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How to get unblocked: see freshly for yourself

Excerpt from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig:

“He’d been innovating extensively. He’d been having trouble with students who had nothing to say. At first he thought it was laziness but later it became apparent that it wasn’t. They just couldn’t think of anything to say.

One of them, a girl with strong-lensed glasses, wanted to write a five-hundred word essay about the United States. He was used to the sinking feeling that comes from statements like this, and suggested without disparagement that she narrow it down to just Bozeman.

When the paper came due she didn’t have it and was quite upset. She had tried and tried but she just couldn’t think of anything to say.

He had already discussed her with her previous instructors and they’d confirmed his impressions of her. She was very serious, disciplined and hardworking, but extremely dull. Not a spark of creativity in her anywhere. Her eyes, behind the thick-lensed glasses, were the eyes of a drudge. She wasn’t bluffing him, she really couldn’t think of anything to say, and was upset by her inability to do as she was told.

It just stumped him. Now he couldn’t think of anything to say. A silence occurred, and then a peculiar answer: “Narrow it down to the main street of Bozeman.” It was a stroke of insight.

She nodded dutifully and went out. But just before her next class she came back in real distress, tears this time, distress that had obviously been there for a long time. She still couldn’t think of anything to say, and couldn’t understand why, if she couldn’t think of anything about all of Bozeman, she should be able to think of something about just one street.

He was furious. “You’re not looking!” he said. A memory came back of his own dismissal from the University for having too much to say. For every fact there is an infinity of hypotheses. The more you look the more you see. She really wasn’t looking and yet somehow didn’t understand this.

He told her angrily, “Narrow it down to the front of one building on the main street of Bozeman. The Opera House. Start with the upper left-hand brick.”

Her eyes, behind the thick-lensed glasses, opened wide. She came in the next class with a puzzled look and handed him a five- thousand-word essay on the front of the Opera House on the main street of Bozeman, Montana. “I sat in the hamburger stand across the street,” she said, “and started writing about the first brick, and the second brick, and then by the third brick it all started to come and I couldn’t stop. They thought I was crazy, and they kept kidding me, but here it all is. I don’t understand it.”

Neither did he, but on long walks through the streets of town he thought about it and concluded she was evidently stopped with the same kind of blockage that had paralyzed him on his first day of teaching. She was blocked because she was trying to repeat, in her writing, things she had already heard, just as on the first day he had tried to repeat things he had already decided to say. She couldn’t think of anything to write about Bozeman because she couldn’t recall anything she had heard worth repeating. She was strangely unaware that she could look and see freshly for herself, as she wrote, without primary regard for what had been said before. The narrowing down to one brick destroyed the blockage because it was so obvious she had to do some original and direct seeing.

He experimented further. In one class he had everyone write all hour about the back of his thumb. Everyone gave him funny looks at the beginning of the hour, but everyone did it, and there wasn’t a single complaint about “nothing to say.” In another class he changed the subject from the thumb to a coin, and got a full hour’s writing from every student. In other classes it was the same. Some asked, “Do you have to write about both sides?” Once they got into the idea of seeing directly for themselves they also saw there was no limit to the amount they could say.”

HELP WANTED:  IOS/Android App and WordPress Web Developer.

HELP WANTED:  IOS/Android App and WordPress Web Developer.

Looking front end and back end web/app developer for a user-facing budgeting and savings tool.  The tool involves a basic calculator function, similar to a mortgage calculator app/website, such as:

https://www.zillow.com/mortgage-calculator/

Successful completion of the app will include certification and release to the Apple and Google App Stores.  Qualified candidate will have knowledge of multiple code languages and technologies. Experience with social network account creation APIs a plus but not required.

The second element to the project is to be able to have user registration and tracking, with login, such as:

https://www.acorns.com/

The purpose of the project is to service anybody with a “DIY Ethos”, people who may do their own repairs or home improvements, by helping and encouraging them keep a log of their projects and “reward” themselves for saving money.  

