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Episode 110: Gamified Laser Butt Wiping || Ben, Danielle, Brittany

What if we deployed nano technology solutions for kitchen crunchies? What if sports arenas hired crowd profanity police? What if complaining made your pants fit better? What if people who wore eye patches had their own baths? What if we operationalized primal grooming?

In this episode of Steal Scott’s Ideas, Ben, Danielle & Brittany gather in Brooklyn for some execution in public.

**Sponsored by Baggit


Execution Lesson 110: When we dash away from ideas too fast

It’s true that language is a powerful lever for changing the world around us.

But it’s also true that words can be twisted to match any desire we have, and interpreted to justify any action we take.

In fact, many of our greatest revelations occur in speechless moments when we perceive things greater and beyond the sum total of all words.

That’s one of the great joys of songwriting. People feel our music before they listen to it. Unlike prose or poetry or other types of one dimensional compositions, our medium of song isn’t under as much pressure to make sense or prove anything or even mean anything.

Because it has layers. It relies on the rhythm and melody to do most of the heavy emotional lifting. That’s where the real magic comes from. The words are almost pedestrian at that point.

Hell, the best songwriter in rock history famously used the word scrambled eggs as his working title to hold the music and phrasing in place until he found a suitable replacement. And once he substituted it with the word yesterday, it became the most covered song of all time.

Think of it this way. Ever realized that you have been singing the wrong words to a popular song your whole life? Once you learned the correct lyric, did you change the way you sang it?

Of course not. Because all that mattered was how the song made you feel while you sang it.

Remember, words are chewed gum. Don’t allow yourself to get trapped in a language with too little imagination.

Release the grip of neurons on all your small thoughts. And excuse me while I kiss this guy.

Do you have the strength and the love to sit in the silence that goes beyond words?

Episode 109: Seaweed International Ophthalmology || Kyle, Brittany, Scott

What if every hotel room came with their own animal? What if a scanner shamed people who didn’t wash their hands? What if we installed finger print activated porch safety boxes to ensure package delivery? What if we averaged the age of toddlers and geezers? What if bathroom scales gave body positive compliments instead of numbers?

In this episode of Steal Scott’s Ideas, Kyle, Brittany & Scott gather in Brooklyn for some execution in public.

**Sponsored by The Meaty Nights Music Festival


When we dash away from ideas too fast

In the first year of wearing a nametag twenty four seven, there wasn’t single day where quitting didn’t cross my mind.

But something inside told me to stick with it. Not sure why. It just didn’t seem fair to dash away from this idea too quickly. There was just too much juice there. My experiment needed some room to breathe before it told me what it was supposed to become.

Sure enough, two years into the project, not only did my nametag go viral on campus, it also went viral online. Which transformed my life forever. That was almost twenty years ago. And since then, one of the lessons that still sticks with me is this.

People abandon things far too quickly. And they assume it’s because of impatience, distraction, fear, anxiety, doubt or even discernment.

But it’s really just the mathematics of ignorance. The reason people give up because they simply haven’t put in enough time to accrue enough volume to earn enough insight to know how they should proceed.

It’s like those old school placements tests. Every few pages, there would be a trick question that went something like this. A book costs four dollars and a pen cost two dollars. Can the woman buy three of each?

Smart test takers would realize, wait a sec, there is no way to tell. It depends how much money the woman has. Which means the right answer is, not enough information to solve this problem.

This is the key moment in the execution process. Instead of abandoning things too quickly, we stick around and try to collect more data. We try and reach the point of statistical significance in our experiment.

During high school, my english teacher used to joke, you haven’t written enough to know what kind of writer you are.

Meaning, each creator has to keep working toward this thing that is not quite yet a reality. Only through the process of doing will they understand what doing actually means for them. That how they get enough information to solve this problem.

Look, if you are willing start small and trust the path to illuminate itself, eventually, you will have deeper understanding of the destination.

Don’t try to move too quickly, because you’re only new once.

Commit and create, and don’t worry, there will plenty of time to give up on yourself later.

Are you willing to contract a case of the humbles to find where you’re going next?

Episode 108: The Great Barrier Gonorrhea || Brittany, Conrad, Kate

What if strangers never stared at you again? What if glittery greeting cards cleaned your house? What if we turned ocean pollution into fertilizer? What if you had a molasses covered groin? What if seals copulated without destroying beaches?

