- “Explorers become explorers precisely because they have a streak of unsociability and a need to remove themselves at regular intervals as far as possible from their fellow men.” – Royal Geographical Society, about 100 years ago. (Note: This reminded me of church planters.)
- Super Mario is the dominant video game franchise, selling more than Halo, Tomb Raider, Guitar Hero, Resident Evi and Madden combined. There are more than 200 Mario game titles and there are more Gameboys in the world than there are people in Mexico. (Note: I think Angry Birds just passed Mario.)
- Mario is a one-size fits all hero, modeled after a real person named Mario Segale. An Asian invention with a European nam in an American setting.
- Nintendo was a six-person startup. Miyamoto was inspired by the story of Popeye – defeat the villain to save the girl.
- Radar Scope was an early Nintendo game, and had it been more successful, Donkey Kong probably wound’t have been developed. At the time, there were a ton of shooter and maze games, but there weren’t any ape-throwing monkey games.
- Programmers developed a “glitch” in the game Joust – when the stork moved off the left side of the screen, it appeared on the right side of the screen. “It’s not a bug…it’s a feature.”
- Video game controllers were designed with fewer buttons to force developers to create easy to play games.
- Nemawashi – a Japanese gardening term for digging around the roots of a to-be transplanted tree. Businesses need to quietly lay the correct groundwork for success.
- In the early days, Mario appeared as side characters in a lot o video games. In order to make him an icon, he needed a constant story and a world of his own. Mario became a character in a story, and the video game wasn’t a simulation, it was a world. When Super Mario Brothers was released, 1 in 6 Americans bought a copy.
- Mario isn’t about fighting turtles, it’s about “flow” – the feeling of accomplishment and fulfillment while engaged in an activity. It’s a sweet spot when something isn’t too hard and isn’t too easy.
- Many of the world’s Wii consoles are made at a single Foxconn plant in Shenzhen, a plant that employs 350,000 workers. (Note: I had no idea…I’m going to learn more about this.)
Here are my notes from Necessary Endings, by Henry Cloud
- Today might be the enemy of tomorrow
- The good cannot begin until the bad ends
- Endings are a requirement for living and thriving
- Growth depends on PRUNING.
- When Jack Welch took over GE, he decided to get out of any market he couldn’t dominate. And he decided to fire the the bottom 10% every year.
- All things have life cycles and seasons.
- Desire along is not enough to keep something going
- Don’t keep discussing a problem or an idea with a foolish person
- Show people the vision over time – don’t dump it on them all at once. (Example: When he was moving to a new house, he showed his kids the neighborhood, the backyard, the upstairs – all over time, so when he told them about the move, they were familiar with the destination)
- There are simple things that work, but they are not always obvious.
- There is tremendous power and focus in a simple deadline. A deadline is simply creating the ending in advance.
- There is tremendous clarity in simple measurements.
- Urgent is the new normal and “later” is a drug.
- Don’t get too attached to a certain outcome.
- Face losing things you might want in order to be free to do the right thing.
- Don’t idealize or romanticize – it keeps you from seeing the whole picture.
- The best and longest lasting business are the ones in which everyone sees and loves the whole picture.
- There’s a big difference between a skeptic (someone with real questions) and a “no-no” person (someone who is opposed to any kind of change)
- Sometimes, you need to set a personal deadline and give yourself a consequence (For example: “If I don’t get a job teaching in 9 months, then I’m going to pursue another field.”
- What are your goals for a specific conversation? Decide and communicate in advance what you hope to accomplish.
Buy Now: Creative Marketing that Gets Customers to Respond to You And Your Product
by Rick Cesari and Ron Lynch
- You have a strong need. We can fulfill it.
- People are grateful to be sold something they truly want and need.
- The Super Bowl shows us that we do, indeed, like advertising.
- “All marketing is bad – unless, of course, it is for something I want and need.”
- “You cannot afford in this day and age to say, “Our product appeals to everyone then shotgun a message in hopes of landing business. That’s a stupid waste of money.”
- But wait, there’s more.
- We had the right guy (who could get your attention), the right product (it actually worked) and a good distribution model.
- When selling, focus on the benefits, not the features. You can accomplish this with the “problem/solution” scenario
- P90X wasn’t marketed using an “exercise is easy” strategy. The makers let you know it was tough.
- “To a man, a good sales pitch is like a good arrow: It gets to the meat – short, straight, and to the point. It actually may leave some things unanswered. To a woman, a good pitch is more like a good based: woven, connected, and three dimensional. It needs to hold more water.”
