If you trust the naysayers…

…you will never have success. I read this at Guy Kawasaki’s blog today:

What do you think would have happened if founders listened to pre-release comments about selling used printers online (eBay), creating the tenth search engine (Google), building personal computers for hobbyists (Apple), enabling people to tell their friends that their cat rolled over (Twitter), or rating whether people are good looking (HotorNot)?


If you believe in something, go for it. This is the only way to really find out. Mathematically, the naysayers are right 95% of the time, but believing you’re in the 5% is what makes entrepreneurs are entrepreneurs.

Trust your instincts. You will fall on your face quite a few times, but that’s learning too. Without falling over lots of times, you’ll never learn to run.

“Once in every life/There comes a time/We walk out all alone”

A bit personal…

Robert Scoble and Thomas Hawk already has linked to this. But I have to do it too.

Thomas says:

Cyndie is a single mother of five and the photographs tell the story of her loss of her 10 year old son Derek to cancer. It’s a troubling, moving and emotional series of photographs that show in the most poignent way how powerful photography can be.

Robert says:

I dare you to not cry – The Pulitzer Prize for feature photography goes to Renée C. Byer of the Sacramento Bee. I dare you to look at her work and not cry. Start with the first photo and read the text with each photo (easy to miss cause you have to scroll to read it).

Robert, I cried. One of my childrens friends has cancer. Luckily she is on her way to be cured. It’s the happy ending story. Cyndie’s story is the other story, which didn’t have a happy ending. What a brave mother. Thanks for the links.

Chinese Democracy Syndrome

Gus Mueller writes about programming on his site, about how some programmers wants everything to be perfect before they ship something. There’s a whole lot of wisdom in what he says, and not only for programmers:

…I think sometimes developers can get caught in a trap of trying to make things too “perfect”.

“Like Chinese Democracy” Kirstin said.

To which I replied- “That’s the perfect analogy. I’m going to blog that.”

In case you haven’t heard of it already, Chinese Democracy is an album that Axl Rose, the singer of Guns N’ Roses, has been working on for a very, very long time. The hold up is because he wants to get everything “perfect”. So it never ships.

First-time sex

Merlin Mann has been talking about something similar in a podcast he called First-time Sex & the Beauty of 1.0. Quoting Merlin:

Everybody is so busy making things perfect the first time around, that you never actually make anything

Yup. That’s now officially declared the “Chinese Democracy Syndrome” (or CDS for short). Trying so hard to get version 1.0 perfect, that it never ships.

This applies to other things than software, like complex projects. I’m working on a presentation on something that’s quite difficult to explain to people. And I found myself planning and planning and researching, and not working on the actual presentation. Gus talking about CDS made me think about what Merlin said about the first draft, and now I’ve put together a really bad version 1.0: Fonts, colors, facts, timing and length – everything is bad. But it’s version 1.0 and it’s so much easier to fix version 1.0 than making it (this does not necessarily apply to building houses, bridges and spaceships, I must add…)

The secret of Google and VG

Loving the beta-version is also one of the key ingredients of Google’s success: They make a 70% good product, get it out to people, tag it beta, and let it improve by getting feedback from users and their own experience with it. In Norway the tabloid VG is the biggest website, far ahead of the others. They do the same thing: Get things out. Sometimes they fail miserably, sometimes they score big successes. They would never have known if they just kept the projects on the harddrives, tweaking and tweaking them.

The beauty of Christmas (and holidays)

I was looking through my contacts pictures of Flickr today, and saw this picture by Mary-Anne. The text under it reads…

My sister is visiting from halfway across the country. I asked her how long she’s staying. She said “Till Sunday.” And I realized… that meant absolutely nothing to me.

This is a good thing. A thing worth celebrating. I had (for that brief time) achieved a state of blissful disconnection from the Real World… to the point where I truly had no idea what day of the week it was. Woo hoo. Here’s to holidays from clocks, calendars, and duties of all kinds.

That is the real beauty of holidays: A “blissful disconnection from the Real World” – what a wonderful expression. And having “…no idea what day of the week it was”.

Thanks, Mary-Anne! You put words on something I have been feeling the last days.

The small things

Scoble is doing his exit interview:

A asks: “What would you say is the biggest flaw at Microsoft?”

Its inability to see small things when those things are still small.

Hello every boss out there. Copy. Open new text document. Paste. Select all. Font size: 300 pts. Print. Put on wall in front of desk. Read loud every morning.

