8½ | Pulp Fiction
The Mafias in Italy.
Technology shows up and changes the culture. The culture then enables new industries and movements, which further change the culture. And then technology shows up and puts an end to the system we were all used to.
The parentheses open, and then, perhaps, they close.
The pop-rock parentheses opened with the transistor radio (kids could listen to music without their parents) and closed with streaming (no scarcity meant long tail meant no mass market).
The publishing parentheses opened with Gutenberg and ended with the death of the bookstore. Digital books mean no scarce shelf space, no scarce paper, no power to the publisher, no mass market.
A door opens, and then, one day, it closes.
It’s easy to mourn the end of these eras, but in my lifetime, so many parentheses have opened…
Computers connect us–to resources, to truth and to each other (which can mean folk-truth instead of actual truth)
Medicine is truly a science, not a series of half-understood superstitions
Musicians and writers can find an audience without a gatekeeper
We’ve changed the narrative about fairness (even though we’ve just begun to make progress)
It has never been easier to spread an idea or start an enterprise
Access to information, just about all of it, is cheap and fast
If you care enough to learn something, you can
It’s possible to day trade tragedy and doom, and if it was the best way to make things better, I’d be in favor of it. But with all the doors that have opened, what a chance to make things better. To make something, and to make things better.
Go start a project.
Gabriel Abed, founder of Bitt.com and Vice President of the board of directors, describes how he went from mining Bitcoin to persuading governors of central banks to not quash Bitt's goal to create central bank digital currencies in the Caribbean and getting the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank to pilot one starting next year...[more]
Isaac Sesi built a gadget he believes can tackle one of the biggest risks faced by farmers across Africa: the contamination of grains following harvest.
Sesi’s product, GrainMate, allows famers and grain purchasers to affordably measure moisture levels of maize, rice, wheat, millet, sorghum, and other staples...[more]
She may have been inspired to become a winemaker by reading her mother’s romance novels, but it was her steely determination to succeed that drove her to become Mzansi’s first winemaker of colour.
Today Carmen Stevens (Founder of Amani Vineyards ) is an award-winning winemaker selling her own wines internationally. But she is still giving back to kids who are growing up in disadvantaged communities similar to where she came from...[more]
Conventional CEO wisdom is that top management is worth a fortune because of the high-leverage decisions they make.
But consider the work of Wade, an unheralded Air Canada gate agent. Yesterday, I watched him earn his employer at least $50,000 while getting paid perhaps .1% of that.
The microphone was out of order, but instead of screaming at the passengers, he walked over and spoke directly to the people who needed to hear him.
On his own, he started inquiring about the connection status of a family of four. He could have cleared the standby list, closed the flight and told the four that they’d have to find another way home. Or, he could have saved them their four seats, which would have flown empty if they hadn’t been filled. Instead of either path, he picked up the phone, organized other staff to find and expedite the family and get them on board.
And then, in an unrelated bit of valor, he tracked down a lost wallet and sent his #2 to fetch it from where it had been left–getting it to the plane before it left.
Most of all, in an era when loyalty is scarce, he probably increased the lifetime value of a dozen wavering customers by at least a few thousand dollars each.
Krulak’s Law states that the future of an organization is in the hands of the privates in the field, not the generals back home.
Unfortunately, management and a lack of trust get in the way of the work environment you’ll need to build to earn the human, dedicated work of the next Wade. Hopefully, the airline will put him in charge of their horrible website next. But I’m not optimistic.
Where is your Wade? What are you doing to make it more likely that he or she will bring magic to work tomorrow?
The business is an unlikely project in a country beset by grinding poverty, but its owners are determined that luxury foods can play a part in improving Madagascar's economy.
"A lot of people laughed at us," says Delphyne Dabezies, the head of Rova Caviar, admitting that the enterprise was a big gamble.
"But we took the time to prove that this is serious. Madagascar caviar is now the only caviar produced in Africa and the Indian Ocean."...[more]
How to create world-class healthcare facilities for the poorest people of the world
Narayana hospital in India has made Dr. Devi Shetty the ‘Dangote of healthcare’. The Dangote group provides commodities like salt, sugar, pasta and cement to meet people’s basic needs at the best possible price point...[more]
More data is usually available. It takes time or money, but you can get more data.
But you’re probably not using all the data you’ve already got.
I’m guessing what you meant was, “I wish I had more certainty.”
And that, unfortunately, isn’t available.
If it’s worth the work you put into it and the change you seek to make, it’s worth dancing with the uncertainty. Reassurance isn’t going to come from more data–that’s a stall.
Forward motion is the best way to make things better.
The only choice is to launch before you’re ready.
Before it’s perfect.
Before it’s 100% proven to be no risk to you.
At that moment, your resistance says, “don’t ship it, it’s crappy stuff. We don’t ship crap.”
And it’s true that you shouldn’t ship work that’s hurried, sloppy or ungenerous.
But what’s actually on offer is something scrappy.
Scrappy means that while it’s unpolished, it’s better than good enough.
Scrappy doesn’t care about cosmetics as much as it cares about impact.
Scrappy is flexible and resilient and ready to learn.
[HT to Joshua].
In response to high national demand for mushrooms, an agribusiness company in the Congo has developed easy-to-use, affordable production kits.
In the Republic of the Congo, it is now possible to grow and eat your own mushrooms all year round. Bio-Tech Congo, founded in 2015 by engineer Tsengué-Tsengué, produces and markets incubated growing kits capable of producing up to 3 kg of fresh oyster mushrooms in 3 months. Commonly known as mayebo in Lingala, and much loved by the Congolese people, oyster mushrooms were previously only available for a few months during the rainy season...[more]
Angevin Empire, 1150 - 1214.
