Posts Tagged ‘ramblings’

Molly Crabapple’s 15 rules for creative success in…

November 5th, 2015 No comments
Reading Time: 4 minutes

image of Molly Crabapples self portrait

I found these great rules for creative success from Molly Crabapple via Richard Kadrey’s tumbler. I think a lot of these apply to most industries… I’ve a few favourites #6 and #8 are most relevant



1. The number one thing that would let more independent artists exists in America is a universal basic income. The number one thing that has a possibility of happening is single payer healthcare. This is because artists are humans who need to eat and live and get medical care, and our country punishes anyone who wants to go freelance and pursue their dream by telling them they might get cancer while uninsured, and then not be able to afford to treat it.

2. Companies are not loyal to you. Please never believe a company has your back. They are amoral by design and will discard you at a moment’s notice. Negotiate aggressively, ask other freelancers what they’re getting paid, and don’t buy into the financial negging of some suit.

3. I’ve cobbled together many different streams of income, so that if the bottom falls out of one industry, I’m not ruined. My mom worked in packaging design. When computers fundamentally changed the field, she lost all her work. I learned from this.

4. Very often people who blow up and become famous fast already have some other sort of income, either parental money, spousal money, money saved from another job, or corporate backing behind the scenes. Other times they’ve actually been working for 10 years and no one noticed until suddenly they passed some threshold. Either way, its good to take a hard look- you’ll learn from studying both types of people, and it will keep you from delusional myth-making.

5. I’ve never had a big break. I’ve just had tiny cracks in this wall of indifference until finally the wall wasn’t there any more

6. Don’t be a dick. Be nice to everyone who is also not a dick, help people who don’t have the advantages you do, and never succumb to crabs in the barrel infighting.

7. Remember that most people who try to be artists are kind of lazy. Just by busting your ass, you’re probably good enough to put yourself forward, so why not try?

8. Rejection is inevitable. Let it hit you hard for a moment, feel the hurt, and then move on.

9. Never trust some Silicon Valley douchebag who’s flush with investors’ money, but telling creators to post on their platform for free or for potential crumbs of cash. They’re just using you to build their own thing, and they’ll discard you when they sell the company a few years later.

10. Be a mercenary towards people with money. Be generous and giving to good people without it.

11. Working for free is only worth it if its with fellow artists or grassroots organizations you believe in, and only if they treat your respectfully and you get creative control.

12. Don’t ever submit to contests where you have to do new work. They’ll just waste your time, and again, only build the profile of the judges and the sponsoring company. Do not believe their lies about “exposure”. There is so much content online that just having your work posted in some massive image gallery is not exposure at all.

13. Don’t work for free for rich people. Seriously. Don’t don’t don’t. Even if you can afford to, you’re fucking over the labor market for other creators. Haggling hard for money is actually a beneficial act for other freelancers, because it is a fight against the race to the bottom that’s happening online.

14. If people love your work, treat them nice as long as they’re nice to you.

15. Be massively idealistic about your art, dream big, open your heart and let the blood pour forth. Be utterly cynical about the business around your art.


The Internet will not save creators.

Social media will not save us. Companies will not save us. Crowd-funding will not save us. Grants will not save us. Patrons will not save us.

Nothing will save us but ourselves and each other.

Now make some beautiful things.

-Molly Crabapple

Collaboration vs. Co-creation

October 18th, 2015 No comments
Reading Time: 3 minutes

CollaborationI had an interesting conversation the other evening with Markus Andrezak (@markusandrezak). It was using music co-creation and collaboration as an analogy of how to interact with your customers in the business world.

I like the analogy of music and music creation having once, in a previous life, been one (or a joke goes been the guy who hangs around with musicians). when you create music with fellow musicians it really is both collaboration and co-creation, everyone feeding off each other’s ideas essentially starting from one persons base concept. Extending that analogy into business you can look at a start-up where they originally set out to solve their own problems as the basis of the initial product being created. That same problem solving “thing” is discovered to work for others and a new business is formed.

