Get No (perceptions of user experience)


This post is by Andy Weissman from aweissman.com

I attended a “progressive” (read: hippie) school on the Upper West Side called Walden. In 2nd or 3rd grade, our teacher Gloria pulled out a record player every morning and let us dance around, I’m sure as a way to help burn off the energy of a large group of seven-year-olds. 

She played the same song for us, every day, at the same time. The song’s chorus was “Get No” and we would shout and dance around, screaming “Get No!” I remember the dance, the singing, the names of the kids, and the way it set up the rest of the day. 

This class picture might have been from that year:


When Google launched, I noticed two things. One was that PageRank (the algorithm used to rank web pages in search results) seemed to work *really* well. The other, more vivid, was the interface:
The simplicity of this for sure, but something maybe more profound. The way this interface was neither a directory (like Yahoo! at the time) nor channels (like AOL) – it was just free form search. Pure search. Insert whatever words you like, we’ll help you find it. The idea seemed to be that control would come totally from the user. 

The implicit suggestion was: “You don’t need to remember where something is, you only need to know how to find it.”

The technology mattered here; yet, the interface shift may have been what changed behavior forever.

This reminded me of a meeting I had last year with someone who was interviewing for a product role at The New York Times. His recommendation for the Times was to mimic The Daily (the podcast with episodes based on the reporting of that day) and turn the whole “paper” into audio products. This got me thinking about the interface, or user experience, of The Daily: consistent length, format, and host. From the Times itself:

Twenty minutes a day, five days a week, hosted by Michael Barbaro and powered by New York Times journalism”

Prior to The Daily, news podcasts existed. Yet, The Daily has consistently been one of the most listened to podcasts, maybe one of the most listened to of all time. Here’s a chart of the New York Time stock price from January 2017 (when The Daily launched) to the present:


Again, the content in The Daily matters (of course); perhaps though the results from the interface shift are more profound.

A related topic is email newsletters. Regular information sharing via email is not new. What is happening now that is driving more attention and usage? A shift relating to user experience. Looking at Substack, here are three inbox examples from this morning:

Notice the consistency among font, spacing, layout, heading. This consistency appears new applied to the existing medium (email). Moreso, perhaps the user experience from Substack  – the common look and feel – results in implicit cognition among users, something akin to “this is information that will help you learn something new.” The innovation then, if you will, comes from the altered user experience. 
All this is to suggest only one thing: that new ways to experience something, especially something that already exists, can be the most transformational. The interface can be the message when something old is presented in a new way.


It took me a few years to realize there was no song called “Get No” we were dancing to in Gloria’s classroom. Instead, it was a song about angst and shallow obsession with consumerism repurposed for seven-year-olds’ movement play. 

It was (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction:

Get No (perceptions of user experience)


This post is by Andy Weissman from aweissman.com

I attended a “progressive” (read: hippie) school on the Upper West Side called Walden. In 2nd or 3rd grade, our teacher Gloria pulled out a record player every morning and let us dance around, I’m sure as a way to help burn off the energy of a large group of seven-year-olds. 

She played the same song for us, every day, at the same time. The song’s chorus was “Get No” and we would shout and dance around, screaming “Get No!” I remember the dance, the singing, the names of the kids, and the way it set up the rest of the day. 

This class picture might have been from that year:


When Google launched, I noticed two things. One was that PageRank (the algorithm used to rank web pages in search results) seemed to work *really* well. The other, more vivid, was the interface:
The simplicity of this for sure, but something maybe more profound. The way this interface was neither a directory (like Yahoo! at the time) nor channels (like AOL) – it was just free form search. Pure search. Insert whatever words you like, we’ll help you find it. The idea seemed to be that control would come totally from the user. 

The implicit suggestion was: “You don’t need to remember where something is, you only need to know how to find it.”

The technology mattered here; yet, the interface shift may have been what changed behavior forever.

