The most fascinating question I heard from my 2…

When we saw the Pelicans, penguins and dolphins the first question was:

“Are those real?”
I heard it from other kids too!
Kids are so used to robots and computers and technology that they think they are just human made.
I stopped for a moment when they first said it and I could literally see them being not real. Animations are getting closer and closer to reality and virtual reality is very real. My first reaction was disbelief that they said that, but then I turned my head just slightly sideways and saw it. “Yep! They are robots. Penguins died out thousands of years ago.” Other parents were almost annoyed at explaining that they were real to their kids. Annoyed? I was stunned at their reactions.
Enjoy the penguins while they are here!

Sharpen the Saw Round Up: Interesting articles and videos

Here are some interesting articles that I am reading or have read:


On Innovation

These are a collection of really powerful pieces and reads that I think a solid innovator needs to consume:

  • Jeff Bezos about how he keeps Amazon innovating:
  • In a way, that is like the nicest compliment I’ve ever gotten. First of all, I think we have gotten pretty lucky recently. You should anticipate a certain amount of failure. Our two big initiatives, AWS and Kindle — two big, clean-sheet initiatives — have worked out very well. Ninety-plus percent of the innovation at Amazon is incremental and critical and much less risky. We know how to open new product categories. We know how to open new geographies. That doesn’t mean that these things are guaranteed to work, but we have a lot of expertise and a lot of knowledge. We know how to open new fulfillment centers, whether to open one, where to locate it, how big to make it. All of these things based on our operating history are things that we can analyze quantitatively rather than to have to make intuitive judgments.

    When you look at something like, go back in time when we started working on Kindle almost seven years ago….  There you just have to place a bet. If you place enough of those bets, and if you place them early enough, none of them are ever betting the company. By the time you are betting the company, it means you haven’t invented for too long.

    If you invent frequently and are willing to fail, then you never get to that point where you really need to bet the whole company. AWS also started about six or seven years ago. We are planting more seeds right now, and it is too early to talk about them, but we are going to continue to plant seeds. And I can guarantee you that everything we do will not work. And, I am never concerned about that…. We are stubborn on vision. We are flexible on details…. We don’t give up on things easily. Our third-party seller business is an example of that. It took us three tries to get the third-party seller business to work. We didn’t give up.

    But. if you get to a point where you look at it and you say look, we are continuing invest a lot of money in this, and it’s not working and we have a bunch of other good businesses, and this is a hypothetical scenario, and we are going to give up on this. On the day you decide to give up on it, what happens? Your operating margins go up because you stopped investing in something that wasn’t working. Is that really such a bad day?

    So, my mind never lets me get in a place where I think we can’t afford to take these bets, because the bad case never seems that bad to me. And, I think to have that point of view, requires a corporate culture that does a few things. I don’t think every company can do that, can take that point of view. A big piece of the story we tell ourselves about who we are, is that we are willing to invent. We are willing to think long-term. We start with the customer and work backwards. And, very importantly, we are willing to be misunderstood for long periods of time.

    I believe if you don’t have that set of things in your corporate culture, then you can’t do large-scale invention. You can do incremental invention, which is critically important for any company. But it is very difficult — if you are not willing to be misunderstood. People will misunderstand you.

    Any time you do something big, that’s disruptive — Kindle, AWS — there will be critics. And there will be at least two kinds of critics. There will be well-meaning critics who genuinely misunderstand what you are doing or genuinely have a different opinion. And there will be the self-interested critics that have a vested interest in not liking what you are doing and they will have reason to misunderstand. And you have to be willing to ignore both types of critics. You listen to them, because you want to see, always testing, is it possible they are right?

    But if you hold back and you say, ‘No, we believe in this vision,’ then you just stay heads down, stay focused and you build out your vision.

  • David at 37 Signals on Adblocking

The trick to being truly creative

“The trick to being truly creative, I’ve always maintained, is to be completely unselfconscious. To resist the urge to self-censor. To not-give-a-shit what anybody thinks. That’s why children are so good at it. And why people with Volkswagens, and mortgages, Personal Equity Plans and matching Louis Vuitton luggage are not.”

Stop giving a shit what other people think and you will actually start to actualise your dreams.

hat tip to Linds.


4 Ads that make me so emotional, I cry..

1. What a mum does for their children around the world.

2. Make a miracle happen for someone.

3. Forget the past. Call your dad.

4. Acts of great kindness come from the least likely person.

My hat is off to this great advertising. I remember these ads because I was so emotionally effected.


Fred Schebesta’s Values

I have been recently really inspired with what Kate Horman is doing over at her blog and the personal journey of growth she is going through and one of those parts was that of stating and aligning herself to a values based life. I got thinking and realised that I have needed to write these for quite some time and I just wanted to share them with you.

My values

  1. Uniqueness – I love being unique and different. I love things which are unique and different. I want to be unique. I hunt different. I respect others who are different and resonate with unique people.
  2. Playfulness – I love to have fun. I love to play games. I love to bring the fun into things that normally dont have much fun in them.
  3. Self reliance / Independence – I have a fierce will to be independent. This goes hand in hand with my uniqueness and I hunger always for it. I respect deeply in others their ability to be independent and inspire themselves, soothe themselves through trouble, learn and innovate through problems and face adversity by themselves.
  4. Excellence – I respect and admire the best of the best. I myself hold my expectations only to the standard of excellence. Every detail, every shape, every form, every word and every second myst be excellent.
  1. (Updated 9th Oct 2015) Loyalty – I am extremely loyal to a tight select group of people. I trust them. I am honest to them. I am transparent to them. I tell only the full truth. I’ve been thinking about this value and I dont think its a value. I think the key is just to be truthful.

What are your values?

Please share them in the comments below, or email them to me. Just post a dot point list like my one above. I forecast that almost no one will ever do this because most people dont know their values and find it really hard to actually write them down.

I would like to also contend that when you write your values, you should also write your things you DONT value. This will help you understand yourself even more, because you will think at times, why did I behave a certain way. If you know that you don’t value it, then you will feel fine about it.


How to actually solve environmental problems

This is how you solve the carbon dioxide problem on the earth.

These are the steps you need to take to solve any environmental problem on earth.

  1. Get a business to solve the problem and make money.
  2. Get the government to support the business. Tesla has had quite a bit of financial help from the US government.
  3. Let the free market commoditise it.
  4. Problem solved.

Core insight about the government trying to solve problems

  • If you want to prevent something from happening –> Get the government to prevent it happening. e.g. If you don’t want people to kill each other, get the government involved.
  • If you want something to start happening –> Get the government to support a business that is solving the problem. e.g. if you want to solve an environmental problem, get a business involved and support it with the government.