Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Polaroid Dreams

If I could only remember my dreams, like I do reality. So many amazing stories are told in my dreams, so much more compelling than I could ever purposely create. Stories chock full of rich details about people and places that are often totally foreign to me in reality. Do you dream of people you know? I dream of strangers, often violent tormented tales of people going through extraordinary situations that involve life and death. As long as I can remember I’ve had, what until recently I thought of as a nighttime curse. Just the past few months I’ve concluded it may not be a bad thing to have such lucid dreams of terror and intrigue. Maybe, just maybe, if I can take a picture or two back to reality of what is happening in my dreams, something real can come of them.

As bloody as things can be in my dreams, they are often offset with calming portraits of places far away, on some rare occasions I dream of otherworldly design. Last night I dreamt that I was in a Japanese greasy spoon somewhere in Tokyo. It was no ordinary burger joint; rather it was all white lacquer from floor to ceiling. Furniture sat embedded in boxes shaped like enormous milk crates. Even the kitchen was splendidly different, with brushed tin boxes dispensing hamburgers, as a postal worker would mail into PO boxes. I briefly woke up, and then did my best to try to get back to that place, just so I could try to bring back a snapshot or two of what the design of that far off place looked like.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Naked Ambition

So many so often put so much extra, utterly unnecessary, stuff on their goal list each day. Item after item, agenda after agenda, we keep stacking up books of goals until the leaning tower tips, and falls into nothing. In other words, often we are so apt to achieve so many things that nothing gets done at all. In the process an inevitable great pain ensues, primarily from knowing that, through the simple state of goal-forced chaos, not a single goal was achieved. In the wake of some humbling news this week, may I put forth a humble idea?

Kill 99.9% of what you want to achieve, and go after that .01% directly. Forget multitasking, it waters your effort down to mediocre-at-best status. Focus on a singular thing until you get it exactly where you want it to be, and then select only one more thing from the newly revised goal list. Keeping a list of only a few goals to achieve, and keeping an even smaller list of goals under active pursuit will ensure success, and in the end produce a much higher quality result than the scattered-brained gibberish that so often emerges from the overworked under slept world we inhabit.


Listening can be a goal, in such cases, one would actually put down the cell phone, flip closed the laptop screen, and actually take time to digest what the person talking to them is saying.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Passing Ideas

Great ideas dance through my mind, like a dog might a field of peanut butter. If I don’t take action on these great ideas immediately, within minutes they disappear. If I try to do them all as they dance about my mind, I end up with too much of a good thing, similar to how a dog might feel after she attempted to eat a field full of peanut butter. The gifts that are ideas never stay long enough to really let us know they are any good, yet at the same time ideas need to be cultivated diligently to stand any chance of success. In other words, at some point in the process of a great idea, you just have to say screw it, and take an educated guess as to whether a given idea will evolve into a profitable business or not.

The challenge for entrepreneurs in 2010 and beyond is not to gather information, as might have been the case in times past, circa the telegram era, rather it is to sort the glut of information that is transmitted to us each day. Business intelligence is as much about knowing what information to toss out, as it is what to keep. Without hard numbers, a business cannot exist, yet with too much of it, failure is assured. The same principle that makes nurturing a great idea possible happens to play a big part in decrypting the sandstorm of data that a typical business inherits each day, aggressive intuition.

Whether it’s a great idea, or a pile of revenue predicting pie charts, aggressive intuition will serve your needs well. Instead of being diplomatic with every idea you get, every piece of data you’re asked to assess, take what matters most and run with it. Whatever else is left over will die anyways without careful analysis, so give it an early death and move on. Too many ideas are wasted each day for lack of aggressive intuition, and far too many emails, spreadsheets, memos, and PowerPoint presentations are developed unnecessarily in the process. Be particular, be clear, and be prompt with what you do, and how you do it, and the results you seek will rarely pass you be.