This reminded me of a meeting I had last year with someone who was interviewing for a product role at The New York Times. His recommendation for the Times was to mimic The Daily (the podcast with episodes based on the reporting of that day) and turn the whole “paper” into audio products. This got me thinking about the interface, or user experience, of The Daily: consistent length, format, and host. From the Times itself:

Twenty minutes a day, five days a week, hosted by Michael Barbaro and powered by New York Times journalism”

Prior to The Daily, news podcasts existed. Yet, The Daily has consistently been one of the most listened to podcasts, maybe one of the most listened to of all time. Here’s a chart of the New York Time stock price from January 2017 (when The Daily launched) to the present:


Again, the content in The Daily matters (of course); perhaps though the results from the interface shift are more profound.

A related topic is email newsletters. Regular information sharing via email is not new. What is happening now that is driving more attention and usage? A shift relating to user experience. Looking at Substack, here are three inbox examples from this morning:

Notice the consistency among font, spacing, layout, heading. This consistency appears new applied to the existing medium (email). Moreso, perhaps the user experience from Substack  – the common look and feel – results in implicit cognition among users, something akin to “this is information that will help you learn something new.” The innovation then, if you will, comes from the altered user experience. 
All this is to suggest only one thing: that new ways to experience something, especially something that already exists, can be the most transformational. The interface can be the message when something old is presented in a new way.


It took me a few years to realize there was no song called “Get No” we were dancing to in Gloria’s classroom. Instead, it was a song about angst and shallow obsession with consumerism repurposed for seven-year-olds’ movement play. 

It was (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction:

Everything about venture capital . . . you can learn from music lyrics


Here I go, it’s my shot, feet fail me not
This might be the only opportunity I got


As I get older, I find that I need to give myself mental tricks to remember ideas or concepts.  

A few weeks ago I gave a brief presentation at a USV offsite that uses music lyrics to cover some of the concepts about venture capital that I think about often. My first draft was much longer – 70 or 80 slides. The final one is 36 slides. I have attached it below.






The playlist is:

Drake & Future – Change Locations
Bob Dylan – Don’t Fall Apart on Me Tonight
Jay-Z – U Don’t Know
Bruce Springsteen – Rosalita
Lou Reed – Some Kinda Love
Courtney Barnett – Avant Gardener
Post Malone – Leave
Ween – Roses Are Free
Lil’ Wayne – 6 Foot 7 Foot
Jay-Z – D’Evils
Rihanna – Pour It Continue reading “Everything about venture capital . . . you can learn from music lyrics”

Everything about venture capital . . . you can learn from music lyrics


This post is by Andy Weissman from aweissman.com


Here I go, it’s my shot, feet fail me not
This might be the only opportunity I got


As I get older, I find that I need to give myself mental tricks to remember ideas or concepts.  

A few weeks ago I gave a brief presentation at a USV offsite that uses music lyrics to cover some of the concepts about venture capital that I think about often. My first draft was much longer – 70 or 80 slides. The final one is 36 slides. I have attached it below.






The playlist is:

Drake & Future – Change Locations
Bob Dylan – Don’t Fall Apart on Me Tonight
Jay-Z – U Don’t Know
Bruce Springsteen – Rosalita
Lou Reed – Some Kinda Love
Courtney Barnett – Avant Gardener
Post Malone – Leave
Ween – Roses Are Free
Lil’ Wayne – 6 Foot 7 Foot
Jay-Z – D’Evils
Rihanna – Pour It Up
Kanye West – Touch The Sky
Billie Eilish – Bad Guy
Willie Nelson – Blue Eyes Cryin’ In The Rain
Lizzo – Juice
Taylor Swift – You Belong with Me
The Beatles – The End


Everything about venture capital . . . you can learn from music lyrics


This post is by Andy Weissman from aweissman.com


Here I go, it’s my shot, feet fail me not
This might be the only opportunity I got


As I get older, I find that I need to give myself mental tricks to remember ideas or concepts.  

A few weeks ago I gave a brief presentation at a USV offsite that uses music lyrics to cover some of the concepts about venture capital that I think about often. My first draft was much longer – 70 or 80 slides. The final one is 36 slides. I have attached it below.