As the start-up grows it starts listening to its initial customers for changes and enhancements, directly adding in features and capabilities. Again this works with the music analogy; the musicians listen directly to the friends and fans, those that attend the performances, and adjust accordingly; changing tempo, changing key, even playing in a different style. In both instances again this is Co-creation because it is a small group able to communicate their needs wants and expectations. As both the music analogy grows into wider distribution of the music, be it online or via physical distribution,separating musicians from direct interaction with their fans, as an organisation grows to include many more clients, it is very hard for almost impossible to maintain or even regain that level of initial intimacy and Co-creation.

What happens when you do reach such scale is that there is a lot of noise that need to be picked through.

There was a lot of debate as to what was collaboration and what was co-creation. Both are the process of working together for a common end. I’m hard pressed to really distinguish between the two and could easily argue that try differentiate is degenerating into an argument about semantics.

Trying to find other people’s views on this was interesting. over at this site I found a reference to this paper: A Typology of Customer Co-Creation in the Innovation Process, where they define co-creation as –

“Customer co-creation is an active, creative and social process, based on collaboration between producers (retailers) and users, that is initiated by the firm to generate value for customers” (Piller, Ihl & Vossen – 2010)

Where as over here  they assert that collaboration is co-creation.

Where I think the difference could be is, collaboration is a structured coming together to address a specific issue or problem and co-creation is a broader, ongoing engagement. Either way, I think the point is that it’s a good thing and should be embraced, unless of course you just meme copy and take your strategies from others

Thoughtlet: Agility in business

January 16th, 2015 1 comment
Reading Time: 1 minutes

Seth’s blog on business plyometrics is exactly what business agility is all about. It isn’t a haphazard approach to business,  it is, as one of my professors says, the speed boat that sits alongside the tanker. This model allows you, as a business, to try new things in a controlled manner as you turn the tanker. Key point is that it needs to NOT be haphazard.

Categories: Strategy Tags: ,

Why IT continues to matter

July 26th, 2014 Comments off
Reading Time: 4 minutes

medium_4268170530I found this paper earlier in the week. I honestly wish I found this three or four years ago, as it is a great pre-cursor for understanding how to break up a business and set the appropriate technology strategy to support the overarching business strategy.

It pulls together a number of ideas I’ve been playing with over the last few years with regards to business-mapping  and lets me see, what appears to be, the embryo of a lot of the thinking in support of Simon Wardley’s model. The origin is an article by Nicolas Carr, 2003, Why IT doesn’t matter. I never realised it was from a larger paper, I read the HBR article 2 years ago.

His main recommendations for IT are

  • Spend Less
  • Follow, don’t lead
  • invest only when risks are low
  • focus on vulnerabilities rather than opportunities
This is all based on the view that IT is not of strategic importance because:
  • Technology is expensive so not everyone can afford it.
  • Not everyone will be sufficiently imaginative to see the potential
  • Those who exploit it early may be able to lock-in customers, markets or business in a way that is difficult to break or match.

These all read like excuses, putting It into the “too hard” basket. If we treated HR with the same contempt we’d never employ anyone because people are really expensive, I might not be able to use them to their potential, I’m locking by business into relying on those people because they know a lot about me.

This attitude also explains why so many people can’t see the chess board when it comes to business strategy in general; if you ignore it because it’s hard and copy the competition, you’ll be fine.

Read more…

Thoughtlet: Are you using the right strategy

July 25th, 2014 Comments off
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Screen Shot 2014-07-25 at 9.40.33 am This is a very raw emerging thought – Catching up on the reading I need to do for University and a few things started to come together. I realised that business (people in them) still think of themselves as relatively static entities in a market that doesn’t change. This was highlighted when I was reviewing two different frameworks for business strategy; Michael Porter’s Generic Strategy model (something I’ve used in the past) and D’Aventi’s Hyper-competition model. Click in the image to see the two models.

I’m still working through my thoughts on this and how to use, but I think that as a whole as markets thrash through the product -> commodity phases, the markets represent a hyper-competitive one and the strategies listed by D’Aventi seem to be more appropriate.

That said, you could also use the D’Aventi model as a targeted selling technique on a case by case basis. As the relevant IT adoption maturity of the potential customer will vary, as will their perception of the Technology and it’s capability.

Regardless of the use, the models are definitely only useful for short term game. I don’t want to get to the point of lazy generation of strategy statements. More looking at ways to direct thinking appropriately, for the given situation.