Austin Kleon: ‘Be part of the ‘scenius.’

After seeing him speak last week at SXSW, I once again had the pleasure to see author Austin Kleon speak this week at a small get together at Paper’s new offices in TriBeCa.

Below are the key takeaways from his talk:

  • Teach what you learn. Don’t hoard information. Share your education with a colleague or a friend and listen to their perspective too, to gain an even bigger picture. Teaching/learning is a reciprocal process that never ends.
  • Share your work as you make it. Show your imperfections, get the community’s feedback, and tweak the final work.
  • Be part of the ‘scenius.’ Only a few people can be geniuses, i.e. Picasso, Steve Jobs, and Michael Jordan. But the rest of us don’t have to toil in mediocrity. We can collaborate with our niche of influencers who share similar interests and simply recast their ideas, giving them proper attribution along the way.
  • Extend your story. Talking about your work is just as important as doing it. People want to hear how your story came about and what they can do to challenge it or reshape it.

Austin is currently on his book tour for Show Your Work. Catch him at a city near you.


Shoulda coulda woulda

MTV could’ve been Youtube.

Moleskine could’ve been Evernote or Paper FiftyThree.

iMessages could’ve have been Snapchat if Apple had just built a social network around it.

But it turns out that taking an existing business model online is easier said than done. Only a few people like Ev Williams have mastered the art of digitizing human needs.

When you’re so focused on incrementalism in the present, you become blind to innovation for the future.

Opportunities are there awaiting initiative. The longer you wait the less likely you’re to do it. That goes for companies and for individuals. Replace the arrogance of coulda with done.


Technology is there to help you create.

Paper by Fifty Three

George Petschnigg, CEO Paper|FiftyThree, on his products impact: 

What we find most rewarding is hearing that Paper has ‘really put me back in touch with my creative side.’