The playlist is:

Drake & Future – Change Locations
Bob Dylan – Don’t Fall Apart on Me Tonight
Jay-Z – U Don’t Know
Bruce Springsteen – Rosalita
Lou Reed – Some Kinda Love
Courtney Barnett – Avant Gardener
Post Malone – Leave
Ween – Roses Are Free
Lil’ Wayne – 6 Foot 7 Foot
Jay-Z – D’Evils
Rihanna – Pour It Up
Kanye West – Touch The Sky
Billie Eilish – Bad Guy
Willie Nelson – Blue Eyes Cryin’ In The Rain
Lizzo – Juice
Taylor Swift – You Belong with Me
The Beatles – The End


Everything about venture capital . . . you can learn from music lyrics


This post is by Andy Weissman from aweissman.com


Here I go, it’s my shot, feet fail me not
This might be the only opportunity I got


As I get older, I find that I need to give myself mental tricks to remember ideas or concepts.  

A few weeks ago I gave a brief presentation at a USV offsite that uses music lyrics to cover some of the concepts about venture capital that I think about often. My first draft was much longer – 70 or 80 slides. The final one is 36 slides. I have attached it below.






The playlist is:

Drake & Future – Change Locations
Bob Dylan – Don’t Fall Apart on Me Tonight
Jay-Z – U Don’t Know
Bruce Springsteen – Rosalita
Lou Reed – Some Kinda Love
Courtney Barnett – Avant Gardener
Post Malone – Leave
Ween – Roses Are Free
Lil’ Wayne – 6 Foot 7 Foot
Jay-Z – D’Evils
Rihanna – Pour It Up
Kanye West – Touch The Sky
Billie Eilish – Bad Guy
Willie Nelson – Blue Eyes Cryin’ In The Rain
Lizzo – Juice
Taylor Swift – You Belong with Me
The Beatles – The End


Everything about venture capital . . . you can learn from music lyrics


This post is by Andy Weissman from aweissman.com


Here I go, it’s my shot, feet fail me not
This might be the only opportunity I got


As I get older, I find that I need to give myself mental tricks to remember ideas or concepts.  

A few weeks ago I gave a brief presentation at a USV offsite that uses music lyrics to cover some of the concepts about venture capital that I think about often. My first draft was much longer – 70 or 80 slides. The final one is 36 slides. I have attached it below.






The playlist is:

Drake & Future – Change Locations
Bob Dylan – Don’t Fall Apart on Me Tonight
Jay-Z – U Don’t Know
Bruce Springsteen – Rosalita
Lou Reed – Some Kinda Love
Courtney Barnett – Avant Gardener
Post Malone – Leave
Ween – Roses Are Free
Lil’ Wayne – 6 Foot 7 Foot
Jay-Z – D’Evils
Rihanna – Pour It Up
Kanye West – Touch The Sky
Billie Eilish – Bad Guy
Willie Nelson – Blue Eyes Cryin’ In The Rain
Lizzo – Juice
Taylor Swift – You Belong with Me
The Beatles – The End


Everything about venture capital . . . you can learn from music lyrics


This post is by Andy Weissman from aweissman.com


Here I go, it’s my shot, feet fail me not
This might be the only opportunity I got


As I get older, I find that I need to give myself mental tricks to remember ideas or concepts.  

A few weeks ago I gave a brief presentation at a USV offsite that uses music lyrics to cover some of the concepts about venture capital that I think about often. My first draft was much longer – 70 or 80 slides. The final one is 36 slides. I have attached it below.






The playlist is:

Drake & Future – Change Locations
Bob Dylan – Don’t Fall Apart on Me Tonight
Jay-Z – U Don’t Know
Bruce Springsteen – Rosalita
Lou Reed – Some Kinda Love
Courtney Barnett – Avant Gardener
Post Malone – Leave
Ween – Roses Are Free
Lil’ Wayne – 6 Foot 7 Foot
Jay-Z – D’Evils
Rihanna – Pour It Up
Kanye West – Touch The Sky
Billie Eilish – Bad Guy
Willie Nelson – Blue Eyes Cryin’ In The Rain
Lizzo – Juice
Taylor Swift – You Belong with Me
The Beatles – The End


What Do You Think?


The whole freaking world was full of people who were bound to tell you they weren’t qualified to do this or that but they were determined to go ahead and do just that thing anyway 
-Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test


In the mid-90s I worked for a man whose management style we used to call Mentor/Tormentor. He would give us – junior, barely experienced businesspeople – complicated yet wildly interesting transactions to complete (from start to finish) with almost no guidance other than “you’ll figure it out” or “you know my issues.”

