Jan 14, 2014
“You never know when you might need an old idea.” - Ian McEwan, at Edge, in attacking this year’s question, “What scientific idea is ready for retirement?“post at edge.org.
He’s talking about Aristotle, who was actually wrong about a lot of things…but “his invention of zoology alone was priceless. Would you cast him aside?”
I love a good “intellectual bar fight” as the NYT described Edge (Over the Side With Old Tenets)...and I also love old ideas. Here are three old ideas that should never
Sep 12, 2013
1. “I don’t have access to that information.” (PNC)
2. “I don’t know how ‘they’ make that decision.” (American Express)
3. “Our system won’t allow us to do that.” (Citi)
Over the past several months, I’ve heard all three of these and more.
Best case, I actually make a human connection with the service rep and he/she even admits their company’s policies and procedures make no sense. (HT to that nice manager at Citi. He probably got fired if they actually do listen to calls for “quality
Aug 21, 2013
WRITERS ON WRITING; Easy on the Adverbs, Exclamation Points and Especially Hooptedoodle (Elmore Leonard, NYT, 2001)
In honor of Elmore Leonard, one of my favorite writers - here are his ten rules for fiction writing. However, they apply to any form of written communication - from business plans to marketing brochures to web copy.
1. Never open a book with weather.
How this applies to your business writing: Of course, you (probably) wouldn’t start your web copy with “It was a dark and
Aug 20, 2013
I routinely caution clients to avoid spreadsheet myopia. (“Hey! It looks great on paper!”) - since the real world has a nasty way to blowing even the most meticulously thought-out financials. Investors don’t invest. Customers don’t buy. The economy tanks. The government grant is cancelled. Etc. etc.
That said, entrepreneurs can’t just blithely ignore the numbers either. Delusional optimism (one of my clients coined that one) has its place. (After all, if entrepreneurs weren’t just a little
May 21, 2013
I’m fortunate that I live a “20-minute life” (As Sunset magazine dubbed it - pretty much anything and everything I need or want is within 20 minutes of walking or biking.) I “run” errands on foot, and take (almost) daily power walks. And on those walks, I see many things I’d totally miss if I were driving.
Things that make me smile. Get my creative synapses going. Give me ideas for clients. Just the other day, it was a flock of flamingos in someone’s front yard.
Pink. Plastic. 2 feet
Feb 05, 2013
Here in Albuquerque, we’re still kicking around the idea of “the creative class” (Richard Florida). Are we in it? Out of it? Totally out of it? What does “creative” even mean these days?
And, what’s all this about a “creative economy?” if you’re not an artist, do you count? Can you participate? Should you even care? My answer to all three questions: Yes.
Here’s the thing. Once upon a time, not so long ago (as world time goes), most people were - in fact - self-employed artisans of one
Jan 03, 2013
Back from year-end break…and here we are at a “new” year. All shiny and bright.
So. What resolutions have you made? I didn’t make any (and not because I don’t need to change…)
Resolutions are depressing. Restrictive. And all too often unrealistic. We usually break (or flat forget) them because we think too big, want too much. When we fail, we feel awful. And, we certainly have enough opportunity to feel awful without self-inflicted wounds. (Yes, failure can be good for us.
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