Tag Archives: hugh-macleod

MacLeod on Entrepreneurship

Hugh MacLeod shares a list of random thoughts on being an entrepreneur–a simple list of twenty-six inspirational titbits on business, positioning and success.

My favourite five:

  • In a world of over-supply and commodification, you are no longer paid to supply. You’re being paid to deliver something else. What that is exactly, is not always obvious.
  • People buy your product because it helps fill in the narrative gaps in their lives.
  • You can either be cheapest or the best. I know which one I prefer.
  • People will always, always be in the market for a story that resonates with them. Your product will either have this quality or it won’t.
  • People remember the quality long after they’ve forgotten the price. Unless you try to rip them off.

Free: Interview with Chris Anderson

Whether you’ve read it or not, you’re undoubtedly aware that Chris Anderson, editor in chief of Wired and author of The Long Tail, has written a new book: Free.

I haven’t read the book but can likely guess the premise—and given that the unabridged audiobook can be downloaded online I’ll no doubt be giving it a listen at some point in the near future (Anderson made Free available online at no cost in various formats for a limited time).

Until that time, this interview about Free between Chris Anderson and Hugh MacLeod (of Gaping Void) will satiate my desire.

I think there are two classes of people who are afraid or skeptical of Free: those who grew up before the web (ie, olds like me) and people whose industries are threatened by the web (ie, media people like me). Many in my generation or profession (mostly, I hope, those who haven’t read the book) assume that Free is something of a Ponzi scheme. Meanwhile, my kids are also appalled that I wrote a book called FREE, but not because it’s wrong/scary, but because it’s so freaking obvious.

Needless to say, they’re both wrong. Free is neither a mirage nor is it self-evident. Instead, it’s an essential, but complicated, component of a 21st century business model—not the only price, but often the best one.

Some other choice quotes from the interview (best read in context):

These are exciting days, and if ever these was a time to be overextended this is it.

Easier: experimenting. Harder: predicting.

Don’t wait to be given a job to do something cool. Follow your passions, create something every day, take chances and try to be the best in the world at something, no matter how tiny and trivial. Nothing impresses me more than initiative. And there has never been a better time to take it.

On a more prosaic note, I think that leading people is perhaps the most important skill these days.

Being Creative with gapingvoid

You may know gapingvoid from Hugh MacLeod’s “cartoons drawn on the back of business cards“. Now he’s telling us How To Be Creative.

So you want to be more creative, in art, in business, whatever. Here are some tips that have worked for me over the years:

  • You are responsible for your own experience.
  • Everybody has their own private Mount Everest they were put on this earth to climb.
  • Don’t try to stand out from the crowd; avoid crowds altogether.
  • If you accept the pain, it cannot hurt you.

The lengthy article was picked up by Seth Godin and is now available for free in a wonderfully formatted PDF from ChangeThis. Also worth a read is Hugh’s How To Be Creative book proposal.