How do you think about the future you?

“The reason that most of us are unhappy most of the time is that we set our goals—not for the person we’re going to be when we reach them—we set our goals for the person we are when we set them.” – Dan Gilbert (via swissmiss)

“We don’t choose between experiences, we choose between memories of experiences. Even when we think about the future, we don’t think of our future normally as experiences. We think of our future as anticipated memories” – Daniel Kahneman (via zefrank)

“You’re every bit as much a brand as Nike, Coke, Pepsi, or the Body Shop.”   “Give yourself the traditional 15-words-or-less contest challenge. Take the time to write down your answer. And then take the time to read it. Several times. If your answer wouldn’t light up the eyes of a prospective client or command a vote of confidence from a satisfied past client, or — worst of all — if it doesn’t grab YOU, then you’ve got a big problem. – Tom Peters (via Fast Company) (emphasis added)

“A great man is one sentence.” – Clare Boothe Luce (via Daniel Pink)

A product, is a product, is not a sandwich

In many businesses you hear people refer to the things the company sells as product, or material, or skus, or content. The abstraction of a burger or a mop, creates detachment between how the business thinks and how the customer thinks, resulting in a lack of accountability for the experience and value the customer receives. I cringe when I hear Suzanne Greco, Vice President Of Research & Development, SUBWAY refer to the things Subway sells as “product”.  There is an intimacy we all must have with the things we sell, and customers don’t think about how great a Subway product would taste. The customer thinks in concrete and tangible terms and so should the businesses that hope to meet their needs.  In Subway’s case they sell food, Sandwiches made of bread, lunch meat and cheese. Just listen to the video linked above and replace the word product with sandwich or bread. The interview in my opinion has a completely different feel using real and intimate terms. So, lose the abstraction, be real and intimate with the things you sell.

“the world is a great liar”

Peggy Noonan in the article “A Life’s Lesson” writes

In a way, the world is a great liar. It shows you it worships and admires money, but at the end of the day it doesn’t. It says it adores fame and celebrity, but it doesn’t, not really. The world admires, and wants to hold on to, and not lose, goodness. It admires virtue. At the end it gives its greatest tributes to generosity, honesty, courage, mercy, talents well used, talents that, brought into the world, make it better. That’s what it really admires. That’s what we talk about in eulogies, because that’s what’s important. We don’t say, “The thing about Joe was he was rich.” We say, if we can, “The thing about Joe was he took care of people.”

Fame and celebrity are conferred and wealth is nothing more than an arbitrary scoring mechanism. In the end, we are not remembered and loved for what we have, we are remembered and loved for our behavior, for what we have Done.

My favorite view of London

My favorite view of London by TomC
My favorite view of London, a photo by TomC on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
At the Tate Modern in London, on the 5th Floor (I think) there is a door right next to a snack shop and gift shop. If you aren’t paying attention you will miss it. But walk through that door to a Patio and you will see this view. This panorama doesn’t do the view Justice. When you walk out on to the patio the first words out of your mouth will be WOW! The view is Art all by itself, a modern ever changing canvas. The act of walking through a standard doorway compresses the view and then once over the threshold the view explodes. Just another justification for taking time to explore and look around in all directions.

Steve Jobs – Amplifying Human Ability

“We are building tools that amplify a human ability” – Steve Jobs 1980 (via Kottke.org)

In my opinion Steve Jobs and Apple took the next logical step, building products that amplify a human emotion at the same time amplifying a human ability.  It is the amplification of human emotion which today underpins the Apple brand.  There is great engineering, design, and marketing in other companies, but it is Apple that brings them together with a focus on amplifying human emotion at the sometime amplifying a human ability. Brilliant.

Andy Grove on Dealing with Strategic Inflection Points

“you must realize that no amount of planning can anticipate such changes. Does that mean you shouldn’t plan? Not at all. You need to plan the way a fire department plans: It cannot anticipate where the next fire will be, so it has to shape an energetic and efficient team that is capable of responding to the unanticipated as well as to any ordinary event.”  Andy Grove Only the Paranoid Survive