Monday, September 10, 2007

Overdue update

So, you know your blog is hot when the only comment you have is from a guy named Adam who's promoting his abs exercise site. That's humbling.

To be honest, this site is like trying to learn to play the piano. You have to practice, even when no one is listening. So I can definitely take this. It's the practice.

Anyway, I've been carrying a potential good post around in my head for a couple of days. I think this item would work well here, a piece of philosophy from a Silicon Valley famous person named Guy Kawasaki. In one of my classes, entrepreneurial journalism, the professor required us to read Kawasaki's book, "The Art of the Start." In it, he suggests that a start up doesn't need a mission statement, it needs a mantra.

I liked the sound of that. The only mission statement I'd been a part of was pretty bad -- filled with dead words and 5th-grade earnestness. So I believed a mantra could be better than a mission statement.

Let me cut to the chase here....I liked Kawasaki, and then I found a podcast of his, speaking somewhere at Stanford. And what he said to young entrepreneurs seemed quite applicable to the times we journalists find ourselves in. We are at sea, a dark and stormy sea, and we hope for a break in the clouds to get a good reading on the sextant. Kawasaki offers one.

He says,

Don't work to make money.

Work to make meaning.

There are three ways to make meaning.

Improve the quality of life.
Right a wrong.
Prevent the end of something good.

Nothing I've heard recently sounded more like a mantra for journalists than that. Here is the very short YouTube link. See what you think.