Nordic Track Book Club Review: Flip!

With a title of Flip: How to Turn Everything You Know on Its Head–and Succeed Beyond Your Wildest Imaginings you may think this book from Fast Company writer Peter Sheahan is mostly hype.  It isn’t.  Instead it provides many considerations in keeping your business fresh and continually flipping your mindset to maintain a successful career.  Here’s Sheahan’s description of “Flip” on page one. “A shift in mindset and thinking, often a counter-intuitive approach, that reflects the hard reality of the business landscape as it is today and not as it used to be.” 4-out-of-5 [NordicTrack] Ski Stars.




p.3 Mindset flexibility, not proprietary expertise or resources will define the successful businesses and leaders of the future.

To keep pace of rising expectations you can’t just be fast, good or cheap, or even any two of these.  Instead you must recognize that fast, good, cheap–all three then add something extra–has become the price of entry in every industry.

To satisfy customers’ needs for engagement and contact, remember that business is not business.  Business is personal.

p.8 Four forces of change. 1) increasing compression of time and space, 2) increasing complexity, 3) increasing transparency and accountability, 4) increasing expectations on the part of everyone for everything.

p.25 What we are satisfied with today we will not be satisfied with tomorrow.  A satisfied need no longer motivates. Things that were once a desire rapidly become necessity.

p.32 When we delay our action we deny ourselves the intensely valuable feedback that comes from putting the product to the task in front of a real consumer, who spends real money, and uses it in real life situations.

Act first, plan later. Action creates clarity.

p.41 In the TV show, House acts boldly on the belief that prescription is diagnosis, and assuming the patients survive, adjusts their treatment according to their reaction to the first treatment.

p.49 I say again, Move!  Do something.  Whatever fear you are feeling, trust me, everyone else is freaking out about the same things.  The ones who will come out on top will be those who act in spite of their fear.

p.54 If you want to succeed at anything you’ve got to take a lot of shots.  You’ve got to throw plenty of mud against the wall to see what sticks and what doesn’t.

Allocate a reasonable amount of time each week to try new things.

p.76 To achieve competitive advantage you must lead the league in at least one category and be industry standard in the remainder.

p.94 An indicator that Skype will ultimately be profitable for eBay, in my view, is the growing universe of 3rd party products made specifically for use with Skype.

p.101 Absolutely positively sweat the small stuff.  Style is substance.  Fashion is function. Feelings are the most important facts. The soft stuff is the hardest stuff and the hardest to get right.

p.133 Your job is to find what your story is, the story of your brand, the story of your company, the story of your product. Then scream it from the rooftops.

p.154 Every decision you make must build the story.

p.157 They find the common ground between their own reality and the ones of their customers, and design everything they do to build and tell a story that reflects that common ground.

p.161 Capitalism is built on trust.

p.171 If you’re a new engineer who’s betting on applying the rote engineering knowledge you learned at engineering school then, yes, you should be worried.  If you’re betting instead on a lifetime of learning and unlearning and on leveraging relationships with valued customers and clients, you should be confident of your ability to make your way.

p.189 Don’t make technology your obsession. Make connecting with your customers and staff your obsession. If technology helps you do this, then use it.




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A long time developer, I was an early adopter of Linux in the mid-90's for a few years until I entered corporate environments and worked with Microsoft technologies like ASP, then .NET. In 2008 I released Sueetie, an Online Community Platform built in .NET. In late 2012 I returned to my Linux roots and locked in on Java development. Much of my work is available on GitHub.