is only the first step. After the idea I have to sit down and write it, workout an image I like. All of this take time and patience on my part because I want to be done after I come up with the idea.

The most difficult part of the process is the writing the post. I will regularly run into a phase where I do not want to write something, cannot write something, or just plain do not know how to address a topic. The only saving grace I have in this process is routine.

The more I go to the same place. In the same chair. With the same view. At the same time. The fewer and fewer issues I have. The words write themselves from the tips of my fingers when I am feeling truly inspired and they steadily drip out of my fingers when I have no motivation or at all.

Where are you stuck? What routine do you have to help you cross the hurdles in your life? Where are you so beholden to routine that you are sacrificing others for the sake of routine?

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Success

The feeling of cooking the perfect dinner.

The accolade after acing a geometry test.

The joy of finishing an intricate puzzle.

The feeling of success is wonderful. A sort of euphoria induce by brain chemistry and psychology.

It also puts a filter on life. It clouds our judgement from seeing another way to do things. After landing a big sale, we try to do it again the same way we did it before. After building a company that out performs the market, we try to do it again and again using a recipe.

The results of our repeated efforts are rarely the same when reapplied to the same venue. Kodak was once their market leader. and now they are in shambles. Blockbuster pretty much had the corner on the movie rental market. Blackberry not only had the corner on the smartphone market. They were the very best at mobile email.

These companies were not put out of business by a competitor. They were put out of business by the evolution of their products.

Instagram is the evolution of Kodak. Why print our favorite photos? We can only see them when we have them with us or someone is at our house. Now we can have all my favorite photo in our pockets all the time.

Netflix and Redbox put Blockbuster out of business. Blockbuster wanted us to come to their hut to rent their movies. Netflix wants to come to our house to loan us their movies and Redbox wants us to snag a movie from them when convenient for however long is convenient.

These companies were the evolution of their predecessors. Their predecessors were put out of business by the next logical evolution. The predecessor is predisposed to thinking they already have it right. They cannot see the next evolution of their business because they are so focused on iterating on the product they have and resuscitating the old business every way they can.

What has been your biggest success? Since your first success in this area, how has the world changed? How would you repeat your biggest success today?

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Content

Great marketing is great. It shows up in the right spot. It is seen by everyone in the target market and it usually even memorable. The issue with great marketing is, it will be replaced by more great marketing.

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The best marketing is great content. Great content causes changes. Great content causes differences in people. Great content makes you better at being you. Great content inspires you to walk out your front door and do something. Great content inspires you to contribute to something much, much, larger than yourself.

Similarly, good ideas work. Good ideas put a smile on your face and make you think about getting how effective the idea can be. Good ideas get some people to do some things sometimes. When you share a good idea, people nod their heads, agree, and will generally agree someone should do something about your idea. A good idea will get people to think about the possibilities and never get out of their recliner. What is the difference between a good idea and a bad idea a la mode with whip cream and a blueberry on top?

A great idea does more than get people out of their recliner.
A great idea inspires people to live beyond their capacity.
A good idea puts a bandage on a paper cut.
A great idea makes the impossible, possible.

Where do you spend your time? How many good ideas have you thrown out lately? What is stopping you from working on great ideas? How can you eliminate/mitigate these road blocks?

Aiming for great,

–JT

Ideas

Ideas come to me pretty regularly. Some of them pretty good and others…not so good. I love new ideas. They bring me life, energy, and I really enjoy coming up with them. Honestly, coming up with more and more ideas is probably something I could do for hours every day and never think twice about it. Getting to dream and picture a new idea or future or opportunity is second nature to me. I have little investment as to whether or not they are even good ideas. Most of the time, I want to come up with ideas and nothing more.

The rub comes in when I have to go beyond the idea. When I have to carry out the idea. At first it is not so bad. Nothing wrong with getting an idea started. It is good and healthy to get an idea started. Everyone appreciates a new idea. Early on, the new idea is getting going and changing and developing so much. The idea is morphing as it emerges from the cocoon, a beautiful butterfly. 

Emergent, the the butterfly will take off and start flying. Though, it is still dependent on me. I am the brains of the butterfly and I have to work to fly. Flap down and flap up.

Then again, I have to flap down and flap up.

Over and over again.

Flap down.

Flap up.

Flap

Down

Flap 

Up

I do not have the patience anymore. By now my idea is less of a butterfly and more of a moth. Grey. Disgusting. Fluttering around the light on my porch in the middle of summer. 

My idea is stale and now I am struggling even to show up for my idea. 

Flap down, flap up.

My ideas are great until I have to bring them to fruition. However, what kind of world would it be if I gave up on my ideas? I may have been great at coming up with them, but what is the point if I never do anything with them? My part is coming up with ideas but does that release me from fruition? Do I no longer have to take part in the execution?

How are you involved in new ideas and projects? What is your part of the project process? What kind of world would it be if you gave up on your part of ideation process? What would your life be like if you never fulfilled your part of the idea?

Carrying on,

–JT