Mount Everest, Private Social Networking and Story Telling

  1. A private social networking tool to allow mega-connectors to map out their social graph (yes, graphically).  Think relationship discovery tool through graph visualization.  Hyper connectors can find new ways to connect their relationships together. Sigma
  2. (related) Voice recognition conversation analyzer that maps social connections by listening to story telling.
  3. Story telling software that uses interviews and writer-supplied programmed techniques to automatically write biographies and life stories.  SAAS?
  4. Ebook about how to find abundance all around oneself.
  5. Motivational ebook about goal setting and goal achieving.
  6. Ebook about Mount Everest and the Mount Everest’s we face in life.
  7. Formulate a working plan for helping the homeless in my community.
  8. (related) Create a script for asking, “What is your story?” when breaking the ice with the homeless and pan-handlers.
  9. Dream Big. Come up with big ideas, then give them an exponential boost.  Assume ridiculous growth and come up with 5 ideas to achieve it.  Assume anything is possible – utilize magic if necessary.
  10. Create study curriculum for teaching brainstorming to kids (including high-schoolers)
  11. Learn how to make early-stage investments in local tech startups.
  12. Tweet more. Focus on substance in fewer words. Deliver value – people (audience) will naturally gravitate to quality and value.

Dream a Little Dream ♫

“Arrgh!!  Are we dreaming big enough?”

This is how the CEO announced his presence in my office.

“Pardon?” I said.

“We think we have big ideas, but what if we’re not dreaming big enough?”

That got me to thinking.  How do you know if you’ve successfully gotten out of boxed-in thinking?  How do we know for sure we’re thinking “outside the box?”

We can’t.  I’m certain this is a fact.  There is no way we can get outside all mental boxes. The good news is that simply by knowing we are stuck in a box means that we can make the effort required to dream bigger than yesterday.

In a serious planning meeting blurt out something patently absurd. Hopefully everyone will laugh.

One brainstorming exercise I have found useful is joking.  In a serious planning meeting blurt out something patently absurd. Hopefully everyone will laugh.  If you’re surrounded by really smart people* with a sense of humor** and a desire to dream big, at least one of them will say, “Wait, that’s not a bad idea…” and will offer up an improvement on it. And away we go, with our big dreams.

Another method I use is to question everything.  While observing people struggle with answering interview riddles it becomes obvious that being smart isn’t as much about knowing the right answers as it is about asking the right questions.  This is a topic for another blog post though so I’ll leave it for now.

* why would you spend your invaluable time with not-smart people?
** life is too short to be with grouchy people – get out if you are!

Big Lists, Mega #Lists and #Idea #Babies

I recently made an idea list that I didn’t initially publish because I was wanting to create a tool that would generate a cross linked list from the original.

This is the result of that.

I started with a big-list of 25 ideas and thoughts instead of the usual list of 10, but with the goal of eventually combining them into interesting combinations.

  1. Bricks & Architecture
  2. Chairs & furniture
  3. Soap
  4. Art
  5. Lighting
  6. Friends
  7. Food
  8. Community
  9. Antiques
  10. Kids
  11. Home Improvement
  12. Craigslist
  13. Games
  14. Traditions
  15. Frugality & Bargain Hunting
  16. Happiness
  17. Family
  18. Service to Others
  19. Date Nights with the Wife
  20. Crafting / Building
  21. Balance
  22. Travel
  23. Environmental Stewardship
  24. Blue Sky
  25. Exploring

Twenty five ideas combine into a mega-list of 600 combinations aka idea babies.

You can find the full 600 item list at the bottom. Here are the ones I found most interesting.

