Mindfulness at Work by Optimistic Brain


Hi there can we talk about mindfulness? Mindfulness is all about paying attention to what our mind is doing… and what is happening around us, in the present moment. As you go around your day and catch yourself reliving a past experience… or worrying about some future event… you can simply and gently guide your attention back to what’s happening in front of you. Anyone can learn how to be mindful and a common way to practice is to MEDITATE. Contrary to popular belief meditating is NOT about zoning out! Meditation practice is an exercise whereby you choose something to focus on… your breath for example and practice keeping your attention there. When you notice that your mind is wandering off, then you can gently guide it back to your breath. There are many types of mindfulness practices. You can meditate and practice paying attention to your emotions or body sensations for example. You can also practice being mindful just
by focusing on being present when you do an activity, like going for a walk… or doing a chore around the house… or when you talk with someone. Mindfulness practices have been around for a long time. Recently, mindfulness has become quite popular. Time magazine did a cover story about mindfulness. 60 minutes even did a story about it. Companies such as Google, Facebook, Apple, LinkedIn… all are teaching their employees… how to become more mindful. Why are companies and spending all this time and money… to teach their employees
about mindfulness? Well, the more mindful you are… the more empathetic you are
towards your customers… and being empathetic allows you to understand how your customers are feeling… and more importantly why they feel that way. It’s this understanding that allows you to meet their needs. When you are more mindful your listening and your communication skills improve. Mindfulness also allows you to work better together in teams. You become more creative. All of that is really beneficial for any company. There’s lots of personal benefits to becoming more mindful as well. It gives you more insight and understanding not only of yourself and of others. It allows you to be more present and enjoy the good that is around you. It allows you to become more resilient so that when things happen that are not the greatest, you can easily bounce back to your normal self. You’ll find that your focus and concentration improves the more you practice. All-in-all you become more productive. You become happier… and your stress levels are reduced. If you or your organization is interested in rolling out a mindful strategy of your own, keep in mind that part of any mindfulness initiative is to give your employees, the tools and resources so that they can become more familiar with mindfulness and mindfulness practices. There’s a number of things you can do… to initiate your mindfulness strategy. Perhaps you’d like to schedule some mindfulness classes… or organize some regular meditation sits… or launch a discussion forum. So come on and join the mindfulness movement that’s sweeping the world. You will be amazed at all the benefits you get when you become more mindful. This video was produced by OptimisticBrain.com For more information you can always check out our website. Join our Facebook group!

