August 7, 2013
I look for themes when it comes to great cultures and brands. I also happen to be rather mischievous, so I can recognize that quality in both people and companies. So I find it rather interesting that some of the greatest brands are based on… theft.
Many people know that Zappos.com is based on a culture of service. It was a gamble at the time when every dot com company was staying away from phone service to focus on price cutting and efficiency. I asked one of the original team members what inspired them to focus on service. “Most of us came out of Nordstrom, so honestly, it was all we knew.” Service – stolen from a brick and mortar and taken online.
Take Starbucks – Howard Schultz lifted the high-end coffee cafes right out of Italy and figured out how to scale it.
Take Apple – Steve Jobs literally lifted the computers with the original graphic interface right out of Xerox PARC.
Take the United States of America. The nation/state system was taken directly from the Iroquois native Americans.
So perhaps the best innovation question to your team is not – “Who has a great idea?” But instead is “Who knows something we can steal?”
February 14, 2013
December 26, 2012
In How to Save the World (Part 1) I described the underlying beliefs. Now I’ll get into the how.
That solution exists…
Nature always seeks a balance. So if we understand what balance holds the world together at every level (physical, social, spiritual, chemical), then we will know what to focus on. The source of the balance can be found in the rule of 3’s. For example, at the physical level we have proton, neutron and electron. At the basic species level we have mother, father, offspring. Stories have a beginning, middle and end. We understand time as past, present and future. We understand language as 1st person (I), second person (you) and third person (he/she). The list goes on and on. We understand the world as balanced units of three.
November 5, 2012
I was obsessed with saving the world.
September 24, 2012
Nathan Heller writes a brilliant piece on the TED talks in the New Yorker, asking the question, “Has a conference turned idea into an industry?”
July 9, 2012
“If you have more than 3 priorities, then you have no priorities” – Jim Collins in Good to Great.