Hi, I'm Jeremy. I like solving problems, spotting opportunity and making things better. I love my family, nonfiction, surfing and well run businesses. I started my first business when I was twelve and I've been an entrepreneur ever since. I'm currently the CEO of Hawk Applications. We built ShipHawk, a revolutionary online application that will allow you to overnight a letter, or an M1 tank, all from your living room or mobile phone - in less than 3 minutes. Yep, pretty cool! I make my living building businesses and consulting about business growth and online marketing. I love helping people make their companies more successful, so if you have any questions, send them over. Thanks for looking me up. Let's connect on Linkedin or Twitter.
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I am frequently asked what I did to produce consistent growth at my last company. The truth is, many decisions contributed to our success. I became an expert in online marketing. I put customers’ interests above my own. I hired a team of cool people and gave them the freedom to show off their great personalities. But none of these decisions produced the same results as using the word yes.
I remember the first time I was faced with a shipping challenge that I didn’t know the answer to. One of our clients had sold a life-sized rocking horse on eBay and now needed to ship it. I had no idea how to get this done, but I said yes and figured it out.
I worked for both Nordstrom and Starbucks while I was in high school. Both companies employ just say yes policies. Nordstrom is famous for theirs. I experienced what this meant when a man returned 3 dress shirts that must have been two years old. The ring around the collar, fraying edges and age didn’t stop the salesman from promptly refunding the customer’s money. This was nothing compared to the legend circulating the Nordstrom back rooms of the man who returned snow tires to the store. Snopes confirms this story is legend, but the lesson is still valuable.
The more I said “yes,” the more business grew, and the more my reputation spread as a shipping resource.
Obviously, I will now have to write a post on the value of saying “no!” :)
I read a great verse in the Bible today. ”Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.”
Instead of resolutions I usually give each year a theme. A few years back I found myself spreading myself too thin, trying to solve too many problems at once, and therefore solving nothing at all. This epiphany lead to the year of focus theme. I focused on one project and had a super successful year.
Learning from the experience, I have continued to focus on one project at a time. The problem now is that this level of deep concentration on one project often leaves me exhausted by the end of the day and instead of having a productive evening, I often find myself getting lost in the next episode of Sons of Anarchy or Arrow.
An additional project can often bring relief and clarity of mind, much like a vacation. I still have one main focus, ShipHawk, but sometimes it’s nice to work on a writing project, conduct research or build something cool with my wife as a way of taking my mind off of work. As much as I love TV, these projects make me feel like less of a zombie and, you never know, maybe one of them will become my next big thing.
The utter simplicity of the iOS home screen is Apple’s innovation. It’s the simplest, most obvious “system” ever designed. It is a false and foolish but widespread misconception that “innovation” goes only in the direction of additional complexity.
Did you finish all those chips at lunch (even though you vowed to only have half)? Here’s why.
The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junkfood
“So why are the diabetes and obesity and hypertension numbers still spiraling out of control? It’s not just a matter of poor willpower on the part of the consumer and a give-the-people-what-they-want attitude on the part of the food manufacturers.
What I found, over four years of research and reporting, was a conscious effort — taking place in labs and marketing meetings and grocery-store aisles — to get people hooked on foods that are convenient and inexpensive.”
Here’s why Twitter software engineer Buster Benson or Y Combinator founder Paul Graham think that you need to learn to love to toil.
Writing on his always-interesting SVBTLE blog, Benson says there are different modes of work:
- Introspection: Finding yourself.
- Exploration: Finding everything else.
- Goal-making: Based on values found during introspection.
- Strategy-making: Hypotheses about how to achieve your goals.
- Experimentation: Trying things, playing, iterating.
- Finding fit: Person/universe fit.
- Slogging: Executing. Doing the work.
Each draws on different moods, states of mind, and brainwaves, Benson says, and we tend to excel at some and suck at others.
These processes don’t happen sequentially; they’re simultaneous. If your workflow is a startup, its organization is flat: Each mode is strongest when the others are strongest, and neglecting one hurts the others.
And it’s the slog that’s getting things done.
“One of the many things we do at Y Combinator is teach hackers about the inevitability of schleps,” he writes in a recent post. “(They) are not merely inevitable, but pretty much what business consists of.”
We don’t like schleps, Graham says, and that dislike provokes an unconscious blindness. We are, unknown to ourselves, pulling away from doing hard stuff (like seeing your friend in Queens).
But because everyone’s scared of the schlep, the toils are doubly valuable.
So keep calm and schlep on.
Details from yesterday.