Category Archives: Success

Paying attention to the small details makes a HUGE difference

Like most people I get a haircut every 3 to 4 weeks before I start looking like a monkey. I’ve been cutting my hair with the same barber for the last 18 years so it was to my surprise this morning that I got a new added benefit

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The Voyage That Shook the World trailer for getting a haircut…a massage!

Yup, that’s right a massage.

Using what looks like a motorized hand shaker attached to his hand with a soft pouch in the palm of his hand he rubs your arms, hands, neck, head, shoulders and back.

Things like these make a whole of a lot of difference in the haircut experience. Getting a haircut is a relaxing experience, especially when the barber uses the shaving knife to slash the hair off the back of my neck…it just feels great. Now add a massage at the end and you get people leaving looking and feeling fresh!

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The barbers got the idea after one of them built the strap-on-hand-shaker to give massages to himself and then one of the clients suggested he should give clients massages after their haircut.

The barber says that they’ve just recently started giving massages and says that so far clients have liked it (who wouldn’t!) and leave with big smiles in their faces.

As a business owner, you want your clients to have big smiles on their faces all the time.

Key takeaway.

Down to You ipod

When a Stranger Calls

Look at where you can add extra value, small things make a big difference If I Didn’t Care rip

The Gay Bed and Breakfast of Terror trailer

…it got me talking and even wrote this post about a simple haircut!

If you are truly innovative, you will fail. If you don’t fail, you are playing it safe

“I often say that I’ve learned but one thing in 40 years, since I began my management career. … And that is … “try stuff” … faster than the next guy.”
Tom Peters

At it’s core innovation is a numbers game. You have to ensure that your innovation pipeline has a large number of ideas coming in at the front end in order to yield an adequate number of successes at the back end.

You have to accept that for every 100 ideas 10 will merit a small scale experiment, and of those, only 1 or 2 will turn out to be successes.

The truth is experiments fuel creativity and change. Experimenting means you are intentionally going off the map and pushing beyond the status quo.

Examples of experimental innovators abound, here are a few examples that we can learn from:

Play the odds with volume and frequency

Kevin Nalty is a YouTube celebrity and created an entry on Google Knol on . Here’s his take on how to make videos that don’t suck:

This chapter sounds arrogant, and its somewhat hypocritical. Because I make so many videos, many of them suck. If anyone should have the ?magic recipe? for a decent online video, it should be me. But I’m still learning each day, and that’s part of what makes it so fun to create videos. People often ask me why I don’t focus on creating fewer quality videos instead of posting routinely. There are two reasons for that. First, if I stop creating for more than a few days, I generally don’t feel like posting anymore. Second, I have no Earthly idea which of my video ideas will resonate and which will become popular. There are a lot of factors involved, so I play the odds with volume and frequency.

Testing beats guessing

Ebay, one of the most popular websites on the web, gets huge amounts of people coming the site everyday looking to buy and sell stuff. Knowing what all these users want is important, converting most of the users is Ebay’s most critical activity. A recent article from Harvard on (registration needed) explains how Ebay built it’s own application called the Ebay Experimentation Platform to lead testers through the process of testing pages in the website and to keep track of what’s being tested at what times on what pages.

Alien³ movie Thousands of small experiments

Consider Chris Rock, the popular comedian, who uses as part of his process:

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Back to School release

First, he picks small venues where he can do rapid, low-risk experiments with new material. In gearing up for his latest global tour, he made between 40 and 50 appearances at a small venue called the Stress Factory in New Brunswick, New Jersey, not far from where he lives. Rock told the Orange Country Register, “It’s like boxing training camp. I always pick a comedy club to work out in.”

In front of audiences of say 30 to 40 people, Rock will bring a yellow legal note pad with lots of joke ideas scribbled on it, according to fellow comedian Matt Ruby. In sets that run say 45 minutes, many of the jokes will fall flat, but according to Ruby, “There were 5-10 lines during the night that were just ridiculously good. Like lightning bolts. My sense is that he starts with these bolts and then writes around them.”

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Fail fast, fail cheap, and move on to the real winners

A recent example of a is Dell’s agreement to sell PCs in Wal-Mart stores.

Rather than sell the entire line of Dell PCs in stores, it conducted a test, offering only a select few models in many stores, providing Dell valuable information about its mass appeal.

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There’s simply no way around it, your chance of finding the next big opportunity is largely a function of how many seeds you sow and how many new things you try.

The great thing about the web is how easy it is to try something new. Experiments can be frequent and small and the best can be built into something big.

10,000 Hours to success

Talent is overrated argues Malcolm Gladwell in his new book Heartbreakers release . Although I have yet to read the book I’m fascinated by the idea behind the . Gladwell argues that excellence at a complex task requires a critical, minimum level of practice.

“In study after study, of composers, basketball players, fiction writers, ice-skaters, concert pianists, chess players, master criminals,” writes the neurologist Daniel Levitin, “this number comes up again and again. Ten thousand hours is equivalent to roughly three hours a day, or 20 hours a week, of practice over 10 years… No one has yet found a case in which true world-class expertise was accomplished in less time. It seems that it takes the brain this long to assimilate all that it needs to know to achieve true mastery.”

The real path to great performance and therefore success is a matter of choice. . Just make sure you practice on the things you’re passionate about.

Gladwell’s new book is generating a lot of buzz with countless interviews picking his brain:

Teeth

For a real treat check out Fortune Magazine’s article from last month. It’s not about Malcolm Gladwell’s book but about the principle of deliberate practice. Uptown Girls movies District 9 psp The essence of deliberate practice is to stretch an individual beyond his or her current abilities. With examples of Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer, Chris Rock, Giants Quarterback Eli Manning to name a few you’ll find this a good read.