January 12, 2012
January 1, 2012
George F. Will: All right, hands on buzzers. [ he hits several buttons on the machine, which spits out a quiz card that George reads ] “The precarious balance between infield and outfield suggests a perfect symmetry. For $50, identify the effect of that symmetry.”
[ the contestants stare cluelessly, as the buzzer sounds ]
George F. Will: Sorry. The answer is: “The exhilarating tension between being and becoming.” Being and becoming. Next question…
t happens to you.
December 9, 2011
Anything that, in happening, causes something else to happen, causes something else to happen.
Anything that, in happening, causes itself to happen again, happens again.
It doesn’t necessarily do it in chronological order, though.
~ Douglas Adams
[no matter how] they encounter such things,
nor do they understand what they learn;
they believe only themselves.
If you plant crab apple, don’t count on harvesting Golden Delicious.
~ Bill Meyer
Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad with power.
The mills of God grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly small.
The bee fertilizes the flower it robs.
When it is dark enough, you can see stars.
Don’t you worry about life, the universe, and everything; let me worry about blank… 42. We believe in the interconnectedness of all things. 41. Everything is about inclusion. 40. Everything is everythang. 39. Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for. 38. As human beings, our greatest glory consists not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. 37. Let it go. This too shall pass. 36. SIMPLIFY. 35. Lessons are repeated until they are learned. 34. The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return. 33. Reflect on happiness. 32. People are very bad at predicting what will make us happy. 31. There are shortcuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them. 30. We are feedback loops. We are the stories we tell ourselves. 29. Love is when you open your heart to pain. 28. To get over grief, be there for someone else’s grief. 27. Kittie heaven is mousie hell. 26. Bird is the word! 25. The ride does not require an explanation. Just occupants. 24. It’s not going to stop till you wise up. 23. Character is destiny. 22. Reflection creates identity. 21.
You can do anything. 20. We can change the world with a pen and paper. We keep waiting, waiting. 19. Starting is hard. 18. We’ll see. 17. Life is… delicious ambiguity. 16. Beware drift. Do what you love! 15. True happiness comes from within. 14. Get yourself a giant panda! (Super kawaii!) 13. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. 12. That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet. 11. It goes to 11. (Be sure to read through to Andy Weir’s story, “The Egg”!) 10. Life is like business. It’s 20 percent what happens to you, and 80 percent how you respond. 9. 80 percent of success is showing up. 8. Our attitudes produce our luck. 7. Love more, fear less. 6. Be grateful for every breath. 5. Be who you are, as hard as you can. 4. Be here now. 3. Be excellent. 2. There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. 1. Only kindness matters in the end. ********* …enlightenment… *********
Once upon a time, in a temple nestled in the misty end of south hill, lived a pair of monks. One old and one young.
‘What are the differences between Heaven and Hell?’ the young monk asked the learned master one day.
‘There are no material differences,’ replied the old monk peacefully.
‘None at all?’ asked the confused young monk.
‘Yes. Both Heaven and Hell look the same. They all have a dining hall with a big hot pot in the center in which some delicious noodles are boiled, giving off an appetizing scent,’ said our old priest. ‘The size of the pan and the number of people sitting around the pot are the same in these two places.’
‘But oddly, each diner is given a pair of meter-long chopsticks and must use them to eat the noodles. And to eat the noodles, one must hold the chopsticks properly at their ends, no cheating is allowed,’ the zen master went on to describe to our young monk.
‘In the case of Hell, people are always starved because no matter how hard they try, they fail to get the noodles into their mouths,’ said the old priest.
‘But isn’t it the same happens to the people in Heaven?’ the junior questioned.
‘No. They can eat because they each feed the person sitting opposite them at the table. You see, that is the difference between Heaven and Hell,’ explained the old monk.
The moral of this story is simple: A turn in mind is all the difference between Heaven and Hell lies (???????????????????????????).
