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Your reputation has as much impact on your life as what you actually do. Early assumptions about you are sticky and are difficult to change. The single best way to maintain your reputation is to do things you're proud of. Gaming goes only so far. In a connection economy, what other people think about you, their expectations of you, the promises they believe you make—this is your brand.
The bestselling novel of 1961 was Allen Drury's Advise and Consent. Millions of people read this 690-page political novel. In 2016, the big sellers were coloring books. Fifteen years ago, cable channels like TLC (the "L" stood for Learning), Bravo and the History Channel (the "History" stood for History) promised to add texture and information to the blighted TV landscape.
It lets us off the hook in many ways. It creates systems and momentum and eliminates many decisions for its members. "I'm just doing my job." "That's the way the system works." Most of all, it gives us a structure to lean against, a way of being in the world without always understanding the big picture or the side effects or the implications of our actions.
Is that a habit? If your instinct is to publish, to share, to instruct, to give away, to engage and to put it into the world, then 'save as draft' is a rare thing. On the other hand, if you find yourself noodling then putting aside, waiting for perfect, you're on track to be waiti ...
To countless teenagers who had the wrong teacher in high school, it means, "a boring collection of right answers, categorized by topic." Once we discover that some things we were taught aren't black and white any more (Pluto, DDT, infant formula), it's not surprising that people begin to go from bored to skeptical. About all of it. Except that's not what science is. Science is a process.
We get what we invest in. The time we spend comes back, with interest. If you practice five minutes of new, difficult banjo music every day, you'll become a better banjo player. If you spend a little bit more time each day whining or feeling ashamed, that behavior will become part of you. The words you type, the peo ...
One clue that someone doesn't understand a problem is that they need a large number of variables and factors to explain it. On the other hand, turning a complex situation into something overly simple is an even more common way of demonstrating ignorance of how the system works. What we're looking for isn't the number of countable variables. It's the clarity of thought.
You can be good at Twitter in about five minutes a day. Spending ten minutes doesn't make you twice as good... in fact, there's probably little measurable improvement. To be great at Twitter might take five hours of daily effort. All the time in between five minutes and five hours is wasted. You're in a chasm with no measurable benefits. We see the same thing happen w ...
A quick look at Yelp reviews will show you that NY restaurants are not quite as good as those in some suburbs. This, of course, makes no sense. New York is insanely competitive, with a ton of turnover and a very demanding audience. A fast casual restaurant in Shaker Heights can coast for a long time, because... it's better than the alternatives.
You might need help to turn an idea into a project. Most of the time, though, project developers walk up to those that might help and say, "I have a glimmer of an idea, will you help me?" The challenge: It's too challenging. Open-ended. To offer to help means to take on too much. And of course people are hesitant to sign on for an unlimited obligation to help with something ...
Sort by price is the dominant way that shopping online now happens. The cheapest airline ticket or widget or freelancer comes up first, and most people click. It's a great shortcut for a programmer, of course, because the price is a number, and it's easy to sort. Alphabetical could work even more easily, but it seems less relevant (especially if you're a fan of Zappos or Zima).
When something goes wrong, how do you respond? When you own assets, when your position feels secure, when you're playing the long game, a bump in the road is just that. "Well, that was interesting." You can learn from it, and the professional realizes that freaking out pays little benefit. On the other hand, the middleman, the person who realizes just how easily he can be re ...
If you watch a well-directed film with the sound turned off, you'll get a lot out of it. On the other hand, it takes practice to read a screenplay and truly understand it. It's worth remembering that we lived in tribes for millennia, long before we learned how to speak. Emotional connection is our default. We only added words and s ...
Seth Godin's riffs on marketing, respect, and the ways ideas spread.