It Doesn’t Have to be Crazy at Work with Jason Fried


– Hey, everybody, what’s up? It’s Chase. Welcome to another episode of the show, that’s right, the Chase Jarvis Live Show here on Creative Live. I hope you know the show by now. This is where I sit
down with amazing humans and I do everything I can
to unpack their brains, with the goal of helping
you live your dreams and career and hobby and in life. My goal today is to introduce you to a super fine human, Jason Fried. You’ll know him as the
co-founder and CEO of Basecamp, which is an amazing piece of software that my photo studio has
used for a long time, for more than a decade. He’s also the bestselling author of, now I think, three books. Two I’ve read before, Remote and Rework. Rework really jogged my brain in a way that was super refreshing,
and I’m very excited to have him on the show today to talk about his new book, It Does Not Have to Be Crazy at Work. My guest is, again, Mr. Jason Fried. – Hey, how are ya? – What’s up? (rock music) (applause) – They love you. – Yes. I’ve had the good fortune of sitting down with your business partner, David Heinemeier Hansson. – He’s fun to sit down with isn’t he? – Yeah, he’s a good guy, he’s fiery, and we have a lot of mutual friends. I’ve been looking forward to this day for a long time. So welcome. – You, too. Thank you for having me here. – Yeah, congrats on the book. – Thank you. We’re proud of it. – I love it. I think I saw some early designs or David was talking about it as you guys were, and like
this is just brilliant. – We’re happy with how that turned out. The idea was like, we wanted
the cover to say it all. What’s the book about, just look at the cover and you’ll know. And that’s kind of the idea. And our names are on the cover, too. – I did notice that. – Hard thing to kind of get
done with the publishers because they don’t really, it’s an usual thing for them.
– Yeah. They’re uncomfortable with that idea. – Well speaking of
unusual and uncomfortable and not like what everybody else does, it seems to me, having
followed you for now, probably close to 15 years, that is part of your m o. You do things differently, you do it to the beat of your own drum. I say, to our audience here on the show, and professionally, personally even, you can’t stand out and fit in at the same time. So you might as well do your own thing. – Yeah. – How has that been a mantra for you because you’ve been doing it, like Rework was a
completely new thing for me. The idea of not crushing yourself at work is completely new, especially antithetical to our culture. – Is this a vein in your life? Are you a contrarian? – Probably, I guess technically. But I don’t really set out to be. I just kind of do what
I think makes sense. Maybe my version of what makes sense is different than what
other people’s version of what makes sense is. – Fair. – I also don’t pay attention to a lot of things. I think that’s another part of it. I think sometimes people
are paying attentions to too many things and they become so
informed by everything else that you just think that’s the only way to do things. So by being sort of, willfully ignorant, most of the time, you know, I can kind of, I guess,
skip the influences that I probably don’t want. I also stay away from, for example, in our industry, we’re
in the software business, everyone is here in Silicon Valley, for the most part, where in Chicago which helps is, just stay away from that world, I think if I was out
here it would be easier to be lured into it or sucked into it. And I kind of try to stay away. So I think I have a lot
of defense mechanisms that I’m not consciously aware of but I think they help me stay fresh and original, hopefully. – Yeah, they have clearly, have helped you stand out. Let’s go back if we can, just a second to, some of the previous books
that I just mentioned. The first one was Rework, right? Rework came out, actually
you did one before that. – We did one called Getting Real. Which is a self published book. – But Reword was our biggest,
first publishing book. – I have it, it’s got, this one again, you guys were kind enough
to send this to me, it’s dog haired like crazy already. But Rework looks like a tattered, a gift that you give to a puppy and it just shreds it because I had really
just consumed it a lot. But to me, that was the
first expose I’d had to your alls writing
rather than on the blog. And again, not, it never felt like it was contrarian as the objective,
the end goal being to say something that was different than everyone else. But how you, or how have
you programmed your body, your mind, your company, your ethos to think differently? – You know, I think a
big part of it for us is, again, like what actually makes sense. So our company is relatively small in our industry. 55 people in the company. We could have many more,
we don’t want many more. We want a smaller company. Which is again, different than most people in the industry. They want to grow, grow, grow. And it not that we want to be small because they’re big. It’s we want to be small because small works for us. For the people we have,
the kind of culture we want and for David and I running the business we don’t wanna deal
with a bunch of people. I mean it’s just hard enough
to get everything right with 55 so it’s not like
we’re trying to be different. We’re just trying to be what works for us. And I think that we have a, our company, and perhaps David and
I are pretty self aware about what we want and what we don’t want. We’re very clear about what we don’t want. In fact we’re more focused
on what we don’t want than what we want. It’s like whatever’s left
over is actually what we want. We’re very careful about that. – Don’t want any of these
things, hey I’ll take this. – Yes, basically. So size is important to us. Not raising money is a big part of that. So like, we’re a boot strap company and because of that we’re able to do a lot of things that you can’t do that if you raise money. Like, we can leave money on the table. We can say no to customers. We can stay small. We cannot have to grow or follow the hockey
stick pattern, you know. We can just do whatever
we want essentially. And we’re truly independent and I think that we value that more than almost anything else. – And how is that, does this come from your childhood? Cause it’s different than most. And it’s also different
than what’s celebrated which is one of the reasons
you’re an amazing guest, an amazing person to follow. But it doesn’t seem like this is, the path that you are on doesn’t seem like the natural path. To me you feel like the exception rather than the rule, again, which is brilliant. But how–
Where I come from. Was it something your
parents instilled in you? Were you always, can you trace it back? – I can probably think about it, yeah. So I’m an only child, I don’t know if that has anything to do with it, but I am that. – We have that in common. – Oh, alright. Very good. – There’s not too many of us. – I’ve always sort of just kind of done my own thing, you know, without the influence of a
brother or sister basically. I that’s part of it. My Dad always told me, just
never work for anybody. That was like his thing,
he always just told me never work for anybody. He also said never have
a partner in a business, which I do have. But, which has worked out great but he told me not to have a partner. My grandfather was an entrepreneur, he opened a grocery store business, it turned into something. Maybe it’s in my blood a little bit to sort of doing things my own way. But I think I also, I
worked in some companies when I was growing up that I think, even though I didn’t
realize it at the time, really informed me. Some small businesses that I thought the owner wasn’t nice
but the manager was nice. I always flourished in environments where I was trusted. And kind of didn’t give a shit when people didn’t trust me. I just did not care about them or their business at all. So trust had a lot to do with that. So I think it’s a lot of
these series of sort of, moments that really colored my outlook, although I didn’t realize
it when I was growing up– – Of course, you can only connect the dots looking backwards. – Looking backwards right? So I think that if I have
to connect those dots it’s probably a series of events, plus being an only child, plus my parents being
very supportive of me and giving me a lot of room to roam and make a lot of mistakes and get in a lot of trouble when I was younger, and learn from that and realize that independence and doing
what you want is good but there are limits too
and you can get yourself into real trouble, so
you gotta like really understand what those limits are, and then you can flourish
within that space. And not to just do what
everyone else does. And I think, I saw this with my dad, too. My dad worked for someone for awhile and just was miserable all the time. And then went off to work on his own. I shouldn’t say he was
miserable all the time but he talked a lot about his boss and he didn’t like the
work and the whole thing. And then he went off on his own and he was a lot happier. I think I saw that,
too, I saw that happen. So it’s probably these things altogether. I also, I just never
really was good at school. I was kind of doing other things. I had little businesses on the side. I would always just tinker
and figure stuff out for myself and found out that I can do what I wanted,
I could figure it out and make it work. – There’s a handful of,
you just did a nice job of mapping that out. So there are a handful
of those things that are every bit, that you
wear on your sleeve today, you guys, again, the pop
culture movement right now is hustle and if you’re not
doing 80 hours a week you’re not enough. I’m really interested I think
in, culture of being enough. Like right now, today, you’re worthy just because you’re here. Inspirations from folks like Brene Brown and others who talk
about that we don’t have to perform all these amazing tasks to be somehow worthy. It doesn’t have to be crazy at work to me is, it’s almost like a manifesto, anti-manifest to the pop culture train. But this is the obvious question coming at you here nice and slow, right down the middle of the pipe. But why don’t you want me to work hard? What if I want to work hard and surely I can, you know if I’m compelled to work hard constraining how hard I’m going to work is probably a bad thing
because then I’m not going to feel the joy and I’m gonna be slower, it’s gonna take me longer to get to quote 10,000 hours, I’m just
throwing all of this shit you’ve heard said about your books and your philosophy, in
the past in one question. Why are you hatein on
the hustlers? (laughing) – Well here’s the thing, right? I’ll hit this from a variety of angles. First of all, to me hard work and hours are not the same thing, right? So people say like, work hard, I can work hard in forty hours. Which I work basically forty hour weeks. I can hard for forty hours. I don’t need to work 80 to work hard. In fact, I think a lot of times people are spending a lot of times on things that don’t matter. Or a lot of time on
things that don’t matter. So they’re hustling and they’re busy but if they cut out a lot of the shit that they’re doing, they’d probably be getting
just as much stuff done and actually be able to go home and rest and get some perspective. This is the thing that I think is missing. When you work 80 hour weeks, which is you know is 10-12
hours a day essentially, it has to be more than 10
if it’s seven days a week. But let’s call it 12, whatever, people work on the weekends,
whatever it is, right? You know, you lack perspective because if you’re always in it you can’t get out of it and you’ve gotta get out of it to see and to think and have your brain come up with different ideas that you couldn’t come up with if you’re looking at the work itself. You need space, you need perspective, you need a different point of view, you need different
experiences, I think at least. And I think that these
things benefit people. And if you wanna be
really good at what you do I think that getting away from it is actually the way to get better at it. Cause then when you come back to it renewed, refreshed, with a new perspective versus being heads down all the time. I don’t know if you’ve ever worked on something creatively, or like, 10 hours in you’re no good anymore. You’re like, I can’t,
I’m cashed, I gotta go. And you go back, you get some sleep, hopefully the next morning
you have a new idea that you didn’t have. You could not have brute
force had that idea no matter how many hours you put in a row. You gotta get space. I think space is really valuable. – So what if you keep going? – The other thing I was
going to say about that, too, is that, the thing I hear sometimes is people say, what
about if you’re starting a brand new business, you need
to put more hours into it. Maybe there’s some truth to that but you gotta be careful
because the things you do are the habits you form. And you cannot not form habits basically. You’re gonna form em, right? If you’re– – We’re habit machines,
humans, we’re habit machines. – Exactly, and if we’re,
you’re working 100 hour weeks or 80 hour weeks or 70 or whatever it is when you’re getting started and you think that this
is the way you do it, this what you’re gonna keep doing. At some point, you’re not gonna be
able to do that anymore. Maybe when you’re 21 you can do that cause you have nothing
else going on in your life. But at some point probably have a family or not have a family or
whatever you’re gonna do but you’re gonna want to do other things, you’re gonna have other pursuits in life. And you’re not gonna get a chance to experience those things if you’re just busting your ass constantly cause you think that’s all you can do. If I don’t work 80, I can’t make it. And that’s just not fair
and it’s also not true. Because there’s a lot of people who work really, really
long, who don’t make it. So it’s not about the hours. It’s about what you do, a ton about it is about luck, you know
we have to all admit luck is a huge part of this, huge. – For sure. Not to mention
where you were born, what time, what gender, what race. – All of it. – What social economic
status you were born into, all those matter, probably more than work. – I think more than pretty much all of it. I was fortunate, I was born in 1974. So I went to college from 1992 through 96. And about 1995 the internet
became a thing, kind of. Before that it was a text based thing. – Yeah I remember I had an
email address at that time. No one else did. – Right, exactly. In the mid 90s it became
like this graphical thing where you could go to a web browser and look at websites. And I was fortunate to
come around or come up at that time when no one
knew what they were doing, cause it was brand new and I got to learn alongside everybody else. No one had an advantage. And I learned in the beginning and so I’ve had a lot of time doing it. I’ve gotten good at it. If I was starting today I wouldn’t, there’s no chance I would be able to do what I’ve done, including our own business. If our business went out of business today and I started another one tomorrow, I don’t think I’d be anywhere
as near as successful, ever, as what we’ve done with Basecamp just because we’ve been
doing it for a long time. We were at the right
place at the right time. Luck was there, we were good at it, but you need more than that, too. And so anyway, I just don’t think you can brute force some of this stuff. – I think it’s brilliant. And in a way, you’ve
probably heard the adage of like, constraints drive creativity. – THere’s that, too. – And if you just apply that same concept of constraints to time
that you’re gonna work on something, it’s like hey I wanna work a reasonable schedule. I do notice that it
forces me, for example, on the weekend or when I’m traveling, and I have to do something, what’s the, I forget the law, is it Pareto’s Law, whenever that something
expands to the time– – Parkinson’s Law,
that’s what it’s called, work expands to fill the time available, which is so true. – It’s so true. So by
setting some constraints I think, that’s what you’re
really getting at, right? It’s like those are
constraints that you’ve said I wanna place under, over my company on my particular day. Do you feel like, there’s
a beautiful little line in the book, fear of missing out, and what I hear often
and especially this town, we’re talking from San Francisco, I just came from downtown, all the start ups are all over the place. My home is right in
between Twitter and Uber and it’s like you can’t escape it. And there’s literally always something in the tech, entrepreneur
scene happening tonight. You feel like you’re
missing out cause you’re clocking 40 hours and– – No, I feel like I’m, what’s the opposite of missing out? Rich with– – Rich with, you have everything you– – I think of other things to do. I can do other things. I have no desire to
spend all my waking hours in one thing. I have hobbies, I have things I wanna do or I just wanna sit and do nothing. And not feel like I need
to be doing something or showing up to something because other people are there. I’ve never, ever had that. That’s never been a part of my thing which is like, I need to be there, cause they’re there, or this is where you’re supposed to be. It’s just not a thing for me. And in fact it drains me to have to be somewhere because
you’re supposed to be. I don’t like that. – So in the book, just give the away here, is they call it JOMO,
the joy of missing out. – The joy of missing out. – Yeah, joy of missing out. And that’s something we believe in at work which is that, and that’s kind of why it’s in the book, which is that, a lot of people today
and a lot of businesses feel like they have to follow everything that’s happening inside
of our organization. So they’ve got chat rooms open, they’re following a dozen
real time conversations all day long, cause if
they miss that one thing that’s going on, they’re
gonna miss something they think is important. Very few things that are
actually important happen at any given day. Most of it is just work, it’s boring, I mean not like boring, like you hate it, but just, it’s standard work. And that’s what kind of work mostly is. We don’t need to turn work
into a 24 hour news ticker. Where you’re following
breaking stories at work all the time, right? There aren’t breaking stories at work and there shouldn’t be, right? – How did we get there? – Technology, ruined it for us, I think. I truly believe that. I think the advent of
real time communications, real time chat primarily, at work, has caused more
problems than it’s solved. And there’s some good things about real time communication but I think it’s made it too easy to follow too many
things at the same time. And it sped up everything. Where you can’t not think
about something anymore. Because everything’s on a conveyor belt and the conveyor belt is constrained by the screen you have. And once the conversation
scrolls off the screen like it’s over. And so if you didn’t get your word in, – There’s a conveyor belt. – There’s a conveyor belt. it’s actually become, in a way we’ve become factory workers again in a sense because
in a conveyor belt in a factory setting
like the thing slides by, you’re at your station, you’ve gotta put your thing on there before it goes by or you miss it. And that’s what happened at work now with communication, is that communication is literally scrolling by, one line at a time, and if you’re not there when that thing is being discussed, you don’t get your word in, it’s over. You can’t put that word in two hours later because that’s like, two
hours later, you know, 14 feet up in the sky and you know on the conveyor belt right? So now people are forced to pay attention to everything all the time. And if you’re paying
attention to everything all the time when do you
have time to do your work? You don’t, basically. So we’re very careful
about that at Basecamp, we don’t make decisions in real time, we make decisions in slow time. We’re a synchronous primarily. We use chat and stuff and Basecamp has it built in, but we have primarily we post long form messages in Basecamp, like a
traditional message forum. Like old school, like
message board basically. And that basically says, here’s my idea, not one line at a time, but one thought at a time. I want you to read it, and you can tell I’ve put time into it. So I want you to take the time and think about it and get back to me tomorrow or the next day. It’s fine, there’s no rush. If it takes a few days
to discuss something, that’s fine, versus
trying to rush everything so we’re discussing it in 15 minutes. There’s like, no reason, why is everyone rushing all the time. I don’t get it, there’s no reason for it. – It’s so powerful. I think the fear of missing
out, I think in part, is you’ve crafted a really nice response that most of that stuff is just noise. And what do you say to
the person who’s listening or watching right now who’s saying, yeah but industry is moving quickly and my boss expects me, it’s really nice to be able to listen to you talk about this great
company that you built, but I got a boss and I
got a team and I’ve got all these things, none of which conform or
allow me to try and experiment with this great idea you’ve come up with, which means it doesn’t
have to be crazy at work. But that’s your work, right? So what about my work? – So I will grant people this, that’s it’s very difficult obviously to be able to do some of these things if you don’t have the power to implement some of these things. Some of these ideas, in the book, are for the business owner, who’s open minded and going maybe this isn’t the healthy situation I’m creating for my people, maybe I’m not creating
the best environment for them to do their best work, I expect their best work out of them, well if the environment isn’t great, then how are they gonna give that to me? So maybe some people at the top are gonna see this and go, okay there’s something I can do. Sometime you’re in the middle and you might manage a team and there’s some stuff there you can do with a team perhaps, right? And there’s other times where you really don’t have a lot of power except you’re own local space, you, maybe it is you and one other person but maybe it’s just you. And at that point I
will grant you the fact that some of these, you can’t probably go up to your boss and go, if he expects you to work 80, or she expects you to work 80, you can’t go, I’m gonna work 40. That’s just not gonna probably work, that’s probably not the right job for you and you don’t have, you have to figure out
what are you in control of and what are you not in control of. Which is really important
in life in general. What do you have control over, what don’t you have control over. And the things you have control over you can maybe change, and it might be that it’s just you. That you have control
of your own atmosphere, your own little space,
and then if don’t want other people to constantly
interrupt you all day maybe you shouldn’t be
interrupting them all day and perhaps you know,
you must be the change you wish to see in the world, that Gandhi quote or whoever said it. Which is like, if you
don’t like what’s going on at work and some of these
things might pertain to you and you wish people
weren’t interrupting you and you wish people weren’t pushing you and wish people weren’t calling you into more meetings and whatnot then maybe you shouldn’t do those things. And you can begin to effect, a little bit, maybe one other person going, you know what, that’s cool
that Chase hasn’t bugged me for awhile, like he used
to ask me all the time, now he’s finding out a
question, or getting answers for himself, maybe I
won’t bother him as much or interrupt him as much. And so you kind of have
some minor influence there and that’s the best you can do. But I think it’s unreasonable if your boss or the owner, or your manager
is out of their minds, like you’re not going
to be able to move them. But there are things you can do. I’ll give you another example, like something we often
encourage people to do, they wanna work at home, it might be hard to say
I want to work at home, flat out, you’re not
gonna get a yes there. But maybe you could say,
can you give me a shot to work one day a month at home? Can I try that at the very least? There’s a good chance
if you have a reasonable manager or boss to let you do that. And if you do that and you
show them that the world isn’t ending and that the
business isn’t falling apart and you’re getting your work done they’re gonna be like, okay,
maybe I’ll give you two days. Maybe you can start to
build up some successes. And it just takes a couple
small steps like that to finally build some leverage. Cause you don’t have any
leverage if you’re brand new and you don’t have any power. You don’t have any leverage, right? So you gotta build a
little bit here and there and then eventually you can find the equilibrium, what is the
balance that’s reasonable for you and your business
given the constraints that you’re under. – You mentioned trust
earlier and I think there’s a big part of trust
between a relationship, a company, an employer,
an employee, a boss, and a team mate is, do you in particular do anything to foster that at Basecamp. – Yeah. – How do you grow trust
if you’re largely remote largely asynchronous, you know, I’m trying to understand, cause right
now there are people out there like, I want everything
that Jason has, I want to not have 80 hour weeks
and packed schedules and I don’t want to be super busy and have overflowing
inboxes and all this stuff but I’m trying to get to practicality, like yeah man, you’re just talking about this utopia. – Let’s get practical. I mean we are talking about our business in this book, there are out things. But they didn’t start this way. We kind of figured out works for us and what doesn’t work for us. And there’s other things in here, like why doesn’t it say 30 weeks. We work 40, cause 40
is about right for us. Maybe for someone else it’s 45. I’m not so strict in that,
40 is a round, rough number, that’s the idea right? The trust thing is important
because first of all, it comes from a place of
laziness, to be honest. I don’t want to be looking
over everybody’s work cause I’m a little bit lazy. I don’t want to have to do that. I want to trust people to do great work. And also I don’t want to
have to do everybody’s work. I think sometimes when
you’re on top of everybody you’re actually ending
up doing everybody’s work for them, and I’m like, I don’t wanna do that, first of all. David doesn’t wanna do that. Second, you hire great people if you want to get great things out of them you gotta give them room to do their work. First of all, they’re
not gonna stick around if you’re on top of them all the time. They’re not gonna do great work if you’re looking over their shoulder all the time, who does, nobody does. So you gotta give people space and room and autonomy and trust and I think that’s the only way to really, in my opinion, it’s the way to get
the best out of people. And it’s the only way to actually build an origination that
surprises you constantly, which is what I want. I wanna be surprised. A lot of business owners don’t. They wanna know everything that’s going on and they want everything to be just right. I don’t care for that. I mean, I don’t surprised on the down side too often, but it’s okay to be surprised on the down side occasionally. I wanna be surprised on the up side because people are doing things, they have room to
explore, they’re creative, and they come up with something that we wouldn’t have come
up with out of ourselves. I love that potential, and the only way you get to that is by giving people space and stepping back, and letting them do great work on their own. Now how can this happen? – Yeah let’s go tactical. Actually I’m gonna interject one thing before we get to the how. Because we have a mutual
friend, Toby, from Shopify. Brilliant guy. He and Harley, love,
love, love those guys. – Great business. – Great business, Shopify. Probably a lot of Shopify
users listening and watching, like Basecamp. The reason I’m bringing it up it because you reference it in the book, Toby developed a thing
called the trust battery. Which is basically, well
I’ll let you explain it. – It’s great. That was something that really, when we hear that, it
made so much sense to us. We kind of had thought about, we kind of had the principles in mind, but we’ve never had a name for it. And sometimes you need
a name for something to really have it sink in. – Yeah, words matter to humans. – They totally do. And you gotta label it
so you can talk about it. So the trust battery,
the concept is I think, at Shopify, the way he describes it is, everybody who’s hired comes
in at trust battery 50% basically, which is, we mostly trust you, you’re probably gonna be good. But you gotta earn some more and you can also lose some. And so if you want more
autonomy, more responsibility, and more flexibility, you need to build up the trust battery. And that’s done through
personal relationships, it’s done through examples
of doing good work, it’s doing the right thing over and over and you just build up
your battery with people. The key though, is that the battery, by the way, there’s not
actual measure of the battery, it’s a mental thing, it’s like, you just have a sense of what your battery is with somebody and
batteries are independent and relative. So if we work together
we would have a battery between us, or actually
I would have a battery about you and you’ve
have a battery about me. But your battery might be different with somebody else in the organization. Which is why sometimes two
people aren’t getting along and you can’t understand why, you’re like, they’re great people,
why can’t they get along, and the problem is that, their battery between each other is low for some reason. They had a run in, someone
said they were gonna do something and they didn’t, someone didn’t deliver
on what their promise, whatever it was and so
their battery is low. It’s a great lens to look
at personal relationships inside a business and try to understand why some things work, some things don’t, when you can’t possibly understand why. It’s because everyone has
their own relative battery. That’s something that
we thought about a lot and we basically assume
that people come in at about 50% as well. And if people’s battery’s
low with somebody you have to kind of figure out why and what’s going on, you gotta figure out to build that up. Because if you and I
have a good relationship it doesn’t effect someone
else who has a bad one. They need to have a good one with the other person. You kind of have to recognize that it can only be repaired
directly with individuals. You might facilitate some stuff with them or put them on projects together or not put them on projects together if they’re rubbing the wrong way. And figure out other ways to have some good experiences between them so they can build their
battery back up again so they can trust each other again. It’s such a great, I
mean Toby nailed that. It’s really good and
when you begin to look at it that way a lot of
things that didn’t make sense in the organization begin to make sense. You go, of course they have
low battery between them and then you figure out, how do we fix it. – Trust battery. – Trust battery. – Brilliant – It’s great. – Presumably you’ve thought a lot about how you want your company
structured and run and we’ve talked how trust
is a really important aspect. What else, what are some
other really key things that you look for, that
you’ve built into you company, some of the ones that are
maybe more important to you. How do you think about it? – Well a lot it is the
things we don’t want. – That’s a great way of filtering. – That’s how we think about it primarily. We want to remain independent,
fully, completely, independent which means that we don’t want to raise outside money. We don’t want to have
a board of directors. So we haven’t raised outside
money for the business. Full disclosure, we took some
money from Jeff Bezos in 2006 but that wasn’t for the business. Jeff bought a small piece of my ownership and David’s ownership so that money went to David and I not to the business. We’ve always been 100% funded by customers and always will be. We don’t have any outside
influence on the business. We don’t have a board of directors. And those two things right there have a huge impact on
the things we can do. We don’t wanna sit in meetings all day. So we don’t have a meetings heavy culture which means that we write
a lot of things down versus say them out loud. We write long form and
write in detailed passages so people can absorb
everything on their own time versus having a meeting where you have to pull people off their work to sit in a room together
to talk about something that has nothing to do with right now but you’re having the meeting right now. It’s a very inefficient,
actually very inefficient way of doing it. To do that, to facilitate that we have to hire great writers. We don’t hire people who can’t write. Very, very, very important. It’s actually, probably the
number one hiring criteria after like can they do the work. Are they good at the thing? But the next thing is, can they write? And if they can’t write,
well, we will not hire them. – So do you do a test, a
written communication test? – They do the test for us, essentially by submitting cover letters. We look at the cover letter first. We don’t look at the
resume, don’t care about previous experience,
don’t care about where they went to school. Don’t care about any of that stuff. We look at the cover letter and if they don’t have one, resume gets tossed. They have to be able to write to us saying why they want this job, who they are, what’s important to them, why is it this job and not just any job. Or if it is any job just say that too. But I wanna be able to read it. And you read the letter and you quickly can tell this person can write, this person can communicate, they can express themselves,
they’re clear minded, they’re thoughtful,
they’re good at nuance, or good at the subtleties that matter, that separate them from somebody else, they know how to persuade. And persuasion is super important
in any line of business. Because you gotta sell, not
like sell to a customer always, but sell and idea
internally, to your team, whatever it is right? So the cover letter is fundamental for us. We’re very, very careful about that. So that’s the writing
test, it’s not a test, but it is, ya know what I mean? Have to hire good
writers so that we can do some of the other things that we can do. If you weren’t a good
writer you couldn’t work at our company and we’d
have to have more meeting and that’s not what we want to do. We don’t want to have a
lot of distance between ownership and a product, our ownership and the customers. We have a small company
because if we had a big company we’d have to have multiple
layers of management. And we don’t want to have
multiple layers of management cause things are always
lost in translation as you go and we just don’t want that. So we don’t do that. A lot of it is driven by
what we don’t want to do. We don’t want to have, like for awhile, we had four different products and to have four different products and maintain them at a high level we’d have to have more people and we’d have to work longer hours, we didn’t want to do that. So we said, let’s not have those anymore, let’s spin those off or kind of wind them down and let’s
focus just on Basecamp. And so we didn’t do what
we were doing before and we decided not to do that anymore. There’s a whole bunch of the don’ts. And the don’ts, again whatever is left, is what we do basically. At the end of the day it’s about, when you’re an entrepreneur
you’re building a company of course,
but you’re also building your own job and it’s a
selfish way of looking at it but I’m comfortable with that right now. Which is basically, where do I want to go work everyday. I want to do this job
maybe for 23, 30, 40 years, I don’t know, we’ve done it for 20. Hopefully we can do it for a lot longer. – Still having fun? – Still having fun, loving
the work, loving the people, it’s great. So I wanna keep doing this. So I wanna build the best
place for me to work, selfishly, and I’m
hoping that my judgements is what other people would
want out of a business as well. So you end just finding
like minds who want to work in a place like you wanna work. Similarly we built Basecamp for ourselves, the product for ourselves and just find customers who are like us or wanna be like us versus trying to convince people, who don’t understand what we’re doing, to understand what we’re doing. I’m not interested in
convincing anybody of anything. I’m interested in putting
something out there that we think is great,
that works well for us, that we explain well
hopefully, and clearly enough, and show the benefits of,
and if you want in great, if not, that’s cool too. Another thing I’ll say about a don’t, is, this comes down to our pricing
model for our products. Almost everybody in the
industry charges by the seat. So they charge per person, we don’t. – Bigger company, bigger bill. – Right, so $100 bucks a
person, a year, 10,000 people, big numbers, right? Well that has a material
effect on the business not just of course on the revenue, which it can beneficial for revenue, but what ends up happening is is that you end up just working for the people who pay you the most. And then you end up having customers you can’t afford to lose. Those are your worst customers, ya know? Nobody can pay us basically
more than $99 a month for Basecamp. I don’t care if you have
10,000 people or 3 people the price is the exact same. It’s $99 bucks, flat period,
no per person charges. And that forces us not to
do what we don’t wanna do. We don’t want to have to service a few high paying customers cause we don’t wanna have to lose those customers. So you end up taking good care of them and then you end up becoming
a consulting business and I don’t wanna do that. We make sure that nobody,
we make sure basically that we can afford to lose any customer. And in fact we could afford to lose, let’s call it 25% of our customers, any 25% at any time and we’d be okay. You couldn’t do that
if some paid you a lot and some paid you a little cause if it was the wrong ones you’d be– – Yeah the wrong 25%, you’d be screwed So I’m a big fan of business
that looks like static. Which is basically if you think about an old TV static, all
the dots are basically the same size and they’re random. I think that’s a good business versus a business where you
have a couple of big circles and a bunch of small dots, cause those big circles
is what the business is really about and then you’re just servicing a few customers. By not doing that we can afford to do a bunch of other things
that we want to do. It’s these collections of
don’ts that give us the dos. – That’s beautiful, it’s a great lens. I think a really, easy, simple, logical follow up question now. How do you decide those
things, cause there’s some it seems like you’d have
to have this inner compass and you strike me, again
from what I’ve known from all of our mutual
friends, and what I’ve read, these things are, they’re
self evident to you. They’re obvious, they’re
intuitive, they’re, and maybe I’m putting some
words into your mouth, but from where I’m sitting
and I’m trying to put myself in the shoes, and the ears and the eyes of the people who are actively listening, gosh he knows exactly what he wants and it’s actually easy to build something if you know what you want but I’m a 23 year old designer who just went out on my own, I’m a freelancer, and how did you develop your internal compass, your point of view, your style of work? – Over time, it’s modified, it’s changed. – That’s the first like,
pressure valve right there. You don’t have to know
everything immediately. – Hell no, Hell no. A lot of the stuff in
the book we figured out over the last five years. Because we’ve been trying
and trying and trying stuff and some things work
and some things don’t. So of course, when you’re
right out of school or brand new or whatever,
if you didn’t go to school, it doesn’t matter, whatever it is, like anything you’re brand new at it. You’ve gotta practice to get good at it. No one would expect you step on stage if you were, the first time
you ever played guitar, and like play. No one would expect that to be true. But people have that
expectation of themselves when they start a business, that they’ve gotta have
it all figured out. But you’re on stage for the first time, like you would be with a guitar, you’re not gonna be any good. So you’ve gotta figure this out, the key though, I think, is that you’ll benefit yourself by going slowly. And a lot of people in business today think you need to go really fast. When you go really fast
you skip over lessons and you don’t learn them
until it’s too late. Because we kept our business
small for a long time, we’ve always been as
small as we possibly can, we just grew within our means, we never got ahead of ourselves, we learned the lessons and we figured out what we were good at and
what we weren’t good at. Think about if you had a buffet of food and you just tried to taste
everything really fast you wouldn’t really know what you liked and what you didn’t cause all the flavors would blend together, it
wouldn’t be pleasurable. But if you had a week
to sample all the food, like slowly, you’d go, I
like that, I like that, I like that, I like that. I don’t like that, I don’t like that, when you move slowly you give yourself a chance to think it over. And to feel it and really know what it is and to absorb it. It’s the same way, another food analogy, if you eat really fast,
you don’t know you’re full until it’s too late. If you eat slowly you don’t
eat as much cause you feel it. Your body takes some time to
adjust to what you’re eating and I think the same
thing is true in business. So for us it’s been a
matter of moving slowly, questioning what we’re doing, reflecting on what we’re doing, we reflect a lot, was that worth it, did that make sense, was this
what we want to do again, do we want to do this same thing again? And another thing I
always use a little like, a little trick perhaps, whenever I make a decisions, I go, will I be happy with this in a year? And I don’t know, but I think about that, I go, I know I’m making it about now, but will I regret this decision? And I’m not always right about it but I’ve gotten better
at honing that instinct. So that’s another
framework that I use a lot. Why not be happy about this,
it’s really easy to make short term decisions that
you think for right now, but you’re stuck with a
lot of these decisions and you don’t want to regret these things. I don’t wanna pile up regrets as I go. Or pile up things that
I wish I hadn’t done, I don’t wanna do that. So I just think moving
slowly is the way to do it. But it’s hard for people because the expectation, to get back to your point, society and the entrepreneurial
community, whatever, is all about speed. – Gary Vaynorchuck wants
you to go real fast. – Gary, right. – He’s been on the show, good friend. – Love Gary, I love Gary. We disagree on probably 10% of things but he’s spot on on
everything else, I think. But yeah he has a very
different perspective on speed and hustle and growth and 24/7, if you’re not working hard enough, someone else is gonna out work you. I don’t believe there’s such a thing as out working anybody. Because that’s all about, when you talk it that way, you’re taking out a variable which is, does the work even matter at all? A lot of people can work hard and long and jump from meeting to another, and one coast to another, and go to this networking event and
go to this conference. Yeah, you’re busy. Yeah, you’re playing the game. You’re acting like you’re an entrepreneur and you’re busy and you’re doing it but are really doing what matters? That’s the real question. And so that’s why I don’t
like the whole aspect of working long and hard and all the time cause it doesn’t consider
value and quality in that work. Now Gary would say, Gary would agree, he would say if he were sitting here, he’d go, totally, you
gotta do what matters. If you’re not doing what
matters you’re a fucking idiot. And he’s right about that, too. But you don’t hear that
talked about enough. You just hear about the
hustle and time and the hours. – Because those are also
things, I have learned in this and in a previous life, where I was primarily a photographer, it’s like if you’re not doing the thing, someone else is, and therefor
they’re getting better at your craft, and everything is relative cause I gotta be faster
than Bobby or Sally or whatever in order to get the prize. But it’s just not true. – It’s not, I don’t think it’s true. – I’ve come to realize, it can’t be true. – It can’t be true. Cause the understanding then would be that if you just work hard enough you will get all the work that’s possible in the world. You can’t do all the work anyway. There’s so much and so many clients and so many things that you can’t possibly command it all or whatever. – Busy, shows not really being effective but it’s more a lack of
priority, it seems like. – Right, yeah. Yes, I agree, it really is. And the other reality I think is that any given day you only probably
have a good couple hours, 3, 4 hours max of really
good work anyway, in you. You can’t, you’re not
really working an 8 hour day or a 10 hour day or a 12
hour day like on the thing, you’re probably not actually. A lot of time is wasted
even in a short day, probably a lot of time is wasted on things that don’t actually matter. – There’s so much– – One other thing actually, I wanna say one other
thing about this because, part of me doesn’t like what I’m saying. cause I don’t think it’s fair, in that, I shouldn’t be giving
a 23 year old advice, cause I’m 44, it’s too far, I’m too far removed. I don’t think I should actually be, no one should listen to me about how to start a business, I haven’t started a business for 20 years. I can talk about how to run a business, I can talk about how to
build a profitable business, and how to hire people, and how to market, and how to build products,
how to make decisions, cause that’s what I do everyday. But I haven’t started a
business for 20 years. And I haven’t been 23 for 20 years. So I kind of think advice
has an expiration date. It certainly does and if
you’re starting a business you’re probably better
off talking to someone who just started one six months ago. I don’t care if they’ve made it or they haven’t or they don’t know yet, doesn’t matter. But they’re much closer to the thing. And I think in our world, in the entrepreneur world especially, there’s a lot of people dishing advice that haven’t done the thing ever, or they did it a lot time ago. And I think you need to discount that, I think advice goes
stale, has a half life, and it’s pretty quick. – It’s surprising how much advice there is out in the world and
even I try and be free with giving it and open to getting it and actually aggressively seeking it. What I found is that what it
helps me do more than anything it’s not like, oh Freddy
said hop on one leg, so I’m gonna go hop on one leg, I think it’s like, no,
Janine said hop on one leg, Freddy said, you know, do the cha cha, and Gregory said do something else and what I need to do is, I
haven’t thought about this and it’s really aggregating those opinions into something that works for you versus just like signing up wholesale for work 80 hours a week or whatever – Yes, you should absorb,
I would say you should listen to me and you
should listen to Gary. We’re polar opposites of that point and you should figure
out what works for you. It’s not about what I say or what he says, these are just points on
the spectrum basically. I think you do need to form a matrix and pay attention and then you also need to do what you believe. And I think one of the
things I had noticed, I do remember when I was younger, although again, I’m far removed from that, is that a lot of people,
it’s funny because, a lot of people who are
younger are really confident sometimes, they put off
an air of confidence but they’re really not sure what to do most of the time. And they’re afraid to
just go with their gut because they feel like they
can’t possible know it yet. I think when you’re in
college you kind of feel it but then you get out, then you’re like the king of schooling, like this is the last year of school, you now know everything. I figured out school. – Just in time to leave. – Right, then you leave. And then you’re into a
professional world where you’re a newbie, complete newbie. So that confidence goes away, I mean some people still have it, some people, they’re over confident which is bad, too. But I think people begin
to second guess themselves, like I don’t know what to do, so I’m gonna look to those who’ve done it and just do what they do. I think the only, if I was
to throw some advice back to that time, it would
be, follow your gut, trust yourself and like,
you probably know more than anyone does about you. – I’m a huge advocate of instincts. – The other thing is,
look, I believe everyone is making it up as they go, anyway. – For dang near everything. – Yes, for everything. So every business is
pretty much held together with duct tape, people are figuring out as they go, they’re making it up as they go, you know, yeah, you have ideas, you have thoughts, and you should have a
perspective and whatever. But you’re still making it up as you go. And so the idea that this
person or that person has it all, if I just read their book, I will know what to do, and if I just, they don’t know either. We know what’s worked for us. – That’s why you are so
good about articulating that in your books. – We’re clear about that. This works, and I wanna be very clear because some people
would say we’re preachy, and I see where it comes from but really we’re just sharing our story in a passionate way, hopefully, and we believe it, we believe
everything we’re saying. But this is what worked for us and your environment and your time with your collection of people, it’s gonna be different. You can not replicate something. – Was trusting your instincts something that you had to learn and
do you have some examples of where you went against your gut and it went badly? – I’ve always been that way. – Trusted your guy, you mean? – Trusted my gut, I just
feel like it most cases, now again, I’m fortunate
for a variety of reasons. My parents were very supportive,
I had two great parents, my parents are still married,
a lot of stability at home, they’ve always supported me. – It’s important to acknowledge this. – They gave me $5000 bucks
when I got out of college to get a computer and that was like to get going. So they helped with that. And there’s some things
I had clearly, obviously, I got into a lot of
trouble when I was younger. And if I was someone else I
could have spent some time somewhere else ya know. Things might not have been as rosy for me. I acknowledge all of that. But I think at the end of the day, I’ve always trusted my
gut and just gone for it. Because I feel like you might as well. If you’re gonna fight
against what you believe you’re not gonna have that happy life, I don’t think. Even if this telling you to go this way and this is telling you to go this way, you should pay attention to those inputs. But if you’re always doing
what you don’t wanna do because someone else is telling you to or the data is telling, whatever. You’re probably gonna be miserable. Unless you don’t really know where to go. And if you don’t know where to go at all, you don’t have a point of view at all, you probably will follow something else and you could probably do well. Some people do well that way. I think unbalanced though, if you spend your life
doing what other people tell you to do or what other
people say you should do you’re probably just not
gonna be that satisfied at the end of the day. And I’d rather screw up, I’d rather not live up to my potential, whatever that means, but do it my own way. And feel like I’m satisfied
and I gave it a shot in my own way, I feel like
I’m satisfied that way, otherwise I would feel
like there would be things I would have done differently,
I don’t wanna feel that way. Now when you have a business partner and you have other things, sometimes you have to
compromise, and you debate, you butt heads and you figure it out. You can’t always do what you want to do. And I’m not suggesting that’s what you should always do either. But I think for the most part, you should probably trust
your gut and your instinct there’s something in there, it’s innate, and I think it’s probably pretty smart. – Do you have the same advice for, the audience that pays
attention to this show, largely entrepreneur,
solopreneurs, small design teams, it’s basically evenly a
third, one third of people are freelancers, one third are FT’s and one third are split between people who are onto a 5th, 6th career and people who are just getting started. Really interesting and
pretty even curve across those areas of consideration. But let’s just for a
second take into account the individual, solopreneur, entrepreneur, starting a business, on his or her own, and so a lot of what we’ve
been talking about, like, your partners, your
business, set your own rules, does all the same stuff
apply to an individual creators first business? – I think it’s easier. Here’s the sort of, it’s
not the dirty secret, it’s just like– – No, no I like calling it dirty. – Alright, let’s call it dirty. Business only gets harder. The easiest business you’ll ever be in is your own business, which is you. Not it might be hard
because it’s always hard. Like getting your first client is hard. If you have nothing and
you have to get your, that’s challenging, but
it only gets harder. Because you start adding people, and they need more responsibilities, you start adding more people, pretty soon you need someone
to help manage those people. And then you’ve got personalities, you’ve got politics internally. It just gets harder. – We’re social animals so
there’s social, I get it. – Right, so, then, you’ve got a bigger monthly payroll to cover and then you probably end
up getting an office space, and then you’ve got rent. It doesn’t get easier, ever. A lot of the things about
business I think like, the smaller you are the purer it can be, and you can live up to
a lot of these ideals that become harder
actually, as you get bigger because there’s more pressures and there’s more
influences, and there’s more outside pressure, and
different forces pushing you in different directions
that you don’t have when no one’s paying
attention when it’s just you. When it’s just you, when
you talk to entrepreneurs successful ones, I know a number of them who’ve done extremely well for themself and you ask them what was their best time? It was when they were smaller. It’s when, I remember when there 5 people working out of my apartment. I remember, I haven’t talked
to Joe in a long time, but from Airbnb, Joe. – He’s been on this show.
Love Joe. Joe Gebbia. – I visited them early on when they were working out of, I think his apartment, him or Brian, whoever’s apartment it was,
maybe it was their apartment. – I think it was actually. They were Arisdy, I think. – Originally, yeah. They were working here in San Francisco. I was in town for a wedding and I wrote Joe, I love
what you guys are up to, can we meet, or whatever? He’s like, yeah come on by, so he picked me up in his pick up truck, I think it was, and we
drove it to his apartment. That’s where, Airbnb was there. And I bet, if you asked him
today, his favorite moments I’m sure there’s some amazing, they built an amazing business. But I bet there’s some
stuff, that he’d be like, I loved it when we were in our apartment. It’s funny that as a business grows it grows away from the moments that everyone really loved. And then you end up
having all this other shit you gotta deal with all the time. It’s like the good ol’ day basically. And we both decided to keep it, just the good ol’ days as best that we possibly can. It’s not like we, we used
to be 4 people or 3 people, we’re 55 now, but we’re
really trying to stay as close to the good ol’
