How to Grow Exponentially as a Business Leader

Growing exponentially, or exoscaling, as a business leader requires a very special mix of attributes.

I look for the kernel of these attributes in the people I love to work with and help them build up these capabilities to the point where they are humming like a well-tuned engine.

I like to call these the Awake Attributes: because they require you to be awake to your situation and surroundings; you are aware, conscious and mindful of the present.

By contrast are the people who exude the Asleep Attributes: they follow the herd, never questioning, permanently stuck in the commute-slow lane of life; they are totally unaware of the illusory cravings that they and society have constructed, they are reactive, making knee-jerk decisions that negatively impact those around them and themselves.

Here are my top four Awake Attributes:

1. Drinking from the fire hydrant. A passion for learning every single detail of your business and universe: they have no off switch when it comes to their focus area; every detail, no matter how big or small is treated like a gift, savoured and assimilated into your knowledge base, and applied back into your life and business in unique ways.

2. Treating life like an obstacle course. The resilience to tackle difficult situations with relish and achieve better than expected outcomes as a result. Problems don’t phase you, as all you see are opportunities to grow yourself, the people around you and your business. Leaders love challenges and positively frame what emerges. Exoscaling leaders thrive on directionally-correct chaos.

3. Competing with yourself, not the status quo. A desire to win that transcends the world around you, and which leads you to massively outperform your potential competition.

4. Looping feedback and translating that into action. Always being open to input from others requires a mix of assuredness and mindfulness.

These Awake Attributes are like muscles in that they can be strengthened over time. By constantly checking in with yourself to see if you have the right mindset you can become stronger and stronger at being more and more awake.

Here are my top ten mindset enablers for strengthening your Awake Attributes, exoscaling as a leader and achieving peak-awakeness:

1. Problem finding rather than problem solving;

2. Ask questions, don’t provide answers;

3. Focus on being in service of society, not in service of industry;

4. Operate for how the world will be, not how the world is;

5. Think beyond futures, and explore parallel worlds;

6. Make the unreal real, not the real real;

7. Think implication, not application;

8. Innovation is so yesterday, it’s all about provocation;

9. Build to make us think, not to make us buy;

10. Ethics trumps user-friendliness.

iPhone Gets Kicked Into Orb(it)

Orb Networks has enabled TV on the iPhone. By installing the OrbLive app users can stream any video format to their iPhone.

There are a few hoops to go through before you can stream your favorite basketbal game though:

  • You need a PC or Parallels
  • You need a TV tuner card
  • Your iPhone must be jailbroken.

We understand that iPhone 2.0 will support video – will it go so far as supporting live TV streaming?

Video Comments Du Jour On Metarand

I’m really excited to announce that metarand is one of the first sites to have installed the video comments plugin from Seesmic.

This takes commenting on blog posts to a whole new level of engagement. I look forward to seeing many of you on comment threads from here on in.

Seesmic is currently invite-only and pre launch. However, you can simply set your comments to anonymous. {seesmic_video:{“url_thumbnail”:{“value”:””}”title”:{“value”:”Video Comments Du Jour On Metarand “}”videoUri”:{“value”:””}}}

No friendcaps: “Bluepulse rocks” says Scoble


Bluepulse founder Ben Keighran talks with Robert Scoble about their plans to build the killer app mobile social network in this video interview.

Ben gave an interesting insight into why he moved Bluepulse from Sydney to Silicon Valley:

1. Bluepulse intends running with an ad-supported service model and given that half the world’s media spend is in the US it made sense to “follow the money”.

2. Ben rightly feels that attracting top talent can be a gamechanger. Bluepulse really understands mobile, but he wanted to attract on board the right backend talent and felt the Valley is the best place to do this.

3. His vision is to build a really big company and, realising he would need venture funding to do so, he wanted to get VCs on board who could provide strategic help – he moved to the Valley to source a venture partner who could assist with Bluepulse’s hypergrowth.

Sound reasoning from an exciting company. As you’ll hear in the video, they’ll be making some announcements at CTIA in San Francisco this week.

APML Gets Attention: Newsgator Signs On

It’s a big day in the early life of the Attention Profiling Markup Language and while still a few inflection points short of being a standard, APML is gaining rapid traction: FeedDemon, NetNewsWire and Newsgator Inbox are implementing APML.

