What Is The One Thing You Must Remember If You Want To Achieve Anything?

baby-steps.png

Monday, 9.38pm

Sheffield, U.K.

People do not wander around and then find themselves at the top of Mount Everest. – Zig Ziglar

A teacher once said to me that the kids that do well are the ones that aren’t afraid to fail.

Think about that for a second.

When did we first learn that it was bad to fail?

Not when we’re small.

Babies are, to be quite frank, rubbish at everything.

But they don’t know that – they just haven’t a clue just how badly they do the simplest things.

And, as a result, they just get on with doing things badly until they do them better.

Like feeding themselves. At first, they’re not sure which end of the spoon to hold or where it goes.

But they figure it out eventually and somehow or the other most babies end up being able to wield a spoon.

Learning to walk is actually a process of learning how to put one foot in front of the other without falling over.

And these are the things I tell myself when I’m in a new situation like a networking group.

The fact is that everyone in that room knows everyone else, has a perfect pitch and is clearly much better than I will ever be.

And that’s ok.

Because when you’re rubbish, at least you have a chance to get better.

I’ve found that it’s no bad thing to be really bad at something you try and do for the first time.

For starters, it teaches you humility.

You realise that you don’t know everything, that your pitch could do with refining, maybe even tossing out and starting again.

It makes you look at what you’re trying to get across with fresh eyes.

A long time ago I talked to someone about the effect words might have on how you felt.

My view was that it didn’t matter what someone said – you always had the choice about how to feel about what they said.

It was your choice to get angry or sad or happy.

The person I was speaking to disagreed – her view was that it was your responsibility if your words made someone else feel a certain way.

That’s a tomato vs tomato argument, perhaps.

But if someone doesn’t understand what you say – well that’s easier to sort out.

You just keep trying new combinations of words until you find ones that work.

The fact is failure only matters in a one-shot game.

If you only have one chance to get it right then you have to get it right.

But life isn’t mostly like that.

Life is a repeated game – where you play the same one-shot game again and again.

If you went to one networking event and were rubbish – you can do it again next week.

You might still be rubbish – but a little less so.

And then the next time you’ll do something different and it will be different and maybe it will be better.

If you want to be successful the most important thing to remember is the idea of baby steps – all you’ve got to do is keep practising and eventually you’ll walk and run and jump.

As long as you keep practising.

Cheers,

Karthik Suresh

What Is The Point Of Building A System To Manage Another System?

to-do-list.png

Sunday, 8.59pm

Sheffield, U.K.

A bad system will beat a good person every time. – W. Edwards Deming

There are certain laws in the Internet world.

One of them, Godwin’s Law, says that as an online discussion grows longer the probability of a comparison that involves Hitler or Nazis approaches one.

Another, Zawinski’s Law, says that every program tries to expand until it can read mail.

These laws are really an observation of the side effects that seem to happen to things over time – whether they are discussions or programs.

And one that I’ve been mulling over recently has to do with getting things done.

If you’ve read David Allen’s book on the subject you’ll know that he has a process – collect everything, pull out next actions and manage them in a system.

There is no shortage of todo list applications. Microsoft Project, for example, is really a todo list app that has a lot of stuff in it.

What I’ve found over the years is that aiming to get things done is pretty easy when you don’t have much to do.

Early in your career, for example, all you really have to do is get your work done – so you can track and manage everything and work a system that works.

But as you get older the problems of scale come up.

What happens when you have to manage life itself – all the things you have to do that revolve around kids, getting your house sorted, managing relationships, growing your business, looking after your property rentals and a host of other things.

Quite soon you can find that things make their way onto your list faster than you can strike them off.

It’s a peculiar problem that has to do with affluence.

Take your house, for example.

If you have young children the chances are that a new thing made of plastic enters your house on average every day.

At the end of a year, you probably have 300 odd things in your house that weren’t there at the start.

When your kids are 10, that’s closer to 3,000 – at which point you’ve given up any hope of ever getting rid of any of that stuff.

It’s sort of like that with todo lists that grow and grow.

One way to deal with the whole thing is to just ignore your list.

Some people start a new list every day – trusting that if something important is forgotten you’ll be reminded by someone or something else.

But if you do try and manage your list you’ll quickly realise that while life is lived one day at a time you need to hive your actions into a separate system – your todo list.

