I'm a big believer in the "Four Birds" philosophy of life - whenever possible, I want to kill four birds with one stone. I want to produce, consume, learn, and connect - all at the same time if possible. And the more I layer on top of that, the better. Can I enjoy, relax, recharge, adventure? Five birds? Six birds? Why not?
While other people are watching a movie passively, can I make a couple interesting notes from the dialog and research what it's inspired by? Can I show the link between a new movie and an old Kurosawa Akira movie? Can I publish that, creating a cool way for people who like cinema to learn, and to connect with people who like great cinema? Can I consume the movie, produce an insightful review and research, learn more about cinema and art, and connect with good people all at the same time? Can I enjoy the process, relax even while working, recharge and feel invigorated, and perhaps it'll lead to an adventure? Seven birds with one stone? Why not? We all get 24 hours per day, if I want to be doing massively important things, I can't be taking it one bird at a time.
I've been working on this lately. When I start consuming something great, how can I also produce something for my friends and colleagues, learn more in the process, and connect with great people?
I've been looking for these opportunities for a while, and I'm starting to see them everywhere. Today, I'm pleased to announce DROdio-izing Day 1.
I came across Daniel Odio a little more than a week ago on Hacker News. He comes across pretty brilliant to me - a rare mix of strategist/tactician/teacher. He's a technology entrepreneur who built high technology into an established business - real estate - before moving into development. When I found Odio's site, I was really impressed. But the article that really pushed me over the top was - "Why Henry Ford Would Love Blogs." I felt like - wow, this guy gets it. A grasp of history, high level strategy, an understanding of how and why to make decisions, and how to turn high level strategy into solid tactics. And he can communicate it clearly and teaches how to think that way. Wow.
Odio's written a lot of articles with a mix of philosophy/high level thinking, strategy, and tactics. I'm going to go through some of his how-to articles and try to put his instructions into action.
After going through his sites, I found 12 articles that are either instructions or have a very clear actionable component:
I'll jam on these over the next two weeks or so. Why? Seven birds - produce, consume, learn, connect, relax, enjoy, adventure. I'll drop Daniel a line sooner or later to let him know what I'm up to, and I imagine he'll be pleased. It's staggering how often people read good advice, say "That's interesting", and then do absolutely nothing with what they've learned. Whenever someone has dropped me a line and told me something helped them, I get all excited. And hopefully I can bring some good exposure of Daniel to everyone who reads here - the guy is smart. Like, crazy smart. Without further ado, let's get started.
One of the most rare mixes of people is someone that can do strategy, do tactics, and teach well. This kind of person understands big picture thinking and working on the right things, can experiment and solidify how to make those big things work in the real world, and can meet a potential student at their currency competency level to bring the person up.
This person is extremely rare, one of the most valuable people to all of society. They make great works, and can show others how to make great works. Whenever I encounter such a person, I try to dive in and learn whatever they're working on - I don't care if it's something totally unrelated to what I'm working on, anyone that has a mix of strategy/tactics/teaching is incredibly valuable. If I meet someone who is a highly skilled strategist-tactician-teacher in cooking, or singing, or dancing, or meditation, or mechanics, or crafts - I'll spend some time learning what they're studying. Carl von Clauswitz and Adam Smith both fit in the mold of strategist/tactician/teachers. Miyamoto Musashi, as well. Bruce Lee. In business, Michael Gerber definitely, Chet Holmes as well. In productivity, David Allen. In motivation/planning/goal-setting, Tony Robbins and Brian Tracy.
It's something I aspire to - a mastery of high-level figuring out how to win and what to win at, ability to put together quickly actionable plans to get there from here, and then after all that - being able to explain how you did it so others can follow in your footsteps. Truly, quality strategists are rare, quality tacticians are rare, and quality teachers are rare. The mix of all 3 - quality strategist/tactician/teacher - is one of the most rare and important people, and one of the most valuable to learn from.
Via Hacker News, I came across Danial Odio's site. He comes across to me as the rare breed of strategist/tactician/teacher. I've been going through his site at a crazy pace the last few days - his insights are simply remarkable. He understands the high level of being an entrepreneur and businessman and technologist, he understands the tactical level of generating value and spreading it through the world, and he communicates it in an elegant and straightforward way.
My biggest time consumer - completing the editing of my first book - is now done, so I'm looking to add a new creative campaign to what I'm doing. Odio writes here that people who spend time around him wind up getting DROdio-ized: Working from everywhere, getting efficient, becoming tenacious. The things Mr. Odio's working on and writing on line up very closely with what I'm working on, so I've got my next mini-project - I'm going to DROdio-ize over the next month or so. Looking at his site, Odio's written a number of articles that are very clearly actionable with detailed specifics on what to do. Tomorrow I'll summarize my rough plan and start getting more DROdio-ized - working everywhere, efficiently, being tenacious, all while becoming more strategic, more tactical, and showing others the way forward once there.
I got Jason Calacanis for a few minutes today during LAUNCH. I asked Jason what happened with TechCrunch ("different ideas" he said), what LAUNCH is all about (basically, awesomeness for startups) and what he wishes he'd done differently earlier in his career ("think bigger").
You can also see my LAUNCH coverage of Brian with Green Goose, and Adriana with Girls in Tech.
Here's the video with Jason. He committed to responding to comments posted on this blog, so if you have more questions for him, please post them below.