Definitely the most stressful professional moments I’ve ever had. Also definitely, the most I ever learned in a work setting. His philosophy appeared to be that he hired smart people and relied on them to figure things out.

Managing a group of people is hard, especially as that group of people gets larger. At betaworks, Continue reading “What Do You Think?”

What Do You Think?


This post is by Andy Weissman from aweissman.com


The whole freaking world was full of people who were bound to tell you they weren’t qualified to do this or that but they were determined to go ahead and do just that thing anyway 
-Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test


In the mid-90s I worked for a man whose management style we used to call Mentor/Tormentor. He would give us – junior, barely experienced businesspeople – complicated yet wildly interesting transactions to complete (from start to finish) with almost no guidance other than “you’ll figure it out” or “you know my issues.”

Definitely the most stressful professional moments I’ve ever had. Also definitely, the most I ever learned in a work setting. His philosophy appeared to be that he hired smart people and relied on them to figure things out.

Managing a group of people is hard, especially as that group of people gets larger. At betaworks, I remember the feeling when the company got large enough that when the office door opened and I looked up, I could no longer tell if the person walking in worked with us or not. That feeling was one of intense uncertainty.

At the same time, the “contract” between a company and an employee can be thought of very simply. Patty McCord uses this succinct construct in her book Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility: “Help make our company more valuable, and we’ll make you more valuable.” 

The most effective way I’ve seen to make employees more Continue reading “What Do You Think?”

What Do You Think?


This post is by Andy Weissman from aweissman.com


The whole freaking world was full of people who were bound to tell you they weren’t qualified to do this or that but they were determined to go ahead and do just that thing anyway 
-Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test


In the mid-90s I worked for a man whose management style we used to call Mentor/Tormentor. He would give us – junior, barely experienced businesspeople – complicated yet wildly interesting transactions to complete (from start to finish) with almost no guidance other than “you’ll figure it out” or “you know my issues.”

Definitely the most stressful professional moments I’ve ever had. Also definitely, the most I ever learned in a work setting. His philosophy appeared to be that he hired smart people and relied on them to figure things out.

Managing a group of people is hard, especially as that group of people gets larger. At betaworks, I remember the feeling when the company got large enough that when the office door opened and I looked up, I could no longer tell if the person walking in worked with us or not. That feeling was one of intense uncertainty.

At the same time, the “contract” between a company and an employee can be thought of very simply. Patty McCord uses this succinct construct in her book Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility: “Help make our company more valuable, and we’ll make you more valuable.” 

The most effective way I’ve seen to make employees more valuable at the same time as creating a space for them to do their best work was the one I experienced: by giving people agency over their ideas, decisions, and suggestions. That agency came with fear and repercussions – the fear of screwing up, of making the same mistake repeatedly, of not getting the next great assignment – but it was personal agency nonetheless. 

And the most effective technique I’ve used or seen to deliver agency is also a simple one. Ask someone: “What do you think?” “What do you suggest?” “What is your opinion?” Ask it over and over again and listen to what people have to say. Then let them try it out.

We still tell stories about the Mentor/Tormentor, about deals that we screwed up and victories that we won. There were a ton more of the latter than the former. He made us more valuable professionals, and in turn we made the company much more valuable, by letting us experience the feeling of acting independently and making choices. By giving us agency. By asking us “What do you think?”

What Do You Think?


This post is by Andy Weissman from aweissman.com


The whole freaking world was full of people who were bound to tell you they weren’t qualified to do this or that but they were determined to go ahead and do just that thing anyway 
-Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test


In the mid-90s I worked for a man whose management style we used to call Mentor/Tormentor. He would give us – junior, barely experienced businesspeople – complicated yet wildly interesting transactions to complete (from start to finish) with almost no guidance other than “you’ll figure it out” or “you know my issues.”

Definitely the most stressful professional moments I’ve ever had. Also definitely, the most I ever learned in a work setting. His philosophy appeared to be that he hired smart people and relied on them to figure things out.

Managing a group of people is hard, especially as that group of people gets larger. At betaworks, I remember the feeling when the company got large enough that when the office door opened and I looked up, I could no longer tell if the person walking in worked with us or not. That feeling was one of intense uncertainty.