And now, you have that list to manage – and unsurprisingly, over time, that list can get stale and out of sync with what’s actually happening in your life.

This may seem a little pointless as a discussion – but here’s the thing.

We often think that we have to manage things for them to work.

But the best things don’t need managing – life itself – for a start.

Most living things go about their business without thinking of their todo list – they are self-regulating systems.

Humans are the only ones with this urge to have a system to manage another system.

And so a design principle for managing a system should perhaps be that it should be self managed.

For example, if you write stuff in a diary throughout the day and take notes of actions, you should be able to manage the actions in your diary without having to put them into a new system.

Practically, that is really a simple job of searching and replacing.

Search for action items that are marked as such – perhaps with brackets.

When you’re done, put an x in the brackets and don’t show them in the search any more.

You could do this with text files and around 3-5 line of code.

In Linux, for example, you could put each action on its own line starting with [] and find every instance with a command like look [] file.txt.

A trivial way of pulling out the actions.

That means your notes and actions are part of the same system and managed in there – more self management than anything else.

Or you could build or subscribe to an application – which is probably going to be more complex that requires you to manage two systems and that will eventually fall out of sync.

Like every CRM application out there.

Yes you can manage it with effort – but wouldn’t it be nicer if it was self-managed and didn’t need effort?

But building a simple system is often an order of magnitude harder than building a complex one.

And that’s because you often need to build the complex one and live with the pain of using it daily until you realise – in a flash of enlightenment – how to make it simpler.

But no one said the path to enlightenment was easy or straightforward.

Cheers, Karthik

Why Being Around Others Is Bad For Creativity

group-creativity.png

Saturday, 9.33pm

Sheffield, U.K.

To be creative you must create a space for yourself where you can be undisturbed… separate from everyday concerns. – John Cleese

Pilita Clark’s article in the Financial Times is the kind of thing that you either agree with vehemently or try and ignore.

And that’s because it strikes at the heart of what it means to be an organisation these days.

We all talk about talent as the most important thing an organisation can have.

For example, some companies say that most of their assets walk out of the door each evening and their most important job is making sure they walk back in again.

But then why are the places most people work at so poorly designed for work?

This is one thing universities get right – the ones I’ve seen anyway.

If you’re doing research you get a private space. It might be a cubicle as a grad student but as you get further in your career everyone seems to have an office.

And that’s not just because you need space to dump your paper.

It’s because you’ll do your best work in uninterrupted blocks of time.

It’s ironic that many aspects of modern organisations have less to do with what the organisation does and more to do with who’s in control.

Let’s say you’re a manager – do you see your role as one where you tell your team what to do or one where you coach them to do better work?

If you want to tell them what to do and how to do it and watch them while they do it then you don’t really need a team – you need labour.

It doesn’t matter whose hands do the work as long as they do it in the way you want.

And those people are disposable – you can get another in pretty quickly and get them producing work in next to no time.

And really, if you are a manager you probably don’t want someone that is going to think for themselves and suggest a new way to do things.

That’s not what they’re here to do – that’s a waste of working time.

I wonder how many business owners and managers really think about why they organise the workplace the way the do.

Is it because having people lined up at tables in an open workspace works for those people or the business?

Or is it because this way you can keep an eye on everyone.

So what does that mean for people who want to do creative work?

Well, you could look for a company that will give you your own office or let you work from home.

And those kinds of companies are going to be flooded with resumes from the best available candidates.

Or you could do your creative work in your own time – after the normal day has finished.

Because the fact is organisations aren’t going to change – and so if you want something to change you’re going to have to do it on your own.

Cheers,

Karthik Suresh

What Is The Message You Are Trying To Get Across?

spear-tip.png

Friday, 8.22pm

Sheffield, U.K.

You can change your world by changing your words… Remember, death and life are in the power of the tongue. – Joel Osteen

I’ve recently been attending some networking events and come to a depressing realisation.

I don’t know how to tell someone else what I do.

Well – that’s not entirely right.

I can tell them what I do right now – but it’s harder to talk about what I want to do, or wish to do or hope to do.

And the chances are that lots of us are in the same position.

It’s one thing if you have a profession – something that is relatively straightforward.

People get what a doctor, lawyer, accountant or firefighter does.

It’s harder to get across what a management consultant, application developer or business analyst does.

Or if you do a number of things – your main hustle, your side hustle and your hobbies.

