alcramer [Alfredo Cramerotti]

But are you really serious about it?

Posted in Thoughts.Coaching by alcramer on May 2, 2008

Like the one that follow (and the one before), this is an article by Seth Godin; this time you can find it here. I almost bought his book…but before you rush off, here’s some interesting highlights:

I did a gig in New York today about the Dip and it went really well. Afterward, someone asked me a question about his new business.

I asked back, “if you accomplish that, will you be seen by your audience as the best in the world, or will you be seen as doing your best?”

He didn’t have to answer. He got it.

If you’re doing your best, only your AYSO soccer coach cares. If you’re the best in the world, the market cares. The secret, if you have limited resources (don’t we all) is to make ‘world’ small enough that you can actually accomplish that.

Obviously, this approach is applicable to just about any idea-based product, whether it’s consulting or clothes:

1. Find the core market

2. Obviously the otaku (Seth’s name for the ‘surplus’ in things)

3. make it easy to sample

4. Make it easy to share. And hope it hits the critical mass.

That seems common sense, but it’s common sense that’s not so common. Designing anything for the masses is silly. why? because the masses don’t buy stuff any more. The edges do.

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Simplicity

Posted in Tools.Coaching by alcramer on November 10, 2007

This is something I have written on ten pages A4, taped to the wall opposite my desk, to create a vertical totem. First of all, it’s not mine. the laws of simplicity have been nurtured and published in a marvellously-crafted little book by John Maeda, ex-MIT design guru.

But it’s not to talk about him that I started this post. It’s to give you a precious tool, the first of the series to come, which goes like that: do simplify whatever can get simplified.

At the cost of seeming banal, do take the path of simplicity in whatever you are doing, or planning to do. You’ll always be in time to complicate the matter, personally or through someone else. If you want to get close (at least) to achieve what you are planning, cut the 30% of your planned expectations, and consequently reduce to at least 50% your planned actions.

This is not a call for banality. It’s a call for concreteness. And getting concrete, means having results. Having results, means producing consequences. Producing consequences, means injecting stimuli for another projects, and future achievements. Not to mention that, having finished a work, means getting paid. Sounds good, uh?

Here are the 10 laws on a string: for more details, visit the lawsofsimplicity website:

First round – the basics to get simple:

1. Reduce: either shrink, hide, or embody (the simplest way to achive simplicity is through thoughtful reduction: when in doubt, just remove – carefully). Lessen what you can and conceal everything else without losing the sense of inherent value.

2. Organize: sort, label, integrate, prioritize (organization makes a system of many appear fewer: and working with fewer – objects, concepts, functions – makes life simpler). Everything is important, but knowing where to start is the critical first step.

3. Time: again – shrink, hide, embody (savings in time feels like simplicity: this is really about reducing time). When time is saved – or appears to have been – the complex feels simpler.

Second round – here comes the hard work:

4. Learn: basics are the beginning, repeat yourself often, avoid creating desperation, inspire with examples, never forget to repeat yourself (to easing the process of understanding: relate – translate – surprise!). Difficult tasks seem easier when they are ‘need to know’ rather than ‘nice to know’, so connect deeply to the greater context of learning and life.

5. Differences: simplicity and complexity need each other (acknowledging contrast helps to identify qualities that we desire). Figuring out the rhythm of how simplicity and complexity occur in time and space holds the key.

6. Context: what lies in the periphery of simplicity is definitely not peripheral (ambience: that which appears to be of immediate relevance may not be nearly as important compared to everything else around). When there is less, we appreciate everything much more.

Third round – if you are aspire at changing the world (almost):

7. Emotion: more emotions are better than less (just the right kind of more: ‘feel, and feel for’). Achieving clarity isn’t difficult. The true challenge is achieving comfort.

8. Trust: in simplicity we trust (lean back, and trust the water. And just enjoy something). Trust unquestionably, but be open to undo-ing that trust whenever deserved.

9. Failure: some things can never be made simple (knowing that simplicity is elusive in certain cases is an opportunity to make more constructive use of your time in the future, instead of chasing after an apparent impossible goal). One man’s failed experiment in simplicity can be another man’s success as a beautiful form of complexity.

A final Intuition:

10. The one: simplicity is about subtracting the obvious, and adding the meaningful

(which may be ‘coupled’ with 4 more keys in attempting simplicity, such as: more appears like less by removing it far away / openness simplifies complexity / power: use less, gain more / technology, as professions, can disable the average person.)

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Trust

Posted in shortEssays/cortiSaggi [English/Italian], Thoughts.Coaching by alcramer on October 29, 2007

It’s true that life sometimes is both painful and simultaneously rewarding, especially in moments where you feel lost, or stuck, or somehow put in a corner. Painful for the experience (a loss, a feeling of inconclusiveness); rewarding because, in the end, is what pushes us towards some choices (even the non-choice is a choice). I’m not sure, as I have read in an online forum (nettime.org, precisely), that this has to be realized at the expenses of trust. Trust in ourselves, and in the other.

A life centered on the trust in the self, would be challenging, difficult and fascinating at the same time, but how far could we go in this sense? What would be a human without the environment around, which include her/his similar? Isn’t the idea of only first-hand experience a bit too privileged?

Everyone of us has the possibility to choose among a range of solutions, for work and life: not only in the professional approach (the way one can ‘sell’ her/himself in life, or not) but also regarding information (what you want to become, through reflection, info-gathering and coaching, for instance), and distribution of this information (the context, restricted or enlarged, in which you want to act). True, I’m probably talking for the Western society, with all the ups and downs – not so sure if the majority of the world population can do the same.

In doing the above, trust in the other is simpler, and more human. I doubt all the time in my work practice and personal life, but at the same time I do trust people I have chosen to have around, or I share a life with. If I have to distrust everyone and everything, I would get stuck in my own thoughts. Is it really something wrong in trusting? I don’t want to get too transcendental (I know the term itself might rise some eyebrows), but isn’t all this also a matter of love? Do we have to confront each other and everything around us all the time to claim we are ‘free’?

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