“Minimum Variable Product” for the project is here:

  https://diysavingslog.com/

BACKGROUND:

I have worked for a Fortune 500 company for 18 years.  On the side, I am founder and key contributor to www.saunatimes.com, the go to site for information about authentic sauna.  I also build authentic Finnish saunas. I wrote a book on how to build a sauna, which has sold several thousand copies. I have helped several hundred people build their own sauna.  I have over 3,000 email addresses of like minded DIY enthusiasts who will represent a good target representation for this product.

I enjoy doing a lot of my own home maintenance and improvements but never treat myself for saving money vs. hiring. This project keeps track of my DIY projects and gives me permission to treat myself once and awhile.  

Ideal candidate will have their hand in a project that will go to market.  In addition to this resume builder, with successful deliverables, I will be a solid reference for candidate as they pursue their career objective.  We can arrange for a fair “pay for project rate” or hourly based on deliverables, whichever works best.

Web Developers making something for the marketplace (vs. just doing theory stuff).

Processing some of Poor Charlie’s Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger

In no particular order, and some of my  free form responses to Charlie Munger’s seminal work.  He’s the right hand man with Warren Buffett.  This publication is sighted by many as a great source of influence and knowledge for business.  Running a business, investing, and in the larger context: some great life lessons on its own.  (outside of business).  His stuff is in bold.  my comments are [between these things].

 1. “Any year that you don’t destroy one of your best-loved ideas is probably a wasted year.”  [Boom! Right off the bat I wholeheartedly disagree with one of his claims.  Why can’t a best loved idea just be that?  Maybe the idea isn’t ready to bring forward yet.  Or maybe we are not ready for the idea yet.  To force oneself to have to move or destroy a best loved idea within a year is an awful way to go.  I gravitate to fellow entrepreneurs because we think openly, free from shackles of time (and other elements).  Why can’t we love our ideas?  Why do we have to destroy them.  We can execute or destroy a best loved idea on our own time.  Yuck!  -1 for Charlie Munger.]

2. “Never fool yourself, and remember that you are the easiest person to fool.” – Richard Feynman.  [Absolutely.  Ego is the Enemy.  We are easily prone to drink too much of our own Kool-Aid.  Travel, being open to meeting and dialoguing with strangers, especially people very different from ourselves.  These things help us to be less prone to fool ourselves.  They help keep us in the real world, vs. an idealistic self absorbed bubble.]

3. [Charlie Munger thinks social proof causes humans to think like sheep, so contrary thinking invites new ideas that are possibly more objectively correct.  +1 for Charlie Munger.]

4. “Invert, always invert. Many hard problems are best solved only when they are addressed backwards.”   [I’d like to read more examples on this, and in the context of innovation.  He mentions this one: “If you want to help India, the question you should consider asking is not: “How can I help India?” Instead, you should ask: “How can I hurt India?” You find what will do the worst damage, and then try to avoid it.”]

5. “It is impossible to begin to learn that which one thinks one already knows.” – Epictetus.  [OK, fine, but why do we have to be so hard on ourselves?  At some point, we have to believe in things that we think we already know.  If not, won’t we be walking around like kindergarteners, questioning everything?  This is a beautiful way to live if we just want to play and look at the world in wonderment, smelling flowers all day.  But successful, happy people I know appear to me to have built a foundation of knowledge and principles as a base line for growth.  They are never afraid to learn.  But they’re not afraid to have a bit of confidence and momentum for figuring out some shit along the way.  -1 for Charlie Munger.]

6. “I could improve your ultimate financial welfare by giving you a ticket with only twenty slots in it so that you had twenty punches— representing all the investments that you get to make in a lifetime. And once you’d punched through the card you couldn’t make any more investments at all. Under those rules, you’d really think carefully about what you did and you’d be forced to load up on what you’d really thought about. So you’d do so much better.” – Warren Buffett.  [Love this.  It summarizes Buffett’s long term investment strategy.  More than this, it reminds me of Cuba for some reason.  In Cuba, they don’t throw away much, because they have to make what they have work.  In the US, cars from the 1950s got crunched for new cars.  In Cuba, no new cars were coming in, so they kept repairing what they have.  It’s great to work with constraints.  Constraints are blessings in disguise.  They get us to think creatively.  +1 for Charlie Munger.]

7. Psychology Mental Models.

Hammer-and-nail bias.

