Tag Archives: Success

Creativity, an equation for success: Obsession x Voice

Here is a post from John Gruber about creative success. For publishers or anyone with a deep interest in something, “obsession times voice is a pretty good stab at a simple formula for doing it right.”

Obsession x Voice

  • What’s my obsession?
    • Surfing, sustainability, creativity, and technology.
  • What’s my voice?
    • Haven’t found that yet, despite being a loudmouth rambler. I do know I prefer positivity over controversy, brevity over run-on sentences, and quality over quantity, but it still feels like an amorphous blob to me.

A better definition from Merlin Mann:

“Topic times voice. Or, if you’re a little bit more of a maverick, obsession times voice. So what does that mean? I think all of the best nonfiction that has ever been made comes from the result of someone who can’t stop thinking about a certain topic — a very specific aspect of a certain topic in some cases. And second, they got really good at figuring out what they had to say about it.”

 

I think that gets us into the Malcom Gladwell 10,000 hours of practice territory.  You know the claim that real expertise in any topic takes 10,000 hours or anywhere from 5-10 years.

By my own arithmetic, I figure to be about halfway, 5,000 hours, into blogging. Give or take a few hundred. There is still a lot for me to learn and, indeed, every few weeks I learn something new that completely blows me away. Usually, a lesson that hits me like a punch in the stomach, but after each recovery I emerge better than ever.

A cycle that many of my creative readers will completely understand. Still, it’s good to hear other successful creatives come back and explain to us that “obsession x voice” is the equation for future success.

 

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My Daguerreotype Boyfriend – handsome men of the 1800s

 

The daguerreotype (phonetic: dəˈɡɛrətaɪp) was the first commercially successful photographic process. The image is a direct positive made in the camera on a silvered copper plate. – Wikipedia

 

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Facebook’s first public earnings release, Q2 – July 26

Facebook will give investors and the world their first official look at its post-IPO earning for Q2 2012 at 2pm PST on July 26th, according to a brief note posted to its investor relations page just now. The company’s share price closed at $31.095 today, down $0.265 or 0.85%, but still closer to the $38 IPO price than its been for most of the time since its May 18th public debut.

The company pulled in $1.058 billion in Q1 2012 revenue with a net income of $205 million. Critics will want to see both of those increase and will likely focus on its mobile revenue. Facebook only began showing ads on mobile at the end of February, but monetizing the medium is believed to be the linchpin of Facebook’s future success.

ViaFacebook’s First Public Earnings, Q2 2012, Scheduled For July 26th

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Exploring 50 years of conservation with the African Wildlife Foundation

Celebrating over 50 years of conservation success in Africa, this video highlights the range of unique approaches and diverse landscapes in three of the African Wildlife Foundation’s Heartlands: Maasai Steppe, Kazungula, and Congo.

African Wildlife Foundation

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All footage was exclusively filmed on location in each Heartland by AWF VP for Philanthropy and Marketing, Craig R. Sholley, and Director of Marketing, John Butler, with all video post-production managed in-house with special assistance from Dawne Langford.

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s multiple crusades to improve public health

Mike Bloomberg is a mayor with a mission. More specifically, a public health mission: Over the course of a decade he has made New York City a laboratory to test policies that manipulate the healthiness of public environments. His much-protested idea for a large-soda ban comes from a long lineage of much-protested smoking bans and trans-fat bans that have tested what, exactly, government can and cannot do to encourage healthier behaviors.

Some of Bloomberg’s ideas have proved remarkably effective in making New Yorkers healthier and become models for national policy. Some have flopped, showing little public health impact or running into trouble even getting off the ground. From smoking to soda bans, here’s a quick tour through Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s public health crusade.

  • NYC first major city to ban smoking in bars and restaurants.
  • Bans the use of trans-fat in all foods.
  • Requires restaurants to post calorie counts.
  • Proposes a voluntary effort on behalf of Americans’ food producers to reduce salt consumption by 20 percent.
  • Congestion pricing for cars entering New York City.
  • Limit access to sugary sodas.

 

keep reading to learn the impact on public health of each policyMayor Bloomberg Public Health: A Brief History

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Google Ventures – venture capital funding through data

A fascinating article in Fast Company profiles Google Ventures, the company’s venture capital division. Like everything the search giant does they are aiming big with delusions of changing the entire VC industry with data as the vehicle.

They start out with some interesting facts:

Despite the mythology that has built up around venture capital, it has become a slowly moldering investment vehicle. “The past 10 years haven’t been very productive,” Bill Maris points out. According to the research firm Cambridge Associates, during the decade ending last September, VCs as a class earned a 2.6% interest rate for their investors–less than you could have earned in an S&P 500 index fund. The numbers look slightly better over shorter periods; VCs have delivered a 4.9% return the past three years and 6.7% over the past five, still far from terrific.

 

 
Then they move on to insights gained through data-crunching:

Joe Kraus says that analysts have discovered research that overturns some of Silicon Valley’s most cherished bits of lore. Take that old idea that it pays to fail in the Valley: Wrong! Google Ventures’ analysts found that first-time entrepreneurs with VC backing have a 15% chance of creating a successful company, while second-timers who had an auspicious debut see a 29% chance of repeating their achievement. By contrast, second-time entrepreneurs who failed the first time? They have only a 16% chance of success, in effect returning them to square one. “Failure doesn’t teach you much,” Kraus says with a shrug.

Location, in fact, plays a larger role in determining an entrepreneur’s odds than failure, according to the Google Ventures data team. A guy who founded a successful company in Boston but is planning to start his next firm in San Francisco isn’t a sure bet. “He’ll revert back to that 15% rate,” Kraus says, “because he’s out of his personal network and that limits how quickly he can scale up.”

