26 December 2013

A Brave New World

Follow Mark Andersen

Too many people supervise others without making anything of their own. In a previous world, they were called managers, directors, foremen/forewomen, and critics. In this new world, that type of work isn’t required. Their best option is to move from managing to making.

If we banish corporate hierarchy from the new world of value-based work, we can get down to making something awesome. And it’ll free up those former managers to do the same.

Gone are the days of org-charts and arbitrary pecking orders. Now, ad-hoc teams come together to complete specific projects and collaborators can help your work shine even brighter (think: editors for your writing, engineers for your music, web designers for your websites... people who help to realize the vision of your work and take it from rough to polished to launched).

The world also doesn’t need a sea of promoters. We don’t need an echo chamber of “buy my thing now” on social media, without any compelling reasons to fork over the cash or credit card. You don’t need to toot your horn every day on social media to sell your work. Thankfully.

We need more people who make things.

Useful and meaningful things that change the world. These are the innovators, problem solvers and makers – the people who actually make and launch their ideas.

I've changed my domain name, my company name, and probably broken every marketing, promotion, and branding rule out there. I don't even have a logo that has survived for more than a few months. For 10 years, I had a single-page website with two sentences and a client list (and I’m a professional web designer). And I still don't have social media “follow me” icons on my website.

My clients are better salespeople and promoters than real salespeople and promoters could ever be. I don't need to pitch my work, because my clients do it for me (which is great, because I'm an introvert who's horrible at sales).

My clients aren’t promoting my work because I ask them to do it (I don't), but because I'm entirely focused on doing great work that serves their needs. It may seem passive on the surface, but it takes a lot of effort to ensure every client is so happy with the end result that they shout it from the rooftop (or at least on social media).

It’s not enough to write or read about making stuff. You could devour every published book about productivity, but you’d be entirely unproductive, because you spent all of your time reading those books instead of producing something. I even suggest making something with meaning over reading any of my books!

You’ve got to actually do the work. You might not know what will come of it (unless you have a time travel device to visit the future, in which case, can I come along?) but that’s not important. Doing the work is what’s important – and if you’re more concerned with the outcome than the process, then maybe it’s time to move onto something you can appreciate regardless of how it’s received by the world.

Top image from Imgembed.

This is a cross-post from Paul Jarvis.