ifindkarma. elegance is refusal.

May 5, 2012

I spend a lot of time on PandaWhale these days.

If you’re looking for me, I’m on PandaWhale.

I’m stashing many things there.

And reflecting.

August 8, 2009

Life lessons a baby can teach you!

Filed under: babies!, believe!, life, the universe, and everything! — ifindkarma @ 4:20 pm

If you looked at just my last three posts, you’d think my life was nothing but down lately.

But that’s not entirely true. I spent July with my family. I went to Mississippi, and my nephew Zachary turned 3. Also, earlier this year my brother and his wife had their second son Nicholas, and later this year my sister and her husband will have their first daughter (and my first niece!), who remains to be named.

Next week my sister has her shower in St. Augustine, Florida, and I cannot make it, so we got her a teddy bear and a baby stroller and a card from Gibson that was so cute I wanted to capture it here…

Life Lessons Your Baby Will Teach You

  • Everyone needs to be held.
  • One smile can brighten a whole day.
  • Change is good.
  • So are naps.
  • Simple pleasures can bring great joys.
  • Comfort is more important than fashion.
  • Quiet time is precious.
  • Good health is a great gift.
  • The best things come in small packages.
  • Every day is an adventure.
  • Miracles do happen.
  • We never, ever stop learning.

Michelle with baby Nicholas

June 14, 2009

Failure, loss, and learning.

Filed under: believe!, life, the universe, and everything!, relax! — ifindkarma @ 6:14 pm

Joyce and I have reflected a lot in the last fortnight.

Among other things, I recall this line a month ago from yishimcgee:

I feel like I failed… I feel no relief.

I wish I could speed the assuaging of her pain… but I cannot. Relief from the feeling of failure — especially when it accompanies loss of someone or something you love — comes only with the passage of time. That’s been my experience.

So today as Joyce, Kenneth, and I pulled two dozen boxes to the point of physical exhaustion, I found comfort in this passage Joyce sent me from Will Wright in the New York Times:

When I’m managing creative people, the way they relate to failure is very important. Because there are certain types of failure that you really want to celebrate. I personally learned a lot more from my failures than from my successes. And if you look at it that way, then all my failures, you know, in some sense brought me to my larger successes, because I recognized why I failed, and I learned from it. And so, at that point, you can even argue that it’s not a failure. It’s part of your learning process.

And so, even with interns, it’s kind of interesting to see how they relate to failure. Does it motivate them, do they go a different direction, do they give up or do they learn from it and get some insight and add it as part of their tool chest? In some sense it is an award that they’ve earned.

One of the questions I will usually ask somebody when I am interviewing them is, what was your biggest failure? And what did you learn from it and what would you have done differently? Within a team setting, a lot of times we’ll go down paths and we’ll prototype things. And at some point we’ll realize it was a bad branch and we have to back up and go take a different branch. Those forays — as a team, we can celebrate those.

Joyce and I have lost a lot of people recently. Billy and Rajeev, to name two.

How am I coping? Mainly through physical exercise and recalling 90-year-old wisdom:

No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

I used to sweat every little detail about every little thing. Now I find myself regularly asking, “In five years, will this matter?

I used to packrat things from every era of my life. Now I’ve started to throw things away. I’m struck by a feeling that until I let go of some things, I have no room to grow. So I look to get rid of anything that isn’t joyful, useful, or beautiful.

I think that’s part of how I’ll get myself back to the right state of mind so I can have the vision to see opportunities again. As Richard the Wise Man once said,

Being in the right place at the right time is actually all about being in the right state of mind.

Richard Wiseman says that only about 10% of life is purely random; the remaining 90% is defined by the way we think. Our attitudes produce our luck.

Failure happens. Think of Thomas Edison, who tried thousands of filaments while failing to make a working long-lasting light bulb, “I never failed. I simply discovered 10,000 ways not to do it!”

So yes, unexpected death and feelings of failure happen regularly. They are an inescapable part of this world.

It’s hard to lose people and things. It takes time to internalize what happened and integrate it all as part of ourselves.

I will remember to breathe, and I will remind myself to be patient because healing takes time.

And remember to get outside every day. Because miracles are waiting everywhere.

December 28, 2008

Ten 2009 Predictions!

I’m not as analytical as John Battelle ’09, so my predictions have no justification.

Also, I have a caveat: whereas most peoples’ predictions come out of their brains, mine will come from another body part that shall remain nameless.