November 23, 2011
Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want. ~ Randy Pausch
There are no shortcuts. NONE. ~ Mark Cuban
As a cure for worrying, work is better than whiskey. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Creativity is just connecting things. ~ Steve Jobs
During my 18 years I came to bat almost 10,000 times. I struck out about 1700 times and walked maybe 1800 times. You figure a ballplayer will average about 500 at bats a season. That means I played seven years without ever hitting the ball. ~ Mickey Mantle
I’ve seen each of these quotes many times in my life, but I keep coming back to them.
ze what I’m seeing.
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
”If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them.”
November 11, 2011
On 11/11/11, it goes to 11.
- San Jose Mercury News
- Redwood City Patch
- LA Times
- Chicago Tribune
- OMG Facts
- USA Today
- San Francisco CBS
- Photos – Robot Hackathon
- Photos – 11/11/11 Event
- Facebook LIKES: 927 (plus 127)
- Twitter TWEETS: at least 3879
- Groupons sent to: 1.2 million people (110 + 96 = 306 bought)
- #nerdnewyear trended on Twitter 11/11/11
- Estimated Redwood City attendance: 1500
- We’re still figuring out how much we made for charity…
We’re on a mission from God… Hit it!
August 12, 2011
Be who you are, as hard as you can.
That was the most meaningful advice I’ve had in a long time.
“Be who you are, as hard as you can” is so easy to say and so hard to do. It takes courage.
Easiest when you are cast out and have no choice.
July 12, 2011
is waiting to be known.
I’ve been excited about 11/11/11 ever since January 11.
u looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. “What is this place?” You asked. “Is this the afterlife?” “More or less,” I said. “Are you God?” You asked. “Yup,” I replied. “I’m God.” “My kids… my wife,” you said. “What about them?” “Will they be all right?” “That’s what I like to see,” I said. “You just died, and your main concern is for your family. That’s good stuff right there.” You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn’t look like God. I just looked like some man. Some vague authority figure. More of a grammar school teacher than the Almighty. “Don’t worry,” I said. “They’ll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn’t have time to grow contempt for you. Your wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly reliveved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it’s any consolation, she’ll feel very guilty for feeling relieved.” “Oh,” you said. “So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?” “Neither,” I said. “You’ll be reincarnated.” “Ah,” you said. “So the Hindus were right.” “All the religions are right in their own way,” I said. “Walk with me.” You followed along as we strolled in the void. “Where are we going?”
A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It’s like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it’s hot or cold.
“Just me? What about everyone else?” “There is no one else,” I said. “In this universe, there’s just you, and me.” You stared blankly at me. “But all the people on earth…” “All you. Different incarnations of you.“ “Wait. I’m everyone!?” “Now you’re getting it,” I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back. “I’m every human who ever lived?” “Or who will ever live, yes.” “I’m Abraham Lincoln?” “And you’re John wilkes Booth, too,” I added. “I’m Hitler?” you said, appalled. “And you’re the millions he killed.” “I’m Jesus?” “And you’re everyone who followed him.” You fell silent. “Every time you victimized someone,” I said, “You were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you’ve done, you’ve done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you.” “Why?” You asked me. “why do all this?” “Because someday, you will become like me. Because that’s what you are. You’re one of my kind. You’re my child.” “Whoa.” you said, incredulous. “You mean I’m a god?” “No. Not yet. You’re a fetus. You’re still growing. Once you’ve lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.” “So the whole universe,” you said. “Its just…” “An egg of sorts.” I answered. “Now its time for you to move on to your next life.” And I sent you on your way…
June 27, 2011
I want to learn to be an excellent storyteller.
So I searched like a panda, and here’s what I found.
Seth Godin’s best storytelling rules:
- Be consistent and authentic.
- Promise fun, safety, or a shortcut.
- Emphasize the worldview of the audience.
Suite 101’s best storytelling rules:
- Start with a catchy beginning.
- Keep it short.
- Use silence.
- Satisfy the audience.