In this episode of Steal Scott’s Ideas, Brittany, Conrad & Kate gather in Brooklyn for some execution in public.

**Sponsored by Applyd


Execution Lesson 108: Creating the company that houses your own art.

We get work when we decide to work whether we are working or not.

That’s how working works. It’s not whether we are good, although talent certainly helps, it’s whether we are moving. Because while opportunity is attracted to talent, it’s also mesmerized by momentum. And the best entrepreneurs have both.

Instead of patiently suckling the pink teat of institutional permission, they hire themselves and get to work. Whether or not their work is even going to work.

Roark, the mythological architect who refused to compromise with an architectural establishment unwilling to accept innovation, once said that the question is not who’s going to let us, but who’s going to stop us?

Nobody, that’s who. Not a goddamn person.

It’s actually quite surprising the first time we taste this flavor of freedom. We start working and realize, oh damn, not only are people not stopping me, they’re actually supporting me. That’s momentum. It works.

Lesson learned, new work opportunities find us through the attraction of working, not the arrogance of waiting. If you are hoping to get more work, just remember this.

Not working is not working.

It’s not enough to making work, we also have to create the opportunity to make it.

Master than, and you will soon learn that you are much freer than you allow yourself to imagine.

How could you build the house where your freedom resides?

Episode 107: Two Words — Incentivized Murder || Alex, Eli, Alexandra

What if menacing gray curb snow became popsicles? What if augmented reality eliminated littering? What if we sold psychographically analyzed microwave scraps? What if we shorted the secondary market for karma? What if doctors could take toot samples?

In this episode of Steal Scott’s Ideas, Alex, Eli & Alexandra gather at Metric Collective for some execution in public.

**Sponsored by the Schmuck Parade Music Festival


Execution Lesson 107: Charisma is code for can’t execute

Emerson was nothing short of a creative genius.

Not only was he a prolific philosopher, writer, lecturer and founder of the transcendentalist movement, but the man was featured on a national postage stamp. Quite the impressive career arc.

And yet, his creativity wasn’t the only arrow in his professional quiver. Emerson was equal parts ideation and implementation. As he observed in his influential book about nature, good thoughts are no better than good dreams, unless they be executed.

This is a trap many highly creativity people fall prey to. Because we are always working in the realm of abstraction, living in the haze of ideas, adrift in the clouds of possibility, it’s easy for us to lose the thread.

Especially in a team environment. Nothing against a transcendentalist who lives in a cabin in the woods, but in the modern world, our coworkers and managers will often have to remind us to reign it in and come back down from the clouds and focus on practical solutions. That’s the way organizations thrive. There are no awards of merit for abstraction or subtlety of thinking, it’s the effect on the bottom line that matters.

Now, this doesn’t mean our imaginations have to die a horrible death, but they do have be channeled productively. Otherwise our unordered minds will lose track. And probably annoy the hell out of our coworkers.

The secret is learning how to separate and transition our thinking. Creating boundaries to plan our thinking processes in a detailed and cohesive way.

Debono has a name for this form of lateral thinking. Wearing and switching hats. It helps people easily focus or redirect their thoughts, the conversation, or the meeting.

For example, wearing the green hat involves making statements of provocation and investigation, seeing where an idea goes. This invites people to think creatively and outside the box. But the group only wears this hat for about two minutes at a time. Then they switch to a different color, perhaps something more practical and discerning, like the black hat.

This kind of process may feel unnatural, uncomfortable or even counterproductive, but it does work.

If we creative people have any intention of executing our ideas, eventually, we do whatever it takes to get out our heads and into the real world.

Are you a charismatic visionary who loses interest when it comes time to execute?

 

Episode 106: Pasta La Vista, Baby || Tom, Adam, Brian

What if hikers wore anti spider web hats? What if we used blockchain to make tables less wobbly? What if sex dolls kept guests company at parties? What if drones collected data from pet poop? What if stores used logo branded mice to eliminate insects?

In this episode of Steal Scott’s Ideas, Tom, Adam & Brian gather in St. Louis for some execution in public.

**Sponsored by Aperture


Execution Lesson 106: Change everything with no intention of originating anything.

