Starting Cube Special Update 2011-09

Today I have a special update. As fans have picked up on, many of the recent cubes have been about changing, improving, and failing. This has not been just due to the great messages all hitting at once, but has correlated with events in my personal & professional life. Now, a little about what has happened & what I am thinking.

Here is the rest in audio format:

[mp3 – 12:58]

When I started doing starting cube nearly 8 months ago there were a few goals:
– share great things I’ve found (or in the future others too)
– promote great things that
– help people develop solutions or offer value to the world

The idea was simple, provide a starting point & see what happens. Twice a week, a short audio podcast for people to chew on.

The style has shifted & changed over time, with more creativity of piecing together parts being the most recent focus.

The thing is that doing each episode takes a good bit of time, something we all have limits on.

Jim Collins produced a great concept in Good to Great called the Hedgehog concept. It says that the spot, area, or nitch you really want to be in combines three things:
– your strengths
– your passions
– your economic engine

My strengths are well-known, they involve organizations, systems, people, communications, processes, and other social science stuff.

My passions are pretty simple too — private solutions to public problems, I have more but that is the overarching theme.

Now economic engine.

Jim actually revised this a little for “social sector” or non-profit sector breaking it from a Profit per X into three individual sub-engines:
– cashflow
– brand equity
– time – people

I see that ringing true for all organizations & for all people.

That’s the area I have to work on, both as an individual and as an overall organization – that StartingCube is just a small mart of.

Moving forward I see three main options:

1. more people
2. less cubes per week
3. just less & random

1. more people
I would love others to be involved. If the right people appear and work with me on Starting Cube, it can continue & grow. If you want to help out, send me an email (use forum in sidebar)

2. less cubes per week – I’ve considered committing to 1 new cube per week & might go with this if I feel that some discussion or communication, or even a new podcast could be developed to help people more. This is sorta the middle ground.

3. just less & random
Bottom line is I will continue to go through audio, video and other media & want to share great stuff to people I believe it’ll help. I will continue to promote people I believe in and causes I want to see succeed. That’s just a part of who I am.

Thus, I don’t see StartingCube ever truly dying, but the release could be sporadic. The best thing one could do to keep up with releases is sign up for the email list.

Cube66 – Basics : Keys to Improving Your Results

Improving is a key to achieving a great result.

This cube looks at parts from Built to Last by Jim Collins & Poke the Box by Seth Godin.


[mp3 – 09:20] One-Click Subscriptions: Zune : iTunes : RSS


Starting Questions:

  1. What was the last experiment you tried? What will be your next?
  2. Are the projects you should eliminate from your life?
  3. What is your destination, either long term or next step?

Cube65 – Are Others Needed for Big Dreams?

Leadership is a topic that one tends to either contribute a lot to or nothing at all.

This cube looks at achieving big dreams and getting others involved by looking at leadership. First with Good to Great by Jim Collins, then Team of Rivals – looking at Abraham Lincoln, then a quotation by Vince Lombardi.

The first question is how much leadership is needed to achieve greatness.


[mp3 – 09:00] One-Click Subscriptions: Zune : iTunes : RSS


Starting Questions:

  1. Who has been someone who really influenced a group you were involved in?
  2. What have you learned about leading others?
  3. Do you need to find more people with the right skills, abilities, talent, or characteristics?

Cube64 – What to do Next

Given enough time & big enough goals – you will fail. The best news is that you will get another chance.

After missing one release date, we come back and look at Failing Forward by John C. Maxwell & NFL Films Presents episode on the Loyola Bulldogs (hulu)


[mp3 – 07:30] One-Click Subscriptions: Zune : iTunes : RSS


Starting Questions:

  1. Have you been setting goals that stretch yourself?
  2. Has something in your past been holding you back from stretching again?

Cube 63 – Pursuing Moving Cheese

Cheese gets moved, change happens, technology causes industries to disappear.
If almost all content goes to *free* – what is the secret that Monty Python & Engadget has found to making money off making content?

What you will hear is about a Dream – a dream that Monty Python had … then Chris Anderson from his book titled Free tell the story of why you could see the entire Monty Python clip for free (you can video below) & finally Jeff Jarvis on TWIG 82

[mp3 – 08:20] One-Click Subscriptions: Zune : iTunes : RSS


Starting Questions:

  1. What would you do if your primary way of earning money disappears?
  2. Are there ways you can produce more value at little or no cost to you?



