“Negativity is the enemy of creativity.” – David Lynch
Where are we headed?
Each week, more of you subscribe to this newsletter and join me on this evolving adventure.
Our ultimate destination is unknown even to me, but here’s what I do know:
The people this newsletter attracts are special and I’m honored to serve you.
You believe in possibility, creativity, and the future.
You believe in sharing ideas to improve the lives of others.
And you believe it means something to be one of The Interested.
So do I.
Now, on to this week’s ideas…
“When we meet somebody new, one of the first questions we’re asked is some version of, ‘What do you do?’ We’ve all got our standard answer to the question and have a good sense of how people typically react to our answer. That makes it the perfect opportunity for an experiment.”
Facebook simultaneously operates 10,000 different versions of its platform so it can constantly run experiments to improve its product. That bit of info made me wonder how we can increase experimentation in our own lives.
In this post, I share five simple life experiments worth trying including to live a day like a person you admire, change how you use social media, and offer unsolicited help to somebody.
“The act of falling to the ground comes with a strange and unintended side-effect. Liberation. With nothing more to lose, we have a foundation and this foundation limits downside.”
In our For The Interested Facebook group this week we explored the theme of failure through a series of daily posts and this was one of them (you can join the group to see the rest).
Zat Rana breaks down how J.K. Rowling turned epic failure into epic successand highlights the importance of seeing rock-bottom as a foundation and not a conclusion, using limitations to fuel resourcefulness, and increasing your odds of success with persistence.
“There were several factors that contributed to the company’s downfall, including not understanding what business they were really in — entertainment, not retail — and not being flexible enough to adapt.”
It may seem obvious in retrospect, but the rise of Netflix and fall of Blockbuster was anything but obvious back in the day.
Drift breaks down what happened and shares three lessons marketers can learn from the rise of Netflix including to never forget what you’re selling, be willing to adapt, and remember the customer-driven approach will always win.
Here’s a “fun” stat from the article: Blockbuster had 9,000 locations in its prime and there are now only 10 remaining. Meanwhile, Netflix has about 90 million paying subscribers.
For another interesting Netflix story, check out the amazing origins of its Chief Content Officer.
“Ideas are like fish and you don’t make the fish, you catch the fish. Desiring an idea is like putting bait on a hook and lowering it into the water.”
This two-minute animated video is based on a 2008 interview in which filmmaker David Lynch explains what it takes to come up with a great idea.
Lynch believes there are no original ideas, that suffering cramps the flow of creativity, and that happiness in the doing is of utmost importance.
“She very much acknowledges that losing is a likely reality. Her expectation isn’t to win every time, but it’s to use her skill to give her an advantage over the long-term. Under these conditions, it’s perfectly okay for her not to always win. She eliminates second-thoughts by addressing the reality of her circumstance.”
Professional poker player Vanessa Selbst believes confidence is a key to her success and that the key to building confidence is to tap into a reliable source.
Zat Rana breaks down her approach and details how you can become more confident in every aspect of your life. The suggestions include to become more comfortable with uncertainty and realize you can’t just think your way there.
“How you do anything, is how you do everything. A good leader sets a vision, determines what needs to be done to achieve that vision, and executes until the end.”
You may not realize it, but you’re a leader.
Maybe not at work, maybe not at home, but somewhere and to someone you are a leader. Reading this will help you become a better one.
Neil Strauss shares the six major qualities of a leader including to take risks, share success, study the past, and see every task to the end.
“Unfortunately, many people avoid discomfort. They do everything they can to avoid it. They are just too comfortable to be pushed or bothered to make a change or improve their lives. This is perhaps the biggest limiting factor for most people, and it’s why you can’t change your habits.”
Progress comes from getting outside your comfort zone.
Thomas Oppong believes the only time you’re growing is when you’re uncomfortable and breaks down exactly why it’s so important to become comfortable with discomfort.
That discomfort becomes a catalyst for progress and enables you to grow in ways you can’t if you habitually avoid that which is hard.
“By using a title without still doing the work, you fool yourself into thinking future success is assured. (‘This is who I am!’) That premature sense of satisfaction can keep you from doing the hard work necessary.”
Derek Sivers is a master of the short post that provokes some deep thinking.
His recent decision to stop calling himself an entrepreneur prompted this take on why you shouldn’t call yourself something you’re not currently doing.
He highlights the importance of being honest with yourself about what’s in your past and what’s in your present and suggests if you want to hold on to your current title, then you must do something to live up to it.
“Ask someone if they like a product. Then ask them if they like it at a price point, say $20. The whole conversation changes.”
If you’ve ever had to set a price for a product, you know how tricky it can be. This First Round Review post can help.
It features a collection of six must-read articles about product pricingincluding takes on why you should nail price before product, how your price should correlate to your marketing/sales strategy, and why you should be selective about incentives and discounts.
“Most people need to go back and forth between focused and diffuse modes in order to learn a topic. When you can’t solve something in the first focus, you’re not stupid — you just need to allow time to toggle to the diffuse mode.”
No topic is actually boring — you just haven’t figured out how to get excited about it yet.
Harvard Business Review shares four ways to get exited about a topic that bores you including to find a seed of motivation and realize it’s normal to not understand something on your first try.