The successful scientist

The scientific method is the most powerful invention humans have ever created. It’s not just for people in white coats and in labs. The scientific method has changed what we wear, what we eat, the health of our families, the way we earn a living–the world as we know it is a result of a…

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“All anecdote and no data”

That’s a criticism, of course. A report, study or testimony that’s all anecdote with no data carries little in the way of actionable information. On the other hand, if you want to change people’s minds, “all data and no anecdote” isn’t going to get you very far. We act on what we understand, we understand…

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Back in the tube

There are two kinds of mistakes. One is the sort where failure is not noticeable because failure means that you didn’t engage with an audience. If you do an art show and no one comes, no one realizes that your art show failed. The other is harder to walk away from. You can’t put the…

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Misgivings

If you’re not having any second thoughts at all, it’s probably because you’re not thinking it through enough. The hallmark of the true believer is that there’s no room for judgment. For everyone else, misgivings are a sign that you’re carefully considering the problem at hand.

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Popular vs. good

They’re not the same. We often strive to have both, but that’s unlikely. The price of having one almost certainly involves losing the other.  We often end up compromising something to get both and fail. Better to have one than neither.

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The thing about sunk costs

Tomorrow is another opportunity. There are thirty people over there who are just waiting for you to help connect them, lead them or make things better. But if you’re still defending the stuck project over here, the one you put so much into, you won’t be able to show up for them. Customers, partners, clients…

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Big business vs. small business

Small companies create almost all the jobs. They are the insurgents, the agents of change. Big companies are a backbone, reliable providers of goods and services. Big companies operate at a scale that most of us can’t even imagine. The two points of view often conflict. And each can learn from the other. Net neutrality…

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“That’s not what I meant”

Disagreements among people who mean well usually begin with that emotion. You meant to say something or agree to something, but the “other side” didn’t hear it that way. That’s enough for a customer to walk away forever. That’s enough for a lawsuit. Because denying the experience of the other person doesn’t open the door…

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Cross the bridge and join the dragons

53 years ago, early in her career, Joni Mitchell recorded this song. It’s not something most people will want to listen to often. Shortly after that, she became the one and only Joni Mitchell. But first, she had dues to pay. That’s the work of practice and discernment and skill. You’re not born with genius,…

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The limited-edition pre-launch of The Practice

My new book ships in two weeks. It’s about the human process of shipping creative work, regardless of what sort of job we have. It’s about trusting yourself. Mostly, it’s about getting back to becoming the person you seek to be. You can find details on the book (and links to pre-order) here. For the…

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