Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"Abstract Expressionism was invented by New York drunks." Joni Mitchell

"Keep to yourself the final touches of your art." Baltasar Gracian

"Art is either plagiarism or revolution." Paul Gauguin

Today's image: remember by ropeboy. Awesome. Thank you for sharing.

Robert Scoble, Tech geek blogger and Philip Seymour Hoffman body double, is one of my favorite bloggers. You may know him as the guy who,
with Shel Israel, literally wrote the book on blogging, [Amazon info]. You may know him as the guy who previously blogged in the name of Microsoft. You may have followed him or recently discovered him to be the guy doing FastCompany.TV for the Joe Mansueto venture Fast Company.

Robert Scoble is Web 2.0 and we can all learn something from him. My sense is his charm comes from his consistent daring to be naive. It's a naivete born of a deeply pathological curiosity. An intellectual honesty that is at once refreshing and engaging.

Thanks to FriendFeed (excuse me, but you have taken a moment and checked out FriendFeed, the very hottest social media app of the moment, right? It's here, thank me later) As I was saying, thanks to FF became involved in a conversation last night that started about one of Robert's blog posts [Related: Robert's post "The passionate vs. the non passionates"]

This discussion brought to mind a famous line used often by that great gentleman, the one renowned as a Count in the royal court of American music. I speak, of course, of the pride of Red Bank, New Jersey, the brilliant Count Basie. "One more once" the Count was heard to say in performance, this after having said "One more time."

One more once

Stop trying to get better

Start getting different

Stop tweaking the numerator

Change the denominator

The most effective solution set is not about getting better, it's about getting different - dramatically different. It's about changing the game and the messy stuff of innovation. It's all about learning how to fail faster to succeed sooner.

The old school adage is apt here..."If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten." Let me also mash in some classic Dee Hock for flava..."The problem is never how to get new, innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get the old ones out."

Bonus: Tom Peters on Passion! Hard is soft, soft is hard. Passion, energy, values, character, enthusiasm. Highly recommended as the best use of three minutes you'll spend on the internets today. Video here. Hint: this video contains the magic formula for hiring great talent, especially sellers. It works every single time and the candidate resumes are not at all important. Thanks, again to FriendFeed and to Peter Dawson for the tip. Thanks too to TP.

Search engine of the week, next week: Omgili - Find out what people are saying

Sergey Brin: iPhone Users Conduct 30x More Mobile Searches (and other fascinating stats)...

"On Sunday July 13, Apple announced that 10,000,000 apps had been downloaded via the App Store. A little over a week later - on July 21st, 25 million apps have been downloaded." The entire Ryan Spoon post here. Thanks to Scoble via FF for the tip.

Trade secret: Once watched Mel Karmazin setting up the closing of a deal. Wanting to recruit a rock star candidate, Mel took a blank sheet of paper and after signing his name to the lower third handed it to the soon to be future employee saying "Fill it out." Genius! What would you do with such a "blank check?" The brilliant move on Mel's part was putting the pressure on the candidate. While it's easy to say you would go for it and stick it to the man, the reality is very different. Put in that position one tends to ask for what one really needs and, perhaps, a bit more. The last thing any candidate wants to be thought of in that situation is rude. No one wants to be the crass opportunist that takes advantage of a generous open ended offer. As a practical matter, the candidate ends up bidding against themselves. It's almost a reverse Dutch auction. I've borrowed this set up to the close and found the majority never, ever tried to stick it to the me. In my experience, the majority have actually settled for less than I was willing to pay because they wanted the gig and did not want to come across as taking any unfair or obscene advantage of my blank check offer. Don't make that mistake; never sell yourself short. Go for it! There is almost always more on the table than you believe. Here's the lesson. You can always come down. Attempting to go up, once you've established a number, well, that's a different story.

Next time: Why it's smart to find out what people need and then be the first to suggest they be paid more.