days as we possibly can for as long as we possibly can versus jettisoning those and going
off and growing so fast that you’re so detached
from the good ol’ days. I don’t ever want to
be detached from those. – I’m gonna run through a short list of things you’ve thrown under the bus. – Okay, please. – I don’t know if it’s the proverbial bus- – Is it a short list, it
sounds like a long list. – I don’t know too many
buses that are proverbs but the, okay so you’ve talked shit about ambition. – Yeah, to some degree. We’re ambition in a different way. – Okay, let me give you the list. I’ll give a list of three things and then we can through each of them. Ambition, goals, and again
you’re like literally throwing, and quantity, I’ll say Cause you emphasize quality. So you’re talking about more people, just as the theme, you’re generally throwing quantity, you
don’t want 4 products, you want one, you don’t 100 people, you want 50 people. You don’t want quantity, you want quality. Are these universal things that, as I’m saying them, do
you really unite against– – Those three things? – And maybe there’s others,
but there’s just a theme of those three, I think goals
is especially interesting but let’s take each of these in stride. – I’d like to talk about the goals one. Let’s start with ambition though. I just think we have a
different definition of it. I think in our industry
you’d be considered ambitious if you’re working crazy hours, if you’ve raised a bunch of money, if your goal is to dominate
or destroy a competitor, like dominate a market,
destroy a competitor, conquer market share,
like there’s all these, bellicose, war like terms, that’s what ambition looks like if you were to look at it from afar. Who’s gonna build the
tallest office building, who’s gonna have the most employees, whatever it is. That’s not our definition of it. For us, it’s, do we enjoy
going to work everyday? Like, we’re ambitious there. I wanna have a great day everyday. I don’t always have a great day but that’s my ambition is to make sure that my day is free to do great work. And that everybody at our company has a whole free day to do great work. That’s what we’re ambitious about. We’re ambitious about sharing our story and telling these stories and showing that there is an alternative to what we’re rallying against. So that’s kind of another ambition is to share ideas. And to make something
great for our customers and for ourselves, that’s it. It doesn’t need to be bigger
than that, essentially. That’s just a different form of it really. Goals is a great one because at Basecamp we don’t have,
basically don’t have any goals. We don’t have, I’m gonna
get all the acronyms wrong cause we don’t have them. KPI’s, OKR’s, I don’t know
what the other ones are. We don’t have any goals, we
don’t have financial goals other than to be profitable, which we’ve been for 20 years every year. But we don’t have revenue
goals or growth goals or any customer growth goals or any number we’re trying to hit. Just, that’s not what we do. We don’t want to do that. We just want to do the best work we can. – Isn’t that a goal? – Ah, yeah, fine. I’ll give you that. But it’s like, it’s not really, it’s not a measurable goal. – Once you assume that, you’re like okay, check, that covers everything.
Everything. – Yeah, basically. I look at goals as people set numbers and they try to achieve those and then either you do or you don’t. and if you do, you set another one. If you just do the best work
you’re capable of doing, shouldn’t you be doing that anyway? What is the goal have to do
with you doing great work? If you’re just trying to
do the best work you can, you’re either gonna hit it or you’re not. But if you don’t try to
hit, you just intrinsically want to do great work,
that’s enough, I think. That’s what we’ve always believed. – How do you rally a team then? For someone who’s a
leader of a small team or even a big team. – You give em the space to do great work. And they’re intrinsically
motivated by the work itself and proud of the work that they’re doing versus the statistic. If you look at like a cabinet maker, do they need goals to be
proud of the thing they build? Finish the thing, do the joints, whatever, and sit back and look at it and go, that’s great work, I’m proud of that. They can look at it closely and go, I’m proud of that work. You know, we didn’t this,
I’ll do better next time. Whatever it might be. You don’t need to measure everything to be proud of it. You just be proud of the work. And be proud of the
people you’re working with and be proud of the interaction between the people and all the things, work is so much more
than hitting that number, it’s about like, what
was that experience like, did I enjoy working on this project, was it fun, was it enjoyable, did I learn something new? It’s that kind of stuff
that really matters. – The human stuff. – I mentioned this to Tim, on his show, about this thing, this
moment I had where I was, I don’t exactly remember the numbers, I think I was running, I run, I don’t run as much as I
used to but I run, jog, whatever, and I remember
there was awhile back where I was trying to hit some number, I think it was like 6 minute mile, whatever the hell it was, and I did a 6:09 or something. And I remember feeling
like upset for a second that I didn’t hit the 6. And then just like, why does that matter? Did I enjoy the run? Did I go out and have a good run, yeah. Am I, feel like I worked out, yeah. Did I get some fresh air, yeah. All the things I got
from it were the value, the nine seconds didn’t matter at all. Why would it matter? Why should it matter
and why should I leave that moment feeling like I
didn’t do what I set out to do. I didn’t achieve the goal
that I made up for myself that I just made. There’s no reason that I had to run a six, maybe I should have
set it at 6:09 or 6:08, Why’d I pick six? Why, it’s all arbitrary for the most part. It’s few experiences like that plus just the recognition that like whenever we set a goal
that’s number based, it sort of discounts all the other things that where the real value is. So that’s why we don’t believe in goals. And then last one was,
what was the last one? – It was a lot of, like
you’re not seeking quantity. – Quantity. – Or sort of, I guess maybe
it’s it would be filed under ambition, I was
looking for just threads. It’s like less people, less
number of products, less– – It’s easier, so getting
back to the laziness, in a sense, it’s easier to do that. I think also, a lot of things
that are about quantity and size are ego, it’s all ego. And I’ve learned to check that as much as I possibly can. And we all have it, still, of course. But just to aware of why is
that I want to hit this number? Is it so I can tell people about it? And if I tell people about, why am I doing that, is
it just to puff me up? I’ll still do that from time to time and I’ll catch myself and go on Twitter, we sold this many books. Why am I saying those things? And some it is like cause I’m proud of it. But a lot times it’s
because of something else that’s deeper that’s not healthy. And so of course, we all have ego, you can’t probably get rid of it. But it is sort of the enemy, as Ryan Holiday wrote. It’s a force you need to be careful about. I think a lot of the numbers chasing, a lot of the puffing, all that stuff is really about ego. And we just try to remove
as much of that as we can. – Have you done that much of personal work to be able to work through that or is this like a thing that
you’re parents taught you, going back to you being an only child and deciding that you were becoming aware that you knew what you
wanted and what you didn’t and these were things that were earthly? – I don’t know. I don’t know where it came from. I’ve become more aware
of it recently, I guess. Reading Ryan’s book was important for me, although I felt it was
kind of one of these books where you read it and you’re like, oh yeah, I’ve kind of felt this way but I didn’t understand why. – That’s what a good book does right? It codifies or puts into words something you’ve been feeling. – Which is like the thing with Toby and the trust battery thing. Like we kind of had thought about that but didn’t know what to call it. I think that was part of it. I feel like a lot of the ego victories I’ve ever had have been very shallow and very temporary. And it just doesn’t feel worth it to put all that energy into something that’s so shallow and temporary basically. And I still have more work to do in this area, of course, But it’s something I’m
paying attention to lately, especially lately, I don’t really know why other than a few things got into, I read some of Ryan’s
books, got a little bit into Stoicism, got into some other things that are really kind of clarifying some of these things for me. And maybe it’s just maturity as well. I think probably ten years
ago I wouldn’t have been ready for some of these things maybe, I wasn’t quite there yet. Also, just general observation, I see a lot of people who are ego driven and they end up miserable because you can never really quench it. You can never fill that thing, you can never, ever get it out of the way. And so if that’s what
you’re trying to fill up, if that’s the thing
you’re trying to fill up, you’re never gonna get there and you’re just gonna be
chasing these false things and I don’t wanna do that either. – I think you’ve done a
great job of articulating your personal compass. You just listed a few, I guess influences. Let’s pull on that
thread just a little bit. Other influences like
Scandinavian design or you mentioned– – Architecture. – Sure, Architecture. The Dahli Llama. You got
a couple of quotes here. – I’ve thrown a few quotes out. I have a lot of quotes. – What are just some
of, survey Jason Fried’s mind scape and what are some influences, what has helped shape
your view of the world. – Sure, I’ll throw out
a variety of probably random things. – Yeah, this is what I’m hoping for. – I’ve always been a
big fan of architecture. I love walking into
buildings and getting a feel for how they make you feel and space, I’ve always like space. I’ve studied architecture for a long time. – Informally, formally? – Informally, I would never
be able to put up with school to study it formally. – Yeah, brutal, I was
not good at that stuff. But I’ve always looked
at, I like materials, I like to look, I’m curious,
first thing I’m like, wrought iron, is this wrought iron, look at the wood, what is it like? I’ve always been curious about how things join together, quality of something, how it feels, how it
ages, I look to at things and how they age. That’s how I actually
judge quality on things. A lot of modern architecture for example, true modern, like today’s
modern architecture, I don’t think it’s really good because it doesn’t look
good in five years. The way a lot of building are white, they’re this sort of trend
to make white buildings but then you get rust
stains that come down because they didn’t use
a stainless steel screw in the roof, so you get,
they don’t look good as they get older. And when you get look at things
like old buildings, brick, stone, wood, these things just age and they look better and better over time. I like to pay attention
to those kind of details in things. I love nature, I love just taking walks, I love looking very closely at nature. I think that– – Give me an example. – Flowers, plants,
specifically like flowers. I like to go look at flowers cause I think people are always looking
through design annuals to find color combinations that work or shapes or like ideas. Go look at a flower, you can’t beat it. And if you look really close you can start to see how everything’s,
like how they have, the shapes repeat, and
there’s just some real beauty in how it’s structured and the how colors always bleed together. It’s very rare that you have sharp colors that hit, they tend to
gradiate into each other. I always find that to be interesting. Just how, nature’s the
best design solution. If you look at nature, these things have been perfected for millions of years. Like this leaf is the
best leaf it’s ever been, ever, right? So people are looking towards
other software products, if I’m in the software
world, I never want to look at software to get inspiration. I wanna look at leaves,
I wanna look at plants, I wanna look at trees, I
wanna look at buildings, I wanna look at furniture,
I wanna look at other things that are designed, that
have been considered and thought through from
a different perspective. Because if you just look at software, if you’re in the software
business and you look at software, you’re gonna end up
making what everyone else is making. Everything we make, we
try to make from a unique point of view, which is
based on other things, and not what everyone else is doing. Primarily because I don’t
think, again I don’t want to chase, I don’t wanna do
what other people are doing because then I don’t really
understand why I’m doing it. I’m just doing it because
everyone else is doing it. That’s part of it too. So architecture design materials, nature, I have some land up in Wisconsin that I’ve been restoring over time which has been a really fun project, it’s like a 10 year project almost so far. Taking this land back to the
way it was supposed to be before it was farmed
and tilled and sort of invasive species have
come in, so I’m doing prairie restoration and some stuff. Which is really fun to watch. Very slow process and that’s something that’s really inspiring
me, is takes 10 years to get some of this basic stuff done. Like you’d come and look at the land and you’d be like, yeah okay. And I’d be like, you don’t even understand what’s happened here in 10 years. Let me take you through and
that’s really fun for me. What else? The other thing is, frankly,
when it comes to business I’m way more inspired by the
local corner grocery store than I am by Amazon or Apple
or any of these companies. In fact, I’m jealous of
the small businesses, real small businesses. I’ve got a friend who owns a grocery store down the street from me
and he knows his customers by name. We have at Basecamp, we
have over 100,000 people who pay for Basecamp, companies. I’ll never know their names. We’re the scale where I can’t actually know our customers, or
customers, ultimately are numbers and data and I know some of them. But I would love to be
able to own a business where if someone walked
in the door and I’d hey, hey Jim, hey Joan, and
just get to know them and know who they are. I admire those kind of
businesses and I think about how can we be more like them. We can’t really, but are there
ways we can more like them. So I don’t think it’s a good idea to look to your own industry and look up. I think it’s good to
look at other industries and actually look at
different kinds of businesses that are smaller and get
to the real pure side of what business is all about. Which is good product,
treating people well, returning someone’s
call when they call you, knowing someone’s name,
and that kind of basic fundamental stuff like
your grandparents would do if they had a shop, that kind of thing. – What drives you crazy, in a bad way? – Wasting time, like I cannot stand, luckily we don’t have meeting anymore, but when I was in the
client services business, like doing client work,
I’d have to go to meetings, they’d want me to drive
over and talk about this thing that literally
we could talk about on the phone in five minutes. And I’d have to go over there and commute and go there and sit there and we’d talk for an hour when it was only five minutes worth of stuff. But you’re there so you keep going. That’s one example of wasting time. But processes that don’t have to happen, time that doesn’t have to be
spent on those kinds of things, traffic, hate traffic. Traffic to me is the
ultimate waste of time. Bad place for that. But traffic to me is one of those things where it’s like, man this is, yeah you can listen to an
audio book, or a podcast or something, but it
feels like a waste of time to be doing that in that setting. The other thing I would say in business that drives me a little
bit crazy, I would say, is how our industry specifically holds up, businesses that are actually terrible fundamental businesses, as huge successes that people try to follow. Take Uber for example,
for a variety or reasons I’m not a fan of theirs, I do still use their product sometimes though. But they just lost $100
billion last quarter, I think. So they’re just hemorrhaging money. And they’re gonna go IPO and some people are gonna get rich but
it’s a shitty business. But people look at that and go, I wanna be the next Uber of, I wanna be the next, you wanna be the next like billion dollar
loser of this business? I don’t understand why bad businesses, great ideas, totally, but bad businesses are being help up as the model businesses. I think that’s really unfortunate
and really irresponsible of sort of the industry at large to celebrate that kind of stuff. – I think there’s this big,
we’re a culture of lemmings, we’re a culture of attention,
or the attention goes, some of it gets attracted
and that breeds more. And that’s why I know of
started off with thinking joyously and joyfully of
you and your partner David and Basecamp and what
you’ve built and the books, as a little bit of contrarian culture but it doesn’t seem like
it’s in and of itself. Contrarianism for contrarian ism’s sake, it’s really more like, no, no we’ve actually thought about it, we don’t want to run a business like Uber. – Yeah, don’t want to. – What do we value? We value freedom, independence, authority over our own domain, a lot of I think that’s part of why I was so excited to have you on the show and I was gonna, if you
could give some advice, flip this to the positive
and instead of like framing it as negative and contrary it’s a really powerful tool that way you personally have applied it. So give some advice for the folks, knowing that we’ve got
all sorts of different walks of people, creators
and entrepreneurs listening try and give some advice to them to help them think more like you. – The first thing is I would say do whatever you can to practice getting good at saying no. Which is really hard
when you’re brand new. You come into a new company
and you can’t be the no person. You start a new business it’s hard to be the no person, you want
to take all the business you can get, I get all of that. But somehow find a way
to practice saying no. Because no is the only
word that will ever protect your time and attention,
that’s all you’ve got. And everyone wants a piece of it. And wants a piece of more and more, more and more people want a piece of it. Technology wants a piece of it, other people want a piece of it, and if you don’t have any of that left for yourself, you’re
never gonna be able to do what you want to do. You’re never gonna be
able to think the way you want to think and
act the way you wanna act because your time is now
owned by everyone else. I’m not being, I feel like
I’m failing on the question to a degree because I’m
being totally practical. I don’t have, there’s
no silver bullet clap, snap you fingers, clap your hands, way to be good at this, but what I’ve noticed, here’s one like more practical thing. Client services, you
probably have a lot of people who watch this who are
designers, photographers, that sort of crew, right? And something I hear from
them all the time is, you’re lucky cause you
have, they’re saying to me, you’re lucky because you
have a product business. I have to answer to
clients and if a client call me at 11 o’clock at night
I have to answer the phone. And I say, fuck no you do not. That’s a place to practice. Just because someone pays you does not mean they own you. It certainly does not mean they own your nights and weekends or
any of that kind of stuff. People think that their
clients actually expect that from people but they typically don’t, you give it to them, by answering the calls
at 11 o’clock at night, or by getting back to them
in email at ten 10:30. You’re giving them
permission to ask that again and you set the tone. So practical, basic thing
is, and this happens all the time, so I know
this a practical one, for all you kids at home. We said we were gonna do that. Is that, if it’s late
at night, it’s 9:30, 10, whatever it is, and one
of your clients writes you and they’re demanding something or asking for something,
just don’t respond and get back to them the next morning. And see what happens,
most likely it’ll be fine. If they go, hey what the hell, like why didn’t you get back to me, say it was 10, and it’s either family time or I’m sleeping or I’m
reading or I’m watching, whatever, it’s my time,
I’ll get back to you the next morning, first
thing in the morning I’ll get back to you,
you’re my top priority in the morning, when my day starts. You probably won’t have to do that though, you’ll probably just find that people are cool with it. And you just imagine that they were not, so a lot of this stuff is about you setting the tone and
you setting the direction for a relationship,
professional relationship with other people, especially clients. So that would be the one practical thing I would say is do not answer that email late at night, wait til the next morning. It’s gonna be okay. That’ll build your confidence and that’s one way you can begin to start saying no and getting
comfortable with saying no and realizing that no is
a very reasonable answer in many cases. You might think it’s
not but it actually is. And that’s the best way to build a moat around your time and attention which is all you’ve got. I know that was a bit circular but that’s where we end up. – I think it all plugs together nicely so there’s a voice inside
our head that often works against us. – I know that voice. – That creates a lot of
stories. That’s basically my question is, so do you have this voice, have you trained it, if we’re just habits, what are some of things that you’ve done to either unlearn these bad habits or rather, if you wanna
put it in the positive, to train yourself to feel good about ignoring that client email at 10 pm or whatever. How do you train your own habits? – I think the key is, is
first I don’t think you can unlearn or reverse something. You have to transition into something. So a big part of it is
not being disappointed if you screw up again. Cause if you’re like, I’m
not gonna do this anymore, then you do it again and you’re upset, that’s unreasonable and
you’re putting unreasonable demands on yourself. So I think it’s about knowing
that any sort of transition between one course of action and another is going to take time. And it’s gonna be a smooth transition, might be some bumps along the way. But you just have to set a
slightly different course and know it’s gonna take
some time to get there. That’s the only thing that I’ve found that works for me. Like, cold turkey, is a
very difficult thing to do for people and I don’t think
it’s a really successful pattern for most. Some people are really good
at, I’ll never do this again, and they’re great at that. I don’t think it’s reasonable
necessarily for most people. So I think as you’re
transitioning be extremely easy on yourself. Because you can talk yourself
out of the transition really quickly and then
bounce back to the bad habit. So I think that’s the thing
I’ve figured out how to do is just to be fair and kind to myself as I’m changing, otherwise
it’s not so good. – Anything else you do
specifically for self care? Other than just being kind to yourself? – Sleep is important,
although I have a new baby. We just had a baby two months ago. – Congratulations. – Thank you very much. – Eight weeks? – Eight weeks old. – You look great for
having an eight week old. – I feel tired right now, to be honest. But thank you very much. My wife is, she’s enduring
a little bit more of it right now, we have a four year old, too. So we’ve been through
this once but of course in the first few months
it’s really difficult on the mother, feeding
and the whole thing. But we’re doing okay right now. But sleep is the most important thing. And there’s a great book, Why We Sleep, I don’t know if you’ve read that or have heard of it. – I just saw it on your
feed the other day. – Wonderful, highly recommend it. It’s really enjoyable and interesting. Smart guy, but can write a book in a really approachable way, cause I’m not a scientist, but it’s scientific, wonderful book. But sleep is the one thing
that affects everything. So you gotta exercise, you gotta eat well and all that stuff. But you could actually
eat like shit for a week and you’d kind of be alright. You can skip exercise for a week and you’d kind of alright. If you get a few bad nights
of sleep, you’re trash, like everything in your body is trash. Heath wise you’re bad, your temper is bad, people know that you haven’t slept well. – Cognition is down. – Cognition’s down, can’t remember things. You’re not nice, all these things. So sleep’s really
important, so I try to get seven to eight hours of
sleep right now, a night. Usually like to get a
little bit more than eight but right now it’s just not quite possible with the kids but okay,
I’ll get back to that. Gotta exercise a few days a week. I’m not like crazy about it. I’m not, I don’t do like– – Ultra marathons– – No I’ll do a couple
mile jog here and there. I will work out with a
trainer a few days a week. I’ll go for long walks. I’ll do stuff, got a
rowing machine, got a bike, that kind of stuff. – Move, move your body. – I gotta move, you gotta
move, you gotta just feel like, I think you gotta feel like
things are circulating. But I’m not a big fan of the
boot campy, style work outs where you’re tired. Because you’ve got a life, too. And if you try, if you burn
all your energy by 9 am, early in the morning at the gym, it’s sort of hard to live your day out. I’m actually more of a fan
of working out in a way where you end up having
more energy at the end of the workout than you came in with. Versus like burning it all
off and sweating yourself wet and you’re like exhausted. That doesn’t really work for me, at least. Gotta eat well, exercise and sleep. But sleep is so critical. And also the other thing is perspective. Getting away from the thing that you love. I love to work, I love
the work that we’re doing. And I want to be able to come back to it everyday excited versus exhausted. Or never get away from it, then you never get to see it again. There’s something that’s nice about if you’re always in it
you just can’t see it. You’re too close to it. You need to be able to back away. That’s another thing. I’d say those four things. Perspective is really a key thing. – What about your specific personal habits in the morning or evening? Is there anything you do because sleep, reason I’m asking one layer deeper, is because I was a terrible sleeper for the first 38 years of my life. Terrible, terrible,
like I can hear somebody and wake up. I could hear someone
jogging past my house, outside my house, freakish
level of awareness while sleeping and it was just not great. So I shifted gears and
did a bunch of stuff so that’s why I wanna go one level deeper. And you started doing a
little bit with fitness. But what about sleep? Are there things you do in particular to drive sleep? – Yes, I’ve been learning more about this, really important. I used to work out at the end of the day. I just tend to have a little
more energy during the day but that’s not really that
great if you go to sleep, I have to go to sleep
early now, like by 9, cause my son gets up at like 5:30. – Which means you get up at 5:30. – So I’ve gotta go to sleep earlier. So I can’t work out at
7:30, cause that’s too close to being, so more exercise
earlier in the day is key. I try to go 15 hours between meals. I’m doing the intermittent fasting. Or like time restricted eating. It depends on who you talk to. Some people are like, that’s not a fast, it’s time, whatever. So I eat dinner and I don’t eat breakfast for about 15 hours, 14 to
16 basically, usually 15ish. That’s really been very interesting. We can talk more about that in a minute. And I’ve done, I try
not to look at a screen. There’s light in your
room, but look at a screen for a good 90 minutes before I go to bed although I’m not always good at that. That’s the most challenging. It shows you how addictive and dangerous these devices actually are. I’m consciously trying
not to and I still grab, reach for it. Exercise, I try also not to
go to sleep within three hours of eating dinner. I wanna eat dinner earlier
so I have some time. Some of those things have
really made a big difference. I don’t know if we’re allowed
to talk about products that I use. – So I use something called an Oura ring. Are you familiar with that product? – I just saw their next,
yeah, I have a sizing kit on my desk. – Okay, awesome. I started using that recently. I’ve used other things in the past too. – So it’s a-u-r-a? – O-u-r-a. I’ve used other things in the past which have worked as well also. – Sleep tracker. – Sleep tracking things. But what I like about the ring is that, so when I travel, there’s other devices I’ve used that go under your
bed or under your mattress. But that only works if you’re sleeping in your own bed. And sometimes I’m not. Or sometimes now since we have this baby sometimes we’ll sleep in different beds depending on the sound, so that doesn’t really
work for me right now. So this ring is great, you
throw it on your finger and it tracks your sleep
and it’s quite accurate from what I’ve read. It’s been very enlightening. I can tell now, certain foods
I eat around dinner time, effect my sleep. When I exercise, definitely
effects my sleep. If I have screens it
definitely effects my sleep. So now I have some feedback,
a feedback mechanism in which to make slightly better decisions and see the impact. It’s now always direct,
cause sometime you just have a shitty night, and sometimes
you have a great night even though you did something wrong. But you can see trends
and you start finally pick up on, ah, you
know what, if I do this, it’s definitely effecting my sleep. So I’ve been doing that a lot which has really been helping quite a bit. There’s also a bit of placebo,
or maybe it’s not a placebo I guess it probably wouldn’t be, but there’s a bit of a
placebo when you look at your sleep information in the morning. I go, oh shit, I had good night’s sleep. I actually do feel better. I really do. And maybe it’s because I did
have a good night’s sleep but it’s extra multiplying. – I wonder if Oura takes
that into consideration? – I don’t know. – Speaking of devices,
let’s just shift gears. Oura, that ring is phenomenal. Kevin Rose, a friend of ours, is also very passionate about it. So you track your sleep, working out, all that kind of stuff. We talked before the
camera started rolling about technology. I wanted to go back to that. You mentioned screens, how
does it negatively effect, how do screens negatively
affect you and your world and your health? You’re in the business of creating things that are on screens. – During the day. – During the day. Okay, good, this is why
I want you to qualify it. – So actually there’s
a feature in Basecamp 3 called Work Can Wait. Which allows, each individual employee, anyone who uses Basecamp, to set their own work hours in the product and outside those work hours, Basecamp cannot send you any notifications or any emails or anything. So mine are set from 9 to 5. So at 5:01 Basecamp is
essentially holding my calls to use a parlons basically. And I will not get a single notification from Basecamp until the next morning. That’s like our little
tiny roll in the world is to try to like create some work life separation there. These devices I think
are extremely dangerous because they’re just hitting
your dopamine receptors, or whatever, I don’t know the science, but you have dopamine constantly, picking this thing up,
picking this thing up, picking this thing up, they’re highly addictive. They reward addictive behavior. I found them to be also a gateway for negative information to get into your brain. I think that if you, I found that Twitter specifically, even
friends that you follow, there’s just a lot of bitching on Twitter. And there’s a lot of negativity on Twitter And some of it’s negativity
you might agree with, some of it’s negativity
you may not agree with, but I still just don’t even
want even it if I agree with it, cause I don’t want to
get enraged about stuff. I don’t want this thing
to make me pissed off. And it does a lot of the time. So I’ve been really working on not paying attention to that, and hiding
people, or muting people that are posting anything
that’s not like uplifting or anything you know. I think this is a way,
unfortunately for negativity to get in your brain. And to get you upset about things. I don’t wanna be that way. Also, that’s one of the reasons
I don’t follow the news. I used to follow the news,
I used to be news junkie. And I don’t pay attention
to the news at all anymore. – And you still get it. – You get it, because you can’t not get it if you pick up your phone. But also, nothing, shouldn’t say nothing, almost nothing really matters right now. So I hear about it the next day if I read the paper, it’s funny, I was at a hotel and they’re like, would you like a newspaper? And I was like, yeah I
will actually this time, I’ll take the newspaper. Would you like the USA Today? I don’t know, it doesn’t matter, New York Times, it doesn’t matter. So I get the paper and I’m
reading the paper in the morning. This is best fucking
format for news, ever. Because it’s everything I
can of really want to know or need to know essentially, once a day, that’s enough. It summarizes what happened yesterday. And that’s enough. That’s the right cadence I think for news. Maybe once a day, maybe
even every few days, maybe once a week’s probably enough. Everything is breaking news, 24/7, everything’s a hot story. Like none of this shit is a hot story that matters right now. Unless there’s a natural disaster, like you’re in the path of a hurricane, you wanna know that. A lot of other things can wait. I’m more a fan of things
that can wait than right now. And so anyway I think
that these devices are polluting us in a lot of
ways and I think it’s real unfortunate. I think a time of reckoning is coming. You’re seeing people’s
attitudes are starting to shift and turn and I think people are beginning to realize. – Look at Apple with screen time, monitoring how much
time you’re on each app, what category of app, allowing
you to turn things off after a certain amount of time. You gotta know that they have the data. If the data is saying we’ve gotta give these people control over their own sort of how much impact
our devices have on them. That’s on accident
because they’re typically, products want you to use them more. That is there mechanism in life is to engage you. And if someone like
Apple is already sort of curbing that there’s, they
don’t do that on accident. – We were sort of riffing
on this a little bit earlier of this idea that, I was thinking like, with cigarettes, I
wouldn’t be surprised if social media in general is eventually seen as the next cigarette. That we look back on this and go, wow. This was incredibly unhealthy for like kids, for adults, for everybody. For our brains, for our developments, for our egos, for all these things. – Was does a 100 dopamine hits a day do for someone? – It’s gonna wear your
brain out, it has to. We’re not built for that. Something’s gonna happen
and this is the first generation that’s had
daily hits like that. And it’ll be for decades. Something’s gonna go wrong at some point. You think about Phillip-Morris. They knew cigarettes were bad and they withheld that science and that’s what people
really got pissed off about in the end. It wasn’t that people
made a personal choice to smoke cigarettes, it
was that the companies knew they were bad and didn’t
tell you, basically. And you kind of wonder in some ways if these technology
companies are beginning to heed that call and go, you know, we should be getting in there, we know, like you said, they have the data, we know the stuff is
probably not good for you. Even just for sleep. Sleep affects every system in your body and they have, I forget
what’s it called now, like night shift or whatever, on the Mac, and in the phone. It’s good, by the way I think it’s great that these things exist. But it’s kind of also
like you could almost cynically say that is
a way to guard against the liability. We know this is bad and
we’re giving you tools to prevent it. Like you wouldn’t
imagine a cigarette maker ever making a cigarette
pack that would only dispense three a day. But that’s kind of what
Apple and if Android has this same stuff, probably
does, it’s kind of doing, they’re saying, we’re
giving the tools to do that. – You can over it, there’s
a button on the bottom that’ll let you override it. – You can override it cause it’s freedom, you can do whatever you want. – Because freedom. – But at some point, you
know how they have like haptic feedback on the
screen, maybe it’ll have like electric shock,
extend for 15 minutes, don’t do that, like you’ll
have to pay for that. Anyway I think that you’re
right they have the data, they know, as these are
definitely affecting us. And we’re gonna see what the affects are in a number of years. I think it’s too early
but people are beginning to notice, yeah. And I think the general
pushback against, too, against companies like Facebook
and these other companies where they’re saying like. This is a probably a net
negative, yeah I know it’s cool to get together with
your high school friends or stay in touch with long lost relatives. Like there’s definitely
value in that for sure, but net negative because
of everything else. And I think people are
starting to wake up to that. It’s happening. – Those are a couple of things
that we think are weird, or pisses us off, or frustrating,
let’s flip the script. What are some of things that you love? What are, just again, wild,
feel free to cover any domain, like what are some of the things you love? – I love seeing, there’s this book, I can’t remember what it’s called, let’s see if I can
remember, it’s a book on, there’s two of em I think, on Russian folk inventions and Eastern European ones. Where this person went to
these small Russian towns where people didn’t have
much during Communism specifically but they needed things. They needed a shovel
but they couldn’t afford a shovel, there’s no shovels at the store. And so they would take a
stick and an old coffee can and like make a shovel out of it. I love that those two books
cause there’s this catalog of these super, super clever inventions. And what I’m getting at
is, I love ingenuity. I love when I see people solve a problem in a clever way that’s
the simplest, possible way to solve the problem. Cause there’s, you could
brute force some solutions to things and then it
doesn’t seem as interesting. But when people have very
little and they solve really clever, creative
problems, that’s something whenever I see that, it
always makes me smile. Whatever it is, doesn’t matter what it is, that’s the kind of stuff I really dig. I love things that are just built well to last. So one of my weird hobbies
is I collect vintage watches. This is actually a new
watch, this is not old. But I mostly collect older stuff. Because they work forever. And they’re built to
last forever, essentially and as long as someone
oils it and cleans it once every decade,
essentially, it will last forever, and that’s an
amazing thing to me. That I can put a watch
on that’s 75 years old and it works just fine. And nothing we make today, not nothing, most of things we make today will not last anywhere near that long
because we don’t live in that kind of world anymore. Devices we use are extinct, essentially, in a few years. A lot of the things we
make today are disposable. They’re meant to be disposable. And there’s a ton of waste around that. So I love running into things that go like this is well made, it’s gonna last and it’s worth paying for. It could be furniture, it
could a piece of clothing, it could be a home, it could be anything. I love that kind of stuff. I also love looking at things that, things that I could never do. That’s kind of stuff I love the most. Like, some rugs you look
at are hand knotted. I looked at some of these Turkish rugs and to think that someone
hand knotted that design. And I don’t know how long it took but it took forever. I couldn’t do that. I’m so thoroughly impressed
by that kind of stuff. I love that kind of stuff
that just blows me away. What an amazing pursuit and patience and artistic ability and all those things that kind of combination of things, that always gets me. Simple like, again, being out in nature, and just seeing the inventions of nature. I just love that. It’s funny cause there’s nothing in nature I don’t like. And there’s a lot of things you can say that you don’t like about other things. But it’s hard to go out in nature and go, I don’t like that. – So true. – Everything is just
right, it’s just right. Seeing natural systems work is really fascinating to me. I could go on and on. There’s a lot of things I like. I also like really well written sentences. I just love sentences. – Precision and craft and yeah. – There’s a great book that I liked called On Writing Well, I think
is the title of it, and it’s got a terrible cover, it has like a CD on it, it’s like I don’t understand the cover but it’s, I’m sorry it’s called Revising Prose. By the way, On Writing
Well, is another good book about writing. Revising Prose, and this guy talks about how to write sentences. And he just squeezes
all that fat out of em but doesn’t make em sterile. I think that’s the real art. How do you like really compress a sentence and be concise but be also let it flower. There’s something really beautiful about really well written sentences. So I love like, whenever I read something, I’m like, that’s a good line. Or I hear something and I watch a movie, that’s a great line. I love lines. I don’t know, there’s more things. – These are all beautiful. How about some resources for other people? You’ve listed a couple of books. Is there a couple of things that are just Jason Fried go tos? That was a fine answer or
I hate when people ask me. I’m not saying, superlative,
what’s your favorite, I hate being asked those questions. – I’m on the spot on those. – I’ve got a favorite thing right now. – I think for me it’s, this
is not what I’d recommend specifically but it’s kind of a direction, which is find something
that’s sort of parallel to what you do and get into that. So that’s what I’ve always
found to be enlightening. For example, I’m into
technically graphic design, software design, but I pay more attention to architecture and furniture design and that kind of stuff. Which is close enough to what I do where I can draw some lessons from it. But it’s new. And it’s different. I have to use a different part of my brain to think about why it’s
good and why it’s not. So I think that’s one thing as a general go to. Like what do you kinda do
and it’d be if you’re a cook and you’re really deep into Italian food, get into Spanish food for awhile. It’s still cooking and
learn that kind of thing. – Adjacent areas of knowledge. – Adjacent areas of knowledge, yeah. I think that’s something I would recommend people get into. I would also take more
walks without a device and just look up. Everyone’s looking down,
I feel like we’re gonna have these really strong
necks in the future and we’re not actually
gonna be able to look up. Cause everyone is always looking down. – Big eyes and a hunched over neck. – Yeah, totally, something like that. It’s gonna be some weird thing. – Alien look. – Just walk around, get out in the woods, walk around, look around,
that kind of stuff. Which, it’s not, the cool
thing is, I know in some areas that’s harder to do but it’s accessible at some level for most people and it doesn’t cost anything just to go take a walk,
hopefully into some woods. – It’s amazing how refreshing that can be. – It really is. – I’m gonna try to bring
this back to work now. – See if you can do that. – I do love, but to me
that’s a real core message that the show has been
about for 10 years now, which is, areas of influence outside. That’s why the show was developed in fact because I wanted to
learn from other people who are outside my area of expertise, to bring them and to
be able to be inspired and what not. So are there influences outside, you’re very clear of saying this is how we do it. Are there other places that are at work are inspiring to you,
like do you look at– – Other companies, yeah. – Yeah, other companies,
or other cultures, you’re very careful I
think and that’s probably why you can do a good
job of making such bold statements as like what
I’m saying right here is not for everybody but it worked for us. In line with the questions
about your outside inspirations and now
bringing this back to work, are there other models that you look to for brilliance in work style? – Yeah, I admire any
organization of any kind that works, that’s sustainable. I’ll give you something specific actually, cause that’s very broad
and not very helpful. One of the guys who
inspired David and I a lot early on was this guy
named Ricardo Semler. You should try and get him on your show. He’s great, he’s from Brazil He wrote this book called Maverick. Which was a book about his business, he inherited this
business from his father. It’s a big Brazilian company,
big industrial company, they make oil pumps for oil tankers, big huge, completely
different from our world. – Industry. – Industry, hard industry,
heavy industry stuff. He got this business from his father, cause that’s how it works in Brazil, it’s handed down. He gets this business,
I feel like I remember this book is awhile, it’s
been probably 15, 20 years since I’ve read the book,
or 15 years or something. But I remember he said something about he got this big rule book. And he started looking through the book and he’s like, I don’t
understand any of this, none of this makes sense to me. We’re gonna throw this out. I’ve inherited this business
but I’m gonna do it my own way. I’m gonna go talk to people, like how should we run this thing, and what should we do here, and what are the things we
should do, what’s different? And he came up a vastly different way of running a business, in
a very traditional country, in a very traditional industry. He did things like, we don’t do this but, everyone’s salary is out in the open. Everyone can see whatever they make and they can give themselves raises. You give yourself a raise
because it’s public. So if you’re gonna give yourself a raise and everyone’s gonna know
what you’re giving yourself there’s some self regulation there because you’re not gonna,
and also if you don’t live up to your new salary, you
could lose your job. But it’s about, what do
you think you’re worth? And why don’t you prove it. And I thought was, we haven’t done that, but that’s really interesting. He would let their
employees hire managers. Typically a manager would hire employees but the employees that get
to hire their own manager. Some of the stuff has been
adopted in other places but it’s still very rare
and 15 years ago or so it was very, very rare. The factory floor where
they made the stuff can be rearranged by the
people making the stuff. They can’t paint things
any color they want, they can move machines
around any way they want. It’s not like a foreman’s job to say this is how it has to be. He was very early about
working reasonable work hours. His whole feeling was,
if work can take you away from life at 3:30 in the
afternoon on Sunday for a call, why can’t you go see a movie at 3:30 in the afternoon on a Monday while you’re supposed to be at work. It’s gotta be equal, so
he’s very big into that. – One more time, what’s his name? – His name’s Ricardo Semler and the book is called Maverick. He wrote another book
called, something about 7 day weekend or something, but there’s another book
out with a similar title, I’m not sure. Look up name, Ricardo
Semler, and Maverick. Highly recommend reading that book. The cool thing about him
is he’s taken these ideas and brought into it education in Brazil. So he’s opened schools
around a very different method of education rather
than a very traditional classroom, lecture style,
teacher thing, sitting behind desk, and made
it very participatory. And it’s apparently it’s been, from what I understood,
at least back then, it was doing very well. I don’t know how it’s doing now or what he’s doing. But really fascinating guy. I’ve drawn a lot of inspiration from him. Like, you just don’t have to do things the way everyone else does. And find the thing that works for you. And just cause no one else has done it doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. And just because everyone
else is doing it this way doesn’t mean it’s working either. They’re just doing it this way. Which is why the same thing about, people work, as we talked
about in the beginning, working long or working hard doesn’t mean you’re working well. It just means you’re working hard and working long. It doesn’t have any
correlation with actually the output of what you’re
producing and the quality. Very similar there, he’s wonderful. – Anybody else? – People like, this is such
a cliche, boring answer but like Warren Buffett
and Charlie Munger. I just so admire those guys. I mean it’s hard not to, I suppose. But what I admire about them is their fundamental understanding of what matters and what doesn’t. Their focus on value, their rejection of trends in favor of just what sound and Charlie Munger is a quote machine. He’s so thoughtful and so smart. He’s like 92 and still there. The other thing is like
Berkshire Hathaway, the company, which is a massive company, I believe they have
something like 25 or 30 employees, that’s it,
give or take 5 or 10. But like small company. They companies they run are large but this group that owns the companies is actually quite small. And so I take a lot of
inspiration from that, too. That they can do that with a small crew. And that they’ve chosen to
do it with a small crew. So I love those guys. They’re one of a kind, or
two of a kind, I guess. But it’s also, the end of an era. They’re both 80’s and 90’s now. But I really respect and admire them. I love to read, like
Warren Buffett’s letters to his shareholders,
must read for anybody. – If you’re listening
right now and you haven’t ever read one of those letters you should go search the internet
right now and go read one. – Must read, they’re so good. And they’re not only,
they’re just great prose, it’s clear minded writing. – I could see how you would just love it. – It’s so good, it’s so good. You don’t have to care about business, it has nothing to do with business. – Like money, or anything. – God damn, it’s so good. So I love that. Bezos has been writing really good shareholder letters too. He’s clearly inspired by them. I like reading his stuff as well. – Couple of Bezos things to wrap this up. He talked about being wildly misunderstood for long periods of time. Do you feel like that’s
what’s happening right now, that you’ve got it right with business and the way to work. Because you really write about work. And it’s just, you’re being,
people are misunderstanding, you sell a lot of books,
and you have a lot of fans and customers but for pop culture they’re gonna come around at some point and you’re gonna be on the right side– – I think it’s gonna get
worse before it gets better. I think at some point it’s going to turn. It’s interesting, there is a trend, by the way, this is primarily
an American problem. In Germany they will
primarily work 40 hour weeks and they do amazing work. Scandinavian countries
work, France, I believe, they’re cutting back. – 34, 32 now. – 32 now. And some people in America,
like I used to feel this way, well you know, but look what we’ve built. And look what they’ve done. But they’re happier and they live longer. – They’ve been taking August
off for like 500 years. And now we’re like, I
don’t wanna work so much in August, it’s really
nice to have more time. – Right, exactly. – All of my internet tech friends are trying to figure out how to work less in August. – There ya go. – When I lived in France I
was like putting my feet up. – Totally, and there’s
more to life than work. That’s what they figured out. I think in time more
and more of these ideas will sort of ripen up for other people. But I think it might be awhile. I think it’s gonna get worse for awhile. – Disagree and commit. Another Bezos quote. – That was a Bezos thing, which is, something we practice as well but again didn’t really
have a name for it, which is this idea that, at Basecamp, decisions are not made by
consensus or by voting. People will gather around
and we’ll talk about it. People will have input. But then somebody makes the decision. – Is it like product owner
or whoever’s in charge? – Whoever’s in charge of that thing. It doesn’t matter what rank or role or any of that stuff,
like whoever’s in charge of that thing, depends on the project, but there’s always one
person whose job it is to make a decision and
consider and then it’s everyone else’s job to agree and commit or disagree and commit. And disagree and commit, going like, I don’t agree but I’m in. Cause you gotta get in
line and then do the work. Something else might come down the road or someone else disagrees with you and you’re gonna count on them. But the amount of effort that’s required to get everyone to agree on something is often not well spent. You’re better off, of course, listening. Having a vigorous debate and then going, okay here’s what we’re gonna do. And then going. So that’s the idea behind
disagree and commit. David and I do this with
each other occasionally. We’ll be battling and
it’s like you know what, David you want this one more than I do, so I don’t think it’s the right decision but let’s do it, I’m cool with that. And it’s kind of like two friends going out for lunch, like you got this one
I’ll get the next one. You don’t know how it all evens out but it kind of evens out in the end. It sort of similar to that as well. – I think you and David
are doing a good job. You’re writing about work in
a way that nobody else is, it’s inspirational and meaningful and I just went and tried
to buy a few other books to give as gifts and they were sold out. Help me with that. – To get more copies of this? – Yeah, more copies of it. – Our publisher under printed the book– – They sandbagged you, they didn’t think you gonna be as popular– – It was interesting, I’m
happy to talk about it. It was weird, because
we got a big advance. And so when you get a big advance you expect that they need
to sell a lot of books to make the money back. And that they would expect
it’s gonna be a popular book. And they didn’t print enough. And it wasn’t like we sold, they printed about 14,000 copies. Rework though, which was
done almost 10 years ago, they printed 35,000 copies. And for some reason they
printed 14,000 for this one. Okay fine, whatever. – Somebody disagreed and committed. – Yes, fine, whatever, right. But the thing that was bad about it was we couldn’t get a
reprint for about a month. That’s what, so the momentum was like, we sold out on Amazon in five days, thousands of copies,
and then out of stock, shipping like two to four weeks, that sucked, but they just
printed another 15,000 or something so they’re
back in stock at Amazon and all the booksellers now. You’ll find em on the shelves again now. – Just a little blip. – A little blip, it sucked
because it kind of took the momentum out of it for a little bit. But the book is back in
stock everywhere now. – I love giving gifts. – You can get an audio book, by the way. Which is a way– – I love giving books as
gifts and I’ve been a big giver of Rework for a long time. It Doesn’t Have to be
Crazy Work as a new gift. Thank you so much for writing it. Thank you for being a
pioneer in future work and all the things you’ve called out here and thanks for being a guest on the show. – Aw, man it was really
fun, thanks for having me. – Really appreciate it. For the folks at home
again, here’s one more look at the book, pick up a copy. I’m Chase, this has been Jason and thanks a lot, have a great day. Hopefully see you tomorrow. (upbeat music)

