Smartcuts - Shane Snow

  • Hack the Ladder. The greats usually don't make it to the top by going the traditional/linear route.  It's easier to trade up quickly when you are jumping from one ladder to a different ladder than to go up a single ladder one step at a time.
  • Find Organic Mentors.  Formal mentor relationships have shown to be pointless.  To benefit from a mentor relationship, it has to be a real relationship - one where you both genuinely care about each other.  Find someone who can really help you and really cares about you.
  • Get Feedback as Quickly as Possible.  Honest feedback = potential for growth.  The more you get, the quicker you get it, the more/quicker you can grow.  Find quick feedback loops.  Find honest feedback loops.  Fail fast and fail often.  Don't point the figure at external variables when you fail.  Find out how you can improve.  Watch others.  Find out why/what/how they succeed and fail.
  • Use existing tools that will help you do things better and faster.  If no tool exists, build it.  What is the desired end results?  What can help you get that result the quickest?  Leave everything else behind.  It will slow you down.
  • Dabble with emerging trends/tools/markets/etc.  The greats don't just happen to be in the right place at the right time.  They are dipping their toes in different waters, keeping their ear to the ground to see what "waves" are coming up next that they can ride.  Converging waves are even better.  Are there two emerging trends/tools that are "swelling" that you can bring together to form a mega-wave?  Have a plan.  But don't stick to that plan at all costs.  Times change.  Trend-watch.  Dabble.  Experiment.
  • Seek out superconnectors and be generous.  Superconnectors are people/tools that give you access to lots of other people.  Instead of trying to make friends with 10 influential people, make friends with one person who has 10 influential friends.  Instead of talking to one person via phone, talk to one thousand people online.  But getting in front of a lot of people is useless without winning them over - which can happen through generosity.
  • Do now what you want to be noticed for later.  Don't wait for the "right time" or a stroke of luck before you start being/creating what you want to be the best at.  Greatness doesn't come from a moment, though it is usually a moment/inflection point that throws the greats into the spotlight, giving them momentum that can only be capitalized on if they have been doing the hard work for months/years prior.
  • Constraints lead to simplicity.  Simplicity leads to disruptive innovation.  Embrace constraints.  That's where real creativity thrives.  It forces you back to the basics and great new innovations are always more simple than the previous generation.  Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
  • Think bigger. 10x bigger. Huge thinking is powerful because it is easier than thinking small.  It forces you to be creative, innovative and bold.  It gives you less competition (because they're all thinking 10% bigger).  And it gives you a passion and purpose that will fuel you through inevitable tough times (you don't get much passion from working towards incremental improvements).