Category Archives: Blatant self promo

Finding the More Perfect You

Not that who you are now is terrible. No doubt, you are a fine specimen of humanity!

But how active are you? Not just physically, but mentally? How curious are you about solving the problems around your? Or do you feel a bit overwhelmed — even if you won’t admit it?

The reality is that most of us fall into that last category. We would like all things to work out for the best, but reality has a way of getting in the way.

The weird thing is that we could do better. I could do better. And we can do better with a simple adjustment. No need for drugs (except of course, for recreational drugs) or trips t the gym or the psychiatrist. We can all do better by seeing reality in a slightly different light.

What does that mean? Isn’t reality just … well … reality? The answer is no! Research tells us that what we see as reality is our filtered view of it. As humans, we are not capable to seeing it in a totally objective way. We have to filter it, and we do in order to survive.

The key point is that we can adjust our filters. In fact, we do adjust our filters every day. For example, when we watch TV or go to the movies . We allow ourselves to get absorbed in something that is not real. We pretend for a short time that it is. We pretend that we can interact with the story being delivered. We suspend our disbelief long enough to have an emotional reaction.  In other words, we gladly accept as real, things that are obviously not for the purpose of altering our attitudes.

So we can adjust our filters. And we therefore can adjust how we see  ourselves as well. Athletes do this all the time. They see themselves as almost as good as the  player they aspire to be. The gap becomes an obsession that drives them to practice. To work. And that work is fun – not tedious. And seeing the gap,  when they play, their sports, they pay close attention to metrics that show whether they are making progress. Not whether they have made it, but whether they are on the path.

So why don’t we all do this? We don’t we all open our eyes to the more perfect person we would like to be? Why not gamify our activities to get there?

Good question. I have no idea why folks don’t do that!

Want an example? Ask yourself this question — why is Michael Jordan so rich? In case you are wondering, he is worth more than $1 billion. The answer is NOT from his basketball salary. It is from his endorsements. And he is still earning over $100 m from endorsements per year now!!!! So why is his name and image so valuable? There were and are lots of other great players. For example Steve Nash showed up Jordan more than once when they played against each other. So too did Larry Bird. Jordan was relieved when Bird finally retired.

The answer is that Jordan conveyed an intense competitive attitude that we all admire. We all want to “be like Mike”. And what does that mean? See above for the answer.

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Why Visit Buzzography Every day?

I have never done this kind of post. Yikes!

Why not? I do this blog for fun. Period. I have no financial ambitions. Nor do I use this blog to build my career or network. I just enjoy it. So it did not really occur to me to get into why I enjoy it.

Here is one reason.

I am always on the lookout for new places on the web to visit and get better insights, access to cool stuff, connect with great people and places, and anything else that catches my eye. So every day, I am checking out  a lot of media, and selecting a few great stories from that search.

Think of this as digital hunter gathering  culture.

So today, I have added a new site that I will visit each morning.

Win & Spirits Magazine (with interesting features on Tokyo)

And I will be checking out these wine mags weekly

That is where I saw their cool post on Zalto wine glasses that I mention below.

So join me over coffee!

And yes, I am a bit obsessed by the Sixers.

And Now, A Brief Adventure from Tartu!

I live in Tartu and love it. But when I say this to folks in New York I get lots of raised eyebrows. Tartu?

So what is the big deal? Hmmm … there is a certain feeling to the place, but we do not really package that feeling very well … yet. This video is a fun attempt. You get to see lots of the main sights and take in a few big events. And what is missing? You don’t get a  sense of the people . But it is fun! Enjoy!

How Much is Your Learning Worth?

We have only a limited amount of time on this planet. It is a scarce resource. We know that. Even if we “waste” time, we know that we need to make up for that waste by being more productive when we work. And best of all, we move to work possibilities that offer a secure return on the investment we make to access and perform than work. In other words, the return that we seek for out time is only in part the amount of cash we get per hour. It  also relates to how likely we are to get it.

This concept — call it time security — is a big motivator for some. Folks concerned about time security invest heavily in gaining knowledge and experience that have relatively high and secure value addede. Like becoming a doctor or a lawyer or an accountant. With this mind set, even if you like doing something else, like painting or writing or whatever, those things take a back seat to doing the things that have a relatively secure pay off.  You may not get rich, but you will never starve either.

This brings out a potential bias in how we organize our work. If we tend to value  security more, we tend to invest less in learning about how to innovate. Why? Because the innovation process is highly risky. Fred Wilson brings this out in an interesting post today.  Even highly experienced VC’s like Fred have a hard time anticipating how much time will be required to nurse along a given project.  They live with that risk as well as the risk of project failure, but lots of people would find that unacceptable.

