Category Archives: Blatant self promo

Voices of Sanity and Inspiration

I am a big fan of the web and a huge web content consumer. That consuming produces quite a lot of the inspiration for this blog.

And I  was thinking about that. I was thinking that I may rely too much on commercially supported sources.  That is not a bad thing in itself. But it is not a great thing if my goal is to find more interesting people and great stories that are developing around the world.

And I was thinking that there may be more ways to identify voices of sanity and inspiration. I am on the hunt for this on a regular basis. And you can help me out. Who do you go to for a voice of sanity and/or inspiration?

I am very curious!

Finding Entrepreneurial Triggers

There is a huge amount of writing about how to become an entrepreneur and how to be more successful as one. Young folks who have heard fantastic tales of start-ups becoming unicorns and billionaires who have not yet turned thirty gobble the stuff up.

And then they find out that starting up an enterprise and making it work is not so easy. The failure rate is astounding. Part of the reason is that the folks who get these ideas have little to no knowledge of how markets work. They think that it is driven by ideas, especially cool ideas. It is not. The tough reality is that most ideas are not the stuff of new products or services, and even when they are, it is very hard to get the attention of people who might want them, and even if you do, they more often than not won’t see it.

Ouch! For that reason, advice like Greg Satell gives about turning ideas into products is useful.

  1. start with finding customers BEFORE you invest in building products. As Steve Blank preaches, customer reactions to what you do will dictate what you do next.
  2. accept that your idea is probably not new. You need to learn about market history – especially why earlier attempts to build a market niche have failed
  3. great ideas are ideas that connect to other ideas. They do not stand alone. Find and build on connections rather than on things alone.

All good advice. And there is a single idea that underlies them all. In order to sell something new, you need to TRIGGER new behavior. And understanding what triggers behavior is the most important new knowledge you can gain. You get that by experimenting with customers to test for triggers, by seeing what triggers current behavior patterns, and by understanding the package of triggers that forms a “context” or “experience”.

In other words, learning how to start-up means learning how to master triggers in your  market.

This Thought Could Make Your Day or Week … Or More

Here it is

We all want to be happy, right?  But happiness is elusive. We cannot just order up a happy sandwich and feel the effect. On the other hand, we can “get into” stuff. We can feel the flow, for example, of a great story or game.

That “getting into stuff” is very powerful. It stokes us into mental states that open doors. It is a path to happiness. And a lot of that door opening happens because of a release of dopamine.

That is enough background. Here is the idea

“Dopamine is not about pleasure; it’s about the anticipation of pleasure. It’s about the pursuit of happiness rather than happiness itself.”

Think about it. All you need to do is pursue. Go for it!

Hydrogen Sulfide for Breakfast … Again?!?!

No, it was not my breakfast. It was the breakfast of the 5-foot long shipworm, who digests this stuff all the time.  Errr … and that was not a typo. Wired offers the story of how scientists discovered this beast and figured out how it grew so damned big.!

But, of course, that is not why you clicked on this post. – to learn about 5 foot long shipworms and scientific research about their diets. There was a certain emotion involved in your making that decision.

And that, my friend, is what is driving the web. Would you have clicked if the title was

Headless body in Topless Bar!

Or perhaps

Headless body gropes topless waitress!

Perhaps not. But research suggests that you would have been tempted. And that temptation makes lots of money for certain content producers who drive web traffic.

Read on! errrr … if you dare. !

Happy Easter!

The world is not 100% ok. The weather is not 100% ok-. But some things are more than ok. Summer is coming. Things can get better. And it is time to celebrate a holiday. Easter.

This holiday does not have strong religious associations for me. I am aware that it could. And I am not opposed to those who celebrate Easter because of those religious beliefs. For me, it is more a ritual about re.awakening the self rather than the resurrection of the Lord.

And I think that is worth celebrating!


Who Pays for Better Education?

For many hundreds of years, Estonians were peasant farmers. It was not a career path that they chose. It was imposed upon them by the conquering crusaders. those crusaders became the Baltic German nobility and the conquered locals, serfs.  Literacy rates among Estonians were very low until the late 19th century.

Things went a bit bonkers in the early 20th century.  First came the great war and then the bolshevik revolution. This enabled the Estonians to rise up, fight a war of independence and start governing themselves. heady times!

Sadly, they had very little money and lots of problems. But the very first thing that the new Estonian government funded was the erection of school buildings around the country. They knew all too well the importance of getting an education.

It was true then and it is true today. Indeed, with technology, getting educated is more important than ever. The odd thing is that we do not think very much about how we should build our education capacity. How to do a better job of producing educated young people. Even in the US, with all of its wealth, there is a disconnect.

This poses an interesting challenge to anyone interested in promoting “knowledge-based societies. What is the foundation?

As Life Gets More Complicated …

Over the last several years, I have noticed an interesting trend in my life.

On the one hand, the tools at my disposal via internet have grown exponentially in terms of power and usefulness. With this access, I am better informed, better entertained, and better connected than ever.  This is great.

On the other hand, as I use these tools more, I find that maintaining and regularly upgrading my life has gotten a lot more complicated. The main complication has to do with information management. Every day I find myself looking for data of some sort. That might be a contact, a phone number, the name of a supplier, the status of a project, the location of my cufflinks, what I had for dinner last week, and on and on.

In the old days, I kept this all on paper in files. That doesn’t work anymore. So I am developing a new tracking tool. It is web based, and it is meant to be the “go to” location to find and measure everything I do. My hope is that this will enable me to do the stuff that I love to do better, and as a result get more out of life.

Stay tuned here. As I develop this design, I will be posting on my successes and failures here.  I call this my “Futurme” project.