My Top Ideas

  1. Bricks & Architecture and Antiques
  2. Bricks & Architecture and Crafting / Building
  3. Bricks & Architecture and Environmental Stewardship
  4. Chairs & furniture and Art
  5. Chairs & furniture and Community
  6. Chairs & furniture and Antiques
  7. Chairs & furniture and Traditions
  8. Soap and Art
  9. Soap and Community
  10. Soap and Traditions
  11. Soap and Crafting / Building
  12. Art and Chairs & furniture
  13. Art and Soap
  14. Art and Friends
  15. Art and Food
  16. Art and Craigslist
  17. Art and Games
  18. Art and Date Nights with the Wife
  19. Art and Travel
  20. Art and Blue Sky
  21. Lighting and Craigslist
  22. Lighting and Happiness
  23. Lighting and Environmental Stewardship
  24. Friends and Frugality & Bargain Hunting
  25. Friends and Happiness
  26. Friends and Family
  27. Friends and Travel
  28. Food and Bricks & Architecture
  29. Food and Art
  30. Food and Community
  31. Food and Traditions
  32. Food and Frugality & Bargain Hunting
  33. Food and Date Nights with the Wife
  34. Food and Environmental Stewardship
  35. Community and Art
  36. Community and Food
  37. Community and Service to Others
  38. Community and Blue Sky
  39. Antiques and Lighting
  40. Antiques and Traditions
  41. Antiques and Date Nights with the Wife
  42. Antiques and Exploring
  43. Kids and Friends
  44. Kids and Community
  45. Kids and Games
  46. Kids and Traditions
  47. Kids and Happiness
  48. Kids and Family
  49. Kids and Service to Others
  50. Kids and Environmental Stewardship
  51. Home Improvement and Bricks & Architecture
  52. Home Improvement and Lighting
  53. Home Improvement and Craigslist
  54. Home Improvement and Frugality & Bargain Hunting
  55. Home Improvement and Family
  56. Home Improvement and Service to Others
  57. Home Improvement and Crafting / Building
  58. Home Improvement and Environmental Stewardship
  59. Craigslist and Home Improvement
  60. Craigslist and Frugality & Bargain Hunting
  61. Craigslist and Crafting / Building
  62. Games and Friends
  63. Games and Community
  64. Games and Kids
  65. Games and Traditions
  66. Games and Date Nights with the Wife
  67. Games and Exploring
  68. Traditions and Chairs & furniture
  69. Traditions and Friends
  70. Traditions and Food
  71. Traditions and Kids
  72. Traditions and Games
  73. Traditions and Family
  74. Traditions and Balance
  75. Frugality & Bargain Hunting and Craigslist
  76. Frugality & Bargain Hunting and Balance
  77. Happiness and Art
  78. Happiness and Lighting
  79. Happiness and Food
  80. Happiness and Kids
  81. Happiness and Service to Others
  82. Happiness and Date Nights with the Wife
  83. Family and Art
  84. Family and Friends
  85. Family and Food
  86. Family and Games
  87. Family and Traditions
  88. Service to Others and Food
  89. Service to Others and Community
  90. Service to Others and Kids
  91. Service to Others and Traditions
  92. Service to Others and Balance
  93. Date Nights with the Wife and Bricks & Architecture
  94. Date Nights with the Wife and Lighting
  95. Date Nights with the Wife and Food
  96. Date Nights with the Wife and Antiques
  97. Date Nights with the Wife and Games
  98. Date Nights with the Wife and Traditions
  99. Date Nights with the Wife and Happiness
  100. Date Nights with the Wife and Exploring
  101. Crafting / Building and Bricks & Architecture
  102. Crafting / Building and Chairs & furniture
  103. Crafting / Building and Soap
  104. Crafting / Building and Art
  105. Crafting / Building and Friends
  106. Crafting / Building and Community
  107. Crafting / Building and Kids
  108. Crafting / Building and Home Improvement
  109. Crafting / Building and Traditions
  110. Balance and Art
  111. Balance and Friends
  112. Balance and Food
  113. Travel and Art
  114. Travel and Food
  115. Travel and Antiques
  116. Travel and Kids
  117. Travel and Frugality & Bargain Hunting
  118. Travel and Happiness
  119. Travel and Family
  120. Travel and Crafting / Building
  121. Travel and Environmental Stewardship
  122. Environmental Stewardship and Bricks & Architecture
  123. Environmental Stewardship and Soap
  124. Environmental Stewardship and Lighting
  125. Environmental Stewardship and Food
  126. Environmental Stewardship and Community
  127. Environmental Stewardship and Home Improvement
  128. Environmental Stewardship and Happiness
  129. Environmental Stewardship and Service to Others
  130. Environmental Stewardship and Crafting / Building
  131. Environmental Stewardship and Travel
  132. Blue Sky and Art
  133. Blue Sky and Lighting
  134. Blue Sky and Kids
  135. Blue Sky and Happiness
  136. Blue Sky and Travel
  137. Blue Sky and Environmental Stewardship
  138. Blue Sky and Exploring
  139. Exploring and Art
  140. Exploring and Friends
  141. Exploring and Food
  142. Exploring and Kids
  143. Exploring and Traditions
  144. Exploring and Date Nights with the Wife
  145. Exploring and Travel
  146. Exploring and Blue Sky

