Kindled Meme

– exploring the purpose of connection


on being Steve Jobs.. on delusion and achieving



“There’s a certain delusional quality that all successful people have to have….you have to believe that something different can happen.” Will Smith.


I struggle with a book I was told to read which alludes to teach the secrets of Steve Jobs presentation technique. He is Mr Success, right? He is the guy we all have to model… But the book fails to point out you have to presuppose you are Steve Jobs first to do what Steve Jobs does. That you are the visionary. That you build the platform for possibilities. That you have the power to direct and shape tectonic change. Without these beliefs there was no Steve Jobs. Without this mindset embedded you cannot present like him. Maybe you also have to be a tyrant – demanding, controlling, vindictive, paranoid and driven to the edge of reason.

You can model his deck but can you model his mind?

The battle between Gates and Jobs frames the mindset – and both are successful – and both are different. A difference (between them) that makes the difference in how we are provoked and inspired by Steve alone.

I like this video from 1983… watch Jobs and Gates tango. Gates was already Steves bitch. Its kind of uncomfortable.  And this is a long game – not a one off twist. If you want to present like Steve Jobs you can chunk it down and look at the keynotes but the context was much bigger than the PPT (ahem.. Keynote) deck. It was a dance that started at high school and waltzed on for 30 years.


Also on delusion…

There are people that talk of the “air sandwich” between strategic dreamers and operational reality. Implying this gap needs to be closed for business to be more effective – or to ease the pain. But in reality this gap is liberating for those shaking up business.

This gap exists with top sales guys – they are unrealistic and unhinged and drive you nuts – but successful. Those without that delusion merely hit the numbers. The crazies deliver bigger. And that is often a good thing.

So long live the crazy ones. Fuck reality.

Learn to love and sit with the delusional ones – suspend your discomfort. Maybe be one.


On Will Smith….

When I read the Will Smith quote I think about him in Pursuit of Happiness movie – playing Chris Gardener . Jeez, that film is brutal. It terrifies me. He sure lived belief, grit and resilience. I expect it was a bit of anesthetising delusion helped keep him going. But he won and thank god he did.

I hope I never need that delusional quality as much as Chris did.





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“It’s okey, sweet heart”


Coming in at number 7 on the hot list of “Buddhists that say “fuck”” is Kees Klomp  – talking compassion in business – and businesses that sustainably matter. And its not going to be easy when we are all living our own rhythms of pleasure and prestige – and directed by own own internal – but dodgy – compass of passion and purpose. All in a world that we will never control.

They are familiar words that come go out of focus but today we get a nudge. And a nudge is a beautiful thing.

Sat on the grass, with the wind frequently blowing the sketch board over and the tumbling leaves from the poplars reminding us that autumn is coming and this afternoon – where we sit under the moody cloudful skies – is a borrowed time before autumn arrives in full and the year wraps up.


We are talking about a five fold path to a meaningful business. And we will be still talking about it in 10 hours time – around a campfire long after we should be in bed. (But why would you go-bed when there are things to talk about)

We are talking about the Issue we want to fix, the identity (of who we become or are by doing this), the ideal we hold as we go forward and the intervention we make in the world. But we also look at the intersection of each of these – the insights we have (just how perceptive and creative and brave are you?), the intent in how you approach this (is there anything more important than intent in a world asking for authenticity and transparency) and also the impact you make (if you can tolerate not having an impact – frankly you have checked out of life.)

Oh, and there is income. Lets get real. We all have obligations and we are allowed to have a share in the value we create.

Its a nice model – and its structured and clear and thought provoking – and easy to draw and its easy for me to share it here.

And we are talking about the impacts we make – the societal and environmental impact – internally as an operation – shaping the choices we make – and externally in our “Go to World” execution. Your brand is what you do – why not do better?

But compassion in business starts with compassion in ourselves.

