Previously, I asked what kind of leader you wanted to be. In it, I struggled with the question of the tradeoffs of misrepresenting ground truth. Suppose you work at the WWE and you need to make a business decision. Somebody literally believes that it’s all real. You need to make a business decision about a contract renewal. What kind of harm are you doing to them, and to yourself, in going along with their belief, something that you know yourself not to be true? Absurd? Yes. Beliefs are absurd things. Later that month, I was asked why I was so sure that WWE wasn’t real? Why was my version of ground truth any more legitimate than somebody else’s ground truth?[…]

What causes conversion? Demand. It’s a simple answer and worthy of unpacking.  You could thank Claude C. Hopkins for the simple answer. Hopkins wrote two books towards the end of his life – Scientific Advertising and My Life In Advertising. He seemed to regret his experiences as an agency president, and left some direct advice on how master marketers should think of their choices. In his last decade of life, Hopkins marketed his marketing expertise. Instead of continuing to take on all the risk of marketing product on behalf of somebody else (and maybe getting paid if the product sold), he set up a system where products would be pitched to him. If the product was good, he’d take a[…]

Ikigai represents a pretty basic segmentation. So of course I love it. I love it so much I want to share. And you might love it too! The word comes from Japan. It means a reason for being. The segmentation recognizes four attributes of activities and jobs you could do – What You Love, What The World Needs, What You Be Paid For, and What You Are Good At. Combinations of two represent Mission, Vocation, Profession and Passion. Combinations of three segments represents Delight/Poorness, Excitement/Imposter, Comfortable/Empty, and Satisfaction/Uselessness. Doing something at the intersection of all four is called Ikigai. It’s a very elegant segmentation. It can also represents a surface. Assume a 2 dimensional plane representing all the activities and[…]

W1A is so much fun because the main character, Ian Fletcher, tries. And he fails. But he keeps on trying. And even though Ian isn’t aware of the character flaws that cause him to fail, he persists in trying. Ian Fletcher’s tragic character flaw, the source of so much of his pain and anguish throughout the series, is his optimism. That’s what makes it funny. I hope you’re finding this blog, and the twitter feed, funny. Because like Ian, I’m struggling. Like you, I’m composed of a couple thousand hours of meetings, deckage, talks, seminars, code, charts, stories, bullet points, facilitation, deliberation, analysis, email, papers, and pure rage. My stance as a scientist has informed the tools that I use,[…]