Change

Are You a Crank or a Visionary?

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So I was reading through a book of Mark Twain quotes last night (did the guy ever say anything that wasn’t pure gold?), and I came upon one that was particularly relevant to my last post:

“The man with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.”

Bill Gates was an idiot whose idea of “a computer on every desk” was patently absurd. Those wacky Wright kids, Orville and Wilbur, with their crazy “flying machine” idea—what were they thinking? And ...

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Ringo, Innovation, and Challenging Times

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So I was out to dinner last night, and two guys at a nearby table were discussing Sunday’s Grammy awards—specifically Paul McCartney’s performance of I Saw Her Standing There with Foo Fighter (and former Nirvana drummer) Dave Grohl on drums. This led one of the two to say “Well, Ringo never really was much of a drummer. But I guess he was an okay timekeeper, and that’s really all the Beatles needed.” The other one agreed. At that point, I’m ...

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The Ed Sullivan Impact and Your Business

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Tomorrow—February 9, 2009—will mark the 45th anniversary of the Beatles’ historic first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. An estimated 73 million people—roughly half of the U.S. population at the time—watched as the Beatles performed five songs that night (All My Loving, Till There Was You, She Loves You, I Saw Her Standing There, and I Want To Hold Your Hand). Although just a little kid at the time, I was one of those 73 million. For that I have ...

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An Outside Perspective

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A couple of miles from where I live is an intersection where a local panhandler has staked his claim. Day after day he’s there brandishing his sign, looking for donations. Most days I just drive by and wave; he always waves back. Occasionally I’ll give him a few bucks. Clearly the location is working for him, otherwise he would have moved on long ago. A few weeks ago, during a brief respite from the winter cold, I was driving along ...

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Barack, the Beatles, and Change

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Along with the rest of the world, I just watched Barack Obama become the 44th president of the United States of America. No matter what your own personal political views may be, there can be no question that this represents a monumental and fundamental change in our nation’s history. And I’m reminded once again that change, in and of itself, is nothing to be feared. Rather, change is a necessary and natural part of progress, of growth.

Yes, change can be ...

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24 Hours and a Choice

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I’m getting a little sick and tired of people moaning about the bad times.

“I don’t have enough money.”

“I’ll never be able to retire.”

“Nobody will give me a job.”

Now don’t get me wrong–I’m not saying these aren’t serious issues. These are challenging times, and I truly feel for those who are struggling to get by. What I am saying, though, is that moaning about it may not be the most effective response.

Look, the Beatles went through some tough times too. Times ...

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Where the Great Ideas Come From

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How often do you come up with a brilliant, innovative idea that changes the shape of your industry? The Beatles did it all the time. How? Partly by being continuously open to new ideas, no matter where they may come from. Let’s take a look at the genesis of two landmark Beatles songs: John Lennon’s I Am the Walrus and Paul McCartney’s Penny Lane.

John Lennon was sitting at his home in Weybridge, England one day when he happened to hear ...

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