So, what should you do if what you do seems to span quite a broad range of activities and is hard to sum up in a single word?

And perhaps one way to think about this is to reflect on the business end of a spear.

A spear has a couple of bits – the head and the shaft – but the bit that matters is the pointy bit at one end.

It’s easy to use jargon and words that you and people like you understand to describe what you do.

It’s also easy to give lots of disconnected examples to show the variety of work you do.

But it’s quite likely that the effect you have on your listener is a little like blowing room temperature air in their general direction.

They probably won’t notice.

Something that gets to the point, on the other hand, might get their attention.

So maybe that’s something to try.

When you have something complex to explain, keep most of what you know to yourself.

Instead, pick out something that your listener can understand in one word.

I’m a copywriter.

If you can’t do that then try and talk about the outcomes you make happen.

I help small business owners connect with prospects on LinkedIn.

The thing I need to learn is that you can be anything you want to be.

You just have to tell other people what you are.

But you have to do so in a way they understand.

Or you won’t get anywhere.

Cheers,

Karthik Suresh

How Hard Is This Digital Transformation Thing Going To Be?

digital-business.png

Thursday, 9.12pm

Sheffield, U.K.

In many of the more relaxed civilizations on the Outer Eastern Rim of the Galaxy, the Hitch-Hiker’s Guide has already supplanted the great Encyclopaedia Galactica as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom for […] First, it is slightly cheaper; and secondly it has the words DON’T PANIC inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover. – Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

If you run a business what exactly does it mean to be more productive?

In the old days it was simple – if you produced more units today than you did yesterday you had become more productive.

Has productivity become harder to measure these days or is the world still largely a collection of assembly lines?

After all, what exactly is the difference between a doctor sitting in her office seeing patients one at a time and a worker on the pizza line throwing on extra cheese as each pizza goes past?

Apart from the money and surroundings, of course.

But in essence, both are on the line processing something – patients or pizza.

But if you search for productivity, especially when it comes to digital options a few things pop up pretty quickly.

Managing customer relationships is a good idea, so a CRM is top of the list.

Quickly after comes bookkeeping and accounts. After all, the spreadsheet is probably the most widely used business tool out there.

Then there is workflow, which basically comes down to managing a task list.

Don’t forget documents – the ability you have to share and edit in real time.

And last, but by no means least, is digital marketing – the ability to get your message across to more people or the right people – depending on your approach.

Now these are all good things.

Aren’t they?

Let’s start with documents.

Do you think that group editing of documents makes for a better end result?

On the one hand anything done by a committee is usually a compromise. As the saying goes a camel is a horse designed by a committee.

But then you have wikis where the quality of the end product is improved by the process of editing and revising by multiple authors.

But here’s the thing – nothing is evenly distributed and that’s what causes digital transformation projects to fail.

Yes it would be nice to have a CRM and have everyone fill in everything about every interaction they have.

But if you have 10 people on staff 2 will fill it in well because they want to. The others will need to be cajoled or threatened.

That’s not because they are bad people – it’s just that most situations follow a power law – where some people are doers and most are lurkers.

That’s just the way things are.

So you can put all the tools in but that’s no guarantee that people will use them.

And that’s the missing piece – understanding that real productivity comes from someone wanting to do something better – to do more in less time.

All too often a digital transformation can create more work than you had at the start – work spent filling out forms, getting approvals, logging everything and creating content no one reads.

The challenge for an organisation is figuring out where they are saving work and where they are adding work.

As Warren Buffett says “That which is not worth doing at all is not worth doing well.”

Cheers,

Karthik Suresh

How To Get Better At Not Losing Money

understanding-risk.png

Wednesday, 9.48pm

Sheffield, U.K.

It is better to be approximately right than precisely wrong. – Warren Buffett

You can’t ignore the excitement about technology that suffuses LinkedIn these days.

It’s everywhere: from new data science pundits to commentary on changing business models everywhere you look.

Which, of course, means I start to look some more.

I was quite taken by Jeff Immelt and Vijay Govindarajan’s article about how manufacturers must use tech to survive drawing on their experiences at GE.

There were a few points that resonated with me – the idea that much of the resistance to change comes from inside the organisation and how to address the question of whether you should work with a partner or develop your own capability?

And then, I thought a little bit more.

The article has an echo about it.