“I’ve often spoken to the editorial nature of what I think my job is, I think I’m just an editor, and I think every CEO is an editor. I think every leader in any company is an editor. Taking all of these ideas and editing them down to one cohesive story, and in my case my job is to edit the team, so we have a great team that can produce the great work and that means bringing people on and in some cases having to let people go. That means editing the support for the company, which means having money in the bank, or making money, and that means editing what the vision and the communication of the company is, so that’s internal and external, what we’re saying internally and what we’re saying to the world – that’s my job. And that’s what every person in this company is also doing. We have all these inputs, we have all these places that we could go – all these things that we could do – but we need to present one cohesive story to the world.”
@Jack’s words are in @Shervin’s yfrog:
June 20, 2011
Like Evan Williams’ startup advice, I want to say something positive and useful.
My main message is that it’s important to have a network, because you can trade notes with other people who are doing similar things. This is why we started 106 Miles — so that any founder, engineer, or friend who joins us at our meetups will have a network to exchange knowledge and connections, and listen and learn.
That said, if I could tell entrepreneurs one more thing, I would say:
Come to think of it, actually…
It’s hard starting a company even if you’ve done it before.
I’ve done it three times, and it’s still hard.
Off the top of my head here are 11 reasons why.
2. Designing an excellent and simple product is hard. User experience is hard to make excellent, and user interfaces are hard to make simple. Product-market fit is extremely hard.
4. Getting traction is hard. Users are hard to satisfy. Attracting and retaining great users is hard, and attracting great content and quelling bad content is hard. Network effects are hard.
5. Keeping the damn thing up and running is hard. Technical operations are hard. “The Cloud” means some computer somewhere out there that you don’t control is going to go down at the worst possible moment.
6. Implementing a scalable business model is hard. Revenues are hard. Not all advice comes in three words. Although there is a lot of three-word startup advice, that matters not. Revenues require continual improvement of sales knowledge and the market, and that takes time, patience, and unbelievable tenaciousness.
7. Building a great team is hard. Finding a great co-founder is hard, and hiring is hard. Even if you read a lot about hiring, it’s hard. And sweet sassy molassy, managing people is hard. And being tough is very hard.
8. Raising seed money is hard. Angels are hard to understand. And finding a great fit between investor and entrepreneur is hard, very hard.
9. Raising venture capital is hard. Venture capitalists are hard to understand. Once upon a time you could
raise money with just a great idea. Then you needed a great idea and a great team. Then you needed a great idea, great team, and great prototype. Then you needed all those things and great traction. Now you also need a great business model, great revenues, great press, and if it’s not too much trouble, make the world a better place, too.
10. Turning away all the free advice is hard. People are unpredictable, and making decisions is hard. But it’s better to make any decision than no decision. Furthermore, the right people make all the difference in the world.
If it were easy to start a company, everyone would do it.
But it’s not easy. And not everyone does it.
It’s hard. Really, really hard.
There’s a great analogy here: starting a company is like you’re 106 miles from Chicago, you have a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark, and you’re wearing sunglasses. Hit it!
- Learn the difference between important and urgent.
- Learn the difference between working smart and working long.
- Learn the difference between an opportunity and a problem.
- Learn the difference between lucky and smart.
- Learn the difference between focus and activity.
- Learn the difference between publicity and reality.
- Learn the difference between prepared and over-prepared.
- Learn the difference between output and throughput.
- Learn the difference between managing up and managing down.
- Learn the difference between managing expectations and just riding the roller coaster unmanaged.
- Learn the difference between knowing the path and walking the path.
Remember, you can do it. But it’s hard:
Keep your eye on the ball,
Your head above the clouds,
Your ear to the ground,
Your shoulder to the wheel,
Your nose to the grindstone,
Your finger on the pulse,
Your feet on the ground, and
Your head on your shoulders.
Now… try to get something done.
In summary: Activate your network, work smart, work hard, open yourself to opportunities, close off some opportunities, overcommunicate, underspend, hang in there, stop things that aren’t working, collaborate, and listen.
June 12, 2011
I want to be truly great.
I want to do something great.
So the question is, how do we become excellent?
You don’t become great by trying to be great. You become great by wanting to do something, and then doing it so hard that you become great in the process. ~ xkcd 896
Interconnectedness takes me from that illustration, to a place that makes me want to watch a Tony Robbins video.
