Tactics and pragmatic thinking make daily business possible, but it’s easy for business people to get caught in only day-to-day and quarter-to-quarter thinking. The goal of this blog is to inspire people to pick their heads up and see business from a different angle. My aim is not to preach the ideas of dead philosophers, but simply to identify the philosophies intrinsic to the fringe of current business practice and explore other new ways business and deeper philosophical ideas might connect to deliver fresh strategic insight. I hope to inspire new ways of doing business that empower people to shape a better future. This isn’t a blog of best practices. It’s an open conversation of possibilities. Welcome.
Some posts are up to 4500 words long. They are not easy to consume. I apologize for any part of this that wasn’t intentional. If you are looking for a regurgitation of what Greylock thought about what Mashable thought about what Jack Dorsey tweeted this morning, keep looking–there are plenty of blogs that do that well. I’m not a Valley insider, and I won’t pretend to be. Because personally, I don’t think what happened on Twitter this morning should be affecting the thoughts or actions of more than a very limited number of people.
Now, it helps to know a thing or two about product strategy, or at least be interested in it—as it will make it easier to understand the implications I am driving at. But even then, there are no guarantees. The end point here is to direct you to how what I am reading affected me, and introduce the idea that seeing this source material from your own perspective might just shift the way you approach value creation. This includes an attempt to analyze and make meaning, but I’m not here to make up anyone’s mind for them.
This is not as polished as HBR. And it’s edited by a guy who tends to think of grammar, vocabulary, and comma use as fluid disciplines. He also suffered the hazard of selecting dual business majors in college, and didn’t get to spend time writing well as often as he would have liked. In fact, the only points he ever lost on college papers were due to poor transitions between paragraphs (still not quite sure I’ve figured that out–but chose to write a blog that connects disparate ideas anyway).
If you can handle these humbling shortcomings, perhaps it would be best to further introduce you to the way BxP works—it does not necessarily present arguments, and posts can’t exactly be read like arguments. It is an exploration. A connection of ideas from different disciplines—usually literature and technology, often philosophy and psychology, and occasionally, science. As such, these ideas don’t always connect neatly. And while I believe understanding the way they are connected is vital to inventing the best way forward, it would be intellectually irresponsible to make any stronger claims about what you can learn here. In fact, more than learning anything at all, I simply hope you engage and think about business in a way that hadn’t occurred to you before.
As an exploratory blog it requires an exploratory mode of reading. Don’t get hung up too much if something doesn’t fit exactly like it might in a term paper. The goal is to explore the topic, not make a concise introduction, body, and conclusion. While I also try to present a logical order, posts are a journey through my own thought process as I came to new understanding of the issue discussed. As such, I avoid taking authors out of context by presenting a full quote, sometimes even a full page. If it’s in there, it’s because it was important to my own consideration of the subject and I think the long quote is helpful to understanding the issue at hand. As such, don’t let the breadth of a particular quote presented throw you off.
For example, the recent Huxley x Technology post will start by examining the latent cognitive process involved in using Google, explore everything from Wikipedia articles on the history of mental disorders to a full page of Jung’s Man and His Symbols (only about 50% of which is discussed, but all of which is important context), and end with an opinion on how humanity can cope with the evolutionary cognitive shift that the pervasiveness of online search and other automated intelligence tools represents.
In other words, a leap from one tiny line of a book that spurs a key question of what the implications would be if we used this perspective to inform a more holistic view of product creation. A leap that requires dozens of implicit connections by an active reader. These aren’t often easy leaps to make. But, I hope they are enjoyable ones to be part of. Thanks for stopping by.