Jack Welch, a former GE CEO, also wrote about change at GE in his book several years ago.

Much like Immelt, he also took the view that existing businesses had an advantage over new entrants – they already had assets and could simply bolt this new digital internet thing onto their existing operations and all would be well.

But it wasn’t. As we now know.

Instead, we have new behemoths that stalk the digital ecosystem.

But what’s really changed? Who’s winning and losing here?

And to think about that we should go back to an old favourite – the essays of Warren Buffett and his views on risk.

The question we should ask ourselves about everything is not what we hope to win but what is our possibility of loss or injury?

Buffett argues that what we should aim for in any investment situation is whether what we get back over time gives us at least as much as we had at the start plus a modest rate of interest.

Note the word modest.

Not outlandish or spectacular or ludicrous.

Modest.

The real risk we have is whether or not we get our money back with interest.

He then sets out five tests to evaluate this risk.

  1. Can you understand, with certainty, the long-term economic characteristics of the business?
  2. Does the management have the ability to run the business and wisely use their profits?
  3. Can they be trusted to put money in the shareholders’ pockets instead of filling their own?
  4. What price are you being asked to pay?
  5. How will tax affect what you get at the end.

The interesting thing is that when you apply this test to many other situations it works just as well.

Let’s say you’re considering advertising with an organisation.

You can ask yourself whether it’s got a clear and sustainable business model.

Are the people who run it good?

Are they going to make sure you get a return on your investment or are they going to take your money with no guarantees?

Is what they are charging a reasonable amount or are the gouging you for all you’ve got.

And will you have enough left over at the end of all this to make it worth while?

But what does any of this have to do with AI and data science and all that new stuff?

Well, the main point is that the benefits from innovation tend to go to one set of people.

Customers.

Very little value from innovation sticks to the manufacturer.

Most of it goes to customers in the form of lower prices.

That’s why social media is free for so many of us.

If you want to make money then what you need is an unfair advantage.

To keep it what you have to do is understand real risk.

Cheers,

Karthik Suresh

What Skills Do We Need To Have For The Changing World Of Work?

hiring-rules.png

Tuesday, 8.46pm

Sheffield, U.K.

It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do. – Steve Jobs.

What do you think is the main reason why companies fail?

Is it because of the competition? The market? Costs?

Tempting as it is to blame external factors for failure, we all know that the root cause often lies within.

People and organisations fail not because of what’s going on outside but because they just can’t change inside.

And that’s something investors, in particular, understand.

Elephants, for example, don’t gallop.

You won’t get high returns from large companies – they’ll lumber on but the real action happens at smaller firms.

And this is something worth understanding.

Any increase in size has the potential to slow you down.

One extra person, one extra line of code or one extra meeting all add up frighteningly quickly.

But many places of work just haven’t figure out the cost of all that extra stuff they’re hauling around.

And a major drag is people.

People like you and me.

So what can you do to stay attractive as a new hire?

You could do worse than follow some rules laid down over the years.

Joel Spolsky pinched two rules from Microsoft, and looks for people that are smart and get things done.

He added the one about not being a jerk.

And then there is Matt Mullenweg and his creed where he writes about the importance of communication, in particular, written communication.

Now clearly, this not the most politically correct approach to hiring and there is value in diversity.

But the fact is that in the fairly narrow field of knowledge work where we spend a lot of time messing around with computers checking these four skills will make you a lot easier to work with.

And you’ll find working with someone like that so much easier as well.

Or maybe not.

The best thing to do with smart people is let them get on and do the job the best way they can.

Which means that organisations of the future should really figure out what remote working looks like for them.

Bringing people into the office is a waste – a waste of time commuting, a waste of time in meetings and a waste of productivity through interruptions.

The only reason to bring people together is to socialise – where there is no reason to work and the point is to get to know one another.

The rest of the time we’d be better off at home or in an office with a door – working.

The fact is organisations that want to attract the best talent are already doing this.

The ones that aren’t are dying – they just don’t know it yet.

Their disease is an internal one.

And one that they have the power to change without involving anyone else.

Cheers,

Karthik Suresh

How To Think About Turning What You Do Into A Service

service-model.png

Monday, 8.34pm

Sheffield, U.K.

Yet all really important innovations and changes normally start from tiny minorities of people who do use their creative freedom. – Ernst F. Schumacher, Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered

I think the people at McKinsey, the globally renowned management consultancy, often come up with models and ideas worth mulling over.

