JUNE 2013

  • INSIGHTS FROM MITCH HURWITZ: MAKE AN ASSUMPTION ON YOUR OWN WORK

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Innovation, Leadership, Life Lessons

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    I am an Arrested Development NUT….those who know me can attest to my fanaticism.  I’ve seen each of the episodes in the first three seasons over 10 times and have been through season 4 on Netflix twice now (after staying up until 2am to watch it the morning it was released).

    Tonight I have been reading through the Reddit “Ask Me Anything” with Mitch Hurwitz (the creator of Arrested Development).  He talks a lot about the stories behind the running jokes, keeping timelines straight, directing amazing character actors, reigning in even more amazing writers, cameo appearances that didn’t happen, how the internet and social sites like Reddit are changing television plus so much more.

    For those who don’t know, Arrested Development was canceled in 2006 after the show had failed to gather a following of the masses.  The creators and writers of the show aimed to do something never seen on network TV…after 2.5 amazingly hilarious seasons, network TV execs decided it was a failure leaving cult fans like myself completely upset (only to squeal with joy to hear that Netflix revived the series for at least one more season in 2013).

    There are a lot of easter eggs in Mitch’s discussion with the internet but I find this question and answer between a random Reddit user and Mitch Hurwitz extremely insightful on risk taking:

    Question from Reddit User:  On February 11, 2006 What were your thoughts of continuing the Bluth story? Did you think you had a shot in hell at ever telling more?

    Answer from Mitch Hurwitz:  On February 11, I DID. There’s an audacity that comes with any creative enterprise. I mean, I don’t think I would have written my first spec script if I had known how unlikely it was to get a writing job. And I don’t think I would have tried creating ARRESTED if I really thought “look at the data of what’s already been developed. they won’t make this.” but I should have – that was the evidence that existed. I don’t think I would have included all the stuff about Saddam Hussein in Season 1 if I’d done the math on the likelihood of getting through an entire season to reveal the punchline. And I think that everyone has to jump off that cliff and make that assumption in their own work – because the truth is, even if it doesn’t happen, you have a more interesting life if you’re to sit down and write a novel than doing the math on the likelihood of it getting published.

    We are all challenged by the “What If”; data, peer pressure, the risk of something not working and the way things have always been.

    Stop doing the math….embrace your audacity…make an assumption on your own work…

    You’re probably right.

  • LIVE ON THE EDGE…YOUR LIFE CHOICES ON A CONTINUUM

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Innovation, Leadership, Life Lessons

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    b&w

    con·tin·u·um

    A continuous sequence in which adjacent elements are not perceptibly different from each other, although the extremes are quite distinct.

    If you had to put any moment of your life on a continuum, where would you place it?

    The fat middle – Where your decision, action, opinion, perspective isn’t perceptively different from those around you?  Where it’s safe and the return is relatively predictable?

    The extreme edges – Where you will stand out from the pack?  Where there’s a chance you’re going to fail?  Where you’ll most likely experience something new and different?

    I try to stay on the edges as much as possible.  At the very least, always be aware of where you stand in any given situation…

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    One of my favorite examples of someone living on the extreme edge is a boxing coach in NYC by the name of Eric Kelly.  In this VERY explicit YouTube video, you see a man who is offensive, vulgar and rude to his own clients.  He also has a waiting list of people hoping to work with him….he gets results and charges clients handsomely for it.

    (seriously…a lot of F-Bombs behind the play button…I warned you Mom!):

     

    There are hundreds of boxing coaches in NYC, most of them in the fat middle…hell, there are probably a few that are better than Eric Kelly.  They all have 3 choices:

    1)  Don’t change a thing, stay comfortable with their place on the continuum and the results they’re getting (ASSUMING THE CONTINUUM ISN’T MOVING!!!)

    2)  Move to an edge, it’s difficult to be known as the 2nd most offensive boxing coach in NYC…what about the nicest?

    3)  Create a new continuum, when all else fails change the selection criteria…the only boxing coach in NYC who will bring the gloves to your workplace so you can duke it out in the office.

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    “Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it’s poison to the audience”

    -Pixar’s 22 Rules to Phenomenal Storytelling – #13