Monday, December 31, 2007

Take a sec

and watch this.

Been mighty busy

The Year

This year was pretty intense. I spent two years buying out dead weight business partners and rebuilding my business and in the process ended up with a brand new outlook on things. First off, my business has been re-engineered and is doing great. This was largely because I was under so much pressure to raise funds to buy out my partners and had no safety net in the process. Failure wasn't an option. Second, I really learnt the value of teamwork and have had awesome teams around me in all aspects of my life. Weeding out the people that were negative influences was painful but in the end I have a fantastic crew. Third, I have in this past year not only expanded my reach in business as far as I could but also took a lot of risks in diversified investments and they all seem to be paying off reasonably well.

The Projects

This year I've been fortunate enough to win over new customers from all around the world and a few major ones in North America. I can't say that I did it myself, I couldn't have done it without the amazing team that I've been lucky enough to assemble. We've killed ourselves and amazed our customers and that's the key to keeping up momentum. We've had 6 major projects in 5 cities and all of them were executed with class and finesse and of course were profitable as well. The biggest project had nothing to do with my primary technology business - I invested in some property in Costa Rica where we'll be building a private resort. The first step was renovating the nearly finished villa that was already there.

Costa Rica

We started with a partially finished shell in August and just completed the renovations and a new infinity pool two weeks ago. This was an intense 4 months in which everything that could possibly go wrong did. Not only is the property on a peninsula that only has ferry access, it's also on top of a pretty steep hill and there are no concrete trucks in this region. It gets better, the renovations and pool construction were done in the rainy season which was the worst one in 30 years. Our main road got washed out twice, there was a tornado that zipped by 100M from the house and of course an earthquake in Peru triggered a small tsunami.

The People

It's all about the people. The team that worked with me on this, my construction manager in CR, the locals who he hired and the contractors were all unbelievably loyal in a place where nobody is reliable or very concerned about anything at all. They were all amazing and we showed gratitude by treating them with utmost respect and then turned the villa over to the construction crew on the final night so they could party with a pig feast to celebrate an impossible job. These people were so happy to be able to have a party in the house that many of them looked like they were going to cry. None of them had ever been allowed in all of the pools and houses that they worked on let alone have a party with all their bosses and whoop it up in the pool. That alone made it worth it.

The Villa

The first 3 bedroom villa in the project is complete and is taking bookings. It's a referral only kind of thing but ask me nicely if you're interested in renting it. We set the bar really high especially given that it's in such a remote surfing town but I think that the results are pretty spectacular.

Santa Teresa

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Christmas Challenge

Here's a balls out challenge open to all my friends and associates in or around Montreal, I will match dollar for dollar any donation to Dans la Rue between now and Dec 31st of this year up to a grand total of a (a big number edited out) (mucho pain + ouch + yikes! + sandwiches for a year). The only catch is that I have to know you already to match your donation. Email me.

Edit: I made the total matching amount private because it seemed pompous and self serving but the offer remains the same and the sum hasn't changed. It's a big painful number, believe me.

A Secret about The Secret

Man, I can't believe how many people I've met that have bought into this Oprah induced "The Secret" bullshit. Seems like a great placebo for the North American culture of quick fixes. Take a pill and lose 100lbs, make a wish and "the secret" will make it come true through the cosmic nature of the universe - how utterly absurd.

This is such an enormous load of shit and yet so successful that I wished sometimes that I was in the business of selling snake oil to gullible idiots who need quick fixes. I can't do it because I just don't have the heart.

If you think that I'm a bitter old toad, at least humor me and spend ten bucks and read some alternatives. A much better credible alternative is "Power of Your Subconscious Mind" followed by "Learned Optimism" and "Giant Within" and finally when you're on fire and the game is on you'll need "48 Laws of Power" and "The Art of War".

Buy a dozen copies of The Secret and give them to your enemies and competitors so you can crush them while they're making wishes and summoning up cosmic forces.

Edit: The quick fix weight loss pills will make your ass leak oil.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Beware of Non-Problem

I'll admit it, I got sucked in by an expert telling me "no problem". I had an architectural problem with some complex geometry and I handed the problem over to an architect as I was clearly in over my head. "No problem" she says. Ten weeks later, still no solution but I'm still hearing "no problem". Somethings not right here so I start pressing harder, finally after coming a nanosecond away from a bat-shit crazy drooling foaming rabid psycho homicidal freak-out, it's revealed that (wait for it) there's really a big problem after all.

I'm an idiot for not listening to my gut. When somebody tells me there's no problem and doesn't tell me how they're going to solve the "non problem", the alarm should have gone off.Now the non-problem is once again my problem. Fuck do I ever hate when that happens and the next person that has a non-problem with a non-solution is going to get a good kick in the proverbial nuts, either that or a bat-shit crazy drooling foaming rabid psycho homicidal freak-out.

Saturday, December 01, 2007


Kind of like watching a overturned heineken truck, horrific yet compelling.