Year: 2014


Experiment: My Dataless Decision Coin

“The risk of a wrong decision is preferable to the terror of indecision.” -Maimonides Data Driven Decisions I am a believer that one of the worst things you can do when making decisions is to do so without data. Worse than making a decision without data though is making a slow decision without data.  Worst of all is indecision without data. In an effort to push my reliance on data even further, I am undertaking an experiment to make no decisions without data. I will instead defer those decisions to my Dataless Decision Coin. My Dataless Decision Coin This coin is not particularly special. It is a 1971 US $1 coin, commonly called a ‘Silver Dollar’. I’ve had this one for a long time. It was likely given to me by the Tooth Fairy in exchange for a small molar. You can however find a similar coin on ebay for

Yearly Focus

Complete an Ironman: Update 2 – Big Goals & New Bikes

This is one of 14 updates about my 2014 challenge to complete an Ironman – you can see a list of the others here. Big Goals Goals are a good thing. They help us to focus and give us direction. But goals that are easy to achieve defeat much of the benefit of having goals in the first place. I much prefer big goals. Big hairy audacious goals (BHAGs). I’m often inspired by the founders of my current employer, Steve & Clara, and one such way is the size of the goal they set out to achieve when they founded Hearsay Social. They wanted to change the way people do business. Over the past four years the company has taken huge steps in that direction – steps that we might not have taken if we did not have BHAGs. Looking at my 2014 challenge, I wanted to complete an Ironman.

Innovation Session

Innovation Session: My Fantasy Football Auction Draft – Retrospective Part 2

This is the third post in a series about my fantasy football auction strategy. I first wrote about the strategy here. Then after the season I started with part 1 of the retrospective. In this final post I have a few other thoughts that I’ll share. The Importance of the Draft Below are the positions each team ended in and the difference between their expected and actual results. We can see that in general, teams that predicted well on draft day performed well in the season. The r squared for the linear trend line here is .63 which means that for my seasons we can contribute about 63% of the final results to draft performance. What accounts for the other 37%? I would simplify the decision types in fantasy football by describing three. Draft day – who you predict will perform well In-season transactions; waiver wire, free agency & trades

Yearly Focus

2014: Goal, Theme & Challenge: Update 1

2014 Goal: Read 24 Books I’m on track.* In January I completed ‘The Millionaire Next Door’ and am half way through both “Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring” and “David and Goliath”. *The asterisk is because of a decision I made that audiobooks count. It wasn’t my original intent to listen to books, I wanted to read them. As I started I realized how much time I would be spending training for my Ironman, 1-5 hours a day, so I invested in a waterproof mp3 player and got some audiobooks so I could leverage that time. I’m going to try to consume less than 50% of my books as audiobooks and I’m going to try to limit it to the non-fictions. I feel like I am able to learn from a non-fiction even when listening to it while I’m not able to slow down and imagine the world

Yearly Focus

Surf Mavericks: Complete

Yesterday I surfed Mavericks. This has been a goal of mine for about two years and I’ve been actively preparing for the past year. I am so stoked to have completed this challenge and very grateful to have done so without harm. Here is the story along with some of my thoughts and observations. Final Preparations The last month or so has been amazing for surfing in central California. We’ve had a run of swell where it seems every other day is 10ft+. I’ve been getting out to Ocean Beach before work and spending plenty of time in the water. There is a saying (or at least there should be) that it is better to succeed late than to fail on time. I originally challenged myself to surf Mavericks in 2013 but extended my deadline because Mavericks is a winter wave and only broke twice in the 2013 half of this winter.

My Thinking On Various Topics

Three Generations

I’ve been thinking lately about generational patterns. Likely due to the fact that I’m expecting my first child soon. There are many patterns passed down through generations; discipline, community, political, hobby, religious, etc. The following are my early thoughts about economic patterns I’ve started to abstract into classes. Generation Type A – Sacrificial Foundation This generation sacrifices itself for the next generation. Typically exemplified by a strong work ethic, frugal spending habits and perseverance. A single foundation member can change the course of a family. Often entrepreneurs and self employed. Other times working multiple jobs. Many were not able to pursue higher education or a professional track career but instead have found blue collar positions. They are able to find upward economic mobility through working hard, long hours. There are the taxi drivers, contractors, masons, corner shop owners, garbage men and laborers of the world. Immigrants often exemplify the foundation

Yearly Focus

2014: Goal, Theme & Challenge

Last year I blogged about a few efforts I had defined for my year and really enjoyed it. I stretched myself a bit, had something to strive for, and had a decent success rate. One of the most surprising benefits was that by explicitly setting a challenge, and knowing I would do this in future years, I had an easier time saying no to other ideas I had. I realized that I could set them as a challenge in the future, and thus felt no guilt that I wasn’t doing anything to achieve them in 2013. This year I will do the same. I’ve of course learned a bit and will be making a few modifications to the process. Goal – Something I want to accomplish that is measurable and relatively continual. eg. exercise X times per week or watch less than X hours of TV per week. Theme – A