Persuasion Works Better When You Understand Demand and Appeal to Self-Interest

Yesterday, someone shared an article about all the bullshitters filling up the web.  It ripped on the kind of people who call themselves creativity coaches and keynote speakers and pump out advice articles and inspiring Steve Jobs quotes on social media, but have never actually built anything. It…


Historians are Too Romantic

Yesterday, my always interesting friend Chris Nelson mentioned a local public works project that struck him as useless.  As we chatted, it struck me how often we give very old things more praise than they are due. Think of public works projects and boondoggles.  You can probably think of several…


Curiosity is Better Than Knowledge

If I could choose to be the most knowledgeable person in the world or the most curious, I'd choose the latter without hesitation. Every interesting thing I've done has been a direct result of curiosity.  Every professional success has stemmed from the fact that I was curious about more than just my…


When You Get Bored, Get Epic

I have a Pandora station built around epic move soundtracks and songs that make me feel like I'm fighting a dragon with a flaming sword. It works every time. If I'm a little stale or dull or tired of the same old podcasts or in a work rut, I go for a walk, pop in the headphones, and let Hans…


Postseason Haiku

Don't always dance with Who brought you because playoffs Not the same season


There Are More Languages Than We Think

My son does a rock climbing class every week. Today, he remarked how funny it is to hear hardcore climbers talk, because their lingo is like a foreign language.  I just watched a recap of the Kentucky Derby, and had the same thought. The world of horse racing has a language as comfortable to…


Which Way is the Game Being Called?

Some games you can hack and bump with no fouls. Others get ticky-tacky and call every touch. Still others are inconsistent and make calls to stop and start runs and momentum swings to make it feel balanced. The point is that it doesn't matter how the game is called. Greatness can adapt and win…


"He Has Nothing in Me"

You can't control what you don't have a stake in. Likewise, you can't be controlled if no one has a stake in you. Jesus said the devil had nothing in him.  He didn't say the devil had nothing on him, or no leverage over him.  Anyone can use information about you as dirt on you.  Anyone can use…


Fans vs. Customers

Fans are fun, customers are crucial. Fans tell you keep going no matter what, customers seek value. Fans have lots of positive and negative feedback, customers have their wallets. Fans can make you feel like a millionaire or a schlub, customers can make you one. Fans want your time and attention…


Your Personal Life is Less Important than You Think

Work-life balance is an overrated concept. Even if you think only in terms of your work, you'll find need for ample time outside, with others, excercising, unplugged, creating, and consuming new ideas.  Focusing on good work alone will lead you to this. Good work demands it. You don't need to…