Construction Deconstruction

Day 169 Week 25 Q2 Monday, June 19, 2023

We all like building new things. There is almost always a new learning curve involved and creativity involved or, at a minimum, problem solving but what is less obvious is that before the new construction can commence, there will also very likely be some deconstruction required. And also, there is some pre-construction required by scooping and planning before commencing execution. Not everyone operates this way. When the settlers head out toward as yet unsettled land, assuming it is empty and ready to build upon, or researchers enter into a new field that does not yet exist, they all assume clear sailing and no obstacles.

Well, just as inventor entrepreneurs frequently, when asked about who their completion is, respond with there is none we are first.  Ah, but they are always wrong about that, and that is why wise investors always require some sort of competitive analysis ranging from informal to quite formal depending upon the required or offered investment.

But what most idealists and forward thinkers do not necessarily assume is a deconstruction task which often turns out to be much more than a task and really a deconstruction project. This project can turn out to be as large as the construction process or even larger. In fact, this is why sometimes complete demolition is on the critical path. It may be easier and cheaper to know down an old house and build a new one on the now cleared site. 

There is hardly ever a cleared and ready site. They do not exist in nature, business, science, or anywhere except maybe in deep space. Just as invaders usually find someone else living there first, that is why they are called invaders, right? Most projects require a metaphorical clearing of the land from what was there before, be it people or stuff like forests and swamps. 

Whether you call it deconstruction or simply site preparation, this can be harder than starting from scratch. Say a business wants to hire you to write a program or develop an app. What was operating before, and what do you do with it? Even if you know how to do the new thing, what do yo have to first do about the old thing? What was in its place? 

Say the situation has escalated from repairing to replacing. Yes, it would have been easier to maintain it so that it did not need repairs, but in most situations, systems and properties need to be repaired and eventually replaced, and that is when the deconstruction part has to occur.

Sometimes people just blow up what was there prior. They level the site, leave the relationship, delete the database or move to a new town where no one knows them so they can reinvent themselves. More often than not, they do none of those things and choose to stay where they are and solve the problems; this is where serious deconstruction comes in. And it, too, just like the construction project, retries its own plan. A deconstruction plan. So get started because, units you address the deconstruction, you can not commence construction or, more likely, reconstruction.

Hey, maybe this is why starting is easier than finishing. But you do want to or need to finish, right?

Idea Depot

Day 168 Week 25 Q2 Sunday, June 18, 2023

Creative Outliers can be fountains of ideas. These ideas can inspire, distract, guide and sometimes dominate lives. Depending upon the domains within which they occur, they can emerge fully formed or, more often, simply hint at a direction or even multiple directions. Historically they could be captured in notebooks which came in many sizes having many types of paper. Artists and writers had, and still have, a tremendous variety of capture mechanisms.  Stone tablets, digital tablets, and everything in between have been used to store and present expression. Word and math equations, sketches, diagrams and photographs, and audio and video recordings are all actively being used. They can fill warehouses and cabinets or, in this century now fit in your pockets. 

They generally require revisiting to iterate and evolve to manifestation and completion.  Categorization can be difficult as they may have very many associations, headings, titles and tags, especially in the mind of people whose minds seem to be on overdrive. A place for these partial expressions to reside during the phases from insights to completion can often be critical and time-varying. Society has even evolved more than one group of professionals to keep track. Librarians, curators and chief information officers come to mind, and they mostly deal with finished articles and works, but what about the in-process pre-finished versions? The ephemeral ones who are just passing through and which are just barely capturable but not yet shareable. The ones floating in the ether but able to be tuned in to, sometimes in snippets and other times almost complete.

Sometimes I feel like I am scuba diving in a sea of brightly colored moving concepts. There are far too many enticing swimmers to consider capture. In fact, there are too many even to notice, never mind comprehend. Unfortunately, this dimensionally vast stream, or at times sea of consciousness, can be so appealing to be immersed within that the act of breaking mid-stroke to stop and capture feels as crazy as dipping a ladle into an ocean while swimming in it. Where did you get the ladle from, and then what do you do with its contents when you are in the middle of the ocean?

