Peter: “There seems to be an absence of an ornothological piece… A headline regarding mass awareness of a certain avian variety…”
Peter: “There seems to be an absence of an ornothological piece… A headline regarding mass awareness of a certain avian variety…”
I’ve been thinking a lot about Posterous.
Especially now that Twitter owns Posterous.
I hope that Twitter keeps Posterous up and running, because I love writing and reading on Posterous, as do many others.
Furthermore, keeping Posterous running will help Twitter to increase their understanding of the Interest Graph.
Some interests run longer than 140 characters, and Posterous is the perfect service for longer tweets. The Interest Graph is so money.
And, keeping Posterous running will give Twitter a great service it can learn from as it iterates through the Creative Process to continually improve.
A post-Twitter Posterous could be wonderful.
Twitter, PLEASE keep Posterous running.
And don’t leave it up to a game of Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock.
Go out of your comfort zone.
Let Posterous live where the magic happens.
1. THE GREAT LAW
As you sow, so shall you reap.
This is also known as the Law of Cause and Effect.
- Whatever we put out in the Universe, is what comes back to us.
If what we want is Happiness, Peace, Friendship, Love…
Then we should BE Happy, Peaceful, Friendly, Loving.
2. THE LAW OF CREATION
Life doesn’t just HAPPEN. It requires our participation.
Whatever surrounds us gives us clues to our inner state.
- BE yourself and DO yourself… what you want to have in your Life.
3. THE LAW OF HUMILITY
What you refuse to accept, will continue for you.
If what we see is an enemy, or someone with a character trait that we find to be negative…
- Then we ourselves are not focused on a Higher Level of Existence.
4. THE LAW OF GROWTH
Wherever you go, there you are.
For us to GROW in Spirit it is we who must change and not the people, places, or things around us.
- When we change who and what we are within our heart, our life changes too.
5. THE LAW OF RESPONSIBILITY
Whenever there is something wrong, there is something wrong in me.
- We must take responsibility for what is in our life.
6. THE LAW OF CONNECTION
Even if something we do seems inconsequential, it is very important that it gets done,
Each step leads to the next step and so forth and so on.
Someone must do the initial work to get a job done.
Neither the first step nor the last are of greater significance.
They were both needed to accomplish the task.
- Past, Present, Future: They are all connected…
7. THE LAW OF FOCUS
- When our focus is on Spiritual Values it is impossible for us to have lower thoughts such as greed or anger.
8. THE LAW OF GIVING AND HOSPITALITY
If you believe something to be true, then sometime in your life you will be called upon to demonstrate that truth.
- Here is where we put what we SAY that we have learned into PRACTICE.
9. THE LAW OF HERE AND NOW
- Old thoughts, old patterns of behavior, old dreams… Prevent us from having new ones.
10. THE LAW OF CHANGE
11. THE LAW OF PATIENCE AND REWARD
All Rewards require initial toil.
Rewards of lasting value require patient and persistent toil.
- True Joy follows doing what we’re supposed to be doing and waiting for the Reward to come in its own time.
12. THE LAW OF SIGNIFICANCE AND INSPIRATION
You get back from something whatever you’ve put into it.
The Value of something is a direct result of the energy and intent that is put into it.
Every personal contribution is also a contribution to the Whole.
Lackluster Contributions have no impact on the Whole, or work to diminish it.
- Loving Contributions Lift Up and Inspire the Whole.
Robert X. Cringely’s first tip for would-be entrepreneurs is:
I’m taking his advice because starting a company is hard.
I want to be lucky, like the kitten that adopted me last week.
For decades my father has told me that
“It’s better to be lucky than to be good.“
I don’t just want to be good; I want to be excellent.
My dad says that to be excellent I should surround myself with people who have good luck. He tells me that people with good luck are contagious — as are people with bad luck!
My dad regularly affirms:
“Avoid the unlucky, the unethical, and the unhappy.“
To find people who are ethical, I have a strategy. My startup co-founder has a sixth sense when it comes to sniffing out ethics; Detective Troutgirl is always on the case.
I want to find people who are as attracted to luck as cats are attracted to heat.
To create luck, I conjure up some scientistic sleuthing.
If 80% of success is showing up, then
80-90% of luck is an excellent attitude.
Daymond John boldly declared on Shark Tank,
“Life is like business. It’s 20% what happens to you, and 80% how you respond.“
Richard Wiseman concurs,
“Only about 10% of life is purely random.
The remaining 90% is defined by the way we think.
Our attitudes produce our luck.“
I read those sentiments over and over, and think to myself: Still, there’s that remaining 10-20% that is pure luck, and that’s the part we need EVEN if we work hard and make wise choices and are as patient as a crouching kitten.
So… How can we MAKE more luck?
Since then, I’ve become aware that there are traits that we can practice to increase our ability to make our own luck.
Practice every day, as much as possible:
1. Openness to new experiences. Network. Meet new people. Re-engage with people you know.
2. Intuition. Listen to yourself. Meditate to clear your mind regularly.
3. Optimism. The mind is a feedback loop that creates self-fulfilling prophecies, so be positive.
4. Resilience. “Success is moving from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” (Winston Churchill)
To that I add, don’t try to avoid pain:
Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you. You just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.
Be open. Be intuitive. Be optimistic. Be resilient. Good luck!
In the meantime, I’m looking forward to Get Lucky: The Book.
I’m going to make it a habit to spend time with people who are lucky, and we’ll see what happens when I practice lucky traits.
I will stay interconnected and get enough sleep.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Refer to me as @ifindkarma and I’ll be happy. You can also find this work as a chapter in Eric Ries’s and Hunter Walk’s wonderful Uncensored book for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Photo credits: All four pictures in this post were taken by me using Instagram on iPhone 4s, and are hosted on Flickr. These pictures feature the cats I humbly serve: Beavis, the 18-year-old silver Tabby; Coco, the 18-month-old Tuxedo kitty; and (unnamed), the 9-month-old lucky black cat who adopted me last week at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley. Not pictured is Lola, the 9-year-old Oklahoma runaway feline who is camera-shy.
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.
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.
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:
Suite 101’s best storytelling rules:
“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:
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!
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.
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.
Apparently that line is not from Goethe.
We shipped the pre-alpha (alphalpha?) of PandaWhale on Cinco de Mayo 2011.
Our alphalpha is at 106miles.net so startup folks can have conversations.
Every week we simplify and improve PandaWhale for 106miles.net …
For now, we need more time. And more pandas …