To be excellent, we train ourselves emotionally. Get rituals.
Incantations, not affirmations, embody what we want.
Incantations help us navigate MUSTs vs SHOULDs.
As we move from within our own minds out to interactions with others, influence is essential.
Because when two people are having a conversation, the one who is more certain is going to influence the one who is less certain. Always.
This is why I’ve been thinking a lot about conversations lately.
And conversations are the foundation of 106 Miles.
11) “Greatness doesn’t take two months, or even a year. It takes years of focused practice to achieve even an ounce of it.” ~ Trizle
10) “Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person.” ~ Albert Einstein
9) “On the road to great achievement, the late bloomer will resemble a failure.” ~ Malcolm Gladwell
8) “Success is moving from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” ~ Winston Churchill
7) “Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” ~ Will Durant, not Aristotle
5) “You do not possess a natural gift for a certain job, because targeted natural gifts don’t exist. (Sorry, Warren Buffett.) You are not a born CEO or investor or chess grandmaster. You will achieve greatness only through an enormous amount of hard work over many years. And not just any hard work, but work of a particular type that’s demanding and painful.” ~ Geoffrey Colvin
4) “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
3) “Put your heart, mind, intellect and soul even to your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.” ~ Swami Sivananda
2) “It’s not what you take but what you leave behind that defines greatness.” ~ Edward Gardner
1) “It’s not where you take things from; it’s where you take them to.” ~ Jim Jarmusch
Now, I am incanting to take excellence to me.
I want PandaWhale to be excellent.
I want 106 Miles to be excellent.
I want my favorite pizza place to be excellent, too. (This will take time. Right now, people hate us on Yelp.)
And in my state of incantation, I include greatness.
As if I’m climbing the Ron Swanson pyramid of greatness.
Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes.
Don’t just be excellent. Be excellent to each other.
Be excellent. Go beyond a limit.
After a party like that, it’s difficult to focus.
I want to hear Lady Gaga’s “The Edge of Glory“!!!
I’m on the edge… of glory…
And I’m hanging on a moment of truth…
And I’m dancing like no one’s watching!!!
Did YouTube invent Lady Gaga or vice versa?
No worries. Hakuna matata!! Or is that…
Where was I?
Oh, right, dividing my attention.
Now, where does motivation come from again?
That said, being good at something makes us like it more.
And there is much power in perseverance aka “grit”.
Thinking about all of this puts my mind into a state of flow.
Which brings us back to where we started: xkcd 896.
Repeat after me: Do something so hard that you become great in the process.
April 11, 2011
Ashley tweeted, “We make friends by wasting time with them.“
“What does it feel like when you’re dancing?”
“Sorta feels good. Sorta stiff and that, but once I get going… then I, like, forget everything. And… sorta disappear. Like I feel a change in my whole body. And I’ve got this fire in my body. I’m just there.”
Which brings us to Oprah.
Oprah opined, “Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.“
It was then that the fox appeared.
“Good morning,” said the fox.
“Good morning,” the little prince responded politely, although when he turned around he saw nothing.
“I am right here,” the voice said, “under the apple tree.”
“Who are you?” asked the little prince, and added, “You are very pretty to look at.”
“I am a fox,” the fox said.
“Come and play with me,” proposed the little prince. “I am so unhappy.”
“I cannot play with you,” the fox said. “I am not tamed.”
“Ah! Please excuse me,” said the little prince.
But, after some thought, he added:
“What does that mean–‘tame’?”
“You do not live here,” said the fox. “What is it that you are looking for?”
“I am looking for men,” said the little prince. “What does that mean–‘tame’?”
“Men,” said the fox. “They have guns, and they hunt. It is very disturbing. They also raise chickens. These are their only interests. Are you looking for chickens?”
“No,” said the little prince. “I am looking for friends. What does that mean–‘tame’?“
“It is an act too often neglected,” said the fox. It means to establish ties.”
“‘To establish ties’?”
