LinkedIn Speaker Series: Reid Hoffman and Eric Ries

A startup team

Cross Functional

Local Maxima – The best a product can be
Global Maxima – The best product in a space

The curse of product development:

What’s a big change? Who defines what’s big? – The size is determined in the eyes of the customer.

Your big change may go unnoticed by the customer. Your small change may be huge to the customer.

You need to test in the eyes of a customer.

If everyone is going to want your product, then ten people will want it. So it couldn’t hurt to test..

All metrics should be used as an innovation accounting dashboard.

The modern rule of competition is: Who ever learns fastest wins.
If you can figure out what’s going on, make decisions and act on those decisions faster than your competition – fundamentally you are a blur to them and they can’t do anything about it.

If you think what you do matters – prove it. Let’s
Have you actually accomplished anything?

How much more satisfying would it be if every time we took an action we knew for sure that it either worked or it didn’t work. And if it didn’t work, we had the ability to learn and immediately influence the next action.


Adam Savage’s SXSW 2014 Keynote Art and Science

Notes from this talk:

Every time you’ve adjusted the punchline of a joke to get a bigger laugh, you are working empirically of previous knowledge to build something better – that is a scientific approach.

The basics of science
1. Come up with a question
2. Form a hypothesis
3. Test Hypothesis

Science and Art are not separate.

Art & Science

How we converse about who we are and what we are doing.

1. Pay attention – patterns will emerge
2. Participate – question absolutely everything
3. Nothing is beyond your understanding

Culture is conversation – Conversations make us all better

All science is a form of storytelling just like art – they both have

Beginning > Middle > End
Hook > Hold > Payoff

LinkedIn Speaker Series with Clayton Christensen


What job is your <product, service, significant other> being hired to do in the lives of the people who want to use it?

Start of picking at the low hanging fruit, no one will notice.

Then constantly get better.

Soon, you’ll have the momentum and the tested capabilities to take on the market leading share of high end products and everyone will wonder where you came from.

Lexus didn’t start out developing high end cars.

Interview with Tim Ferriss

I think that you have to find models that share things in common with you rather than trying to become someone you are not. I would say that’s a very important point. Also looking for a model, someone to emulate who has or had the personal life that you would also like to have. It’s a mistake to just emulate someone who has let’s say a hard charging bowl in the China shop approach if their personal life is in shambles and I think it’s important to look at all of that in context.

Oh waste of time; the biggest waste of time in business is just doing a thousand unimportant things well and email.

There’s a difference between how people build wealth and how they maintain wealth.

The short answer is there’s an article by Noah Kagen on my blog about muse testing, so business testing, very inexpensive ways for testing different business concepts and offers. I would focus on that. I would focus on the 80/20 analysis. Also doing an assessment of your strengths and weaknesses, current assets, current lists, current network, the resources that they have and picking markets you understand first and then choosing products that you can test using Noah’s approach.

Let’s just say you are able to test based on that analysis for the first week or two. Then it would be a function of finding what advertising probably in this case paid advertising has the lowest CPA or largest lifetime value. It’s just hard to determine in eight weeks and then pouring more capital into that. You can do that from cash flow. Secondarily you could focus, I’ve never really focused on this model but you can then focus on once you have the messaging that converts most effectively, you could focus on affiliate sales and there are ways that you could make that very profitable depending on how you format it.

I would say if I had 4 to 8 weeks, given what you are currently doing, since it is very personal, that’s the approach I would probably take but a lot of it would come down to ruthless 80/20 analysis, which is really the heart of The 4-Hour Workweek, The 4-Hour Body and The 4-Hour Chef.

The Tim Ferriss Show: Interview of Kevin Kelly, Co-Founder of WIRED, Polymath, Most Interesting Man In The World?


This single interview — one of my favorites of all-time — was recorded in three short parts.  You can:

This podcast is brought to you by The Tim Ferriss Book Club, which features a handful of books that have changed my life. Here’s the list.  You can also find all 20+ episodes of this podcast here. Some are sober and some are drunk, but the guests are all great.