Teaching art or teaching to think like an artist? | Cindy Foley | TEDxColumbus


Translator: Jihan Chara
Reviewer: Denise RQ We are going to get started
with some kindergarten image-word match. I would like each of you to determine what is the word that matches
the image in number seven. Starting to come up with some ideas? Good. Get them in your head
because I want to share with you what my daughter Adeline chose. (Laughter) Adeline chose ‘art,’ and as her parent,
I thought that was awesome, but this is an incorrect answer
according to the testing guide. The correct answer is ‘mud,’
and I’m sure that’s what you all chose. Right, right? How can something
so nebulous be so concrete? Actually, I think this quiz
is a fitting analogy for the problem in art education today. Art education has been impacted by the standards and testing culture
like all other disciplines, and in a lot of ways, we’ve been focusing
on teaching things that are concrete. Things like elements of art,
art history, and foundational skills. In essence, we’re teaching things
that we can test and assess. But I believe art education needs to focus on developing learners
that think like artists. Learners who are creative, curious,
seek questions, develop ideas, and play, which means we need
to be much more intentional about how we communicate
art’s critical value and how we teach for creativity. So, creativity – let’s do
a little case making around this. Most of this you know. Creativity is being touted
by business leaders like the folks at IBM, by educational reformists, by economists, even folks as Dan Pink as the number one thing we need for student success,
economic growth, and general happiness. We also know the creativity scores
in this country are on the decline, that Torrance creativity test,
which has been administered for decades, has now shown, since the 1990s, a decline, especially in ages 6 to 12
in the United States. We also know due to Sir Kenneth
Robinson’s now famous TED Talk that schools are
fundamentally and foundationally challenged to cultivate creativity. But I’m going to share
with you some research that the Wallace Foundation did
with Harvard’s Project Zero in which they found the number one thing
quality art education can do is develop “the capacity to think creatively
and the capacity to make connections.” So then why is there such a disconnect between creativity and art education? I think there’s actually
a couple of reasons why. But we are going to focus on
communication and messaging. Those of us in the field
have been working to really move art education
out of a defensive place. We’ve been trying to make
a case for our own existence, and we’re trying to move it more
towards an offensive message especially around creativity. But we’re not there yet, and so, we’re going to place that
for another talk, at another time. Instead, I want to focus on a message I think is much more
problematic and pervasive – and I hate to put you on the spot, but I actually feel you are to blame. I mean, not you per se,
but you as a group of people who actually really support art education Let me give some context. As a parent, I often hear adults
saying things to children, as well as to other adults,
and to the educators, things like this, “Oh, my goodness! Look how well
you’ve drawn that horse! It’s so realistic! You’re so creative!” You’ve heard messages like that before? Here’s another one
I think I hear almost daily, “Oh, Cindy! I really support
art education. It is very important!
I mean, I’m not creative. I don’t have a creative bone in my body.
I can’t even draw a stick figure.” (Laughter) These messages are incredibly
problematic and the more … You may not think they are a big deal, but the more society pushes them out and continues to foster these cliche notions
of what is creativity, the harder it is
for those in the field, like me, to begin moving
towards teaching for creativity. Teaching for creativity.
What do I mean by that? I believe teaching for creativity is
embodying the habits the artists employ. Habits in particular, there are three that I think are essential to creativity. They are: one – comfort with ambiguity, two – idea generation,
and three – transdisciplinary research. We’re going to talk
about those in a moment, but first, we’re going to do
a little audience participation. I would like each of you
to use something on your person: paper, pencil, your program,
phone, glasses; it doesn’t matter. And I’d like you –
you’ll just get a couple of minutes – to actually create something
that represents the idea of metaphor. Go ahead. (indistinct chatter in the audience) Alright. Be honest. How many of you had a surge of panic
when I just asked you to do that? (Laughter) I want you to savor that sensation. You actually are off the hook, but I want you to savor
that sensation for a moment. What you just experienced is, I think,
the number one obstacle to creative work: that discomfort, and that discomfort
is ambiguity, it’s not-knowing. I actually learned this
from a group of teachers. We’d been working with them,
and they told us, “You know what? We find that it’s really difficult to engage our students in creative work,
in particular, open-ended projects. It just makes it really hard.” Ironically enough, later that afternoon,
we had that same group of teachers, and we gave them a challenge
similar to the one I just gave you. Interestingly enough, almost immediately, a couple of them announced
they needed to leave for the day. (Laughter) Another group needed
a break at that moment, and still, others stayed in the classroom but refused to participate
in the activity. What we realized is students struggle with ambiguity
because we all do. Artists, on the other hand, realize
that ambiguity is part of the process. They take it, they identify it,
and they tackle it head on. If artists are doing this,
can’t you imagine if art education was a place where we knew students could go
to prepare for lives of not knowing? I work at the Columbus Museum of Art,
and for years now, we provided the kind of art education
that our community requested. So for example, when we had an exhibition
of the work of Claude Monet, we taught about his history, we allowed folks to experiment
with his materials and his process, and then, we finally
would create lesson plans and allow others to do the same. In essence, what we were doing was generating content
and allowing folks to make mini-Monets. But then it dawned on us we were not actually engaging them
in what made Monet Monet. And that was the way he thought;
Monet’s ideas were revolutionary. He questioned the natural world,
the way we see, he questioned the politics of the time, and that’s what made
his work so exceptional. It was at this moment we realized we needed to be teaching
for idea generation. So I’m going to have you jump with me now
from one artist to another. (Laughter) The Lego movie gave us such a gift
when they presented the movie this summer. More or less, what they said was creativity is not the Lego kid
in the direction booklet but creativity is the bucket of Legos
and the potential for ideas within. Legos are just another material
like drawing materials to help us make ideas manifest. What I loved about this movie was the idea of the master builder or the person who has
the courage to have ideas. But it dawned on me, in much of education,
the master builders are the educators. They’re the ones who have ideas,
great lesson plans. But students are secondary
to that process. Students are often
more of the artist’s assistant, or sometimes, even just the factory worker
getting the project done. Visualize a classroom
full of master builders, a classroom full
of master builders at play. Yes, play. Play is essential. Play is a surefire way
to kickstart ideation. Artists play. They play in a number of ways. They either play with materials
until ideas begin to manifest or they play with ideas until they realize what media or materials
they need to bring that into reality. Imagine an art education
where educators were comfortable with the ambiguous classroom where student ideas
and interests lead the learning. So I need to be honest with you: nothing in my career,
my education, or my teaching has influenced my thinking
as much as being married to an artist. I am married to Sean Foley, and what I can tell you about artists
is that they’re voracious researchers. They will research anything –
bizarre things. And what I’ve learned is that they’ll do anything
that furthers their thinking. Let me give you an example. About ten years ago, Sean had this idea that if painting were dead
what if he were doctor Frankenstein? He immediately rereads Mary Shelley.
He rewatches all the classic horror films. He then devours books at the library on natural history, history
of medicine, anomalies of nature. He then starts purchasing
taxidermic animals. (Laughter) But then, he informs me
that we need to go to London. He must go to London in order to study
the museums of the pre-Enlightenment, and in particular,
the early operating theaters. So in essence, his research manifest, and Sean ends up making
monsters of his own, like this one. So what Sean was engaged in
is transdisciplinary research or research that serves curiosity. Imagine if the future of education
was not about discrete disciplines but rather was about disciplines
like math, art, and science being in service to ideas. What kind of spaces might we create
in order to foster that type of thinking? Could we create centers for creativity where we cultivate, champion,
and measure this type of thinking? I don’t want you for a minute
to stop championing art education, but I do want you to be thoughtful
about the chant. When we say we want creativity
in our schools, we often say, “Don’t kill the arts,” But today, I want that battle cry
to address art’s critical value, “Don’t kill the ideas.” I want my own children
to think like artists no matter what career path
they may choose. I believe art education is essential
for 21st century learning. And with your help, we can flip
the counterproductive messaging and allow our educators
to develop centers for creativity where ideas are king and curiosity reigns. Thank you. (Applause)

