Monthly Archives: August 2004

BJ Fogg’s “7 steps to innovation”

BJ Fogg from Stanford has a good page on patterns of innovation, with seven steps to innovation that he sees over and over again.

1. Identify an institutional need that intersects with your passion.

2. Get a clear vision of your goal (this step includes doing your homework on what others have done).

3. Enlist support from others and seek feedback (really two parts here).

4. Create value — at first this means working on your own time without compensation or recognition.

5. Document and share your success/progress.

6. Work to institutionalize your product/service/vision (be satisfied with baby steps; they add up).

7. Persist despite setbacks.

thanks BJ!

nl-2000 pedometer battery change for 2005

About two years ago I got a New Lifestyles NL-2000 pedometer. It’s been on my belt ever since, motivating me to exercise more. It’s pretty nice, looks like a pager, keeps a 7 day memory so I don’t have to look at it daily, and has a metal clip so it never ever falls off. My previous few pedometers had the clip break.

The battery wore out last week, and their web site didn’t have good replacement instructions. So for my benefit this time next year, here’s the drill, updated from last year’s instructions:

1. Slide the metal case up and off the body of the pedometer. It’s a bit of a tight squeeze, but it will come off. What’s inside is plastic.

2. Open the cover of the pedometer.

3. On the right hand side of the case there’s a little battery drawer. There is a little spot on top for a fingernail or nail file to pull it out. Out will slide the battery and a piece of plastic as a drawer or holder.

4. Take the battery to a camera or drugstore and replace it with an identical one – mine is a CR2016 3V Energizer.

5. Reassemble.

Thanks to John Hritz for the pedometer Hrecommendation.

UPDATE: follow the delicious pedometer discussion.

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Using LinkedIn instead of direct email

I’ve had occasion to connect up with people who I know a little bit, or who I know are acquaintances of people I know. In two cases recently I used LinkedIn instead of direct email to get a message through.

In both cases the path was very short and through someone I know really well, so there was no question of the message not getting through or getting garbled in transmission. Curiously, the results seem to be better than expected; in one case the person who got the message invited another person in the message-chain to the breakfast meeting I was hoping to set up.

It’s not who you know, it’s who you don’t quite know that counts.

Rob Cross , The Hidden Power of Social Networks.

An excerpt from Rob Cross‘s new book on social networks in business, The Hidden Power of Social Networks, is available via the Harvard Business School site – see How Org Charts Lie.

Just got done giving the book a read through this morning at Cafe Ambrosia (Saul is off at his Nana’s so I got some reading time in). There are lots of good charts and graphs showing organizational communications that aren’t measured by org charts. Two common patterns are the company divided into silos where there is no communication between any of the groups except for a few key people who span structural holes, and a workgroup where one person by skill or manipulation has managed to become an organization bottleneck and everything goes through them. (The HBS article above shows the latter).

Thanks to Valdis Krebs and George Brett for the recommendation.

My bus route is a literary landmark

Joe Cothrel passed this along:

Ok, this is a fun thing: the Academy of American Poets recently created a map of 31 treasured literary landmarks in the the United States.

Number 19 on the list, as you can see, is “Robert Hayden’s bus route, Ann Arbor, MI.” They don’t provide more info on the site, but the Ann Arbor News did a piece on August 6:

“With eyesight too poor for driving, Hayden often rode the bus from the corner of State and William Streets to Packard and Gardner Streets, then walked the short distance to his home … AATA Route 5 played a humble but important supportive role in his later career.”

So your bus route has been memorialized …

Hayden was consultant in poetry to the Library of Congress in his day — that’s the role that’s now called U.S. poet laureate. I like his stuff a lot. His best-known piece is here: Those Winter Sundays.



Thanks Joe!

daily tickler in wiki

I get an email every day that I look at almost the first thing in the morning, and it helps me organize and remember things all throughout my day. For some reason I don’t think I’ve written about it for the web yet (Google doesn’t know about it), so here’s a snapshot.

I keep a Socialtext wiki as a personal notebook and scratchpad. In this wiki I have pages named like [2004-August-28] which are the equivalent of calendar pages for that day – a place to take diary entries of what’s going on, a place to put forward looking reminders of birthdays and the like, and a chronological reference point inside wikis that are usually not very timeline-oriented.

Every day, a little Perl script mails me a set of links to that wiki – a link to today, so I can see what’s on the calendar; a link to next week, next month, three months from now and next year, so I can anticipate what’s going on. And with this simple reminder I’m actually doing quite a bit better at not losing things that happen in the future.

This is inspired of course by the paper tickler system in David Allen’s Getting Things Done, but I found myself not going to paper quite often enough, and since I’m online too much already this is pretty easy.