Items that have inspired me and may inspire you

Hello! This is the second edition of the A.B.C. TOOLBOX bulletin - a weekly selection of ideas, tools and people that I have come across and found interesting. Thank you for all the feedback I received after the first edition. I will experiment with these new ideas to make the content as valuable for you as possible. 

Remember: it is written with the intention to inspire and help you grow in business. I hope you will enjoy it!


A. Life is short, so what?

A while ago I read a blog Your Life in Weeks published by Tim Urban on Wait But Why

Honestly I didn’t feel comfortable at all reading it. Facing fragility of life is not easy. Sometimes it comes easier to just pretend nothing happened, turn around and get a bit more busy or party more. 

However, digesting the “Memento mori” brought a few valuable takeaways:

  1.  There is no time to wait. Stop thinking, start doing. If you want to get something done, you need to start doing it immediately.
  2.  As time is limited it really makes no sense to feel the “fear of missing out”. You will probably miss out on 99,9% possibilities. This is just the way life is, so focus.
  3. Most of the problems will mean nothing on your deathbed. So why not stop bothering right away?

B. How to plan your day

If you are not a productivity freak you may feel that having a certain daily routine is limiting your freedom and does not fit your lifestyle. I was happily thinking the same way until I realised that the majority of great minds who achieved something amazing had a strict daily routine. 

I decided to give it a try. Put in place a routine that will not be too rigid, but will enable me to start and end my day in a good way. Now I am happily repeating some rituals every day while maintaining creative freedom. You can read about my journey and takeaways in the text: “Design your perfect day”.

C. A book to reframe the way you think about your customer’s needs

Competing against luck” by Clayton M. Christensen may help you reframe the way you view your product’s role in the customer's life. From a simplistic functional role to a more complex role of a “job to be done”. These jobs can be counterintuitive, complex and contain a mix of rational, emotional, social and other gains. For example, a milk shake can be hired to play a complicated role that consists of a few benefits all at the same time: 

  1. have something to do while commuting alone to work 
  2. filling one's stomach for the first meeting of the morning 
  3. omitting the feeling of guilt as it is perceived as healthier than a lot of other snacks

This book inspired my team and myself to rethink the job our client hires us to do. We put together a list of questions to ask our clients in order to help us really understand what they need. 

In the past we would think that customers had hired Albrecht&Partners mainly to grow their sales and profits. We doubted that it was a complete and accurate theory. Maybe our job is to make customers feel that they are good managers caring about innovation or to provide them with a pair of ears that will listen to their challenges. As we all know being an entrepreneur is kind of a lonely journey. 

BTW: Christensen is the author of the famous book The Innovator's Dilemma - also worth reading.


That's it for this weekend. Let me know what you enjoyed most (A, B or C) and what you would find more interesting. Just reply to this email.

Have a great weekend!

Greg Albrecht

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