From the Harvard Business Review:
Recent research hammers this home, showing that our performance drops when we try to perform both encoding tasks (experiencing what’s around you) and response selection tasks (capturing stimuli) at the same time. So next time you have a big meeting, ask yourself whether you’re better off 1) as an active, fully engaged participant; or 2) frantically scribbling down comprehensive notes for later use, while ignoring critical room dynamics that can turn meetings on a dime — non-verbal cues, power postures, and nuanced changes in tones of voice.
Make sure your taking notes, or recording the event don’t prevent you from actually experiencing the world.
If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.
-commonly attributed to Antoine de Saint Exupéry
I saw this most recently in Neil deGrasse Tyson’s testimony to Congress. I think it applies very broadly.
People aren’t machines, and actually react very poorly to detailed mindless instructions. But give them a goal, a vision, something they believe in and think they can do, and you’ll find that you only need to do minor direction to accomplish those goals.
The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair.
-Douglas Adams, Mostly Harmless
When it comes to software and the word impossible, I do not think it means what you think it means.
When faced with a problem you don’t understand, do any part of it you do understand, then look at it again.
-Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
I see a lot of folks that have lofty ideas, and never get anywhere, because they don’t want to start until they are sure they can do it right the first time. Here’s the thing, you can’t do anything right the first time. So just dive in somewhere. Consider the mistakes lessons learned, and the cost of building expertise. Be prepared to feel stupid a lot, because that’s the price of learning something new.
You’ll never finish a project if you don’t start it. You’ll never complete a project, if you don’t keep working on it. These may seem obvious, but it’s impressive how many people don’t seem to realize this.
(Thanks to Ed for posting this first.)
If you are not paying for it, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold.
posted by blue_beetle
It nicely goes to the heart of a lot of web 2.0 economics, including facebook, twitter, google, etc. Related to the new pick two (in case the auto related filter doesn’t catch it).
“Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution.” — Clay Shirky
This was dubbed the Shirky Principle by Kevin Kelly. The blog post describing it is well worth checking out.
This hat trick of Shirky posts was inspired because the topic came up last night when we were over visiting with Chris and Susan.
“Trust me, if NYC gets nuked, NO ONE locally is driving to sterling forest to save a soup company”
– I’ll leave the context and author as an exercise to the reader
“Hitler…all he had to peddle was hate. Hate always sells well, but for repeat trade and the long pull happiness is sounder merchandise.”
– Jubal Harshaw in Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert Anson Heinlein.