As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. He was lying on his hard, as it were armor-plated, back and when he lifted his head a little he could see his domelike brown belly divided into stiff arched segments on top of which the bed quilt could hardly stay in place and was about to slide off completely. His numerous legs, which were pitifully thin compared to the rest of his bulk, waved helplessly before his eyes.
CLOSE YOUR LOOPS! Which is to say: the loops are left open. The reading-enjoying-sharing-engaging-reading loop can't be closed when your platform doesn't have universally, publicly accessible points. And right now, those points — to be truly universally accessible and pointable — need to be web based. It's our lowest common denominator of pointability. So that feeling: if a text isn't online, then it doesn't exist. This needs a little amendment: If a text isn't online and publicly pointable, then it doesn't exist.
In each case, we have resources that were once dedicated to advertising instead being used to enhance a customer’s experience, and proving far more beneficial both to the customer and the business. Traditional advertising grew up in an industrial age world dominated by mass-manufacture and products. As we shift into a connected age built on services and customer relationships, savvy businesses are... those that recognize money is best spent not cramming messages down people’s throats, but tirelessly figuring out how to enhance the service experience.
Being smart means thinking things through - trying to find the real answer, not the first answer. Being stupid means avoiding thinking by jumping to conclusions. Jumping to a conclusion is like quitting a game : you lose by default. That’s why saying “I don’t know” is usually smart, because it’s refusing to jump to a conclusion. So when someone says “They are so stupid!” - it means... they’ve stopped thinking. They say it to feel finished with that subject, because there’s nothing they can do about that. It’s appealing and satisfying to jump to that conclusion.
The theory of machinery is that it saves time, but Stanford himself noted of such machinery that “if you could limit man’s wants it might be called ‘labor saving,’ but as there are no limits to his wants, the machinery really increases the power of production.” That is, the industrialized world wants more goods, not more time, and so the machinery doesn’t increase freedom and leisure, it increases production and consumption.
The young Yoshida was a tinkerer who designed his own customized zipper machines when he wasn’t satisfied with existing production methods. One by one, Yoshida brought basically every stage of the zipper making process in house: A 1998 Los Angeles Times story reported that YKK “smelts its own brass, concocts its own polyester, spins and twists its own thread, weaves and color-dyes cloth for its... zipper tapes, forges and molds its scooped zipper teeth …” and on and on. YKK even makes the boxes it ships its zippers in. And of course it still manufactures its own zipper-manufacturing machines—which it carefully hides from the eyes of competitors.
And I was less than impressed with the business-thinking skills of designers the following Monday morning, when I interviewed 10 of them at the Institute of Design in Chicago for jobs at Doblin. To most candidates, I asked of the ideas they presented in their portfolios, “But how does it make money? Who will pay for that? How much would you need to sell to be profitable?” and was met with far too many blank expressions when I did so.
How does the product or company feel? That’s a vague and fuzzy question, and so it may not ever get asked, much less answered. Those with an extremely analytical mind rarely consider this type of question, and if they do, they may discount it as being irrelevant. Even if it is considered, it’s hard to know how to answer it, because the concept is subjective and the embodiment of the answer is... vague. A way to arrive at the answer to that question is to ask a different question, one of value. What value will your product or company provide, and to whom?
The creative act requires not only freedom but also this assumption of freedom. If the creative artist worries if he will still be free tomorrow, then he will not be free today. If he is afraid of the consequences of his choice of subject or of his manner of treatment of it, then his choices will not be determined by his talent, but by fear. If we are not confident of our freedom, then we are not free.
But because they never really take the leap and quit their job, they can give up their dream at any time. And 99.9 percent of them will actually give up their dream. If they take the leap, quit their job, go do it full-time-no matter how much it sucks-and convince one other person to do the same thing with them, they're going to have a much, much higher chance of actually getting somewhere.
Lehrer recounts one experiment in which a few hundred college students were asked to solve a variety of creative puzzles. The students were also asked if they considered themselves "night people" or "morning people." The "morning people" were able to solve more puzzles late at night. The "night people" were able to solve more puzzles in the morning, before they'd had a cup of coffee. Then the... researchers got the college kids legally drunk — blood alcohol content of 1.0 percent. The drunk kids solved 30% more problems than the sober ones. "The science is very clear," says Lehrer. "When you need a moment of insight, it really helps to be in a relaxed state of mind." So if you need a breakthrough and you're feeling sleepy, trying to wake yourself up or force yourself to concentrate might not be the right tactic. Instead, says Lehrer, "Go for a walk, have a beer on the couch, do whatever you need to do to forget about the problem." In other words, de-focus.
Haidt says that our emotional side is an Elephant and our rational side is its Rider. Perched atop the Elephant, the Rider holds the reins and seems to be the leader. But the Rider’s control is precarious because the Rider is so small relative to the Elephant. Anytime the six-ton Elephant and the Rider disagree about which direction to go, the Rider is going to lose. He’s completely overmatched.
I think everybody should learn to code, for one simple reason: knowing how to code is hugely empowering. I can’t think of many other skills that enable you to create something from scratch and reach as many people as knowing how to set up a simple website. Just last week, I was able to come up with an idea and then launch a site in 2 days. That site was then seen by about 10,000 people in a... couple hours. Think about it: something I did reached 10,000 actual living people and had an impact (however small) on their life. That would never have been possible if I didn’t know how to code.
What banking most needs is to become boring, the way the business was before bankers became addicted to trading profits. But if that were to happen, Ina Drew wouldn’t make $14 million. Safer banking means lower profits, which means smaller compensation packages. That is precisely what JPMorgan’s London traders were trying to avoid.