Breaking down fear

Anxiety triggers unexpected behavior. Therefore, when friends, family, colleagues, or customers act unexpectedly, stand back and take a deep dive into their fears. 

It is tough to see the positive side of events when looking down a gun barrel, even if it is only in your mind. And, there’s no better cultural serial killer than a constant state of anxiety.

Bottom line: We all want to live in a state of belonging and appreciation. So the question is, how can you move those around you from fear to owning their situation?

Your competitors in not your enemy.

Siblings’ rivalry is a real thing. We even see it in organizations. Parenting styles, concerns with fairness, and lack of social skills can expose huge falt lines within a family. When kids start competing for their parents’ attention, minor feuds can escalate into huge differences. 

On the other hand, we all need competitors because racing against yourself is not good for your creative juices. Look at monopolies.

Enemies are different. Moreover, enemies oppose each other’s interests outright. They are like villains, operating in the dark.

Apathy, in many cases, is enemy number one. When the couch is better than exploring your talents, you accept the unacceptable—the same for fear, fear of failure, rejection, and change. It destroys creativity.

Bottom line: Your competitors drive you to new heights every day, while your enemies will kill your enthusiasm. Therefore, if you want to move forward, search for a bit of healthy rivalry.

The ultimate marketing strategy.

“Values are like lighthouses; they are signals giving us direction, meaning, and purpose” – Recruiter Journal

And this is what marketing is about, communicating values in an overly noisy world. Remember, the attention span of your customers is short, very short. And nobody could articulate it better than Steve Jobs in his Think Different keynote speech.

Talking about the bits and pieces of your product is no way to build a brand. It will only result in a battle to the bottom. So instead, focus on the difference you want to make and not the job at hand.

Technology and trends are moving, and it is moving fast. So, yes, you can use tech-talk to get traction with those early adopters, but it will start working against you sooner or later. In the long run, people will not only love you for the things you make but, more importantly, for why you make them feel the way you do. Don’t forget; passion is contagious.

Bottom line: Focus on the difference you want to make. Very few are interested in the bits and pieces you are trying to sell.

The Kessler syndrome

This is a real thing. Imagine, with the number of satellites and objects launched into space, a single collision between two objects could trigger a wave of crashes resulting in chaos. Each collision increases the likelihood of another. To turn the effect around will take decades.

Aren’t we all hoping that our ideas will have the same effect? Spreading like there is no tomorrow. The problem is when the response becomes out of control and destroys all your hard work. 

Bottom line: A much better idea is to stay in your orbit and be true to yourself. This way, you can cover a vastly more significant part of the globe.

The Gospel of Silicon Valley (Part 2)

Silicon Valley is creating the future. The future is happening here as we speak. No other metropole can play along.

It gave people a way to express themselves and stay connected with everybody; it invented the mobile phone to put information right where it belongs, in your hands; it organizes the world for you; furthermore, it created self-driving cars. So the whole mission is to reinvent how things are done, to make life easier.

These developments are creating loads of wealth and eliminating those old cogs. So, if a machine can do it, why not replace it? But, if it becomes expensive, let us look at an alternative. 

This way of thinking fueled the industrial revolution. It was driven by replacing those doing repetitive work. In today’s service economy, people are again the center stage. However, software-as-a-service with underlying machine learning technologies is changing the playing field again. 

But there is an underlying headline that if you don’t do it in Silicon Valley, it won’t happen. Because the world’s future is created here, and the rest will follow. Every morning the globe will turn towards the Valley and ask, “where will my help come from.”

Nevertheless, our economy depends on connections to search for scarce and precious resources. But, using the technology popularised within the Valley, the real work is shifting to the corners of the globe. So I salute you for allowing me to create wealth in one of those corners.

Bottom line: If you want to stay relevant, make yourself unique, and stay connected with your ecosystem. Don’t think in terms of geographical limitations.

The Gospel of Silicon Valley (Part 1)

It’s all about spinning the truth to get more clicks. Amen.

It’s a place of opportunity. You can become the coffee artist on every corner by starting a business from your car’s trunk – the barista of your own success story. Then, if you don’t find your minimum viable audience, you can cross the road. 

And, suddenly, you join conversations about funding rounds, disruptive innovation, and startups. Some will even use words like blockchain and machine learning. Because you’ve got an inspiring story to share about how you started with nothing, and now everybody wants to be your buddy. 

Some of your fellow entrepreneurs’ stories may not resonate that well. The likes and clicks may not come as quickly as they would prefer. The influx of fake, self-serving, status-seeking “friends” and acquaintances is just not coming.

Therefore, a little bit of manipulation would help to attract attention. Of course, everybody loves a success story. But, more importantly, don’t let the facts get in your way to the big payout day. Therefore, it would help if you matched the dreams of your fellow dreamers.

Bottom line: Success built on truth and reality is resilient. A storyline built on falsehoods can take you only that far. Another option is to focus on what matters, but even that is manipulatable.