I think everyone should start writing a blog. It is an eye opener as you are always looking for inspiration to pass on to your readers. This week my very good friend shared an Emily Dickinson quote, “The future is made up of nows.”
I love it. It fits my mantra, my life compass and nails down the advice I want to give everyone around me. So many people live in the past or just become sedentary.
NOW is your chance at happiness, personal and professional success and Pig Pen’s favorite, a good story.
From a professional standpoint, the ‘nows’ are critical to differentiating yourself from the pack. I found this great blog by Meg Garlinghouse summarizing an InDay Speaker Series interview between LinkedIn’s co-founder, Reid Hoffman, and one of Silicon Valley’s most prominent visionaries, Marc Andreessen, talking about software, platforms and career advice.
1. Software is eating the world. This is not a new argument by Andreessen, but he shared even more compelling examples to make his point. For example, he believes that the real magic of Apple is not its beautifully-designed hardware – but how its software ties you to additional Apple services and devices.
2. Platforms are an extraordinary way to leverage talent. You can never hire all the smart people in the world, but if you build a platform and let smart people build on it, you can leverage their talents.
3. Silicon Valley is difficult to replicate, but we should continue to try. Having access to capital and a supportive legal structure is the bare minimum. You also need educational institutions like Stanford University – both for the research as well as for the entrepreneurs that the university produces. Apparently, if you add up all the companies founded by Stanford graduates, it would be the world’s 10th largest economy. That is simply amazing and worth trying to replicate.
4. Go to the heart of your industry. In your career, there is no substitute for being at the center. Be “heat seeking” and go to the core of the matter because that is where you can take advantage of the network effect.
5. Be a professional hybrid. This is advice Andreessen got from Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams. Adams claims that the key to his success is being a professional hybrid: he is the cartoonist who understands business. The programmer who can talk to customers or the marketer who can be technical has a huge advantage over their colleagues who can’t.
The last two bullets resonated with me from a personal standpoint as well. To be ‘heat seeking’ and diverse, what great advice on how to start living in the now.
Tip of the week: Lots of great advice can be found on the LinkedIn Blog series: http://blog.linkedin.com/