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Friday, March 28, 2014

Icarus and The Reinventors

Blurbs/Notes from listening to Icarus (Seth Godin) and The Reinventors (Jason Jennings).
These are not particularly organized. Will edit after I finish the books, due tomorrow.

In Icarus, Seth Godin suggests that all entrepreneurship should be viewed as art. 
- We grew up with beliefs of an industrial economy, but the new economy is about making a connection, making a difference, inspiring change. 
- Physical labour doesn't scale, but emotional labour does. 
- Applause is shortlived. A connection made with an audience will long outlast a standing ovation. Art that is not shared is not art. If you can't fail because you never put it out, because you never meant it to make a connection, it's not art and means nothing. 

In The Reinventors
- Every company has a culture. If the leaders don't work assiduously to create one, one will emerge by default. And it will be one where everyone's self-interest is put first. 
- Most company leaders admit losing 6-16% revenue due to their ego. Some estimate even up to 20%. This % is higher than the profit margin for the fortune 100.
- Staying relevant requires staying ahead of your customers' needs. If management is constantly putting out fires, there is no time/energy left for reinvention. Soon, you will be obsolete.
- An inventor is someone who doesn't take his/her education too seriously. Toyota invited Ford's top engineers to visit its new manufacturing plant. Too good to be true? The engineers thought the warehouse was too small, didn't see many spare parts lying around and thought it was all staged, not the real deal. It was in fact a lean manufacturing facility that propelled Toyota to #1 automaker, while Ford's market share fell from >90% to <40 div="" nbsp="">
- Letting go of invention killers must be a vital part of your culture. (same old

Guiding principles
- businesses exist to grow revenues and profits
- committed to keeping growing and rewarding talent
- grow by finding keeping and growing more.. .. .. customers
- this occurs as a result of staying ahead of customer's changing needs
- requires constant and radical reinvention

To embrace change, companies need to let go of:
- yesterday's breadwinners
- ego -> arrogance --> blindness, inability to recognize opportunity
- using conventional wisdom to predict likely future result
- entitlement/greed - when leaders treat the company like there own pocket, no place for - - reinvention, get defensive, claiming the others are naive.
- short-timers (someone planning on leaving but still on the job). leaders who are thinking about leaving the company have already left. they're stalling innovation. scant attention to detail.
- risk aversion. Coca-cola had the chance to buy Pepsi for $1000. Yahoo had the opportunity to buy Google for $5bn (10% of Yahoo's value) a decade ago.

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