So take these predictions without ado and with a pound of salt:

  1. Google will buy AOL, and rename the Chrome browser “Netscape”. Or AOL will announce its intention to go public, and Google will take a loss on its 5% stake.
  2. YouTube will account for a third of all Google searches in 2009, making them the number 2 search engine on the planet behind Google itself. For that alone, they were totally worth the acquisition price.
  3. Apple will buy Adobe, and make CS4 available for $149 (or “one fitty” in 50-Cent-speak). This is not so much a prediction as wishful thinking on my part.
  4. The Founders Fund, seeing billions of dollars available from The Fed at nearly zero percent interest, will start a new bank startup. Now seems like an excellent time to start a bank.
  5. eBay will be bought out by a private equity fund with too much cash on its hands and nothing to do with it. eBay will then be cut up and sold to different companies. Paypal will be fought over by Google, Facebook, and in an interesting twist, the bank startup from The Founders Fund.
  6. Sun will buy itself private with cash on hand. Or get bought by someone everyone rolls their eyes about.
  7. Yahoo will appoint one of its Board members to be its new CEO, and it will shut down and/or divest some properties. It will sell HotJobs and spin out Flickr. We wish.
  8. Microsoft will once again do nothing of any particular note, and still make billions of dollars doing it. They will continue to do nothing productive with their Facebook investment. Internally, there will be wars waged among a new faction of Microsoftees who want to develop and sell “Microsoft Linux”, to compete with the loyalists working on Windows 7. Oh, and they’ll once again change the names of their web email and their web search sites. Whoopee!!
  9. No one will be able to stop talking about Twitter thanks to celebrities and politicians using the service and being unable to shut up about it. In related news, Facebook will buy Twitter, or FriendFeed, or both.
  10. Be the Change will employ the Internets to get a million people to sign the Service Nation Declaration of Service, and rally everyone from Oprah to Ashton Kutcher to pass the Serve America Act into law. Who knows, maybe Oprah and Ashton will even use Twitter to promote service.

If you’re gonna dream, dream big.

August 8, 2008

Pandas as proof of intelligent design!

Filed under: believe!, life, the universe, and everything!, pandas! — ifindkarma @ 8:08 am

Evolutionary Panda!

Discover Magazine says,

The panda’s survival proves the existence of God. How is it, they ask, that such a species could have “evolved” to be so poorly suited for survival and could have lasted these “alleged” tens of thousands of years without a little help from a higher power?

So it’s true: Pandas did not evolve… in zoos. They evolved to find their own food and seek out their mates in dense bamboo forests after being raised by their real mothers, not by zookeepers. The panda’s weaknesses in today’s world—from its failure to reproduce in captivity to its yawn-inspiring lifestyle—is a product of its natural history, not a malicious joke of an intelligent designer.

January 15, 2008

Starbucks Bear Hug!

Filed under: bears!, believe!, booze!, love!, youtube! — ifindkarma @ 4:20 pm

We all could use a bear hug from time to time.

January 12, 2008

Once-in-a-lifetime hofbrauhaus catastrophe photo!

Filed under: believe!, booze! — ifindkarma @ 4:20 pm

Hofbrauhaus Catastrophe. Amazing.

September 3, 2007

We don’t believe in our positions or our possessions.

Filed under: believe!, google!, life, the universe, and everything! — ifindkarma @ 4:20 am

Paul Buchheit: “Reality, page 191… replaces all objects of belief with one single thing: reality itself. We believe only in this universe.

June 19, 2007

Tree panda!

Filed under: believe!, pandas! — ifindkarma @ 4:20 am


A panda on the top of a tree at China Conservation and Research Centre for the Giant Panda in Wolong. Paleontologists have discovered the skull of the giant panda’s earliest known ancestor, a “pygmy-sized” bear that lived in south China about two million years ago, according to a study released Monday.(AFP/Liu Jin)

June 10, 2007

Everything just goes black!

Filed under: believe!, halp!, life, the universe, and everything!, relax! — ifindkarma @ 7:00 pm

moxley on slashdot:

If you watch episode #78 (“Soprano Home Movies”) while Tony and Bobby are on the lake they are talking about what happens to people like them, and specifically about what it’s like to get killed. Tony says something along the lines of “you don’t hear the one that gets you,” and Bobby asks

What do you think happens when you die?

to which Tony replies

Nothing, everything just goes black.

Don’t stop believin’, indeed. Everything is everythang.

May 24, 2007

Angels in the architecture!

Filed under: believe!, invisible!, life, the universe, and everything! — ifindkarma @ 4:20 am

Thanks, cati.

May 22, 2007

Focus on the plane!

Filed under: believe!, birdies!, life, the universe, and everything!, relax!, words! — ifindkarma @ 4:20 am

Thanks, brian who quotes Reid Hoffman as saying, “An entrepreneur is someone that jumps off a cliff and makes the plane on the way down… They’re also off course 90% of the time they’re in the air.”

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