Business is not a popularity contest

In the book The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau, he interviews a lot of entrepreneurs and shares insights in how each one got their start. One interview that I found inspiring is with Naomi Dunford and here is what she said about business:

Remember that the goal of business is profit. It’s not being liked, or having a huge social media presence, or having amazing products that nobody buys. It is not having a beautiful website, or perfectly crafted email newsletters, or an incredibly popular blog. In larger businesses, this is called accountability to shareholders. Business is not a popularity contest.

It’s easy to look at others followers, retweets, and shares and compare ourselves, but when it’s related to business none of that matters. Sure it helps, but it isn’t the goal. The goal is profit.

Good Intentions

I meet you through an acquaintance and that first meeting was so inspiring.

Just as I started to get to know you, an urgent task was handed to me. I thought I could finish it really quick and come back just where we left off.

A few hours passed and you waited so patiently. Of course, I hadn’t forgotten about you, but it’s working hours and fires have to be put out. I left you hanging and I’m sorry.

At the end of the day, I saved your info with every intention of looking you up again. But the next day I was too busy, and the next, and the next. I was selfish and I’m sorry.

Years later as I was cleaning out my Pocket I found your info again. I had no memory of that first meeting or the friend that introduced us. All I could do is trash it and I’m sorry.

Happy Valentines day to all the links I’ve promised to read and never did.

A $50K Russian Truck

Would you like to go wherever the hell you want? Using its self-inflated tires, Russia’s SHERP ATV can give you that pleasure. It will climb over obstacles as tall as 27.5 inches, swim with ease, turn like a tank and look awesome in any situation for only $49,000 worth of Rubles.

I have nothing in my life I could use this for but I want it anyway.

via [TruckYeah]

Developers – Have a Backup Plan

As developers, we know that backups are important. We backup our computers, databases, servers, and use version control. Everything is backed up for that “awe crap” moment that is inevitable.

This mindset is so engrained into our workflow we don’t give it much thought. It’s just the way it’s done.

Backups shouldn’t end at work. This same methodology should be applied to your money. Having an emergency fund, with money you only use in a true emergency, is vital to life. Just as we plan for failure for our code, life is going to have hard times and it should be planned for.  Continue reading “Developers – Have a Backup Plan”

NASA Space Posters

Via the Verge:

Today, Seattle design firm Invisible Creature released three gorgeous new space-themed travel posters commissioned by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for a 2016 calendar that will be given to NASA staff, scientists, engineers, and government officials. JPL will also release digital copies of each month’s artwork for free, but you can buy physical prints of Invisible Creature’s posters on the firm’s website.

nasa_posters_blog

I think these look awesome and can’t wait to book my trip to Mars, I hope I find a potato there.

Work Ethic from the Wright Brothers

In our ever-connected world unplugging is hard. It seems like we are trained to amuse ourselves every waking hour. We have lost the ability to be bored and let our minds wonder.

The Wright brothers, who pioneered flight, at the turn of the century have an inspirational story. When they started dreaming about flying they weren’t the only ones. One of their competitors had government funding and resources available that the brothers couldn’t compete with.

In today’s time, it would be a bootstrapper against a VC backed company. A huge underdog. This didn’t deter the brothers and they kept true to their goals throughout the whole process and didn’t pay any attention to what this other company was doing.

One area of their story that stood out to me is their work ethic. Throughout their whole career, they never worked on Sunday. Always using it as a day of rest and rejuvenation.

Another example is during a showing in France the flyer arrived all torn up from shipping and it had to be rebuilt. A wealthy man allowed the brother to use a big room in his business as a workshop and even gave him men to help with the rebuild. These men could barely understand English and was more of a hindrance, yet, Mr. Wright kept the same work schedule as the other workers. When the lunch whistle blew he took lunch. When the end of day whistle blew he went home. Neither brother ever worked on Sunday and it seemed like they knew all the pieces would come together at the right time.

If the Wright brothers facing the monumental task of being the first to fly can take a break, don’t you think we should too?

These stories adapted from The Wright Brothers by David McCullough.

Taskwarrior – Learning From Open Source

Taskwarrior has a short list of advice and quotes for open source maintainers. Some of my favorites:

Every change will ruin someone’s day. They will be sure to tell you about it. The same change will improve someone’s day. You will not hear of this.

People will threaten to not use open source software because it lacks a feature, thereby mistaking themselves for paying customers.

Many new users will submit feature requests, just to show that they are knowledgeable and clever. They don’t really want that feature, it’s a form of positive feedback.

via Taskwarrior – What Have We Learned From This Open Source Project?.