What Thom Friedman Taught Me

I just returned from The New York Times Global Forum in San Francisco, hosted by Thom Friedman, NYT columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner. Thom did not disappoint, nor did his slate of speakers!

Thom led off the day with a amazing keynote entitled “The Next New World.” He gave savvy advice for firms who want to excel in this new “Hyper-Connected World.” Here’s five of his how to’s:

1. “Average” is officially over. The market will kill your business if you do not bring something extra to the party.
2. Think like an immigrant. Have “paranoid” optimism. Always be hungry.
3. Think like an artisan. Create unique value that’s as if “you carved your initials in your work.” In other words, it can’t be duplicated.
4. Always be in beta. In other words, you must stay in a mode of continuous improvement on your product or service.
5. Think like a waitress at Perkins….”I gave you extra fruit.” She knew she needed to communicate that fact to earn her proper tip. She was being entrepreneurial.

Bottom line, Thom told us to always be investing in ourselves. To make it in this new age, we must “invent” our way out of the crowd and into a unique space where we offer value our buyers cannot find elsewhere.

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