Since 1988, James Niehues has hand-painted 255 trail maps for 175 ski mountains all over the world. His work is immediately recognizable–the watercolor paintings beautifully illustrate each run, with tiny snow-capped trees surrounding them. A grand, pastoral view of the mountain’s neighbors tops off each splendid landscape painting. Now, all of his work will be available in an Kickstarter-funded eponymous coffee-table book called The Man Behind the Map.
Jason doesn’t pay much attention to what anyone else is doing or thinking. He reads the paper once a day. He has no long-term goals for himself or his business. Everything at Basecamp is designed in six week sprints; if something can’t get done in six weeks, they don’t build it.
Jason and his team focus intently on what they are doing now, discovering what is most important to their customer and doing the best job they can to deliver that. They aren’t driven by an arbitrary growth goal. Years ago, they even decided to stop selling a few of their ancillary products. They felt their flagship Basecamp product was world-class and other complementary products were not. Less was more.
Life can be improved by adding, or by subtracting. The world pushes us to add, because that benefits them. But the secret is to focus on subtracting.
Imagine a horizontal line, with 0 on the left and 20 on the right. I want to be in the middle, at 10. But I’m at 17.
“What can I add to get to 10? I tried adding 8 but that didn’t work. Maybe 3 would help. I should go all-out and add 50.”
No amount of adding will get me where I want to be.
Source: Subtract | Derek Sivers
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