Max Kaizen

Hunter of Genius.

Choose higher quality battles


The quality of our enemies* matters. In choosing the safer, easily-winnable challenges, we don’t get to figure out where our own bounds are. Too many gifted children underachieve as grown-ups. Largely, because they can easily knock over the tests that school (in particular) presents. They don’t often get the thrill of going to […]

September 14, 2016

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On Taking Breakthrough Intellectual Risks

PhaenixPhotos on Flickr CC BY

Break out your polymath tendencies. This is the kind of many worlds theory that might well save our collective asses.
Nothing refreshes creativity like spending time in a discipline other than the one you feel at home in, even if it’s awkward at first. We urgently need more intelligent people who can travel between multiple worlds with ease, and tinker across the borders for unexpected solutions. Pure logic alone is insufficient.

February 18, 2013

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Let’s build a starship already

Image: NASA

Cranking the limits is The 100 Year Starship, a jointly funded project of DARPA (the good folks who birthed the Internet) and NASA. It’s a call to our collective ingenuity and utterly bonkers audacity: interstellar flight!

February 10, 2013

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Unboxed: find the reluctant geniuses in your midst

not so obvious

“People who believe in the power of talent tend not to fulfill their potential because they’re so concerned with looking smart and not making mistakes. But people who believe that talent can be developed are the ones who really push, stretch, confront their own mistakes and learn from them.” – […]

January 27, 2013

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Don’t steal my ideas yo! Copyright 101 for creatives

What is Intellectual Property

Have you been feeling a bit sketchy about what you can do with other people’s work online, how to protect your own intellectual property, and how to make creative-wares using other artists’ works to enhance your own, without skidding into potentially dangerous infringement/piracy hazards, or shelling out $$$ in clearing […]

October 31, 2012

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Make life a good counter-offer


be very clear about HOW you want people to behave, specifically. (to buy, subscribe, surrender, eat broccoli get the idea)
be very clear (for yourself) about WHY you actually want that behaviour.
make it EASY for them to take the action!
offer motivation (start with feeling, then give an intellectual reason to substantiate if needed)
be prepared to try many different angles until you get to the point where getting the behaviour is simply a “no-brainer” to the other side. Congratulations you have arrived at win/win!

October 25, 2012

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A (non-beginners) guide to starting something

Pollice Verso. 1872 gladiator painting by Jean-Leon Gerome. Public domain image from Wikimedia Commons.

5 POLICIES for those who dare to BEGIN THINGS (when you aren’t a beginner anymore). “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better..”
There is virtue in overturning the rulings of your head, and let what moves you, be what you do.

March 22, 2012

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3 Hacks for 21st century Women Leaders

us army africa flickr science

Learn to love your data! I can’t emphasize enough how powerful and practical your decision-making can become with this layer of clarity applied to your business, health, life. Women battle the bias of being labelled as making more emotional/irrational decisions. One of the greatest gifts that computing has offered us is overlooked as something for the domain of researchers and analytics dorks.

I’m an abiding fan of hunting for evidence, and there are simple, free and easy-to-use tools to track what lies behind your suspicions – even if maths is your kryptonite, you too can learn to love data-tracking. Being clear kills fear.With the strength of bottom-line numbers we gain the confidence to speak into our leadership calls with clarity.

February 23, 2011

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Go Follow Yourself

Image Editor flickr nc

It’s been going on quietly for years; the brains and bodies of nerds and athletes have been coupled to all manner of sensors and data-netting gizmos (voluntarily and without medical intervention) from heart-rate monitors, biofeedback fingerware, sleep trackers, wearable cameras, oximeters, accelerometers, blood-pressure cuffs, GPS to old-fashioned stopwatches employed to […]

January 11, 2011

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Don’t wait

princess mlonyeni

“Don’t ever save anything for a special occasion. Being alive is the special occasion.”  – Mary Manin Morrissey There are those whose genius radiates from the heart. Their gift is not an EQ thing, it’s a steady, clear goodness that isn’t saintly or soppy either. It’s strong and funny and […]

November 26, 2010

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When thinking gets too expensive


What luck for rulers, that men do not think. – Adolph Hitler The Internet is a copy machine.  At a fundamental distribution level, but also at the human content level. Copying what we see and like, or realise gets results, is one of the keys to how humans have been […]

October 27, 2010

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Out where social media isn’t a vanity sport

rlabs training

There was a time not too long ago, when the bit that followed Marlon Parker‘s name on a speaker’s list was “Cape Peninsula University of Technology”. One of those times was at a dinner to wrap up the 4th iteration of Nomadic Marketing. Marlon was introducing the Reconstructed Living project […]

October 18, 2010

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