The Angevin Empire was a collection of states ruled by the Angevin Plantagenet dynasty. The Plantagenets, Henry II of England, Richard I of England, and John of England, ruled over an area from the Pyrenees to Ireland during the 12th and early 13th centuries.
“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
― Abraham Lincoln
Just to keep these distinctions clear
The easiest way to get someone’s attention is to compare them to someone else.
When people compete on the same metrics (how many followers, how much income, how many points scored) the focus gets very tight. With a simple metric, there’s no confusion at all about how to earn more status.
The irony is that the simpler the metric, the less useful the effort is.
Big ideas, generous work, important breakthroughs–to pursue these goals is to abandon the metric of the moment in favor of a more useful sort of contribution.
If we want smart kids, the GPA is a lousy way to get them.
That’s the two-part secret of smart eating–you don’t have to eat everything on your plate, and if you’ve got trouble with that, put less on the plate to begin with.
But the same rules apply in our daily lives. If a meeting is scheduled for an hour, you’re allowed to leave after ten minutes if you’re done.
The hard part isn’t ‘portion’, it’s ‘control’. Self-control is underrated.
The digital economy has created an endless buffet, and it’s easy to overeat. When confronted with infinity, is it okay to blink?
Portions are up to us.
Political division in Europe, North Africa and Near East after the end of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD.
July 4, 2019.
The American flag flying upside down is a symbol of distress, an SOS call.
Rapper Megan Thee Stallion
Independence sometimes seems easier than the long-term, disciplined, generous work of connection.
But it’s connection that enables us to add value.
The math is simple: when people with different assets, needs and views come together, they’re able to produce more than they ever could on their own. Trading goods, skills and knowledge without friction creates a leap in productivity.
It might be easier to burn a bridge than it is to build one, but in the long one, bridges are what we need.
Some projects suffer from a lack of awareness. If only more people knew about what you were offering, you’d be fine.
But most projects don’t have that problem, not really.
The problem is that the people who are already aware of it don’t take action.
They don’t sign up.
They don’t engage.
They don’t spread the word.
More focus on action and less on awareness usually pays dividends. It’s more difficult of course, because you need to focus on what you make, how you make it and the change you seek to create.
The first week of business school was pretty miserable for me. I had no idea if the others were feeling as underwater as I was, because I was focused on my own challenges.
And then, a few days into the semester, Chip Conley, a fellow student, put a note in my campus mailbox. To paraphrase, “I’m organizing a five-person brainstorming group, and I’m hoping you can join us.”
Chip wasn’t in charge of anything. Like me, he was one of the youngest students in the class. But he realized that the best way forward was together, so he reached out and changed the lives of four fellow travelers. By assembling a few others, he created magic, possibility and connection.
What can you organize today?
Warren is looking strong. Biden is dead.
from The Vulnerability of Biden (and Bernie) | David Leonhardt:
Sanders has an inherent advantage with donors, because he is the only 2020 candidate who also ran in 2016. So I wasn’t surprised that he was the first choice of 34 percent of donors, more than any other candidate. Elizabeth Warren was second (23 percent), and no one else topped 10 percent. Biden was at 9 percent, along with Pete Buttigieg.
But Sanders’s support seems soft. Because the race is in its early stages, the pollsters also asked people a broader question: Which candidates would you consider supporting?
On this measure, Sanders fell to second. Warren was first, at 68 percent, followed by Sanders (57 percent), Kamala Harris (40 percent) and Buttigieg (38 percent). The survey was conducted before last week’s debates, so it’s reasonable to think the numbers for Harris and Buttigieg may have risen.
What about Biden?
Only 26 percent of donors said they were considering him. Even among Hillary Clinton’s 2016 donors — presumably a more moderate group of Democrats — Biden came in fourth. Harris drew the broadest potential support among Clinton donors, followed by Warren and Buttigieg.
Warren’s popularity is impressively broad, Tom Vladeck, the managing director of Gradient Metrics, pointed out. She drew strong support from both 2016 Sanders donors and 2016 Clinton donors; big-dollar and small-dollar donors; older and younger donors; and women and men.
It’s possible to build a car that will never injure the driver, regardless of the severity of the crash.
The thing is, it will be so heavy, it won’t move, and so wide, it won’t fit on the roads.
We compromise every time we engage with the rules of physics.
And it’s possible that the world will line up and give you exactly what you want. Except that other humans never want exactly what you want, and we build that truth into our expectations about what’s possible. We compromise every time we engage with other human beings.
Once we acknowledge that all forward motion involves compromise, we can get to the actual question, “how much?”
How much will we compromise with the realities of physics and humanity on our path to making things better?
Absolutism is a form of hiding. Perfect is the enemy of good.
Hope Kahn is a Maryland-based journalist who is doing all of the sorts of things I was doing at her age: honing her writing and reporting skills, putting out a student newspaper, and always scrambling to find a good local story.
Over the last couple of years she's been punching above her weight class, having been published in national outlets such as Ms. and The New York Times. Suffice to say those are not exactly things I had accomplished before graduating high school.
Her work in the #SinceParkland project is a fantastic example of a product of Generation Lockdown working to effect real change.
Recently we did some head shots that will hopefully allow her to start visually branding herself as the serious, thoughtful journalist she is fast becoming. The setup we used was classic Lighting 101 head-shot-in-a-corner fare, with an L102 and L103 twist. Read more »
Is probably not a useful metric to measure yourself by.
If it’s important and you can spend money to fix it, by all means, go do that.
But the helpful metrics are the ones where cash isn’t the solution.
This makes me want to dance.