Swipe File #39: Decide what you stand for

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." — Winston Churchill

Hey All,

I'm out of the office this week so I asked my friend Walter Chen to help me curate this issue. Walter is the founder of iDoneThis, a great writer and a big thinker.

You can follow him on Twitter at @smalter.

Enjoy this week's articles and if you're feeling inspired, pass it on. Take it away, Walter!

What Games Are: The Scientism Delusion via @tiedtiger

This post is nominally about games, but it's really about poking holes in formulaic thinking.

Iterate-execute-market thinkers don’t tend to make the logical leap and conclude that their approach is wrong. They almost never seem to say to themselves “Maybe the problem is that we were too conservative, too timid, too risk-averse.” Instead, they conclude that they just didn’t iterate, execute and market hard enough.

On Business Madness via @al3x

It's so easy to get caught up in the herd. This article makes me step back and laugh about the "fake work" — Sam Altman's words — we all get caught up in.

But, as I observe discussions of business matters in the startup community, I can’t help but think that none of us – for all the blustering blog posts, crowing keynotes, self-published manifestos, and chest-beating sound bites fed to hungry reporters – have little more than the slightest idea what we’re doing.

My Unconventional Path to a Video Career via @csavage

Wistia co-founder Chris Savage explains that passion is a starting point, but no silver bullet.

We were superbly naïve when we began, and that used to be one of the things that kept me awake at night when I worried about our little company.

Now, I realize that being naïve is totally normal in a nascent space where there's a huge opportunity for innovation. There are no industry veterans to learn from in a brand new industry. The upshot is that getting into a brand new area can put you on equal footing with competitors, which means that it isn't experience that wins, but the ability to learn the fastest.

Principles via Ray Dalio

When business becomes a search for truth, exceptional results are possible. This guide from Ray Dalio is a classic resource for entrepreneurs.

I am confident that whatever success Bridgewater and I have had has resulted from our operating by certain principles. Creating a great culture, finding the right people, managing them to do great things and solving problems creatively and systematically are challenges faced by all organizations.

What differentiates them is how they approach these challenges. The principles laid out in the pages that follow convey our unique ways of doing these things, which are the reasons for our unique results.

How Will You Measure Your Life? via @claychristensen

Clayton Christensen gives us some perspective on defining who we are and sticking to it.

It's easier to hold to your principles 100 percent of the time than it is to hold to them 98 percent of the time. The boundary—your personal moral line—is powerful because you don't cross it; if you have justified doing it once, there's nothing to stop you doing it again.

Decide what you stand for. And then stand for it all the time.

Have a great week!


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