Seth Godin’s newsletter

* Practical elegance [ ]

The 16-foot canvas Prospector canoe made by the Chestnut Canoe Company is not the fastest or the lightest or the cheapest canoe but it is an elegant canoe.

Practical elegance is something that is available to all of us. If we choose, it can become the cornerstone of our work.

Some of us make a thing and many of us make a system. What makes something practically elegant is that it’s better, smoother, cleaner, more understandable, kinder, more efficient, friendlier or more approachable than it needs to be.

Microsoft Windows was never particularly elegant, as you could see the nuts and bolts underneath it. It was clunky, but it got the job done.

On the other hand, the Macintosh-for at least 20 years-was surprisingly elegant. When it broke, it broke in an elegant way. It knew things before it asked us to type them in, it had a smile on its face–it seemed to have a sense of humor.

When we create something with practical elegance, we are investing time and energy in a user experience that satisfies the user more than it helps the bottom line of the company that made it. Ironically, in the long run, satisfying the user is the single best way to help the bottom line of a company that doesn’t have monopoly power.

When a designer combines functionality with delight, we’re drawn to whatever she’s produced. That’s the elegance we’re searching for in our built world.

An enemy of practical elegance is persistent complexity, often caused by competing demands, network effects and the status quo. The latest operating system of the Mac is without elegance. When it crashes, and mine has been every few hours for the last week, it crashes poorly. The kernel panic reports are unreadable, by me and by their support folks. The dialogue boxes aren’t consistent, the information flow is uneven and nothing about the experience shows any commitment to polish, to delight or to the user.

Practical elegance doesn’t mean that the canoe will never capsize. It means that the thing we built was worth building, and it left the user feeling better, not worse, about their choice.

Too often, “customer service” has come to mean “answer the phone and give a refund.” But customer service begins long before something breaks. It’s about a commitment to the experience. Creating delight before it’s expected. Building empathy and insight into the interactions that people will choose to have with you.

Of course this takes effort. So do all the other things that go into a product or service. Apparently, though, this effort is perceived as optional by some.

As soon as a product or system creator starts acting like the user has no choice, elegance begins to disappear.

Less than 24 hours to go….

Marshall Goldsmith Movie to live.

I just wanted to confirm that in 24 hours from now the free exclusive online Premiere (Asia timezone) of The Earned Life starts, followed by a Live Q&A with the Cast & Crew.
The film is about 1h 30min, followed with a 60 minutes Q&A, so the whole event will take about 2 hours and 30 minutes in total.

Please check if you reserved your calendar for 2h 30min on Thursday, March 11th at the following times:

  • 8:30am Delhi
  • 10am Bangkok
  • noon Tokyo
  • 2pm Sydney
  • 7pm Pacific (the day before in this timezone, so on March 11th)
  • 10pm Eastern (the day before in this timezone, so on March 11th)

Everyone who registers will get access to the recording for 24 hours after the live event.
At the time of the event, please go to this page:
You will receive a reminder just before we start.

Could you please help to inspire more people?
Here is a social media template ready to share:
Join the premiere of #TheEarnedLifeMovie about Marshall Goldsmith’s legacy as the world’s #1 leadership thinker:

Here are more ready-made templates to share this free online premiere:

All the best,
Patryk & Kasia Wezowski
Directors/Producers of THE EARNED LIFE movie


Empyreanem-PIR-ee-ənPart of speech: adjectiveOrigin: Greek, mid 17th century
1Relating to heaven or the sky.
Examples of Empyrean in a sentence “The astronauts were awed by the empyrean domain outside their window.” “While the planetarium couldn’t fully replicate the empyrean wonder of the night sky, it came very close.”

Wisdom Quotes

Don’t flow with the river’s currents, instead go where it doesn’t and create your own.
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
We’re harvesting the fruits of the seeds planted by those before us. Make sure you plant the right seeds for those who come after you.
Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago. (Warren Buffett)

Seth Godin’s Newsletter

* What does it stand for? [ ]

A common writer’s trick is to introduce a new term by telling you its origin or what the initials stand for.


But knowing what the initials are for doesn’t tell us what it means.

And learning who coined a word (and why) is interesting but not the point.

We need a new word when the old words are insufficient to express a shared understanding. And the new word is a placeholder for a story.

If we share the same story about a word, about its place, its possibility and its promise–then we know what it stands for.

New words give us new ways to understand the world, because new words come with stories attached.

And disagreements often happen simply because while we’re using the same word as someone else, we’re not telling the same story they are.

Did you know….

Did you know…

… that today is the birthday of actor and martial artist, Chuck Norris (1940)? Trivia fans alike may all know that Chuck Norris can slam a revolving door; Chuck Norris doesn’t have to do anything for a Klondike Bar; Chuck Norris invented Texas; and last but not least, some people wear Superman pajamas. Superman wears Chuck Norris pajamas. 😉


Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“I’ve always found that anything worth achieving will always have obstacles in the way, and you’ve got to have that drive and determination to overcome those obstacles on route to whatever it is that you want to accomplish.”

— Chuck Norris