We stand at the start of the session – in a hug. 20 of us. Its uncomfortable and unusual – but eyes closed we are asked to reflect on our happiness at the is point of time. Its odd and unusual and unexpected. And fuck, Im tired – the past weeks have drained me, I’m in physical turmoil and I can feel the caffeine of one-too-many-rescue-coffees screaming inside me. Its hard to say Im happy but Im grateful to be here and I’m optimistic for the session with Kees.

But life is tough and while we are trying to scream ahead with impact and purpose we have to be kind to ourselves. Compassion in a business starts with compassion for yourself. And I need to be a little gentler on myself and right here today I can feel that. And I’m not the only one.

We talk and others are in the same space. Dorothy opens up and talks of her pains. And Kees knows it.

“Its okey, this is life. Life is hard. When you feel this – know its okey. Place your hand on your heart and say to yourself : “Its okey, Sweetheart”

Dorothy sobs softly and others do too – inwardly or outwardly. People stopping and acknowledging just what we are going through everyday.

If I could draw a line of my mood, energy and outlook during the talk it would all be good – I become connected and calm and relaxed. And I became energized.

At the end of the session we hugged again. I like the picture Mr Yeast took – the smiles are all full and real – it was a good place to be.

Buddhists-that-say-fuck rock. I suggest you find one in a town near you sometime soon.

Thank you Kees.




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Boat-rocker wanted

Tomorrow I have to interview a couple of candidates for our team. Im pretty clear on what we need and ‘who’ or ‘what’ will fit. But Im caught thinking – how do I structure this – an interview over Skype – across culture and timezones -and how do I uncover that the person has the twist we need to keep on being challengers and disruptors in what we do.

And so Im stealing Seth Godins work again.

Point to your personal website

Show us some of the projects you’ve led that have shipped and made an impact

Show us work you’ve done on the clock, and how you made it work

Are you restless? What do you make or do in your spare time that leaves a trail and makes an impact?

Find a particularly lame example of UX on the web and fix it into something better than good

What’s the best lesson you’ve learned from Steve Krug or Steve McConnell?

Point to a blog post that changed the way you think about connecting with people online

Have you created anything worth watching on Vimeo or YouTube?Where do you work now? What’s great about it

The worst thing I can do is hire a corporate journeyman who can’t speak human – or someone who cannot join the dots in a way that is provocative and original. We need people that can move. So how do I create the space over Skype to let them move me?
We don’t want to be another hop on someones CV and we don’t want another headcount that just completes the tasks. We are talking about 36 months in someones life – it has to matter for both of us
We are looking for waves – we do hope the boat gets rocked…
How do you spot the crew member thats going to make the journey something special?

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Moving Marvel mountains – inking intent

Lets move some mountains

Seething, heaving, making a break – “He’s not happy”

What a great image! [Grrr!]

Lots of folks in dark places. Lots of folk shredding their threads.

But not all folk have a comic to tell their story.

If you wrote your own comic what would you be doing?

20 pages dedicated to the interesting thoughts in your head… 10 pages contemplating  incongruence in your professional identity… A tense but ineffectual chapter about living in fear off having a conversation with someone who really matters to you. Or an unconvincing ending where you struggle to ink the words “I deserved better”

It would be great to write a comic of our lives that sold big – on all the newsstands, that gets turned into an app, that gets traded amongst geeks in cellophane wrappers at conventions for the next 100 years…

Someone told me that “your life today is the sum result of all the decisions you have made in your life up to this point…”

But your comic – your future – that can be different.

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Today… you whipped up a storm

Today you will success by:
Eliminating doubt and instilling confidence.

Today you not get distracted by:
Fonts, Colours, structure, the back-story of who is fucking who.

Today you will BUZZ by:
Being Passionate, inquisitive, insightful and by creating a true shared moment of ‘Wow” – loving and living the customers world. Today we will all BUZZ by watching YOU being YOU.

Tonight you will:
Sleep like a baby – knowing you had a great day.

“Storm It, Dude!”

What do you do with your GapingVoid Newsletter emails?

I use them to anchor a meme… to be the visual hook on shaping an intervention. Because – after all – culture is shaped one intervention at a time.

Thanks always to Hugh.