For example, in a recent article, Oliver Bossert and Driek Desmet explained how tech companies operate.

And that’s worth knowing because your business, whatever it is, will also one day become a tech company.

The energy industry, where I spend most of my time, is not known for the short lifetime of its assets.

Things change slowly, but even here, things are changing.

We have the Internet of Things, real time control and Blockchain all jostling for space alongside venerable fifty-year old wires and meters.

So, how should you prepare for this new tech world – what is the model to try and follow?

The one that’s getting a lot of attention is anything as a service.

Bossert and Desmet explain that tech companies operate platforms.

A platform is a collection of activities and technology that deliver on a business goal.

It’s not enough just to be the expert anymore – you need the tech to help you get the end result.

And you can’t just be a techie with no business or domain experience – you need the business sense to get there too.

So it’s the combination – technology plus people doing activities that get you there.

It doesn’t look like you can get people entirely out of the system – you’ll need some for helping users at least.

The point of a platform is that you can sell that as a service – because what people are paying for is the end result – the business goal that you deliver.

So far so good, but this is where some of us would look down a different path to the one mapped out in the article.

Mainly because it’s geared at big companies that have lots of platforms.

And then the big business mindset kicks in – where you allocate money to the units that do best and you start with big teams and still stay agile.

All of which sounds like really hard work.

If I were you I’d move on at this point and read Getting Real: The smarter, faster, easier way to build a successful web application by the folks at Basecamp.

They argue that you never need more than three people to build the first version of your software.

If you need more then actually what you need is either different people or you need to do less stuff.

And that approach feels much closer to a real lean system to me.

Small groups of people working on things they really care about – something that solves a problem they have right now – those are the people that come up with something useful.

Larger groups tend to come up with something that delivers what you asked for but not what you need.

That’s the thing about business goals.

Many people are very good at shooting their arrow and then drawing the target around where it’s landed.

They’ve hit their goal if you count hitting the bullseye as what you want.

A service, on the other hand, is delivered when the person getting it is happy.

And that is a harder thing to fake.

Cheers,

Karthik Suresh

How Are You Going To Build Your Audience Or Organisation?

social-relations.png

Sunday, 9.14pm

Sheffield, U.K.

We think we are being interesting to others when we are being interesting to ourselves. – Jack Gardner, Words Are Not Things

What makes people use one technology platform and not another?

Why does Wikipedia work while Microsoft Encarta didn’t?

And what can you do to increase the chances of getting people to buy into your ideas?

The common theme behind such questions is our curiosity about other people – about the ways our societies work.

And Clay Shirky, in his book Here comes everybody: How change happens when people come together signposted the work of Alan Page Fiske, who came up with Relational Models Theory – which makes it much easier to think about why people act the way they do.

Once you get past the academic words, that is.

According to Fiske, there are four basic ways in which we relate to others.

The first way has to do with what we share in common.

It’s the shared interest that matters – not the interest itself.

Being someone who likes fine wine and being someone who is racist are the same in this world – where you share those likes with others.

That’s called communal sharing.

Then there’s what we see as normal in the world around us – kings and queens and leaders and dictators.

Whether it’s governments or companies relationships based on hierarchy and authority are all around us.

All that matters is where you are in the pecking order – what’s called authority ranking.

Then there’s another way to be – one where we’re at the same level. Roughly equal, most of the time.

But when somethings gets out of balance we do something to bring things level again – like the relationship you have with your other half or with the kids.

That’s called equality matching.

And finally, you have the market – where what you have is reduced to a share that’s in proportion to what you bring in exchange.

In other words, market pricing.

So, how do these four models help us make sense of things?

Well, you’ll often hear advice about finding your tribe.

Like there are people out there who really like what you like as well and what you need to do is go out there and lead them.

Or make sure that they can find you – make sure everything you do is about making it easier for that group of people to find you and engage with you.

That sounds like communal sharing, at first.

But if you’re trying to lead your tribe – it also sounds like you want to get hold of some authority.

But why would someone support you… unless you were able to redress the balance and give them something they wanted – a helping of equality with a side order of pricing.

So, in reality, these models start to crash together – and it’s likely that there are few “pure” models of any type.

But there are combinations – and that can help you figure out what kind of approach can work for you.

But, at the same time, it’s easier to find examples of how to do this badly.

