The Idea Dude


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Your life in 6 words

Legend has it that Ernest Hemingway, when challenged to write a novel in six words, produced the following. "For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn". The Toronto Star replicated this challenge, here are some of my favorites:

  • Started out strong, what went wrong?
  • I have studied my life away.
  • I found God in a tipi.
  • I have not accomplished much...yet.
  • Financial good, everything else a bust.

You can find the whole list here

It is amazing how six mere words can convey a myriad of images. It's almost a catalyst for one's imagination. Reading each sentence, I feel I understand whether the author is upbeat, regretful, exhilerated or depressed even though the details are missing.

I thought about what I would say, I'm sure it would be different if I thought about it each year.

This is what I would say today...

Still searching for the Holy Grail

Pray tell me your 6 words...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

10 signs that you're in a startup

Fred Wilson had a post about money-saving tips for startups. Made me think about the dynamics of startups again. Truth is, I've never been out of one, so money or the lack of has always been a concern.

So here are my 10 things to look for that tell you that you're in a startup.

1) You have to bring your own computer to work.
2) An email goes around asking if anyone has a copy of Microsoft Office.
3) None of the office chairs match.
4) Daylight savings means you get to work one more hour.
5) The CEO also writes code.
6) You trip over the network cables at least once a day.
7) The phone rings but because there is only one line, nobody answers it.
8) You know every customer by their first name.
9) Vacation plan? what vacation plan?
10) You working on Friday night... Saturday night... Sunday night...

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Stepping out from the umbrella

I looked up and it was March. The last few weeks have been intensive, writing code as if our lives depended on it. Actually it does, it's an unpaid internal project so the faster we can get it off the ground the better. It's pretty much 24/7 except the breaks to do the family duties. Unfortunately, I'll still be grinding away for quite some time.

I do miss blogging, both the reading and writing. Driving in the rain this week, I realized two things. Firstly, it is important to be networked both from a social and informational point of view. Blogs do both wonderfully and very efficiently too. It's like reading a gigantic newspaper with different reporters every day. Being tapped into a cloud of human thought is privilege we take for granted, that is the power of the unseen collective.

Secondly, you have to step away from the umbrella we often create for ourselves. If each word of each blog is a drop of rain, let it fall on you and immerse you. Read blogs that challenge our thinking, our prejudices, our biases and surely we would be better human beings. Our umbrellas are often created by our culture, our schooling, our friends and our jobs. And if you step back, it shields us from so much. Being exposed to the rest of the world through the Internet, both good and bad, at lightning speed creates dimensions of thought we would have not had in any other way.

I know this to be true, because I feel soulfully poorer today despite the thousands of lines of code I have generated. I wonder if those would wander by my blog and who wait to see my comments on theirs have thought that I have left the building. The reverse is true, I'm really stuck in the basement.

Having wrote this I do feel better already.

But I do think of all of you every day