Doing That Thing On Your Own

“You’ll become known for doing what you do. It’s a simple saying, but it’s true…The only way to start being asked to do something you want to do is to start doing that thing on your own.”
- Jonathan Harris

Beautiful feature in The Great Discontent

Malcolm Gladwell on Criticism

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Love this thought snippet by Malcolm Gladwell on criticism. I recommend you read (and listen) to this entire Brain Pickings post.

The Panda and the Bicycle

“…Tribes thrive when they connect and coordinate and synchronize. They work when they create a cultural connection. But they can’t thrive when they merely embrace (or deny) the reality of the world around them.

As you organize and lead your tribe, then, the opportunity is to be crystal clear about what you stand for, but to give the alert observers within your clan the ability to stick with you and what they believe without having to pretend that the world outside doesn’t actually exist.”

The panda and the bicycle, by Seth Godin

Massimo Vignelli, 1931-2014

“I was already at my desk on my first day of work when Massimo arrived. As always, he filled the room with his oversized personality. Elegant, loquacious, gesticulating, brimming with enthusiasm. Massimo was like Zeus, impossibly wise, impossibly old. (He was, in fact, 49.) My education was about to begin.”

Michael Bierut remembering design legend Massimo Vignelli

THE DISTANCE

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Today Jason Fried and his team at Basecamp launched THE DISTANCE, an online magazine that celebrates interesting private businesses that have been in business for 25 years or more.

Read Jason’s blog post about it and the first issue of THE DISTANCE featuring Chicago’s Last Tannery.

30 Second Habit

“Immediately after every lecture, meeting, or any significant experience, take 30 seconds — no more, no less — to write down the most important points. If you always do just this, said his grandfather, and even if you only do this, with no other revision, you will be okay.”

The 30 second habit with a lifelong impact, by Robyn Scott

Understanding Innovation

Novelty: Something new
Creation: Something new and valuable
Invention: Something new, having potential value through utility
Innovation: Something new and uniquely useful

Horace Dediu explains innovation.

(via Kottke)

Surprises

What makes entrepreneurs entrepreneurial

A true gem discovered by John Maeda in this PDF; What makes entrepreneurs entrepreneurial? by Saras D. Sarasvathy

The Crossroads of Should and Must

The crossroads of should and must

Excellent long read: The Crossroads of Should and Must, by Elle Luna

(via Michael)

Communication Patterns

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Loved this Business Insider article on cultural communication patterns. As someone who grew up in Switzerland and then moved to the USA at 26, I can attest that there are clearly different communication styles at play.

British linguist Richard D. Lewis charted communication patterns as well as leadership styles and cultural identities in his book, “When Cultures Collide“.

Read the Article.

Made In The Future

Made in the Future is an effort to capture IDEO’s musings about what a not-so-distant tomorrow might look like. They broke their findings into five themes: Meaning Economy, Outer Skills, Making Exchanges, Raw Systems and New Matter.

Some fascinating food for thought.

(via Kary)

On Criticism

“At the core of criticism, there should always be an intent to assist.”

Inspire or stifle? Reconsider the purpose of criticism, by Sean Minogue

Secret Ingredient for Success

“The successful people we spoke with — in business, entertainment, sports and the arts — all had similar responses when faced with obstacles: they subjected themselves to fairly merciless self-examination that prompted reinvention of their goals and the methods by which they endeavored to achieve them.”

Secret Ingredient for Success, by Camille Sweeney

(via Joe)

On Owning It

“… Every time you use waffle words, back off from a clear statement of values and priorities and most of all, think about what’s likely instead of what’s possible, you are selling yourself out. Not just selling yourself out, but doing it too cheaply. Own your dreams. There is no better way to make them happen.”
- Seth Godin, On Owning It

The Curse of Email

“The only way we will avoid being crushed by the weight of the hundreds or thousands of emails we receive every day is to free ourselves from the need to treat each one like it matters and like it merits a response. The only way we will avoid being emotionally crushed by having other people not respond to our emails is to stop expecting a response. If we can adapt our expectations to fit the realities of this new paradigm, we will all crawl out from under the weight of the curse of email. Email will prove a blessing.”

Taken from this blog post: The Curse of Email by Tim Challies

Creativity

“You can’t teach creativity; all you can do is let it blossom, and it blossoms in play.”
- Kyung-Hee Kim

The play deficit, by Peter Gray. If you’re a parent, please read this.

(Via Tinybop)

How not to say the wrong thing

nottosaythewrongthing(Illustration by Wes Bausmith / Los Angeles Times)

How not to say the wrong thing by Susan Silk and Barry Goldman, an insightful and important read.

Party Etiquette

“The biggest tip I can give you to up your introducing skills is to always assume that whoever you’re talking to knows nothing about you or your work. No matter how big of a deal you are, if you abide by this rule, you win at life.”

Amen to this. Jessica Hische packed some really good tips into this Non-Creepy Networking: Party Etiquette article.

I Want to Be a Millennial When I Retire

“Max gets up when he likes and does what he loves. He avoids most of the things that most of us numerically successful people complain about all the time: racing from one unreasonable deadline to the next, sitting in unproductive meetings and watching simple things made complicated by committees.”

Beautiful article: I Want to Be a Millennial When I Retire, by Jim Sollisch

Be Generous.

“Be generous with your time and your resources and with giving credit and, especially, with your words. It’s so much easier to be a critic than a celebrator. Always remember there is a human being on the other end of every exchange and behind every cultural artifact being critiqued. To understand and be understood, those are among life’s greatest gifts, and every interaction is an opportunity to exchange them.”
- Maria Popova

Taken from Maria’s very personal post: 7 Things I Learned in 7 Years of Reading, Writing, and Living

New York City

“New York City does not hold our former selves against us. Perhaps we can extend the same courtesy.”

The Way We Live Now: 11-11-01; Lost and Found, By Colson Whitehead

(via Anna Raff)

Online Community

“Each online community decides what it is going to be, and in the end, reflects the people that participate in it. The internet is made of people. Like Anne Frank, I believe that, despite all evidence to the contrary, people are good at heart. And always, on the internet, I am astounded by people’s insistence on being generous, compassionate and kind.”
- Caterine Fake

Caterina Fake on Online Communities.

Play

“The word sugru is the Irish word for play and that’s what it’s all about—getting people to have a playful attitude toward life and to know that they can do something about their problems without having to wait around on others.”
- Jane Ní Dhulchaointigh

A quote from this interview with Jane Ní Dhulchaointigh, the inventor and CEO of sugru over on The Great Discontent.

The Real Value of Stock Options

“I’ve generally explained to each of them why stock options are nice, but are worth much less than may think. I don’t persuade them against accepting the offer because I think you should be willing to take a pay cut to learn and do more at a startup than you would learn and do at a big company. I just tell my friends that they should never optimize for options, but optimize for an experience. “- Benjy Boxer

The Real Value of Stock Options, by Benjy Boxer.

(via Khoi)