I’m Hopeful

Corporate profits are up, jobs are down. How can this be? Profits drive job creation.

That’s how it used to work. Not anymore.

Profits drive technology investment, technology investment eliminates jobs. Business must invest to remain competitive or they won’t exist. Sure, greed has a factor in here, but I put forward that it isn’t the primary cause. The rate of technological advancement is exponential. Think really crazy hockey stick. This is the cause, and unless we all want to adopt luddism this isn’t going to change any time soon.

Unless you are the creative or  technical person driving innovation, or the owner of technology that competitively drives a business, your livelihood is at risk. Maybe not today, but tomorrow for sure. Period.

And the key to producing creative and technical talent? Education. Oh crap. Public education is arguably falling apart and from my dealings with it, it is one of the most technologically backwards places that I have ever had to interact with. We’re doomed?

I don’t think so. Necessity drives innovation. Technology is making the Code Academy and Khan, just to name a few of the many and growing online resources, free and readily accessible to just about everyone. Technology has bypassed the education institutions and tackled the problem head on. Technology is creating the education system that technological innovation needs.

And the creative types have it even better. Technology has eliminated the barriers between the creator and their markets. Read APE from Guy Kawasaki and learn how to skip the publishing queue or post your project to Kickstarter to crowd source the funds for that music album or movie you want to create.

The bureaucratic and capital barriers are falling down everywhere. Yes, unfortunately those bureaucratic jobs are going with it too. And yes, it will get worse before it gets better, but I’m hopeful that there is a bright new day at the end of this revolution. Yes, it will be a revolution.



The Pareto principle states that 80% of the effects comes from 20% of the causes – more or less.

Therefore, 20% of what you do, or is done to you, gives you 80% of your grief and slows you down. On the other hand, 20% of what you do produces 80% of your rewards and enjoyment. You may be really efficient at completing 100% of what is supposed to be done, but in reality you are not effective. The effective person divests the 20% that produces nothing and invests in the 20% that returns the greatest payoff.

Every effort has a setup time. Printing 10 business cards costs the same as 1,000. Why? Setup. Batch what you do. Don’t do a little here and a little there. Setup time will kill your productivity.

When you work, you want it to flow, you want to lose track of time and immerse yourself in the challenge at hand. It takes at least 15 minutes to get into flow. 1 interruption takes you out. Do the math, a handful of interruptions can kill the day. Schedule interrupt time, don’t let it schedule you.

Everything you do can be tweaked, improved upon and codified. Reengineer constantly. Simplify. And for all of the reasons that everyone already knows, eliminate meetings.

With the above in mind. Batch and schedule your work. Schedule as much time as possible for focussing on the 20% that produces the most and as little time as possible for the 20% that contributes the least, including scheduling interrupt time for things like checking email at set times per day. And last but not least, book time to review and simplify/reengineer what you do.

The Liability of Baggage

Everything has a downstream liability, everything added comes with some form of long tail maintenance. Baggage accumulates.

Only add, if you subtract. Take something on, by taking something away.


Instead of criticizing what you have, create what you want.

Both could achieve the same outcome but I think the latter works so much better.

Begin With The End In Mind

When all else fails, begin with the end in mind. Thank you Stephen Covey.

We get so mired in the problem that we forget to test, and possibly adjust, the outcome that solving the problem is supposed to achieve.

Is the outcome achievable? Does it still make sense? Do we really know what we want? Can we simplify what we want?

And then look at the problem. Things get so much clearer when we begin with the end in mind.

What seemed so insurmountable just became much simpler for me.

Two ways to react to change. Reach forward and embrace it – or – pull away and contract from it.

It reminds me of skiing. Reaching down the hill and embracing the steeps, although counter intuitive, puts you in control, leaning back and away from the pitch, gives control to the hill, not you.

If we reach forward and embrace change we are proactively driving, if we pull away and contract, change is driving, and we are reacting.

It takes a moment to say you’re late and let everyone know where things are at.

It takes forever to recover from a reputation of being undependable and a poor communicator.

Take the moment. Communicate. If late, say your sorry, give everyone a chance to adjust, and then deliver. Invest in your reputation and the leverage that communication can bring to what you, as part of a team, together, can deliver.

When it Works

When it works, work it more, not less. Give it more attention, not less. Too often we take what works for granted only to find that it “mysteriously” stops performing and then we have to redo it all over.

Working virtually can become a sealed world that lacks the stimulus and creativity of social interaction. I found out the hard way.

We are social creatures, we need to interact, challenge, change up our environments, and as such stimulate new thoughts and ideas.

The virtual work world has uncountable benefits, not the least of which is your pyjama work attire, but, no person is an island unto themselves.

To realize the true benefit of the technology at our disposal, and it’s ability to work anywhere, anytime, the social interaction of people meeting, talking, and sharing new experiences can’t be lost along the way.

How? Not sure yet. I am really looking for ideas?

What’s a good life?

What’s a good life?

A life is made up of days. So what’s a good day?

Sleep well, eat even better, move and be active, hone your work, make something, learn, laugh with those you love, and give something without needing anything back.

Inspire others to do the same.

And then do it all over again.

A lifetime of days like this is a lifetime worth living.

Wishing everyone, everywhere, a lifetime of days just like this. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!