I’ve been discovering a few ideas lately which I thought I’d share here. One of the bigger ones is this video of Ken Wilbur, discussing his idea of devin pride. I haven’t ever really delved into Ken’s stuff like I have some other’s, but I look forward to investigating it further. Anyways, one of the key things Ken got me thinking about is the idea of wholeness and it’s importance to everything.
Essentially, being whole is what we are all striving for most of the time. It follows then that we are fearful when we can’t see how to be whole in any given situation. And this fear, then, continues to make us contemplate whether what we were striving for was the right thing in the first place. So how do you stay on the path to finding wholeness?
I would like to suggest that it’s doing things, most of the time, that interest you. In that video above Ken thanks the audience a number of times for just showing up, because that indicates to him that they are the right people for him to be talking to in that moment. In the same way, working for a company or having a role that interests you is the most paramount thing we can all focus on achieving right now, to achieve some level of wholeness. We spend so many of our waking hours doing this thing called work. When we get to do something we’re interested and share that experience wholly with others then this leads to the creation of a magical environment to continue growing.
I’m giving a talk on Monday to a group of people that are re-thinking how they’re working together and I wanted to get some thoughts down here. It’s a topic I’m very very passionate about – it’s what drives me in my work at Yammer and upon reflection over the last couple of days it’s what’s driven me in past roles. I’m lucky that at Yammer I get to work with some amazing thinkers in this realm. Specifically, I’d like to share a video that our co-founder, Adam Pisoni, gave at a Silicon Valley Bank event some months ago.
How we make things matters. In fact, what I love most about the video above is that Adam suggests that we should be focused on building an amazing company just as much as an amazing product. Your product is something that will change over time. Your organisation should be able to evolve easily with that.
History is littered with companies large and small which prove this out. Current history too – RIM is in serious trouble because the market moved rapidly toward favoring something else. MySpace is another obvious example. The challenge is to build a company that is not organised around producing that one product.
At Yammer, the future product we offer will be different to todays version, just as todays version is different than the product when it first launched. Twitter as an organisation, I feel, is beginning to experience these problems. But I feel our organisation will survive because we’ve built it to be adaptable. You need to iterate on your organisation as often as you iterate your product.
I was catching the train the other night and noticed the advertising billboard below. It was informing everyone that Google Maps now has the ability to include public transport routes as a part of it’s service. The poster intrigued me, because it’s one of those artifacts that has come primarily from the digital world but is represented in a physical sense.
In this case, especially more broadly though, it served to as a great example of how some technology is becoming infrastructure in our lives.
I continuously hear various discussions each day that talk about how we must measure the impact of technology on the output of our companies. In many instances, I don’t disagree. But like any other mindset we use to solve problems, the idea of ROI has it’s limits. Some technology will never produce an ROI. Some technology will lend itself well to that existing paradigm and other technologies will not. Some technologies, like Google Maps, will serve the role of infrastructure. And like infrastructure, we’ll understand very well the investment required to maintain it but often times have trouble understanding the return we may get.
Next weekend, the Awesome Foundation Sydney will be running our June Board Meeting as an open event, where anybody else can come along and vote to decide who this months recipient will be. It’s a format we’re borrowing from the successful Sunday Soup model and something we’re doing in conjunction with the Vivid Sydney festival.
Here’s how the night will unfold
1) You’ll come along (tickets here, $30 is all it takes!)
2) We’ll serve up a delicious soup dinner. You’ll sit at a table with an Awesome Foundation board member, to give you some insight into how the board goes about selecting an awesome project to support each month.
3) There are 5 awesome ideas that we’ve shortlisted for you. Those 5 people will get up and pitch their awesome idea to the crowd.
4) Everybody votes on what they find the most awesome.
5) The votes are tallied and we select one project to receive the grant.
This will be a lot of fun and it’s something I’m really looking forward to. We’ve recently just announced the 5 awesome ideas that are on the shortlist. You can see them by heading to our Twitter page, @awesomefoundsyd..
There was a Twitter conversation today which got my attention. It seems Australia Post is going to be releasing a new app, for iPhone and iPad, which allows you to do a few amazing things. I wanted to speak about the features, but also what this makes possible in the future. Can you imagine a world where the Post Office has an API that anybody can connect to? Anyways, I digress. They call it the Australia Post Digital Mailbox.
1) Have a digital inbox. I assume this allows you to opt to receive mail you select as important, such as a bill from phone or electricity company. We’ll see when it launched what this actually does.
2) Pay bills. Australia Post has done this for ages, but now it seems they’ve made that accessible through their new app.
3) Store files in one location. This is possibly the most powerful feature. It essentially allows you to store files in one place. I’m assuming, given point 1, that it will all be electronic and that your files will be accesible through requesting documents.
This one is more speculation about what Australia Post might be up to. I doubt they’ll ever open up an API completely, but imagine the possibilities if they allowed people to create products on top of the services they offer – in a way that’s not to dissimilar to how Amazon’s Human Mechanical Turk or many Virtual PA services.
It’s exciting to see and I congratulate Australia Post on making this step. They must have made some large investments in their core services behind the scenes to make this possible, and it’s exciting to see what possibilities that now creates. I love an innovative ‘utility.’