A Fine Little Mnemonic To Apply to Any Lifestyle

“Entrepreneurship involves having a view about where the world is going and where it should be going”

John Lilly, Greylock Partners


There are a number of themes that we could talk about, in regards to where the world is going. Technology is creating a lot of new wealth and dispensing new products and services for the rich and poor alike, but technology is also "eating the world." For the under-skilled, for those who may be old enough to expect a middle class lifestyle as a right, technology is not a panacea, as technology disrupts unevenly. There are plenty of other themes- the rise of extremism- energy security- Polarization- Trust- Surveillance- Privacy, and so on.

Hit the snooze button?

What can I use in my day-to-day life? What is a micro-blend of Chinese/Western best practices- that I can actually use? And the acid test is always, always: “does it work?

I want to introduce a little Mnemonic that I use. It is called 2iB.

2iB stands for: integrity; intensity; BALANCE.

If you threw these elements into a pot and boiled them down, just before you got down to total evaporation you get oh-so-glistening schmalz. That slick, clarified chicken fat is 2iB. 

Integrity is: clarity, consistency, candor. These are what I think integrity means. Integrity is also focus. Capriciousness (sudden behavior change); but integrity is a damn good thing, and that is why we begin 2iB with the "i" from integrity.

Honor is not in there. Tranquility is not in not mentioned, neither is rectitude, nor fortitude, nor courage. It is certainly that those things aren’t important- but they are up to you to add, to sprinkle into your interpretation of integrity, to introduce into your personalized balancing process. But 2iB is essential. And, it is the sequence of 2iB that is the mother lode. Editing out stuff of secondary importance is fine and good- but “i-i-B” in procession makes everything come together.

Integrity taps the senses needed to detect contextual information, it is social, it is multi-sensory; Intensity, diamond-drills into the minutia, it is highly cerebral. Balance is Madagascar vanilla, which above all is prized for its ability to mesh with other flavors. It can heighten things, it can also dampen them, it all depends.

By design, one “I” is value positive, while the other is value neutral. By design, 2iB involves heart, mind, and gut. As a Mnemonic, 2iB is portable, and endlessly reusable. Most importantly it works in both Hong Kong and in L.A. 

In short 2iB is (in particular order- this is key):

1. "Look before you leap"

2. "Go big or go home."

3. "Break things and ask for forgiveness later."

The reason 2iB is in particular order, is that: if you do "3" before "1," being granted forgiveness (and the right to keep doing the same behavior again) is less likely. You are too slick. If you do "2" before "1," well, you are too brutish. If you do "3" before "2," you are too late.


More to come (including specific examples)!

Leave me a comment on 2iB. Tell me what you like or don't like. If I get more than 10 comments by July 1st I will offer the best commenter a $10 iTunes gift card at the end of the 2iB!