- With consumers hearing 40,000 marketing messages a week, you must have a unique selling proposition. If you cannot find a way to create a definite USP, you should probably change the product or service.
- Product price testing showed that people think in terms of twenty dollar bills. Virtually no difference between $29 and $39 – call volume was identical at both price points. Same proved true for $49 and $59.
Here are some notes from Making Ideas Happen, by Scott Belsky.
Ideas don’t happen because they are great – or by accident. Organization enables you to manage and ultimately execute your ideas. Since we’re living in an “information overload” culture, it’s the organized ideas that rise to the top.
Creativity is the catalyst for brilliant accomplishments, but it’s also the greatest obstacle. History is made by passionate, creative people and organizations with the rare ability to lead others and themselves.
Making Ideas Happen = the idea + organization and execution + forces of community + leadership capability.
Without structure, your ideas will fail to build on one another. Apple, a company known for it’s creativity and innovation, is one of the most organized companies on the planet (according to ARM research who ranks the supply side management of Fortune 500 companies).
Creativity x Organization = Impact. An idea that scores 100 but has 0 organization = 0 impact. An idea that’s only a 50 on the creative scale but a 2 on the organizational side = 100. This is why someone with average creativity but good organizational skills will make a greater impact than the disorganized genius.
Brainstorming sessions that don’t result in specific, actionable items are generally a waste of time. We must be biased towards action, not towards discussing.
- People should capture their own action steps. One person taking notes and emailing the entire team doesn’t work. Let people write down their own action steps.
- Individuals should share their action steps to increase accountability. An unowned action step will never be taken. “If you state your action steps in front of your colleagues, you are more likely to follow through with them.” End the meeting by going around the table.
- Call out nonactionable meetings. How many people are sitting in worthless meetings without the guts to say it?
You must prioritize your action steps (always assign target dates!) or your work flow will be cluttered. Not everything you do matters an equal amount – focus on the most important. What if staff members chose five projects to work on and complete over the next five weeks?
Seek constraints for your idea (completion date, budget, etc.). Bring clarity to these issues on the front end, and you’ll get more done on the back end.
If you’re in charge of planning something, you’re wise to seek out as many parameters as you can from your supervisor. Ask detailed questions about the timeline, the team and the budget – the more you have in advance, the better you can do.
Smaller, more confined spaces may help us focus more intently while wide-open spaces with higher ceilings foster a more unencumbered way of thinking. Is your workspace an “isolated space full of distractions?”
Forces of Community
- Dreamers – fun to be around but struggle to stay focused, always generating new ideas, idealists and starters
- Doers – focused on logistics, frustrated by a lack of implementation, start with doubt
- Incremetalists – those with the ability t play the role of both the dreamer and doer, but usually shift between phases, tend to conceive and execute too many ideas because they can
Sharing ideas significantly increases the odds of ideas gaining momentum and ultimately happening. People become more committed to their idea as they talk about it.
Skeptics sometimes get a bad rap – they are an essential component of a healthy team, and leaders should cultivate their respect an influence.
Teams should not strive for complete consensus at the outset of a project. Agreement is not the same thing as consensus.
Leaders should talk first, and then listen.
Develop others through the power of appreciation.
Every ministry leader in the church should think of himself or herself as an entrepreneur.
Here are some notes and thoughts from Five Lessons a Millionaire Taught Me, a great little book by Richard Paul Evans.
1. The wealthy decide to be wealthy. “The most substantial people are the most frugal and make the least show, and live at the least expense.” – Frances Moore
Money makes a good servant but a bad master – Proverb
2. Take responsibility for your money. Know how much money you have. Know where your money comes from. Know where your money is going. Know what your money is doing.
3. Keep a portion of everything you earn. 10% of your income at 10% return over 40 years is $2.4 million.
4. Win in the margins. An extra 10% saved each year is $2.4 million after 40 years.
Millionaire Mindset #1: The millionaire mentality carefully considers each expenditure. Is it really necessary, or is it possible to get the same personal effect without using money or using less of it? Is this expenditure contributing t my wealth or taking from it? Is this an impulse purchase or a planned purchase?
Millionaire Mindset #2: The millionaire mentality believes that freedom and power are better than momentary pleasure.
Millionaire Mindset #3: The millionaire mentality does not equate spending with happiness.
Millionaire Mindset #4: The millionaire mentality protects the nest egg.
5. Give back.