I got Jason Calacanis for a few minutes today during LAUNCH. I asked Jason what happened with TechCrunch ("different ideas" he said), what LAUNCH is all about (basically, awesomeness for startups) and what he wishes he'd done differently earlier in his career ("think bigger"). You can also see my LAUNCH coverage of Brian with Green Goose, and Adriana with Girls in Tech. Here's the video with Jason. He committed to responding to comments posted on this blog, so if you have more questions for him, please post them below. Here's a transcript of the video: Jason Calacanis: That's quite a set up- I like it! Daniel: Thanks, thanks! Yeah, it's actually really inexpensive! J: So its a Kodak? D: Zi8, and it has an external mic- a really expensive microphone. J: I like it! It's a $2000 microphone with a $500 camera. D: It's a $200 microphone with a $100 camera! J: Oh OK, wow! D: So I'm here with Jason Calacanis, and I first saw you at Founder Conference up on stage! I was there and you seemed to be very entrepreneur friendly, also very polarizing. I don't really know you but tell me, what's your story, how did you end up doing this? J: Oh, you know there are a lot of stories of my life and a lot of ups and downs but the launch conference is my view of what a technology conference around launching should be. You have 100 companies here with small tables (????)....compliments 36 companies on stage who are just awesome companies. We had 700 people apply and actually 5 of these launch pad companies will get to be on stage with those 36 so we'll probably end up having 42-43 companies on stage. They each get five minutes to present their product, why they built it, the business model and then a very serious group of judges gives them feedback. Some of the most successful---it's an unbelievable group of people and then there's a grand jury of 15-16 members who will vote on the winners and there's 5 winners in each of two categories: 1.0 category= Brand new company, brand new product, 2.0 category= Existing company with a new product. D: I heard you say that if you guys make a profit you're going to invest that? J: Yeah, any profit from the event- and there looks like there might be $10,000-40,000 in profits for this event- we are going to invest in the companies. I am an angel investor so instead of taking a short-term profit we're taking a long-term worldview. Of course that will be a very small angel investment. Most companies are going to raise one half of a million dollars or $1M or more, but if we can put in $10-20K to a couple of them, we feel pretty good about that! We hope to do this every year, maybe multiple times a year! This is a conference for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs. The ticket prices are extremely affordable- $400 for bootstrapping start-ups. If you've raised money, or you're a lawyer, accountant, venture capitalist, angel investor, it's only $1000. And the other demo-like conferences are $3-5K to participate and some of them charge $20K to be on stage. Some of them charge $4K to have a table in the demo pit like this so we want to be extremely friendly, we don't need to make $1M in profit off of this, we just want to put on a great show and have people pay attention to the 140 companies. D: You seem like a guy who's willing to take risks...my audience is people who either are tech- entrepreneurs or want to be. What do you wish you knew 10 or 15 years ago? What mistakes to see you entrepreneurs making? J: The biggest mistake I made in my career is that I didn't go big enough. D: As in market size, or... J: Yeah. The scope of the products I built- I built products that appealed to a small vertical. And they were successful. Silicon Alley Reporter, my first magazine had under 1 million people who would be interested in it. D: And you sold that to Dow Jones. J: Yes. The second company, WebBlogs, Inc. was smaller, appealed to a couple million people, in Gadget Autoblog Joystick they had single-digit millions so maybe as a group, maybe collectively 5 million people. And my latest company, Mahalo, I'm building to appeal to everybody on the planet. A place where anybody can learn anything. Learn how to make a podcast, learn how to use that camera, learn how to do audio engineering, learn how to make vegan food, learn how to play the guitar, learn how to do math. I want to teach everybody everything with Mahalo. And I could have done that with the first two companies; I could have gone bigger. D: It takes the same amount of effort to start a company why not... J: That's what I always say. It takes amount of effort to build a small company as a big company, as a huge company. And what I mean by that is that the entrepreneur will put in the same amount of effort. He'll put in the 70, 80, 90, 100 hours a week regardless of the market size. You might as well swing for the fences. D: How would you apply that to mobile, for example? Mobile has a lot of promise, it feels like we've reached a tipping point, is that a great big space or ...? J: Huge! There are niche apps obviously but there are apps that will appeal to everybody so you have something like Angry Birds which everybody plays, from grandmothers to grandchildren, and everybody in between from rich people to poor people all play that. It's people on welfare playing angry birds and there are billionaires on private jets playing Angry Birds. There's an example of something that appeals to everybody, it's huge and makes 10's of millions of dollars- easily. But then you have niche applications that solve specific problem. Both are virtuous. It's OK to do niche stuff but if you're going to do something that's in a niche, after you get your foothold and you're successful, think "how can I do this for 10 verticals? or 100?" Or, "how can I take this success in a vertical and apply it to everywhere?" Foursquarer only worked in New York and San Francisco but now it's everywhere! The same thing with Yelp! Yelp was a local service for San Francisco foodies and now it's international. You can start in a vertical, that's virtuous and then go big. D: Just don't think small. Don't be thinking small, think big. J: Think big, take small steps. D: Any other last tips? J: Yeah- you miss 100% of shots you don't take. Take your shot. D: Would you be willing to respond to comments if I put this on a blog? J: Yeah! I will tweet it too- send me the URL. D: Awesome, Thanks Jason! . //