Thousand applied to be part of the project (bit.ly/1a8FfZM) and just more than a dozen of us spent two weeks together in New York.
We built things, connected, failed and practiced being generous with the end goal of changing everything. We created a beautiful business model, designed a platform, launched a minimum viable product and most importantly learned a lot from one of the foremost business gurus in the world.
Reflecting back from a 10,000 foot view, here are a few of the takeaways that stick with me a year later.
1. Kindness. Seth is one of the smartest people I’d ever met. And just as importantly one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. Seth not only gave us complete accessibility to him and his house and office, but also spent full days with us the entire time. He cooked us meals, shared his ideas, invited busy friends of his to come connect with us, gave us all the resources we could ever ask for and genuinely connected with us.
2. Create art. This project, like all of Seth’s projects are art. They are used to create change and with the hopes of doing something that matters. Not to make money.
3. Have a point of view. Seth pushed each and every one of us to stand up and taken a stand. In the end, it became very clear that it’s far more important to sustain an argument than it is to write and memorize facts. And to do that in front of people whose opinions you care about.
4. Stop hiding and ship. Most of us spend a lot of time hiding. Not sending out our work, not sharing our ideas and afraid to put stuff out into the world. This is the resistance. Seth encouraged us to stop hiding and to “ship”. To show our work, get feedback, share and connect with others. All 3,000 of your Facebook friends will still like you no matter how it turns out.
5. Find the critical path. According to Seth, “The longest string of dependent, non-compressible tasks is the critical path.” Every complicated project has it; a lot of people working on many elements, some of which are dependent on others. The critical path is the most important variable which many things depend on. Focus on that!
6. Focus on the hard part. Ask yourself, What’s hard? Why are you stuck? What’s in the way of where you are now and where you want to go? And talk about it openly and honestly. Then leap forward.
7. Rush early, not late. It’s better to set aggressive deadlines early. To change, change again and change again when you’re starting out. It’s cheaper that way. The cost of changing is lower. And it’s better for your peace of mind.
8. Shun the skeptics. There are a lot of people who won’t believe in your idea no matter what. They’ll encourage you to give up or do something that’s safe. The best way to deal with skeptics is to ignore them. And for the thoughtful generous skeptics, the best thing to do is to understand their point of view, explore why they believe what they believe, and then decide what you want to do.
9. Go. Go. Go. Get to work. Make things that matter. Make a difference. It won’t happen if you don’t start now.
Here is a video recap on the final day with tidbits from the team members (from http://vimeo.com/72428593).
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