“I have plenty of opinions about business models, but to me, the best business model is one that makes your customer money. I didn’t say “saves” them money - big difference. Also, its better yet if that customer is a business. You need less businesses as customers to be successful than if you had individuals as customers. A common sweet-spot is BtoBtoC. Supply to businesses that supply to consumers (and of course, make them money).”—Paul Tyma, The Young Man’s Business Model
Gary Kildall became a bitter man as the years went by. He was haunted by the IBM deal. It grated on him that Bill Gates was being given the credit for his invention. He was constantly asked if he really “went flying” the day that IBM came to call.
“The Flash of Insight, The Grand Gesture, The Rousing Speech, The Last Straw. All of these are doppelgangers of The Big Thing, which too many of us wait for to come along and change our lives. The secret is, of course, that it’s not coming. Worse, by waiting for The Big Thing, you could let the little things that make life rich, and accumulate into the foundation of your life, slip away. One day, you might rouse yourself - like a patient in a waiting room who suddenly realizes that she forgot to sign in and grab a number - and see that while you hopelessly waited for some Big Thing to make your life matter, you neglected to invest in the little things, the little moments, the little pieces of experience that make life meaningful.”—Michael Steger, Colorado State University (via Adventures in Capitalism)
Community by the Numbers: Personal Circles — Christopher Allen explains the different types of relationships in our life and the maximum of each type the average person can maintain. Obviously there’s variance in these numbers depending on the person.
Support Circle - People you turn to in moments of severe emotional or financial distress: 3-5
Sympathy Circle - People you turn to for sympathy and people whose death would be devastating to you:10-15
Trust Circle - People you have emotional closeness to, people you would send a Christmas card to: ~150
Emotional Circle - People you “like” and can have a non-mutual emotional connection to (weak ties):~300
Familiar Strangers - People whose faces you recognize but you know nothing about them: 1000+? (No clear studies on # of people we can recognize.)
“This downturn will be marked in history as the time where many of the business models built in the industrial era finally collapsed as a result of being undermined by the information age. Its creative destruction at work. It’s painful and many jobs will be lost permanently. But let’s also remember that its inevitable and we can’t fight it. Technology and information forces are unstoppable and they will reshape the world as we know it regardless of whether or not we want them to.”—Fred Wilson, Bits of Destruction
Control of Attention is the Ultimate Individual Power
"Yet, I can’t help but feel that Gladwell and others who share his emphasis are getting swept away by the coolness of the new discoveries. They’ve lost sight of the point at which the influence of social forces ends and the influence of the self-initiating individual begins.
Most successful people begin with two beliefs: the future can be better than the present, and I have the power to make it so. They were often showered by good fortune, but relied at crucial moments upon achievements of individual will.
Most successful people also have a phenomenal ability to consciously focus their attention. We know from experiments with subjects as diverse as obsessive-compulsive disorder sufferers and Buddhist monks that people who can self-consciously focus attention have the power to rewire their brains.
Control of attention is the ultimate individual power. People who can do that are not prisoners of the stimuli around them. They can choose from the patterns in the world and lengthen their time horizons. This individual power leads to others. It leads to self-control, the ability to formulate strategies in order to resist impulses. If forced to choose, we would all rather our children be poor with self-control than rich without it.
It leads to resilience, the ability to persevere with an idea even when all the influences in the world say it can’t be done. A common story among entrepreneurs is that people told them they were too stupid to do something, and they set out to prove the jerks wrong.”
“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. The brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They are there to stop the other people!”—Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture
More than 10 million of the 13 million tracks available on the internet failed to find a single buyer last year. In other words, a near 90% of digital tracks released in 2008 didn’t sell a copy.
"80 per cent of all revenue came from around 52,000 tracks and only 173,000 albums were bought out of the 1.23 million available albums.”
This poses a challenge to ‘The Long Tail Theory’ which suggests “that niche markets were the key to the future for internet sellers and was described as one of the most important economic models of the 21st century when it was spelled out by Chris Anderson in his book The Long Tail in 2006″.
“So maybe a recession is a good time to start a startup. It’s hard to say whether advantages like lack of competition outweigh disadvantages like reluctant investors. But it doesn’t matter much either way. It’s the people that matter. And for a given set of people working on a given technology, the time to act is always now.”—Paul Graham on Why to Start a Startup in a Bad Economy
"When you’re hiring, seek out people who are managers of one.
What’s that mean? A manager of one is someone who comes up with their own goals and executes them. They don’t need heavy direction. They don’t need daily check-ins. They do what a manager would do — set the tone, assign items, determine what needs to get done, etc. — but they do it by themselves and for themselves.
These people free you from oversight. They set their own direction. When you leave them alone, they surprise you with how much they’ve gotten done. They don’t need a lot of handholding or supervision.
How can you spot these people? Look at their history. Have they been self-sufficient at previous jobs? Have they defined their own role before? Have they started their own site/company before? Or done their own thing in some other way? Find someone with initiative and a budding entrepreneurial spirit. And then nurture it.
You want someone who’s capable of building something from scratch and seeing it through. When you find these people, it frees up the rest of your team to work more and manage less.”
…does the world beat a path to the inventor of the better mousetrap. In September 1895, the world simply shrugged when Armat and Jenkins publicly unveiled their new Phantascope in a corner of the Cotton States and International Exposition in Atlanta. It was the first film machine to produce bright pictures and smooth-appearing actions. A local paper gave it brief mention, but only few visitors stopped by, and the inventors had nothing to show for their first marketing attempt. The two soon quarreled over assignment of the patents and dissolved their partnership.
increasing your own chances at personal success (Outlier's Lessons)
Practicing constantly Gladwell estimates that, in order to become world class at something, one needs to invest 10,000 hours of practice. That amounts to two hours of practice a day for roughly fifteen years - a pretty tall order, indeed.
Listening and interpersonal communication Being able to pay attention to what others have to say - actuallylistening and incorporating their statements into your own thoughts - is another big key, as is the ability to communicate with others in a respectful fashion. Doing both of these will help you to naturally build a social network around yourself, which is a big part of the puzzle.
Pushing yourself creatively The more you use creativity in your daily life, the more likely you are to succeed. Putting effort into coming up with unusual or unorthodox solutions almost always pays dividends, even if the end result turns out not to be the best solution.
Adopting a culture of learning and growth The personal aspects of your life - what you do with your spare time, who you associate with - should focus heavily on promoting learning and growth. If you find that you spend much of your spare time idling away the hours, or if your friends engage in activities that don’t help you to grow, you’re going to fall short.
The distinction is artificial but worth drawing. A job will never satisfy you all by itself, but it will afford you security and the chance to pursue an exciting and fulfilling life outside of your work. A calling is an activity you find so compelling that you wind up organizing your entire self around it — often to the detriment of your life outside of it. There’s no shame in either. Each has costs and benefits. There is no reason to make a fetish of your career. There are activities other than work in which to find meaning and pleasure and even a sense of self-importance — you just need to learn how to look.