Design, Digital, Analytics, Cloud.

There’s a saying that I didn’t really understand until recently. “Most of success is just turning up”. It’s definitely not applicable to all situations because you can just turn up, for decades even, to work and not make any progress.

But if you have a goal, something that’s tough, that you want to make progress with, just turning up each day can move you forward. Those incremental moves amount to something much greater.

Just turning up to your morning run, you’ve already succeeded, don’t think about your pace, performance or how you feel, just turn up. Just turning up to writing this post, instead of waiting for inspiration, I’ve achieved something. …

There is nothing to fear in looking at things exactly as they are.

Is the project doing well? I mean, really, is it? Is it really making a difference? Are your strengths aligned with what you’re doing? Are you actually a good leader? Do you like what you’re doing?

There are many parallels between Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and life. Seeing things as they are is a fundamental. There is no way to talk yourself out of a bad situation on the mat. There are some moves that will come easily, and others that won’t. …

Richard Koch popularised the work and concept of a French economist called Vilfredo Pareto that observed that 80% of the wealth was concentrated with 20% of individuals.

The concept is simple — a large proportion of productive output in a given field will come from a small proportion of inputs. In reality I’ve found this to be much more skewed than 80/20, it’s often 90/10 or 95/5. For example, in manufacturing 80% of your defects will come from 20% of the products. In sales 80% of your revenue will come from 20% of the customers. …

A myth of creativity is that unbounded freedom supports the process.

The reality is that creativity loves constraints. If you timebox a brainstorming session you’ll get more ideas. If you say you’ll write from 8–9am every day no matter what, you’ll get productive work done, instead of waiting for when you feel inspiration which may never come.

Jerry Seinfeld was recently interviewed by Tim Ferris and gave some fantastic insight on his craft. He forces himself to write daily through timeboxing and systems. He gives the analogy of how exercise would be impossible to endure if it was open ended, if your personal trainer told you that today’s session doesn’t have a fixed duration. …

Kaizen is a buzz word that gets thrown around in companies, usually when part of an initiative to improve the way work is done.

At it’s core philosophy is something much simpler, much more personal, and far more powerful.

It’s that consistent tiny change amounts to enormous change. Every day if you do something tiny, but important, and part of something bigger, over time you start accomplishing big things. Think of it as a puzzle, each day you add a piece and eventually you’ve completed a piece of art. …

If you’re aspiring to be a writer, write. Call yourself a writer, be a professional, don’t wait for inspiration. A pro is someone who doesn’t wait for inspiration, they write because it’s an obligation.

It’s the same with cycling or any sport. If you’re a cyclist, you cycle. Without complaint, without consideration, without permission. You get up, and go.

Too often we wait for permission before choosing ourselves, we avoid a label because we feel like an imposter.

Writers write. So if you want to be a writer, write today, then again tomorrow, and call yourself a writer. Be a pro. …

Said no one ever.

The most critical goal for 2021 for me is to make sure I create a culture where people push back on having their calendar, and therefore their lives, filled up with non-essential meeting time.

Instead of asking people if they have time to have a meeting today, it’s asking if they have enough time to get your current task completed.

The rare moments when I sit down, think, research and create are my most enriching moments.

However this takes courage. It means telling people no. Be polite, but be direct.

  • “I have other priorities at the moment”
  • “Let’s revisit in a few weeks”
  • “Can we do this over email instead”

If you’re a designer, design. If you’re a writer, write. If you’re a coder, code.

Keep it simple. It’s a saying we’ve heard forever, but it’s easy to lose sight of why.

This applies to life as well as to tech system design. Yes that smart speaker may seem like a cool thing, but what about the connectivity issues, the fact that it likely can’t be repaired and only has a shelf life of 2 years.

There are 1000+ features that any enterprise could embed in their application, most likely only 100 of them will ever be used. Which means we need to consider 900 features any time we update one of the 100.

It’s the same with life. More to replace, more to keep charged, more to find. …

Do you have goals or contracts?

Steven Pressfield makes an excellent point in his book ‘Going Pro’- that he professionally incorporated his own name. Steven Pressfield llc.

This wasn’t a branding exercise but a way he recognised that he was now a professional, and a pro doesn’t write when they feel like it, they write because they’re obligated to.

Do you have a goal of writing 3 times a week, and you rarely hit it? If you paid a writer to do this would you renew the contract? Absolutely not.

Let go of quality a little. Ship. …

We’ve heard it one hundred times. Ego is the enemy, be humble, be present, be open etc etc. However we still find ourselves being offended, reinforcing poor decisions because we don’t want to say ‘I’m wrong’, not working on our blind spots and not getting advice where we need it, and also just going with something with no evidence that it actually works, but it’s how we’ve always done it.

Tonight I had a rude awakening in ego. There is nothing more humbling and damming to the ego when beginning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Especially when you go up against someone who you think is not at your level (to be clear, I am a very very low level, but my ego crept in), and then 1 minute and 40 seconds into a round you tap out as your arm is twisted into a position that our creator never intended. …

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