Saturday, September 20, 2014

Article Clipping at its Best

My mother is an article clipper.  When I stop by, she often has articles she clipped from a newspaper or magazine for me.  And she does this for everyone else in her life.

I realize I have become the same way.  The difference is most of what I read is online so I clip URLs and email them to people that I think might be interested in an article.  And many of the articles I email were emailed to me - so I am just passing them on.

She clipped an article/book report that combined a review on 2 books - The Organized Mind - Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload by Daniel Levin and The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We've Lost in the World of Constant Connections by Michael Harris.

"In 2011, Americans (and I assume Canadians) took in 5 times as much information as they did in 1986."

As the titles suggest, information and connectivity are a problem and we need strategies to cope.  I know this first hand.  When I was in "CEO mode", I was fast and responsive.  Lately I have noticed I am less so.  Thinking I can use some of the strategies suggested in these books.  More for my reading list.

Silence can be empowering.


Some interesting tidbits:

CEO's who run marathons are better CEO's.  This seems intuitive in the discipline needed to run a marathon.  Good CEO's are goal driven and a marathon is often a goal.  I also know it requires a high level of fitness to lead an executive life.  Where it is counter intuitive is real marathon training takes a lot of time.  It would be tough to properly train in even 6-7 hours per week.  Marathons are beyond fitness (I say this - yet I have run 6 of them).

I like the Goldman Sachs article on the internet of things.  I am taken back to my early days in business when we sold a lot of analogue to digital boards (well a lot relative to being a small company).  Those are the basis of most of the internet of things - they allow sensors to be read (temperature, pressure, etc.)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Growing Ice Cream

From an email exchange with a friend on what makes successful entrepreneurs:

listen - filter - learn - lead

Not blind obedience.

Work ethic - time management - energy - passion.

And the appropriate mix of dreams and reality, focus and trying different things.

Statistical experimentation.

Learning is the big one.

I thought this simple article on 5 things to do before bed to jump start your day was good.


And for those who thought they were too old to start a venture.


And always thinking of Venture Returns.


I was speaking with my grandson, Josh while we were eating dinner:

Josh:  Grandpa - do you like zucchini?

Me: Of course - it is great.

Josh while squeezing the zucchini from his plate in his hand: you can have mine

And later we were talking about my garden, planting seeds, harvesting etc:

Me:  I grow zucchini, lettuce, beets, beans and lots of herbs in my garden.  Are you going to have a garden when you grow up?

Josh:  Yes

Me: What are you going to grow?

Josh:  Ice Cream

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

No Substitute for Time in - But Perfect Time in

I love the early mornings.  So many things I love to do in these hours.  Cannot say I am a great fan of the darkness at 6 AM now though.

One of my favourite thought leaders and authors, Malcolm Gladwell,  studied what made people experts in their field.   Through his studies, he found that people who put more time in became more proficient and more expert.  His magic number was 10,000 hours makes a person expert.  Want to become a piano master?  Practice for 10,000 hours.  Want to become a great artist? Practice for 10,000 hours.

I took karate for about a decade.  My karate instructor said "perfect practice makes perfect - practice alone does not".  There is validity in that - spending the time practicing wrong just makes you perfect at doing things wrong.

I also know this from playing internet chess mindlessly.  I can put the hours in but get no better.  To improve requires focus, study and perfect practice.

I know there is no substitute for time in.  I have an organic vegetable garden.  If I spend time, it has few weeds and few pests.  Interestingly, in this case, mindless puttering gets the job done - no perfection required.

But it is not all about time - it is about energy.  I know when I am high energy (like early mornings), I have the focus to do "perfect".  When I am tired, I tend to do mindless.  So from an efficiency view - anything I can do to increase the amount of energy or high energy hours, the more effective I will be.  And if I spend my high energy hours on high perfection task, I will accomplish more.

And the puttering time can still add value to the things that can be accomplished with puttering.

A good friend of mine's daughter did her movie debut in a Jennifer Anniston movie  - Life of Crime.  I am looking forward to watching it.

And a quote for the day:

Some people see things that are and ask, Why? Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why not? Some people have to go to work and don't have time for all that.

George Carlin


I am thinking I need to do a songbook.  Just like IBM did in 1937.  Check it out.

To provoke thought, there is a good article in the Atlantic on the new editors of the internet.

The grandkids - Victoria and Josh.  Puttering or perfect practice?  Or perhaps just enjoying being.