Seth Godin’s Akimbo: Lying, Lying, Lying with Stats and More

In his Akimbo podcast, Seth Godin teaches us how to adopt a posture of possibility, change the culture, and choose to make a difference. Here are my takeaways from the episode.

In this podcast, Seth discusses the three “malpractices” of presenting graphs and charts. We should understand these pitfalls and potential manipulation because it is always a sound idea to know what the graphs and charts are trying to say and why.

Showing someone a graph, a chart, or a poll is an intentional act. We are choosing something to show someone because we want to make a point. Very often, we do this to amplify the intent of a story. At the same time, we often do the presentation and violate three simple rules.

Malpractice number one is that we need to be careful with changing axes or scales when comparing two or more things. We often manipulate the scales to emphasize or exaggerate minor differences when, most of the time, the differences are not significant at all.

Malpractice number two is using various graphic elements to emphasize the points. A three-dimensional volume is different than a two-dimensional area. A two-dimensional area is different from a one-dimensional line. When we use a three-dimensional volume object to illustrate the change of a single axis, it could create a false impression of the impact of the change.

The third malpractice has to do with how we communicate poll results. First, many polls are not sufficiently random for the results to be beneficial. Second, the poll results often describe people’s feelings at the time of the survey, but the same people may act very differently after some time after the poll. We often mistake polls as reality or certainty when they are merely odds.

The takeaway lesson is that when someone presents a graph or chart, we need to understand the fundamental point that person is trying to convey. We need to ask the right questions to know whether the presenters are presenting things fairly or trying to make a point.

When we present the graphs and charts, we should strive to create charts and graphs that are inherently straightforward, honest, accurately constructed, and still illustrate our perspective. One tip on making a chart is to say precisely what the chart is trying to convey, strip away all the extraneous information to get to the underlying truth and present it as clearly as we can.

投資與費用

(從我一個尊敬的作家,賽斯·高汀

一個增加價值,另一個則不然。 一種隨著時間的流逝創造價值,另一種則不會。

可以有趣的想像我們的支出是一種投資,但是如果真是如此,那我們就將其直接稱為投資。

我們的工具可以重複使用,我們的資產對我們和他人也都有價值。 技能可以是一項投資,隨著技能的增長而不斷增加。 但另一方面,費用的價值只會逐漸的黯淡。

Seth Godin’s Akimbo: Small Apertures

In his Akimbo podcast, Seth Godin teaches us how to adopt a posture of possibility, change the culture, and choose to make a difference. Here are my takeaways from the episode.

In this podcast, Seth discusses the function of apertures on the camera lens and uses it as an example of how various gatekeepers have shaped or defined our culture.

Camera lenses are round, but pictures are square because the light goes through a camera lens via a tiny pinhole in the lens. It turns out that, through that little, small hole, plenty of photons can work their way to the other side and land on a square piece of film. The pinhole acts as a gatekeeper for the photons.

Many aspects of our culture also have corresponding gatekeepers. The music industry used to have many gatekeepers that work together in the music ecosystem. The supply chain was made up of listeners, radio program directors, record producers, media executives, and many specialized support personnel and teams.

These supply chains and gatekeepers together act an aperture, a tiny little hole between the people who create things and the market that is open to consuming them.

Over time, the music ecosystem evolves, we got rid of the gatekeepers in many ways. The scarcity of radio time slots and album shelf space is no longer the constraint for music publishing. While there is a portion of the population that wants to listen to what the gatekeepers pick out for them, acquiring an audience in the age of iTunes and YouTube has clearly illustrated the concept of “Long Tail” named by Chris Andersen.

More importantly, these gatekeepers in many industries who used to define or shape our culture are not driving the culture anymore. These gatekeepers existed because we need them to manage the scarcity in time slots or shelf space. Scarcity comes with opportunity costs. If we play this song on the radio during this time slot, we will not be able to play another music simultaneously.

Also, the traditional gatekeepers were conservative primarily because they were trying to appeal to the largest segment of the audience possible. They did not want to risk alienating any group of audience. Today, the dynamic in the media has shifted from the conservative end to going to the edges. It does not matter if something is not valid. If something bleeds, it leads.

Whether being conservative or being edgy is a critical consideration for those trying to do work that will have an impact on the culture. More likely, somewhere in the middle, there might be a sweet spot for us, the change agent.

