Friday, December 19, 2014

Entrepreneurial Blindness and Bad Origami

Have you ever watch the show Shark Tank?  Entrepreneurs present their ideas to a panel of successful investors.  Often the ideas appear to have at least some potential.  But occasionally, the ideas are downright awful.  Yet the entrepreneur believes in it with all his heart and "knows it will be successful one day" despite what the experts say.  How is it that the entrepreneur could believe so blindly and so strongly in an idea that everyone else thinks is terrible and will never fly? I know I've done this.

Lets turn to behavioral economist Dan Ariely for an explanation.  In the following TED talk, starting at the 11:50 mark, Dan explains about an experiment where he asked people to make origami.







After they finished, he had the creators estimate the value of the origami that they had just made.  He then had another person judge the same piece of origami and put a value on it.  None of the creators were experts at origami and had to work hard to create even a poor example of origami.  Despite the ugliness of their creations, the creators put a high value on what they made.

The other people who were simply judging the pieces of origami gave them a lower value.  The people judging them saw them for what they were, poorly made origami.  The creators, on the other hand, overlooked the fact that they were poorly made and put high value on them because they had put effort into making them.  We tend to value things that we have put a lot of effort into.  Even if they are of no value to someone else.

As entrepreneurs and creators, are we making something of value to other people?  Or are we just making poorly made origami that we think is valuable and that we think everyone else should see as valuable, just because we put so much effort into it.

The tricky part is being able to take a step back and put aside how much effort you have put in and figure out if your product has actual value.  I like to follow the advice of Steve Blank and "Get out of the office" and talk to customers.  This will quickly help you to understand the value that others see in your product.  If you cannot take this step back and figure out if you have something of real value, you may waste time and money on something that may never go anywhere.  And the more you invest, the more you'll feel like it has to work.  It has to be successful.

People don't care about how much effort you have put into a product or idea.  People buy something when its of value to them.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Nancy Duarte: The secret structure of great talks

This is a wonderful talk by Nancy Duarte on using stories to present an idea.


Friday, August 23, 2013

Topher Grace, Seth Green and Mark Hamill kidnap George Lucas.

Movie Idea. Need Help. The movie takes place at Comicon in San Diego, where George Lucas is the headline attraction/speaker. Upset by StarWars 1,2 and 3, Topher Grace, Seth Green and Mark Hamill kidnap George and attempt to force him to re-edit the 3 movies into one decent movie, destroy the originals and remove all mention of midichlorians from StarWars cannon. In his old age, Mark Hamill thinks he's Darth Sidious. Darth Hamill is the mastermind of the plot and has the entire 501st as his Royal Guard. Not wanting to miss their only chance to meet George Lucas a rag tag bunch of geeks dressed as comic book, video game and sci fi characters attempt to rescue George Lucas. It is only later revealed that the rag tag group is actually lead by Jake Lloyd who wants to save himself from ending up on the cutting room floor with Jar Jar Binks.

How you can help: 1. Do you know George Lucas, Topher Grace, Seth Green or Mark Hamill? 2. Plot Suggestions. 3. Character and Casting suggestions. 4. Would you pay to see this movie? 5. Never mind answering #4. Of course you would see this movie, because it would be AWESOME!!! 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

When I was a kid......

When I was a kid....

.... vital Nintendo knowledge, like how to beat a boss or a cool cheat code, was passed from one kid to another at school. You couldn't look it up on the internet when you got stuck. You just figured it out and it worked pretty well. Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Select Start.


.... you kept a tape in your "BOOM Box", ready to hit record when your favorite song came on the radio so that you could savor that song over and over again. Sometimes you waited for days just so you could get the entire song.

.... you had to rewind and fast forward things. Cassette tapes. VCR tapes. Fast Forward. Stop. Play. Listen. Fast Forward. Stop. Play. Listen. You went too far. Rewind. Stop. Play. Is usually how it went.



.... we would talk to the people we were sitting next to.



.... we played Words with Friends, but it was called Scrabble.



.... we had blogs, but they were called journals and no one else read them.




.... we made up games on cross country trips.



.... this was an iPod.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Scientist Identify Geek Gene

Geek Gene

Scientists have finally identified the geek gene. That all important part of our DNA that makes us love things like Star Wars, Comic Books, Sci-Fi and Video Games. It explains why full grown men are willing to dress up in red tights and pretend they have Super Speed.

Scientist theorize that this gene is also responsible for most social awkwardness and also inhibits men and the occasional woman from talking to the opposite sex.

Geek Chromosome

Often large chains of the geek gene are woven together to form an actual geek chromosome, creating super geeks. Geeks so geeky, they rarely see the light of day other than the virtual sun in World Of Warcraft. So Geeky, they are willing to dress up as storm troopers and wait in line for days on end to be first in line for a re-release of a movie they can already quote line for line.

Geek Girls

Although predominantly found in males, it is occasionally manifest in women and is quite rare and highly valued.

Do I have the Geek Gene?

There is a simple test to determine whether or not you have the geek gene. Simply identify as many of the segments of the geek gene as you can. If you can identify all 7, then you are a geek.

If you have to use Google, then you are definitely not a geek.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Math With Friends

I have never been very good with word based games like Scrabble, so I came up with a game that is a little more my speed and one I can beat my wife at.  I call it Math With Friends.  It's more fun than a spelling bee.  It's based on word games like Scrabble but way more fun because it uses math.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Brick Website

I have had this blog for a long time, but haven't had anything on www.ljjones.com as an actual site. So I decided to build something. Its inspired by LEGOs and the idea that you can build or create anything you want out of life. I made the whole thing out of bricks. If you like LEGOs then check out my site.





I have no affiliation with LEGO. I do however, think they are a great toy for both kids and adults.