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The Four Words of Marketing

For all his “Tony Stark” persona, Elon Musk struck me as a completely sympathetic, perfectly normal person when he said the following: My goal is to try to do useful things … You know, with Tesla, I want to try to make things people love. Like, how many things you think you could buy that […]

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Who’s The Boss? The Ambiguous Organization

In this week’s feature book, High Output Management, the great CEO Andrew S. Grove dedicates a lengthy portion of text to an idea that I didn’t like for a long time. It involves what he refers to as “hybrid organizations”, aka “matrix organizations”, aka “places where you probably have two or more bosses.” Can you […]

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Meetings Are A Manager’s Medium.

Imagine yourself as a painter. Specifically oil on canvas. You do landscapes, portraits, abstract art. All the styles. You work at this beautiful craft daily and produce art that gets better with time. Sounds lovely, right? Now stretch your imagination and consider a scenario where society doesn’t paintings. Imagine a world where we speak negatively […]

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The Matters Most Sequence

The dog bit Johnny. Johnny bit the dog. Same exact words, different syntax, totally different experience. — Tony Robbins from the Tim Ferriss Show #37 While dabbling in other languages, I’ve come to appreciate the importance that sequence plays in our communication. Particularly as a native English speaker. We can use the same words as […]

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A Nudge Towards Better Information Diets

Yesterday’s article introduced the idea of a “nudge” through the customer’s experience at the grocery store. This is a regular, routine-oriented experience within a choice-rich environment. If you count the things you don’t choose to buy, a typical visit at the grocery store could theoretically involve thousands of decisions. There are decisions you planned to […]

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Choice Architecture at the Grocery Store

There is no such thing as a neutral design. — Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler Last week’s book, Thinking Fast and Slow, is a critical foundation for understanding how we think. Biases, heuristics, Systems 1 and 2 … these are vital concepts and frameworks. It was a lot of work, and a lot of fun, to […]

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The Best Book for Introducing Business Strategy

Playing To Win By A.G. Lagley and Roger L. Martin Rating 10/10 Best Line #1: What matters is winning. Great organizations choose to win rather than simply play. Best Line #2: Ideally, companies should see strategy as a process rather than a result—adapting existing choices before business and financial results start to turn down. Business […]

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The Price of Aspiration

We all want so many things. I want to be a bestselling author, a globe-trotting consultant, a retired president of a yacht club, an expert explorer of the Pacific Northwest featured on the cover of some outdoor magazine, a musician, and a graphic artist. A professional videogamer. The host of a popular podcast. A world-class […]

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Great Strategy Begins With Selflessness

On the surface, business doesn’t seem to comport with selflessness. There’s few, if any, captains of industry that I consider to be genuine altruists. But one of the things that has always fascinated me about business is the fact that success, in any form, is effectively built on giving a certain group a certain thing […]

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