Proof of Concept

Fail quickly. Fail often. Fail always. Then succeed. 

Innovation and new ideas require failure. Innovation is a road littered with failed ideas, failed attempts and most often abandoned goals. It’s too easy to give up, too easy to end the search and always too easy to go further. 

But, thats the thing - you have to go further, and you have to get there quickly. Proof of concept can either make or break your idea. A solid proof of concept can convince a room full of investors that your project is the one. Or it can finally drive the final nail in the coffin, so you can move on to the next one and do it all over again. And if the next one fails, you do it again. Just do it quickly. 

#everydaycreativebattle 209/365

This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking. 
Dmitry N. Rusakov

Lost & Found

It’s easy to lose something. It’s difficult to find it again. 

If you loose your keys, you can’t get where you’re going. Not only that, you have to retrace your steps and go back and find out where you lost them. Maybe you’ll find them. Maybe you won’t. Maybe someone else picked up your keys and found their way to your home. 

Perhaps it’s easier to ensure you never loose your keys. Perhaps it’s always better to ensure you protect that which is important. Whether it’s keys, people or brand philosophy or just basic fundamentals when it comes to doing business - putting a system in place to protect whats important can save you a lot of long term headache. 

#everydaycreativebattle 208/365

This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking. 
Dmitry N. Rusakov

The argument

No one likes them. Not many people like to find themselves in one. But, the argument is a crucial part of any effective team. 

It’s worth noting that the argument is most effective when the team has the best intentions in mind - for the team and what the team is responsible for. It’s not about the personality. It’s not about personal victories or visions. It’s about the result. If every person on the team is looking to achieve the same type of result, the argument will rise through the different way you can go about it. In this case, the argument is crucial. It’s healthy. It’s absolutely necessary. 

The argument allows the team to bring out all the potential options. It allows the team to ask the questions and seek appropriate answers. No one knows everything, but a well rounded team should be able to arrive at a conclusion that makes sense. 

So, don’t avoid the argument. Embrace it. Look forward to it. And be prepared for it. Your project and your team can be better with it, than without it.

#everydaycreativebattle 207/365

This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking. 
Dmitry N. Rusakov

The impossible

I'm in the process of reading Phil Knight's book Shoe Dog. Ive been avoiding it for some reason ever since it came out. I assumed too much. I figured it's irrelevant. Maybe it's pompous. Maybe it's like Facebook - just some kid with a bunch of VC funding. It couldn't be further from those assumptions. 

Still learning. Still changing. Too many assumptions. The mind still closed when it should be open. I should have absorbed this book ages ago. It speaks volumes. It offers insights. It talks about making the impossible. A pursuit of something greater. Something new. I've been looking for books like this - and yet somehow ignored this one. Alas. 

The lessons are many. But, the one I see come back again and again - impossible is definitely possible. It's all a state of mind. What do you choose to do?

#everydaycreativebattle 206/365

This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking. 
Dmitry N. Rusakov

Forget the word "talent".

It’s been well written about. While talent may help in some cases, jn just as many instances inherent talent can be a deterrent in becoming great. Natural talent sometimes leads to a close minded point of view. Why learn something when you’ve always been good at it? Why work to improve when it all came naturally before? And if one ability came naturally, why not another?

It’s easy to look at someone who’s doing what seems like effortless work and chuck it up to talent. It’s easier to assume she’s great at what she does because she was born with that ability. The reality is a lot more difficult to accept - that likely, since you noticed her work, she’s been working on this for far longer and harder than you think. It’s more likely that there’s hard work and toil, a constant second guessing. An inherent drive to be better. 

The creative people you admire might be talented. But, to break into the stage of being known and admired requires way more than talent. It requires commitment, drive and a constant ability to improve yourself.

#everydaycreativebattle 205/365

This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking. 
Dmitry N. Rusakov

Which way do you compare?

Up or down?

Do you look at your work, knowing it’s not where you want it to be, and attempt to justify it? We all do it. 

“Yeah but its definitely better than his work or that project…”

It’s easy to compare down. You look at the stuff that may not be as good as your work and you feel good. You think to yourself that you’re better than people who have had some success. It makes you feel good. So there’s some merit to compare down. But, what if you compare up?

How do you compare with the best in the world? With the leader? With the work of those you admire? 

Well, sure, we can make excuses and reason with ourselves that they have way more experience or more money or more credentials. We can justify why we’re not quite there and why that’s ok. But one thing remains clear: When we compare up, we know we have a long way to go. When we compare up, we look forward and try to find a path. It may not feel good to compare up, but it needs to be done if you’re going to make yourself better. 

When you stop comparing up, you stop growing. You freeze in the middle of the pack. You become irrelevant and old, and quickly forgotten. Always up. Aways forward.