(And the word “Microsoft” is not the important word. You can replace that with almost any company or brand name I can think of – a few excepted).


This is making me think too. As with Jason Kottke. Peter says:

Not too long ago, I was very much engaged with many communities. I attended events on design and information architecture and web stuff. Now, I find myself on the periphery of a lot of groups, but none of them feel like a home for me.

Jason says:

I’ve been feeling the same way for quite awhile now and like Peter, I’m not quite sure what to do about it.

It’s strange when someone puts words on something you have been thinking – without knowing it. If you see what I mean…


There’s a new trend among people who suffer from info-glut (=too much info coming to you digitally). The trend is: Delete everything. One example:

But I’m not waiting until then. As of now, my fancy-pants, community-generated, emergent-behavior data-sorting heuristic is: a calendar. If I haven’t gotten to something in a week, it dies. Stick that in your attention economy and smoke it. I’m re-booting. Feed list: empty. In-box: empty. TiVo: OK, OK, I still need to watch “24.” But other than that: empty.

Greg Knaus is not the only one. A-list blogger Robert Scoble also deleted all his feeds from his RSS-reader:

By the way, I deleted all my feeds and am starting over.

(Did you add me back, Robert?)

Throw it out...

(Throw it out – on Flickr)

Cleaning mail

Merlin Mann deals with his e-mail in a similar fashion: Act or delete.

The only way an email will ever get out of your life (and out of your worrying brain) is to either deal with it or get rid of it. If you’re planning to do anything in-between, you should have an explicit understanding of why you’re doing so. Any idea which one of these is a particularly shitty idea?

  • I don’t have time to answer this now (but I will put it in “Respond to” and answer it within X days)
  • I just need to save this for future reference (so I’ll just toss it in my Archive)
  • I need to convert this into an action by the end of the day (so I’ll put it in my “Daily Pending” folder)
  • I’m going to just leave this in my inbox and think about it for a few days. Or months. Or years. Who knows?

Touch everything once whenever possible, but even if you’re busy, take the extra 2 seconds to consider whether this really has any place in your life. If not, just punt it.

I’m not ready to delete my RSS feed collection yet. But with e-mail, I’m with Merlin: Deal with it or get rid of it. I’m not going to use my 2.5 GBs (and rising) on gmail to store bad feelings about NOT gettings done.


From the track “Cozy Prison” on a-ha‘s latest album “Analogue”:

So if you’re careful
You won’t get hurt
But if your careful all the time
Then what’s it worth?

Replace “get hurt” with “lose the game” or “get tired” or “get a ‘no'” or “feel stupid”.

Personal DNA

Expect to see quite a few of these on sites and blogs in the days to come:

Take the test yourself here. Be honest! And put your result in the comments or make a trackback.

According to the test, I’m a “Benevolent Experiencer”. The report said “Your inquisitive nature, imagination, and hands-on practicality make you an EXPERIENCER.”. LOL. Ok, if you know me personally, e-mail me, and I’ll send you my result and PersonalDNA will let you compare your results to mine.

Todd has noticed that you can hoover over the stripes to see the ratings. I hadn’t noticed! Thanks, Todd. Makes the whole thing a bit more interesting! And revealing…

Remember 72 numbers in 60 seconds

Norwegian Oddbjørn By just set a new world record. He got these random numbers:

5, 0, 8, 1, 4, 3, 7, 3, 4, 2, 3, 1, 4, 7, 7, 5, 4, 1, 8, 5, 5, 2, 7, 8, 2, 9, 9, 9, 5, 1, 1, 2, 6, 3, 1, 5, 1, 6, 9, 6, 1, 3, 6, 2, 8, 4, 0, 9, 8, 0, 4, 0, 9, 8, 0, 4, 0, 9, 6, 2, 1, 6, 2, 2, 7, 1, 5, 7, 8, 2, 5, 4.

And got one minute – 60 seconds – to remember them.

Try for yourself. One minute. How many did you remember?

Link (in Norwegian).

Individual freedom

Do you care about your personal freedom? And others? Bruce does:

Individual-i stands for

  • Freedom from surveillance
  • Personal privacy
  • Anonymity
  • Equal protection
  • Due process
  • Freedom to read, write, think, speak, associate, and travel
  • The right to make your own choices about sex, reproduction, marriage, and death
  • The right to dissent

Personal freedom logo

(via Boingboing)