As creators of culture, each of us has the chance to hone our voice, practice shipping the work, and figure out who is our smallest viable audiences. For those audiences, we need to learn to see them, understand them, cater to them, and give them something they want to share. If we can earn permission to do the work for those audiences, we can become our own gatekeepers.

Each of us needs to be responsible for what we put our name on. Each of us is going to have a following, small or big. What we do with that following is that we can no longer use it as an excuse. We need to stand up for what is right and to bring things we are proud of to the world.

The mega-hits will become rarer as the audience fragments into many long-tail segments. It is more likely we will end up somewhere closer to the middle where some people will be able to find their true fans and make the work they are proud of. Doing the work that makes us proud and not hiding behind a badge or a label is the only way to make things better.

“你做的不是那麼好”

(從我一個尊敬的作家,賽斯·高汀

創造性工作通常會有三個問題。

首先的問題是當我們開始的時候,我們做的並不那麼好。這也沒錯,對於在創作旅程中的任何人來說,突破都是個添加了“還沒有”的一詞。

如果我們在沒熟練之前就假裝的是什麼事情都已經都弄清楚了,這是沒有用的。面對批評而採取脆弱的態度反而會適得其反。實際上在此階段,“您做的不是那麼好”正是我們所需要聽到的,因為在此之後您可能會洞悉如何變得更好。

第二個問題是一旦我們開始培養技能並提供有價值的東西,一些人還是會堅持認為我們做不到美好的地方。他們這麼做是告訴了我們一些關於他們自己想要和需要的東西。這也是給我們一個向其他人提供領導力和貢獻的線索,其他人是了解我們正在做的事情並希望得到它的人。最小的可行受眾群體不是個妥協,而是前進的道路。找出那些想被錄取,是開放並且渴望的人,來去服務他們。

一個危險會在於當您在此階段聽到拒絕的話時,您可能會相信自己沒有做成任何事情,而不是意識到自己可能只是在跟錯誤的人說話。

第三個問題是當我們走了個完整的圈子。事實上我們可能還不夠好,並且沒有足夠的人想要我們想擁有的東西。對於這個部分的市場,我們根本不夠好。因此我們接受這個事實並從頭開始。我們還不夠好,我們還沒有足夠的練習,還沒有足夠的同理心,還對流派有足夠了解,並且還沒想出如何做出貢獻的方法,至少對於這個觀眾。

然後一段時間後我們變得更好。

這三個問題遲早將成為實現與眾不同和開展我們能引以為傲的工作的三個里程碑。

Seth Godin’s Akimbo: The Complex of Complexes

In his Akimbo podcast, Seth Godin teaches us how to adopt a posture of possibility, change the culture, and choose to make a difference. Here are my takeaways from the episode.

In this podcast, Seth discusses the various industrial complexes surrounding our lives and why we need to be aware of them.

An industrial complex gets organized when capitalists realize that they can make money doing something and have the levers to keep up with the money-making activities. Within the industrial complex, the capitalists make money by selling to their customers. The complex also spawns other mechanisms that create demands for the capitalists’ goods or services. The market feeds into the output, and output creates demand that feeds back into the complex.

Various industrial complexes surround our societies, and those complexes influence many aspects of our lives. Some examples include the military-industrial complex, the education industrial complex, the prison industrial complex, and the TV industrial complex, to name a few. Many businesses thrive within these complexes because they have found ways and leverages to participate in the complex profitable.

Organizations within the complex also compete with each other for business and resources. As one company gets ahead, other companies try to beat the competition. This racing-like competition creates a ratchet that turns the cycle in one direction.

A critical aspect of the industrial complex to understand is the market. The market is a need-sensing device. The market understands that time comes with an opportunity cost, and the market will rush to serve people’s short-term needs.

Over time, all complexes evolve with the profit-making cycle continuing. The TV industrial complex began by solving our problem of what do we put on TV. But now, it is solving how the advertisers could get a more significant return on the money they are spending.

The industrial complex model also needs a surplus of compliant workers to staff the factories. If there are enough obedient workers available, the factory can move the ratchet forward by making goods or services cheaper. Our education system (or industrial complex) was created primarily to produce as many compliant workers as possible. The system is not so much about encouraging creativity, insight, and connection but encouraging us to be part of an industrial complex.

