>> 2 April 2010
Yesterday I went to a speech by author, entrepreneur, agent of change, inventor of words Seth Godin in Antwerp (Belgium).
I have read a few of his books and follow his pondering via his blog and I like his train of thought.
Yesterday he said that there is no scarcity of choice, that we have over-branded ourselves (read my earlier blog post on Choices are luxuries, or are they?).
Today it is much harder to stand out because there are already so many other products/services out there to choose from.
His mantra is: ideas that spread, win. That if you want to be successful, you need not just create a product or service, you need to create a culture, a tribe.
You need to take people some place they want to go. People don't follow boring.
How do I do that, you may ask. It's actually pretty simple. It begins with taking a first small step in that direction: Make a difference by choosing to make a difference.
You are the expert; everyone's an expert, at something.
You have to become a GENIUS.
And that doesn't mean you have to be someone with lots or no hair.
You're a genius when you are solving a problem in a way no one has ever done before.
Find the work that matters, do Great Work.
Because people are interchangeable, we live in a world of overproduction and everyone has a degree. Competence is no longer a scarce commodity.
Seth says 'If you can write it down, I can find it cheaper'.
If your job description overlaps with the possibility to automate your work, you are doomed.
So you need to stand out. You need to be original, better, unwritedownable. You need to be or create a Purple Cow.
At the Ogori Cafe in Japan and every customer gets what the customer before him ordered. Now there's an original concept!
One thing you SHOULD NOT do is bowl. Because at bowling, everyone is more or less good. Don't choose something where the best is perfect, where everyone does or is able to do well. Do not choose an activity where the best possible score is perfect.
Seth is no fan of current education and Sir Ken Robinson joins him in that in saying that Schools kill Creativity. We have learned to be obedient, to follow the rules.
For Seth, obedience belongs in the dog training school.
The HOW you do this is not important. What's important is that you do it. That you SHIP.
You cannot blame the system anymore because in our day and age, you have all the possibilities in your hands. If you have a laptop, you can do it.
What stops us from doing it? What stops us from shipping?
As Seth puts it: "You don’t need to be more creative. All of you are actually too creative. What you need is a quieter lizard brain.”
We have inherited this primal fear from our ancestors. Back when we were animals, we needed to be afraid because it meant survival. Nowadays, the most afraid will be punished the most.
So where do you put the fear?
“The genius part is getting the lizard brain to shut up long enough to overcome the resistance.”
Watch this video on shipping, the lizard brain and the resistance.
Seth ended his speech by giving some interesting advice for parents and the 2 thing they need to teach their children.
- Teach them to solve interesting problems (he suggested asking them how they would solve the debt crisis of Greece)
- Teach them to lead.
Soon to be continued with 'How my almost 4 year old son solves the debt of Greece...'