What is the Motivation of Making Gangplank Free?

A common question is “How does Gangplank work?  Why is everything free?”.  The common theory is that if you don’t charge people something they won’t see any value in it.  Maybe if they are working on an assembly line, but for creatives this just isn’t true.  Our value lies in three things..

1. Gangplank is nearly completely self-autonomous.  If something is missing someone steps up and does it or organizes with others to get it done.

2. Gangplank believes it’s okay to fail as long as you keep trying.  The goal is a journey of excellence.  Seek mastery in what you do.

3. Gangplank has purpose.  It believes that you should be making a positive impact in the community you live in.  Not just for today but in the long run.

None of this should be surprising or new.  Economists, Psychologists and Sociologists have been saying it for years.  I found this great talk from Dan Pink that is animated in real time that explains it well.

I hope this helps answer the question.

Political Bites: Cubs Spring Training Subsidy

What do you think of Mesa’s decision to fund the Chicago Cubs’ spring training facilities?

Apparently Mesa failed to do it’s homework.  Lake Forest College studied 30 cities over 30 years and found that 27 experienced no significant impact from new stadiums while three cities experienced a negative economic impact.  Does a company that made an estimated $58 million in PROFITS in 2008 and sold for $845 million in 2009 really need a subsidy?  Maybe Mesa should be investing in local entrepreneurs instead?


Sunday Review: Good To Great by Jim Collins

I have decided to do a dead simple book review every Sunday. Some of this is to just share what I’m reading. Rather than go with some complex rating system a book will either be a thumbs up or a thumbs down. Thumbs up means I highly recommend reading the book. A thumbs down means read something else unless you have free time on your hands. I will then do a one or two sentence at most comment on the book.
thumbs-upGood to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't

Take Away: Good historical view of some great companies over time. Wondering if some of the companies performance in last few years distracts from the book.

Sunday Book Review: Influencer: The Power to Change Anything by Kerry Patterson and Joseph Grenny

Thumbs up means I highly recommend reading the book. A thumbs down means read something else unless you have free time on your hands.

thumbs-downInfluencer: The Power to Change Anything

Take Away: Too clinical of a writing style made it hard to stay engaged, but content was decent. Once again deliberate practice is something that makes people shine.

Sunday Book Review: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni

Thumbs up means I highly recommend reading the book. A thumbs down means read something else unless you have free time on your hands.

thumbs-upThe Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

Take Away: Building Teams and Leading them is very simple, but very difficult. Reminds me a lot about Agile Software Development

Importing Manufacturing.. Boon or Bust?

The largest Chinese manufacturer of solar panels, Suntech Power, has announced that it is opening a manufacturing plant here in Metro Phoenix.  This is fabulous news.  I think.  It is hard to tell what it really means.  What we know is that they are looking to open a plant in the area that will be somewhere around 80,000 to 100,000 square feet.  They will employ about 75 people right away and perhaps double that at the end of next year.  They plan to invest about $10 million.  Some have sighted this as little more than a brand exercise to alleviate concerns that green jobs will all be outsourced over seas.  Regardless of what it is the announcement saw Suntech Power’s value increase 13% or $2.7 billion.  You can see why this move makes sense for them.

This is very similar to the announcements of Google coming to Phoenix in 2005.  Everyone is trying to take credit for landing this whopper of a fish.  Arizona State University says that it’s awesome research prowess landing the deal.  The Greater Phoenix Economic Council is claiming that they were the ones that got this deal done.  Then there are the politicians that cite their aggressive tax credit deals are what made this announcement possible.

The truth is all of them are probably responsible.  The question is could they be doing things that are more productive for our economy?  As we saw, Google didn’t stick around.  They cited lack of quality engineering talent.  Maybe if ASU was less concerned with being an economic development engine and land developer and instead spent their energy on a top notch engineering school.  We lost a lot more than 75 jobs in the last 12 months.  If only, GPEC would have been more focused on strategies to diversify our economy in the last decade instead of traveling the world looking to recruit it in.  Politicians are quick to put out tax credits for large corporations to move operational arms here, but where are the tax credits for local job creation coming from entrepreneurs.  Short of the angel tax credit, there isnt much.

Suntech welcome to Arizona.  We are glad to have you.  We hope to help you succeed.  We hope to see you in the Southeast Valley.

Mesa and Detroit.. The Next Movie Meccas?

Mesa city council recently approved a rezoning of 55 acres at Hawes and Germann roads for Gateway Studios.  Of course, it is convenient that Arizona has a significantly sized movie infrastructure tax credit.  If you ask me this whole thing reeks of land developers going for a quick handout.

I am all for bringing new economies into Metro Phoenix.  I am not sure that subsidization that is quite this heavy is the right approach.  It would be wonderful if this deal brought significant film production here, but I remain skeptical.  If it’s any consolation Detroit is doing a similar film incentive.  Have I mentioned before that “Incentives Kill Creativity?”  What are your thoughts?

Incentives Kill Creativity

The other day I had jotted down about wanting to talk about incentives killing creativity, because something someone said pissed me off. I put it in my GTD list and forgot about it. I came back today to actually write on the subject and got road blocked about what I was thinking on the topic. This is the problem with relying on passion for motivation. Whatever trigger pissed me off, I forgot about, so I googled for “incentives kill creativity” and this fabulous TED Talk came back as a top result. Daniel Pink is more qualified than me to talk about it so instead I’m asking you take 20 minutes and watch this TED Talk.

High performance in the future will come from intrinsic motivation. The principles will be based on Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose.  Think about it.