Tag Archives: inspiring

Cosmic View to The Know Universe

In 1957, the Dutch educator Kees Boeke wrote Cosmic View, a essay exploring “many levels of size and structure, from the astronomically vast to the atomically tiny”.

Boeke’s essay went on to inspire the 1968 animated short, Cosmic Zoom.

Cosmic View and Zoom then inspired the more famous Charles and Ray Eames documentary, Powers of Ten, created in 1977 (previously).

Unknown to me until recently was the 1996 Oscar-nominated documentary, narrated by Morgan Freeman, that was inspired by all of the above: Cosmic Voyage.

Similarly, NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day for January 20th 2010 was also inspired by all of these. This was not a picture, but the American Museum of Natural History’s documentary, The Known Universe.

All of these are inspiring, breathtaking videos that are short enough for any schedule:

Essential Startup Essays

Om Malik presents what he believes are the ten essential startup essays of 2009:

  1. Paul Graham: What Startups Are Really Like
  2. Sean Ellis: Milestones to Startup Success
  3. Eric Ries: Myth: Entrepreneurship Will Make You Rich
  4. Venture Hacks: What Is the Minimum Viable Product?
  5. Mike Speiser: The Power of Continuous Improvement
  6. Mike Speiser: Getting Comfortable With People Who Make You Uncomfortable
  7. Tony Wright: The Funnel Principle: Software & Making Money
  8. Andrew Chen: Does Every Startup Need a Steve Jobs?
  9. Josh Porter: Designing for Social Traction
  10. David Skok: Startup Killer: The Cost of Customer Acquisition

I’ve not read them all, but the ones I have are excellent and definitely worth your time. I’ll be getting to the remainders shortly.

The Keynote MBA

Truth is, the great value in most MBA and JD programs can be boiled down to 5 to 10 talks, presentations, classes and conversations that changed the way you experienced the world.

Following up on this comment, Jonathan Fields presents The Seven Keynote MBA: seven keynote speeches, from a diverse group of people, that together Fields believes will provide you as much real-world advice as an MBA.

The talks (videos, length in parentheses):

  1. Guy Kawasaki, TiECon 2006: The Art of the Start (39:46)
  2. Malcolm Gladwell, TED 2004: What We Can Learn From Spaghetti Sauce (18:16)
  3. Gary Vaynerchuck, Web 2.0 Expo NY: Building Personal Brand Within the Social Media Landscape (15:27)
  4. Annie Leonard: The Story of Stuff (21:16)
  5. Jimmy Valvano, 1993 ESPY Awards: Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award acceptance speech (9:59) (transcript)
  6. Seth Godin, TED 2009: The Tribes We Lead (17:24)
  7. Tony Hsieh, Web 2.0 Summit 08: Building a Brand that Matters (16:46)

via @evbogue

The Ideas of Frank Chimero

Designer Frank Chimero presents his ‘Ideas’: his manifesto of sorts principles on creativity, motivation and innovation. Chimero briefly covers seven topics, entitled:

  • Why is Greater Than How
  • Not More. Instead, Better.
  • Surprise + Clarity = Delight
  • Sincire, Authentic & Honest
  • No Silver Bullets, No Secrets
  • Quality + Sincerity = Enthusiasm
  • Everything is Something or Other

I’m particularly fond of the final two topics and this, from Why is Greater Than How:

This complex world has made us over-emphasize How-based thinking and education. Once the tools are understood, understanding why to do certain things becomes more valuable than how to do them. How is recipes, and learning a craft is more than following instructions.

How is important for new practitioners focused on avoiding mistakes. Why is for those who wish to push, are not risk-averse and seek to improve. How is coulda, Why is shoulda. How is finishing tasks, Why is fulfilling objectives. How usually results in more. Why usually results in better.

via Link Banana

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.