Cube 62 – Feedback & Signals: Little Things for Success

You look down the fairway, see the flag waving in the breeze. You have calculated your shot based on the distance, elevation change, wind, and obstacles you can see or believe to be around.

You line up the shot, swing your club, and send the ball towards the green.

This cube mixes parts of Built to Last by Jim Collins with The Fifth Discipline by Peter Senge. Looking at core elements of improving and achieving your goals.


[mp3 – 07:11] One-Click Subscriptions: Zune : iTunes : RSS


Starting Questions:

  1. What was the strongest through that came to mind as you listened the first time?
  2. What is one reinforcing or rebalancing system you deal with?
  3. What is one reinforcing or rebalancing system you could improve upon?


Cube 61 – How to Get Things Done

 You have a dream. You might or might now know what it is, but there is something that you deep down want to do.

This cube deals with starting out on a path to achieve your dream, or getting things done (GTD). No matter if it is skysurfing, building a company, making a podcast or other art.

It takes the short Ted Talk by Matt Cutts (you can view below) and part of the book Linchpin by Seth Godin. Seth presents a plan, Matt does too, but you might see then after the same general steps, or you might not. That’s for you to decide.


[mp3 – 06:45] One-Click Subscriptions: Zune : iTunes : RSS




Starting Questions:

  1. Does Matt Cutts follow the steps that Seth Godin spelled out? Do you?
  2. How do you find a balance between starting & finishing (the two sides people have the most issue with)?

Cube60 – Overcoming Adversity

We live in turbulent times.

Employees are being laid off.
Unions are on strike.
Big companies threaten on your little business you have run.
Your investments look like their value dropped 10+% this week.

Basically, if you are not an all-powerful god, then this cube is for you & focused on what to do in the face of adversity. Featuring TWiT 308 (around 1 hour & 42 minute mark)  & Ray Lewis on ESPN’s NFL Live.


[mp3 – 06:45] One-Click Subscriptions: Zune : iTunes : RSS


Starting Questions:

  1. How are you expanding your capabilities and fanbase?
  2. What was the word of encouragement that struck you the most?
  3. When was the last time you helped someone; no matter if you received payment or not, when did you make someone else’s life better?

Cube59 – Do More : Building Fans & Customers

All organizations, and most people, are looking for more fans, supporters, volunteers, employees, customers, or simply put people who like them and what them to win.

This cube draws from two sources:
Real Life Real Estate Investing, a radio show out of Cincinnati, OH, hosted by Vena Jones-Cox & released as a podcast.
Thou Shall Prosper by Rabbi Daniel Lapin

The specific episode of Real Life Real Estate Investing originally aired the 29th of June 2011 [mp3 & rss]

The clips from Thou Shall Prosper come from the timestamps of roughly 6:54:30 and 8:48:12 into the close to 18 hour audiobook full of great thoughts and information.


[mp3 – 10:30] One-Click Subscriptions: Zune : iTunes : RSS


Starting Questions:

  1. Are there things you do that if you could not others would be lost & you need to write more down?
  2. How are you building stuff to make your fans/supporters/volunteers/employees/customers achieve their goals?
  3. How can you better communicate with people?

Cube58 – College vs Pro

Ben Roethlisberger is a Superbowl Winning Quarterback, who ended up in the wrong place & suspended from the NFL.

Merril Hoge is a former NFL quarterback & NFL analyst who came alongside Ben in his dark time and mentored him.


This cube pulls from Drive by Danial Pink, specifically the chapter titled “Autonomy”. It presents a small section, then shifts to an episode of ESPN’s NFL Live where Merril Hoge tells a little about his relationship with Ben. Tony Dungy adds some insight, he has also mentored NFL players who got into trouble.


[mp3 – 8:39] One-Click Subscriptions: Zune : iTunes : RSS


Starting Questions:

  1. Which of these is it more important and less important for you to have control or influence over? task, time, technique, team
  2. Have you seen situations, settings, or systems that teaches or helps people to accept more responsibility or autonomy?
  3. Any other thoughts?