Google+ won’t win.

It may ‘win’ for a year or two, but it won’t win in the long run — it isn’t the ‘Facebook Killer’ that everyone is heralding it to be.

When people say ‘Facebook Killer,’ they really mean ‘Next Big Thing.’ Most people don’t care about the ‘Killing Facebook’ part of it — they care about the next big innovation that will become the primary platform by which they connect with people across the globe for the next 5 to 7 years. It isn’t Google+.

You can’t kill Facebook by creating a slightly-improved version of Facebook. Why? Because no one wants a better Facebook. They may say they do, but they don’t. Steve Jobs (a master of innovation) famously says, “You can’t just ask your customers what they want, because they don’t know what they want.” In reality, they want something new entirely — something they haven’t even thought of yet.

Whoever can create an online platform that connects people in a completely-unexpected, simple-to-use, fully-integrated, and universally-accessible way will dominate the web for the next 5 to7 years. Barring serious improvements, it won’t be Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. When it does come around, you won’t even realize you need it — until you do.

Every industry has a Facebook. Unless it’s a necessity, don’t spend time creating better Facebooks. It’s not sustainable. You’ll never change the world by creating slightly better products than your competition. Develop a product that no one knows they need, then convince the world that they need it. Create an entire market that didn’t exist before, and force your future competitors to follow your lead.


Just because something happens repeatedly doesn’t make it right, healthy, or logical. It may make sense to you contextually, but take a step back. Don’t accept the unacceptable simply because you’ve habitually conditioned yourself to believe that it’s normal or permissible.

Your iTunes library does this to you all the time.

You create a killer playlist of your favorite Jay-Z and Coldplay tunes. These two artists have (almost) nothing in common. Yet, I guarantee you that if you listen to that playlist frequently, something very interesting will happen. After you hear Coldplay’s string-driven ‘Viva la Vida’ fade out and Jay-Z’s hard-hitting ‘Run This Town’ fade in enough times, you’ll begin to accept that transition as normal. In fact, you’ll begin to expect it. Even when you’re listening to a Coldplay-only playlist, you’ll start anticipating Rihanna’s “Feel it comin’ in the air…” vocal line at the beginning of ‘Run This Town’ to begin as ‘Viva la Vida’ closes.

No authority in the music industry has given you any reason to expect that transition to occur, yet you do. Every time. You’ll probably even begin to hear it in your head when it doesn’t happen. There’s no musical explanation for your expectation — you’ve simply conditioned yourself to believe that’s what should happen.

When you’re only talking about musical expectations from listening to an iTunes playlist, this fact is entirely insignificant. But when you are dealing with a boss who routinely under-utilizes your talents, an employee who is habitually late for meetings, a volunteer who consistently speaks negatively about your organization, or a friend who regularly doesn’t fulfill commitments, the consequences of your conditioned acceptance are larger than yourself.

In every one of these situations, you’re not the only one who’s suffering. Your boss is costing your organization time, money, and resources by not letting you work at your full potential. Your employee is not only disrespecting your company and team, but creating habits that will follow him in every step of his future career. You never know who your volunteer will be talking to the next time he decides to bad-mouth your organization’s latest initiative. You’re not the only person who you’re friend is letting down — he’s doing the same thing to all of his other friends too.

Refuse to settle for what you have conditioned yourself to believe is permissible. Re-evaluate your expectations — be the one who takes a stand the next time you find yourself accepting something unacceptable.


Photo Credit: neomusicstore via Flickr



Us vs. The World Mentality. Every startup feels like they are taking on the world. They don’t have one, single, identifiable competitor to focus on — they have to beat out everyone. Because of this, they work harder and with more urgency than anyone else. They don’t feel complacent with their market share, because they don’t have any.

Something to Prove. Every startup knows they have something to prove. Whether it’s to their investors, their board, their customers, or their friends and family, they have to prove something to someone. They don’t have a name or reputation to rest their laurels on — they have to build it.

Reachability. Want to get in touch with the CEO of a startup? Send him an email. You’ll almost definitely get a reply. Want to get in touch with a upper-level manager at any Fortune 500 company? Shoot him an email. You probably won’t hear back. There’s something to be said about being available to those that take the time to reach out to you. Obviously, there’s a line to be drawn at some point; this can only be taken so far. Steve Jobs can’t afford to respond to every email that’s sent to is entirely-public email address — but, he has one.

Personal Investment. Every startup has an investment from its founders. Whether it be time, money, or resources (likely all of the above), they made a personal investment into their venture and they have something (sometimes everything) to lose if it tanks. They can’t afford to adopt the “salary mindset” — their company has to grow and be successful for them to see returns on their investments. If growth is stagnant, slow, or non-existent, they lose.

Future Market Leader Mindset. Every startup thinks they can be the next Google. They whole-heartedly believe that they can be the market leader, and that they have what it takes to get there. I’ve never heard the founders of a startup saying “well, we hope to have some market share one day.” They believe they can go to the top, and they work with the drive, determination, confidence and swagger of  knowing they are going to get there.


Photo Credit: TexasGurl via Flickr


1. Leadership inherently involves people. Leaders lead people. In some way, shape, or form every leader is influencing other human beings.

