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First lesson, don’t pay too much attention to end-of-year lists like this one. Lessons present themselves all the time. Pay attention every day and learn the lesson that’s in front of you. This beats dragging 10 out-of-context tips into the new year every time.

Be a better, purer expression of your self. The answer isn’t being more like someone else. Learn from others, don’t try to be them.

If you own a company, work to make it a better, purer expression of itself — of its uniqueness. The answer isn’t being more like another company. Learn from others, don’t try to be them.

Start small, start now. Google AdWords allows us to test just about anything, quickly. Take advantage. With Google and with any way that makes sense.

Ask your customers. They have the answer to just about any question you can think of. Ask them directly, by phone or in person; not in writing. Talk to five. If you don’t have strong clues for next steps after five, ask five more. I’ve never had to go beyond ten.

Messy is your friend (see ‘start small’ above). Pixar calls their movies Ugly Babies when they start production. Everything is messy at the beginning.

Nine parts execution for every one part planning. Planning is important, but nothing replaces going live in the marketplace to find out whether the dogs will eat the dog food (see ‘start small’ above).

Good luck in 2018, it will be what you make of it.