The Daily Brainstorm

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Why the book is called The Year Without Pants (the real reason) | Scott Berkun

there are many serious reasons I chose the title. The book is a direct challenge of our biggest assumptions about work:

  • Can an organization be productive without email? claimed to be.
  • What work traditions no longer serve us?
  • Do we need dress codes? 9 to 5 working hours? Are hour long commutes worth it?
  • Are teams and managers necessary? Why? Until I arrived, had neither.
  • Can I, as a “management expert”, successfully manage a team again?
  • What new fangled things are younger companies doing and do they matter?
  • How much of my own advice from my books and this blog do I actually practice?

I think the business world takes itself far too seriously and it’s a problem. It’s only when we strip away some of our assumptions that we can figure out what works and why.

Being naked means you have nothing to hide. I did this project to challenge our biggest assumptions about work, management and what the future will be like.

(Source: journo-geekery)


These places don’t run out of creativity. You don’t jump the shark because you’re empty, you do it because there’s pressure to be greedy. Google has been found to have hacked and stolen user data, circumventing privacy settings. They’ve recently announced that without asking first or sharing the upside, they may be selling the names and faces of people who use Google to advertisers, to be included in endorsement ads. People expressing themselves online might soon find themselves starring in ads as unpaid, unwilling endorsers.

17 The Fallacy of Success

That a thing is successful merely means that it is; a millionaire is successful in being a millionaire and a donkey in being a donkey.

Any live man has succeeded in living; any dead man may have succeeded in committing suicide. But, passing over the bad logic and bad philosophy in the phrase, we may take it, as these writers do, in the ordinary sense of success in obtaining money or worldly position. These writers profess to tell the ordinary man how he may succeed in his trade or speculation-how, if he is a builder, he may succeed as a builder; how, if he is a stockbroker, he may succeed as a stockbroker. They profess to show him how, if he is a grocer, he may become a sporting yachtsman; how, if he is a tenth-rate journalist, he may become a peer; and how, if he is a German Jew, he may become an Anglo-Saxon.

This is a definite and business-like proposal, and I really think that the people who buy these books (if any people do buy them) have a moral, if not a legal, right to ask for their money back. Nobody would dare to publish a book about electricity which literally told one nothing about electricity; no one would dare publish an article on botany which showed that the writer did not know which end of a plant grew in the earth. Yet our modern world is full of books about Success and successful people which literally contain no kind of idea, and scarcely and kind of verbal sense.


In a nonfiction, social media space, only reality counts, because only reality is what is happening in the moment. A company or organization’s best available choice is to walk the walk. This means becoming truly competent. If a company has the best and most inspired employees, for example, then that is the place people will turn to when they are looking for advice, a new product, or a job. It is the locus of a culture. Everything begins to connect. And when it does, the org chart begins to matter less than the fractal of fluid associations.


We don’t need a rethinking of management. We need a reworking of work.


Stowe Boyd explains why management theory needs to be turned on its head: 

The creative, cognitive work that most workers perform is increasingly indistinguishable from what managers do, except the creative/cognitive worker is managing their own work, and cooperatively co-managing the work of those that they are connected with. Some of these people are called managers, but less so all the time. Management is becoming a distributed and emergent property of people working in social networks, instead of an extrinsic and imposed property of hierarchy.

Via GigaOM Pro Blog


I saw a lot of other people at Apple, especially after we went public, how it changed them. And a lot of people thought that they had to start being rich. I mean, a few people went out and bought Rolls Royces, and they bought homes, and their wives got plastic surgery. I saw these people who were really nice simple people turn into these bizarro people. And I made a promise to myself to myself, I said I’m not gonna let this money ruin my life.

—steve jobs 

(Source: suite-bergamasque, via blackturtleneck-newb)


Every advertisement is part of the long-term investment in the personality of the brand.

—David Ogilvy

(Source:, via paulisakson)


Everyone is grabbing as much data as possible with very little attention on what is actually necessary for the services being provided. Most companies shouldn’t by design be collecting data unless it’s necessary for their service. Also, no one is auditing the data, and a lot of if is crap. Only a few companies have the really good big data.


Where partnerships are the new product lines


A piece of news struck me in the WSJ today:

Tech companies like Samsung are scrambling to develop ecosystems of app partners to improve what they can offer customers.

This is just the B2B world following on the heels of the B2C one.

Ever since Apple first devised the idea of the “walled garden,” where individuals’ interaction with the internet was confined to a group of select apps that acted as portals to content and information, the value of the platform has been inextricably intertwined with what apps (or access points) it enables. Now, the platform wars are heating up as more companies look to enable business processes and operations via apps, and the outcome will be a matter of alliances. 

The bigger question to me is how much faster will B2B companies adapt to B2C realities in the coming years, and will there be convergence?