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ADAM’S BLOG

All posts from October 2018

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324: Looking beyond common sense ​

Most markets, industries, and cultures have ‘common sense’:

  • “Common sense” is within our market. It’s common because everyone has it…in common. Lawn care does retainers. Agencies take a percentage of ad spend. Common.
  • “Uncommon sense” is everywhere else. Your market rules likely seem alien to other markets, going against what they would deem to be “common sense”.
  • Change exists outside of your idea of “common”. Market disruption often means taking another market’s “common sense” as your own. Markets don’t like when you break the rules. That’s why it’s called “disruptive”.

Common sense keeps us safe in the wilderness but marginalizes us in the marketplace. What happens if you consider taking leave of your (common) senses?

 

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323: Picking the right gear ​

If your team’s work were a car…what gear is it in?

An odd question that conceals a lesson about not paying attention to your competitors:

  • The right gear at the right time creates economical gains. You’re growing as a team, but not at a pace that works for where you are right now.
  • Holding a gear too long loses economy and gains. By not continuously improving your team’s performance, you’ll outgrow your systems and lose ground.
  • Shifting up too early risks gains or even stalling. A competitor may be there, but rushing up to their level will only slow you down, or stall you out.

If your work is important, what others are doing doesn’t matter – copying them won’t create you results like picking the right gear for you will.

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322: Prestige vs Heritage ​

What’s the biggest difference between prestige and heritage?

How much it means to you:

  • What it ‘says’: This is a prestige parameter. Buyers choose to express it (such as with a display of wealth) or not (such as a commodity purchase). There are many options in this category.
  • What it ‘means’: This is a heritage parameter. An item either means something special, or it doesn’t. Be it a family heirloom or a monogrammed gift, it’s not prestige that gives it value, but heritage (where it came from, why it was made, what it represents).

The un-fired clay pot on my desk which I formed alongside my family is unique–one of a kind. It ‘means’ quality time spent with my family.

There’s no prestige there. Only heritage. And that makes it priceless.

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321: When you don’t know how ​

When you don’t know how to do something, remember, you do:

  • 20 years makes a big difference: There’s more information available to you in your pocket than The White House could access 20 years ago. It’s hard to not know things these days.
  • 300 hours a minute: That’s how much video content is being uploaded to YouTube. If we want to learn how to do something, there’s likely to be a few videos covering it somewhere.
  • Trial and error: Unless we’re doing open heart surgery, there’s likely to be a forum for practicing our work safely, privately, and inexpensively.​

From now on, we only don’t know when we choose not to know.

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320: Your next big success ​

Don’t wish for it to arrive, just yet:

  • Longing for the goal misses the trip: If you don’t like the journey, why take the trip? It’s the journey there that you’re giving your life to.
  • The prize at the end of life is death: It’s not arriving at death that makes life worth living, but how we lived along the way.​

For teams doing important work, it can be easy to fixate on the difference we want to make. Don’t forget to enjoy the ride.

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319: The answer to our worries ​

Most teams competing in the marketplace have a lot of worries, be they spoken or unspoken.

Many have simpler answers than we’d care to admit:

  • If you’re premium, don’t worry about those who can’t afford it.
  • If you’re niche, don’t worry about the outsiders that don’t understand it.
  • If you’re viral, don’t worry about those who haven’t yet heard about it.

This all goes both ways. We can trace our worries back to what we ought to become in order to quell those worries.