Sunday, February 28, 2010

Apple the Non-Benevolent

You know what, I really love Apple for ratcheting up the standards in the IT and consumer electronics industry but I really hate their arrogance and their followers arrogance. They are not benevolent in any way and I'd go so far as to say they're outright evil;

- Destroying partners (Adobe premiere, lightroom, flash)
- Lying in adverts
- Bullying the press
- Bullying employees
- Bullying ex-employees
- Squashing third party hardware developers
- Barb wire guarding their closed eco-system
- Taxing every possible interaction with their system
- Leaving virtually no money for resellers
- Bullying subcontractors to suicide
- Building crap that fails just like everybody else but covering it up
- CEO lies outright regularly ("nobody wants video" - "nobody reads anymore")

Apple = Greed/Control/Monopoly

The thing that pisses me off the most is that this navel-gazing hippy Buddhist CEO has done virtually nothing for the world outside of Apple while Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Ted Turner and all the other 'evil capitalists' give their billions away to the poor of this world.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Minding the Gap

Just got back from London, swapping timezones almost effortlessly these days. I guess it helps that I usually get up at 5AM anyways so it wasn't much of a jolt.

If you're ever in London you'd be out of your mind not to check out the Tate museum. It's bigger and better than Moma or the Guggenheim and unbelievably four out of five floors are FREE!

Impossible things

Impossible things really are mostly improbable things that need a little more time.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Acceleration versus Velocity

Somebody asked me about this so let me follow up on my last post. In life you have to work to get good at stuff and solve problems. This work means that you have to get some inertia and do work and thus you have velocity like a car starting to head down the highway after a burst of acceleration.

Here's the thing, once you have velocity you're tempted to stay there in cruise control where you have to apply very little energy to maintain your velocity. You won't grow or get better. Eventually your car will run out of gas and/or wear out.

To get to a world class level you have to keep the inertia up, keep building momentum and acceleration. I know in some things that I do that I have peaked, I've accepted that. I can't push myself in everything but I understand the process.

Have you peaked in what you really want? Did you stop taking risks? If you've peaked then you don't want it bad enough to eat dirt, fall down and keep getting back up until you've gone from good to great, from great to unbelievable. In that case you're only going to get worse from where you are and the sad thing is that you won't even see it.

Thursday, February 04, 2010


Over the years I've done a lot of thinking about both the strategic and tactical aspects of moving my life and business forward and in the process have read dozens of books and probably thousands of articles on the subject. I have a new twist on this topic based on momentum.

Here’s the deal, let’s say you’re stuck in a situation that you’re not especially thrilled with. It might be job, money, life related or whatever. Most likely the problem isn’t moving too far forward or backwards or enough that you’re not taking very much action on it or all the action that you’re taking isn’t going too far. So you end up in a place where your money is earning you .5% interest, your job is giving you a 5% bonus every year, your body is getting a little crappier and you’re moving forward reaaaaallly slowly. Maybe you aren’t moving forward at all, in fact maybe you’re moving backwards and you’re unhealthier, less employed, less compensated, worth less and less happy than last year. It happens to all of us, don’t take it personally. What I figured in these kinds of situations is that I need momentum. Momentum is different from velocity. With velocity, for example you know that you’re going to get a 3% raise every year and your investments are going to be worth 7% more on average every year. Momentum is what happens when your net disposable income is 2% more next year, 10% the year after then 40%, 100%, 300% and so on exponentially to some ceiling. Momentum in this case is the acceleration of progress or roughly your velocity squared.

How do I get there? Well I don’t know how you are going to get there but I can tell you how I’m getting there. First off if you can’t stomach constant change, risk, perseverance and hard work then go ahead and get some Doritos from your cupboard and head back to to your couch to watch Lost reruns.

There are at least three phases to getting leverage and thus momentum that work for me. Here’s what I know;

Phase I – Stuck in the Swamp

In this phase, you do things over and over the same way with the same results. You’re probably kind of disorganized or marginally organized, demoralized or lightly motivated and mostly stuck in the mud. An example would be your bills and mortgage payments. They come in at random times and you pay them at random times hopefully pretty close to the date where your paycheck or tax refund comes in. You might just be emotionally paralyzed by the accumulation of all the details that you have to deal with.

Phase II – Systems of Velocity and Acceleration

The systems part is straight forward, in this phase you figure out systems to do these things that irritated you and held you back by putting in more effort than necessary one time to figure out properly how to handle things repetitively. You figured out how to arrange your bills, taxes, irritating neighbors, bosses, investments, hobbies, passions. You’ve done it so much that it’s been burnt into your lizard brain stump, the same one that knows how to breathe without thinking. At this point the little stuff that used to be big stuff is getting fired off from what has become brain muscle memory. Bigger stuff is becoming little stuff all the time because you’re making systems and once you’ve done it once its super easy each other time. Acceleration and momentum have begun.

Phase III – Systems of Systems

This part is where it gets really interesting. So you’re firing off systems like they’re popcorn and hopefully you’re delegating the systems to other people and things are moving forward pretty fast. You’re the pioneer, you figure stuff out using perseverance, brains and balls. You systemize it once it’s figured out then replicate, train less motivated people to use your system and reap the rewards and repeat. Cool, now you can create a system for creating systems. You can find people who already built systems or hire people who do nothing but figure out systems. At this point, you’re a system factory and everything you do revolves around sustainable, repeatable systems. This applies to almost anything, diet, health, money, work, hobbies, passions etc. You’ll now understand why the most amazing successful people are SYSTEMATIC but they won’t tell you so because their system is the same one that convinced you that there's a pill to cure your fat ass. It's in their best interest for you to not understand the system. The successful people who aren’t systematic generally specialize in a specific domain where they mastered a single system and when that domain collapses so does their success (Vanilla Ice anyone?).

Phase IV, V, VI – Systems ^ 3 +

I couldn’t exactly tell you much about this phase but this is where VC’s, uber banks, mafias and overlay governments live. I’ll lay it out for you when I get there if they haven't killed me first.