Appealing to person’s self-interest

Consistency principle

Social proof

Sunk cost

Deprival super-reaction

First conclusion bias

Crowd folly

Reciprocity

Five Ws – Who, What, Where, When, Why

[Wait a minute.  This seems oddly familiar to Robert Caldini’s 6 Principles of Persuasion.  Whichever came first, it’s ok, because I like and agree with these.]

8. Autocatalysis: “Disney is an amazing example of autocatalysis. They had all those movies in the can. They owned the copyright. And just as Coke could prosper when refrigeration came, when the videoeassette was invented, Disney didn’t have to invent anything or do anything except take the thing out of the can and stick it on the cassette. And every parent and grandparent wanted his descendants to sit around and watch that stuff at home on videocassette. So Disney got this enormous tail wind from life. And it was billions of dollars worth of tail wind. Obviously, that’s a marvelous model if you can find it. You don’t have to invent anything. All you have to do is to sit there while the world carries you forward…”  [Note to brain: remember this word: autocatalysis.  Very good.  Everybody with a smart phone in their pocket is a MASSIVE foundation for autocatalysis.  There’d be no Uber without smart phone.  The list is long.]

9.  Remember: “Only twenty percent of the people can be in the top fifth“.  [Totally.  I saw this when I saw people going into Starbucks for the first time.  All high end fancy car consumer types.  Then, about a year later, I saw a couple construction workers going into the same Starbucks.  That hit home with me.  My friend Tom: “Chicago is a city of 10 million people.  900,000 are poor and destitute.  100,000 are rich and affluent.  The other 9 million are trying to be like the 100,000.”  +1 Charlie Munger (and Tom!)]

10. “I have a clipping from the 1911 Buffalo Evening News that lists the fifty most important stocks then actively traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Today only one, General Electric, remains in business as a large, independent company. That’s how powerful the forces of competitive destruction are. Over the very long term, history shows that the chances of any business surviving in a manner agreeable to a company’s owners are slim at best.  [This is sobering.  But also exciting.  I was looking at investing some coin in these stocks that continue to go up and up and up.  Apple, Amazon, Google.  But in the big scheme of life, maybe the party is already over for these guys (from an investment standpoint).  My nature is such that I’m more into finding the next Apple, Amazon, Google.  I like to think that i’m a forward thinker, but when a company that looks promising goes public, I get scared away: “ah, these guys are overhyped.”  Shame on me, it’s no win thinking.  TY for minimal fee mutual funds. Buy and forget.   But beyond investing, this story above is a great testament to business.  Important companies today can be insignificant or non existent tomorrow.  This is refreshing. The little guy can win, and often does win.  We can create and invent and make something remarkable.  We live in a pretty good world!  +1 Charlie Munger.]

11.  “And when these new businesses come in, there are huge advantages for the early birds. And when you’re an early bird, there’s a model that I call “surfing”— when a surfer gets up and catches the wave and just stays there, he can go a long, long time. But if he gets off the wave, he becomes mired in shallows.” o [Hence why Berkshire tends not to invest in technology.] Love this.  +1 Charlie Munger.]

12.  “There’s always been a market for people who pretend to know the future. Listening to today’s forecasters is just as crazy as when the king hired the guy to look at the sheep guts.”  [Forecasters? Agreed, crazy.  But future thinkers?  Different story.  I love being around people who are thinking about the future (but are living in the present moment).  I think it’s great to talk about what’s coming down the road.  It keeps me young and fresh. -1 Charlie Munger]

13.  “febezzlement” —the functional equivalent of embezzlement—to explain how wealth is stripped away by layers of unnecessary investment managers and consultants.

14.  Use math to size the problem: o By 2034, there will be 8 billion consumers. Each consumer must drink 64oz of water per day. If you capture half the market, and each person drinks 16oz of Coca-Cola a day, we can sell 2.92 trillion eight ounce servings in 2034.  Then, if you net 4 cents per serving, you’ll earn $117 billion.  [love the aphorism, but have fault with the assumption.  I think people will be drinking different things than 16oz of Coke a day.  Yuck product. But Coke is in the bottled water business.  I’d like to invest in THE compostable plastic (bottle) solution.  That’s my math. -1 Charlie Munger]

15. Mimicking the herd invites regression to the mean (merely average performance).  [What an interesting guy.  Conservative in so many ways but alternative thinking in others.]