The Full List

  1. Bricks & Architecture and Chairs & furniture
  2. Bricks & Architecture and Soap
  3. Bricks & Architecture and Art
  4. Bricks & Architecture and Lighting
  5. Bricks & Architecture and Friends
  6. Bricks & Architecture and Food
  7. Bricks & Architecture and Community
  8. Bricks & Architecture and Antiques
  9. Bricks & Architecture and Kids
  10. Bricks & Architecture and Home Improvement
  11. Bricks & Architecture and Craigslist
  12. Bricks & Architecture and Games
  13. Bricks & Architecture and Traditions
  14. Bricks & Architecture and Frugality & Bargain Hunting
  15. Bricks & Architecture and Happiness
  16. Bricks & Architecture and Family
  17. Bricks & Architecture and Service to Others
  18. Bricks & Architecture and Date Nights with the Wife
  19. Bricks & Architecture and Crafting / Building
  20. Bricks & Architecture and Balance
  21. Bricks & Architecture and Travel
  22. Bricks & Architecture and Environmental Stewardship
  23. Bricks & Architecture and Blue Sky
  24. Bricks & Architecture and Exploring
  25. Chairs & furniture and Bricks & Architecture
  26. Chairs & furniture and Soap
  27. Chairs & furniture and Art
  28. Chairs & furniture and Lighting
  29. Chairs & furniture and Friends
  30. Chairs & furniture and Food
  31. Chairs & furniture and Community
  32. Chairs & furniture and Antiques
  33. Chairs & furniture and Kids
  34. Chairs & furniture and Home Improvement
  35. Chairs & furniture and Craigslist
  36. Chairs & furniture and Games
  37. Chairs & furniture and Traditions
  38. Chairs & furniture and Frugality & Bargain Hunting
  39. Chairs & furniture and Happiness
  40. Chairs & furniture and Family
  41. Chairs & furniture and Service to Others
  42. Chairs & furniture and Date Nights with the Wife
  43. Chairs & furniture and Crafting / Building
  44. Chairs & furniture and Balance
  45. Chairs & furniture and Travel
  46. Chairs & furniture and Environmental Stewardship
  47. Chairs & furniture and Blue Sky
  48. Chairs & furniture and Exploring
  49. Soap and Bricks & Architecture
  50. Soap and Chairs & furniture
  51. Soap and Art
  52. Soap and Lighting
  53. Soap and Friends
  54. Soap and Food
  55. Soap and Community
  56. Soap and Antiques
  57. Soap and Kids
  58. Soap and Home Improvement
  59. Soap and Craigslist
  60. Soap and Games
  61. Soap and Traditions
  62. Soap and Frugality & Bargain Hunting
  63. Soap and Happiness
  64. Soap and Family
  65. Soap and Service to Others
  66. Soap and Date Nights with the Wife
  67. Soap and Crafting / Building
  68. Soap and Balance
  69. Soap and Travel
  70. Soap and Environmental Stewardship
  71. Soap and Blue Sky
  72. Soap and Exploring
  73. Art and Bricks & Architecture
  74. Art and Chairs & furniture
  75. Art and Soap
  76. Art and Lighting
  77. Art and Friends
  78. Art and Food
  79. Art and Community
  80. Art and Antiques
  81. Art and Kids
  82. Art and Home Improvement
  83. Art and Craigslist
  84. Art and Games
  85. Art and Traditions
  86. Art and Frugality & Bargain Hunting
  87. Art and Happiness
  88. Art and Family
  89. Art and Service to Others
  90. Art and Date Nights with the Wife
  91. Art and Crafting / Building
  92. Art and Balance
  93. Art and Travel
  94. Art and Environmental Stewardship
  95. Art and Blue Sky
  96. Art and Exploring
  97. Lighting and Bricks & Architecture
  98. Lighting and Chairs & furniture
  99. Lighting and Soap
  100. Lighting and Art
  101. Lighting and Friends
  102. Lighting and Food
  103. Lighting and Community
  104. Lighting and Antiques
  105. Lighting and Kids
  106. Lighting and Home Improvement
  107. Lighting and Craigslist
  108. Lighting and Games
  109. Lighting and Traditions
  110. Lighting and Frugality & Bargain Hunting
  111. Lighting and Happiness
  112. Lighting and Family
  113. Lighting and Service to Others
  114. Lighting and Date Nights with the Wife
  115. Lighting and Crafting / Building
  116. Lighting and Balance
  117. Lighting and Travel
  118. Lighting and Environmental Stewardship
  119. Lighting and Blue Sky
  120. Lighting and Exploring
  121. Friends and Bricks & Architecture
  122. Friends and Chairs & furniture
  123. Friends and Soap
  124. Friends and Art
  125. Friends and Lighting
  126. Friends and Food
  127. Friends and Community
  128. Friends and Antiques
  129. Friends and Kids
  130. Friends and Home Improvement
  131. Friends and Craigslist
  132. Friends and Games
  133. Friends and Traditions
  134. Friends and Frugality & Bargain Hunting
  135. Friends and Happiness
  136. Friends and Family