At first, it was multiple physical index cards and pads, and then notebooks and file cabinets of all sizes, and now multiple hard drives, SSD’s and cloud accounts. In fact, there are far too many containers to keep track of, and these each contain tens to millions of files, pages or folders, both analog and digital. At first, I consoled myself with the thought that any idea worth something would certainly reappear enough times to grab hold of. Unfortunately, even multiple reappearances do not in any way guarantee the ability to grab hold of it or them.

My current thought is an idea depot which is not only a kind of multidimensional journal and media-rich repository but also, as the name depot implies, a dynamic way station where ideas can show up and be stored before they undergo a value-added departure.

It is like a swarm of media-rich ladles, each brimming with infinite possible manifestations. The phrase herding cats does not even begin to cover what is happening here. But as humans have graduated to extremely random access, tagged and linked, pocketable and cloud drift-able storage systems, we creative outliers now have a fighting chance to get our arms around the problem. This is a good thing as having recently transcended geographic proximity dominating who we hang out with and where we hang out with each other, we now have the technology to flexibly permit us to determine which ideas we get to hang out with and where we get to work with them.     

This is a very exciting time to be alive. Sunday, June 18, 2023, at 6:25:30 AM Eastern Daylight Time

Only 660 words in 48 minutes and not a moment of being stalled! And having missed all of the concrete measures of words per minute, screens filled, and total words, I still feel more than ready, centered and flowing, so much for one-dimensional numerical measures of dimensionally vast dynamically adaptive phenomena.

Music Model Insights

Day 167 Week 24 Q2 Saturday, June 17, 2023

In some ways, being a musician today is very much like it has always been. It has been hard to earn a living, and you had to be extremely self-sufficient and flexible.  There was a period that began when Music recordings became possible and ended when streaming became possible. During this time, companies that sold recordings could discover and represent musicians. The creation of this new portable form of intellectual property that could be sold changed the business model for musicians. Musicians could earn a living by selling records and tapes and then CDs.

Before this, most musicians could only earn a living by performing. Sure, the very elite class of musicians had the patronage of rich benefactors who essentially owned them much as the other staff around the castle. And today, with streaming, it is no longer possible to earn a living by selling recordings because most people do not even own recordings any longer. And streaming pays too little to be worth doing at all except to build your brand and credibility for touring.

So, musicians are back to where they were one hundred years ago regarding business models. They have to play out to get paid. And if they are not good at getting gigs, they have to pay to play instead of getting paid to play. It is that simple: to first order if you are famous, you must tour; if you are not, you still have to play out. And playing out is usually not the way to touring.

Okay, so a few musicians here and there build their reputations online and get discovered and ushered into touring, but this is as rare as somewhat writing a book and self-publishing it to acclaim. In both cases, the chances of earning a living are probably less than one in a thousand and certainly less than one in a hundred.

In contrast, if you get a degree in accounting, medicine, law, engineering and yes, even music, you have a very much better chance than one in a hundred of getting a job. However, for musicians, that job is likely to be teaching, which is a time-honored way for all artists to earn a significant portion of their support.

But today, there could be other options for business models besides the well-known ones of composing soundtracks for movies, video games and commercials and performing at corporate functions.

What about combining intimacy and reach? The in-person experience and the streaming experience? What about being technologically leveraged to sound like more than one musician.? What about the decreased barriers to entry to starting a new business and even a music business? 

Create new business models to support new performance models to support yourself as a musician and a composer, and yes, I do not mean AND not OR. For if you are a composer and can not or do not play, there is little chance of earning a living. Yes, there is always the one in a hundred, but Ould you advise anyone to do this?

If you want to compose, the odds are you are going to have to play to be heard. And the odds are you are going to have to play to earn a living as a musician because it is rarely possible to earn a musical living from IP sales.

Just some contemporary music insights.

Inspiring Distraction

Day 166 Week 24 Q2 Friday, June 16, 2023

Creatives notice things. It is part of being creative. Creative outliers notice even more things than normal. This means we can get easily distracted unless we are vigilant. What does this translate to? It means you know you are going to be distracted or at least have the tendency to be focused on your distractions. Yes sounds oxymoronic and possibly not reasonable.