OSHO: How Best to Deal with Fear


silence shared in words presents How Best to Deal with Fear? How best to deal with fear? It affects me variously…from a vague uneasiness or knotted stomach to a dizzying panic, as if the world is ending. Where does it come from? Where does it go? All your fears are by-products of identification. You love a woman and with the love, in the same parcel comes fear: she may leave you she has already left somebody and come with you. There is a precedent; perhaps she will do the same to you. There is fear, you feel knots in the stomach. You are too much attached. You cannot get a simple fact: you have come alone in the world; you have been here yesterday also, without this woman, perfectly well, without any knots in the stomach. And tomorrow if this woman goes… what is the need of the knots? You know how to be without her and you will be able to be without her. The fear that things may change tomorrow…. Somebody may die, you may go bankrupt, your job may be taken away. There are a thousand and one things which may change. You are burdened with fears and fears, and none of them are valid because yesterday also you were full of all these fears, unnecessarily. Things may have changed, but you are still alive. And man has an immense capacity to adjust himself to any situation. They say that only man and cockroaches have this immense capacity of adjustment. That’s why wherever you find man you will find cockroaches, and wherever you find cockroaches you will find man. They go together, they have a similarity. Even in faraway places like the North Pole or the South Pole… when man traveled to those places he suddenly found that he had brought cockroaches with him, and they were perfectly healthy and living and reproducing. If you just look around the earth you can see man lives in thousands of different climates, geographical situations, political situations, sociological situations, religious situations, but he manages to live. And he has lived for centuries… things go on changing, he goes on adjusting himself. There is nothing to fear. Even if the world ends, so what? You will be ending with it. Do you think you will be standing on an island and the whole world will end, leaving you alone? Don’t be worried. At least you will have a few cockroaches with you! What is the problem if the world ends? It has been asked of me many times. But what is the problem? — if it ends, it ends. It does not create any problem because we will not be here; we will be ending with it, and there will be no one to worry about…. It will be really the greatest freedom from fear. The world ending means every problem ending, every disturbance ending, every knot in your stomach ending. I don’t see the problem. But I know that everybody is full of fear. But the question is the same: the fear is part of the mind. The mind is a coward, and has to be a coward because it doesn’t have any substance it is empty and hollow, and it is afraid of everything. And basically it is afraid that one day you may become aware. That will really be the end of the world! Not the end of the world, but your becoming aware, your coming to a state of meditation where mind has to disappear that is its basic fear. Because of that fear, it keeps people away from meditation, makes them enemies of people like me who are trying to spread something of meditation, some way of awareness and witnessing. They become antagonistic to me not without any reason; their fear is well-founded. They may not be aware of it, but their mind is really afraid to come close to anything that can create more awareness. That will be the beginning of the end of the mind. That will be the death of the mind. But for you there is no fear. The death of the mind will be your rebirth, your beginning to really live. You should be happy, you should rejoice in the death of the mind, because nothing can be a greater freedom. Nothing else can give you wings to fly into the sky; nothing else can make the whole sky yours. Mind is a prison. Awareness is getting out of the prison or realizing it has never been in the prison; it was just thinking that it was in the prison. All fears disappear. I am also living in the same world, but I have never for a single moment felt any fear because nothing can be taken away from me. I can be killed but I will be seeing it happening, so what is being killed is not me, is not my awareness. The greatest discovery in life, the most precious treasure, is of awareness. Without it you are bound to be in darkness, full of fears. And you will go on creating new fears there is no end to it. You will live in fear, you will die in fear, and you will never be able to taste something of freedom. It was all the time your potential; any moment you could have claimed it, but you never claimed it. It is your responsibility. Copyright© OSHO International Foundation, Switzerland www.OSHO.com/copyright OSHO is a registered Trademark of OSHO International Foundation

What baby boomers can learn from millennials at work — and vice versa | Chip Conley


It was my third day on the job
at a hot Silicon Valley start-up in early 2013. I was twice the age
of the dozen engineers in the room. I’d been brought in to the company because I was a seasoned
expert in my field, but in this particular room, I felt like a newbie amongst
the tech geniuses. I was listening to them talk and thinking that the best thing
I could do was be invisible. And then suddenly, the 25-year-old
wizard leading the meeting stared at me and asked, “If you shipped a feature
and no one used it, did it really ship?” (Laughter) “Ship a feature”? In that moment, Chip knew
he was in deep ship. (Laughter) I had no idea what he was talking about. I just sat there awkwardly, and mercifully, he moved on
to someone else. I slid down in my chair, and I couldn’t wait
for that meeting to end. That was my introduction to Airbnb. I was asked and invited
by the three millennial cofounders to join their company to help them take
their fast-growing tech start-up and turn it into a global
hospitality brand, as well as to be the in-house
mentor for CEO Brian Chesky. Now, I’d spent from age 26 to 52
being a boutique hotel entrepreneur, and so I guess I’d learned
a few things along the way and accumulated
some hospitality knowledge. But after my first week, I realized that the brave new
home-sharing world didn’t need much of my old-school
bricks-and-mortar hotel insights. A stark reality rocked me: What do I have to offer? I’d never been in a tech company before. Five and a half years ago, I had never
heard of the “sharing economy,” nor did I have an Uber
or Lyft app on my phone. This was not my natural habitat. So, I decided at that moment
that I could either run for the hills, or cast judgment on these young geniuses, or instead, turn the judgment
into curiosity and actually see if I could match
my wise eyes with their fresh eyes. I fancied myself a modern Margaret Mead
amongst the millennials, and I quickly learned that I had
as much to offer them as they did to me. The more I’ve seen and learned
about our respective generations, the more I realize that we often
don’t trust each other enough to actually share our respective wisdom. We may share a border, but we don’t necessarily trust
each other enough to share that respective wisdom. I believe, looking at
the modern workplace, that the trade agreement of our time is opening up these intergenerational
pipelines of wisdom so that we can all learn from each other. Almost 40 percent of us
in the United States have a boss that’s younger than us, and that number is growing quickly. Power is cascading to the young
like never before because of our increasing reliance on DQ: digital intelligence. We’re seeing young founders
of companies in their early 20s scale them up to global giants
by the time they get to 30, and yet, we expect
these young digital leaders to somehow miraculously embody
the relationship wisdoms we older workers
have had decades to learn. It’s hard to microwave
your emotional intelligence. There’s ample evidence that gender-
and ethnically diverse companies are more effective. But what about age? This is a very important question,
because for the first time ever, we have five generations in the workplace
at the same time, unintentionally. Maybe it’s time we got
a little more intentional about how we work collectively. There have been a number
of European studies that have shown that age-diverse teams
are more effective and successful. So why is that only eight percent
of the companies that have a diversity
and inclusion program have actually expanded that strategy to include age as just as important
of a demographic as gender or race? Maybe they didn’t get the memo: the world is getting older! One of the paradoxes of our time is that baby boomers are more vibrant
and healthy longer into life, we’re actually working later into life, and yet we’re feeling
less and less relevant. Some of us feel like a carton
of milk — an old carton of milk — with an expiration date stamped
on our wrinkled foreheads. For many of us in midlife,
this isn’t just a feeling, it is a harsh reality, when we suddenly
lose our job and the phone stops ringing. For many of us, justifiably, we worry
that people see our experience as a liability, not an asset. You’ve heard of the old phrase —
or maybe the relatively new phrase — “Sixty is the new forty, physically.” Right? When it comes to power
in the workplace today, 30 is the new 50. All right, well, this is all
pretty exciting, right? (Laughter) Truthfully, power is moving
10 years younger. We’re all going to live 10 years longer. Do the math. Society has created a new
20-year irrelevancy gap. Midlife used to be 45 to 65, but I would suggest it now stretches
into a midlife marathon 40 years long, from 35 to 75. But wait — there is a bright spot. Why is it that we actually get smarter
and wiser about our humanity as we age? Our physical peak may be our 20s, our financial and salary peak
may be age 50, but our emotional peak
is in midlife and beyond, because we have developed pattern
recognition about ourselves and others. So how can we get companies
to tap into that wisdom of the midlife folks, just as they nurture their digital
young geniuses as well? The most successful companies
today and in the future will actually learn how to create
a powerful alchemy of the two. Here’s how the alchemy
worked for me at Airbnb: I was assigned a young, smart partner, who helped me develop
a hospitality department. Early on, Laura Hughes could see
that I was a little lost in this habitat, so she often sat
right next to me in meetings so she could be my tech translator, and I could write her notes and she
could tell me, “That’s what that means.” Laura was 27 years old, she’d worked for Google for four years and then for a year and a half
at Airbnb when I met her. Like many of her millennial cohorts, she had actually grown into
a managerial role before she’d gotten any formal
leadership training. I don’t care if you’re
in the B-to-B world, the B-to-C world, the C-to-C world
or the A-to-Z world, business is fundamentally H-to-H: human to human. And yet, Laura’s approach to leadership was really formed
in the technocratic world, and it was purely metric driven. One of the things she said to me
in the first few months was, “I love the fact that your
approach to leadership is to create a compelling vision
that becomes a North Star for us.” Now, my fact knowledge, as in, how many rooms a maid cleans
in an eight-hour shift, might not be all that important
in a home-sharing world. My process knowledge
of “How do you get things done?” based upon understanding the underlying
motivations of everybody in the room, was incredibly valuable, in a company where most people didn’t have
a lot of organizational experience. As I spent more time at Airbnb, I realized it’s possible
a new kind of elder was emerging in the workplace. Not the elder of the past, who actually
was regarded with reverence. No, what is striking about the modern
elder is their relevance, their ability to use timeless wisdom
and apply it to modern-day problems. Maybe it’s time we actually valued wisdom
as much as we do disruption. And maybe it’s time —
not just maybe, it is time — for us to definitely reclaim
the word “elder” and give it a modern twist. The modern elder is as much an intern
as they are a mentor, because they realize, in a world
that is changing so quickly, their beginners’ mind and their catalytic
curiosity is a life-affirming elixir, not just for themselves
but for everyone around them. Intergenerational improv has been known
in music and the arts: think Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga or Wynton Marsalis
and the Young Stars of Jazz. This kind of riffing in the business world
is often called “mutual mentorship”: millennial DQ for Gen X and boomer EQ. I got to experience that kind of
intergenerational reciprocity with Laura and our stellar data science team when we were actually
remaking and evolving the Airbnb peer-to-peer review system, using Laura’s analytical mind
and my human-centered intuition. With that perfect alchemy
of algorithm and people wisdom, we were able to create
and instantaneous feedback loop that helped our hosts better understand
the needs of our guests. High tech meets high touch. At Airbnb, I also learned
as a modern elder that my role was to intern publicly
and mentor privately. Search engines are brilliant
at giving you an answer, but a wise, sage guide can offer you
just the right question. Google does not understand,
at least not yet, nuance like a finely attuned
human heart and mind. Over time, to my surprise, dozens and dozens of young employees
at Airbnb sought me out for private mentoring sessions. But in reality, we were often
just mentoring each other. In sum, CEO Brian Chesky brought me in
for my industry knowledge, but what I really offered
was my well-earned wisdom. Maybe it’s time we retire the term
“knowledge worker” and replaced it with “wisdom worker.” We have five generations
in the workplace today, and we can operate like
separate isolationist countries, or we can actually start to find a way
to bridge these generational borders. And it’s time for us to actually look
at how to change up the physics of wisdom so it actually flows in both directions, from old to young and from young to old. How can you apply this in your own life? Personally, who can you reach out to to create a mutual
mentorship relationship? And organizationally,
how can you create the conditions to foster an intergenerational
flow of wisdom? This is the new sharing economy. Thank you. (Applause)

What Can Storytelling Teach Us About Creating Connection? | Doug Lipman | TEDxWilmingtonSalon


Translator: Juliana Marín
Reviewer: Tanya Cushman Hidden inside of storytelling are some invisible ways
to create connection. How did I first experience that? 1970. November. A rainy Tuesday. I was sitting in my parked car, trying to gather up enough courage
to go into my job yet another day. I was a first-year teacher of young teens
with “behavior problems,” and I wanted to be the adult ally
that they’d never had. But all I saw from them
was the crossed arms, scowling faces. I tried everything
I could think of, week after week. By this day in November, I’d given up. I’d even started coming in to work
a little later every day. And this day, I was so late the teachers would already be
in their classrooms – the other teachers. They wouldn’t even notice when I came in! That did it! I got out of the car, went running through the rain,
drops beating on my head, I opened the big wooden door
to the school … and there were all five
of the other teachers. So much for stealth entry! I said, “What?” “Doug, the assistant principal is out sick.” “No!” You see, the assistant principal was the one who, on rainy days,
would cram all 70 teens into one room, keep them busy until classes could start by telling them stories. “Are they in there?” “Yes! Do something!” “I heard a recording of a folktale
the other day. Maybe I could tell that?” “Yes!” They shoved me in the room,
closed the door behind me, and there I was. The only adult in a room
with 70 angry teens. I said, “I’m going to tell you a story.” And they gave me a look like, “It had better be a good one,
like the assistant principal tells!” Could I even remember the story? Okay, there were three basic episodes. I could sort of remember the beginning. They’re looking at me! I’ve got to start: Jack and his mother
were having a hard time. And Jack had to go out into the world,
alone, to find his own fortune. When I got that far, I looked at them, and they had shifted from this to this. Their arms had loosened just a little;
their eyes had rolled up just a little. It was a tiny change. But after two months of no change,
it was like the angels were singing. Hallelujah! I was encouraged,
so I kept telling the story. And as I told it, I realized, in the story, the teens
were on Jack’s side. I was on Jack’s side. In the story, we were on the same side. When the story was over,
they tightened up again. But it was too late: I’d already glimpsed what it could be like
to be connected to them. So I went back to trying
to be on their side. Three months later, a day in February,
I looked around my little classroom, and there they were, working happily
together in teams of two and three. And I thought, “They did it!” And now, all these decades later, I think back to that rainy
Tuesday in November, and I think, “The story did it.” It certainly changed my life. I mean, it exposed me
to this force that was so powerful I felt compelled to master it,
to understand it, to teach it. So, what had I done on that rainy Tuesday? Looking back, I believe that, unknowingly, I used three strategies
for creating connection that are built into
the very process of storytelling. And to explain the first strategy,
I need to ask you a question. You remember the teens in the room? Well, in your mind,
how were they arranged? Raise your hand if, in your mind,
they were seated at desks. Raise your hand if, in your mind, they were sitting, standing
randomly around the room. Raise your hand if you have
any image in your mind of how they were arranged, whether you raised
your hand before or not. You might not have had visual images. You might have imagined sounds:
auditory images. Or feelings in your gut:
kinesthetic images. But the key thing to notice is I didn’t say a word
about how they were arranged in the room. I told you that there were 70 of them
and they were crammed in, and I showed you how they looked. But every single thing
that you and any one of you imagined in addition to those things is something that you created
purely in your own mind. In other words, each of you was a co-creator of the story that you imagined. Well, it turns out that people
are more likely to connect with you if you don’t treat them
as passive recipients but as active participants,
as co-creators. And that’s the first strategy
for creating connection that’s built-in to the very
process of storytelling. How do you do that? How do you treat
someone as a co-creator? Well, for starters, you focus less
on saying the right thing, and you focus more on stimulating
your listeners to imagine. What’s the second strategy? Well, we know from research that if you engage people in what I call
“concept mode” or “idea mode” – calculating, evaluating, following logic – then those people
are more likely to be focused, but less likely to be open
or to be generous. But if you engage those
same people in “image mode” – imagining, associating – they’re more likely to be open, to be generous,
and to respond with empathy. So when I told that story to the teens,
it put them into image mode, and that made it easier for them
to care about Jack and to be open enough to me
to engage in my story. So, if the second strategy
is to engage people in image mode, how is that different
from the first strategy, “co-creation”? Suppose I ask you to solve a math problem. Well, you’ll be in concept mode,
and you won’t be creating. But if I help you create
your own math problem, you’ll still be in concept mode,
but you will also be in co-creation mode. If I ask you to make an exact drawing,
copying my drawing, you’ll be in image mode,
and you won’t be creating. But storytelling has the amazing ability to combine the image-mode strategy
with the co-creation strategy, by helping your listeners
create their own images. So, how do you do that? How do you engage people in image mode? One important way
is to be in image mode yourself. So that means imagining, experiencing
every moment of your story in your eyes or your ears or your gut
or your skin – in your whole body. So for the third strategy,
I need to bring you back to those teens. Remember I started the story,
and they loosened up a little bit? Let’s break that down. I said some words:
“Jack and his mother” and all that. And in response to that,
they loosened up a little bit. And then in response to their loosening, I got encouraged. And then in response to my encouragement,
they got more engaged in the story. And so we had begun a cycle of responding to each other’s responses. And every time that cycle went around, it knit us a little more tightly together. The best word I have
to describe that cycle is “rapport.” I mean, literally rapport
is a feeling of mutual understanding, that I believe can be increased
and even induced by this kind of mutual responsiveness. It’s worth noticing that you can practice
imagining by yourself, but you can’t practice
building rapport by yourself. So how do you practice it? Suppose you’re at dinner
with a bunch of friends, and one says to you, “Hey, how was that
two-week vacation of yours?” Here’s what you do not say. You don’t say, “Oh, excuse me,
I’ll need a few minutes. I have to write it all down
and then memorize it.” No! Nobody says that. What do you do? Well, you pull up
your memories of the vacation. You re-member, you re-embody them, and then you start to talk. And maybe you say,
“Oh, so we went to Baja.” And then maybe consciously,
maybe unconsciously, you notice that one of your friends
has a puzzled look. That’s not the response you want.
So you try to fix it. “Oh, the Baja Peninsula,
it’s part of Mexico.” And if your friend smiles now,
then you’ve done two things: First, you’ve gotten
the response that you want, and second, if you tell
that same story again later, you’ll likely include
that same fix in the first place. So that if you keep telling
a story to people, eventually, every part of that story
is something that has worked. So the whole story becomes
a sequence of successful interactions. And in the process, you’ve been practicing
getting the response you want, but you’ve also been practicing mending any breaks
in the cycle of rapport. Something else about rapport. To get deep rapport, you need to be open. If you try to hide something important,
maybe an emotion you’re having, your listeners are likely,
consciously or not, to sense that, to stop responding to you
quite so readily, to unsync with you. So, the price you pay for deep rapport is always some degree of vulnerability. And what you get in exchange
for that trusting of your listeners is some of what we
most deeply desire from each other: meaningful connection. So, the third strategy
for building connection is building rapport. And I’ve already told you
some ways that you can do that. At first you can respond
to your listeners’ responses. It makes you kind of like a bicycle rider, continually adjusting your steering
in order to stay on course. And you can shape a story, build a story, by letting your listeners’
responses help shape it. And to do that, you may need
“helping listeners,” people who agree to listen
to a story-in-progress as a favor to you. And you can be open. Open to yourself, open to your listeners, open to whatever feelings
the story brings up in you. All those decades ago,
on that rainy Tuesday, I had no idea I was treating
those teens like co-creators. I had no idea I was engaging them
in image mode to make them more open. I had no idea I was helping
to build a cycle of rapport. And I certainly had no idea that I was engaging
in a mode of communication – storytelling – that has all three of those
connection-building strategies built into it. But I did notice the results. I noticed those first drops of connection seeping through the cracks in the concrete walls
of those teens’ resistance: At first, their loosening, then their eyes
forgetting for the moment to glare, focused instead on their own
images of leaving home. And then months later, working in teams,
with open postures, all of us smiling. And those drops of connection gave me the courage to keep at it
for the additional months it would take, until we could swim, together, in flowing streams of connection. (Applause)

