Last month Nilofer questioned when is it ok to press an issue versus when is it “simply seen as pushing or being pushy, in an unacceptable manner.”
The post was in response to the wage disparity between Dan Akerson, exiting CEO of GM, and new CEO Mary Barra.

As she noted, and I agree: To be sure, this is not a “woman’s issue” but a societal one. I would imagine men who have mothers or sisters, wives or daughters could take this issue to heart.

With all due respect to Nilofer, I loved the comment from Tim Krause:

In answer to your question:
Traditional upright washing machines have a center stalk in them. This stalk rotates and twists and spins.
It only has one job: shake everything up until the clothes are clean.
If it doesn’t twist and spin then the clothes can sit there forever in soapy water but change does not happen.
That center stalk is called the agitator.
As a businessman who believes in meritocracy and equality i hope you will hear this as encouragement: please agitate. Agitate like hell. And know there are a lot of people who support you in this cause, and are doing whatever we can to help at whatever level we find ourselves.
Change will come but we gotta keep spinning.

Courage becomes contagious. And change happens. – Nilofer

What is your organization taking a stand-on, willing to agitate the “status quo” for, working to change? And how can “a quiet revolution” help?

Continue reading for the latest milestone from Kickstarter (more social) and Sharing is the New Buying (strategy, and social too). Read More


Going forward, the following represents the type of content you’ll find on the blog.
The days/tags represent what you will see on Twitter each day.
This will also serve as the foundation for a post or two on the development of a content plan, determining topic focus and creating an editorial calendar (and the changes that occur over time doing so).

Mondays – #SSpider
Social + Strategy
Anything to do with connecting people, connecting ideas, or making ideas happen.

Tuesdays – #sPPider
Persons + Pictures
Individuals’ stories, people worth knowing about, pictures and movies

Wednesdays – #spIIder
Ideas + Innovation
From big ideas – to innovative ideas….Bitcoin, revolutions, Signularity, impact of mobile, nanotech

Thursdays – #spiDDer
Design + Disruption
Topics to expect: design matters, 3D printing, business models, how to disrupt

Fridays – #spidEEr
Exponentialism + Entrepreneurship
On Fridays you can expect links and advice on start-ups and the impact of entrepreneurship on communities.
On the exponential side, more big ideas and big changes. Paired with info to help you change the way you see things from a linear focus to an exponential one to take advantage of these coming changes.

Weekends – #spideRR
Rock’n’roll + Reading
Rock’n’roll, rants and recommended reads on the Reading Week/end list

Check back every weekend for a recap of links and additional content with the SPIDER Web Weekly.

Scott McCloud is a great storyteller. Be it in his own comics, writing about making comics or in his talks as below.

Anyone interested in presentations and storytelling could benefit from a look at his classic Making Comics.

From TED:
In this unmissable look at the magic of comics, Scott McCloud bends the presentation format into a cartoon-like experience, where colorful diversions whiz through childhood fascinations and imagined futures that our eyes can hear and touch.

This quote from his Form and Function blog post today, appatly sums up our goal in helping business deal with ever changing technologies:

The question that gets asked about technology, the one that is almost always precisely the wrong question is, “How does this advance help our business?”

The correct question is, “how does this advance undermine our business model and require us/enable us to build a new one?”


When you talk to managers in the Japanese automotive industry about their worst rival, it is often not another car manufacturer that is on their mind, but the mobile phone. Even before the 2008 world economic crisis, passenger car sales in Japan had been shrinking for years. According to an industry insider, one reason was because the vast majority of young men who used to spend significant sums of money on cars now prefer shelling out $ 100 or more per month for the voice and data services of their mobile companion.

This little anecdote shows that something quite extraordinary is going on in Japan. While physical mobility is taken for granted, the mobile phone is about to supersede the car as a symbol of freedom. The attraction is understandable. The car offered people in the analog age the dream of individual mobility — to go everywhere, whenever you liked. Whereas the mobile phone enables people of the digital age to communicate and to link with almost everything and everybody on this planet from anywhere anytime.

From: The six immutable laws of mobile business by Philip Sugai, Marco Koeder, Ludovico Ciferri.

That last sentence needs to be considered by everyone in business, working for a non-profit, artists – anyone that needs to connect with other people. There is a such a profound shift under way that many people may not even notice it happening. Entire countries that missed the PC revolution are coming online for the first time via mobiles.

And it is not just happening in Japan:

Young people today would rather have the latest smartphone than a flashy car. And the number of them who can drive is plummeting. Is Britain’s love-affair with the car really over?

“Car manufacturers are worried that younger people in particular don’t aspire to own cars like we used to in the 70s, 80s, or even the 90s. Designers commonly say that teenagers today aspire to own the latest smartphone more than a car. Even car enthusiasts realise we’ve reached a tipping point.” – Tim Pollard, associate editor at CAR magazine

The two above quotes come from a Guardian article that goes on to explore various alternative car-sharing models including Streetcar, Zipcar and Whipcar.

Improved, more environmentally friendly transportation systems built around access instead of ownership – all managed via your mobile – is just one scenario that will impact car manufacturers.

What industry are you in?

