It’s all in how you look at it
Although the standard IANAL (I am not a lawyer and I don’t play one on TV) disclaimer applies, I still appreciate the posts on Julie Fleming’s Life at the Bar blog. She writes to lawyers, but in this post she says something that should be proclaimed from every rooftop in the land. IMHO it applies to everyone.
“Very often we diagnose based on what’s wrong. But today, I’d like to suggest a different set of questions. What’s right in your practice? What do you enjoy? When are you at your best in practice? What gives you the rush, the thrill, the joy of being a lawyer? And how do you get more of the good stuff?”
Now let’s all apply that to our own lives and see what happens.
The Zone of Mediocrity
It never ceases to amaze me how Dilbert has become such an integral part of our corporate culture here in America (I assume it’s just as popular in other parts of the world, too – with the possible exception of Western Slobavia or Northern Zampini). Kathy Sierra makes the case that if your product or service is “in the zone” (of mediocrity, that is), you are exposing yourself (eek!) to unnecessary risk.
“Today, it is often far more risky to create something “safe” than to take a big frickin’ chance on something deeply provocative, dangerously innovative, or just plain weird. Think about all the things you love today that once seemed very, very weird. Things that someone took a huge frickin’ chance on.”
Is change really that hard?
Jeffrey Phillips delivers a short soliloquy (my word-a-day toilet paper is starting to pay off, don’t you think?) about a phrase he hears all the time: “Change is hard.” But, he wonders, is it really all that hard?
“Think about it – we all change every day. We change our hairstyles, change our diets, change our relationships. In fact, if you don’t change, you’ll become very stagnant and dull. So, it’s not necessarily an issue that people WON’T change, or are even uncomfortable with change. Most people change some factor or attribute of their lives on very frequent basis.”
I have to admit, even though I’m guilty of using it, I’ve always wondered about that phrase myself. I agree with his conclusion – but ah-ah! that would be telling; you’ll have to read it for yourself.From the “Kick ‘Em While They’re Down” School of Business
Via a post at the Business Innovation Insider comes a list from Paul Graham on fatal mistakes startups often make. Not being content with just a few (is this from the “kick ‘em while they’re down” business school?) he explains all 18 items quite well.
“In a sense there’s just one mistake that kills startups: not making something users want. If you make something users want, you’ll probably be fine, whatever else you do or don’t do. And if you don’t make something users want, then you’re dead, whatever else you do or don’t do. So really this is a list of 18 things that cause startups not to make something users want. Nearly all failure funnels through that.”
Where to Start
I know, I know, it sounds stupid, doesn’t it? Where to start? The from-the-hip answer is “the beginning”, of course – but is that really the best place? Kathy Sierra at Creating Passionate Users has a good roundup of techniques that will help you get that book, presentation, paper, or etc. off that dreaded first blank line. Pretty good stuff if you ask me.
Just to whet your appetite, I’ll give you point number 1: Do NOT start at the beginning! “Advice for first-time novelists is often, “Take the first chapter and throw it away. Chances are, chapter 2 is where it just starts to get interesting, so start THERE.”
Well, that’s all for now! Y’all come back, y’hear?