A number of other players in the attention profiling arena have also joined the APML working group – Bloglines, Ma.gnolia, Me.dium, Peepel and Talis.

There has been some good coverage of the APML goings on:
Daniela Barbosa
Marjolein Hoekstra
Elias Bizannes
Ross Dawson
Marshall Kirkpatrick

Focusing Attention on the Social Graph

Brad Fitzpatrick has written a comprehensive post regarding the global mapping of everybody and how they are related, aka the social graph.

Alex Iskold has taken a stab at tying the social graph into the attention discussion. His premise being that they are interconnected.

Brad calls for a brokerage-type service that collates attention data from the growing diaspora of social networks and passes it on end-users. It’s an interesting concept and Alex touches on whether a standards based body can fulfil this role. Doing so would require a catalyst – as with many IEEE-like standards this usually takes place when a powerful consortium or grass roots community coalesces with the intent of creating such a standard.

It’s doubtful the individual social networks will be motivated to join such a consortium ad initio. Others will need to take on this mantle and drive it forward.

Google Seeks Your Attention, Or Does It?


According to an unverified, leaked Google video, the search engine giant’s Reader product is intent on recommending feeds to users based on their other activities and previous subs.

Attention economy advocate, Chris Saad, has weighed in on this development here.

While this remains a “purported” move on Google’s part, it would not surprise me at all. Leveraging attention data has been on the cards for a while now. The key moral question remains: will the world’s corporates and, eventually, governments use it for good or as a way of shaping perceptions.

Anyone who has lived through an oppressive regime will readily understand the slippery slope.

Social event streams: are you drinking from the fire hydrant


Distilling pattern recognition depends a lot on one’s ability to let go, open up, become a sponge and absorb. Some of us have an innate ability to do this – no drum beat, ego tap or self promo involved – we just do it.

So it’s interesting when others who feel like they are drinking from the fire hydrant [Dave McLure intimates at this is his awesome post: Facebook = Platform + Graph + Feed. It’s that Simple. (& so am i)] ((raising shields – I ain’t saying Dave is simple here, far from it))  revolt against the constant flow of change.

We saw this today in a riff between Robert Scoble and a few others on Twitter about the concept of “friend” and the ability of people like the Scobleizer to have thousands of friends spread across a panoply of social networking services. Its simple -he can do this and keep up a meaningful relationship with all of them because he is excellent at sifting, analysing and being immersed in the conversation…all at once and all the time – an aysnchronous gush of data.

Remember that you create your social event stream. Here are four ways to ensure your are comfortable with its flow:

1. Constantly evolve your key influencer strategy – who and what matters to you. Think about the main influences that set your career, social, family paths and if needs be formulate these influences into tiers much like you set auto rule for your emails to punch certain folders.

2. Choose your data feeds and social networking platforms wisely. There’s no need to be on every shiny spangled social network. Find one’s that resonate with your key influencer strategy and stick with them.

3. Set your “friend” policy in advance and stick to it. Can anyone be your friend on Facebook. Do you allow anyone to follow your twits. Do you only respond to direct twits. Who will you accept data files from on Pownce.

4. Be asynchronous. Assidously sift your incoming information … its like running, the more you do it the easier it is to get into a groove. And then respond, enter the conversation and engage in dialogue. You make the quality of the water exiting the fire hydrant so much sweeter by doing so.

[Picture courtesy of the awesome Stuck in Customs]

Sport Social Networking – a match made in Australia


Australians are sports nuts. They are absolutely obsessed with the stuff. Any conversation with one of them ultimately leads to a discussion of their favorite team for the weekend’s match, or for Gen Xer’s their son or daughter’s match. Grassroots sport is thriving down under.


So where else but in Australia would the perfect match occur between grassroots sport and niche social networking. A Sydney-based start up, 3eep, is pioneering this space. They’ve teamed up with Kanga Cup, one of the largest youth football tournaments in the world to provide an online community zone for the upcoming Australian event.

Kanga Cup takes place in Canberra between 8-13 July and players, parents and coaches will be able to upload photos and videos and track their team’s progress on special Team Zones.

3eep’s Head of Community Development, Nick Gonios, notes: “This will be a fantastic way for Kanga CUp participants to keep in touch with family, friends and passionate fans back at home, wherever in the world they may be!”

According to Nick, there will also be some eventstreaming taking place via

It’s pleasing to see Australian initiative at work both on and offline.