“Just that,” said the fox. “To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world . . .“
“I am beginning to understand,” said the little prince. “There is a flower . . . I think that she has tamed me . . .”
“It is possible,” said the fox. “On the Earth one sees all sorts of things.”
“Oh, but this is not on the Earth!” said the little prince.
The fox seemed perplexed, and very curious.
“On another planet?”
“Are there hunters on that planet?”
“Ah, that is interesting! Are there chickens?”
“Nothing is perfect,” sighed the fox.
But he came back to his idea.
“My life is very monotonous,” the fox said. “I hunt chickens; men hunt me. All the chickens are just alike, and all the men are just alike. And, in consequence, I am a little bored. But if you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life. I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others. Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground. Yours will call me, like music, out of my burrow. And then look: you see the grain-fields down yonder? I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. The wheat fields have nothing to say to me. And that is sad. But you have hair that is the color of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat . . .”
The fox gazed at the little prince, for a long time.
“Please–tame me!” he said.
“I want to, very much,” the little prince replied. “But I have not much time. I have friends to discover, and a great many things to understand.”
“One only understands the things that one tames,” said the fox. “Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy things all ready made at the shops. But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship, and so men have no friends any more. If you want a friend, tame me . . .”
“What must I do, to tame you?” asked the little prince.
“You must be very patient,” replied the fox. “First you will sit down at a little distance from me–like that–in the grass. I shall look at you out of the corner of my eye, and you will say nothing. Words are the source of misunderstandings. But you will sit a little closer to me, every day . . .”
The next day the little prince came back.
“It would have been better to come back at the same hour,” said the fox. “If, for example, you come at four o’clock in the afternoon, then at three o’clock I shall begin to be happy. I shall feel happier and happier as the hour advances. At four o’clock, I shall already be worrying and jumping about. I shall show you how happy I am! But if you come at just any time, I shall never know at what hour my heart is to be ready to greet you . . . One must observe the proper rites . . .”
“What is a rite?” asked the little prince.
“Those also are actions too often neglected,” said the fox. “They are what make one day different from other days, one hour from other hours. There is a rite, for example, among my hunters. Every Thursday they dance with the village girls. So Thursday is a wonderful day for me! I can take a walk as far as the vineyards. But if the hunters danced at just any time, every day would be like every other day, and I should never have any vacation at all.”
So the little prince tamed the fox. And when the hour of his departure drew near–
“Ah,” said the fox, “I shall cry.”
“It is your own fault,” said the little prince. “I never wished you any sort of harm; but you wanted me to tame you . . .”
“Yes, that is so,” said the fox.
“But now you are going to cry!” said the little prince.
“Yes, that is so,” said the fox.
“Then it has done you no good at all!”
“It has done me good,” said the fox, “because of the color of the wheat fields.” And then he added:
“Go and look again at the roses. You will understand now that yours is unique in all the world. Then come back to say goodbye to me, and I will make you a present of a secret.”
The little prince went away, to look again at the roses.
“You are not at all like my rose,” he said. “As yet you are nothing. No one has tamed you, and you have tamed no one. You are like my fox when I first knew him. He was only a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But I have made him my friend, and now he is unique in all the world.“
And the roses were very much embarassed.
“You are beautiful, but you are empty,” he went on. “One could not die for you. To be sure, an ordinary passerby would think that my rose looked just like you–the rose that belongs to me. But in herself alone she is more important than all the hundreds of you other roses: because it is she that I have watered; because it is she that I have put under the glass globe; because it is she that I have sheltered behind the screen; because it is for her that I have killed the caterpillars (except the two or three that we saved to become butterflies); because it is she that I have listened to, when she grumbled, or boasted, or ever sometimes when she said nothing. Because she is my rose. “
And he went back to meet the fox.
“Goodbye,” he said.
“Goodbye,” said the fox. “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.“
“What is essential is invisible to the eye,” the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.
“It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.”
“It is the time I have wasted for my rose–” said the little prince, so that he would be sure to remember.
en have forgotten this truth,” said the fox. “But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose . . .”
“I am responsible for my rose,” the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.