Culture hacking. Nice.(via pieratt)
Culture hacking. Nice.(via pieratt)
To consider a product, you most consider the atmosphere. Not the atmosphere of the viewer’s surroundings, but the atmosphere of the product. What was the song playing when the product was being created. What was the room in that the product took form. What was the person wearing when it was realized. What were the words that were used to articulate its potential.
You cannot consider the product too heavily simply on those properties. For what you’re really doing is considering the person and where that person is at when that person created the product. Tell me if you find a designer doing amazing edgy work but listens to pop country. Show me the artist creating an unsettling piece wearing clothes from Target. Bring me the author that has written his most creative work in a cubicle.
Pop country, Target and cubicles individually don’t make bad work, but creating amazing works come from the person who has a sense of product regardless of what that product is. To really care about one product, it just doesn’t stop at that one thing. An artist doesn’t stop being an artist at the point of putting down their medium. It trickles down to what they listen to, what they wear, who they spend time with, where they live and work, what words they use and everything else that they touch. It’s all formulaic and calculated because you just don’t stop giving a damn. If you sense that it isn’t formulaic and calculated, reconsider what they’re working on.
Today, be a blasphemer. Hug a heretic. After you read this, go slay some sacred cows. But, get this right, you’re not to pick the easy ones - not the fat, bow-legged, short-sighted cows, the thick fillets-on-four-legs already cosying up to the butcher. The ones you want to hunt down will be trim, lively, prize-specimen sacred cows. Hell, slaughter a farm of them. Skin them, roast them over a low fire and let them cook through. Turn out a line of leather jackets.
You have much choice. Religions are of course bountiful hunting grounds, but today you’ll want to pursue the more unsuspecting of cherished beliefs. Plumb the depths of your community’s moral presumptions, find a principle too valuable to question and turn it on its head, renounce it, cut it up. Be analytical or be brash, subtle or vulgar."
— Tariq Desai
The idea to make improvements of yourself is not something I haven’t considered before, but it’s been what can be best described as my mantra recently. More specifically, the idea of moving normal to a higher level has been my focus.
You operate at a certain level normally which could be said to be your general facility of doing things. People, or at least I, don’t normally consider this in normal day to day activities. It’s a matter of the banality of life. However, it’s definitely apparent that some people do more things better in their waking hours than others. I strongly believe it’s not that these people are just generally more capable than others. It’s that their foundation and expectations or minimum operating level is just higher than others. And the most important note of this idea is that minimum operating level is not fixed. It’s a movable level that can be intentionally manipulated.
Looking at my parents generation, it’s easy to see that they generally don’t stop. They get shit done. It’s not that they were raised better. I think that externalities, such as having a family and providing for that family, have forced them to raise to the occasion. Their hand was forced, but it doesn’t need to be.
I don’t know how you raise your minimum operating level, but I know it can’t be done overnight. Unless you’re forced, it takes a very conscious effort. But once you get to that point where you’ve elevated your general facility to a higher level, it becomes easier. Simply put, make the state of “you’re killing it right now” to be your normal state.
This idea of taking it to the next level is not specific to your own person. It’s something that I think a lot of companies fall victim of too. They are currently operating at a level best described as status quo, but I hesitate to use that term. They may be growing the business, but they’re essentially coasting. There are some companies out there doing amazing things daily. But what makes them better than others? It’s simply that they’re operating at a higher level. The talent, if you will, isn’t necessarily better but they’re doing better. They have a certain expectation of what is ok.
If you move that expectation of what is ok, then you can create a better product and a better company. Do more with the same resources essentially. In my unique position with the company I work for, I’m personally trying to take the things I touch to a higher level. I don’t want to be building a website. I want to build a lasting online company that is looked at as an business rather than a website. I want people to think that we have 10x the people working on the site. And my standard for what is ok has changed to represent that. And I think the product that we will eventually be releasing is leaps and bounds better than the current as a result.
Wikipedia sums it up nicely. Paul Newman ”was an American actor, film director, entrepreneur, humanitarian, professional racing driver, auto racing team owner, and auto racing enthusiast.” …and activist. …and philanthropist.
Time to start working a little harder.