Take any organisation – and the chances are that you’ll find that the people in charge are really concerned about looking bad.

So concerned, in fact, that they say nothing of any value.

Corporate speak is often devoid of any humanity – excised by lawyers worried about baddies.

But these same organisations want you to share their stories and talk about them and idolise them.

So I suppose you get PR which exists entirely to create stories that no one really cares about.

The real thing that keeps these organisations alive is market pricing – whether they are providing supply to fill demand.

The fact is markets are just about the most effective way to figure out what people want.

And these days what we have is a market for attention – and people pay attention for whatever they find gives them the greatest return on their time – whether it’s cat videos or Latin podcasts.

So when you think about building a community – and an audience or an organisation are really both examples of communities – you need to decide what your social relation mix is going to look like.

Are you going to try and keep control of everything?

Or make it completely free and open – so free that you allow anyone else to take and remix your work for free?

Or, are you going to try and fake it?

Make it look open and communal while keeping all the control?

There are probably examples where all those approaches work – but the last one is perhaps not built on the best foundations.

Take Medium, for example.

Lots of people started writing on Medium because it seemed like they would have larger audiences.

Some have found that that’s not worked out so well – and are moving back to their own platforms because they’ve effectively cannibalised their own traffic.

That’s something you’ll find – once you start giving up control to other people – at some point you’ll find you have no control left.

Paradoxically – that’s when you might also find you’ve got the greatest reach.

The challenge is finding what mix works for the situation you’re in right now.

Cheers,

Karthik Suresh

How Can You Build A Business Model For Intellectual Property?

intellectual-property.png

Saturday, 8.37pm

Sheffield, U.K.

Intellectual property has the shelf life of a banana. – Bill Gates

I’ve been spending more time programming recently – back to the practice of putting code together that does something interesting.

And when you do that you realise just how indispensable the Internet is these days.

Almost every question you ask has been answered by someone who has been there before.

What’s more interesting is that there is little difference between free stuff and the stuff that should be locked away until you pay for it.

Entire textbooks are online – illegally obviously but that doesn’t make them any less there.

Let’s say you’ve gone to the trouble of writing a book – creating all that intellectual property – this is probably not something you want to happen.

One would suppose that the traditional approach is to get very cross about the whole thing and try to stop people pirating your stuff.

After all there are plenty of reports saying that writers don’t make any money and if you want to make a living writing this is not a good thing for you.

At the same time, there’s something else going on.

There’s a lot you can say about the economics of the information business but there’s one thing that stands out.

I can tell you I know a lot about something but there’s no way you can know for sure if I know until I tell you what I know – at which point you know what I know as well so why would you pay me for what I know?

That’s a long sentence but the point is this: knowledge is not like a banana – you can’t look at it and squeeze it and smell it to tell if it’s fresh or rotten.

So this makes it hard to treat intellectual property as the same as something tangible like real estate or gold or oil.

But here’s the thing.

When you’re looking for information you normally go on Amazon and look for reviews – that’s an indicator of whether the thing is good or bad.

But reviews can be bought and lists can be gamed – as every best-selling author on Amazon knows.

And the disappointing thing about many books that are on the lists is what’s in them – they’ve got good ratings but not good content.

There’s a growing movement, however, of people writing books, especially textbooks, and putting them on their sites for free.

That gets rid of the pirates – after all, why would you pirate something that’s already free?

But even with the pirated books the single biggest benefit a reader has is that they can look at the book and judge exactly how good it is – by reading every page.

And then, if you’re like me and you find a good book you want to have it.

Reading the book doesn’t weaken one’s resolve to have access to it and buy it if possible.

Clearly, you’re going to buy the cheapest copy first – possibly second hand for a penny.

And only then head around to the full price version if it’s one of those books that no one wants to part with.

This is still not good news for the authors out there.

They’re not making money from the free copy online or the second hand ones littering the market.

But what they have done is increase their exposure to the market – to people who like what they do enough to support them.

And that’s the thing with intellectual property now.

It’s not enough to claim that the ideas in your head have intrinsic value that deserve payment.

The fact is that by giving it away for free you lose absolutely nothing.

But you gain the interest of people who may start to care about what you do enough to support you not because they have to but because they want to.

And that, perhaps, is the future for the knowledge workers out there.

Cheers,

Karthik Suresh