Einstein wasn’t always a world renewed theoretical physicist.

Like many great inventors, he labored in obscurity, gained traction slowly and eventually was universally applauded. In fact, he started his career working as a lowly clerk at the patent office. Six days a week, he would sit at a desk reviewing applications submitted by all kinds of inventors from around the country.

Naturally, the work wasn’t strenuous or intellectually demanding, but it was just repetitious enough, just foundational enough to give him ample time to daydream and contemplate the universe. And over time, those idle daydreams led to his famous series of papers that coined the most famous equation that launched a scientific revolution that changed world history.

The question is, what did he do right? What conditions and contexts were in place that allowed him to thrive?

First, he had the freedom of working on something before the entire world was watching and waiting to see what he would do next. This relieved him of the pressure, expectation and urgency that often kills great ideas before they’re even born.

Next, he didn’t quit his day job to follow his dream, he simply folded it into his everyday life. Albert kept his hand in his craft, tinkering away at his passion stolen moments and borrowed time, thus staying in communication with artistry at some level.

Finally, there was zero attachment to what this idea could mean for him. It was just this thing he was fascinating by and curious about. And so, the idea that changed everything originated in the mind of an person who had no intention of originating anything.

How will you create a culture that encourages the generation and application of your best ideas?

Episode 105: The Zoological Impulsive Mob || Jeff, Sean, Lisa

What if we used dog barks to shame neighbors? What if car security boots were advertising opportunities? What if the church leveraged biotech to make wine? What if actors had holograms to practice auditions? What if wearable tech eliminated guesswork from dating?

In this episode of Steal Scott’s Ideas, Jeff, Sean and Lisa gather in St. Louis for some execution in public.

**Sponsored by The Failing Asphalt Music Festival


Execution Lesson 105: Bringing our train of creative thought to a conclusion.  

We’re told that if we fail to plan, we are planning to fail.

But in many cases, planning is procrastination in disguise. If fact, one of the excuses we make to justify it is:

Well, it’s not really costing me any money to plan, so what’s the harm?

Fair enough. Planning out our next project is a task that’s free, easy, fast and most importantly, exhilarating. And doing so can be of great benefit in the early stages of the work.

But too much free planning can also enable our hesitation. Because there’s no skin in the game. And if we have any intention of moving to the execution phase and actually shipping our work, we need to be on the hook for something.

And spending money is not the only way to break out of the creative holding pattern, but it’s awfully effective.

In my experience launching dozens of creative projects over two decades of entrepreneurship, with every dollar spent, the fire under your ass grows bigger.

Or maybe that’s too much spicy food.

Point being, too much planning in advance can push against the grain of creation. Don’t let it become your excuse not to execute.

What are you willing to stake this effort on?

Episode 104: Thomas Jefferson Wolf Society || Bob, Pooki, Steve

What if we napkin shamed customers? What if we traumatized airport slow walkers? What if we incentivized dog kissing? What if corporate anger was eliminated? What if you could experience the military risk free?

In this episode of Steal Scott’s Ideas, Bob, Pooki and Steve gather in St. Louis for some execution in public.

**Sponsored by Allotment


Execution Lesson 104: As the medium has lost a lot of its edge.

Mcluhan famously wrote that the medium is the message.

But he also observed that the medium is any extension of man that uses his senses and faculties to determine what he is. Meaning, all these things that we use, they are precisely what help us become who we are. They are platforms of evolution that allow us to engage all of our being in a fulfilling manner.

But contrary to what some say, we don’t have to become slaves to these tools. We don’t have to accept the standard of what a particular medium can be, we can set that standard ourselves. That is our birthright as humans. We not only have the freedom to use the medium, but to suggest new possibilities for what the medium might become.

Our talent is not only in the work, but in the hybrid nature of how the work is produced and presented.

Tesla reinvented the car as we know it.
Jobs changed what the word phone means.
Newmark reimagined what classified ads look like.

Because instead of looking in the rear view mirror, they marched forward into a better future.

Critics and skeptics say, however, that you can’t just start a brand new genre. You can’t just invent a new category out of thin air.

Sure you can. My last employer was a tech startup who revolutionized air travel by converting aviation law into code, and converted code into a real service offering that assisted passengers in getting compensation for flight disruptions. It also helped airlines perform better and faster customer service.