Hey, that is probably how many creatives sound to less adventurous people. But stay with me. If you are going to be distracted, make it count. Get inspired. There are enough difficulties when you are an outlier. If you are going to be deviant, don’t be apologetic; use it to be inspired. That is to say, make it count. So, choose your distractions. After all, there are certain to be more than one, and some are much more useful than others. Choose inspiring distractions and, if possible, even choose when to be distracted.

Say, you are doing something tedious that does not require the majority of your attention, keep a few distractions handy and available to deploy to inspire you enough to get through the tedium. There is much one can do without requiring your hands and eyes. You can still listen to infinite sources—music, lectures, books, newscasts, podcasts and lessons. In fact, much of YouTube is valuable without seeing the visual component or occasionally checking in.

You can modulate your mood and energy level using distractions to wake you up or keep you on track consciously. Sound has an enormous impact on many of us. But you may be more inspired by a walk in nature or sitting until the sun sets. Say, there is something you have to figure out weighing upon your mind. Can you use inspiring distractions to free yourself up? To reduce stress by changing where your focus is directed? Can you deliberately distract yourself? 

Conscious distraction can be far more beneficial than unconscious distraction. Choose distractions that are inspiring.

Apply some of your creativity to distraction. Make it art. Make it useful. Use it therapeutically. Heal yourself with inspiring distractions. But be careful, as substance abuse is itself a distraction, as is overeating or arguing. There are plenty of distractions that, instead of being inspiring, create more problems than the ones you are escaping from.

Can you create compound interest distraction?  Overeating or any kind of overindulging certainly is compounded through habituation. Conversely, so is meditating or unusual amounts of attention focus. You know you will notice a lot, as you already have been for years. Have some distraction bombs ready to deploy when you anticipate difficulties or stressful situations emerging.

Save and store them. These inspiring distractions can be lifesavers.

New Buckets

Day 165 Week 24 Q2 Thursday, June 15, 2023

Today’s topic is new buckets. There is not much point in making wine without a wine bottle or making a meal without a plate to put it in or booking yourself for a performance if you have nothing to play. We all have buckets, literally containers, to put things of value. Does the presence of buckets increase the likelihood of creating value? Do we commit to semesters of learning and then determine what courses to take? Does a musician book a performance and then determine what music to perform?

Sometimes, creating new buckets can be the key to creating new content to put into. As we take on and shed new and old roles, perhaps we are creating and disposing of buckets. I have created businesses and then determined what to do with them. I have had desires to perform musically, as a social exercise, and then use this as an excuse to write music and learn how to play it. I have felt the need to go out and give a speech and then determine the topic after this.

 I was told to create a new product, and then I had to figure out what that product would be. Many times in my life, I was presented with a new bucket or created one myself.

This is one of those times where I determined the new buckets could be a force of convergence within an otherwise overly creative life that needed focus.  At this point in time, it seemed reasonable to determine buckets that could be closely associated with specific roles. This prompted the question, what are your currently desired roles?

In my case, whether I admit it or not, I have always been a founder. I started my first business when I was 13, and I’ve never stopped. The second row home I fell into was that of a performing musician at the age of 15. I had never given any thought to performing when taking four guitar lessons at the age of six and a dozen piano lessons at the age of 10. But at the age of 15, when a bass player became available for a friend’s Sweet 16 Party, I was pressed into service as a bass player, having never touched a bass before. This is how I found myself at the age of 15 with two new roles, in addition to being a son, a student, and a big brother. Those two roles were as an entrepreneur and performing musician, and now 55 years later, I am still doing both.

So what are the two new buckets? Somewhere along the line of being an entrepreneur and inventor, I gave many talks to many audiences.  Initially, none of this was intentional either, but it did turn out to be a role that I liked playing, and this, too, has been continuing for most of my life. At some point, this public speaking became Keynote speaking, which also became very much like musical performing. It was and still is, very social and extremely gratifying, for it feels like I have something to offer audiences besides Notes being played.

