Sunday, October 26, 2014

Living without regrets



A life with no regrets doesn't need to mean one with no mistakes. Really it means you're always looking forward, not obsessed with the past.

Our culture pushes a fear of failure, deeply. With that, achieving failure often triggers a deep identification AS a failure. It's an easy trap to get ensnared by. Watch for it!

It robs joy, and drains focus for the NOW. This builds a negativity mindset, one where all compliments are distrusted, all opportunities are dreaded. In this world, the only efforts wth making are ones with guaranteed outcomes. Which are few and weak.

The ultimate regret:  failing to finish a dream. Seek to prevent that. Keep your eyes forward; find dreams and embrace them. Then steel yourself to fight, fumble and stagger your way forward. It's helps to focus forward, towards the top of the hill we're climbing. Efficiency often is inelegant. Crossing the finishline is ultimately what matters, whether perfectly coiffed or dripping sweat.

Updated: I found this graphic that sums this up well. Enjoy!



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Leadership and the next step forward from Karmagate

I'm a little behind in my reading, so just got to this GeekWire piece: Internal Memo: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sets new diversity plan after ‘humbling’ experience. I am very pleased to see Mr. Nadella grow as a leader after Karmagate. It's very easy, in this society, for a leader to hide behind PR until any particular kerfuffle blows over. And I was worried that's what would happen this time, too. I'm pleased to be wrong. His plans going forward match very well to my advice, which, I must say, also pleases me greatly.

It takes wisdom and humility to learn from criticism, and move FORWARD. This memo demonstrates something very unique, something very visionary. To risk, learn from failures and change, then adapt is critical to a vibrant culture. Microsoft might just be at the edge of something amazing. I'm eagerly watching.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Minecraft

My son requested I download Minecraft at some point in history; I'm not sure when. The months (years perhaps) of watching him engage the game impressed me. This game engages creativity in a deep and significant way, in ways no shooter one can. With his current creation, he's taking into account architectural details like work and room flow (currently building a bakery). Then when I mentioned to him about how Boeing camouflaged their Seattle plant during World War II (built a fake neighborhood above), he announced that he was building his own Boeing factory.

It delights me to see his brain working like this. And the standard gaming side-benefits (most noticeably better hand-eye coordination and dexterity) are nice, I love the creativity. His right brain is getting brilliantly stimulated. For that, I'm grateful.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Economic Cost

We don't see that what we pay directly influences how well others live. By driving to pay less, always less, we drive down the quality of life for others; this lust for advantage. Now I understand that we expect that the lowered costs come from the horded wealth of the exploiters. Yet, really, that cost is born by the most vulnerable.

Where is the sweet spot: customer maximizes their lives, seller theirs? It's truly impossible to know without transparency. Which won't be fully realized without trust.

Finding this place of trust, where we can believe, fully, that each party is seeking "win-win", this is the great challenge for humanity. To move past seeking advantage, from exploitation to relationship and respect. To seek out a world where we all grow, all benefit and no one is crushed by inequality. This is my dream, at least.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

More thoughts on Karmagate

Just read "Karmagate: 3 former Microsoft women discuss Nadella and what should come next" and came away with one key idea. Mr. Nadella has an opportunity for boldness and vision. My respect for him would grow if he publicly acknowledged the painful ignorance of his "Karmagate" faux pas (which he somewhat has done) and aggressively seek to change the inequalities in the tech sector.

I have the deepest respect for those who not only acknowledge mistakes, but use them as leverage points to affect positive change. Nadella has an opportunity to go from good to great. I hope he takes it.

(*my first response is here)

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Annoyance shouldn't equate to rage

We need to be able to experience annoyance about the descending into judgmental rage. Far too often, people burst into a rage at the mildest of provocations. The all too familiar "Road Rage" is, perhaps, the most common variation.

My perception: we have developed a lack of ability to process modern life's nuisances. Perhaps it's the speed, or expected speed of today's life. Anything that impacts our speeding at maximum perhaps frightens too much.

Finding that place of tranquility; tis a serious challenge. Not something we teach much. Our ability to collaborate gets compromised. And collaboration is our economic future. Socially corrosive, this is.

Is Elon Musk The Automotive Market's Steve Jobs?

I heard a great deal about Mr. Musk today, what with all the buzz about The Big D. A few thoughts really strike me:

  1. When was the last time that an automotive announcement created such buzz? 
  2. How many CEOs (in any industry) can say, publicly, that they're colonizing Mars and not be laughed off the internet?
Both of these got me thinking about Mr. Musk, the leader. Clearly, the greater world is invigorated by his style. He generates "buzz", and gets people talking. And audiences wait, eagerly, to eat up his words. 

Additionally, he inspires confidence, to the point that disbelief is suspended. Outlandish claims, dreams, aspirations are considered with a level of seriousness I've not seen since Mr. Jobs. And this delights me. People inspired, innovation held up as wonderful; these are great things for us, for our culture. Things that bring our gaze upwards, cause us to think bigger are critical. Birthing happiness within me. 



Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Marketing and Business Expertise

Saw a flyer earlier today for a Business Planning Clinic which amused me. I support thoughtful business planning, however, this flyer failed to impress me. First, it presented me with a whole page of information, including such things as the presenter's marital status, but didn't have date, location or price. In other words, a marketing "fail". Really, none of the key "Ws" were communicated besides "who".

So, would I take business planning advice from someone who fails a basic flyer, their critical chance to get me engaged? Perhaps a rhetorical question, but I'll leave that analysis up to you.

Thoughts on " Trouble at the Koolaid Point "

This piece left by Kathy Sierra me disturbed. That Ms. Sierra went through this horror is unacceptable to civilized humanity. Yet, what's to be done? Can we reign in these trolls without losing the glorious free speech such venues as Twitter promote? I really don't know. This abuse is what will kill the Internet, of anything will. If the sociopaths win, we all lose, especially the sociopaths. Interesting conundrum.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Kaki King: Some Social Media Thoughts From A Fan

I discovered Ms. King several years ago. Today, for no obvious reason, I was in the mood for her percussive style. While listening on Reverbnation (her account's pretty neglected there, fyi) I found this embed code. So I, being me, needed to plug that in and see how it looks.



Just some thoughts, though, on her online presence (that is a key part of "what I do", after all).

  • Facebook seems to be her main touch-point with her fans.  The page looks great and current.
  • Twitter is pretty solid, much the same. No major points to bring up.
  • Instagram is not too shabby. It's not that powerful a media player yet, but solid enough to be a great touch-point with fans. A good blend of personal and work. 
  • Now, her website; that's an area I would invest some time. Very sparse, and not much touch for fans. Other than a few tour dates, and links to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Soundcloud, it's pretty vacant.
  • And, lastly, the aforementioned Soundcloud. Shows album covers, and has links to iTunes and Google Play, and back to her main site. And that's it. No music on the site at all. I think it would be wise to have something there, perhaps one song from each album. Some kind of sampler. Also, perhaps some more recent experiments. Just to keep engaged. The empty account, that is linked to by her main page, is pretty awkward.
Just some thoughts from someone who spends a lot of time working in this space, loves Kaki King's music, and would really love to see her grow as a professional artist.