Archive | June, 2012

High Failure Rates

Hugh MacLeod: High Failure Rate
This is on my refrigerator — one of those regular reminders to wear the clothes, not let the clothes wear me.

I never forget what I’m wearing.  Suit or otherwise.  The dreamers may see things in a gauzy light, the creatives may strive for beauty, but the inventors build something useful not only to themselves, but for an entire contingent of people.

And that’s where things have changed over the years.  No longer do we have to invent for the mass audience, but to solve a particular problem, addressing a need or desire.  We want the perception that something is specifically for you, even if you are hundreds or millions wide (though as a good friend we’d never tell you that).

I am a suit, even if I hesitate to admit it at times.  I’m as comfortable in the suit as a t-shirt and jeans or wrapped within a white lab coat or draped in a soccer jersey and bloody cleats or as dressed up like a Viking at Halloween.  Perhaps each of these styles has its own alter-ego, each of them with a separate view, voice, and perception.  Yet the ability to conceptualize an idea, articulate a theory, rigorously work to disprove myself — the scientist within me — and develop something novel is what I live for.  Others describe this as passion, but the only emotion tied to it is simply that I must follow this process.

And as for the failure of suits, my own have carried me far in this world thus far. Perhaps as a sign of respect in an otherwise insubordinate persona, committed not only to what’s best for me, but what’s best for the company, and what’s best for the world.  A tall order, but one well worth it.

Inspiration Friday: The Garden of Your Mind

Welcome to Inspiration Friday,

a motley collection of things that, even for a moment, held my gaze and inspiration this week.

This week:

(1) A Mr. Rogers mashup concocted and sanctioned by PBS Digital Studios and the Symphony of Science.

While Mr. Rogers may have been a bit too mild-tempered for me, even as a child, I did enjoy imagination time.  Check out your other favorite childhood icons at the PBS YouTube channel — and be sure to take a moment to see everything else PBS is up to these days.  New, updated programming designed to quietly educate & inspire.

(2) 2012 Best Commencement Speeches

Yep, straight from The Daily Beast, you too can share in the glory of Steve Carrell, Andy Samberg, and even Smith College commencement speaker Jane Lynch (and her excellent “yes, and” philosophy — and pretend you’re in your mid-twenties, everything still very much in front of you yet pushed from the nest.

(3) Business Lessons from the Drug Cartel(s)

You read that correctly: a staggeringly complex international network that makes billions of dollars each year, run by incredible businessmen.  Goes to show, if nothing else, that sometimes a fancy education doesn’t mean a damn in the business world, however unconventional — and gutsy survival does.