Old factory

Leverage

Aspire to achieve leverage not merely efficiency or effectiveness.

My first recollection of the concept of leverage was from my physics teacher, Ben in high school talking about Archimedes and the lever.

Archimedes was one of the founding fathers of science and Ben was a role model and wonderfully inspiring educator but neither extended the concept of leverage to entrepreneurship, personal time management or life in general.

A more recent recollection was Ash Fontana one of the early guys at Angel List talking at my conference series SydStart.

For those of you who don’t know Angel list (angel.co) they have used a small team to build a global business innovating in tech startup business funding via the establishment of a global industry database of teams, companies, investors and their syndicates.

Angel List is leveraging a small team to truly disrupt globally the manner in which existing venture investments are made into tech startups and will probably go a lot further.

Ash was not the first to make the point that being efficient or effective are very different things.

You can be very efficient and lean and not waste time but be concentrating on the wrong things.

You can also concentrate on the right things generally but not have impact or effectiveness.

The trick is to concentrate on the things that give you maximum leverage in the areas you want to have impact.

Confusingly, sometimes the highest leverage activity you can undertake is to not do anything directly, e.g. if you have to make a big decision do what it takes to get that right, sometimes it is as simple as clearing your head with a walk and a good night of sleep in order to make the best quality decision.

Other times, the most leveraged activity is not to do a task but to teach someone else to do it, even better to train the trainer who will train lots of people if that is what is required.

The obvious old school management principle of delegation is a good form of leverage, but is there an ever better one? Yes of course there are many.

One example is a good corporate and community culture such as shared goals and values so that individual tasks don’t need to be delegated.

Another example is crowd sourcing where online platforms allow many people to bid on work (such as building a website) competitively or contribute to the project or task (such as fund raising) collectively.

An even more powerful example if creating a movement. One person asking for a change is a lot less powerful than Ghandi or Martin Luther king leading a generation towards collective beneficial change.

Other long term approaches are principles based such as pointing out big ideas or big opportunities. From the need for corporate transparency to putting a man on the moon.

Other ideas are less clear cut such as not using email, it is nor typically a leveraged activity because it is one to one and not collaborative and other methods are faster because you can talk faster than type.

Perhaps having a distributed team is not leveraged because time zones and distance impose communication constraints on methods that in turn impact effectiveness and efficiency

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Bill Gates On The Limits of Capitalism

‘The market does not drive the scientists, the communicators, the thinkers, the government to do the right things. And only by paying attention to these things, and having brilliant people who care and draw other people in, can we make as much progress as we need to make.’ – quote from Bill Gates

With thanks to Business Insider Australia.

gift-guide

Innovation trumps timeliness: the best ever list of belated gift ideas

Pete (@pc0):

Ideas for xmas and more importantly ideas for startups for any aspiring consumer centric tech entrepreneurs looking for inspiration.

Originally posted on PandoDaily:

gift-guideThere’s a lot of benefits from living and working in startup land. You get to try all the super convenient new services before anyone back home has ever heard of them.

You know the best place to get a price on home repair stuff (Thumbtack),  the service that will pick up, do, and return your laundry on the same day (Prim), and the companies that make and deliver cheapish, delicious, healthy, fresh meals (Sprig, Chefler, and Munchery).

Basically your whole world is a hell of a lot more efficient because you’re tapped into startup land.

But ’tis the holiday season, and therefore a perfect time for you to share said blessings with all the members of your world who are not plugged into Silicon Valley-ness via a social catheter.

Since arriving in the Bay, I’ve been keeping a running list of “best…

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Leap Motion Unboxing

Yippee The Leap Motion Arrived

Giddy up, so keen to play with this. Some unboxing photos for the geek freaks out there. Motion sensor based computing here we come. Will be interesting to compare with the kinect.

The box itself is tiny and matches the imac and iphone neatly. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them roll the numerous chips inside up into one ASIC (application specific integrated circuit) and the give it away or licence it for embedding in devices so it is even more seamless and make the money from the app ecosystem. Some samples below with the robot hand app that had excellent finger joint and wrist roll recognition.

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2013-08-01 14.23.21 2013-08-01 14.23.39 2013-08-01 14.23.15Leap Motion Unboxing

blueflower

How To Be Gracious

Pete (@pc0):

So true…

Originally posted on Shiny, Happy, Healthy.:

One of my colleagues at work this week tried to buy me a coffee.

I refused.

“No, no!” I waved away her money. “It’s fine!”
“Let me,” she said, pressing it into my hand. “I’d like to say thank you.”

Is this you?

Her graciousness made me stop and consider how I am about receiving.

I have an idea about the balance of things – I want to be a motivator in the world, a brightener, an energy source. I love to make a big deal out of people’s birthdays and celebrations. Give thoughtful gifts. Remember details. I want things to be lovely for people, especially the people I love, and I go to great lengths to make it so.

 I admit, it gives me the warm fuzzies to give the perfect gift or make a special meal or remember an important date.
But insidiously, underneath that, I think there’s a stubborn independence…

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