At the same time, the “contract” between a company and an employee can be thought of very simply. Patty McCord uses this succinct construct in her book Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility: “Help make our company more valuable, and we’ll make you more valuable.” 

The most effective way I’ve seen to make employees more valuable at the same time as creating a space for them to do their best work was the one I experienced: by giving people agency over their ideas, decisions, and suggestions. That agency came with fear and repercussions – the fear of screwing up, of making the same mistake repeatedly, of not getting the next great assignment – but it was personal agency nonetheless. 

And the most effective technique I’ve used or seen to deliver agency is also a simple one. Ask someone: “What do you think?” “What do you suggest?” “What is your opinion?” Ask it over and over again and listen to what people have to say. Then let them try it out.

We still tell stories about the Mentor/Tormentor, about deals that we screwed up and victories that we won. There were a ton more of the latter than the former. He made us more valuable professionals, and in turn we made the company much more valuable, by letting us experience the feeling of acting independently and making choices. By giving us agency. By asking us “What do you think?”

What Do You Think?


This post is by Andy Weissman from aweissman.com


The whole freaking world was full of people who were bound to tell you they weren’t qualified to do this or that but they were determined to go ahead and do just that thing anyway 
-Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test


In the mid-90s I worked for a man whose management style we used to call Mentor/Tormentor. He would give us – junior, barely experienced businesspeople – complicated yet wildly interesting transactions to complete (from start to finish) with almost no guidance other than “you’ll figure it out” or “you know my issues.”

Definitely the most stressful professional moments I’ve ever had. Also definitely, the most I ever learned in a work setting. His philosophy appeared to be that he hired smart people and relied on them to figure things out.

Managing a group of people is hard, especially as that group of people gets larger. At betaworks, I remember the feeling when the company got large enough that when the office door opened and I looked up, I could no longer tell if the person walking in worked with us or not. That feeling was one of intense uncertainty.

At the same time, the “contract” between a company and an employee can be thought of very simply. Patty McCord uses this succinct construct in her book Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility: “Help make our company more valuable, and we’ll make you more valuable.” 

The most effective way I’ve seen to make employees more valuable at the same time as creating a space for them to do their best work was the one I experienced: by giving people agency over their ideas, decisions, and suggestions. That agency came with fear and repercussions – the fear of screwing up, of making the same mistake repeatedly, of not getting the next great assignment – but it was personal agency nonetheless. 

And the most effective technique I’ve used or seen to deliver agency is also a simple one. Ask someone: “What do you think?” “What do you suggest?” “What is your opinion?” Ask it over and over again and listen to what people have to say. Then let them try it out.

We still tell stories about the Mentor/Tormentor, about deals that we screwed up and victories that we won. There were a ton more of the latter than the former. He made us more valuable professionals, and in turn we made the company much more valuable, by letting us experience the feeling of acting independently and making choices. By giving us agency. By asking us “What do you think?”

Ghosts and Ancestors


People will tell you where they’ve gone
They’ll tell you where to go
But till you get there yourself 
You never really know
-Joni Mitchell


Towards the end of his Broadway show, Bruce Springsteen describes how he’s realized that as parents, we have a choice to make: will we be ghosts or ancestors to our children. As ghosts, we haunt them with our mistakes and burdens; as ancestors, we free them from our flaws and walk alongside (or behind them) and help them find their own way.

In the past few months and without really thinking about it, I’ve started to get my morning coffee set up in place before I go to bed. On the kitchen counter I place the coffee dripper, filter, and scale, and then I weigh the beans. Last night at dinner I realized this was what my mother used to do every evening when we Continue reading “Ghosts and Ancestors”

Ghosts and Ancestors


This post is by Andy Weissman from aweissman.com


People will tell you where they’ve gone
They’ll tell you where to go
But till you get there yourself 
You never really know
-Joni Mitchell


Towards the end of his Broadway show, Bruce Springsteen describes how he’s realized that as parents, we have a choice to make: will we be ghosts or ancestors to our children. As ghosts, we haunt them with our mistakes and burdens; as ancestors, we free them from our flaws and walk alongside (or behind them) and help them find their own way.