So I guess the three buckets of founder, musician, and speaker all naturally evolved. The newest bucket has also come about mostly unintentionally. This bucket is the bucket of a writer.  Now, all of us in business end up having to write.  We may have to write copy, marketing, or scripts for presentations, but these are different than writing something you expect people to read. Around the age of 50, it became clear that I would have many more ideas than I could ever manifest. Eventually, I determined that at some point, I would have to begin writing about them if I wanted them to get out in the world.

This meant I would have to become a writer, and have been toying with the idea for 20 years. But now the time has come 

for this new fourth bucket to integrate with the other three. My four buckets are now founder, musician, KeyNoter, and writer, and they all are integrated or will soon be.  

And the means by which they can become more fully manifested, and integrated, is to consciously declare, create, and fill these four buckets simultaneously.

New Buckets:  Founder, Musician, Keynoter, Writer

Creative Outlier Erudition

Day 164 Week 24 Q2 Wednesday, June 14, 2023

The creative journey is a remarkable exploration that often intertwines with the realm of erudition. As a creative outlier, you possess a distinctive perspective that, by definition, sets you apart from the crowd. It’s about embracing your individuality and tapping into the wellspring of your imagination. What story do you tell yourself when involuntarily venturing into uncharted territories that fuel your path to innovation?

Central to this journey is evocation—the ability to evoke emotions, ideas, and inspiration within you through your creative endeavors. Like a musician who composes captivating melodies, or an artful writer who paints vivid stories with words, you can elicit reactions from those who encounter your work.

In the world of music, the creative outlier can be a maverick who fearlessly blends genres, pushing the boundaries of conventional harmonies and rhythms. They might be a singer-songwriter who weaves heartfelt narratives with a distinct voice. And of course, there is the instrumentalist who can create spellbinding arrangements that defy categorization. Their artistry evokes raw emotions, transporting listeners to a place beyond words. Their music becomes a MeaningPlace sanctuary where people can immerse themselves and discover their own unique truths.

Evocation and the spirit of the creative outlier also find expression in scientific and technological realms. Acoustics shape our sonic experiences, as you can shape the world around us. When exploring the complexities of sound engineering or pushing the boundaries of technological innovation, a unique perspective serves as a catalyst for transformation.

Creative outliers defy conventional thinking in business, breathing new life into stagnant industries. These entrepreneurs reimagine products, services, and business models, disrupting the status quo and charting courses toward unexplored horizons. Blending audacity, creativity, and practicality ignites changes and can at times inspire others to think outside the confines of traditional norms.

The creative outlier challenges established paradigms within the scientific community, questioning existing theories and seeking unconventional solutions. They approach problems with fresh eyes, unafraid to dive into the unknown and unravel the mysteries that lie within. With an insatiable curiosity and a willingness to embrace uncertainty, they pave the way for groundbreaking discoveries and advancements in most fields.

To embark on the path of the creative outlier, it’s crucial to remain grounded and connected to the world around you. Embrace beauty, simplicity and the joy of everyday experiences to find inspiration in the ordinary. Allow wisdom to flow through work, transcending complex ideas into accessible forms that resonate with a wider audience.

Remember, being a creative outlier is not solely about reaching lofty heights of intellectual prowess. It’s about embracing your unique perspective, fostering authentic connections, and making a genuine impact. By infusing your creative endeavors with down-to-earth wisdom, you can evoke profound emotions, challenge the norm, and leave an indelible mark on the world.

So, fellow travelers on the creative path, unleash your inner outlier. Embrace your erudition with humility and let it guide you to new frontiers of imagination and innovation. Embody the balance between intellectual depth and relatable expression, and watch as your creative pursuits transcend boundaries, inspire others, and make a lasting difference in the tapestry of human experience.

On Having a Plan

Day 163 Week 24 Q2 Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Once you have designed a framework capable of supporting the activities that you intend to be engaged in, it is a relatively straightforward matter to develop a project plan with the supporting milestones, tasks and groups of tasks to get you where you want to go. This frees you up from the design work and allows you to move rapidly toward executing the operations to deliver the outcomes you require.

