Tom Topic #1

It’s all about tryin’ stuff. It’s all about experimentation. It’s all about getting’ on with getting’ on. Which means it’s all about …

Markets. (Lots a folks tryin’ lots of stuff.)
Decentralization. (Lots of folks tryin’ lots of stuff.)
Freedom. (Detroit 1900, Silicon Valley 2000, America 1783-???, new China 1979-???, etc = Lots of folks tryin’ lots of stuff.)

Hence one of my labors of love (= reading project) this summer is freedom per se. Amazingly (to me), the idea of liberty as we conjure it today is only a quarter millennium old. My tomes under current study:

Lynn Hunt, Inventing Human Rights: A History.
Michael Barone, Our First Revolution: The Remarkable British Upheaval That Inspired America’s Founding Fathers.

Here’s the way I see the life of individuals (top list), and organized entities (bottom list):

Go on offense.
Give everybody a shot.
Try a bunch of stuff.
Make it up as you go along.
Get some stuff wrong.
Laugh a lot.
Get some stuff right.
Become a “success.”

Extract “lessons learned” or “best practices.”
Thicken the Book of Rules.
Become evermore serious.
Enforce the rules to increasingly tight tolerances.
Go on defense.
Install walls.
Protect-at-all-costs today’s franchise.
Install taller walls.
Write more rules.
Become irrelevant and-or die.

This master process is my life’s work. And my personal joy. (And horror.)

Happy summer.
Try some stuff.

Remember Eleanor Roosevelt:

“Do one thing every day that scares you.”

(Ciao, I’m heading out to the woods for my daily dose of brushcutting—a “widow maker” branch broke loose on me yesterday, which I suppose passes the E Roosevelt “scare-the-shit-out-of-myself” test.)

Tom Peters posted this on June 26, 2007, in Execution.
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