 

 

The article continues to describe the actions Google is taking to change the game. The most important of which seems to be bringing in ringers rather than partners, challenging the VC model at its core…

read the full articleGoogle’s Creative Destruction

The famous center of venture capital - Menlo Park, California.

 
// Thx to Guillaume SPillmann, Photo – Mark Coggins

Kickstarter project: Womanthology – massive all-female comic anthology

I read a lot of comics and it is always upsetting that there are no women creating them. There are female characters everywhere in the stories, many super heroines, and yet, nearly all the top female characters have all-male teams working on them.

It is pretty sad, and unfair.

The good news is that a few projects rumbling around are experiencing awesome success. The following Kickstarter project, one of the most successful on the site, covers this exact topic:

 

Womanthology; Massive All Female Comic Anthology!

Womanthology is a large scale anthology comic showcasing the works of women in comics. It is created entirely by over 140 women of all experience levels, including top industry professionals.

The purpose of the book is to show support for female creators in comics and media. There will be multiple short stories, “how to” & interviews with professionals, and features showcasing iconic female comic creators that have passed, such as Nell Brinkley and Tarpe Mills. A Kids & Teens section will also be included, showcasing their work, and offering tips & tricks to help them prepare themselves for their future careers in comics.

Overall, this is pretty much a huge book showcasing what women in comics have accomplished, and what we are capable of :) We are also hoping that by doing this book, it will encourage a new generation of women to pick up the pencil and create!

Do what unsuccessful people don’t like to do

The key to success is sometimes just the willingness to put one foot in front of the other one more time.

I have ten marathons under my belt, including four New York races and one Boston.  When you are running a grueling race with thousands of people, for the most part it doesn’t matter where in the pack you finish.  What matters is simply that you finish.  It’s all about persistence.

The difference between those who finish and those who give up lies in the old axiom that successful people do those things that unsuccessful people don’t like to do.  Successful people have the determination, the will, the focus, the drive to complete the tough jobs – like running a marathon.

Keeping your eye on the prize is usually easier said than done.  It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the demands of a long-term project.

  • Focus on what you can accomplish rather than the obstacles that stand in front of you.  Direct your energy toward achieving a goal, and tackle the problems with an emphasis on edging closer to a successful result.
  • When you identify a roadblock, develop a realistic plan to overcome it.
  • To paraphrase Winston Churchill: Never, never, never, never, never, never, never give up.

Read the full article – Harvey Mackay, Inc.

 

// Photo via Mike Baird

The Secret To Success? You Have To Learn How To Fail

Craig Stecyk, Tony Hawk, Stacy Peralta

Hear the name Stacy Peralta and you instantly think either: A) I love Stacy Peralta! or B) Who the heck is she?

He is the highest-ranked skateboarder of his time, turned multi-million dollar businessman, turned filmmaker. He is also the creator of, and father-figure to, the Bones Brigade, a skate team that featured the era’s top competitors, including Tony Hawk.

While heading up the Bones Brigade, Stacy went on to produce almost a dozen videos, which became some of the most influential skateboarding flicks of their time and set him on a path to film-making. His film Riding Giants, which traces the origins of surfing, specifically focusing on the art of big wave riding, became the first documentary film to open the Sundance Film Festival in 2004 and established him as a powerful filmmaker and storyteller.

His latest documentary, Bones Brigade: An Autobiography is not only a look-back at his life, but more importantly, an insider’s view on the evolution of skateboarding and how its pioneers and legends (like Tony Hawk, Rodney Mullen, Steve Caballero, Lance Mountain, Tommy Guerrero, and Mike McGill) were driven by sheer passion to create an art form. They were true innovators.

This was hands-down my favorite film from Sundance 2012 and in this intimate interview at the Sundance Cinema Cafe, Stacy shares his secret to success:

The secret is I had to learn how to fail. That’s the secret to success…is that you’ve got to learn how to fail. Because you fail more than you succeed.  You’ve got to get up off the ground and that’s the thing about success. You have to learn how to take those punches. When we skateboarded, we banged ourselves up all the time. But if you didn’t learn how to fall, if you didn’t learn how to bang yourself up, you couldn’t continue.

The film, expected to get a distribution deal for a theatrical release, is not a movie about skateboarding, but an emotional journey about passion, self-expression and the drive to create something meaningful and beyond the realm of possible.

Newsstand for iPad is really successful (at first)

Newsstand launched, the NYTimes for iPad app saw 189,000 new user downloads, up seven times from only 27,000 the week before, spokeswoman Danielle Rhoades Ha told me.

That’s impressive, but it’s nothing compared to the NYTimes iPhone app, which saw 1.8 million new downloads that week, 85 times more than the 21,000 downloads the week before. Nearly one-fifth of the 9.1 million people who have ever downloaded the NYTimes iPhone app did so last week, with the launch of Newsstand.

Poynter

If you already downloaded the NY Times app it self-deletes itself and reloads in Newsstand (on iOS5). The functionality isn’t all that different but it does send you push alerts, which are surprisingly interesting.

It’s nice to have a NY Times editor send you critical news items.

I also think it looks cool to have an actual newspaper image on my iPad/iPhone.

Condé Nast suggested on Tuesday that tablet magazines might have turned a corner with the launch of iOS 5. Since the iPad received access to Newsstand, subscriptions across titles like GQ and The New Yorker climbed 268 percent. Single issues reaped their own rewards and spiked 142 percent, the publisher said.

Electronista

Unfortunately, only the NY Times provides free content. The rest are subscription only. I don’t think Newsstand can maintain its success unless there is more free content. Otherwise, why not just go to the free website of these magazines/newspapers?