The puzzle of motivation | Dan Pink


I need to make a confession
at the outset here. A little over 20 years ago,
I did something that I regret, something that I’m not
particularly proud of. Something that, in many ways,
I wish no one would ever know, but here I feel kind of obliged to reveal. (Laughter) In the late 1980s, in a moment of youthful indiscretion, I went to law school. (Laughter) In America, law is a professional degree: after your university degree,
you go on to law school. When I got to law school, I didn’t do very well. To put it mildly, I didn’t do very well. I, in fact, graduated in the part
of my law school class that made the top 90% possible. (Laughter) Thank you. I never practiced law a day in my life; I pretty much wasn’t allowed to. (Laughter) But today, against my better judgment, against the advice of my own wife, I want to try to dust off
some of those legal skills — what’s left of those legal skills. I don’t want to tell you a story. I want to make a case. I want to make a hard-headed, evidence-based, dare I say lawyerly case, for rethinking how we run our businesses. So, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, take a look at this. This is called the candle problem. Some of you might know it. It’s created in 1945 by a psychologist named Karl Duncker. He created this experiment that is used in many other experiments
in behavioral science. And here’s how it works.
Suppose I’m the experimenter. I bring you into a room. I give you a candle,
some thumbtacks and some matches. And I say to you, “Your job is to attach
the candle to the wall so the wax doesn’t drip onto the table.” Now what would you do? Many people begin trying
to thumbtack the candle to the wall. Doesn’t work. I saw somebody
kind of make the motion over here — some people have a great idea
where they light the match, melt the side of the candle,
try to adhere it to the wall. It’s an awesome idea. Doesn’t work. And eventually, after five or ten minutes, most people figure out the solution, which you can see here. The key is to overcome
what’s called functional fixedness. You look at that box and you see it
only as a receptacle for the tacks. But it can also have this other function, as a platform for the candle. The candle problem. I want to tell you about an experiment
using the candle problem, done by a scientist named Sam Glucksberg, who is now at Princeton University, US, This shows the power of incentives. He gathered his participants and said: “I’m going to time you, how quickly
you can solve this problem.” To one group he said, “I’m going to time you to establish norms, averages for how long it typically takes
someone to solve this sort of problem.” To the second group he offered rewards. He said, “If you’re in the top 25%
of the fastest times, you get five dollars. If you’re the fastest of everyone
we’re testing here today, you get 20 dollars.” Now this is several years ago,
adjusted for inflation, it’s a decent sum of money
for a few minutes of work. It’s a nice motivator. Question: How much faster did this group
solve the problem? Answer: It took them, on average,
three and a half minutes longer. 3.5 min longer. This makes no sense, right? I mean, I’m an American.
I believe in free markets. That’s not how it’s supposed
to work, right? (Laughter) If you want people to perform better,
you reward them. Right? Bonuses, commissions,
their own reality show. Incentivize them. That’s how business works. But that’s not happening here. You’ve got an incentive designed to sharpen thinking
and accelerate creativity, and it does just the opposite. It dulls thinking and blocks creativity. What’s interesting about this experiment is that it’s not an aberration. This has been replicated
over and over again for nearly 40 years. These contingent motivators — if you do this, then you get that — work in some circumstances. But for a lot of tasks,
they actually either don’t work or, often, they do harm. This is one of the most robust findings
in social science, and also one of the most ignored. I spent the last couple of years looking at the science
of human motivation, particularly the dynamics
of extrinsic motivators and intrinsic motivators. And I’m telling you, it’s not even close. If you look at the science,
there is a mismatch between what science knows and what business does. What’s alarming here
is that our business operating system — think of the set of assumptions
and protocols beneath our businesses, how we motivate people,
how we apply our human resources– it’s built entirely
around these extrinsic motivators, around carrots and sticks. That’s actually fine for many kinds
of 20th century tasks. But for 21st century tasks, that mechanistic,
reward-and-punishment approach doesn’t work, often doesn’t work, and often does harm. Let me show you. Glucksberg did another similar experiment, he presented the problem
in a slightly different way, like this up here. Attach the candle to the wall
so the wax doesn’t drip onto the table. Same deal. You: we’re timing for norms. You: we’re incentivizing. What happened this time? This time, the incentivized group
kicked the other group’s butt. Why? Because when the tacks are out of the box, it’s pretty easy isn’t it? (Laughter) If-then rewards work really well
for those sorts of tasks, where there is a simple set of rules and a clear destination to go to. Rewards, by their very nature, narrow our focus, concentrate the mind; that’s why they work in so many cases. So, for tasks like this, a narrow focus, where you just see
the goal right there, zoom straight ahead to it, they work really well. But for the real candle problem, you don’t want to be looking like this. The solution is on the periphery.
You want to be looking around. That reward actually narrows our focus and restricts our possibility. Let me tell you why this is so important. In western Europe, in many parts of Asia, in North America, in Australia, white-collar workers are doing
less of this kind of work, and more of this kind of work. That routine, rule-based,
left-brain work — certain kinds of accounting,
financial analysis, computer programming — has become fairly easy to outsource, fairly easy to automate. Software can do it faster. Low-cost providers can do it cheaper. So what really matters are the more right-brained
creative, conceptual kinds of abilities. Think about your own work. Think about your own work. Are the problems that you face, or even the problems
we’ve been talking about here, do they have a clear set of rules, and a single solution? No. The rules are mystifying. The solution, if it exists at all, is surprising and not obvious. Everybody in this room is dealing with their own version
of the candle problem. And for candle problems of any kind, in any field, those if-then rewards, the things around which we’ve built
so many of our businesses, don’t work! It makes me crazy. And here’s the thing. This is not a feeling. Okay? I’m a lawyer;
I don’t believe in feelings. This is not a philosophy. I’m an American;
I don’t believe in philosophy. (Laughter) This is a fact — or, as we say in my hometown
of Washington, D.C., a true fact. (Laughter) (Applause) Let me give you an example. Let me marshal the evidence here. I’m not telling a story,
I’m making a case. Ladies and gentlemen
of the jury, some evidence: Dan Ariely, one of the great
economists of our time, he and three colleagues
did a study of some MIT students. They gave these MIT
students a bunch of games, games that involved creativity, and motor skills, and concentration. And the offered them, for performance, three levels of rewards: small reward, medium reward,
large reward. If you do really well
you get the large reward, on down. What happened? As long as the task
involved only mechanical skill bonuses worked as they would be expected: the higher the pay,
the better the performance. Okay? But once the task called
for even rudimentary cognitive skill, a larger reward led to poorer performance. Then they said, “Let’s see if there’s any
cultural bias here. Let’s go to Madurai, India and test it.” Standard of living is lower. In Madurai, a reward that is modest
in North American standards, is more meaningful there. Same deal. A bunch of games,
three levels of rewards. What happens? People offered the medium level of rewards did no better than people
offered the small rewards. But this time,
people offered the highest rewards, they did the worst of all. In eight of the nine tasks we examined
across three experiments, higher incentives led
to worse performance. Is this some kind of touchy-feely
socialist conspiracy going on here? No, these are economists from MIT, from Carnegie Mellon,
from the University of Chicago. Do you know who sponsored this research? The Federal Reserve Bank
of the United States. That’s the American experience. Let’s go across the pond
to the London School of Economics, LSE, London School of Economics, alma mater of eleven
Nobel Laureates in economics. Training ground for great
economic thinkers like George Soros, and Friedrich Hayek, and Mick Jagger. (Laughter) Last month, just last month, economists at LSE looked at 51 studies of pay-for-performance plans,
inside of companies. Here’s what they said: “We find that financial incentives can result in a negative impact
on overall performance.” There is a mismatch
between what science knows and what business does. And what worries me,
as we stand here in the rubble of the economic collapse, is that too many organizations
are making their decisions, their policies about talent and people, based on assumptions that are outdated, unexamined, and rooted more in folklore
than in science. And if we really want to get
out of this economic mess, if we really want high performance on those definitional tasks
of the 21st century, the solution is not to do
more of the wrong things, to entice people with a sweeter carrot, or threaten them with a sharper stick. We need a whole new approach. The good news is that the scientists who’ve been studying motivation
have given us this new approach. It’s built much more
around intrinsic motivation. Around the desire to do things
because they matter, because we like it, they’re interesting,
or part of something important. And to my mind, that new operating
system for our businesses revolves around three elements: autonomy, mastery and purpose. Autonomy: the urge
to direct our own lives. Mastery: the desire to get better
and better at something that matters. Purpose: the yearning to do what we do in the service of something
larger than ourselves. These are the building blocks
of an entirely new operating system for our businesses. I want to talk today only about autonomy. In the 20th century, we came up
with this idea of management. Management did not emanate from nature. Management is not a tree,
it’s a television set. Somebody invented it. It doesn’t mean
it’s going to work forever. Management is great. Traditional notions
of management are great if you want compliance. But if you want engagement,
self-direction works better. Some examples of some kind
of radical notions of self-direction. You don’t see a lot of it, but you see the first stirrings
of something really interesting going on, what it means is paying people adequately
and fairly, absolutely — getting the issue of money off the table, and then giving people lots of autonomy. Some examples. How many of you have heard
of the company Atlassian? It looks like less than half. (Laughter) Atlassian is an Australian
software company. And they do something incredibly cool. A few times a year
they tell their engineers, “Go for the next 24 hours
and work on anything you want, as long as it’s not part
of your regular job. Work on anything you want.” Engineers use this time to come up
with a cool patch for code, come up with an elegant hack. Then they present all of the stuff
that they’ve developed to their teammates,
to the rest of the company, in this wild and woolly all-hands meeting
at the end of the day. Being Australians, everybody has a beer. They call them FedEx Days. Why? Because you have to deliver
something overnight. It’s pretty; not bad. It’s a huge trademark violation,
but it’s pretty clever. (Laughter) That one day of intense autonomy has produced a whole array
of software fixes that might never have existed. It’s worked so well that Atlassian
has taken it to the next level with 20% time — done, famously, at Google — where engineers can spend
20% of their time working on anything they want. They have autonomy over their time, their task, their team, their technique. Radical amounts of autonomy. And at Google, as many of you know, about half of the new products
in a typical year are birthed during that 20% time: things like Gmail, Orkut, Google News. Let me give you an even more
radical example of it: something called the Results Only
Work Environment (the ROWE), created by two American consultants, in place at a dozen companies
around North America. In a ROWE people don’t have schedules. They show up when they want. They don’t have to be in the office
at a certain time, or any time. They just have to get their work done. How they do it, when they do it,
where they do it, is totally up to them. Meetings in these kinds
of environments are optional. What happens? Almost across the board, productivity goes up,
worker engagement goes up, worker satisfaction goes up,
turnover goes down. Autonomy, mastery and purpose, the building blocks
of a new way of doing things. Some of you might look at this and say, “Hmm, that sounds nice, but it’s Utopian.” And I say, “Nope. I have proof.” The mid-1990s, Microsoft started
an encyclopedia called Encarta. They had deployed
all the right incentives, They paid professionals
to write and edit thousands of articles. Well-compensated managers
oversaw the whole thing to make sure it came in
on budget and on time. A few years later,
another encyclopedia got started. Different model, right? Do it for fun. No one gets paid a cent,
or a euro or a yen. Do it because you like to do it. Just 10 years ago, if you had gone to an economist, anywhere, “Hey, I’ve got these two different
models for creating an encyclopedia. If they went head to head, who would win?” 10 years ago you could not
have found a single sober economist anywhere on planet Earth who would have predicted
the Wikipedia model. This is the titanic battle
between these two approaches. This is the Ali-Frazier
of motivation, right? This is the Thrilla in Manila. Intrinsic motivators
versus extrinsic motivators. Autonomy, mastery and purpose, versus carrot and sticks, and who wins? Intrinsic motivation, autonomy, mastery
and purpose, in a knockout. Let me wrap up. There is a mismatch between
what science knows and what business does. Here is what science knows. One: Those 20th century rewards, those motivators we think
are a natural part of business, do work, but only in a surprisingly
narrow band of circumstances. Two: Those if-then rewards
often destroy creativity. Three: The secret to high performance
isn’t rewards and punishments, but that unseen intrinsic drive– the drive to do things for their own sake. The drive to do things cause they matter. And here’s the best part. We already know this. The science confirms
what we know in our hearts. So, if we repair this mismatch
between science and business, if we bring our motivation,
notions of motivation into the 21st century, if we get past this lazy,
dangerous, ideology of carrots and sticks, we can strengthen our businesses, we can solve a lot
of those candle problems, and maybe, maybe — we can change the world. I rest my case. (Applause)

How to get out of the box and generate business ideas – How to Invest Like a Millionaire Ep. 8


– Put up your hand if you’ve
met some cool entrepreneurs. Put up your hand if you’ve met someone that you never want to talk to again. (laughing) Thank you for your honesty! Very nice! And you know what? I don’t blame you, I don’t blame you. (audience member shouts) – [Voiceover] The King
of High-Ticket Sales. World’s Highest-Paid Consultant. Media Celebrity. Multi-Millionaire Entrepreneur. Acclaimed TEDx Speaker. International Best-Selling Author. Dan Lok. (dramatic music) – So, there’s something very, very, very strange about our group. Most business group, or
networking, or meet-up, most people when the meet-up is finished they leave immediately. Our group, sometimes we go quite late, 9:00 p.m, 9.30 p.m., people don’t leave. 10:30 p.m., 11:00 p.m. It’s crazy, people like every single time the staff has to kind of kick us out, and then we go. So there’s something very
strange about our group, and I pride that I
would argue that we have one of the, I would
not say highest quality you know, that’s kinda braggadocious but the one of the highest quality group, a business group, in Vancouver. Do you know why? Do you know why? (audience member shouts out) Partially. (audience member shouts out) No partially, but why? – [Audience member] Referrals. – Referrals, yes. And, also, it’s also a lot,
of the rules that we have. Because, it’s a commitment to get here. It’s downtown, you gotta park, right? It’s Vancouver club, you
gotta dress in business. It’s a bitch! (laughing) I mean, it’s a lot of work. But that is what is good. It’s something you gotta think about. Well, (sucks) do I want to attend? Okay, I gotta drive, gotta
park, and I’ve gotta dress up. I gotta be ready, you’re
gonna meet people. It’s a commitment, can you see that? – [Audience members] Yes. – That’s why it’s good, it
filters out the wannabees. It filters out the people
who are not committed. So, I mean you have to
be pretty committed, pretty ambitious, and growth-orientated. Show up, some of you after work, yes? – [Audience members] Yes. – Long day of work, drive here, park, get ready, listen to three hours of Dan. (laughing) And then meet people, and
then go home quite late when you get home. And for the ladies, go home, you gotta, you know, your make-up, right? And a shower, you don’t sleep until, like, 12:00 a.m., or 1:00 a.m. So, you know, my wife
takes two hours, right? So, I know how long it takes. So, it’s a commitment. So, anyone that’s here, I
mean, I acknowledge you for it. Because most people, I
always say to people, it’s easy, it’s somehow some
of the most important things in life, like exercise,
easy to do, easy not to do. Anybody can show up, easy not to show up. With now over 1,500 members. On the average we have 100
people at each meeting. I always wonder, how come
we don’t have 1,000 people? Now that’s about right, because sometimes life
gets in the way, yes? Other commitments,
sometimes it would be like “Ahh, you know what, I’m not
interested in that topic. “Maybe, I’ll attend next time. “When the topic, kinda,
resonates more with me.” How many of you are here tonight because you’re interested
in getting more referrals? Right? And, let me give you a big tip. That’s not actually a very good way to decide what you want to learn. Because, very often in business, we have what I call a tunnel
vision, this is what we see. And very often, the problem that we think is the problem, is not the problem. Break it down, I’ll say it again. Very often the things that we think is the problem, usually,
is not the problem. So, when you are looking for solution, you have a very fixed idea, of, I think my problem is this! So, I want to learn things
that will help me do this! Instead of being open-minded, and actually, attend some things that, well you know what, you know this workshop would be actually more beneficial to people who are already
getting a lot of referrals. Not people who are not getting enough. Because it would help them
refine their approach. That’s why one of the habits I have, I would, you know, go to a magazine rack, and, you know, in a supermarket, I would buy magazines that
I don’t typically read. Gardening, or you know,
some mechanic magazine. Something like totally, like
just out of the, or you know, National Enquirer, how many
of you read National Enquirer? That would, put up your hand in a minute. (laughing) Okay, I do, I just read
through different things. What are some of the lady magazines? Give me some examples. (audience member shouts) Yep, yep, Vogue, right? Those types of things,
out of the box stuff, because it gives me out of box ideas. Now what you just saw is a presentation that I did to a group of entrepreneurs. If you enjoyed, make sure
you give me a thumbs up. Share with me your thoughts,
and if you have any questions, comment below, because in the future I’m gonna take some of these questions, your questions, and
make a video out of it. Hey, if your question is good enough, I might just make a video
like this, and answer. And don’t forget to hit
subscribe, click on subscribe, turn on the notification, click thumbs up, if you wanna watch some
of my other videos, click on your left,
right there, let’s do it!

