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Marc Allred – You Might Ask, “So What?”

Marc Allred is a rock ‘n roller who is well read and well dressed, he blogs at MarcAllred.com and these are his good things.

Good things to read.

Declaration of Independence.  A good example of great writing. More importantly, it’s a great reminder of our responsibility to defend liberty and the pursuit of happiness of not just ourselves, but that of others; even those who make choices we don’t like.

Good to Great.  This book by Jim Collins has changed my life. Not only is it an amazing book about effective companies, it’s about how to live an effective life. The principles in this book apply to being a parent, manager, coach, and so many other roles. Summary of key points

The Element.  Another life changing book. While I am a product of the American graduate school system, I believe what Ken Robinson promotes in his book – that the education system as we know it in the United States is the exact opposite of what it needs to be. And those who make it through the system and do great things (I know many people in that category and do not consider myself yet in their company) are more a testament to the person than to the system because they accomplished things in spite of the failures of the system and not because of it. Summary of key points.  

Good things to watch.

Good Will Hunting.  Great writing by one of my favorites, Matt Damon. Great lines like, “Do you like apples?! Well I got her number, how do you like them apples?” Or, “You could have gotten the same education at the public library for only $2 in late fees.”

The idea that greatness doesn’t come from a degree, but ones inner passion to pursue greatness. That we all have something great within us is so empowering, but this movie also highlights how we are often the greatest impediment to our own success.

Bottle Rocket.  One of the first films featuring the Wilson brothers, Luke and Owen. You can see how Owen has since been pigeon-holed into roles similar to the one he played in this early movie – the wannabe fearless leader who is kind of clueless.

What’s great about this movie is the use of subtle dialogue and scene nuances. Some of the greatest lines can be missed if you’re not listening to what’s being said under Owen’s breath or what’s going on in the background. This movie teaches you to see past the action that’s happening in your face and try to pay attention to the overall context of the scene to really appreciate the significance of what is occurring. Much like life, there’s more to what’s going on than what you see in front of you.

The Transporter.  Just plain old senseless martial arts violence and great car chases. I dig this movie with Jason Statham because he doesn’t take his role into the dirt like he has in other movies with unnecessary sexual content, which in my opinion ruins the greatness of the martial arts highlights. Fun fights and car chases.

Good things to use.

Apple .  Yes, I go to the church of Apple. While there are a few things to gripe about regarding the company, I do love their products. From my indispensable iPhone to my MacBook laptop, I find a lot of value in how integrated all their products are.

HootSuite.  I use this product on a regular basis to manage my social media platforms. I use it to preload a weeks worth of tweets/status updates at time and this helps me maintain a consistent connection with those who are interested in the content I provide.

Bicycles.  Don’t have a good one right now, but intend to get one and use it to commute to work. For a good article on the value of using a bike, read Mr. Money Mustache’s take on it.

Connect with Marc on Twitter, @marcballred.

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Steve Jobs – Apple founder

These were Steve Jobs‘ good things. This content was found in Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson.

What are some good things you’ve read?

Autobiography of  a Yogi.  It was the only book Jobs downloaded to his iPad. He first read it as a teen, then when he visited India and each year since.

The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen.  The book influenced Jobs but Christensen had doubts about the iPod, saying “If Apple continues to rely on a proprietary architecture the iPod will likely become a niche product.”

Moby Dick.

What are some good things you’ve watched?

Prior to a 2011 trip Kona Village he put Chinatown, The Bourne Ultimatum, and Toy Story 3 on his iPad.  Three movies that all young people may want to watch.  His thoughts on globalization:

I had a real revelation. We were all in robes, and they made some Turkish coffee for us. The professor explained how the coffee was made very different from anywere else, and I realized, “So fucking what?” Which kids even in Turkey give a shit about Turkish coffee? All day I had looked at young people in Istanbul. They were all drinking what every other kid in the world drinks, and they were wearing clothes that look like they were bought at the Gap, and they are all using cell phones. They were like kids everywhere else. It hit me that, for young people, this whole world is the same now. When we’re making products, there is no such thing as a Turkish phone, or a music player that young people in Turkey would want that’s different from one young people elsewhere would want. We’re just one world now.

Bob Dylan concerts.  Meeting Dylan made Jobs was nervous, really nervous “because he was one of my heroes. And I was also afraid that he wouldn’t be really smart anymore, that he’d be a caricature of himself, like happens to a lot of people. But I was delighted. he was as sharp as a tack.” when he sat with Dylan in 2004.  The next time Dylan played near Jobs he asked his favorite song, sang it that night and then as Jobs was walking out, Dylan’s tour bus “came by and screeched to a stop. The door flipped open, “So, did you hear my song I sang for you?” Dylan rasped. Then he drove off.”

What are some good things you use?

501 Jeans and New Balance 992 shoes.  Jobs wanted to create a corporate culture like he had seen at Sony but was “booed off the stage” when he tried to introduce a vest to Apple’s staff.  Instead Jobs got the designer to make some of his signature black turtlenecks – he made and gave Jobs one hundred of them.

Apple products.  What drove him to create them?

What drove me? I think most creative people want to express appreciation for being able to take advantage of the work that’s been done by others before us. I didn’t invent the language or mathematics I use. I make little of my own food, none of my own clothes. Everything I do depends on other members of our species and the shoulders that we stand on. And a lot of us want to contribute something back to our species and to add something to the flow. It’s about trying to express something the only way that most of us know how – because we can’t write Bob Dylan songs or Tom Stoppard plays. We try to use the talents we do have to express our deep feelings, to show our appreciation of all the contributions that came before us, and to add something to that flow.  That’s what has driven me.