Having a plan to achieve a framework-bound outcome is crucial for any successful endeavor. Having a well-defined plan ensures clarity, direction, and accountability, whether it’s a personal goal, project, or business objective. By outlining a roadmap, you create a structured framework that guides your actions and decisions, increasing the likelihood of reaching your desired outcome.

The first step in creating a plan to achieve a framework-bound outcome is clearly defining your objective. What is the specific outcome you want to achieve? By setting a clear and measurable goal, you provide a target to work towards. This clarity lets you break down the overarching objective into smaller, manageable tasks or milestones.

Once you have a defined objective, the next step is identifying the necessary actions to reach it. This involves mapping out each task’s key steps, resources, and timelines. You can create a logical sequence of activities that propel you toward your desired outcome by outlining the specific actions and their dependencies.

Additionally, it’s important to consider potential challenges or obstacles that may arise along the way. By anticipating these hurdles in advance, you can develop contingency plans and alternative strategies to overcome them. This proactive approach allows you to adapt and adjust your course of action while staying focused on the ultimate framework-bound outcome.

Regular evaluation and monitoring of progress are crucial elements of any plan. By setting specific milestones and regularly assessing your progress, you can ensure you’re on track and make necessary adjustments if required. This self-reflection allows you to identify areas for improvement, celebrate achievements, and maintain momentum.

Having a plan to achieve a framework-bound outcome not only provides structure and organization but it also fosters motivation and commitment. Visualizing the path ahead makes it easier to stay focused, prioritize tasks, and allocate resources effectively. Moreover, a well-structured plan increases your confidence, demonstrating a clear understanding of the steps needed to succeed.

A plan to achieve a framework-bound outcome is essential for success. It provides direction, clarity, and accountability, enabling you to break down your objective into manageable tasks, anticipate challenges, monitor progress, and make adjustments along the way. Following a well-defined plan increases your chances of reaching your desired outcome and realizing your ambitions.

Sustainability Platforms

Day 162 Week 24 Q2 Monday, June 12, 2023

When you are creative, you may embark upon very many different kinds of projects. You may even have multiple careers. In fact, it is likely. But one thing is certain; revenue must be a key component.  Even if it is inherited, there still has to be cash flow management for sustainability. Assuming you already have traction and have created either books or pieces of music or technical components and therefore have something to sell, how will you do this?

Even if they were those who would like to adopt what you have created, there still needs to be some sort of distribution channel. Sometimes this comes about through a publishing company for the kinds of creations second be copyrighted, and other times it comes about the company that sells products into a sales pipeline. But however it comes about it is worth considering that you do need to have a platform if you want to have steady revenue and be sustainable.

In today’s world, in 2023, in general, the World Wide Web and the Internet will be a substantial part of your platform.

Almost every enterprise, big and small, needs to have a website of some sort. It can be a simple as Facebook, although I don’t recommend it if you would like to have a professional demeanor to present yourself to the world.  Part of your digital platform includes, in addition to descriptions of what you offer and contact information, a visual representation of what you are offering.  This means, like it, or not, that you are engaging in a kind of branding exercise. If it is unconscious, it may work perfectly well. But if you are really interested in sustainability, you may want to pay some attention to branding.

If you know who your customers are, you might want to make your digital platform emotionally relevant to them. You do not need to be a source of entertainment, but you do need to encourage them, for there is a great deal of competition in the world, and you do need to stand out. And preferably in a consistent way.  This means if you have a product line of either goods or services, they should have something to do with each other in order to amortize communication efforts.

When entering it to new businesses, it may be necessary to create either new or supplemental websites to not confuse everyone about who you are and what you’re doing. This means you need to have some sort of digital strategy as a unified approach to communication and collateral materials

 is necessary to appear to be professional. Consistency tends to be very helpful when you’re trying to conduct business. This applies not only to your offerings and professional behavior but also to your brand. 

Think about what sort of platform you need to be sustainable.