If mobile phones can take the place cars in the eyes of youth – what will mobiles do to your industry?

What can you do to embrace the opportunities pro-actively?

“Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?”

What Steve Jobs said to Pepsi executive John Sculley to lure him to Apple. Sculley mentions it in the documentary Bloomberg Game Changers: Steve Jobs.


And he did it.

He changed the way movies are made, the way music is sold, the way stories are told, the very way we interact with the world around us. He helped us work, and gave us new ways to play. He was a myth made man
. – Gizmodo

I have yet to own an Apple product. But I will. Soon.

I am a fan all the same of Steve Jobs. Particularly his willingness in business to kill his darlings. He is a man who learned to control and be the cause of the social disruptions in his industry (and others). He did not rest on what he had done but focused on what he was going to do next.


Jobs constantly strove to be the force of disruptive change that would make the Steve Jobs of six months ago irrelevant.Fast Company


Owner of Apple products or not; for anyone reading this, Steve Jobs has in some manner impacted your life.


It takes courage to make a product so simple that a child can use it.Fast Company


Steve Jobs, 56, died peacefully today surrounded by his family.

Agency helps companies capitalize on social media 

By BRUCE ERSKINE Business Reporter
Thu, Sep 29 - 4:55 AM

You say you want a revolution? Rob MacArthur is your man.

The co-founder of Halifax co-work space, The Hub, recently launched a new technology consulting company, A Quiet Revolution, which he’s dubbed a social disruption agency.

The agency is designed to help businesses capitalize on the sometimes wasted potential of the brave new world of social media, MacArthur said in an interview.

“It’s causing disruption, but there are great new opportunities,” said the Sydney native and Dalhousie University science graduate.

MacArthur said social media like Twitter and Facebook and online sharing have turned the way people connect upside down, causing confusion and uncertainty for many businesses and organizations.

But those new media technologies can be tailored and focused to work effectively to “find the others,” he said, citing one of ’60s guru Timothy Leary’s favourite maxims.

Rather than simply helping clients set up social media accounts, MacArthur said A Quiet Revolution will work with them to maximize the benefits of social media and give them a competitive advantage.

He characterized the agency’s approach to clients by posing a question he would ask in trying to help them.

“What are you trying to do and who are the people who want to do the same thing?” he said, suggesting it is more effective to connect with 300 like-minded people online than it is to have a million Twitter followers.

A Quiet Revolution offers social media site and strategy development, web and mobile application development, new business model development and related advisory services.

It also plans to stage new technology events and draw on MacArthur’s experience as a musician, a rehearsal space operator and co-founder of the crowd funding website, IOUMusic.

The site gives fans the opportunity to make donations to bands they listen to online.

“It goes back to our focus,” said MacArthur, who noted that the music industry in particular has been transformed by the advent of new technology.

IOUMusic will be part of the new agency, as will a quarterly magazine, SPIDER, which will address new technology issues and focus on local entrepreneurs.




“If you want to learn how to build a house, build a house. Don’t ask anybody, just build a house.” - Christopher Walken

No matter how many books I read on business, social media or music – they never deliver the lessons that actually doing something has. Nor can one say they are an expert simply because they have read everything on a given subject – though I imagine for some fields that IS how you become an expert.  One can not be a musician though if they do not make music.

This is why we also run our own projects – to learn by doing. This is why we are eager to take on projects unlike those we have done in the past – that too is a great way to learn. As Plato said: Necessity, who is the mother of invention*.

Without deviation progress is not possible. - Frank Zappa

While there are set standards for business and social media practices – blindly embracing them is not suggested. We`re willing to look at what the norms are, look at the what is needed and decide if the norms offer the best approach or if it is time for some of that invention.

By not focusing on any one industry we are able to cross-pollinate ideas from one industry to the next as well – helping innovations spread.

“Find the others.”Tim Leary

One of the greatest inventions of our time is the ability to find the people – where ever they are – that share a belief in your cause or a need for your product or service. No matter what it is you are attempting to accomplish, the people you need to do so are out there. Thanks to social media networks, mobiles and technology not yet widespread the ability to find and connect with these people will only become easier.

So with a purpose, we can get to work finding the people to make it happen – innovating along the way where required. That is our philosophy on how to operate.

That is a quiet revolution.

* We already like you if you picked up on that segue

This is the lesson I have learned after:

  • opening a rehearsal space for bands
  • launching an indie label and working with bands
  • co-founding a co-working space
  • launching a crowdfunding site for musicians
  • and now starting AQR

Almost everything takes longer than the initial estimate. Almost without fail it has come close to taking 2.5x longer than expected. Whether that was a small project that should have wrapped in a week, leaseholds on a space or hitting revenue targets. No matter how well you plan – if your project involves other people – you can not control the timing of your plan.

So what I do now – and my advice to you – is make your initial estimate, then multiple it by 2.5 and tell your clients, yourself – whoever needs to know – that`s how long it is going to take. With luck you hit that target, at best you hit the initial target and look great to everyone who was expecting the later date. At worst? Well you may need to find a multiplier of your own.

That gives you a taste too how long I have been waiting to share AQR with you ;)