My smart phone killer app is…

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…One which was already installed on my phone when I got it. It isn’t weather. It isn’t the web browser. It isn’t stocks, music, phone, mail or messages. But after paying attention for more than a week to which function I used most often on my phone, it surprised me to find out I use this the most.

The clock.

Yep, I take the phone out of my pocket to check what the time is. I use this more often than any other function on my phone. So for me, it is the killer app. And here is what is killer about it. When I do this, I unfortunately feel compelled to check out some other stuff while I’m looking at it:

“Has anyone tweeted me?”

“Are there any missed calls while it was silent?”

“What’s happening on my instagram feed?”

“What’s the surf like this weekend?”

Checking the time is a habit I formed even before the personal computer revolution…it takes me way back to grade school. It’s an old habit with a new solution. But what it does, it opens up related revenue streams and usage occasions. It’s another perfect reminder that we are far more likely to succeed when we leverage existing behaviour.

New book – The Great Fragmentation – out now!

Sack Your Boss – Wednesday night

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The thing that I’ve learned in the past 10 years more than anything else, is how transferrable many of our skills are. I started out my career working in the FMCG industry – Fast Moving Consumer Goods – think supermarket style brands. And while I chose to stay in the industry for more than 10 years, when I decided to leave, and even applied for jobs in other industries I kept getting the same barriers put up in front of me. The HR people and recruiters would say:

“They are after someone which the industry X experience”.

Even the surfing Industry rejected me twice given I hadn’t worked in it already, even though I lived the life and had the all marketing experience in the world – their loss.

I got defined by where I had been, rather than what I was capable of, or heaven help me, actually passionate about. But there is also one little truth to this that they never mention when we’re told we don’t have the right background. And that is this viewpoint and decision is entirely about them. It’s about their needs to simply fill a hole. It’s about their needs to justify a recruitment decision simply. It’s about them not wanting train you or, heaven help us, actually teach you something. In short this so called industry experience requirement is about making their life easier. It has nothing to do with us.

But here’s the upshot – there are some simple techniques to ‘Sack Your Boss’. I know, I’ve done it a number of times. And once you hear some stories about how you can transition to becoming an entrepreneur or a different career path, you’ll feel inspired. So we are running an intimate event on how to do exactly that. There are only a few seats, it’s small by design so we can deep dive. I’ll be sharing my story as will Ben Rowe on how we escaped the tyranny of consumer goods. But the stories will resonate no matter where you work.

Come along and have a drink and a chat. It’s this wednesday night in Melbourne CBD at the Hub, it’s free, and should be a fun little night.

You can register here. See you there.

Going back to the well

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This year I’ve been working steadily on my new book and sharing ideas with people who want to know about the technology revolution. And while it is true we are always learning while on the job, I feel like people in the information business need an off-season as much as professional sportspeople and musicians do. Problem is we don’t tend to plan for it on an annual basis as much as other ‘seasonal industries’ do. Which could lead us into a dangerous pattern of already knowing what we know, or at worst obsolescence through ignorance. The ironic thing is that this exact behaviour pattern is what is causing large corporations to be disrupted. They are so busy doing what they do, making what they make and utilising the assets they already own that they rarely go back to the well.

If you’re an entrepreneur or freelancer (like I am) then we need to ensure we don’t get so deep into our work wormhole that we ignore the world around us. Screens and offices are very dangerous places to watch the world from. It’s probably better to make, break and explore a few things outside of our work to ensure we keep our edge.

New book – The Great Fragmentation – out now!

Five for Friday v4

Here’s 5 pieces of information that got me thinking this week. Reading, viewing and listening pleasure for the impending weekend. Enjoy!

1. Are you suffering from Stuffocation? Author James Wallman takes about it here at Google.

2. Another reminder that the future is phygital – Both physical and digital have a place. One is not superior to the other. In fact, they are better together.

3. Crowdfunding the more important things in humanity – scientific research. Seems more important to me than a tricked up cooler. There’s hope for the internet yet.

4. This is BIG – Estonia has just become first country to allow for e-citizens. Just like corporations basing themselves in low-cost markets, humans can now do it too. Welcome to the Sans Nation State economy.

5. Isaac Asimov essay reveals the true secret of creativity – it’s about the cross connection. And guess what, creative industries and people don’t have a monopoly on it.

Yours in learning, Sammatron3000.

The people we want to meet

The people we want to meet, would probably be happy to meet us too, before everyone wanted to meet them. The problem with the people we want to meet, is really in the timing of when we want to meet them. Because we usually only want to meet them after they have done something notable. It’s not uncommon to read about a lunch with Warren Buffett being auctioned for more than a million dollars. Or for people having a list of people they want to meet who inspire them. But what’s interesting is that no one wanted to meet those people before their fame and success was evident. Yet they are the same person. Add to this that sometimes a persons success is not due to specific, unusual or dramatic insight, but probably more effort and circumstance.

Right now, there is a lot of pre-famous people out there whose advice no one seeks, yet. Right now, we all have friends and colleagues who give great council and thoughts, despite the fact they’ve never fronted the cover of a magazine or featured in a human listacle. Often the people we should want to meet, are the people we already know.

Five for Friday v3

Here’s another 5 things that are worth investing some weekend time postulating life, culture and commerce over.

1. Take the marshmallow test for grown ups. An intriguing look at an old study that was done on kids attitudes in the 1960’s.

2. Hey, just print your next car. More proof 3D printing laughs at the internet as childs play in terms of future global impact. This is the 2nd 3D printed car I’ve seen after the Urbee… Sh*t is gettin’ real.

3. Some timeless advice from 1956. Let Earl Nightingale open your mind to the secrets to happiness and success. The best advice in life does not have an expiration date. This is seminal.

4. Wanna get learned? Get your ears around the Econ talk podcast. My fav’ podcast that I’m not in…. actually I never listen to anything I ever record because that would just be weird and sycophantic.

5. The future of technology – don’t ask me, this pinterest page of a search for ‘technology’ has way more ideas. Read at your leisure…

Have a super weekend people.

Mindset & Tools

Digital Mindset

There’s a whole lot of tools we have at our disposal which didn’t even exist a few years ago. From a business perspective many of them present a counter intuitive option to the ‘Harvard Industrial Complex’. Yes, those established principals of what we thought we already knew about what worked in the market.

Trust the crowd to co-design our product? Are you crazy?

Get funding from future customers with out giving equity? How we going to do that?

Share revenue with content creating customers? Don’t be silly let’s keep it all for ourselves.

Co-opt with our competitors to grow the entire ecosystem? No way, let’s grow our market share instead.

Launch products with lower margin than those they’ll cannibalise? It’s uneconomic and stupid.

When the world changes, what once seemed ridiculous quickly becomes rational. Startups are now redefining what can work in a world driven by cheap and even disposable technology. It turns out having access to the new tools is not enough, we also need access to a new mindset.

New book – The Great Fragmentation – out now!