Back On Track

Day 161 Week 24 Q2 Sunday, June 11, 2023

Many, if not all, projects require a push to complete. And during that push, we may get off our normal scheduled routine. This is even more likely to happen to creative outliers, who generally push to complete projects without completely defined completion parameters. It is difficult to schedule the unknown, and it is, in fact, the unknown that is most attractive to creative outliers.  This is especially true about the difference between research and development. Research is about searching and then searching again. Development is about completing a project.

Although, it can be difficult to get back on track. Once you have gotten off it, I still welcome the changing of the operating mode. I am working within how long with the change of the seasons for the same reason. It makes the passage of time much more interesting when things are not always the same. So although if you live in a region where it snows, this can really slow you down when you’re trying to leave your home, but you can’t get your car out without first digging it out.

Or if you had a dinner party that disrupted the organization of your kitchen, dining room, and house. I don’t think you would rather not have the dinner party, to avoid making a mess.  Still, it is difficult for a creative outlier. He or she sometimes has to work very hard to develop a routine, to then violate it, and then have to return back to it. But it is necessary. We do not get most of our good work done during a final push, but more likely during the well-regulated, habituated, disciplined routine.

There’s always tension and release in good storytelling and good music composition. We cannot achieve a resolution unless there is first tension. We would not be so excited about the end of the story if there were not some difficulties along the way. So, although it can be distressing to get off track and increase your entropy, you can’t get organized unless you were previously disorganized. And the only force to counter the naturally occurring entropy is the work of getting organized, which is just another way of getting back on track.

But getting back on track is not the same thing as staying on track, which could become too boring because it is too predictable and, therefore not require as much attention, adaptation, and vigilance. We all like to have the excuse to pay more attention, create more order, and reduce entropy. And the changing seasons provide us with the impetus to do this every few months because a lot changes our situation if you live in a place that has seasons.

Even if the weather outside does not change, the weather inside most certainly does. We create our own seasons internally all the time, and they have periodicity and a rhythm to get back on track.

Sustainable Innovation Arc Part 2

Day 160 Week 23 Q2 Saturday, June 10, 2023

Once you have gained traction to protect emergence from the slipping and sliding phase, you can begin to worry about scalability. Scalability is the property of an enterprise to grow by becoming more emotionally relevant to increasingly large numbers of end-user customers.  In other words, before you can become rich, you must first become prosperous; before you become prosperous, you must be able to support yourself. This applies to individuals, and it applies to businesses as well. An example of scalability would be you have 100 customers who want what you have to offer, and say 50 of them have actually paid you for it. Now let’s see if there are 10 or 100 fold more customers who would also like to pay you. Then you would have between a thousand and 10,000 people embracing your idea meaningfully by actually paying for it. You could be said you have scaled up from 100 to 1000 or 10,000 customers. Let’s say the initial hundred customers did not generate enough revenue to support the business but the thousand good. Then you would be working on the process of scaling. This is what scalability is about. When a multinational firm like Apple can convince 1000,000,000 people to buy their phone from Apple, that is some serious scaling.

Taking it down many notches, let’s say you are an artist and you painted a painting, and somebody bought it for what you felt was a reasonable amount of money. But what if you really needed to make ten times that much money? If there are 168 hours in a week and it takes you 48 hours to make each painting, you cannot scale up to 10 times so much because there aren’t enough hours in the week. This is an exercise that is not scalable. Not all wonderful things are scalable. Some are one-shot ideals. If you are shooting for scalability, one-shot deals are about as satisfying as one-night stands, which is not very satisfying if your goal is to have a long-term relationship.

Being a sustainable innovator is a long-term relationship. This is what sustainable means. It does not mean a flash in the pan. Suppose you come up with ideas that cannot be replicated in a reasonable amount of time using reasonable amounts of resources. In that case, they are not scalable; therefore, you will not become sustainable in applying that idea.  A sustainable innovator, who began as a creative outlier somewhere along the line, had to create a platform. Platforms can take many forms. They can be companies, websites, or mailing lists, but they all have something to do with scalability and purpose, built precisely to accomplish that goal. If you are a creative outlier wanting to become a sustainable innovator, start designing and creating your platform.