Saturday Cup of Joe from Detroit


Source: @camera_jesus on Instagram

Week 245 in Detroit.

One of the themes of Saturday Cup of Joe is to try to think differently & challenge assumptions…challenge expectations. I spent some time at an Innovation Summit this week and I wanted to present a couple ways to think differently about our world, our community and our work.

This week’s video:

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and work are commemorated in a federal holiday on Monday. Dr. King forced people to think differently about other people. To walk in someone else’s shoes, to understand not just what unfairness and violence looked like but what if FELT like to tens of millions of black Americans.

“There is nothing more tragic than to build a society with a segment of people in that society who feel they have no stake in it, who feel that they have nothing to lose, who walk around the streets day in and day out with no jobs, who walk the streets day in and day out feeling that life is little more than a long and desolate corridor with no exit sign.” — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., January 21, 1965

Source: an email from my Dad

Dr. King asked us to think differently about each other, about respect and about dignity.

Random castle in Michigan. Source: @metro.detroiter on Instagram


Global deaths surpassing 2m is the equivalent of 10 passenger jets falling out of the sky, every single day, for a year.

Does that make you think differently about the problem?

The entire population of New Mexico gone in a year.

Of course this is what some will do going the other way — well, 1.35M people die in a car accidents — so we should NOT think any differently about COVID-19? Or neo-natal conditions kill 2 m babies every year, according to the World Health Organization, so these things happen? (I don’t know what/how some use comparison to minimize but it seems to be found in the global COVID-19 response too.)

To me, in this case, the comparison opened my eyes and broke my heart but was useful and helpful. I know that others will see it differently though, I hope the challenge was valuable for you.

Examples of thinking differently this week:

  • Financial products as physical products — what if you manufacture a mortgage like a car?
  • Constraints produce better brainstorming — what if I needed to close a real estate deal without using the phone? What if I had to lend someone money and could only use 1 data point about them — what would you choose?
  • Resource: The Medici Effect by Frans Johansson
Source: @moistbuddha on Instagram

Speaking of thinking differently about a problem, Natural Light (yes, that NattyLight) commissioned an art installation of actual college diplomas. The spiral of college diplomas represents $470M in cost of education.

I’ve never seen $470M in cash or bearer bonds but this certainly made me look differently at the topic….come to think of it, where are my diplomas?

“Don’t commute — communicate.” — Arthur Clarke

Telework or remote work is a huge topic this year and going forward. The New Republic published this article (link) to the history and future of telework. How does it reflect on work overall? How do you think about your time if you are one of the ~70% of Americans working from home?

In keeping with this week’s theme, what if time was a natural resource that must be mined or acquired? Would that change how you think about it? Would it be so easily used up or spent?

Trapped versus protected.

When my cat was chased behind some cabinets by our dogs this week, I realized that I saw the cat as trapped yet the cat was protected. Thinking differently also includes changing perspective. Perspective is such a powerful thing.

The key to perspective is you. What do you choose? How do you choose?

In fact, Saturday Cup of Joe at the core is about more perspective and therefore better choices.

A Few Good Men.

SAM: Did I ever tell you I wrote a paper about your father in College? …one of the best trial lawyers ever. And if I were Dawson & Downey and I had a choice between you or your father to represent me in this case I’d choose you any day of the week and twice on sunday. You should’ve seen yourself thunder away at Kendrick.

DANNY: Would you put Jessup on the stand?

SAM: No.

DANNY: Do you think my father would have?

SAM: With the evidence we got, not in a million years. But here’s the thing–and there’s really no way of getting around this–neither Lionel Kaffee nor Sam Weinberg are lead counsel for the defense in the matter of U.S. v. Dawson & Downey. So there’s really only one question: what would you do?

Source: as seen on Instagram this week. Let me know if this is your meme and I’ll repost.

As discussed in my video, our policy intern, Natalia, posed this fascinating question because IKEA made the “emotional but rational decision” to end the IKEA catalog.

IKEA Catalog. IKEA had become irrationally attached to the catalog despite customer preference or changing trends.

What is your business emotionally and irrationally attached to?

How do you create separation or distance from decisions or from your business to see that?

Do you walk in someone else’s shoes for a day or a few days?

Did remote work over the last year illuminate certain activities or aspects of your business?

Quote: “You don’t have to be born beautiful to be wildly attractive.” — Diana Vreeland

Bonus Content: Babe Ruth, the global pandemic and the Roaring ’20s. NPR’s Planet Money asks whether we’ll see pent-up demand driving markets in 2021 and beyond.

Continue to walk in someone else’s shoes, continued success and continue to answer well…

Thinker, curious leader, once an attorney…always trying to answer well.

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