Friday, April 18, 2014

Eulogy Or Resume... Which Document Matters Most?

I can't get over this question (see below)... At 37 years old, I feel like I should probably stop with the gluten and maybe I don't need a Ska Nefarious Ten Pin Porter every Friday night. I also don't need to win every argument at work... I should also think more deeply about helping my fellow man... Perhaps I could go about my entire life more gracefully... What if I started living differently, and thought about the deeper meaning of my life, and how I help? David Brooks, New York Times, Op Editor, is one of my favorite political writers and thinkers. I thought this TEDTalk was one of the most daring in a long time...

Should you live your life according to your resume or eulogy?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Real Secret To Selling

Ever read one of those sales or marketing books? The industry writing about selling and marketing has to be one of the largest... Everyone seems to have a magic unicorn. I'm reading the Challenger Sales Method. Interesting, yeah... I like it. I bought it. My take on it: those that are passionate about what they sell, will sell the most because they know (and love) what they're talking about. All these books are basically the same... We have some amazing new methodology that will revolutionize your sales!!! ACT NOW!!! Some good stuff, some bad stuff. But I've realized one important thing in sales: great sales people, great companies that sell well, they show up!

Everyday people that succeed wake up, get up and show up. They work like hell, making mistakes after trying new things. No, there isn't some secret sauce to what you're doing. Just show up and try hard!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My Review Of The Movie "Jobs"

This rainy weekend I got to watch a chance to watch the movie Jobs about Steve Jobs the mercurial creator of Apple Computers. Like all people interested in tech, I am interested in Steve Jobs. His ideas, how he started Apple and his leadership style are reading topics for me. What drove this man to start Apple and actually deliver on innovation? What was his secret?

After watching the movie, letting the Jobs sink in for a few days, I wanted to give my take on the movie (in spite of Steve Wozniak's review - below). From an acting perspective, I'd say the movie was a B-. The characters were believable, and I liked the casting. However, the plot lacked direction, and thus the characters. I was anticipating the release of the Ipod as the climax, instead it was Steve's glorious return to Apple as CEO whereby he fires one of his closest partners and then does a voice-over for a commercial. As an audience member, I was entertained, but not directed to where the movie was going. But on to why I actually wanted to watch the movie: Jobs, and what I could learn from his life.

Mainly, Jobs seemed to be so focused that he put the product above all else. He wasn't the listening-to-others type... He was driven to see perfection in what he did. I loved the line where he said, "I'm here to make them better". If I had to define leadership, that one quote would be it. But what got me thinking was do all the niceties that we all seem to have to practice get a damn thing done?

In my career, I've been scolded more than once for my "pushing" people to work harder, or even smarter. After watching Jobs, I'm re-thinking those who scolded me. Should you be everyone's best friend? This is business, and we get things done here, with excellence! Perhaps a dose of reality might be due to those folks who press for the "kindness at all costs" way of doing business. Or, maybe Jobs was wrong (as am I, on occasion) and a more strategic approach should be taken, one where you win people over with a way of thinking, instead of force. Could both be true at the same time? Ultimately, I think it depends on your culture... Is your culture one of brute force/constant innovation (where individuality rules) or business processes/hierarchical functions (where niceness is built in)? I think Jobs demonstrated that leadership (individual brilliance) matters and that one person can make a difference - people follow results.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

One Of The Better MTB Videos I've Seen

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Coastal Crew - New MTB Park - Video

Really want to get up to the Northwest this summer!

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Would You Be A Nicer Or Meaner Person, If You Were Rich?

I hope to be able to answer this question later in life...  I can only imagine it. Sitting on piles of money, a reporter would ask me, "were you a nice person with all this money?" One cannot help but think of Scrooge from Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol. Or, perhaps, I would be more like Bill Gates (at least what I see of him). Creating foundations to help educational programs, AIDS and more. Maybe I would be the nicest of all rich people (certainly the one with the most mountain bikes)! There is some research here, and this TEDTalk details it in full.

Interesting, huh? Imagine if you won the uterine lottery? You were born in to a rich and supportive family? You had all the privilege money could buy. Would you be as supportive of your fellow man, or do you think there is more nuance to explore here? Whatever the case, the study was fascinating! The fact is most people DID NOT treat the poor as equals, or friendly for that matter! 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Five Reasons You Should Buy More Stuff At Thrift Stores

It's hard to really pin down where and when the first thrift store opened, but many will say it was during World War II when the Red Cross opened a "Charity Shop" in London. Because of the popularity of the shop (and the idea in general: buy and donate to charity) the stores grew to over 150! It then became a trend which fashioned its way to the United States where Goodwill and the Salvation Army took thrifting to a whole new level. In many ways, the concept doesn't actually require a special building or point of sale system. We all give things (or sell) to those who may want them at a lower (reduced) price. The value is not as high for us, and we might as well make it useful somewhere or for someone else (funny how perception of value can change like that).

I'm a firm believer in Thrift Store shopping! No one can argue the sense of adventure (I don't really adventure with my clothes, except around Halloween). I also have a philosophy when it comes to furniture: it should just come magically or you buy it thrifty. And this is where I start my list of reasons why you should buy more stuff at Thrift Stores.
  1. Where else can you furnish an entire home for $1000 (with higher-end furniture)? 
  2. In a Thrift Store, the 70's, 80's and 90's still live! 
  3. There are surprises around every corner - just found some really cool nightstands, and they are red! 
  4. The people are amazing! They can help you find stuff you didn't know you even needed... I guess that's a good sales person. However, they are generally interested in helping! 
  5. It is called reusing! If you're the eco-conscious type, and you don't buy from Thrift stores... Well, think about that one!