Archive for February, 2007

Retune: One Mea Culpa and Two Lessons (a Needed Update)

Feb 22 2007 Published by under Social Enterprise

Remeber Retune?

It’s been a busy few months for the group – positive momentum, lessons learned, some iterations, a mea culpa, and … well, here’s an update on the early stages of a social enterprise.

evolution. baby.

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5 Quick Things

Feb 20 2007 Published by under General,Startup Strategy

1) How to Stay Hungry (or, Having Balls). “Albert mentioned that he gave most of the money he made from selling his first company to his parents. “I gave them the money because it was of course enough for me to never work again, but you know.. i wanted to stay hungry””.

2) How do you add value to someone smarter than you? Ask really dumb questions. (Really).

3) Innovation in 4 easy steps: (1) don’t reinvent the wheel; (2) plunder what works; (3) disregard what doesn’t; (4) add a sprinkle of innovation

4) “The truly important events… are not the trends. They are changes in the trends.” – Peter Drucker. (via Nivi)

5) The best 4:31 of your day:

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Quick & Quotable

Feb 19 2007 Published by under General,Startup Strategy

“I can flap my lips all I want. Talk is cheap. Watch us.”

David Neeleman, CEO JetBlue (via Brad Feld)

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Continuous Partial Attention

Feb 19 2007 Published by under General

One of the Breakthrough Ideas for 2007 has received more of my attention in the past week than the others – Continuous Partial Attention.

I’ve received a few emails and have had a number of conversations with friends on the subject. My six word summary didn’t do it justice – it’s an interesting topic.

Linda Stone, the author of the essay in HBR and the coiner of the phrase, has a wiki on the subject with some great resources.

“Continuous Partial Attention is motivated by a desire to be a LIVE node on the network. Another way of saying this is that we want to connect and be connected. We want to effectively scan for opportunity and optimize for the best opportunities, activities, and contacts, in any given moment.”

Is it a bad thing? I’m sure it could be, but when managed properly it can be a valuable trait. Just ask Seth (he’s right, this is going to be a skill in high-demand).

But how to handle (/thrive) with the info glut? Some quick thoughts based on personal experiences:

– Develop an amazing ability to skim content for focused information (a skill I honed while pouring over Beckett Price Guides when I was 10).

– Utilize available technologies to aggregate information. Feedreaders are a great tool for this. Skim headlines looking for key content – based on author/title – and skim once the post opens, looking for content of interest. If it looks valuable, slow down enough to make a decision: consume now, or file for later consumption (i.e. if the article is long or requires lots of thought).

– Utilize available technologies to streamline/organize information. I star posts within the reader to read later, tag content to for future reference, email myself links, …

– Don’t duplicate. I forward a number of email addresses to a single account – I can check all email in a single location at a single time. Also, email is pushed to my blackberry so that it comes to me in a way that it can be scanned (do I need to act now? can I act later? is a response necessary at all?)

There are plenty of other ways that I handle and process information, but I’m heading to read (great book(s) on the go). I’m interested in hearing any tips on how you manage the noise in your search for the signal.

In summary I think it comes down to a simple conclusion that I’ve come to while writing this: continuous partial attention requires a rigorous focus on the process of focusing a little on a lot.

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Music of the Moment – Undisputed Truth

Feb 13 2007 Published by under Media

True story: a few years ago one of my favourite artists comes to town and plays a tiny club in Toronto. It’s packed. It’s hot. It was a memorable concert.

Funny thing though – the opening act stole the show.

That was my introduction to Brother Ali.

Brother Ali

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