Chip Conley: Count what really matters?

Below are some interesting quotes from this talk:

    • And one of the simplest facts in business is something that we often neglect. And that is that we’re all human. And each of us, no matter what our role is in business, actually has some hierarchy of needs in the workplace.
    • And what we can measure is that tangible stuff at the bottom of the pyramid. They didn’t even see the intangible stuff higher up the pyramid. So I started asking myself the question: How can we get leaders to start valuing the intangible? If we’re taught as leaders to just manage what we can measure, and all we can measure is the tangible in life, we’re missing a whole lot of things at the top of the pyramid.
    • “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”
    • I asked him (Bhutan Prime Minister), “How can you create and measure something which evaporates, in other words, happiness?” And he’s a very wise man, and he said, “Listen, Bhutan’s goal is not to create happiness. We create the conditions for happiness to occur. In other words, we create a habitat of happiness.”
    • GDP counts everything from air pollution to the destruction of our redwoods. But it actually doesn’t count the health of our children or the integrity of our public officials. As you look at these two columns here, doesn’t it make you feel like it’s time for us to start figuring out a new way to count, a new way to actually imagine what’s important to us in life?

Jobs & Ballmer Advise Finding Passion

(Photo Courtesy LATimes Framework)

In a previous post about Steve Job’s innovation secrets, we saw how Steve Jobs thinks it is important for you to find your life’s passion. He believes that only when this passion is engaged, will we see excellence & innovation in our pursuits – job or otherwise. We now have another Steve advising students to find their passion in life – Steve Ballmer. 

In a commencement speech at USC, Ballmer mentions that finding passion is one of the three most important things anyone ought to be doing. This is what he had to say on the topic:

Find passion. This is not an easy one. People think passion is something you either have or you don’t. People think passion is something that has to manifest itself in some kind of explosive and emotional format. It’s not. It’s the thing that you find in your life that you can care about, that you can cling to, that you can invest yourself in, heart, body, and soul. Finding passion is kind of your job now. It’s been your job the last four years at USC, or shorter, or longer, depending on which program you’re in. And it’s your job as you go forward into the world. You won’t necessarily find it the minute you get out.

I think about my own personal sort of discovery of passion. I didn’t come to the technology industry naturally. I wrote my first computer program in ninth grade, and I hated it. I was shy as a kid. I don’t think that I qualify on that anymore. I got to college and I was going to be a physicist or a mathematician. I decided I had way too little patience after about the end of my freshman year, and I groped for other things to do. The thing that switched me on, actually, I was the football manager for our college football team. And I discovered through that that I like to organize things, that that was kind of my passion. I got out of college, as many of you are, and I went to work for a great company, and I found I didn’t have the patience to work marketing brownie mixes and cake mixes. I had to give it up after a year or two.

Then by luck, as I was thinking about a career in the movie business, another business that I thought might match my patience and attention span, my buddy called and I was introduced to this fast paced, wonderful industry, where I could be a little organizer of a 30-person company from day one. And I found my passion. It takes a lot of trial and error. It takes a lot of experimentation. Find your passion, so that every day you can get up, even on the bad days you can get up and say, I really do love what I’m doing. This really does fire me up.

Full transcript of the speech is available at GeekWire.

Related Posts:
~ My Take: The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs
~ Thinking of becoming an entrepreneur?
Quotes To Live By – Life Lessons from Richard Branson

My Take: The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs


Though I haven’t read the book itself, I have come across a fair share of references to the book & also interviews of the author Carmine Gallo. Listed below are a few of my notes from the book & its message:

  1. Do What You Love
    • Do what you love. For anyone who has not found their passion yet, Jobs recommends they keep looking till they find it rather than getting into something one don’t care about.
  2. Put A Dent In The Universe
    • Have a vision that is much bigger & more impactful than your product / service.
  3. Kick Start Your Brain
    • The most important skill that separates innovative people from others, is their ability to connect seemingly unrelated issues or concepts from diverse experiences. Opt for varied life experiences.
  4. Sell Dreams, Not Products
    • Advertising should show how the product can make life better, rather than flashy visuals and texts. The iPad + Velcro video popped to mind.
  5. Say NO To 1,000 Things
    • Eliminate clutter & keep it simple. Apple is as proud of all the things they don’t do, as they are about the things they do.
  6. Create Insanely Great Experiences
  7. Master The Message
    • Explain your product / services in three precise points to make the message easy to remember. Consistency of messaging is as important as the message itself.

~ Technometria with Phil Windley (podcast)
~ Fast Company (article)

Related Posts:
~ Quotes To Live By – Life Lessons from Richard Branson
~ Thinking of becoming an entrepreneur?
~ 5 New Year Resolutions To Be More Innovative
~ It is a SPIKY (not flat) World

B-Schools & Start-Ups

Nice post at & a few insights that might be useful to many:

  • Early in a start-up, product decisions should be hunch driven. Later on, product decisions should be data driven.
  • Hunches come from being a power user of the products in your category and from having a long standing obsession about the problem you are solving.
  • Ideas that most people derided as ridiculous have produced the best out comes. Don’t do the obvious thing.
  • If you have an idea that you can’t get out of your head, do a start-up. Otherwise join a start-up.
  • Take risks when you get out of business school. If you don’t take risks, you won’t find yourself in an interesting job and career.

Read the full article at