A site of endless curiosity

Go Make Something Happen

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Mankind does nothing save through initiatives on the part of inventors, great and small, and imitation by the rest of us.  Individuals show the way, set the patterns.  The rivalry of the patterns is the history of the world.  — William James 1906

The great part of my job is that I get to meet a lot of people in a lot of companies – everyone from the guy changing light bulbs in the hallway to senior executives and just about everyone in between.

When you meet people you can look for similarities or differences.  I look for differences.  There are some significant differentiators among people.  There are those who have new ideas and vision and those who respond with repetition and blank stares.  There are those who see opportunity at every turn and those for which opportunity is invisible.  There are those that take (it is not given!) initiative and those that stand idly by waiting for something to happen or wait to be told what to do.  What makes people, “remarkable”?  Both the ability to see and not see those things cited above – and consistently so (read more)

The differences in people is utterly amazing.

Ownership and Power

Think of this definition of power.  Power is the ability to make things happen.  The evidence and a measure of your power is your ability to produce results and advance your company or organization along its mission and goals.

If you have a hard time getting started in making things happen you might want to take a look at the latest work from Seth GodinPoke the Box.  In general, starting out with something new, a new idea, you don’t know how it works.  It’s a puzzle.  You “poke it”.  Here’s how Seth describes poking:

When you do this, what happens?  When you do that, what happens?  The box reveals itself through your poking, and as you get better at it, you not only get smarter but also gain ownership.  Ownership comes from understanding and from having the power to make things happen.

When Facebook was gaining immense popularity someone asked Mark Zuckerberg what Facebook was.  According to the story, Zuckerberg said, “I don’t know”.  They asked him when Facebook would be finished.  He reportedly said, “It will never be finished.  It’s like fashion and fashion is never finished.”  If you read about the history of Facebook you will see that Facebook evolved as Zuckerberg and the team put something out there and then watched how people used it.  The capability of Facebook was an evolution based a discovery of the ways that people used Facebook that were not anticipated by Zuckerberg.  It as a lot like Seth’s idea of “poking” – do something, put something out there, and see what happens.  Do, observe, learn, evolve, refine, repeat.

Seth Godin is a serial entrepreneur and he has a lot of great ideas.  If you don’t know who Seth Godin is then take a look at his blog.

Seth’s latest book is Poke the Box.  I have read all of Seth’s books and looking forward to reading this one.

Poke the Box will help you get started with your ideas.  Here’s the pitch from Seth

The simple thing that separates successful individuals from those who languish is the very thing that separates exciting and growing organizations from those that stagnate and die.


What if more people began to speak up, notice things, and start things? Our world, the people around us, and our attitude about what we did all day would change. All it takes is initiative. Even just a bit.

What would our world look like if more people started projects, made a ruckus, and took more risks?

There’s a tease for the book.  You can get the Poke the Box Workbook for free here

Go start something.


The Bootstrappers Bible –


Written by frrl

March 31, 2011 at 3:36 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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