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Focus For the new year

Shawn Phillips

Shawn Phillips

The new year is a great time to assess and refocus energies, realigning our efforts towards our truest goals.

This week The New Man hosts Shawn Phillips, strength expert and physical training pioneer. Shawn tells us how important focus is for any of our efforts, whether in the gym or in the boardroom.

The is a great show to help you kick off 2009 with strength.

The Typealizer analyzes my Blog

According to The Typealizer, this blog’s author (your’s truly) is of the type:

INTP – The Thinkers

The logical and analytical type. They are espescially attuned to difficult creative and intellectual challenges and always look for something more complex to dig into. They are great at finding subtle connections between things and imagine far-reaching implications.

They enjoy working with complex things using a lot of concepts and imaginative models of reality. Since they are not very good at seeing and understanding the needs of other people, they might come across as arrogant, impatient and insensitive to people that need some time to understand what they are talking about.

The Typealizer scans the text of the blog and determines which Myers-Briggs typology the author is writing from. More on how it works here.
My only surprise is that this app nailed my personality type. Very cool.

A Tribe of 1 Million

If you ask Brian Johnson what he is up to, he’ll tell you he is giving away 1 million subscriptions to his popular educational service Philosopher’sNotes. What you may think is, “what is the catch? What is the business angle here?”

There is no doubt a business case to be made for this kind of attention, but I will offer, what Brian is really doing is creating a tribe.

I am listening to Seth Godin’s Tribes on audiobook as I write this. Seth defines an emerging understanding of our evolving marketplace as a collection of tribes, groups of people aligned under a common goal or interest and under unifying leadership. Tribes are everywhere, just looking for leaders.

Brian is stepping into that leadership role. You know Brian’s tribe already. They are the folks that find most mass media intellectually un-stimulating, and find exciting tidbits here and there on the internet. They feel a vision of a better world and would love to lend a hand helping us get there but they are not yet clear just how to do it. They love exploration in their own ideas and the world around them. They are ready for change and would love for someone to point them in the right direction.

I am joining Brian’s tribe. Not only am I joining, but I am recruiting!

Aside from the fact that Philosopher’s Notes is a great way for busy people facing information overload to digest and understand essential ideas from the great thinkers of the past and today, and the fact that he is giving us a subscription for free; joining this tribe is the first step in connecting me with a virtual township of like minded individuals.

I expect Brian at some point to ask me if I want to receive information on special offers and products similar to the content I find in Philosopher’s Notes. I will eagerly click “yes.” Part of my participation in this tribe is the sincere hope that Brian will leverage the power of 1 million people to guide me to the things that are relevant to me. I want him to edit the deluge of information online for me so I can focus on what I really want to be doing.

I have argued about the death of the banner ad and the evolution of how businesses and organizations promote themselves. I would rather participate in a number of tribes than be constantly bombarded with irrelevant information.

I agree with Godin in that tribes like Brian’s are the future of promotion (read connection) in our evolving marketplace. Good luck in your goal Brian, I look forward to reaping the rewards of my participation.

The New Man turns 1 year old!

On December 13th my podcast, The New Man turns 1 year old. We have published 40 episodes talking with the nations experts in men’s issues, relationships, sexuality , and authenticity. We have generated a sizable audience and it is a project I am proud of. It has certainly been an amazing and fun year.

In celebration of our birthday, we created a new Community Website and a CD gift set of our best shows of this year. We want to make it easy to share The New Man and open someone to a whole new possibility for living with these insightful and entertaining dialogues.

Check out The New Man Community site and I would love your feedback and any suggestions to improve the experience.

The New Materialism: Efficiency (RED: Scarlet)

The Red: Scarlet DSMC(Digital Stills and Motion Camera) was released last week. It is a thing of epic beauty. I am not even a real video producer and don’t really have aspirations to be one, but I am totally geeked out by this system.

I see it as Agile Development in hardware form. “They don’t make em like they used to” does not apply here, or if it does, it turns the favorite aphorism of the Greatest Generation on its head.

The system is built around the concept of modularity. Every piece can be swapped, mixed, matched and upgraded. Darwin would be pleased, the camera has evolution built into its design.

This evolution has already been demonstrated in an amazing example of loyalty cultivation from Red. Early adopters of the 1st gen Red camera body over the last year would have been upset at the roll-out of the new, upgraded version. Red is rewarding its early adopters with a FULL trade-in value on their 1st gen bodies, for upgrade to the new ones. This is unheard of…and totally awesome! I would’ve gladly traded in my 1st gen iPhone for the 3G model but would’ve had to pay the “early adopter fee” of hundreds of dollars. Even Apple could learn from Red.

Yes, the system is expensive for the video hobbyist, but far cheaper than comparable cameras of this quality and well within the budget of even indie filmmakers.

Perhaps the Red team should take over Detroit in this bailout plan. It seems that if we shifted our material focus from quantity to quality and stressed modular evolution over seasonal replacement we might solve a lot of the worlds problems and waste a lot less time and effort in the process. Perhaps I am being overly optimistic but if Agile development works so much better for software, maybe it can take hardware to the next level as well.

I want all my tools to be modular, scalable and evolutionary.