16. The only way to win is to work, work, work, and hope to have a few insights.  Develop into a lifelong self-learner through voracious reading; cultivate curiosity and strive to become a little wiser every day  More important than the will to win is the will to prepare  Develop fluency in mental models from the major academic disciplines  If you want to get smart, the question you have to keep asking is “why, why, why?”

17. Remember that reputation and integrity are your most valuable assets – and can be lost in a heartbeat.  [A lot of younger people may not know this yet.]

18.  “Self-pity is always counterproductive. It’s the wrong way to think. And when you avoid it, you get a great advantage over everybody else, or almost everybody else, because self-pity is a standard response.”

19.  “Assiduity. I like that word because to me it means: “Sit down on your ass until you do it.””  [Do it now.  Execution.  I am obsessed with getting the ball out of my court.  A ‘to do’ list is a great thing.  I love to get it done and cross things off my list.  If an email sits in my inbox too long, or something sits on my “to do” list too long, I get irritated.  I love this irritation. It keeps me in check.  It allows me to be productive and clear headed.]

20.  “I think that, every time you see the word EBITDA [earnings before interest, taxes, you should substitute the words “bullshit earnings.”  [amen.]

21.  “I would argue passion is more important than brain power.”  [Grit and passion are two words that will continue to be revered (because they are becoming more scarce.]

22.  There are always people who will be better at something than you. You have to learn to be a follower before you become a leader.”

23. “The ‘silly’ question is the first intimation of some totally new development.” – Alferd Whitehead

24.  “There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn’t mind who gets the credit.” – Robert Woodruff

25.  On Buffett’s teachings: “his words are often made more acceptable through use of insightful humor.”  [We always welcome an opportunity for more humor in our lives.  If you can get someone to laugh with you, they are your friend.  If you can get someone to gut wrench laugh with you, they are your friend for life.]

Career development, fulfillment, and happiness explained via the barbell strategy of “and” not “or”

It was around 2001 or 2002 when an office coffee customer took me into the back room to show me a Keurig machine.  “This is going to change the coffee business” he claimed.  No more glass pots and “who left the coffee maker on?” burnt smell.  What’s more, people can now make a fresh cup to their own choosing, opening up all kinds of premium blends for the consumer.

I got it immediately.  Like my customer, I knew I was staring at innovation right in front of me.  We were both excited.  I could feel his energy like a shot in the arm.  As a dutiful corporate soldier, I reported this information up my flag pole.  My boss deflected me over to Marketing.  Marketing’s response: “what’s a K cup?” sent me back to them with more enthusiasm of how this innovation was going to change the game.  But over time, and declining interest in anything new or emerging, I realized that our company wasn’t in the innovation game.  I was still young and naive.  I thought big companies had big resources to invest in new ideas.  Maybe some companies are driven this way, but not the company I was working for.  Innovation for us is line extension.  A new flavor.  Maybe a new pack size.

My wife was not working, choosing to stay home with our two young children at the time.  My corporate job was a good job.  A company car, 401k, and lots of stability.  What a foolish consideration to leave all this to chase rainbows.  The grass is not always greener, as they say.

So I trudged on.  Marching as a corporate foot soldier.

I saw the gradual decline of products and categories I was selling in the food business.  I saw the rise of emerging, more healthy products (Kind Bar) and more functional products (Red Bull) and, of course, more convenient products (K cups).  I learned how to navigate within a big company, and how to produce results, without rocking boats.

But I was desperate for a shot in the arm, the energy that comes from creativity and innovation.  Every once in a while I would try to fulfill it within my day job, developing a promotion or a nice looking flyer with a compelling tag line, but mainly these efforts were little recognized (at best), or ended up giving me more work with no more pay or accolades (at worst).

The corporate job wore down my innovative spirit to a dull axe.  It became not even worth trying to swing for change within my company.  I sought knowledge and guidance.

I read The Long Tail, by Chris Anderson.