In the past few months and without really thinking about it, I’ve started to get my morning coffee set up in place before I go to bed. On the kitchen counter I place the coffee dripper, filter, and scale, and then I weigh the beans. Last night at dinner I realized this was what my mother used to do every evening when we were kids. 

Was she now being a ghost to me, or an ancestor with me? Maybe it’s not so easy to tell.

She never said to do it this way, I just watched her. Mornings were busy – she alone had to get two boys off to school. This made it a little easier. 

In Martin Gurri’s The Revolt of the Public, he makes the provocative point that we are in a period of crisis resulting from the switchover from an “industrial” world to an “information” world. In that industrial world, trusted institutions mediated the flow of Continue reading “Ghosts and Ancestors”

Ghosts and Ancestors


This post is by Andy Weissman from aweissman.com


People will tell you where they’ve gone
They’ll tell you where to go
But till you get there yourself 
You never really know
-Joni Mitchell


Towards the end of his Broadway show, Bruce Springsteen describes how he’s realized that as parents, we have a choice to make: will we be ghosts or ancestors to our children. As ghosts, we haunt them with our mistakes and burdens; as ancestors, we free them from our flaws and walk alongside (or behind them) and help them find their own way.

In the past few months and without really thinking about it, I’ve started to get my morning coffee set up in place before I go to bed. On the kitchen counter I place the coffee dripper, filter, and scale, and then I weigh the beans. Last night at dinner I realized this was what my mother used to do every evening when we were kids. 

Was she now being a ghost to me, or an ancestor with me? Maybe it’s not so easy to tell.

She never said to do it this way, I just watched her. Mornings were busy – she alone had to get two boys off to school. This made it a little easier. 

In Martin Gurri’s The Revolt of the Public, he makes the provocative point that we are in a period of crisis resulting from the switchover from an “industrial” world to an “information” world. In that industrial world, trusted institutions mediated the flow of information to people and thus created coherent visions of society. In the information era, people have direct access to information themselves and thus have seen that these institutions are fallible (maybe even corrupt). The result – a crisis of authority. 

I’ve spent a large portion of my career investing in early-stage companies. Part of that job is to advise and counsel, to assist a company in reaching its potential. I try to ask for feedback on how I am doing in that job. A constant thing I hear is to provide more direct answers to problems posed to me. Typically, I am told, I answer their questions with further questions.  

Yet, I think it’s important to tolerate ambiguity. Maybe there isn’t a direct answer. Maybe I don’t know the answer. Maybe I want to assist others in coming up with their own answers. A partner of mine used to say its ok to make a mistake, but not ok to make the same mistake more than once. Where is the balance? Here, of course, the relationship is not remotely the same as parent/child, but I still don’t want to be a ghost, rather an ancestor.

In the end, Springsteen describes what happens when you walk alongside and assist someone in finding their own way: transcendence.

Ghosts and Ancestors


This post is by Andy Weissman from aweissman.com


People will tell you where they’ve gone
They’ll tell you where to go
But till you get there yourself 
You never really know
-Joni Mitchell


Towards the end of his Broadway show, Bruce Springsteen describes how he’s realized that as parents, we have a choice to make: will we be ghosts or ancestors to our children. As ghosts, we haunt them with our mistakes and burdens; as ancestors, we free them from our flaws and walk alongside (or behind them) and help them find their own way.

In the past few months and without really thinking about it, I’ve started to get my morning coffee set up in place before I go to bed. On the kitchen counter I place the coffee dripper, filter, and scale, and then I weigh the beans. Last night at dinner I realized this was what my mother used to do every evening when we were kids. 

Was she now being a ghost to me, or an ancestor with me? Maybe it’s not so easy to tell.

She never said to do it this way, I just watched her. Mornings were busy – she alone had to get two boys off to school. This made it a little easier. 

In Martin Gurri’s The Revolt of the Public, he makes the provocative point that we are in a period of crisis resulting from the switchover from an “industrial” world to an “information” world. In that industrial world, trusted institutions mediated the flow of information to people and thus created coherent visions of society. In the information era, people have direct access to information themselves and thus have seen that these institutions are fallible (maybe even corrupt). The result – a crisis of authority. 