Seth Godin: How to Do Work That Matters for People Who Care


– Hey everybody, what’s up? It’s Chase, welcome to another episode of the Chase Jarvis Live
Show here on CreativeLive. You all know this show. This is where I sit down
with incredible humans. I do everything I can
to unpack their brains with the goal of helping
you live your dreams in career, in hobby, and in life. My guest, you will know him immediately as I start revealing some
of the things about him. He’s, I think he’s done 18
books, global bestsellers. He created a couple of start-ups, he is the creator of altMBA. We’re here to talk about his new book called “This is Marketing”. It’s the one and only, the inimitable Seth Godin in the house. (energetic percussion music) (applause) We love you. – Thanks, man, thank you for having me. – Thank you so much. – Been looking forward it. – Oh, well, I confess, we
were talking a little bit before the camera started rolling. We have done another interview
a couple of years ago and I, it was super engaging for me. I personally have watched
it a couple of times to take the nuggets out of it that you have put into your books. I just devoured this, I got galley. Thank you for overnighting it. I don’t know, maybe,
Stephanie or someone– – Yeah, she’s great. – Overnighted it and
just crushed this thing as I was flying across the country to come sit with you today. This to me feels different
than a lot of your other books. You know, books like the Purple Cow, there’s 18 of ’em so I won’t list them, but I felt like those all
took on very specific things about marketing, about
audience, about engagement. This to me is like a bible. This to me is like you
put it all into one place. So was that intentional,
am I reading that into it or is that intentional
like you packaged it all? To me this is like– – Yeah, I don’t think that was the intent; it’s what happened. The intent was– – You started out with
something and, yeah. – No, I spend a lot of, I
don’t do any consulting, but I spend time with people I care about helping them achieve
where they’re trying to go and it tends to be
something that many people would call marketing problem. And to help them, I
built this online seminar called The Marketing Seminar
and 6,000 people have taken it. And the cool thing, as you
know from doing the same thing is you can watch what’s
resonating, what’s changing people. – Yeah. – So it’s 50 lessons, it takes 100 days. And I’m taking notes and adjusting it, and then I realize some people aren’t gonna devote that kind of time. – Yeah. – I have something I wanna teach them and that’s what led to the book. And as I was writing the book
I realize it’s really a book about how we market to ourselves, about the story we tell ourselves, about our sufficiency, our worth, our assertions, our contribution. And so I had to lay that
whole groundwork out. And then on top of it talk
about how other human beings hear us and see us.
– Yeah. – So there are no pages that say, Tuesday afternoons are
the best time to tweet. And there’s nothing that says, here’s how you make SEO work better Because those are tiny, tiny tactics. And they don’t separate
winners from losers. What matters is doing work that
matters for people who care. And a lot of the people
who are watching this want to do work that matters. But we trip ourselves up because we think that we then have to
become an evil marketer and spam the world and I
don’t think that’s true. – Well, you’ve laid out
a very convincing case and there’s lots of places where we could start this conversation. I don’t wanna just talk about the book– – Absolutely, yeah. – But I do wanna like get
right into it because it’s, having just consumed it’s
very, very fresh for me. But talk about the smallest audience. – So that’s probably the
most controversial idea for the first pass through the book. You may have heard about
lean entrepreneurship and you should make the
minimum viable product. – MVP as they call ’em. – And if you look back to the
early courses you launched you wouldn’t launch one of those today. But you need to put it into the world, not ’cause it’s lousy,
’cause it wasn’t lousy, but because it’s primitive. But what primitive means
is I solved a small problem for somebody and I can see how it works, and that has been proven to
work over and over again. Well, in marketing, I wanna argue that we’ve all been trained to pitch the largest possible audience. Because for spams–
– Total investable market where we’ve got all these acronym– – Exactly. – And talking about how you’re
supposed to only think big and words like scale
total addressable market that drive me crazy, but– – Exactly, gross rating
points, gross, right? What if we did the opposite? What if we got specific? What if we said, if there
were 100 people I changed, 200 people I taught, 1,000
people who were my patrons, what if we could do
that, would it be enough? It wouldn’t be magic, it
wouldn’t be a homerun, but would it be enough? If the answer is yes,
then we become specific and obsessed with that. Because if you can’t pull that off, well then you’re not an artist. But if you can pull that off,
you know what they’ll do? They’ll tell their friends. Because it’s so extraordinary
they have to share it and then it gets bigger and bigger. But we begin by having
the guts to be specific as opposed to hiding behind infinity. – So you said, I gotta make that enough. Enough for what? Enough to get started,
enough for life, enough for, like what’s the enough for? Give me the–
– Exactly. So there are two kinds of enough. The first enough is, is it enough for me to make my next piece of work? Is it enough to fuel this journey? Because artists can be insatiable. They can want more ’cause they think they have something to give. We’ve noticed that. (laughs) But then the second enough, which I don’t talk about in the book which I’ll talk about a lot in my book, is what happens to your happiness, what happens to your craft when you define whatever you have as enough for now? Because if you can live in sufficiency, it’s way easier to be generous
’cause you’re not drowning. Drowning people don’t offer
life jackets to other people. But the act of offering a
life jacket to somebody else that connection that comes from that actually supports our craft,
but we have to tell ourselves the story of sufficiency, not I’m done. But I did that, this happened, now what? – Yes, I think there’s something about it feels complete, the
way you just phrase it, it feels completely
different than our product because you’re just, you’re trying to give people that, in that small subset in
experience, an 11 experience– – Exactly. Exactly, right? – And it feels, to me
they’re like tours of duty, I don’t like military analogies really, but it’s like you get in,
you did a tour of duty, you gave them what they
needed at that moment and then you’re learning. And it’s not, I’ve always had this debate inside of CreativeLive
or whenever I looked at other founders and friends
who are building products, you hear this MVP, and
if you look at a triangle of like the bottom is
like it actually does what it supposed to and
then the middle is like it’s got some nice polish
and the top is like it’s extraordinary,
everybody tries to slice through the bottom middle section, like it does a little bit of something which there’s no emotion around it. I hate minimum viable products– – Well, but that’s a
wrong definition of MVP. That’s what people are
telling you an MVP is but they’re wrong. – They’re slicing it the wrong way. – Correct. – Yeah, I don’t remember,
I saw a diagram somewhere. And so the fact that I don’t love MVP helped me really get
into this very quickly, but I think that the
idea of a small audience is it feels risky to people. – That’s right. – And is it a thing you have to get over or is this a risk that you have to sell inside of your organization? Like what’s, how do we think about it? How do we give, people who
are considering doing this, how do we give ’em tools to persevere? – This is brilliant. You should edit my next book. These are brilliant questions. There’s a difference between
feels risky and is risky. The risk is–
– Say that again. There’s a difference
between feels and is, okay. – Right? The riskiest thing you can
do is make average stuff for average people and
pitch it to the masses. The riskiest thing you can do is, say, we’re gonna be the next
Banana Republic, right? This is like not a lot of
chance that that’s gonna work. The safest thing you can do is, say, there are eight people at table four, if I can go bring magic to table four even though I’ve got a
long shift ahead of me if I act like it’s there, the only chance those people ever gonna have ’cause it is, to have the experience of
a lifetime here, right now, that’s the safest thing you can do. Not worry about the people who haven’t even clicked on open table,
not worry about the people who are thinking about
a restaurant to go to. Table four, what’s happening at table four ’cause if you can change
their life even this much– – Yeah. – They’ll come back and
they’ll bring their friends. And when you think about
the growth of my projects, of your projects, isn’t that
what they’re about, right? Like the brilliant insight,
I was telling my wife about the brilliant insight of here it is, it’s live, for the, people
came for free, great, and now it’s going to cost. How can that make sense? Well, because the people you changed are now your sales force. – Yeah.
– Right? And so does it feel risky, you bet. Why does it feel risky? It feels risky ’cause you
have to make an assertion, because you have to go to
people and say, I made this. And if you say to a
special person I made this and they say I hate it, it hurts. Whereas, if you just
stand on the street corner and say to everyone I made this, there’s so many bystanders, you feel safe. So what I’m pushing people to do, because the internet feels vast. – Yeah. – It’s not a mass medium,
it’s a micro medium. It’s the smallest medium ever created next to a billion other small media. So you don’t get to be
in front of the internet. When I was at Yahoo, the
homepage was sold out two years in advance ’cause
amateur marketers with money say let’s buy the
internet, buy the homepage. But it wasn’t worth anything. – Remember those takeovers
and stuff, I remember that. I remember that, yeah.
– It was worth nothing. Because it was way better to
be in front of the right person on the right day for
the right reason to say, this thing, instant yes. And if you can’t build an instant yes, then all the spamming of
your friends and family isn’t gonna make it any better. – So you talked, I loved how you framed it which is, it’s actually the
least risky thing you can do is focus on one table. But you have to believe, like somewhere in the back of your head, you’re letting fires, other fires, burn. – Sure. – ‘Cause like you said, somewhere someone’s having a problem on open table, somewhere, I love the
restaurant analogy by the way and I think a lot of us had been servers at some point in their
lives so we can relate, and you’ve got table six
which they just got sat and you haven’t given them their drinks but the willingness to
focus on table four, is it table four, I’m already lost. – Yeah, table four. We love table four.
– We love table four. But the willingness to focus on them. When you put it as you have, it’s unequivocally the right thing to do. And then the challenge, the
next challenge that I see– – Exactly, is what do you
do with your resources? – Is, yeah, what next? So I did, I was super excited, I did a great job with
table four, but now– – Does doing a good job
with table four take time or does it take love? And that’s the distinction. So most of us are super lucky, we don’t do physical labor anymore, we don’t dig a ditch for a living, we don’t work in an
overheated nuclear power plant fixing gaskets, right? We do emotional labor. And emotional labor is also
exhausting but it’s different. So you have seen in the last 12 hours a receptionist or a frontline person coasting through their day. They’re not getting paid enough, they’re not led well,
they have bad conditions so they’re not exerting emotional labor. The question is in the
same amount of time, could they have made a difference for you? A flight attendant, a waiter, a senior vice president
of talent relations go anywhere on the spectrum. What does it mean to look
someone in the eye and say, I’m really glad you’re
here, ’cause that exchange didn’t take any longer than
your tables over there. – Yeah.
– Right? So I’m not arguing that we need to make every restaurant
the Union Square Cafe. What I’m arguing is the
sense of sprezzatura, this Italian word for
“effortless care”, right? I’m here for you, that
takes emotional labor just as much emotional
labor as making a painting that isn’t like everybody else’s painting. In both cases, we’re having to wrestle with that other thing inside of us called heart, if you want. That is why most
conversations about marketing tend to be about tactics
’cause now I don’t have to expose my fear. – Right. – And that’s not where I’m going. I’m trying to help people see there’s more opportunity than ever but you’re not gonna find
it by learning tactics, you’re gonna find it by
marketing to yourself and believing that the world
deserves what you have to say. – So I wanna hinge Max’s question around the point you
just made about seeing. So give us the connection
between seeing and being seen. – Right. – I think it’s a really
central point of the book. I think, it might even be– – The subtitle, yeah.
– Yeah, is it? Oh yeah, you can’t be seen
until you learn to see. So help me understand exactly
what you mean by that. And I think, I understand
you don’t want it to be too tactical, but what does that, what precipitates when you understand that you can’t be seen until you see. What precipitates from that? – So toddlers have a deservedly bad rap because they’re selfish, narcissists. (laughs) Me, me, me all the time. The toddler never comes
up to you and says, how was your day, right,
’cause the toddler just wants to be seen and fed. Marketers are like toddlers
and that they’ve worked hard to make something and now me, bring it on, I want more clicks, I
want more page views, I want better Google traffic, right? The thing is that selfishness cannot stand in a world where we have lots of choices. ‘Cause if I can bestow
my attention on anybody, why should I bestow it on a toddler? I don’t need to. I’ll just go over here. So what it means to see before being seen is to say that person I seek to serve, what’s the story in their head, what’s the narrative in their head? There’s this great new word called sonder which means realizing that other people also have a noise in their head that way you have a noise in your head. And for most of us that’s a revelation. You mean other people have a noise and it’s not the same as my noise? So once you accept that there’s
that noise in their head that they don’t know what you know, that they don’t want you want, that they don’t believe what you believe you can learn to see them for who they are and where they’re going. If you can do that, you
know what they’re gonna do? See you in return. But we have to go first. And particularly when we’re
not a Fortune 500 company, when we’re the sole
practitioner, small folks like you and me and the artists, that’s all we got, but it’s
enough, it’s more than enough because everyone is thirsty for that. And in the altMBA we spend
an enormous amount of time teaching people to see,
to see the world as it is, to see that other people
have their own narrative. And once you gain that
empathy you can serve better. – So that makes a ton of sense to me. And I’m, as, I think hopefully
everyone who’s watching and listening they’re like thinking about how this applies to them. So I’m sitting here doing
the same thing, selfishly, trying to create a conversation here– – It’s not selfish at all. That’s why I came, yeah. – I’m trying to like learn in the process. And I remember writing a blog post some time ago and it was called Stop Trying to Get
Everybody to Like Your Work. – Yeah. – And it’s I think been
shared 18 or 20,000 times or something–
– Deservedly. – And what I realized
at some point is that if you’re so busy trying to
get everybody to like your work when the reality is, is just
do the math for a moment and like how many do
you actually need with, especially if you’re
an independent artist, solopreneurs and like that, how many people do you actually need to make your thing successful? And what I learned from you
is it’s not even successful, how you like do tour of duty number one, like what is that number,
and when you realize how small that number was– – It’s even worse, though, ’cause if you try to please
the person in the back– – Right. – You’re gonna stop pleasing
the people you care about. So I gave a speech in
Mexico six months ago and I’m ashamed at what I did. And I’m saying this story out loud so I could tell it to myself. So it’s in a convention center, worst place to give a speech. It’s simultaneous translation, worst conditions to give a speech. And it’s 2,000 people and I’m up there and I’m doing my work and I feel like I’m doing it pretty well
and in the third row is a woman on her cell phone. She’s not listening to her
cell phone, she’s talking. – Oh. – She’s talking on her
cell phone in the third row while I’m up there doing my thing. And I just, my mentor Zig
Ziglar taught me not to do this but I couldn’t help myself. I focused all my energy on this woman and I kept interjecting
references to social media and how we can’t put it
down and hang up the phone. – She’s talking louder.
– Right. I got, can you be quiet, please. I’m on the phone here. And I know that I deprived
the people in that room who were there for me of my best self. How dare I do that? And it’s even worse when there
isn’t someone on the phone, you’re just imagining so that
when you’re sitting there typing or drawing or,
you’re imagining the troll, you’re imagining the non-believer and what they’re gonna say. Maybe it’s your mother-in-law,
maybe, who knows. And then you start averaging
it out to make them happy. You start delving it
down to make them happy. No, no, no, no, wrong, do the opposite. How can you make them even more unhappy? How can you make it even
less of what they want? So if you’re a contemporary artist, don’t make it more like Norman Rockwell because Norman Rockwell
already did Norman Rockwell. He’s taken. Make it more like you. And the person, the
Morley Safers or whoever, who hated contemporary art, not for you. Don’t even come in the building. – Yeah.
– Not for you. Warning sign: this is not for you. And as soon as you have the freedom and the confidence to do that, your work keeps getting better. – It takes guts, though.
– Yeah. – I think this is, like you
have to let things burn. And part of, especially for new, oh, actually I came to say I like it. And every table that I’ve ever sat at at a bunch of different levels that is not the commonly held belief. – Right. – ‘Cause there’s a desire to please. – Plus we gave the critics a microphone. They didn’t used to have one, now they do. – Right. So I’m gonna reference Brené Brown, she keeps a very short list of people, about six people, in a
little teeny piece of paper, fold it up in her wallet, she brought it, she showed it to me
before which is a great, I think it’s a great way of thinking which this is what I care about, these are the people that
I care about what they say and if you’re not in the
arena, you’re not in this list, I don’t care. And what I took from your book is that if we can take a similar mentality and focus it on how we
talk about our products or services and who we are– – Yup. – That we’re gonna be
infinitely better off. – Happier and more of service to the people we’re
trying to serve, right? If you run a non-profit and
you’re trying to raise $100,000, who is the best person
to raise $100,000 from? Someone who’s never given money to charity or someone who gives money to charity? It’s pretty clear, right? Okay, among people who
give money to charity, do you wanna call on people who donate to the American Care Society, the American Heart Association and one other old school charity or do you wanna go to people who are eagerly on the frontlines? Well, it depends what
kind of charity, right? So you’re doing work that
matters for people who care and they demonstrate how much they care through their actions. So find people who are already
acting like people who care and make something for
them that they can’t help but be glad you made. – Smallest possible audience. – Viable. ‘Cause possible is one,
you can’t live on one. So what’s the viable,
what’s the one I can live on that will get me far
enough to do it again? And my friend, Brian Koppelman
talks about the question he gets asked the most,
is how do I get an agent. Because the mindset is my
agent will help me get picked. – Yeah. – Well, the way you get
an agent is actually doing work so that an agent will call you. – Yeah, totally, being so busy– – So that an agent will find you. And the way that happens
is you make YouTube video, it doesn’t work, you make
another YouTube video, it spreads a little, you
make another YouTube video, 500 people watch it, now
you’re on to something. Your next one maybe will
only reach 5,000 people but it will change them, it
will change the way they see, the way cameras work, whatever it is. Oh, now the phone rings,
because you did something worth seeking out. – How do we get people, I’m saying, well, maybe people refers to me or someone who might be listening, how do we lean in to this concept? I can understand intellectually that, hey, as soon as I make
something for everyone I’ve actually made it for nobody. I understand the math but
actually doing that thing and it’s sort of an inward journey– – Yup. – How do we make that habit when it is certainly not intuitive? It’s not what you’ve been told. This information is not in other books, it’s about total addressable market, how do you make a product that scales– – Exactly. – And I know and understand
and respect those people who build those huge scale businesses, the Airbnbs, the LinkedIns
that they’ve been on the show. – Sure. – So how do you reconcile that we have to make something small and individual and unique and (mumbles). – Try this trick. – This is what I’m looking for. I tricked you into giving me a trick. (laughs) Yes! – Think about the best
teacher you ever had. This teacher did not use
test in measure compliance, standardized testing, and this teacher was not the best teacher
everyone ever had. This is the best teacher you had. What happens if instead
of thinking about yourself as a marketer, you think
about yourself as a teacher? And you are teaching not everyone but people who are enrolled in the journey where you are going. And I would argue, Airbnb and LinkedIn are perfect examples of businesses that did not try to be
everything to everyone. They try to be important to
a very small group of people. And those students of theirs
who were in the early classes said, oh, teach me about this, teach me what it’s like
to be an Airbnb member, teach me what it’s like to have these kinds of interactions in LinkedIn. And as students, you
didn’t have to yell at them because they were
enrolled in your journey. And as a teacher, you’re thinking, oh, that leap was a little too fast, let me go back and do
this a little bit slow, let me find out where that
person is holding back. And once you realize
that you’re a teacher, a generous teacher, not the
kind who’s yelling at people, but a generous teacher,
everything that I’m talking about suddenly fits into place. – I figured I kinda
shot myself in the foot ’cause as soon as I’ve asked that and you started talking,
I was like, wait a minute, and so I had Joe from
Airbnb on and he was like, what they did is they,
originally it was for, they rented their apartment and literally put air
mattresses on the floor at South by Southwest because
they knew that the city would be sold out and they needed to make money to make rent. So talk about small. And then ultimately what
tipped was they came, they opened the market in New York and they came here and they, individually, the founders and a friend, and photographed the insides of Airbnbs ’cause they realized that the photographs were very unappealing. – Yup. – Very non-scalable, very, I
think they did 20 in a weekend. – Exactly. – And that was the thing that Joe credits as tipping the business. – Right, which leads to this
next cool idea as you scale. And you have done this masterfully, which is people like
us do things like this. That sentence is what marketing is. People like us do things like this: establishing the culture. So if you’re a supreme fan, that’s, you know when to go to the store, you know which one hat to wear and which hat you’re
not gonna wear anymore, you know what to sell and
what not to sell, right? That if you ride to Staten
Island Ferry everyday to work you know what people like
us do when we commute. The rules are very clear. Where they did they come from? They’re not laws of physics, they’re just the rules in this moment. So people like us, contemporary artists who are working in 2020,
what do people like us do, where do we show, what is our format? People like us do things like this. So who gets to invent those rules? The cool thing is we do. – Yeah. – So you’re either a victim of those rules or you’re following those rules or you are the inventor of those rules. And because of the way
I came up as a teacher, as someone who helped run a summer camp, inventing cultures, this is what we do. We use expressions like this,
not expressions like that. And when I was running
my internet company, there were 50 of us in one big room, and there was one person
who had a bad temper and I knew that because he had status, if he persisted, it would
be okay to have a bad temper in my company and the
culture was brand new. And I took him aside and I said, if you lose your temper
again in the office there’s no warning, you’re just fired. And he knew I was serious
and he never did it again. He needed to leave the
room then he could lose the temper all he wanted
when he wasn’t around us. But people like us, we
do things like this. And that’s why it’s
different when you walk to the halls of IBM than to
walk to the halls of Microsoft. That wasn’t an accident. Someone picked people like
us do things like this and you get to do that with your work. And as you build your call
them a tribe, the community, whatever you want, you’re
the one who’s determined what those are if you can make assertions and if you could own it and
then we get back to the fear. Who am I? Well, you’re you that’s why
we picked you to go do this. – That is like, I think
that’s a major unlock for a lot of folks. And let’s go back to
the individual creators, the entrepreneurs, people
wanna start something for whom. Deciding, there’s this
fear, I remember this fear in my own work that, but
I wanna show a portfolio that has everything in it. Because when I’m showing
a prospective buyer and they’re gonna look at it and say, oh, he shoots, not just action sports, he also shoots puppies. – Right. – And because I want, I need the money– – Yup. – I need to, but of
course I quickly realized that this is sort of poison
because this is nobody, this is, I do everything for everybody– – Yeah, this is $12 an hour. – Yeah. – So let’s do the freelancer
rift ’cause it’s important. Freelancers are different
than entrepreneurs and most of the people
watching this are freelancers. – Yeah. – I’m a freelancer, I
like being a freelancer, nothing wrong with being a freelancer. But stop pretending
you’re an entrepreneur. Freelancers get paid when they work. They don’t build an asset
bigger than themselves, right? – Yeah. – So I don’t have a building. Okay, great, you’re a freelancer, how do you move up as a freelancer? The answer is you can’t work more hours, you need better clients. Better clients challenge
you to do better work. They respect your good work. They pay you more, they tell other people. Your good work spreads the
word that’s how you move up. Get better clients. So if you go to people and
say, I will do what you want, what do you need, that’s
the kind of client you’re gonna get. But if you go to a client and say, I have a point of view and I’m leading, the only clients you’ll get are ones who have a point of view and are leading. Is that who you wanna be? So will it be much harder
for you to get those clients at the beginning? For sure, that’s a dip.
– Yeah. – But the ones you get through and get to the other side, right? What you want are people
in the world saying, get me Chase, and someone
says, Chase is busy, they say, okay, get me someone like him. That’s what you want to have happened. But first, you gotta
have that first sentence, be true about you, and if you’re the one who does sports photography and puppies, no one’s gonna ask for you. – For sure. There’s something also about,
let’s go back to the story we need to tell ourselves to
believe that we’re good enough and we’re worthy, I think that’s, for, again we’re gonna,
we’ll stay on freelances or independent creators. There’s a I’m not worth
it, I haven’t earned it, I had plenty of advantage, I grew up in a safe home,
I don’t have this brutal, artistic struggle in my history, I don’t have anything to say,
I don’t have a point of view, how am I gonna be, how
am I gonna breakthrough? And what would you tell someone, because I believe that of the 10, if there’s 10 people listening
or watching right now that eight and a half of
them have that feeling. So what do you tell them–
– Me too. – Yeah, okay, me too, that’s good. What do you tell them? – The first thing I’d say is you’re probably not good enough, and no one is, but you could get better. And if you keep getting better, then sooner or later you’ll be better and that’s the journey. So at the beginning, we’re going to people who have a problem and we’re going, not in our head, but trying
to get it into their head what is your problem. Your problem is you have a deadline. Your problem is you have to tell your boss you got this problem solved. Your problem is you feel insufficient. Your problem is the last three people feel like that, blah, blah, bla. But you know what your problem isn’t? Your problem isn’t that
you can’t find a freelancer who is the world’s best at blank, because that’s actually not
part of your narrative at all. That may be the freelancer’s narrative, is that I’m insufficient and incompetent, but that’s not what the
client’s problem is. So if you present to the
client as this person who will make promises and keep them, who will exert emotional
labor to be easy to work with or difficult to work with if that’s what the client is working for, right? But you make an assertion
about what role you are playing as their teacher in that moment. If that’s the story they need to hear you’re doing them a service. And that service is just
like the service you look for when you go out for a nice dinner. When you go out for a nice dinner, the chef isn’t saying to himself, I’m better than David Chang, the chef is just saying,
I’m making a promise, and if you want this
dinner for $24 here it is, and if you don’t want my
point of view about food there’s an Ethiopian restaurant
right down the street. But in order to be a
productive professional we have to present to world and say, I will make this for you,
and they keep the promise. And if you wanna get
better at it tomorrow, please, go get better at it tomorrow. But you can’t wait until you’re perfect before you can present to the world ’cause you’re never gonna get there. – That goes back to the non-MVP, MVP, and when I put something
out in the world– – Exactly. – Make it better, make
the thing that you do, make an 11 out of a 10 and
then make another course or another thing. So when you set out to write this, was this a project that you said, all right, I need to write
the definitive thing, Again I’ve opened with this, it seems different to
me than your other books because it puts its arms
around more big ideas, there’s not a lot of tactic, as you said, and I’m gonna try and
get you to get tactical. I knew you’re gonna resist– – It’s all good. – But did you set out to write that book where you put your arms around, I mean the title was
like “This Is Marketing”, it sets a very bold like,
yeah, it’s right here. – So I’m not good at making
up stories that aren’t true so my true story is this. I did that with Linchpin. Linchpin is the best
book I’ve ever written. I can’t write a better book than Linchpin. I spent a year of my life trying to craft a testament on paper
that I could not deliver in any other form. And I experienced what that felt like and I don’t know if I could do it again. Maybe I could find a reason to care enough to go through that pain. But in this case, what I’m trying to do, as I’m often trying to
do is deliver a value in a format that’s
appropriate for the value I’m trying to deliver. So in the Marketing Seminar, I said, if I can get 6,000 people to
come on this journey with me every day for months I can change them using new teaching technologies we built and it works. But it’s arrogant for me to say, that’s the only way to learn marketing, ’cause a lot of people will say, I don’t have that kind of time, I’m not willing to put
myself into that position. – Yup. – Well there’s this 500-year-old medium that has magical powers and
its biggest magical power is that you can hand it to
your friends really cheap and that you can all go on
the journey at the same time. Your colleagues can all
read it at the same time. So I haven’t written a full-length book in more than five years
because the publishing industry has its own issues. And I said to myself, wait a minute, I have this nail, I have this hammer, why am I, I’ll be a hypocrite, I’ll go back into the
book publishing world because I care to serve people who want to read it in this format. And I am fully aware that
most people on earth 99.9 will not read this book ’cause
they don’t wanna read a book or ’cause they don’t wanna
read a book about this. Fine. But for the people who
wanna go on this journey and bring people around them with them, this was my best effort to do that. And so when I read it as
a book and write as a book I’m not under the illusion that
this is Tequila Mockingbird. I wish I could write Tequila Mockingbird. What I’ve tried to do
instead is share the way I care about people who are
doing this work that matters. And I’m really hoping that people who do the other kind of work
won’t read this book ’cause I don’t want them to
use some of these approaches to manipulate people. We have to own the work we do and so I’m giving people a toolkit and I’m saying, please,
do a work you’re proud of. – Is this an attempt to capture people who wouldn’t
otherwise take the course? – Well, I don’t think
capture is the right word. – Yeah, serve.
– serve, exactly. So I’m trying to teach people– – I’m learning, I’m
slow, but I’m learning. – ’cause you will soon
discover that writing a book is a not very smart
financial endeavor, right? I’m never gonna stand on the corner and try to sell my books,
it’s not worth my time. What I am happy to say to people is if you’re doing work that matters, and I’ve tried really hard to signal everywhere in this book,
that’s who it’s for, then I’ll tell you
everything I know for $20. – Trust is as scarce as attention. – Yeah. – For those who are
listening and watching, I just read the name of, this
is the name of a chapter, Chapter 18. Explain that. – So attention used to be strip
mined by the big marketers. So if you’re over 30 years
old you remember network TV. And network TV was a bargain for 40 years. You always made money on
the TV ads you ran, always. And then cable came and
then the internet came and suddenly attention
is not longer a bargain ’cause there are more
people trying to buy it but they’re not making any new attention. There are more choices
but they’re not making any new attention. So the race for attention is characterized for the last 20 years, that’s
what Purple Cow is about. Okay, so now we’ve got that understood. But then trust has been strip mined where someone says, oh,
I’m in your email box, you sorta know my brand
name or you’re in the store, buyer beware ’cause I
can rip you off once, but I can’t rip you off twice. And so what we’ve done is taught a billion people not to trust, we’ve taught a billion people
to think everyone’s lying, a billion people to be hesitant. – Yeah. – So if you can earn
attention through permission, through the privilege
of having a newsletter or a broadcast like this– – Or subscribing to
someone’s YouTube channel in the case, that example you gave. – Exactly. And you can be trusted, everything else takes care of itself, done, done. – So let’s go then grab
a little of attention a little bit more because that’s, I think that’s what we feel
like we’re always competing for in this day and age. How do you think about attention ’cause I’m trying to think
about a small audience, like what’s the smallest viable audience? – Right. – And then attention,
the attention seems like this big thing that you
need to get a lot of people pointing at you, you need to get people, you need to get people, right, (mumbles). – It’s a great, yes. No, you’re setting it up beautifully. If you have a funnel view of the world you need a million people
to get 10,000 people to get 20 people, right? But if you have the
smallest viable audience view of the world your
classroom has 26 people in it, they are eager to be there. If you didn’t show up, they’d be angry. 26 people, that’s not a
funnel, that’s a classroom. That’s magical. So Banksy doesn’t have to
go do a media tour, right? Banksy doesn’t need a funnel. Banksy is Banksy. And the people who care
about Banksy follow Banksy. He doesn’t even want them
to follow him sometimes. And that is where you
wanna go as an artist, is that your work matters enough that people will choose
to pay attention, right? Jerry Garcia didn’t have
to do a sponsorship deal with Dove or Axe deodorant, right? He was Jerry Garcia. People lived in a bus
to follow him around. – Yeah. – Now please don’t say,
but I’m not Banksy, and I’m not Jerry, because their genes are the same as yours. This is not about God-given talent, this is about caring
enough to change a small group of people and it
doesn’t have to be very many. The initial years when The Dead
was really becoming The Dead they grossed a couple hundred
thousand bucks on the road, it wasn’t huge amounts of money, wasn’t huge numbers of people. But the song lives on
because in that moment an exchange was made between people who wanted to be in the room and musicians who wanted
to be in the room. And what’s worth noting is
they had only one top 40 record their entire career even
though they were one of the top 10 grossing
live bands for decades. And the one record they
had almost ruined them because it brought the
wrong people to the show. – That’s fascinating to
think of it like that. Brought the wrong people to the show. – Yup, that’s when the
violence started showing up, the drugs got out of hand
because the people who came for Touch of Grey were outsiders and they didn’t get the joke. – I’m reminded by that story of a friend of mine, I don’t know, he’s a New Yorker, maybe a
mutual friend of Brandon Stanton, who created the Humans of New York. – Yeah. I don’t know him but everyone says he’s– – He’s incredible. And what I love about
his sort of origin story without going into details, he
was a bond trader who failed, lost his job in Chicago, moved
here like with the goal of being in control of how he spent his time, not how much money he made. – Beautiful. – And so, it’s a beautiful set up. And then he tells this
great story about how his first sort of like
and his second like. And it’s hard to think now of someone who the second that they put out a book. It goes to literally the
very top of the list, stays there for several weeks because he’s in an audience
of 25 or 30 million people who’d buy anything that he puts out. And it’s very hard to think of, and that’s why he tells the
story of here’s a photograph of the first photo I ever posted. Actually, it had one comment and no likes. – Yeah, it’s horrible. The first ever comment he did, could you even bother to like it? – Exactly. It’s an extra click and I’m tired. But I think it’s hard for
people to believe or to, I think intellectually,
you can understand it, but emotionally, it’s very hard to believe that going from zero to one is a win. And then from one to two and two to three and that’s where actually if your focus is really on that group because you just don’t see how that, it’s sort of like compounding interesting. You just, what is it if you gave someone– – Double the pennies.
– Yeah, double the pennies. – Takes a month to make a million dollars. – Yeah, takes a month to
make a million dollars or would you rather have
some other big number. So, is your book, we’re trying to just put an end to that and you feel like that’s the stake that you’re trying to put in the ground. It is like stop trying to think big, you have to start small. And is that the core of this book? – I think that it sits in sort of a trio or quartet of ideas. The idea of big is challenging. So if you talk to someone who admires art and you mention Amanda Palmer, they’ll say that the music she’s created,
the footprint she’s made, she had the most successful
music Kickstarter in history, what they don’t realize is when she was in the Dresden Dolls, she got kicked off her label because there were only 20,000 people who are following her work
and buying her record. And when she did her Kickstarter, the most successful
Kickstarter in history, she had 20,000 people. So it’s not millions, it’s 20,000 makes you Amanda
Palmer, that’s all, right? So, don’t sacrifice your
work for a big number ’cause guess what, you probably
won’t get the big number, you’ll just have sacrificed your work. And number two is the big number
isn’t gonna fuel your work, your work is gonna fuel your work and the people you’re teaching. But next to that idea, which
we haven’t talked about yet is two ideas that sit next to each other. The first is status roles,
which is super important when we try to understand the story someone is telling themselves. The short version comes
from Keith Johnstone and, who works in theatre,
but works everywhere, who eats lunch first? When two animals meet in the jungle, who’s gonna eat lunch first? Who’s up, who’s down? Where two characters
meet in the Godfather, who’s gonna move up,
who’s gonna move down? Status roles, they’re everywhere. When you get on the bus, who’s
gonna sit, who’s gonna stand? At the Art Gallery, why
did someone just pay a million dollars for
this painting at this, at Mary Boone, but the same painting on the street corner couldn’t have sold for
100, what did they buy? Looking for status roles. Once you see them, you can’t unsee them. And you can play with are
you trying to sell to people who are moving up? Are you trying to sell people
who are eager to move down? Surprisingly, there’s a market for that. Are you trying to sell
the people who are just working hard to stay
where they are, right? So when the fall fashion stuff comes out, why do people run to buy fall fashion, they don’t have any clothes? Obviously, they have clothes, but they are trying to
maintain their status. And if they don’t have the new clothes, their status will go down. Next to that is this issue of
are we measuring affiliation? Who are we with? Who is like us? Where do we stand with them? Or are we trying to measure dominance? Who are we above? So professional wrestling is
a competition of dominance and that’s all they do is manipulate who’s up and who’s down status wise. And if you’re a fan of Hulk
or whoever it is on top, that makes you feel good. Affiliation is at the parade who’s marching side by side, arm in arm. So one of the challenges
we have as creators is temperamentally, we’re affiliators. Temperamentally, we wanna be in sync. Oh, everyone is wearing
a black turban like– – What do you mean temperamentally? – Before we get to our
craft, we think about– – Before we even start, we
haven’t even started yet. Now, we’re just looking around, right? – We’re not a pro-wrestler
kind who did I beat today? I’m part of a crew kind of person. But then when we do our work, when we do our work, we
have to be willing to break from the system. We have to do something
that hasn’t been done yet. It’s not people like us
do things like this yet. First is just I do things like this. And if you wanna affiliate with me, you’re gonna do things like
this too, and that’s super hard. That’s why if you look
at 10,000 TEDx talks, 9,500 of them are the same because it’s scary to get up and do one. But 500 of them, well, I
never heard that before and they say that person is
an idiot and you delete it, we say, now I believe. You taught me something new,
I wanna be people like that. And that pioneering spirit,
the assertion-making, that’s all artists do. It’s not a craft, it’s the
art of making an assertion that I didn’t know before and now that I know it, you’ve changed me. – You said earlier, but I’m not Banksy, but I’m not fill in the
blank, fill in the blank, what about the people who
are at home saying, yeah, but like, what do I have
that’s original to say? Like what’s my corner of the world? – Yeah, and I don’t think
you’ve tried hard enough. That if you say I have writer’s block, I say show me your bad writing. Once you show me 50,000
words of bad writing, then you can tell me
you have writer’s block. But first, do some bad writing ’cause over time, your bad
writing will get less bad. If the magic of the DSLR is for 300 bucks, everyone has a state of the art object. But you’re a lousy photographer. Do you know why you’re
a lousy photographer? ‘Cause you didn’t take
enough pictures yet. Show me 10,000 pictures. Put the pictures in the
world one at a time. Listen to how they’re resonating with the people you’re seeking to serve. Take more pictures, take more pictures. It doesn’t cost anything,
then come back to me and tell me you have
no photographic talent. But first, do the work. – That is gold. If you are listening to this, you need to hit that 30
second backward button. If you’re on the podcast right
now, you need to play that. I wanted a photography book. It is called The Best Cameras. The one that’s with you. It was the first book
on mobile photography and it’s said in there
that’s the dirty secret in photography is that you
have to take a lot of pictures to get your work and to find your work. And that is the thing, I just did a great, co-created something with
Apple called Photo Lab, where this program is
in all 500 Apple Stores worldwide every day. And one of the things that
we’re trying to cement in there is that the difference between
a pro and an amateur is that pros see something and
they’ll take 10 pictures of it versus you just see the Grand Canyon, you walk up to the edge of
Grand Canyon, you take a picture and you wonder why the pro, I mean, sure there’s other
distinctions, but you wonder why the pro got a better
photograph than you did and it’s because the pro hiked down, took 10 pictures from down
below, took 15 from above, took pictures of their friends, themselves and I just love the concept of the work. I think it resonates with people who are actually committed to it. Is there a way that that
separates the people who are allowed into the club? Is this like people like
us do things like this? Is doing work a reasonable divider ’cause the people who’ve done
it, the people who haven’t? – Yeah, well, there’s a bunch of dividers. One of them is slowly
fading, which is the divider of what you look like,
where you came from. It’s totally unreasonable, but
it’s true in a lot of places particularly in photography with gender and things like that. Fortunately, I think that
we’re gonna see that fade. But there is a tiny group of lucky people. A tiny group of people who
their first video went viral. I tell you people who from
the day their blog went up, they just kept going and going. I wasn’t in that group
when it came to my writing. I did 120 books as a book packager before I became an author. I wasn’t in that group with my blog. 20 people read my blog every
day for months or years before it was 200, blah, blah, blah. But then I got lucky ’cause Fast Company let me be a columnist. But that luck happened
because I had already written 50,000 words, 100,000
words before that occurred. So, yeah, I think you can look at people. I look at you and say, this
guy has been working generously for decades at this. And people don’t notice
until you had the last zero. And they’re, whoa, look at that. Shake Shack, right? We’ll talk to Danny Meyer
how long Shake Shack took. – Right, the 10-year overnight success. – Maybe 20, yeah. – Probably 20. All right, I wanna read
another chapter title and that’s around price. – Okay. – I think this is an area– – Yeah, I like this one a lot. – This is an area that I
think screws up a lot of even startups like how
we price our product. And certainly, if you’re an individual, I have told the story about
realizing, oh, my gosh, if I charge this much,
I literally only need like 30 clients a year
to make a great living. Oh, my gosh. So then it became about pricing. I think people are two things. One, afraid of talking about
price and experimented with it and two, they’re just
they’re ignorant about it. They don’t know. So, to me, there’s a bunch
of wisdom here on pricing and if you could like put
your arms around that force about how you talk about the book. – Okay, so I’ll start
in a surprising place. If you’re selling to businesses,
begin by understanding it’s not the person’s money, it’s their boss’ boss’ boss’ money. So their engagement with
money isn’t the same as yours. If you’re imagining how you would feel paying $5,000 five for a photoshoot, that’s the wrong question. This person is going to go
to their boss with a story and that story might be all
photographers are the same. I got this one for $500 less. If that’s a story you wanna give them, be prepared to be the cheapest. But there’s a different
story you can give them, which is this trade show
is super important to us. And I managed to pay double so we will never have to worry about whether the photography
comes out all right or not ’cause I got the best person. Well, that story is actually
more appealing to them because that story shows their
boss they put the effort in. So if you are the one and only, if you are the specialist at
shooting trade show booths in Tucson, Arizona, this can
be a waiting list for you. If it’s true, right? Because it’s worth paying extra for that. The low price is the hiding
place of the average creator that you say, well, I
can’t afford to be better ’cause I’m the cheapest. Well, the opposite of that is I’m the best so I can afford to charge extra for people who want the
best, and that is the key. The story they are telling themselves is if I am paying extra, it must be better. I’m the kind of person who wants better, so therefore, I insist on paying extra. And I don’t think it’s immoral
to bring this emotional labor and this effort to somebody
who wants to tell themselves the story they like paying extra. In fact, if you get a choice
of your minimum viable market, why would you pick people
who like paying less? Just pick people who like paying more. – It sounds so simple, but
it’s literally like it’s, the way I talk about it is that it’s like it is almost exactly the
same amount of effort to sell something for
$100 as it is for 1,000. It’s just a different buyer. – Yeah. – So put that lens on the people who are listening right now. Put that lens on it. – Well, if you are going to do the hundred versus the thousand, perfect! – Reframe it as your market.
– No, perfect. Please understand, you’re
not a greedy megalomaniac. If you sell one-fifth as many, you’re still gonna make
twice as much money, right? You can do the math. Hit positive on that. Which means you’re gonna get turned down 80% of the time, right? One-fifth. Fine. So when you get turned
down, what you just heard was not that you’re inferior
that you’re a bad person, what you just heard is
I’m not the kind of person that likes to spend $1,000 on this. Great, congratulations. Here is the phone number of several who likes to sell for 100. Great. I don’t hate you and you don’t hate me, you just want to me, I don’t sell, right? So if you wander into a
fancy boutique and say, hi, I’d like to buy a $9 pair of sneakers, they shouldn’t hate on you, they should just say, the
Payless is six doors down. We don’t sell $9 sneakers,
we sell $900 sneakers. And when you’re ready by
$900 sneakers, we’ll be here. And if you can accept that,
then selling $900 sneakers and making them worth 1,000 is
a fine way to spend your day. – That’s I think a brilliant, that’s another thing you have
to rewind to listen to again and I think that that
creators get that wrong over and over and over again. And that’s the sort of trying
make some for everyone, making it for no one, the
same is true with price. I have found that in small, and again, what you ultimately I think realize this took me a while is
that the sea of people that you’re gonna
encounter is not that huge and there’s a lot of crossover. And for every person that
you are wildly polite and engaged and positive around, but you steer them to somebody else, if they say, oh, it’s 10
grand, oh, I’ve got five and you say no problem. I can introduce you to a lot
of $5,000 fill in the blank. And they’re like, but I really want you and I’m like, oh, no sorry, I’m at 10, and let me introduce you to a five. And what people get hung up on, I’d like to hear your comment about this as soon as I finish my little
narrative here, which is, but when I get 10, I’ll come hire you. Just do it for five now. And when I have a spouse is, that if you become that person, when they get 10 grand,
they’re going to the person who risk 25 and then
they’re gonna offer 10– – ‘Cause that’s the kind
of person that they are. – They’ve categorized you as that person. – And they’ve categorized themselves as the bargain seeker, right? So the challenge in that
setting as you’ve pointed out is that once you lower
your price to that person, you have signaled to them
I’m the kind of supplier that likes to work with
people who negotiate and hassle about the price, and if that gives you
pleasure, call me, right? And it also makes them at
some level disappointed because they are thinking, I
could’ve gotten them for four. And if you pick your customers right, if the pricing is a
signaling strategy for them, they want you to charge more. And there are plenty of
fields where this is true. Contemporary art,
photography, public speaking that’s what the way it works is, boss, you’re gonna be so excited. He said yes. Not I got a bargain, but they said yes. That’s what you’re bringing to the table. The challenge is the acting as if and the getting the momentum. So one of the ways around it for people for example for photography
is have two kinds of clients. Clients where you work for free and clients where you work for a lot. So if you do photography
for zoos, nonprofits, kids’ schools, et cetera, that filling your portfolio to the edges, you can then look a
corporation in the eye and say, I’m $10,000 a day and they say, yeah, ’cause those are charities. When you started charity, please call me. And so now, I’ve divided the
world into different buckets and that’s totally appropriate. Another way to do it. Shepard Fairey, if you want to
the original Shepard Fairey, it’s $80,000. But every month, he puts 100 lithos on his thing for $800 and you can sell them on eBay for profit. He doesn’t care. That’s all good because
he’s put this into the world treating different people differently. But if you’re gonna treat
different people differently, you gotta have rules ’cause otherwise, everyone’s gonna feel like you’re not treating them fairly. – It’s a really interesting distinction. I like to say work free or full price, but stay out of the middle. – Yeah. – And when someone is asking
you to sort of negotiate down, that’s when you wanna send
them to somebody else. I think it is the pricing
psychology is fascinating and I could talk about it forever, but I wanna move on to something that is I wanted to get to it, but you
just gave me the perfect door and that is it’s not about
sort of them hating you because you cost 10 grand
or you didn’t negotiate and you want to negotiate, it’s separate the creator from the work. You did a beautiful job, sum
that up at the end of the book. So I think that’s also a big hang up for the people who are
watching and listening and give us a way to think about
it that deliver us, please, from this challenges that we have. – If Jerry Seinfeld gives
a standup performance in a club in New York and no one laughs, it could be ’cause he’s
having a bad night. Or it could ’cause
everyone in the audience is from an Italian tour group and doesn’t speak a word in English. He shouldn’t beat himself
up if it’s the second one. They just speak a different language. So when you go to somebody
and say this is what I make and they get angry at you or in your head, you think
they’re angry at you, that’s not really what’s happening. What’s happening is they have
their own noise in their head. They know what they know,
they want what they want, they believe what they believe
and you can dance with that. And they maybe wanna be seen
by you having those feelings. Or maybe you just wanna disengage, but has nothing to do with your work. – You’re the human.
– Right? They’re not saying, how dare
you even breathe the oxygen on the same planet as me. What they’re saying is it’s not for me and they’re just not polite
enough to say it that way, and you, your own worst boss,
are busy beating yourself up for being inferior as opposed
to saying who does want this? Who does want to dance
with what I’ve made? And then you have to be
honest enough to say, you know what, it’s not that good. I’m gonna make something better. – That’s huge. I think a reframing, if
you’ve had that self-doubt, which is I can say I believe
we all have at some point. There is this reconciliation between when you put something
out there in the world and it’s crickets, what’s your response? Was it not good enough? Was it about me or did I do
something that was disingenuous? Was it that I served table
four’s food to table six and they got there like, I did not order the chicken cacciatore. Like all of those things are possibly true and we have to fix them
the internal self-talk, which is the problem
for this cross-section of the people that I think
we’ve decided to serve. – Right, and the good news is you and I will never run out of stuff to talk about ’cause it’s not like we say, okay, done because it’s so deep. It’s there for a long time. You just have to dance with
it, you can’t make it go away. – I promised I would handcuff
you to the chair if I could. I’d promise to use–
– Tactics, bring it on. – Okay. So, I wanna get some tactics and I know you don’t
love talking about them, which is part of the reason
I want you to go there, but there are set of
habits that have created the books that you’ve put out there. There are set of habits that
whether their daily habits or work habits or how you
think about things help us, I have never really heard you
talk about like your routines and I think it’s, I don’t know, I’m not even gonna fill
in the blank for you. But can you give us something,
like what does it look like? And I understand that people, like these are potentially
very esoteric things, but I hope that they help
other people understand what’s possible. You can actually craft your own thinking. You’re not beholden to
what your phone says the first thing in the
morning when you pick it up, but what are some of your
personal habits for creating? – Here are the ones that
I think are universal. – Well, don’t tell me
everything about everybody ’cause they need to
*know nothing about me. – No, habits of mind that
I think are applicable to other people, right? The fact that I’m a vegetarian,
probably irrelevant, and I don’t think becoming a vegetarian will make you a better *man. – Fair. – Neil Gaiman’s said
that when he feels stuck, what he needs to do is get bored because if he gets bored
enough, he invents something to keep himself entertained. That’s how he gets unstuck. So, I’ve tried very hard to eliminate all the things that I can
that make me feel like I’m busy and productive when
I’m not actually productive. So I don’t go to meetings and I don’t have a television. So right there, I have seven
or eight hours every day that most people don’t have. I don’t use Facebook
and I don’t use Twitter. That’s another hour and a half not to mention the
drama that goes with it. So already, I start every day
with an eight-hour head start over almost everybody else. And then what I’ve chosen
to do is pick places or digital spaces that are sacred in the sense that I only enter them with the intent of
coming out with a trophy, with a gift with something to share. So, I’m not gonna open this word processor unless I’m there to write
a certain kind of writing. And for me, with my blog, I
was on Typepad for 15 years. The Typepad user interface
made me a better writer because if it opened, I
knew why it was there. I knew why I was there. I knew what this was for. And so these practices, every few years, I invent
a uniform for myself that I wear at work ’cause if I put on the smock,
if I put on the lab coat, I just got one the other day the new one. If I put that on, there’s a reason. We’re here to do stuff. And surgeons are great at this. They wear a mask, they wear gloves. They’re like bank robbers,
except they don’t just like say, yeah, I’m having a coffee. Okay, I’ll do some surgery now. There is this process
that makes you a surgeon. And salespeople, famously with some guy who’s bothering him finally sat down and he said I’m not here
to sell you anything. And so he’s like, then why
are you wasting my time? If you’re here to sell me
something, sell me something. Well, say to yourself, I’m
here to get better at my craft. I’m here to get better photography. I’m going to shoot 400
pictures of this tulip and I’m not gonna stop until there is 400. We do reps in the gym, we
should do reps with the camera. And so for me, if an editor
comes back to me with a book that I’ve handed to them with comments, I don’t get all defensive,
I say thank you. Can you believe that this person
cared enough in this moment to say something to you for you? And as soon as I say thank you, I’m wearing a different hat, right? Whereas Amazon reviews,
haven’t read one in five years. I don’t think anyone should
read their Amazon reviews or their Yelp reviews. I’m never gonna write that book again. Why are you giving me feedback
on the book, it’s done. I’m never gonna write it again. I’ve never met an author
who’s better at writing ’cause they read their one-star reviews. What those one-star reviews
say is this book wasn’t for me. Thanks for letting us know. We don’t need to read anything else, you just announced it’s not for you. Okay, get it. Thank you. And so, if I’m asking
for advice from people, which I like better a word than feedback, I’m asking the right people who are gonna give me
advice in the right spirit. I’m not walking up to a
stranger on the corner interrupting them and say,
and what do you think of this? Because it’s not for them
and they’re not trained in how to give me a good advice. – It’s so obvious when you
think about it that way. I’d love it. Sorry, keep talking because– – No, no, I mean, so all of
these things are the practice of someone who calls
himself a professional and we expect it from surgeons. But somehow, we expect that
writers will just drink a lot, not dress very well and
complain about writers block That’s not what Isaac Asimov taught me. Isaac wrote 400 hundred
books as a published author and he wrote 400 books by
getting up every morning and typing until noon ’cause
he was a professional. So, generally, when I see people who, the reason I don’t share
what I had for breakfast is because that puts me
in a different place. And what I’m trying to argue
is I’m in the same place, but I’m trying to do it as a professional using these tools for a reason. This book is not me. I wrote a book, if you don’t like the book, it doesn’t mean you don’t like me, it means you didn’t like the book. And if I didn’t do that, I
could never write another word ’cause the thought that
there are tens of thousands of people who will now
announce they don’t like me, I’m not up for that. I can’t handle that. – So, you just gave me a thing
that I haven’t heard from you on any other place, which
is like this is a process. I’ve been reading your blog for, how many years you’ve been doing that now? – Off and on, like 20. – Ken and me are the first
people on that platform and certainly one of the last. Didn’t like WordPress environment. – Yeah, it’s a long story,
but now it’s at Sethst.blog. – Okay. What does it mean to
write to write every day? Like you sit down and– – How can you not do that? Why wouldn’t everyone do that? I don’t understand, it’s free. You can put in someone else’s name on it. The fact that I know that
tomorrow, a blog is going out makes me a better thinker
and a better human today because I know I’m going
to write something tomorrow that has my name on it,
that’s going to stick around about my view of the world. Why wouldn’t everyone
want to be able to do that even if no one read it? I would definitely write
my blog if no one read it because this chronicling
of what did I noticed today helps me see the world for free. And I get to feel like
I’m producing something even if I don’t get paid for it, even if I don’t have to argue
with a publisher, an editor, it’s just here. I thought of this. Use it if you want to. I’ve never once had a blog
post win the Internet. I’ve never had one of my
posts go viral and be a hit. Some have more traffic than
others, but it looks like this, it’s never like this and
I think that’s great. ‘Cause if this happened
to me, I would be tempted to try to make it happen again. Top 10 ways to increase
your creative performance. I share my secrets in this
exclusive post, right? But I don’t wanna do that ’cause that’s not what the blog is for. – You just captured probably
10 million blog posts, but like almost probably word per word. I love it. All right, so the book
“This Is Marketing”, you talked about a couple
of the other class, let’s talk about the longer class. – So there’s the altMBA,
which is my flagship doing it. altmba.com and that is a 30-day intensive. People in 45 countries
have taken it so far. We’re up to 2,600 alumni. It changes people’s lives. It’s really cool. I’m not in it. There’s no video, there’s
no secret content. That’s not what it is. It’s got coaches and video conferences and cohorts of people who
become friends for life. So that’s our flagship in the sense that if you’re enrolled in that leveling up and you wanna commit to it,
we have a place for you. And then the marketing seminar, which starts in January 2019 again is this community discussion board that’s only for the
people who’ve signed up. There’s a video of me every two days, seven minutes long or so, and then I give you a challenge. And then the whole group shares their work and comments on their work. So when it’s up and running, there’s a new post every minute. Every three minutes. 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and you can’t fall behind
’cause it’s always happening and it unfolds over 50
videos over 100 days, but we keep it open for 200 days. And what people come in and
say, how can I find a tactic to sell more fur coats? And they leave with this
whole student-teacher mindset of service and maybe a different project, but it’s the connections
between and among. I’m just there to start a fire. It’s that that that’s
the future of education as far as I’m concerned. I think free video online
is gonna stick around ’cause it’s powerful. If you’re gonna pay for it,
I think it’s gonna involve interactions with other
people to get you to be momentarily uncomfortable
on your way to being better. – Beautiful. Congratulations on the book. “This is Marketing”. Mr. Seth Godin, you’re a legend. Super honored to have you on this show. You didn’t realize that you’re handcuffed and we’re gonna talk
for another two hours. We’re gonna turn the cameras off and talk for another two hours while
I got him here in New York. No, huge thank you. Inspiration to so many. I appreciate you being on the show, man. – Thanks for everything. – And for everybody home,
you know where to get Seth. Pick this up, it is a gem
and thanks for tuning in. See you tomorrow. – Go make a run. (relaxing music)