#everydaycreativebattle 204/365

This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking. 
Dmitry N. Rusakov

What's the purpose

Doing something for the sake of doing it can be a liberating experience. You might be exploring ideas or concepts that you’ve always wanted to. Maybe you’re getting them out on a page - letting them form in reality. It’s healthy to explore. It’s soulful. 

The element for success though lies in the purpose behind the work you might be doing. If it’s something just for you, if it’s purpose is to scratch that creative itch - then mission accomplished. But, if you’re out there looking to take it to the next level, if you’re looking to inspire others and lead a movement, if you’re want to form a tribe - purpose how to be there, and it has to be meaningful. 

So what’s the purpose? If your answer goes beyond “I just do it because I like it”, then you might have something of potential and value. If you can’t nail down your purpose in clear terms, it means you have some work to do.

#everydaycreativebattle 203/365

This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking. 
Dmitry N. Rusakov

Pushing ever further

Refine. Refine. Refine.

You have to push the idea further. Whatever it may be. Whatever stage the project has reached. Whatever level of difficulty - it can go further. 

The brand can be more accessible.

The story can be more emotional.

The marketing can be more engaging.  

The experience can be more meaningful.

The product can be more functional. More beautiful. More long lasting.

The manufacturing process can be simpler. 

The team can be more efficient. 

The decisions can be quicker.

Everything can be refined. Over and over. 

So when. Do you stop? You stop when your schedule calls for it.

#everydaycreativebattle 201/365

This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking. 
Dmitry N. Rusakov

If you don't, someone will

Got an idea? A way to improve upon an existing product? A new piece of art? A new way to talk about something? An idea for a book? Got anything in mind that you’d like to see out there that you currently can’t find?

The thing is, anyone who’s creative will likely answer yes to a similarly posed question. The other thing is - likely less than 10% of people ill actually act on starting that book, or creating that piece of art, or improving that product. Their idea will likely die along with countless others. That is, until they see something similar out in the wild, likely shortly after and get reminded “oh yeah I was going to do something similar”.

The truth of the matter is: ideas are out there. We all look and consume a lot of similar information. If interests overlap, than so does the intake of information and inspiration. And if the intake is similar - the solutions become similar as well. There’s 2 choices. Either broaden your scope to acquire new and more original ideas or act quicker and get moving on ideas as soon as you have them. And again, non of that even matters if you refuse to actually start. If you choose not to start, someone out there just might choose the harder thing, and start.

#everydaycreativebattle 200/365

This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking. 
Dmitry N. Rusakov

Do the work you want to do

Do you want to do what you’re doing right now? If all worry and stress is off your shoulders, what would you do? Where would you put your energy? Most are likely not doing their life's work. 

It’s not “follow your passion” - I think its “Do the work you want to do”. 

Work is overlooked. Work is rare. Work is usually avoided. If you’re not doing the work you think you should be doing, then start taking steps to get closer to your goal. In the end, money is irrelevant - your life’s work however, that’s the thing that you’ll remember. 

#everydaycreativebattle 199/365

This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking. 
Dmitry N. Rusakov

Brand forward

 Sometimes we forget what century this is. And by we, I mean people who were born in the 20th century. 

We live in a world of having a super computer in your pocket. A world where virtual reality is being made more comfortable and is expected to be perfected in 5 years time. A world where Artificial Intelligence is the next big chase for the biggest tech companies in the world. A world where private companies have their sights set on space… and Mars. 

The modern era moves quickly. The landscape is changing so fast it may leap itself. As companies are coming around to being on the internet, we’ll need to deal with virtual reality soon enough. What does a VR storefront look like? 

Whatever your industry - you must think forward, you must be on the verge of the new and you must always think of application. How do you fit into the future? If you don’t define that, then there won’t be a you in the future.

#everydaycreativebattle 198/365

This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking. 
Dmitry N. Rusakov

The payoff

That’s what we’re doing it for isn’t it? Retirement funds. Savings accounts. Vacation time. A steady paycheck. A bonus. A party. A pat on the back…

We’re all in it for the payoff. 

I think if you zoom out a little and really consider the true nature of a payoff and truly calculate it, you can begin to make different decisions with how you spend your time. Working 80 hours a week for a bonus? How does your payoff compare to that of the company? How does your payoff compare to your boss’s payoff? 

What is the payoff for you if you put all your effort into something more meaningful? What is the payoff if you spend 80 hours a week on something you care about? 

The answer is different for different people. If we understand the payoff, it can help guide our decisions. The trick is looking at it long term and translating it into near term.

#everydaycreativebattle 197/365

This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking. 
Dmitry N. Rusakov

Just going for it

Thats what you should be doing.

Got an inkling of an idea? Got a project in mind? Got a way to contribute to the world? Got something to prove? Got something you think you can improve?

