Who would have thought to imitate Twitter, a platform of some 450 million active users? Apparently, Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg did. It would take a financial wiz and savvy tech mogul to attempt this feat – and who better than Zuckerberg, who last month accepted a challenge to a cage match with Twitter’s Elon Musk?
Twitter’s head-on competition from Threads is today’s news headline. The insight I’m sharing occurred when my daughter-in-law offered me a totally obvious (and better) twist on project that was nearly complete. And today’s tool? Moving from either/or thinking to both/and…which might allow you to consider another possibility.
Twitter paved the way for Threads to go live
Depending how closely you follow social media trends – you may have seen Threads coming, or not. Now that it’s here, blowing up every early adoption forecast, it will take a minute to see if this platform sticks and lives up to expectations.
Some, like Therese Poletti in a MarketWatch opinion piece, are comparing Zuckerberg’s launch of Threads to how Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was known for his copycat tactic. She quotes Tim Bajarin, chair of Creative Strategies, a tech market-research firm.
“Jobs was the king of seeing, of letting someone else take a lead and coming in either second or third and doing it better than anybody, especially with the iPod, the iPhone and even the Apple Watch. While I do think Zuck has some of that mentality anyway, this is more of an opportunistic position.”
Poletti points out:
the imitation element of Threads has Musk in a lather, and his attorney sent Zuckerberg a saying that Meta has engaged in “systematic, willful, and unlawful misappropriation” of Twitter’s “trade secrets” and other intellectual property.
Musk clearly doesn’t align himself with the English proverb, with many origins, that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Will the META Threads enthusiasm last? Time will tell.
When something works, a simple twist can make all the difference
This weekend I helped my son assemble a wood chipper to use for his garden beds and fruit trees. Yes, thoughts of the movie Fargo did go through my head. Seriously, a wood chipper? He assures me this outdoor power equipment will make his life easier, when he’s mulching mesquite branches for his crops.
Because I follow directions well for assembling all sorts of things, he enlisted my assistance on this incredibly hot day. While all of the parts were present, the tools were not supplied. So, we ‘made do’ with a variety of wrenches, and in the heat it took us a lot of time and sweat to secure more than a hundred screws, bolts and nuts.
We were close to putting on the finishing screws on the feed hopper when my daughter-in-law came out into the garage and saw how we were completing the task. I would hold an adjustable wrench to hold the screw in place and my son would use a standard wrench to tighten the nuts and bolts. You can call it old-school, or slow, but it did work. She immediately asked for the size of the screws (size 10) and located the precise ratchet wrench that would make the job much easier. FYI, I had looked for said ratchet wrench, but I guess the heat and the unsuccessful search led me to believe doing this the hard way was easier. (!)
I probably don’t need to tell you that she finished the job. Very quickly.
Funny how one tool changed up the pace at which the project could be completed – substantially improving our effort.
Moving away from either/or to both/and thinking
When you’ve done something one way for much of your life, you may not consider there is another option. It’s either this way or that way – because that’s how you’ve coped with situations and found success.
I’d like to offer another perspective that I’ve grown to appreciate on a daily basis. Through the teachings of Richard Rohr, a Franciscan priest, spirituality author and founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation, I’ve learned how to use both/and, or non-dual, thinking. Here’s Rohr’s definition.
“Our ability to read reality in a way that is not judgmental, in a way that is not exclusionary of the part that we don’t understand.
When you don’t split everything up according to what you like and what you don’t like, you leave the moment open, you let it be what it is in itself, and you let it speak to you.
Reality is not totally one, but it is not totally two, either!
Stay with that necessary dilemma, and it can make you wise.”
So your tool for the week is this: consider something you do that you are certain is the ‘only’ way it can be done. Every time you face that certainty ask yourself:
- What if there is an alternative?
- What other possibilities might you consider?
As it pertains to the wood-chipper, I’m determined to find that darned ratchet wrench tool before I undertake another project.
The more I lean into both/and thinking in my life and work, I’m experiencing a great deal of relief as I let go of having to be right.
Active listening happens best when I hear what someone is going through, what they’re facing and how they might be ready for change. Or not. It rarely happens when I tell someone what they need to do, right now.
Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg are brilliant tech titans. Rather than a cage fight, I wonder what would happen if their efforts didn’t have to include a winner and a loser?
Please use the comment section to let me know what one thing you’re willing to release to find out what possibilities might be out there.
If you’re interested in working on your goals in coaching, feel free to reach out.
Thank you for reading!