I read Free, by Chris Anderson.

I read A Whole New Mind, by Daniel Pink.

I read The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield.

I read The 4 Hour Workweek, by Tim Ferriss.

I read The Purple Cow, by Seth Godin (and then every other thing he’s written).

I began to understand that my employer does not owe me fulfillment.  I would perform the duties of my “day job” while maintaining enough energy and free time to actualize fulfillment with things I love “on the side.”  Hobbies, they call them.

But I didn’t want to go bowling or collect stamps.  I had the entrepreneurship bug.  How can I be an entrepreneur and be a corporate soldier at the same time?

I got a personal laptop.  It would sit on my desk next to my company laptop.  I took the advice of the books I was reading and started a website about something I love and believe in.  A friend framed up the site and helped me think clearly about focus areas within the subject.  I would perform the duties of my corporate job while at the same time, researching, posting, “giving away” free relevant content about my interest.

I figured out that I could invent something, something not too close to my day job.  And I did that.

I figured out that I love building wood burning saunas, so I started building saunas for others.

I figured I could write an ebook about building saunas, to help others, and I did that too.

I realized that the more fulfillment I got from my side gig, the better corporate soldier I became.

Then I read Antifragile, by Nissam Taleb:

Some of Taleb’s advice is solidly practical. If you’re interested in a high-risk career such as acting, he suggests using “the barbell strategy” by pursuing acting along with another stable career, like accounting, thereby exposing yourself to maximum positive risk. In the worst-case scenario, you’re a respectable accountant engaged in the local theater scene; at best, a superstar actor who never had to starve.

My advice for people with an entrepreneurial itch is to apply the barbell strategy.

  • On the left side is your day job, your stable career, that which puts food on your table.
  • On the right side is your side hustle, your muse, your entrepreneurial endeavors.  Your passion.

Before Taleb, I would challenge my oldest son: “it’s about AND not OR.”  We don’t have to make sacrifices to spend time doing what we want to do (or “make the angels sing,” as Pressfield calls it).

Time

Contrary to popular belief, time is not fixed. Parkinson’s Law: “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion” is in step with the axiom “if you want to get something done, give it to someone who is busy.”  Saying that “I don’t have enough time” means that we are simply afraid to make time to do what we are set out to do (very Godin-esque).  It also means that we haven’t figured out systems to be more effective (4 Hour Work Week).

Energy

Doing what we love seems to take very little energy.  Spending time doing what we love actually fuels us, and gives us energy.  We can spend all day doing what we love and have tons of energy, or we can spend hours doing what we hate and be exhausted.  But it’s not always easy to make money doing what we love.  Those with tons of energy have carved out the time to do what they love.

Money

And there’s an argument that trying to make money doing what we love can turn what we love into a job.  (I believe this!).  Someone may love surfing but they may easily start to loathe surfing by trying to become a professional surfer.  There are all kinds of statistics that indicate that after about $100,000 in annual income (after needs are met), most people are not any happier with more money. Once we rationalize this, we can start to accept that making a ton of money may very well not make our lives any better.  Once we accept this, we can pursue our endeavors “without dollar signs in our eyes” and without the pressure of turning our side gig into the next big thing.

Those with enough money have enough freedom of time and energy to do what they love.

Like a hike in the woods, the journey is its own reward.

“If you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

Decisions we make should be about AND not OR.

 

Could biomimicry be an entrepreneur’s secret path to innovation?

Biomimicry:

bi·o·mim·ic·ry

bīōˈmiməkrē
noun
  1. The imitation of natural biological designs or processes in engineering or invention.
  2. A method for creating solutions to human challenges by emulating designs and ideas found in nature.

“Companies seeking breakthrough products tend to ignore the greatest invention machine in the universe: life’s more than three-billion-year history of evolution by natural selection.”

Examples: (excerpts courtesy of Digital Trends).