We have a chance to contribute if we want to but without being part of a complex. People are discovering ways to improve our societies without everything comes down to money-making. One approach is to create software that can change the rules. The industrialist is all about marginal cost, raw materials, and supply chains. The software can change a bunch of those rules because software can be free and accessible. Once we start interacting with people in that way that is not harvesting their attention and turning it into money, we stand a chance to produce something without an industrial complex.

What we need to realize is that our culture does not belong to the industrial complex. While the industrial complex has proven to be helpful, it will require some ongoing boundaries. The purpose of having the industrial complex is to build the culture. Culture does not exist to make capitalists happy; instead, capitalism exists to make our culture work.

難處在哪裡?

(從我一個尊敬的作家,賽斯·高汀

這是一種造成同步的好方法。

“難點是什麼”是團隊中每個人都應該能夠回答的問題。但是,除非您正式的提出這個問題,否則您將找不到真正的答案。

您可能會發現許多人認為困難的部分與他們整日的工作直接相關。您可能會發現有些人堅持認為困難的部分與他們一整天都沒有關係,即使它確實是有關係。

如果進展順利的話,這將會改變這個項目的影響力的困難工作是什麼?哪些項目值得重點關注,哪些將難以以富有成效的方式外包?

當我們將所有這些說法匯總到企業中時,需要總裁來確定真正的難點是什麼。這是ㄧ種可解決的問題,當解決這一問題將對這企業產生重大的影響。

幾乎所有創建和構建對象所涉及的周期並不是特別困難。它們當然還是很重要。就好像是除非有輪子,否則我們騎不了腳踏車。但是,以合理的價格找到和購買一個車輪並不很難。

團隊的意識和對難處的專注是可以極大地改變了該項目的前景。

Seth Godin’s Akimbo: Lazy Capitalism

In his Akimbo podcast, Seth Godin teaches us how to adopt a posture of possibility, change the culture, and choose to make a difference. Here are my takeaways from the episode.

In this podcast, Seth discusses the standard measurement used by capitalism and how it impacts our culture.

Capitalism is the simple idea of finding a market with a need, selling something for less than it is worth to the person in that market, and repeating the process. Throughout the last couple of hundreds of years, capitalism has been the primary force that changes the world in many ways.

Capitalism also works like a ratchet. It is a ratchet because people in the market will always try to seek solutions with a better value. A key metric in capitalism is the return on investment. The desire for seeking a better return usually goes in one direction, so it is like a ratchet that can only turn one direction.

Capitalism can also be said to be lazy. It is easy to be lazy when the participants in the market think about winning at capitalism with just one measurement. It is the return against the investment. If we put money into this venture, how much can we get back from the investment?

When we have just one measurement to track when practicing capitalism, it can lead to some problems. It is human nature where if there is just one number to pay attention to, people will develop ways to make that number go up. In many situations, just making one number go up can push people to do things that diminish other factors that also matter in our lives.

Because we do not live in such a simple world anymore, everything we do have side effects somewhere. The ratchet of constantly improving the return can pressure us to ignore everything that does not directly contribute to the return.

Unfortunately, no single solution can solve all problems, and there is no one perfect model. There are only a messy series of choices we have to make if we will be in the business of changing the market, changing the culture, or changing people’s lives.

The alternative is to figure out what is the smallest viable audience that we can serve or influence. What do they care about so I can adapt it to come up with the metrics for that audience? Knowing what the metrics are, how will we scale our creation to make the change we want to make and in a way that we are proud of?

As we can see, whatever practical solution we develop will involve a series of messy and complicated decisions with no one having the right answer. However, this is a beautiful opportunity to make the change we seek to make in the world and do it in a way that makes a difference.

We are not lazy capitalists – we are humans. That means one thing we can do is thinking hard about how we can become agents of change. We can become an agent of change by building something and figuring out how to make something better.

你到底是誰?

(從我一個尊敬的作家,賽斯·高汀

我們有一種慶祝“真實”自我的願望。

但是也許我們的自尊心才是我們真正的自我,當我們盡力做到一致,慷慨和專業時就會表現出來。 那種當我們感到疲倦,壓力大或忙碌時所發出的聲音,只是從我們不完整和次要形式的身份來的。

我們的自我是選擇創建的互動和做出的更改的總和。