Showing 31 posts tagged action

Lanyrd: from idea to exit - the story of our startup

It is not easy. It may well not be the right path for you. If you choose to do a startup make sure you know the risks and you are doing it for the right reasons.

Build something you care about.
Build something that makes peoples lives better. 
Build something that will motivate you against all odds.

Embrace serendipity. Grab all the opportunities you can, work harder than you have ever worked, make your own luck but do look after yourself first. Eat right, sleep decent hours and try to get as much of a work / life balance as you can.

- Natalie Downe

The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day … you will never be stuck. Always stop while you are going good and don’t think about it or worry about it until you start to write the next day. That way your subconscious will work on it all the time. But if you think about it consciously or worry about it you will kill it and your brain will be tired before you start.

Ernest Hemingway, on the paralysis that often comes when stopping and restarting projects.

Perfectionism is not the key to success. In fact, research shows that perfectionism is correlated with depression, anxiety, addiction, and life paralysis or missed opportunities. The fear of failing of making mistakes, not meeting people’s expectations, and being criticized keeps us outside of the arena where healthy competition and striving unfolds.

Brene Brown, written in her new book Daring Greatly

Don’t Learn How To Code, Learn How To Make Things

You know what is fun? Making things. Turning a spark of creative insight into a thing that you can show people — a thing that people can use and from which they can derive some iota of pleasure or utility. Start with a simple website. Basic HTML and CSS. No product is too small. In fact, the opposite is true. If you don’t know how to build the first version of your product in a weekend — a usable working version, don’t try to build it. Programming is a means to an end, not an end in itself. You should be trying to do as little of it as possible to make the thing that you want.

The fastest way to make something is to simply start. Don’t get caught in the never ending process of learning, researching, and over-thinking your idea.

The Cost of Neutral

“If you go to work and do what you’re told, you’re not being negative, certainly, but the lack of initiative you demonstrate (which, alas, you were trained not to demonstrate) costs us all, because you’re using a slot that could have been filled by someone who would have added more value. […]

Not adding value is the same as taking it away.”

— Seth Godin

I could not agree more with this post by Seth Godin. Having people on your team operate at neutral is often more costly than having someone negative on the team. At least with someone underperforming or negative it’s clear when you need to part ways, but the neutral team members tend to stay around longer than they should.

You Just Have To Do Something

Throughout life we are impacted with moments that are rich with meaning and significance. Regardless of the joy or sorrow that these moments create, it is our job to listen and respond. This summer I was given the gift of one of those profound moments.

On a warm August afternoon, my wife and I invited some close friends over for lunch to spend the day swimming in our pool. We were in the water playing with our kids, watching them one-up each other jumping in, and playing all the usual games.

One of the times my daughter climbed out to jump back in, she cried out in pain after stepping on a bee. As soon as I pulled out the stinger left behind in her foot, one by one more bees began to swarm. Thinking that the dead bee was attracting others, I picked it up and went inside to throw it away.

The moment I opened the trash in the kitchen I heard my wife scream outside. It wasn’t an ordinary scream. I look outside right at the moment she was diving into the water. Racing outside I was certain that she was being attacked by the aggressive bees.

I made it to the edge of the water right when she was coming up. My heart sank. In her arms was our little boy, blue and lifeless.

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The Game That Almost Didn't Happen - Goldeneye 64

Goldeneye 64 was one of those games that I spent countless hours timing guards’ paths for flawless missions and rocket launcher only multiplayer matches.  When the team at Rare was first approached with the opportunity for they game they nearly turned it down, and faced challenges with a still in development platform.  Their startup success story is inspiring to say the least.

Despite everything, the game went on to become the third highest selling N64 game, inspire console shooting games, and win a crazy amount of awards. Next time you’re heading down the wrong way of the entrepreneurial rollercoaster, take a deep breath, make a cup of tea, and remember that you can make it happen. Persevere and dominate.

It’s better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing, than a long life spent in a miserable way.

Alan Watts

The quote is from a recent post on Shelby White’s (Wanken) blog asking "What Do You Want To Do?"  If you take money off the table completely, what is it that would get you up in the morning anxious to dive right in?


In response to the glut and excess of todo applications, Jeff Atwood makes the case for ditching the list’s “soul-draining exercises in reductionism”.

Here’s my challenge. If you can’t wake up every day and, using your 100% original equipment God-given organic brain, come up with the three most important things you need to do that day – then you should seriously work on fixing that. I don’t mean install another app, or read more productivity blogs and books. You have to figure out what’s important to you and what motivates you; ask yourself why that stuff isn’t gnawing at you enough to make you get it done. Fix that.

For quite some time I have kept a simple, daily, mental (or sometimes handwritten) things to focus on list consisting of the three things that are priority for the day.  If I start to get off track or tackle projects that are not a priority for that day it’s a good reminder to get back on track.

Your idea sucks, now go do it anyway

“Newsflash: Your idea probably sucks, and it doesn’t matter because your business will probably turn out to be something completely different.”

Paypal started out as a way to beam money from one Palm Pilot to another, of course after you connected your Palm Pilot to your computer and dialed into the internet.  Flickr was born from a photo sharing feature inside a pointless online-game called “Game Neverending”

Just start the process of turning your idea into action and you’ll usually find your way along the journey.

Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency. Remember that our sons and grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us. Let your watchword be order and your beacon beauty. Think big.

Daniel Burnham, architect (1864-1912) - The man that built some of the worlds first skyscrapers and created urban plans for Chicago, Washington DC, San Francisco, Cleveland, and Manila before the profession of urban planning existed.

The 1-Step Plan for Super-Productivity

Wake Up Early

Excellent article from 99 Percent on how rising early to start your day will lead to better productivity and a greater sense of control over your day.

When I interview creatives, I often ask them what advice they would give to the next generation, the up-and-comers. Curiously, there’s one incredibly important habit that nearly all of them possess that is almost never mentioned. So what is the secret ingredient in their productivity regime? It’s simple: They get up early.

Over the next two weeks I’m going conduct an experiment and try several techniques to shift my schedule to early mornings verses late into the night, define a consistent work schedule, boost my focus on one thing at a time, and get better at keeping a todo list. During this process I plan on writing about my personal reasons for the experiment, some of the techniques I’m trying and of course the results. Wish me luck!