I’ve spent a large portion of my career investing in early-stage companies. Part of that job is to advise and counsel, to assist a company in reaching its potential. I try to ask for feedback on how I am doing in that job. A constant thing I hear is to provide more direct answers to problems posed to me. Typically, I am told, I answer their questions with further questions.  

Yet, I think it’s important to tolerate ambiguity. Maybe there isn’t a direct answer. Maybe I don’t know the answer. Maybe I want to assist others in coming up with their own answers. A partner of mine used to say its ok to make a mistake, but not ok to make the same mistake more than once. Where is the balance? Here, of course, the relationship is not remotely the same as parent/child, but I still don’t want to be a ghost, rather an ancestor.

In the end, Springsteen describes what happens when you walk alongside and assist someone in finding their own way: transcendence.

Control

What is the future that will unfold?
Some like it hot, others like it cold
But we all want to hold the remote control
-Beastie Boys


Sometimes a service provides a value to its customers that may not be readily apparent at first glance. And sometimes that value can be more fundamentally important to those customers that the actual “widget” that is being sold.


Netflix is a good example. Their stated service is simple: “Watch Netflix movies & TV shows online.” But if you listen to the words of the people that run that company, something different emerges.


CEO Reed Hastings has in the past described how viewing works on Netflix:

“Binge-watching is great because it puts you in control. You have complete flexibility.”   


These words don’t appear to be an accident. Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos was very specific in February 2018 when he stated Continue reading “Control”

Control


This post is by Andy Weissman from aweissman.com

What is the future that will unfold?
Some like it hot, others like it cold
But we all want to hold the remote control
-Beastie Boys


Sometimes a service provides a value to its customers that may not be readily apparent at first glance. And sometimes that value can be more fundamentally important to those customers that the actual “widget” that is being sold.


Netflix is a good example. Their stated service is simple: “Watch Netflix movies & TV shows online.” But if you listen to the words of the people that run that company, something different emerges.


CEO Reed Hastings has in the past described how viewing works on Netflix:

“Binge-watching is great because it puts you in control. You have complete flexibility.”   


These words don’t appear to be an accident. Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos was very specific in February 2018 when he stated that “the core to the consumer proposition of Netflix is consumer control.”


Clearly, Netflix provides a service to view content. But it also delivers something much more powerful to people – the ability to determine how and when to spend their time, attention and focus (a form of self-actualization). To compete effectively with Netflix would require that another service competes on the axis of control. Not as easy as delivering content.


Having and giving control is very empowering.


This gets interesting if we view control as a way to evaluate markets or companies. What other services deliver control to Continue reading “Control”

Control


This post is by Andy Weissman from aweissman.com

What is the future that will unfold?
Some like it hot, others like it cold
But we all want to hold the remote control
-Beastie Boys


Sometimes a service provides a value to its customers that may not be readily apparent at first glance. And sometimes that value can be more fundamentally important to those customers that the actual “widget” that is being sold.


Netflix is a good example. Their stated service is simple: “Watch Netflix movies & TV shows online.” But if you listen to the words of the people that run that company, something different emerges.


CEO Reed Hastings has in the past described how viewing works on Netflix:

“Binge-watching is great because it puts you in control. You have complete flexibility.”   


These words don’t appear to be an accident. Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos was very specific in February 2018 when he stated that “the core to the consumer proposition of Netflix is consumer control.”


Clearly, Netflix provides a service to view content. But it also delivers something much more powerful to people – the ability to determine how and when to spend their time, attention and focus (a form of self-actualization). To compete effectively with Netflix would require that another service competes on the axis of control. Not as easy as delivering content.


Having and giving control is very empowering.


This gets interesting if we view control as a way to evaluate markets or companies. What other services deliver control to their users in this way?

Let’s take healthcare. How transformative would it be to see services that deliver a radical shift in control from the system to the patient? What would this mean? More than online appointment booking or pleasant offices. Instead, directly shifting control over time and space from the provider to the patient.


The value of control, or agency over a person’s own time and space, is hard to measure or quantify in a business model. The Netflix analogy here is instructive. Some have imagined what the Apple or Amazon of healthcare would look like. The Netflix of healthcare would be vastly more interesting. It could catalyze a movement in a market where changes are tightly-restrained by large organizations and professionals. It would provide a value to consumers beyond just their health: control.