Mercury is in retrograde. Normally, the planet Mercury appears to travel from west to east across the night sky. But right now, Mercury will is traveling westward. If you could watch it happen all at once, Mercury appears to slow down its movement, stop, reverse direction, slow down, stop, then reverse direction again.
How is that even possible, you ask? It’s an optical illusion. It’s a combination of concepts like three dimensions and parallax at work. It’s the same sort of thing as when you travel down a highway and notice closer objects appear to travel faster than further objects. Add three dimensional rotation to the mix and you’ll get some pretty weird phenomena like that.
So what’s the point of all of this? The point is that you’re looking at problems all wrong. (more…)
In marketing, there’s a concept called decoy pricing strategy. It’s meant to make you spend more money than you would otherwise. Let me illustrate with a scenario.
Imagine you’re at a coffee shop and they offer a drink in two sizes: small for $2 and large for $4. You’d almost certainly buy the small size and save two dollars. Right? Marketers know this.
So, to redirect you to the more expensive option, they’ll add a third size. This is a decoy. It’s there to distract you. They’ll add a medium size for $3.50. So the new sizes are small for $2, medium for $3.50, and large for $4. Would it surprise you to know that after this change, most people will buy the large? Marketers don’t even care if they ever sell a single medium size…they just want you to buy the large size. That’s the sole purpose of the third size. (more…)
People always approach me with their ideas. They’ll often say something like: “I have a good idea. I just don’t know how to make it happen. Can you help me?”
I’m always tempted to tell them, “It’s not a good idea if you don’t know how to make it happen.” See, a good idea that you can’t do anything about is a pipe dream. It’s completely unattainable.
It would be a great idea to have millions of dollars buried around in random locations so people could get some financial assistance in hard times. Heck…that’s a great idea! But you can’t make it happen so it’s worthless. A good idea is the inspiration plus the measured perspiration. (more…)
Each week I’ve begun writing one “funny post” for my two blogs, SeriesIdeas and WorshipSetIdeas. The goal of these posts is simply to provide some fun, highly shareable content for my readers. Normally the sites are devoted to ideas from other churches, but I knew there needed to be something more to get people excited about coming back.
So last week I crafted one of my favorite posts, “10 Signs Your Worship Team is Full of Divas”. It made me and my friends chuckle, so I hit publish. I actually got great response from it. It become one of my most viral posts on the site. So cool!
I was giddily watching the view count go up and up, when I got this comment right before I went to bed: Reading the headline of this article i thought this could be either funny or somewhat interesting, it is neither, just simply a waste of time and space on this server. This is what i call “lazy journalism.” (more…)
I’ve been working with a branch of Moody Publishers on a devotional project I’ve written. They’ve been helping me edit it and prepare it for publishing. It’s been a blast. But it’s also been enlightening.
In my first call with my editor, he said something that surprised me. I’d written this devotional that I saw as a highly targeted project for creative minds. I wrote it specifically with artists in mind. There were creative exercises and short lessons to help you think about your art differently (as well as the usual devotionally stuff).
Randall (my new editor) told me, “Have you considered the content in this book might actually reach a far larger audience than just artists? Most everyone relates with the struggles you address in this book.” It surprised me. (more…)
This week I pulled a tiny prank on my Twitter followers. I found the Wikipedia entry for “link baiting”, and shared it on Twitter with the status:
12 A-list celebrities that look like chipmunks.
It wasn’t particularly malicious, I just wanted to see what would happen. I wanted to see if those ridiculous blog post titles actually work. Not unsurprisingly, they do. I got quite a few clicks.
Some people might call this a type of market research. I call it exploration and mischief. (more…)
Remember as a kid, having one of those huge dreams? You wanted to be the president. Or the first astronaut on Mars. Or a cowboy. You had one big goal in mind—the crowning achievement of your life you’d one day attain.
But then you grow up and you realize how truly far away from that goal. So you settle for a smaller goal. A few years down the road, you settle for an even smaller goal. Eventually, you train yourself that you’ll never reach any goals and you just give up. You settle for working your 40 hours each week and living for the weekend—to watch some reality TV or some football games.
The problem is, you were dreaming too big. (more…)
I spend most of my day chatting with churches. Either I’m posting up a stage design, worship set, or graphic design they’ve worked on, or I’m chatting with them about their creative process.
One of the big things I’ve noticed from so many churches, is that they assume they’re being creative if they have a stage design. They’ll show me something they copied directly from the site and say, “Look, we were creative!”
I don’t have the heart to tell them, but that’s not creativity. I imagine that would be incredibly discouraging to hear. Fortunately, their misunderstanding of creativity doesn’t mean they aren’t creative. It just means they’re chasing the wrong things. (more…)
There are two big steps to being successful. Two huge steps. And I believe most people fail in one of these two areas.
Sure, there are tons of steps to any successful endeavor. Tons of tiny decisions and tiny actions that lead you along the path toward success. But those tiny steps aren’t the ones that trip people up. It’s these two big ones.
The first one is: start. I have absolutely no problem with the start step. I’m constantly starting new projects and jumping from one obsession to another. (My current obsession is home-roasted coffee. And I have a developing obsession with gourmet black pepper.) Starting has never been a problem for me. But for many, that’s what’s holding them back from success. (more…)
I’m a fan of Lebron James. There, I said it. I know a bunch of people don’t like the guy. He’s made some mega blunders and he’s acted monstrously egotistical at times. But I’m not sure I’d be much different than that if I was where he is.
You see, the guy’s 21 days older than me. And he was launched into fame right out of high school. He was so good at basketball, he skipped the college leagues and went straight into the NBA. And he was even amazing there. He had immediate fame at the age of 18.
Do you remember who you were at age 18? Probably. And imagine if you hit stardom then. You wouldn’t even know what to do with yourself. You’d probably party it up, buy lots of junk, and make stupid remarks on live television. Because you, like Lebron, would have had no vision for your fame. (more…)