Fittingly, he called the business model, justice as a service. Because thanks to big data, there was feasibility of business models that weren’t possible five years ago.

This is the whole purpose of evolution. To open ourselves to the complete possibility of what might be. To use the medium, whatever it may be, to help us become what we are.

And so, if there is a medium that has lost a lot of its edge, and your fire has dwindled, go figure out the platforms where you can tell your story best. Wreck some shop.

Give people something they have already seen, but in a way they have never seen it before, and you just might go down in history.

How will you create value in ways that were never thought of before?

Episode 103: Giraffes Don’t Doubt || Brittany, Sara, Zohar

What if pooping was gamified? What if giraffes didn’t doubt? What if fish fat became spreadable? What if resting bitch face had its own symposium? What if you could publicly shame people to make the world more efficient?

In this episode of Steal Scott’s Ideas, Brittany, Sara and Zohar gather in Brooklyn for some execution in public.


Execution Lesson 103: Almost everything is noise

Every beautiful thing that has ever been created in this world was made by somebody who didn’t have time.

Tolstoy had thirteen children and he still managed to author one of the longest, most celebrated and bestselling novels in the history of literature. What’s your excuse?

Of course, that was a century and a half ago. Things are different now. The world wants to distract you. In the economy of the past, companies made money by being useful to people. Now companies make their money by distracting us with ads.

The fundamental business question went from, how can we help you, to, how can we distract you? Tragic.

However, that doesn’t justify your lack of execution. That doesn’t make procrastination more acceptable. In fact, it should be easier than ever to get things done.

Because almost everything is noise. Everything. And since the technology to execute is better and cheaper and more available than ever before, all you have to do is press a few buttons.

It’s simply a matter of permission. Believing that people are waiting for the good you can do. Believing that your work is a welcome presence that’s creating value for people and that’s worthy of people’s attention.

Tolstoy didn’t write his masterpiece because there were enough hours in the day, he wrote it because there was enough fire in his belly.

It’s a modern version of the general theory of relativity. Nobody has enough time to do anything. It’s all permission.

What excuses are you still making to justify your procrastination?

Episode 102: Single Saskatchewan Kissers || Andy, Phil, Sherril

What if grandparents babysat in parking lots? What if doing house chores was a competitive sport? What if ping pong had ball boys? What if we monetized road rage? What if parents could shop in big box retailers without stress?

In this episode of Steal Scott’s Ideas, Andy, Phil and Sherril gather in Tampa for some execution in public.


Execution Lesson 102: Air as dense as a poor man’s sandwich.

Recently, a footwear company launched an innovative pair of sneakers that were fashioned mostly out of recycled carbon dioxide emissions.

Sound unfathomable? Well, carbon dioxide emitted by power plants can be actually be captured and converted into a special polymer useful for creating shoes. You can literally make the product out of thin air.

This is, in my opinion, the one and only instance where the phrase out of thin air is valid.

Those three words make my blood boil. When somebody comments that an idea comes out of thin air, what they mean is, it’s so unexpected, it seems to have materialized suddenly and dramatically.

But that’s not the way innovation works. Thin air exists on mountaintops, but within the infinite realm of human consciousness and imagination, it’s exactly the opposite. The more interesting, surprising and memorable an idea is, the more likely it is to have come from air that is very, very thick.

This is how the creative brain functions. Nothing is ever wasted. We train ourselves to file everything away. Our subconscious impressions combine with our conscious experiences, efforts and realizations, and the relaxed free association between the two promotes the flow of air makes ideas happen.

Emerson spoke of this process movingly.

A man is to know that they are all his, suing his notice, petitioners to his faculties that they will come out and take possession, born thralls to his sovereignty, conundrums he alone can guess, chaos until he comes like a creator and gives them light and order.

If your job is make into existence things that didn’t exist before, to bring forth the future from nothing, then make the air as thick as you possibly can.

Pay attention to your impressions. Keep a watchful eye on them. Assure everything you know is written down somewhere.

And in time, your reservoir of related associations and impressions will be money in the bank of your creative consciousness.

How will you breathe a new world into existence when your air is as dense as a poor man’s sandwich?