BULLET TRAINS INSPIRED BY KINGFISHER BIRDS

Kingfisher birds have specialized beaks allowing them to dive into water to hunt while making a minimal splash. Utilizing this new nose, the next generation 500 series trains were 10 percent faster, consumed 15 percent less electricity

ABSORBING SHOCK LIKE A WOODPECKER

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, discovered that woodpeckers have four structures designed to absorb mechanical shock. The bird’s semi-elastic beak, an area of “spongy bone” material behind the skull, and cerebrospinal fluid all work in unison to extend the time over which this concussion occurs and therefore inhibiting vibration. Based on this multifaceted design, the team is working to create an array applications ranging from more shock-resistant flight recorders (black boxes) to micrometeorite-resistant spacecrafts.

VENTILATION SYSTEMS INSPIRED BY TERMITES

Using an intricate network of intentionally air pockets, termite mounds create a natural ventilation system using convection.  The engineering firm Arup built an entire shopping center in Zimbabwe based on this natural convection system. Currently the system uses 10 percent less energy than a traditional air-conditioned facility.

Other examples of how biomimicry spurred innovation include Velcro (from the tiny hooks at the end of burrs), bird safe glass (from UV reflective strands in spider webs), and coatings for ship’s hulls, submarines, aircraft, and even swimwear for humans (from shark skin).

What are you building?  Next time you go for a hike or are in nature, look around.  A breakthrough or inspiration for your design or product may just be right next to you.

a path in the woods as inspiration

Is silence a sign of disinterest?

We’re all busy, but when the ball is in our court, it’s our turn to act.

If we’re waiting for the best time to do our best work, we may wait forever.

It’s better to do a good job now, than a great job late.

If we’re too busy to get to it, let the other person know.

  • Silence is a sign of disinterest: not good.
  • Communication is a sign of engagement: better.

Stop pucking around.  Get it done.  Then we don’t have to talk about this.

 

Three things that get in our way from doing great work

As we try to make a difference doing something worthy of our time and effort, we inevitably run into boulders in our path.  We can become frustrated, lose our momentum, get agitated, or unsettled.  It sucks.

Running into boulders is inevitable.

What helps us get through these periods?

  1. A simple acknowledgement that it is happening.
  2. An understanding of the source.

External obstacles (equipment malfunction, lost email, customer complaint) can be overcome with attention and action, but internal obsticals are often hard to define, and deal with.  Because it is hard to put our finger on the problem, sometimes we may want to go hide in the closet, or reach for booze or other medications, or need to “burn off” our angst in other ways.  This is very common!  (and inevitable!).

Why?  We’re lost inside.  We can’t find ourselves.   Shit is bothering us and we can’t get to the source.

There are three sources that keep us from doing great work.

Hidden Agenda.  This was supposed to be fun.  I thought I was doing this because… but now i’m not so sure.  What’s your hidden agenda?  Go for a walk and be true to yourself.  Stop at the water’s edge and look at the reflection in the water and try to get a handle on who you really are.  Take a deep breath and consider the virtues of transparency.  We don’t have to be like Ray Dalio’s radical transparency, but is your internal obstacle your own hidden agenda?

Glory.  We all walk the tightrope of undertaking projects because of an internal calling, or passion, or the simple desire to make a difference.  But on the other side is our own glory.  The spotlight: “wow, isn’t he great?”  Ego and vanity are great motivators.  But nobody likes ego and vanity.  Do you want this to succeed on its own, or are you imagining yourself on CNN?

Paralysis.  Business writers like Seth Godin have made a career out of helping people get through the Dip. The newer land grab term is Flow state , with Steven Kotler’s Stealing Fire leading the way.  What shits we are not being able to get our projects done!  Paralysis happens because we’re afraid to make a mistake, and look like an idiot.  Are you afraid to look like an idiot?

It’s ok to have any of these internal obstacles getting in our way.  Boulders are going to fall.  It happens.

A rock weighing about 1,500 tons landed on the westbound lanes of U.S. 52 in Lawrence County on Friday, April 10, 2015. (Photo credit: Ohio Department of Transportation – District 9)

Every entrepreneur needs to be able to absorb the body blows

The Innovative path is never straight.  There are twists and turns, obstacles, and seemingly insurmountable boulders and blockages.  Some days, we are filled with excitement from the adrenaline rush trying to create something remarkable.  Other days, we are filled with anxiety and self doubt from any number of things that will go wrong trying to create something remarkable.

