Shy of a Load
A longtime Onion fan, I had to see Scott Dikkers, an early editor and former, longtime owner of the satiric website. He spoke March 10 at the University of Arkansas. About a hundred people attended the midweek evening lecture, which the sponsoring Honors College publicized widely.
Also compelling me to learn more about this successful enterprise was my being a working journalist, sometime educator and freelance media ethicist. Yet, the Journalism Department did not co-sponsor the speech, nor were any faculty apparently present. The campus newspaper did not cover the event. Dikkers asked if any journalism students were in the audience, and one person raised a hand. One.
Instead of considering what that says about my ol’ haunt, here are highlights of the talk, on behalf of a friend who couldn’t go and asked for them (she was an Arkansas State University J major).
Dikkers’ Five Principles — for magazine publishing, business or maybe life in general — followed by paraphrases of his explanations:
- No Permission — just do what you want to be doing
- Invest Your Passion, Not Your Money — this is anti-Shark Tank thinking, he said, noting that for him financials come second to drive when it comes to making something a success
- Be Prepared to Scrap Everything — use your brain and your hard work but do not deplete your savings so that you can move on if needed
- Trust Your People — this Dikkers called his biggest lesson, you should be the best boss, hire the best people, who will be smarter than you, and trust them
- Don’t Just Work Hard, Work Smart; Not Just Work Smart, Work Right — learn from the mistakes and successes of predecessors, rivals, competitors because that’s efficient.