I wish we had people willing to do great things like this in Indonesia. But at the moment I guess I’ll have to live with the dial-up quality fake unlimited broadband internet they offer here. But hey, a man can dream, right?
Very interesting post. If it’s ok I’d like to reblog it. Thanks!
A founder’s skill is knowing how to recognize new patterns and to pivot on a dime. At times the pattern is noise, and the vision turns out to be a hallucination. Knowing how to sort between vision and hallucination can avoid chaos inside your startup.
Yuri, one of my ex students started a big-data analytics company last year. He turned his PhD thesis into a killer product, got it funded and now was CEO of a company of 30. It was great to watch him embrace the spirit and practice of customer development. He was constantly in front of customers, listening, selling, installing and learning.
And that’s where the problem was.
I got to spend time inside his company while I was using their software to analyze early-stage ventures. What I saw reminded me of some of the best and worst things I did as a founder.
A Pivot a Week
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An amazing TED talk by Regina Dugan, director of DARPA. Certainly worth a watch if you can spare the time.
So I mentioned in my post before that I have been picking up coding. I am taking an online course on MIT OpenCourseWare, I am learning the basics of Python from learnpythonthehardway.org, which is an excellent way to get acquainted with the basics of coding, and also reading the book Think Python, which is also an excellent book to learn the foundations of programming.
I know its not much at the moment, but I am proud to say that I worked on this site on my own, with some assistance in purchasing the domain and setting up the host server. The coding is all done in HTML edited with notepad ++, and my FTP client to upload files to server is WinSCP.
Also, the site is mobile responsive meaning that if you view it using your laptop it will show 3 columns, but if you resize your window, or, you are viewing on your iphone or android phone browser the layout will resize to single column, like this:
I thought this was pretty cool and I was surprised how simple this was to implement. I may not understand the underlying coding involved to make this thing happen yet, but that is something I intend to learn over time. The framework I used to make this responsive site is GetSkeleton.
I am reminded of something I read on the learnpythonthehardway.org, it’s that learning to code is like learning a musical instrument. Before you write music you have to learn the chords, before you understand the chords you have learn the scales, before you learn the scales you have to learn how to move your fingers. And that is the stage that I am at, I am learning to move my fingers on the instrument an getting a feel of what I can do with this.
On a closing note, It’s a really exciting feeling working on something and seeing it come to life, and I am getting as excited about learning to code as I was about learning to play guitar almost 20 years ago when I was a teenager.
Hopefully I will learn something useful that I can use to build something that I can call my own.
It’s been a while since I last posted here.
I’ve been really busy at work, trying to get back into the groove of jogging everyday, and trying to learn how to code in python, just for the sake of learning something new.
I recently subscribed to the new Sitra WiMax internet service in my area, which in itself is an interesting experience I might post about (hint: the service is hit or miss, sometimes it’s really fast, sometimes I just can’t connect, but that’s another story).
Now at work I have been taking on more management responsibilities meaning that I am spending more time talking and listening to people and trying to solve problems, and less time behind the screen in front of my computer grinding away. Which is fine because I guess that’s what management is supposed to be, interacting with people.
One interesting interaction I had was in a sharing session I held with all my team members, one person asked me, “What is your motivation?”
Instantly I was reminded of something physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson shared on reddit a few months back during an AMA when he was asked by a redditor on any advice he might have to a young person looking for motivation in life. Dr. Tyson had this to share, (and you can see the original thread here):
The problem, often not discovered until late in life, is that when you look for things like love, meaning, motivation, it implies they are sitting behind a tree or under a rock. The most successful people recognize, that in life they create their own love, they manufacture their own meaning, they generate their own motivation.
For me, I am driven by two main philosophies, know more today about the world than I knew yesterday. And along the way, lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that gets you.
Inspiring words from a great man. This perfectly sums up my feeling on what motivation is. All along my youth I thought that I needed people to tell me what to do or what to be, only after I gained the confidence to believe in myself and create my own path in life did I achieve any personal progress, and this belief that we have to generate our own motivation has driven me so far.
So back to my session, I answered simply that for me, my motivation comes from within myself, to be a better person today that I was yesterday, and to make this world a better place for everybody around me, starting with my family, my colleagues and friends, and so on.
That is my motivation in life.