Lady Gaga isn’t a marketing genius. She is a weirdo. Richard Branson isn’t a marketing genius. He’s a weirdo. All successful people are originals (weirdos) and the rest strive to copy them. Be weird. Be original. Maybe you’ll be successful at what you do. But WEIRDNESS is a must.
Quote of the Day: Sunscreen
The race is long and, in the end, it is only with yourself.
– Baz Luhrmann
Quote of the Day: Marketing Barking
Your marketing should do the barking and your product do the talking.
Unless you are a multi-level marketing company of course. Click to read more about product value vs marketing hype.
Thoughts on Relativity
Protons can sporadically appear and disappear. They are subatomic and infinitely small and of almost no mass.
The universe could also have been created in a similar fashion, and will disappear in a similar fashion. But becausue of its mass, there is more inertia and time distorts and gets slower.
For a proton to instantaneously appear and then disappear almost immediately later seems really fast to us. It can happen because of its close-to-nothing mass and almost no inertia.
Measuring the age of a human in proton years makes it seem really long. Measuring the age of the earth in human years makes it seem very long. Measuring the age of our galaxy in earth years makes it seem really really long because of its mass. And measuring the age of the universe in galaxy years makes it seem really really (really) long. What happens if we measure the age of whatever the universe is part of in universe years? Probably long to the point where time stops completely, just like before the big bang.
Each step involves more mass, more mass involves more inertia and more inertia means slower time or a slower cycle. So, the universe could be just like the proton that appears from nowhere and disappears as quick, but on a universally grander and slower scale.
We are so small and live such a small fragment of this entire process that it seems eternal to us.
A Sunset on Mars
Watch and behold, a sunset on Mars. At first it struck me as “another” interplanetary video, but come to think about it, it is pretty amazing.
Out there, one year away from our own planet a little robot landed and shot HD video — and it all looks like Arizona. It’s crazy how a place that far away can look so familiar. Imagine going on a hike into the wild, spending a whole day trekking through hills and slopes. You climb a small mountain and finally arrive at an outlook. You probably feel completely at one with nature; small, fragile, an observer of something greater.
Now, keep that concept in mind but imagine that you travel upwards in a one-man space shuttle through deep space. After one year you arrive at the location below, totally alone on Mars. Everything looks familiar but you are one year away from anything you would remotely call home.
The universe is full of these places, there are billions of them. And most of them are incredibly vast and incredibly empty. We are truly small and insignificant in the eye of the universe. I wonder what other kinds of species might be dwelling out there somewhere in space, seemingly all alone in a vast empty void just like us. The next time you are moved by a sunset, remember the video below. Every day there are billions of sunsets but most of them will go unseen forever.
The Secret to Success Revealed
$13 million is not bad in cash. I have a feeling this is a brick and mortar-type guy. Who deposits $300,000 in checks? Probably a car salesman. Congratulations, secret millionaire.
Ideas vs. Execution vs. Vision
Ideas, execution and vision are big words in entrepreneurship. They constitute what most success is made of. Even so, people rarely mention them in the same sentence and tend to play favorites. “Execution is more important than ideas” is a common notion held among certain business people.
The truth is a different story. To create something of extreme success you need to give each of them equal importance. Ideas, execution and vision are in fact interdependent and because of that they can result in some amazing synergy. A good idea cannot hold its ground on its own, but combined with equally good execution and vision the resulting combination will be worth more than the sum of its parts. Let’s take a closer look:
Ideas are important. Everything around you is the result of ideas: your car, the Internet, the way your music sounds, the stitching on your IKEA couch, maybe even the air you breathe if you have an air conditioner. Then there are the more subtle things like language, social structure and even your thoughts in some very rare instances (North Korea is a candidate here). Ideas are the essence of what makes us human and what everything created by us is founded upon. This makes ideas very important.
Execute your idea with your vision in mind and build for the future; create the foundation for what your users would want your concept to be 5 years from now.
If everything around us was based on ideas then execution is what made them real. Ideas are practically useless without execution. Only thinking about ideas gives them no real value and they will remain a fragment of your imagination. Execution on the other hand is pointless without a great idea and will result in something mediocre at best. What you want to do is put your effort into executing great ideas.
Good execution takes a lot of effort. If coming up with a great idea is hard then executing it is even harder. You will need to distribute resources, develop a strategy, hire talent, learn the industry or field and work with real-world constraints. The idea might be dead simple to you while it is in your head, but imagine taking it out and placing it in front of you. While building a one-man space shuttle to take you to Mars and back might be a great idea in the future, chances are high you will be disappointed if trying to execute that today.
In addition, if your idea is complex it is likely that you do not possess the necessary skills yourself. This puts an even greater strain on execution since you need to bring in outside talent. To summarize this and quoting myself, ideas are nothing without execution, and execution is nothing without ideas.
Vision is sometimes overlooked when talking about the importance of ideas and execution. This is unfortunate because vision is what binds your ideas and execution together and completes the package. Vision is like the entrepreneurship professor who asks you uncomfortably pointed questions about your idea to make you to think:
What if someone copies you? What if demand skyrockets? How will you respond to change? What if your concept is not well received? Does your value proposition stand a chance against competition? Are you future proof?
Having vision helps you look ahead and create a long-term strategy. It also encourages you to plan for contingencies if things don’t go as planned. To create a long-term vision you need to take a step back from the smaller details and consider what type of experience your users will expect from your concept in the long run. Execute your idea with your vision in mind and build for the future; create the foundation for what your users would want your concept to be 5 years from now (the time frame depends on your industry of choice).
As an aside, Paul Graham suggests setting weekly growth rate targets. This allows you to measure the effectiveness of your strategy and reallocate your resources if they do not contribute to your growth and in effect your vision.
Putting great ideas, great execution and great vision in the same box results in some impressive synergy. Each element is of little value on its own but together they are worth more than their sum. To conclude:
- A great idea is needed to draft up anything of value.
- Great execution is needed to deliver anything of value.
- Great vision is needed to sustain anything of value.
Quote of the Day: Stop Wanting
Stop wanting things from life. Let life come to you instead.
Quote of the Day: Matter don’t Mind
Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.
– Bernard Baruch
This was originally said by a certain Bernard Baruch but has commonly been erroneously credited to Dr. Seuss. I’m sticking with Dr. Seuss.
Quote of the Day: Don’t Fear Failure
Do not let the fear of failure stop you from trying to win.
Don’t fear failure. Fear failing at trying.