[GiveGetWin Summer Camp wraps up today! It's been amazing. Recaps coming soon. Big thanks to everyone who made it happen, particularly all the great people at UChicago and the Chicago Innovation Exchange, especially Tom Ancona and Ashley Clement, and a great thanks to all our mentors -- Ben Rubin, Chiara Cokieng, Eden Full, Greg Nance, Jason Shen, Judd Weiss, Kai Zau, Laura Coe, Miguel Hernandez, Shashin Choksky, Stepan Parunashvili, Taylor Pearson, Ted Gonder, Zach Obront, and Zachary Cohn. And finally, to all our very talented attendees and the companies and experts that participated by taking part in GiveGetWin.]
[This post also on LessWrong.]
On Empirical Truth and Affective Truth
"We've always been at war with Eastasia."
Being able to be cloaked in the mantle of "truth," unfortunately, is extremely profitable to all manner of people.
I don't get to write very often about productivity these days. I'm too busy doing things. There's some sad irony there.
Yet, there's two points that have been so critical, so valuable, so life-affirming... that I so often see people doing the exact opposite of what's correct in... that I thought I'd spend my morning writing this up.
Images via Wikipedia article on "firebreak."
1. Firebreaks: Because When Your Mind Can't Be Trusted, It Really Can't Be Trusted
This concept was life changing for me. I hope it helps you too.
Let's start with a metaphor. It'll be useful by itself.
In medicine, doctors often differentiate between an acute condition and a chronic condition.
Wikipedia covers it reasonably well:
I've been saying, "I'm anti-hardcore. Being hardcore is stupid. Don't be hardcore" for a few years now.
But it never quite sounded right.
Here's what I meant: being "stupidly hardcore" is continuing to exercise or train through an initial injury, not respecting your body if you're underslept, fatigued, stressed, ill, over-heating, dehydrated, or similar -- and not just physically, but also mentally, and also in terms of teamwork and leadership.
Take Bill Walsh, the NFL coach. In the excellent book The Score Takes Care of Itself, his son reminisces:
"He [Bill Walsh] recognized that the old boys' network that defined the NFL management and ownership in those days [didn't appreciate that] his style was not traditional, not heavy-handed. It was more professional or corporate in style than the shouting and screaming, intimidation, and punishment that were the usual tools of old-school head coaches in the league. Here's a very small example: In those days, one method of "toughening up" players was to prohibit them from drinking any water while they were on the field during practice. Bill Walsh allowed it, because he saw no gain in the policy. In fact, he felt that depriving players of water during practice was counterproductive; it lowered performance. The "toughening up" approach, however, was the one owners felt comfortable with because it had been around since the start."
Spoiler: The answer is, "No, of course not."
But where's the question come from?
After three decades on this Planet, I've only noticed how often I ask that question to myself.
"Do I have to do that?"
It comes in response, ironically, not to really painful and unlikable things like doing one's taxes. (The answer to "Do I have to do my taxes" is: "Yes.")
The Third Annual Gotta Be Good Tour is going to be across the USA for all of October.
The first date is Austin, Texas on October 2nd.
Zach Obront, Taylor Pearson, Carlos Miceli, Marian Zizzo, and myself are speaking -- it's going to be a blast.
Forgive me if this post makes no sense -- it's technical and I'm too new to this to be able to simplify it intelligently. I hope the gist of it comes across at least a bit and primes some interesting thinking in you.
I was introduced to Graph Databases yesterday by a really smart and expansive-thinking attendee of Kai's salon in Las Vegas --
My mind is on fire. I couldn't sleep last night. I'm really, really excited about this.
I track and capture a lot of data -- spend, calories, adherence to habits (I'm currently on Week 77 of tracking my habits on the Lights Spreadsheet, with only maybe 3-5 weeks disrupted in that timeframe), and lots more.
Annnd we're at the home stretch. We had a great event at Harvard two days ago -- one of the best we've had with really top to bottom great talks, and super actionable Q&A -- and that means we're three dates from wrapping.
NYU: Sunday, 25 October at 2PMNYU Silver Building (Room 405)31 Washington Place New York, NY 10012Link to free ticket reservation for NYC
MIT: Tuesday, 27 October at 11:45AMMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyE51-395, Tang Center (70 Memorial Drive), Room 395Cambridge, MA 02138Link to free ticket reservation for Cambridge
CESA: Thursday, 29 October at 7:30AM
CESA - Salon Alvaro Valencia TovarCra. 6 N.° 34-51Bogota, ColombiaLink to free ticket reservation for Bogota
“In peace there's nothing so becomes a manAs modest stillness and humility:But when the blast of war blows in our ears,Then imitate the action of the tiger...”
Back in 2013, I had a newsletter that people really liked called "The Strategic Review" --
It got popular and people were raving about it, but I didn't have the bandwidth to support writing it. Each issue took too much research and too many hours to put out there.
I get a lot of inbound requests for personal consulting which I've had to turn down the last couple years. My commercial projects often have me becoming effectively the right-hand man for a CEO of a growing company, and I haven't had the bandwidth to take on clients who don't need that level of intensity, or who are looking for something other than the type of commercial work I typically do.
One thing I wanted to start for 2016 is to start working with people at scale more.
Hence, I developed this new offering --
Productized Service: Get Your Next Project On Rails