Monday, September 21st, 2009

Random Observations – Part 8

Random Observations – Part 8
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Sorry for the lack of posts as of late. As we work to complete Speak Human, I find myself wrestling with footnotes, nitpicking over commas, and obsessing over every last detail. As a result, I’ve been a bad blogger. (Still, I think this is preferable to a bad bladder.) In the meanwhile, here are some random observations:

71. Good tools

There’s a difference between buying exciting things and investing in good tools.

The return on the first diminishes quickly; however, the second pays-out exponentially.

72. Oil in the machine

Our bodies are really just machines. The demands of today’s world have us running them at high RPMs all day long.

Like a high-performance engine, our bodies will self-destruct if we don’t give them proper fuel and regular maintenance.

73. Resistance makes things interesting

We say that we want things to be easy, but we really don’t.

Food tastes best when we’re hungry and a victory is sweetest when it’s hard won.

If you’re bored, you might just need a little resistance.

74. Sell to those who actually buy

You probably know all kinds of people who need your “thing”. This is a dangerous misunderstanding though.

Unhealthy people don’t buy gym passes, and companies with bad advertising won’t spend on better campaigns. Those in sweatpants don’t typically buy suits, and people who eat at McDonalds don’t buy organic, no matter how good it might be for them.

To succeed, you’ll need to determine who wants to buy what you sell.

75. Practicality is underrated

When some talk about their work they say things like, “pushing the boundaries” or “changing the world”.

I too have said those words. As I grow older though, I think that I really just want to make good stuff.

76. Benefits

Every once in a while, I look at something I’ve done and think, “That’s better than I thought I could do.” I think that’s one of the greatest feelings in the world.

You can keep your employee lounge and casual Fridays. I’ll always opt for the job that brings the delight of covering new ground.

77. Boredom is a cancer

I could be wrong about this, but I think youth ends when you stop being interested. That’s when the mind atrophies. As a result, imagination is stunted and everything starts to look the same.

People who are bored are mostly boring people. Those who are interested are quite the opposite, and as a result are hard to resist.

78. Money or love

Pick one and base your decisions on it. If you love the craft, it will win, and money will always take the backseat—and vice-versa.

Trying for both is a fool’s errand. That said, sometimes money follows love; but, that’s an issue of luck and waiting.

79. Singularity

Annie Liebovitz is rumored to make as much as $5 million a year for taking photos. Michael Jordan earns $45 million annually for once having bounced a ball and AC/DC banks $60 million for playing the same three chords.

Yet, most companies try to do several things, and end up making little money for any of them. (Suckers.)

80. Would you invest?

Most people love their companies. As a result, they lose the ability to see them clearly.

If you ever want to check your company’s pulse, just pretend you’re an outside party with money to invest. Would you buy shares?

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  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention ideasonideas - Eric Karjaluoto discusses design, brands and experience » Blog Archive » Random Observations – Part 8 -- Topsy.com

  2. Ryan Szrama says:

    #75 reminds me of Dagny Taggart from Atlas Shrugged. At the end of the day, her motivation for accomplishing what she did was to have the best railroad and to know she had built it. In many ways, she's becoming an ideal for me that I am working towards. She also typifies #73 in a big way.

    I highly recommend the book.

  3. Matt says:

    I cannot agree with no. 74 more. When I was just trying to get my foot in the door of wherever as a freelancer in addition to my day job, I took on terrible jobs where the customer expected 80-90 hours of work for 100 bucks. I finally got over the idea that any money was good money, tripled my rate to be just under what my employer charges for my time, and found every job since has given me customers who actually want someone to help them with design. 90% of the stress of freelancing gone by finding cusomers actually wanting my work, not just needing a logo or a pamphlet.

  4. Thank you for this new part, I have waited for it for a long time, and it's the best of all !

  5. sjostrom says:

    Eric,
    I really enjoy your random observations. Somehow they remind me of Baz Luhrmans song Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen).

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  6. Claudia says:

    "That’s better than I thought I could do.”

    True. I love when I surprise myself.

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