If the answer is yes.. then you should be going for it. If they answer is “yes, but…” then you need to re-evaluate your situation. There shouldn’t be a “but”. It’s that simple. If you got something important enough, you should be going for it. It can be small steps, it can be big leaps… whatever it is - just go for it.

#everydaycreativebattle 196/365

This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking. 
Dmitry N. Rusakov

Managing difficulty

Not everything comes easy. There are times when you’ll have to manage a difficult situation. Whether it’s in a project or within a team, whatever it may be, you’ll have to approach the situation head on. 

It’s like my last post (and a few others over the last year) - you have to start and face the difficulty. You have to define the difficulty and define the problem. Once the problem is defined - a solution should present itself. 

Here’s the thing - whatever the situation you’re facing, the information to solve is likely available at your fingertips if you have access to a cell phone. Between the internet and the countless books on any subject, you can find out more about whichever issue you’re facing. You can study it and address it accordingly. The worst thing you can do is to put it off, avoid it and hope it goes away. That never works. 

Like anything in life - it’s best to just dive in and solve it.

#everydaycreativebattle 195/365

This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking. 
Dmitry N. Rusakov

Just f*cking start

It’s crazy to think about how many talented folks are out there sitting on ideas. It’s also crazy to realize how many world class art and design is out there in the ether - just waiting to be created. Starting is like this impossible idea. Some tend to avoid it. They overthink it. They over prepare for it. They over exaggerate it. They simply make it bigger than it is. 

Even in exercise, most say they enjoy it once they start - but, most don’t start often enough. Even knowing that you like it during the exercise, and knowing that you feel great after the exercise, and knowing that it’s good for you in the long run is not enough to get you going and get you started. 

I don’t know what the solution is besides being more head strong and more focused. Perhaps thinking less can help some people. Go into robot mode. Schedule it and get going - doesn’t matter if you’re in the mood or if you’re able or if you’re tired. You start something. Just fucking start it, and see where it goes.

#everydaycreativebattle 194/365

This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking. 
Dmitry N. Rusakov

The odds

The odds are stacked against you and everyone else out there. The odds aren't good. 

That’s why it makes no sense to even pay attention to the odds. The “is it possible?” question is really the only on that matters. 

Is it possible to reach customers in new ways?

Is it possible to get customers become brand ambassadors?

Is it possible to start a company based on a basic idea?

Is it possible to be the best in the industry?

Whoever the question, if the answer is “yes, it’s possible” then there is a way. You might think that in order for it to be possible you’d need impossible support. But within the struggle and the question lies the answer. What do you need? Talent? Money? Time? Effort? Once you know what you need, it’s much easier to go ahead and do it. So, it’s not the odds. It’s possibility.

#everydaycreativebattle 193/365

This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking. 
Dmitry N. Rusakov

Set impossible goals

It’s not enough to set a goal. I think you have to set an impossible goal. Impossible in the sense that it goes beyond what you should be doing, but also is somewhat achievable. In order to be great, you have to set the bar beyond yourself. You have to imagine that you’ll grow and evolve in the process. You have to believe that you will be successful. 

I’ll go back to SpaceX and Musk going beyond just starting a rocket company. The impossible goal is to have a transport system for the whole solar system. It’s impossible - until it is. And I think that’s the saying that you have to live by if you want to achieve something great. 

#everydaycreativebattle 192/365

This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking. 
Dmitry N. Rusakov

Close the gap

There’s always a gap with a creative professional, or aspiring creative professional. The gap is between your taste and your ability. You might know and understand what looks great and what’s right for the market. You might have fantastic taste. Your ability is usually behind your taste. If you’re like most creative folks, you’re hypercritical on your own work - and for good reason. It’s likely not up to the level of your taste. 

You need to understand the fact there is a gap between your taste and your ability. You need to understand that the gap is normal. Everyone who’s constantly improving has this gap. The goal is to constantly and consistently work to close the gap while continuing to further improve and further your taste. This is a never-ending endeavor. This is the creative life - the constant battle with the gap.

#everydaycreativebattle 191/365

This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking. 
Dmitry N. Rusakov

Adjust as needed

Creating new things is difficult. It takes energy and effort to make something unique and remarkable. If you have a clear vision, it helps. It helps because you know where you’re going, where your team is heading. It helps to make the difficult decisions along the way. And there are a lot of difficult decision to make when making anything significant. 

Things will change. Not everything can be planned for. You need to have the freedom and the ability to adjust to the situation. To adapt. To shift. To course correct. All of that is easier if you understand the end goal. All of that is possible when there’s a vision. 

Without vision, adjustments lead to a completely new path and a completely different result. And sure, sometimes that result may actually end up being something new - but, it’s unlikely that it will be something remarkable. 

#everydaycreativebattle 190/365

This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking. 
Dmitry N. Rusakov