I was recently asked to go fishing with some friends in Sedona, Arizona, on Grasshopper Creek. Apart from many interesting challenges, this is a beautiful creek in the Red Rock and one on the most beautiful destinations in the world.
So why exactly do people fish? Ask most anglers why they enjoy spending time in the outdoors and you’re likely to hear the word “freedom.” Spending a day afield casting for trout on a cool mountain stream or bobber fishing for bluegills on a pond helps to release us from our highly stressful, everyday environment. Nothing brings on the sense of being alive and helps to rebuild our personal reserves like a day spent interacting with nature.
Fishing has a way of fulfilling an age-old need of pursuing and catching. The thrill lies in the challenge, such as stalking an elusive wild trout or matching the hatch. But there are many who will be quick to profess that it’s not the catching of fish that’s important, but the immeasurable life lessons that you will experience along the way.
“Fishing provides that connection with the living world. It gives you the opportunity of being totally immersed, turning back into yourself in a good way. A form of meditation, some form of communion with levels of yourself that are deeper than the ordinary self.” – Ted Hughes
My partners were Rob, a successful budding entrepreneur in the Internet world, Shafeeq, a successful director of medicine in Neurology and Electrodiagnostic disorders, and Jon, a senior partner in law for investments and securities. They were my company on a two-day fishing experience. We discussed many subjects including innovation and strategy of new inventions and creativity. In summary we came up with what strategies you should be consider from an embryonic blank page to insight, which were:
4. Customer connected
5. Observe insights
6. Ask the right questions
7. Always challenge
8. Create a think tank
Rob mentioned one really cool business that was launched in 2010: Pulse, an elegant news reader. The app has been downloaded by more than 20 million people and stands as one of the original fifty apps in Apple’s App Store Hall of Fame. Interesting enough the founders got many things right:
- They started with a ‘driven’ mindset and were not content to merely comply with the standard requirements of their graduate program.
- They minimized planning and maximised action, interacting with customers immediately.
- They prototyped quickly and cheaply, fueling thousands of variations that ultimately resulted in their wildly popular final product.
- They thrived in spite of time constraints, investment and spurred on by necessity to constantly develop creative ideas at an accelerated pace.
What companies do you follow or admire based on culture, values and performance and why?