That is a problem for all of us to the extent that we rely on accelerating the rate of innovation. To get that acceleration, we need more folks who accept the risks involved. And relying on VC’s like Fred to do more funding is not the answer. Why not? Because VC’s do not invest very much in areas that are not IT based. Those are too risky even for them!

In other words, if we need this, we need a new way of making risk taking more manageable over time — by adding more time security in high risk project development.

How to do that? Drum roll please!   Failed projects only fail in one respect. They fail to deliver a product or service to the market that can scale.  But there is another possible value added to pursuing these projects even if we know that they are likely to fail. Each failure generates learning. And if we think about how to maximize the learning we get from projects, we begin to see the institutional framework that maximizes learning in a different light.

The dirty secret is that our institutions are not oriented to pay for shared learning. To the contrary, they are oriented to hording our learning.

Errr … di you get that?

Peeter Unt Has Done an Amazing Here in Tartu!

In case you are wondering, the title does not omit a key word, like “.. an amazing THING …”.  After the legendary NBA basketball star, Moses Malone (who wore the number 2 while he was in Philly) came into his prime,  opponents would say “Watch out! You never know when number 2 will do an amazing on you!” I quite like this slang usage of the word “amazing” as a noun, and am pleased to use it here that way to describe what my friend Peeter has done!

A while back, I posted on an adventure that I was starting out. It was around a year ago. It all started with a conversation I had with the son of a friend of mine. His name is Peeter Unt. Peeter is very nice and creative guy and it was a pleasure just to chat. But Peeter had an idea as well. He wanted to start a new type of business where he would re-work discarded wood into new and beautiful furniture and art works.

Hmmm … interesting idea. To get this going, Peeter had to renovate his workshop, which took some months. When that was done, he got started on doing a project for me — a bookcase that I very badly needed. Time went by and Peeter reported that he was making progress.  No problem! Good stuff is worth waiting for!

And just the other day, I got a look at the good stuff, installed in my home. Here is a view

It is floor to ceiling and fits into a very cool niche on the landing of the second floor.

The bookcase creates a magical space. And I am very excited to be Peeter’s first customer! I am also excited to have coffee every morning in the space that Peeter made for me.

Yes, he already has other orders on the runway!

What I really like about this is that Peeter looks at each project with an eye to bringing discarded things back to center stage. And he is good at it!

Bravo!

Now I am thinking whether it would be possible to incorporate a living wall inside …! Any thoughts?

Image result for living wall

A Chat with Petsa Unt

Around a year ago, Petsa Unt gave me a call to ask for a meeting. I agreed and we sat over lunch while Petsa described a new idea. That idea was to start a business.

Errr … stop yawning!

Not just any business, but a lifestyle business that is devoted to taking used wood products and turning them into furniture. At first, I was not persuaded that this would work. After all, Petsa had a good job and he has a family with kids. Wasn’t he taking a big risk?

But Petsa persuaded me that there was something to this. There is the environmental thing — to re-use wood rather than throw it away — and there is the fun thing too. To figure out ways to use that discarded product to create fun new products.

Piet Hein Eek has been doing this sort of thing for a while.  Here is a piece by Piet

Image result for Piet Hein Eek

Interesting! And there are lots of others who are dabbling in this.

So I pitched a project to Petsa. I showed him a space in my house that needs a new bookcase. And I said, “Go to it!” He has been doing just that.

The first step was to renovate an old shed where he could do his work. That took a while, but he finished it a few months ago. And since then, Petsa has been developing the design of my new bookcase.

I went over to his workshop today — which btw, is very cool — to discuss a few design details. And Petsa said he thinks he can get the project done in early April!

Very cool! I will be posting on this and will offer pics when we get there. For the time being, it is a fun adventure!

 

A Peek at the Web of the Future

In my presentation on Friday here in Tartu via a “Legal hackers” event, I tried to lay out a few things that we know about the web.Here they are

  • the web is MORE essential as a work tool than as an entertainment system
  • It is especially important in accelerating the process of innovation
  • in its current form, we lack dynamic innovation geared towards web services upgrade
  • we can re-architect the web that will give us the dynamism that we need

That is why I am interested in blockchain and crypto. And I was pleased to see Fred Wilson lay this out in a nice slide deck.

If you are interested in how the web will look in five years, check out the link.

Errr … and enjoy your sunday!