… in the last ten years or so, there’s been a major economic resurgence for introversion—the “geek” economy. The prototypical geek is really good at thinking, has superb powers of concentration (which tends to be an introvert trait), and works very well independently. They’re often pretty awesomely brilliant people, and they’re fairly defiant about being geeks. They’ve turned this word “geek” into a term that’s almost romantic in some ways, and through the Silicon economy, they’ve been massively innovative and economically important. A lot of them are running circles around the extroverts who are selling shoes. So I think part of what’s happened lately is that the digital economy is giving introverts a new place in the sun.
If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.
— Antoine de Saint-Exupery, author and aviator (1900-1945)
Here’s to the crazy ones.
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward.
And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.
This is from an Apple ad shortly after Steve Jobs returned to Apple in the mid 90’s. It always brings a tear to my eye. Adweek has paid homage by adding Steve Jobs to his rightful place amongst these crazy ones.
Here’s the updated ad:
With all the volatility in the stock market lately it is a good time to remind ourselves that “the market” is not the same as “the economy.” The best that I can tell — at least as of the last few years — “the market” has contracted to a relatively small group of:
- professional traders
- automated computer programs
- institutional investors
- hedge fund managers
This tight-knit circle trades amongst itself with very little relevance to what we think of as “the economy.” In contrast to this closed group, the economy is the vast sum of the creation and delivery of the goods and services we want and need.
It seems to me that the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 bears little connection to these things these days.
Don’t be afraid. Now is the time to be bold. If you don’t like the economy, let’s go out and make one of our own.
The worst of states is when you experience neither relaxation nor productivity. Be focused on work or focused on something else, never in-betweeen. Time without attention is worthless, so value attention over time.
— Timothy Ferriss, 4-Hour Work Week.
I am on the final chapters of 4-Hour Work Week. As hard as it is for me to imagine enjoying his company, Ferriss is nailing it.
Whatever you’re doing now is just a stepping-stone to the next project or adventure. Any rut you get into is one you can get yourself out of.
— Timothy Ferriss, 4-Hour Work Week
There is an inescapable setup time for all tasks, large or minuscule in scale. It is often the same for one as it is for a hundred. There is a psychological switching of gears that can require up to 45 minutes to resume a major task that has been interrupted.
— Timothy Ferris, 4-Hour Work Week
Of course, I interrupted the book I was reading to post and Tweet this.
Focus is hard.
The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending, then having the two as close together as possible.
— George Burns
Of course there is nothing to say that this brilliant snippet of communication wisdom should be limited to sermons. It is also the secret of a good speech, a good presentation, or even a good email.
Net it out, people.
I have always found myself operating from a core set of operating principles — or “first principles,” if you will. Here are my guiding principles for 2011.
- Do the important stuff first
- If I want to read more, read more
- Pay attention
- Listen to my own voice
- Relationships matter
On Wednesday, in his NY Times editorial, Nicholas Kristof cited an article by the American Journal of Public Health stating that 45,000 uninsured people die annually as a consequence of not having insurance.
We accept that life is unfair, that some people will live in cramped apartments and others in sprawling mansions. But our existing insurance system is not simply inequitable but also lethal: a very recent, peer-reviewed article in the American Journal of Public Health finds that nearly 45,000 uninsured people die annually as a consequence of not having insurance. That’s one needless death every 12 minutes.
Today Paul Krugman has an editorial on the demise of American education.