There are indeed no great men to their valets. But the laugh is on the valet. He sees, inevitably, all the traits that are not relevant, all the traits that have nothing to do with the specific task for which a man has been called on the stage of history. – Peter Drucker

the levels of problem solving

The Levels of Problem-solving:

Level 1 — You solve the problem.

Level 2 — You solve the problem that caused the problem.

Level 3 — You avoid the problem that caused the problem.

Level 3 is the most valuable but hardest to see.

Quality time vs garbage time

“I’m a believer in the ordinary and the mundane. These guys that talk about ‘quality time’ — I always find that a little sad when they say, ‘We have quality time.’ I don’t want quality time. I want the garbage time. That’s what I like. You just see them in their room reading a comic book and you get to kind of watch that for a minute, or [having] a bowl of Cheerios at 11 o’clock at night when they’re not even supposed to be up. The garbage, that’s what I love.”

When you realize there is no such thing as “quality time,” when you become okay with “garbage time,” you end up getting the best kind of time there is. You get the moment right in front of you.

https://forge.medium.com/theres-no-such-thing-as-quality-time-58db618c099d

The World’s Fastest Man

So what are the takeaways for a small business owner, middle manager or senior executive? C.C. is living proof that results can matter more than paradigms. You don’t need buzzwords to build. You don’t need inspirational posters to inspire. You need to work, and once you are known for that work, your personal brand, in turn, will bring even more work. It’s a virtuous cycle.

On the Cover: The World’s Fastest Man

There’s room to balance both ambition to do big things, and the simple practice of finding pennies.

You don’t have to be a crazy monk sitting in silence all day to enjoy your life. You should be able to enjoy it right now, with what’s around you.

Balancing seeing with being seen. Balancing striving with finding pennies. 

Applying love and understanding to ourselves and the people around us.

via

The most damaging thing you learned in school wasn’t something you learned in any specific class. It was learning to get good grades.

When I was in college, a particularly earnest philosophy grad student once told me that he never cared what grade he got in a class, only what he learned in it. This stuck in my mind because it was the only time I ever heard anyone say such a thing.

http://paulgraham.com/lesson.html

Brands vs Ads

http://www.seobook.com/brands-vs-ads

My thesis was Google would need to increasingly promote some smaller niche sites to make general web search differentiated from other web channels & minimize the market power of vertical leading providers.

The reason my thesis was only half correct (and ultimately led to the absolutely wrong conclusion) is Google has the ability to provide the illusion of diversity while using sort of eye candy displacement efforts to shift an increasing share of searches from organic to paid results.

Aaron Wall

Wise words from the GOAT SEO.

In-SERP SEO

That linear SERP pattern still exists today, but it’s the exception rather than the rule. Today, we find that people’s attention is distributed on the page and that they process results more nonlinearly than before. We observed so much bouncing between various elements across the page that we can safely define a new SERP-processing gaze pattern — the pinball pattern.
In a pinball pattern, the user scans a results page in a highly nonlinear path, bouncing around between results and SERP features.

A traditional pinball machine arcade game (left) is a glass-covered cabinet using an angled play field with various bumpers, obstacles, and targets. The player uses flippers to shoot and bounce a metal ball around the play field, receiving points for hitting different targets. In a pinball pattern (right), the user’s gaze similarly “bounces” around between visual elements and keywords in a SERP.

https://www.nngroup.com/articles/pinball-pattern-search-behavior/

Would be interesting to study the efforts of optimizing for #1 in Google SERPs for medium difficulty keywords vs. optimizing for CTR/attention in SERPs using rich results for high difficulty keywords. It is easy to earn rich results with markup, rich media, etc.