Case Study: King County Technology (KCIT) Cuts Costs with Logitech SmartDock & Skype Room Systems


King County IT on Logitech King County is one of the largest counties in the country we have 14,000 employees. My department King County information technology provides technology services, to those employees. We wanted technology that didn’t require a half hour set up before they had their meeting. The smart dock and Skype room systems have really improved the collaboration and communication. Logitech smart dock is really is the foundation that drives, you know day to day business. We test, we saw it’s a great product and we’re in a time crunch and we just implement about 17 within a one month. Now she was a great success KC IT will easily hold, over a hundred two hundred meetings a week using the smart dock system. I like that I don’t have to be a hapa to a County car and drive for miles down a crowded freeway just to be able to talk to someone about budgets or an Excel spreadsheet. You come in you can see if the room is available and for how long, you push two buttons and you have a meeting all we do is we just hear the great things about it after the meeting and how easy you went and how great it was. We interview people using the technology. Before we used to fly them in, now we do a lot of Skype interviews save ourselves a lot of money and can interview more candidates. One of the strains in using the logitech smart dock and Skype room systems is document integration. We don’t have to pick up our laptops to bring them with us we embed things in the meeting we log in they’re already there. I think we have about thirty of our collaboration spaces with the technology and I can tell you that they’re always full meetings are shorter and more productive, and the collaboration and teamwork is increasing. I see the smart dock system rolled out everywhere not only is it convenient but it’s it’s time-saving, it’s money saving. Imagine having a standard dice conference rooms in the whole county, so no matter what department you are, no matter who you are, you know exactly what to expect when you walk into a room and it’s great to be a leader it’s great to be the one that you have the courage to do it you do it you have a great success and you can just share this with the world. LEARN MORE
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