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Why is the sky blue?

Photo by Wells Baum

Great minds don’t think alike; they think different. That’s how we got great thinkers like Einstein and Steve Jobs. They excelled in breaking tradition.

Something happens when people reject the status quo.  By going in the opposite direction, new possibilities come to light.

For Einstein, it was reversing traditional physics.  It wasn’t light that was relative, it was time and space.  For Steve Jobs, it was building the personal computer so that everyone could become an artist.

Rebellion is a mentality of pioneers who don’t compete but rise above sidedness altogether.

Photo by Wells Baum
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The Narrative Fallacy: Why You Shouldn’t Copy Steve Jobs

We don’t need another Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg.  We need the unique you. 

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Acceptable

Acceptable is good enough. Acceptable is what gets you through high school and college. Acceptable gets you paid at work.

But acceptable only gets you so far in life. If you want to be remembered, you’re either going to have to do something extraordinary, make a ruckus, or make something different that lasts.

Only a select few people get to be Picasso, Steve Jobs, The Beatles, Michael Jordan, or Mark Zuckerberg. Let them be. Everyone else is just looking to leave a trail of significance in their work.

Today is your best chance to show your work and see what happens. Yes, the Internet is full of noise and you’re unlikely to be heard. Yes, your work will never show up in the top 10 Google results. Welcome to the world of trying!

The good news is that there’s still room for you to build a small tribe. Some people say you need 1,000 dedicated fans to build a reasonable business. That’s awesome! So what are you waiting for….

  • Throw out some Tweets, Instagrams, and drawings to see what resonates
  • Connect with like-minded people
  • Embrace your scenius
  • Show Your Work

You want more than a nod when it’s all in said and done. You’d like people to name a few things you did. Acceptable today is therefore a means for mediocrity. It’ll get you through with little guarantee of being remembered.

Stake your claim.

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“…there is a tremendous amount of craftsmanship in between a great idea and a great product.” -Steve Jobs Great ideas are nothing without great work. The magic is in the doing, learning from your mistakes, and taking the product to the next level. Innovation never truly ends.
“…there is a tremendous amount of craftsmanship in between a great idea and a great product.” -Steve Jobs Great ideas are nothing without great work. The magic is in the doing, learning from your mistakes, and taking the product to the next level. Innovation never truly ends.

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Day 1 – SXSW

Main points and highlights:

Gary Vaynerchuk: How to Rock SXSW:

“Provide value up front.”

Vaynerchuk makes it clear that SXSW is not about selling upfront, it’s about offering value first and then (only then) pitching the sale. In other words, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook.

Austin Kleon: Show your work

“Don’t be a hoarder.”

Kleon implores creatives to share their work and collaborate in what he calls a “scenius,” where fans, artists, thinkers gather and steal each other’s ideas. You don’t have to be a genius, you just have to be willing to share your process and recast what others do best into your own art.

Always be Innovating: thinking like a startup

“You can’t outsource culture to HR.”

Culture starts from the top, the founders set the tone. Apple may still be innovating today but it’s not ‘creating’ because Steve Jobs isn’t there to push a vision. As a result, Samsung is eating away at its Smartphone sales.

Meanwhile, Facebook still manages to promote its hacker ethos while scaling on Wall Street. And Larry Page is making Google a design-first company in the name of Google’s altruistic tenet: “Don’t be evil.” But what happens to Facebook and Google if the founders aren’t there?

Why It Pays Not to Rush the Process of Innovation

“Creative tension has to exist.” – Matt Rogers, co-founder of Nest

Nest never rushes its products; it takes its time to get it right and develop all ends (the complimentary app, customer service etc.) so that the first customers become the biggest advocates.

Nest steals right out of the Apple playbook. Rogers argues that the best marketing for your product comes from keeping it a secret. If you give everything away, there’s no new news to hype the product. In a twist of irony, Google now owns Nest because it’s trying to be the next Apple.

Day 2 begins now…

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Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.

Steve Jobs
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Creativity Tech

Thomas Edison Light Bulb Publicity Stunt

via giphy

Edison, Lemley writes, “did not ‘invent’ the light bulb in any meaningful sense.” Electric lighting was long in the works when Edison came on the scene, and his work attracted several patent infringement lawsuits from his contemporaries. “What Edison really did well,” Lemley argues, “was commercialize the invention.”

Like Steve Jobs, Edison may have taken a lot of the credit for other people’s work. In other words, his 10,000 failures were really team efforts. But why not build the team around the quarterback? The leader is the face of the company after all.

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Trip Like I Do

We all trip. It doesn’t matter if we’ve been walking for 30 years or 5 years, that uneven pavement still finds a way to get us.

The road is always peppered in unforeseen obstacles. But it’s not meant to impede us as much as it is to remind us of our own vulnerability.

Even people with remarkable vision slip up. But the difference between a visionary and a person on the move is composure.

Visionaries see the end and just work backward; any blips in between are subtle messages to rethink the perceived solution. Meanwhile, the goal-setter who encounters a hurdle gets annoyed and discouraged. They ask: ”Why can’t things just be a little easier? Where is my break?”

Hindsight is 20/20. Mistakes occur afterward, not before.

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward you can only connect them looking backwards.”

Steve Jobs

Life is the experiment. We’re the lab rats with brains, adapting to the freedom or constraint of our own reactions.

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And Then Steve Said, ‘Let There Be an iPhone’

Apple’s innovations have set off an entire rethinking of how humans interact with machines. It’s not simply that we use our fingers now instead of a mouse. Smartphones, in particular, have become extensions of our brains. They have fundamentally changed the way people receive and process information. Ponder the individual impacts of the book, the newspaper, the telephone, the radio, the tape recorder, the camera, the video camera, the compass, the television, the VCR and the DVD, the personal computer, the cellphone, the video game and the iPod. The smartphone is all those things, and it fits in your pocket. Its technology is changing the way we learn in school, the way doctors treat patients, the way we travel and explore. Entertainment and media are accessed and experienced in entirely new ways.

Amazing piece about the guts, grit, and the feigned demo that launched the original iPhone. Building it was “like the first moon mission.”

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Calligraphy 2.0

So far my experience of what it means to be literate has been one of contrasts, from monastery to high-tech research centre, quill pen and bound books to email and the digital future. But throughout my journey I have found it important to hold past, present and future in a creative tension, neither to be too nostalgic about the way things were nor too hyped-up about the digital as the answer to everything – salvation by technology.

I see everything that is happening now – the web, mobile computing, email, new digital media – as in continuity with the past. Of two things we can be certain: not every previous writing technology will disappear in years to come, and new technologies will continue to appear. Every generation has to rethink what it means to be literate in their own times.

Writing is writing no matter what format or medium it’s on. But it can’t be boring, in either prose nor design. A mastery of writing requires that the artist practice it every day.