Sunday, October 27, 2013

Knowing where to dig

Let’s say you grew up in a fictional place called Cedar Grove, New Jersey. And then at the age of 10 you moved away to another fictional place called Boca Raton, Florida, never to return to Cedar Grove. Let’s also say that you have very vivid childhood memories of your father “hiding things” in and around the house you grew up in, because he did not trust the banks.

Fast forward forty years. Your childhood home still stands, now owned by a local church (we lived next to a church). Do you tell them “where to dig?” And then the follow up question: Do they listen?

Sometimes in business, we are given advice that is so blatantly obvious, we have no choice but to promptly ignore it. Sometimes the people who care about us the most - our family - our investors - our shareholders - are turned a deaf ear.

Backing up your data is so obvious, that you would think that it would be automatic. You would think that no one in their right mind would use a computer without backing up their precious data. And yet, less than 45% of computer users backup their data consistently.

Higher education saw online distance learning coming down the tracks decades ago, but very few took steps to compete with what is now a game changing movement.

The book publishing industry clearly knew that eBooks were coming, but many chose to ignore the threat, hoping that eBooks were going to be a passing fad.

I was introduced to Brad Stone via my friend and amazing author Dan Pink.

The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon started off delivering books through the mail. But its visionary founder, Jeff Bezos, wasn't content with being a bookseller. He wanted Amazon to become the everything store: a store that offered limitless selection and seductive convenience at disruptively low prices. To do so, he developed a corporate culture of relentless ambition that transformed retail in the same way Henry Ford revolutionized manufacturing.

Brad Stone enjoyed unprecedented access to current and former Amazon employees and Bezos family members, giving readers the first in-depth fly-on-the-wall account of one of the world’s most secretive companies. Compared to technology’s other elite innovators: Jobs, Gates, Zuckerberg, Bezos stands out for his restless pursuit of new markets, which has led Amazon into risky new ventures like the Kindle, Kindle Fire and its cloud computing business.

I recommend reading this new book from Brad Stone. With or without a Kindle.

Because I pursued (wanted to meet) Dan Pink, I was introduced to the works of  Brad Stone. Because of Brad Stone, I have an upcoming audience with Jeff Bezos to discuss all things distance learning and the  

In business and in life, it pays to know where to dig.

It pays to take the advice from the people who truly care the most about your success - the ones who know where to dig.  

It also pays to keep a shovel (metaphor) handy at all times, and not hesitate to use it.


Afterword: I may or may not have a sister who may or may not live in Toms River, New Jersey who may or may not be able to corroborate the  “Daddy does not trust banks” story.

And I think you can buy cool life-changing tools like shovels with Amazon Prime. Sports & Outdoors  Outdoor Gear  Camping & Hiking  Knives & Tools  Shovels 

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