November 27, 2010 Comments Off on I believe in truth.
I believe in truth.
Truth is Difficult · Difficult to attain, and difficult to deliver. Truth is difficult to attain because the world is complicated; the further you go, along the paths of Physics or Economics or Logic, the weirder it gets.
Here is a list of important things where our grasp of the truth is not firm enough to make reliable predictions: inflation, unemployment, stock prices, love, acoustics, influenza, and speciation.
The truth would be hard enough to see even if other people weren’t routinely trying to hide it. Politicians, businessmen, lovers, siblings, and professional colleagues routinely tell us things that are not true. Untruths become lies when spoken knowingly.
Unwilful untruth is just ignorance and is to be overcome, like a river in one’s path or a sore muscle. Wilful untruth is the telling of lies; it should be fought with passion and without mercy, ripped flesh from bones and left to rot in the cold light of day.
Since first reading this I have referred to it over and over again.
November 26, 2010 Comments Off on To Win, Create What’s Scarce
Marketers like to work on the demand side—take what’s in demand, make it cheaper, run a lot of ads, make a profit. If you can increase demand for what you already make, a lot of problems take care of themselves. It’s the promise of the typical marketing organization: Give us money, and we’ll increase demand.
There’s an overlooked alternative, though. If you can offer a scarce and coveted good or service that others can’t, you win. What is both scarce and in demand? Things that are difficult: difficult to conceive, to convey, to make. Sometimes difficult even, at first, to sell—maybe an unpopular idea or a product that’s ahead of its time. In fact, just about the only thing that is not available in unlimited supply in an ever more efficient, connected world is the product of difficult work.