2. Influencing other people is a serious deal. You’re changing some aspect of who that person is. Whether it be the way they see the world, the decisions they are going to make, or the things they will decide to forego because of your influence — you are changing them. This is a big deal.

3. It only takes once. I’ve learned this one from experience. It takes months of building your reputation as a leader — as someone that people want to follow — but only one poor decision to lose your entire platform. One miscommunication, misrepresentation of the truth, or poorly worded comment and you may very well destroy everything you’ve worked to build.

4. Leadership is exponential. Whether you’re a good leader or a bad leader, your influence will be compounded. As your influence people, they will begin to influence others in similar ways. This can be your biggest asset or your worst nightmare.

5. It’s always happening. You’re always leading and you’re always being led. Whether you want to admit it or not, there’s someone that you look up to, admire, or respect who is somehow influencing who you are. Conversely, you are that person to someone else.

Lead and be led well.

Photo Credit N-ino via Flickr


“Bootstrapping.” If you know any entrepreneurs, you probably hear this word often. Bootstrapping is all about succeeding in what you’re doing with nothing more than your own resources and talents. It’s how most entrepreneurs define what they’re doing and how they’re functioning as a company — usually out of necessity — before they receive significant external investment. Bootstrapping (sometimes) works for startup companies. It never works for leadership development.

You can’t bootstrap leadership. In other words, there’s no such thing as a self-made leader. People who do dynamic, world-changing things always have a story to tell of someone investing in them, inspiring them, or setting an example for them before they became the person they are today.

I’ve spent alot of time thinking about what made the people I admire who they are. A common trait that I have found is that they aligned themselves with someone very early on in their lives who was doing something big. They found someone who was changing the world in some way, no matter how small or large, and they got involved with what that person was doing. For some of them, this led to a future partnership or company, and every one of them learned valuable lessons from the experience. It almost always took them going out of their way to seek out this person to work for, with, or around and (most importantly) learn from — it doesn’t usually happen the other way around.

More often than not, this person they sought out turns out to be a pivotal part of their future success story. I’ve heard multiple stories from people who point to one conversation they had with someone who they admired that literally changed the course of their lives and inspired them to do what they’re doing today. Get yourself into a place where those kind of conversations can happen. If you can find someone who is doing something big and somehow get involved in or around what they’re doing, good things will happen. At the very least, you’ll come away with valuable lessons that you would never have learned otherwise, and you very well may find yourself with opportunities you would have never dreamed of. If you can put yourself in a position to learn from and be involved with someone of this calibre — someone whose footsteps you wouldn’t mind following in one day — you’ll see huge dividends in the future.

You’d be surprised at what people are willing to do for you if you just ask. Successful people want to pass on their knowledge and experience to others — especially people they see as next-generation leaders. Find someone who is doing something big and see if there’s a possibility to be involved in what they’re doing. Better yet, prove to them that you are the person they should spend their time and energy investing in. You may not be able to prove that to them right away, but the first step is getting in the door and getting involved in what they are doing.

They can’t pay you for your time? Do it anyways. They live in another country? Buy your plane ticket. It’ll force you out of your comfort zone? Enjoy it.

Do whatever it takes to make it happen — take a few risks. Actually, take alot of risks. You never know what opportunities could lie ahead of you if you aren’t willing to ask.


Photo Credit: Leonard John Matthews via Flickr


Rather than write some grand ‘What is ReCorporate All About’ post to kick this thing off, I’m just going to jump right in. If you’re interested, you’ll find out what it’s all about soon enough.

I’m working in Nairobi, Kenya right now. Often, I’ll ride my bicycle around town rather than taking a car. Traffic is notoriously bad in Nairobi, so the bike is actually faster (generally).

To complicate matters, the roads here are quite bad — riddled with pot-holes, rocks, and cracks. After riding on them for a few weeks, you quickly learn to be selective about the riding path that you choose. Obviously, the end goal is a smooth ride — to choose the path with the fewest bumps.

When I first started riding in Nairobi, I’d decide which path to take based on what I saw in the next few feet ahead of my front tire. This works great if your goal is to find short spurts of smooth riding, but often a few feet of smooth road will lead you across another 25 feet of incredibly bumpy road.

Experience teaches you that you’ll enjoy a much smoother ride if you focus not on the terrain 2 or 3 feet in front of you, but on what you see 10 or 20 feet in front of you. Sometimes you’ll find yourself making the conscious decision to ride through a few feet of rough patches in order to reach a significant amount of smoother terrain. It’s all about forward-thinking and being concerned with long-term success rather than short-term gain.

Everyday we are all faced with decisions like mine on the bike. Whether it’s a strategic business decision, a restructuring decision within your organization, or simply deciding  how to use your time today — alot of decisions can be viewed through this lens. We all want to be comfortable and happy in the short term, but enjoying comfort and happiness in the long-term will far surpass the satisfaction you gain in the short-term.

It’s easy to choose to stare at what you see a few feet in front of you in hopes of some short-term reward. It’s a whole lot harder to further your gaze and focus on long-term, meaningful rewards. This is where the lasting, dynamic, world-changing successes lie for the few that do.