When we feel like we’ve been punched in the stomach, we can try humming:

When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom
“Let it be”

We are all sensitive.  We all have feelings.  We all have weak stomach muscles. We may retreat to the couch and wallow away for a few hours or a night, but something inside us wakes us the next morning, and we get up, and get right back at it.  We entrepreneurs are driven to create.

Entrepreneurs can’t let it be.

RESOURCES:

  • “That which blocks our path creates a new path.”  The obstacle is the Way, Ryan Holliday
  • “Embrace Constraints.  Constraints are advantages in disguise, as they allow us to think creatively”, Rework, Jason Fried & David Hansson
  • “Recognition is a huge step.  Some avoid what’s bothering them, or can’t even isolate it”  How to untangle the wires in your head, Glenn Auerbach
  • “Knowing that you’re facing a Dip is the first step in getting through it.”, The Dip, Seth Godin

We entrepreneurs need to be able to absorb the body blows.

Could someone make a second career earning some side cash representing Kong Pong to hotels, resorts, health clubs?

NEWS FLASH: Hilton Hotel, New York City is taking delivery of a Kong Pong unit

They became interested as the hotel owner, owns a Kong Pong.

Like most resorts they need activities for guests.

As u know Kong Pong is design to be outdoor 24/7 with lights

New feature and only on a Kong Pong adjustable legs for the Youngsters & Wheelchair

All table come with outdoor paddles & balls

Elevated Playing Lights &

Lighted nets are optional

My new women logo and African Safari font.

need better pics Scotty!

Who was the guy who first decided to use the backup Zamboni?

Between periods at a hockey game, some of us stay seated and end up watching the graceful, calming dual Zamboni dance.  Like magic, the white snowy ice turns into shiny clear ice behind.

But those of us old enough remember a day when ice refinishing was done with just one Zamboni.  Sure, every NHL rink had a back up Zamboni, in case the main one broke down, but nobody ever thought to use the back up Zamboni and get the job done at half the time.  Then one day in 1985, folks at the Met Center in Bloomington, Minnesota put in an order for an additional Zamboni.  “Ralph, quit leaning on that broom.  Get out there with #2 and help Carl with that ice.  We’ve got a game to play.”

Dual Zambonis between periods

It’s fitting that the idea came from a Minnesota rink manager or Zamboni driver.  Minnesotans, of course, understand ice.  Those of us who used to turn on the rink lights with a 6:50 am ice time understand that ice that has been allowed to “cure” or “set up” after resurfacing is really good, hard ice.  For NHL players, stepping onto freshly resurfaced ice that has set up just an extra couple minutes is that much better ice.  Whoever this guy was, he changed ice resurfacing forever.

Back on the bench, we can consider: who was the first player to squirt a little water out of the bottle before taking a swig?  Surely it must have been a germ conscious player.  And the player was probably not so much a hypochondriac,  but was probably a player fully understanding the havoc that a flu bug or the mumps can have on a team.  But no hockey players suck on the water bottle,. so, why the extra squirt?  Superstition?  Maybe.  But ridding any idea of germs in the water bottle becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.  We all know that getting sick can be very very much mind over matter.  One ounce of water sacrificed for piece of mind is a good investment.  Who was that first hockey player?  Whoever he was,  he changed swigging out of a water bottle forever.

A little squirt before taking a drink of water

Back on the ice, ever wonder who was the first defenseman to flip the puck up high, up and out of the zone?  It used to be that a hard shot around the boards, about the height of an opposing players private parts, could do the job.  But players are too good.  Cups are too strong.  And if the puck gets by the defenseman holding the point, well, the puck goes all the way down to the other end.  An icing call, back in the zone.  Somewhere along the line, and it was recently, defenseman found an effective way to get the puck safely out of the zone, out of reach from snarling opposing defenseman, and turning defense into offense.  Just like (insert favorite quarterback name here), defenseman are now like skilled quarterbacks, lobbing a forward pass to drop right down for a rushing teammate, creating havoc for the opposing defenseman.  Who was the first hockey player to develop this skill?  Whoever he was, he changed the game forever.

flipping puck out of the zone

Where in your day can you see a way to change the game forever?