There Decides Everybody. Except You


Do you wait to hear what your peers are saying before deciding whether to do something?

There's well documented research saying that you do — social creatures following the herd, gotta have social "proofing" to be worth anything.

I don't know about you, I feel sad when I see people miss opportunities to initiate and lead by having confidence in themselves. 

Where is the beauty of personal discovery? How about the freedom of having options?

Take it further and look at ability to innovate and be creative, to express yourself artistically, to think with your own head.

Yelpification of choices

Imagine you're in a new city and are looking for a restaurant to have dinner with a small group of friends. You jump on Yielp, look a few places up, and decide to go to this interesting-sounding, well-rated, hole in the wall you'll never tell anyone you've been to where you eat a meal you would never recommend.

This actually happened to a group of us. I've had better luck picking random places by trusting my gut and experience of what I look for to find a good dining experience.

This older Wired article has some more food for thought, pardon the pun.

Social as state-/group-owned

"Everyone knows that you do things this way," is a dangerous statement on two fronts:

  1. you lose the value in thinking when pressured by a "do it this way" culture
  2. and miss having your own experience to organize without knowing what it is like to think as you baseline

Do you have more confidence in your own ability to value an experience or do you yield to the opinion of others?

How about in business? Groupthink, decisions by committee, averaging things out to achieve excellence (solve this conundrum and you're a magician), meanwhile not develivering on your promises (reaching is more like it).

Yes, even great companies lose their way when following the herd:

Under Eric Schmidt ads were always in the background. Google was run like an innovation factory, empowering employees to be entrepreneurial through founder’s awards, peer bonuses and 20% time. Our advertising revenue gave us the headroom to think, innovate and create.

[…] Larry Page himself assumed command to right this wrong. Social became state-owned, a corporate mandate called Google+. It was an ominous name invoking the feeling that Google alone wasn’t enough. Search had to be social. Android had to be social. You Tube, once joyous in their independence, had to be … well, you get the point. Even worse was that innovation had to be social. Ideas that failed to put Google+ at the center of the universe were a distraction.

Suddenly, 20% meant half-assed. Google Labs was shut down. App Engine fees were raised. APIs that had been free for years were deprecated or provided for a fee.

The point is their way, their thinking, their culture, what made them special are put on hold to chase the success of another platform.

Opportunities to filter, and discover with social technologies abound. Possibility is with creation and deliberate trade — as businesses, and as individuals.


The workshop organization and material are so strong that I already have orders for corporate sessions. This means I'll be able to run this public event only once this year.

I test hypotheses with my own work all the time.

So I got creative with a third come-with-a- colleague option and introduced a discount code applicable to the full early bird and standard price tickets.

  • Use the code "work" to get $50 off regular price (5 tickets left)
  • Bring a colleague and you each pay $150 and get a discount code for the guide (10 tickets), or
  • Enroll in the early bird (you have until Tuesday March 20 to get $100 off regular price)

At Conversation Agent you decide.


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