Month: October 2016

Career in Tech

The Chief Bottle Washer

To create something new, you must be willing to give up what you currently hold. To obtain it, you must die to the status quo. You must bask in the glory of discomfort. You must embrace a path with no map. Where you feel comfort, you must press on until you tremble at the view of a completely blank canvas. This is the fourth time since joining Hearsay that I’ve defined myself. Sought to find the optimal way to add value to the company in manner that was possible for my skill set, appropriate for my life state and aligned with my motivations. It is not lost on me that in the same time (nearly six years) the company has redefined itself nearly as many times, we’re on our third name & our second product evolution. To make a living dealing in ambiguity, one must become comfortable with uncertainty and all of the side affects that

Yearly Focus

Run a Sub 2:37 Marathon – Training Plan

This year I challenged myself to break 2:37 in the marathon. In order to hit that time I would need to get into the best shape of my life. But things have changed in my life from when I raced in college and my training plan would have to take that into account. Here are details about the training philosophy I used to race my first marathon. Update: Ultimately it resulted in a time of 2:42:23 – you can read my race report from the Jack & Jill Marathon as well as my race report from the New York City Marathon later that year. Background – My Historic Training Plan Before I get into the plan, here is some background on me as a runner. I ran for my school team’s in high school & college – eventually making varsity at each. I was a good local-level competitive runner, but never state

My Thinking On Various Topics

Should We Work?

Should we work? The answer to this question for most of our human history has been obvious. Survival required it. But slowly, the life of leisure has become possible for a greater number of people. The problem with possibilities is that they always create the dilemma of choice. The Rise of the Life of Leisure Up until 500 years ago, only a rare few (I need to find estimates) among the estimated 107 billion humans that have lived, had the an economic option of not working to survive. Even then, I suspect, most of those people were in a social position that required it. The leader of a people group might have enough wealth to avoid working, but what would happen to the group, or them, if they stopped leading? In the past few hundred years, the concept of a life of leisure has become increasingly feasible for some individuals. Technological innovation has allowed us

My Thinking On Various Topics

How We Use Time: Investing, Enjoying and Giving

Tracking Time I recently wrote about plans I have to tweak a time tracking system I’ve been using for close to a decade. I’ve been breaking down time spent into the things it consists of rather than the physically observable action. Similar to how a nutritionist might break down a meal into its elements; carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, sugars, etc. This is the second post in the series where I look at various elements of how we spend our time. The Beneficiary The second batch of elements I will write about is who the beneficiary of our current actions is. As I’ve observed how I spend my time, all of it consists of; enjoying the now, investing in the future, giving it for the sake of others or wasting it. The beneficiary is either me right now, someone (possibly me) in the future, someone else or no one. Each time block we spend will consist


Parenting Is An Exercise In Discovering Gratitude

Somewhere between wiping snotty noses and changing another overflowing diaper I look at my middle child, trying to squirm away from me, and tell him I’m doing this to help him. He isn’t really participating in the conversation. He should be grateful. I think to myself that some day in the future he should thank me for all of these things I’m doing for him. Then, the blunt hit of seeing the obvious, I remember that I was a child. That someone changed my overflowing diapers and dealt with my temper tantrums. Although I’ve thanked her and made cards for Mother’s Day, the gratitude somehow becomes more real after experiencing the other side. Then the realization goes deeper. I see that in the same way I did not fully appreciate the things done for me then, there are certainly things I don’t yet appreciate that are done for me now. I have experienced, through

My Thinking On Various Topics

How We Use Time: Consuming, Processing and Producing

Tracking Time I’ve been tracking my time for close to a decade and over that time, thanks largely to the logistics of this process, the categories I use to bucket my time have evolved. What started with three simple categories; labor, leisure & human functions, eventually evolved to include ten categories. Even those gave me problems though. For example both driving & biking to work count as commuting, but they are clearly different. How do you account for those differences and the impacts they will have on your life? Because of this, I’ve recently begun thinking of how I spend my time in a more reductionist manner. I’ve been breaking down time spent into the things it consists of rather than the intended result. Similar to how a nutritionist might break down a meal into its elements; carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, sugars, etc. I have a notion that separating the goals of my time from


Achieving Goals

To achieve any goal, no matter how big, the process is the same. Define clear success criteria Generate ample motivation Create an appropriately sized vacuum of time and energy Anything that is possible is possible in that manner. We fail to achieve our goals when we avoid defining them appropriately, neglect motivating ourselves, or let our time become filled with too many other things.

My Thinking On Various Topics

Response: The Secret Shame of Middle-Class Americans

The Atlantic, published a cover piece in May 2016 titled, The Secret Shame of Middle-Class Americans. The subject was the unstable financial position that many seemingly successful people are in. The article was well written by an author who declares himself a part of the ashamed population he is writing about. As he ruminates on his situation, there was one thing I couldn’t help but notice – even after researching the topic and writing an article on it, he remains blind to the item he can most easily impact. He writes, “The only thing one can do is work more hours to try to compensate. I long since made that adjustment. I work seven days a week, from morning to night. There is no other way.” The above statement bothers me because it is a fallacy that is unfortunately shared by far too many people. The other option is, of course, that you can spend

My Thinking On Various Topics

Thinking Of Our Possessions Less

“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” -C.S. Lewis In the same way, our goal should not be to own fewer objects simply for the sake of it. Our goal should be to develop a healthy relationship with the objects in our life – our consumption of them and desires for them. Our goal should be to reach a state where we think about them less, thus allowing us to think more about other topics.