Half a century after “the problem that has no name,” the glass-ceiling index exposes the fact that women still make less than men do in similar occupations, even in countries where they have the best chance of equal treatment at work.
I think advertising could provide us a nontrivial amount of money, but we felt that we’d rather have less money and have a very pure, simple concept.
In some ways we’re breaking up cartels and creating a true kind of journalistic capitalism. Those sites that readers really want to stay in existence will have to earn that.
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OrgOrgChart – the evolution of a company’s structure over time, visualized.
1. Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you and move out of their way.
If you feel like you know everything, you’re wrong. I know what I don’t know and then I find partners who can teach me. A perfect example is my partnership with Patrick Whitesell, my co-CEO at WME. While we take on different roles at the company and focus on different things, we share the same goals and at the end of the day, we’re working toward the same end. That’s been the key to our success.
2. The only constant in business is change. Get comfortable with it.
When I started in the business, there were four broadcast networks and 19 cable networks. Now there are five broadcast networks, 117 cable networks, Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, HBOGo, iTunes, Amazon Prime, VOD – the list goes on and on. Next year there will be more distribution platforms, and in ten years the landscape will have shifted another 180 degrees. The business is changing quickly, and the only way to succeed is to change with it. I always tell my colleagues, there is no such thing as a traditional talent agent anymore. It’s about pushing beyond that 10% commission and finding opportunity where it didn’t exist before.
3. Fail often, fail quickly.
Nobody fucks up like I do, but you’ll never succeed unless you take risks. Big ones. In 2009, we took Endeavor, a company that was doing incredibly well, and merged it with the oldest talent agency in the world. From a cultural and organizational standpoint, it was a big risk. People had their doubts. But we had a vision and a lot of help from very smart people (see #1.) Three years later, our business is stronger, our bench is deeper and smarter, and our deal-making is more innovative. It’s a better company – period. You have to lead by example if you want to promote a culture where risk-taking is rewarded.
4. Your schedule makes you dumber.
Force yourself outside of your daily schedule. Be curious and take time to learn about worlds outside of the one you live in. Watch the news, read the paper, educate yourself. Don’t be afraid to call people you don’t know, start a conversation, and ask for things you need. At the very least, you’ll be more interesting. At the most, you’ll take your business in new and bigger directions.
5. You only get one shot – make it count.
I learned this the painful way. After being hit by a car and lying face-down in the middle of Wilshire Boulevard, I was confronted with a whole lot more than my mortality. Take advantage of each day that’s given to you and do something to move the needle on your business, even if it’s just an inch. You’ve heard it before, but life is not a dress rehearsal. Don’t waste your time (or mine.)
6. Good ideas rule all.
In the end, it’s all about creative ideas and content – it’s the lifeblood of our business. I’m fortunate enough to work with the writers, directors, musicians and actors who are defining culture with their voices. It’s why I come to work in the morning. In 100 years, when the world looks different, and we communicate in new ways, and we have more devices and platforms and distribution methods, I believe great artistry will still matter most.
Complement with some sage advice on knowing when (not) to take advice.
(LinkedIn is apparently trying to get in the content publishing business by asking various public figures to write listicles of business and personal productivity advice. Previously, Caterina Fake.)
Why don’t successful people and organizations automatically become very successful? One important explanation is due to what I call “the clarity paradox,” which can be summed up in four predictable phases:
Phase 1: When we really have clarity of purpose, it leads to success.
Phase 2: When we have success, it leads to more options and opportunities.
Phase 3: When we have increased options and opportunities, it leads to diffused efforts.
Phase 4: Diffused efforts undermine the very clarity that led to our success in the first place.
Curiously, and overstating the point in order to make it, success is a catalyst for failure.
2. Design the organization
3. The product is the marketing
4. Design is systems thinking
5. Design out loud
6. Design is for the people
7. Design with conviction
The seven principles of designing insanely great products, from John Edson’s forthcoming book, Design Like Apple: The Seven Principles of Designing Insanely Great Products, Services, and Experiences.
The honeybee colonies I was cultivating were structured for consistent long-term growth and the prevention of severe loss due to unpredictable environmental surprises. Bees are masters at risk management.
Take, for example, their approach toward the “too-big-to-fail” risk our financial sector famously took on. Honeybees have a failsafe preventive for that. It’s: “Don’t get too big.” Hives grow through successive divestures or spin-offs: They swarm. When a colony gets too large, it becomes operationally unwieldy and grossly inefficient and the hive splits. Eventually, risk is spread across many hives and revenue sources in contrast to relying on one big, vulnerable “super-hive” for sustenance.
The economic history of the major world powers in the last 2,000 years, in a single graph.
The crux of the question is what is it that we wish to achieve? Measures like Gross National Product (GNP) claim to answer this. We’re expected to be happy when it grows, and worried when it falls. But GNP is actually a very strange measure of anything. It only counts the velocity of the flow of money and stuff through the economy as they change hands in economic transactions. The more money that gets spent, conventional wisdom says, the better off we are.
But are we? If you volunteer at a home for the elderly, you’ve done nothing to increase the GNP. A divorcing cancer patient who gets in a car wreck adds handsomely to the GNP as money goes for insurance, repairs, and medical bills. But is she any better off? Clearly not.
Reframing The Global Economy To Include Happiness – on the effort to shift our measure of social well-being.
Companion read: The Happiness of Pursuit.
The world’s hardest-working countries, ranked.
Polaroid inventor Edwin Land on embracing failure, among other insights on what it takes to innovate.
Also see Land on the 5,000 steps to success.