  137. Friends and Service to Others
  138. Friends and Date Nights with the Wife
  139. Friends and Crafting / Building
  140. Friends and Balance
  141. Friends and Travel
  142. Friends and Environmental Stewardship
  143. Friends and Blue Sky
  144. Friends and Exploring
  145. Food and Bricks & Architecture
  146. Food and Chairs & furniture
  147. Food and Soap
  148. Food and Art
  149. Food and Lighting
  150. Food and Friends
  151. Food and Community
  152. Food and Antiques
  153. Food and Kids
  154. Food and Home Improvement
  155. Food and Craigslist
  156. Food and Games
  157. Food and Traditions
  158. Food and Frugality & Bargain Hunting
  159. Food and Happiness
  160. Food and Family
  161. Food and Service to Others
  162. Food and Date Nights with the Wife
  163. Food and Crafting / Building
  164. Food and Balance
  165. Food and Travel
  166. Food and Environmental Stewardship
  167. Food and Blue Sky
  168. Food and Exploring
  169. Community and Bricks & Architecture
  170. Community and Chairs & furniture
  171. Community and Soap
  172. Community and Art
  173. Community and Lighting
  174. Community and Friends
  175. Community and Food
  176. Community and Antiques
  177. Community and Kids
  178. Community and Home Improvement
  179. Community and Craigslist
  180. Community and Games
  181. Community and Traditions
  182. Community and Frugality & Bargain Hunting
  183. Community and Happiness
  184. Community and Family
  185. Community and Service to Others
  186. Community and Date Nights with the Wife
  187. Community and Crafting / Building
  188. Community and Balance
  189. Community and Travel
  190. Community and Environmental Stewardship
  191. Community and Blue Sky
  192. Community and Exploring
  193. Antiques and Bricks & Architecture
  194. Antiques and Chairs & furniture
  195. Antiques and Soap
  196. Antiques and Art
  197. Antiques and Lighting
  198. Antiques and Friends
  199. Antiques and Food
  200. Antiques and Community
  201. Antiques and Kids
  202. Antiques and Home Improvement
  203. Antiques and Craigslist
  204. Antiques and Games
  205. Antiques and Traditions
  206. Antiques and Frugality & Bargain Hunting
  207. Antiques and Happiness
  208. Antiques and Family
  209. Antiques and Service to Others
  210. Antiques and Date Nights with the Wife
  211. Antiques and Crafting / Building
  212. Antiques and Balance
  213. Antiques and Travel
  214. Antiques and Environmental Stewardship
  215. Antiques and Blue Sky
  216. Antiques and Exploring
  217. Kids and Bricks & Architecture
  218. Kids and Chairs & furniture
  219. Kids and Soap
  220. Kids and Art
  221. Kids and Lighting
  222. Kids and Friends
  223. Kids and Food
  224. Kids and Community
  225. Kids and Antiques
  226. Kids and Home Improvement
  227. Kids and Craigslist
  228. Kids and Games
  229. Kids and Traditions
  230. Kids and Frugality & Bargain Hunting
  231. Kids and Happiness
  232. Kids and Family
  233. Kids and Service to Others
  234. Kids and Date Nights with the Wife (not a chance!)
  235. Kids and Crafting / Building
  236. Kids and Balance
  237. Kids and Travel
  238. Kids and Environmental Stewardship
  239. Kids and Blue Sky
  240. Kids and Exploring
  241. Home Improvement and Bricks & Architecture
  242. Home Improvement and Chairs & furniture
  243. Home Improvement and Soap
  244. Home Improvement and Art
  245. Home Improvement and Lighting
  246. Home Improvement and Friends
  247. Home Improvement and Food
  248. Home Improvement and Community
  249. Home Improvement and Antiques
  250. Home Improvement and Kids
  251. Home Improvement and Craigslist
  252. Home Improvement and Games
  253. Home Improvement and Traditions
  254. Home Improvement and Frugality & Bargain Hunting
  255. Home Improvement and Happiness
  256. Home Improvement and Family
  257. Home Improvement and Service to Others
  258. Home Improvement and Date Nights with the Wife
  259. Home Improvement and Crafting / Building
  260. Home Improvement and Balance
  261. Home Improvement and Travel
  262. Home Improvement and Environmental Stewardship
  263. Home Improvement and Blue Sky
  264. Home Improvement and Exploring
  265. Craigslist and Bricks & Architecture
  266. Craigslist and Chairs & furniture
  267. Craigslist and Soap
  268. Craigslist and Art
  269. Craigslist and Lighting
  270. Craigslist and Friends
  271. Craigslist and Food
  272. Craigslist and Community
  273. Craigslist and Antiques
  274. Craigslist and Kids
  275. Craigslist and Home Improvement
  276. Craigslist and Games
  277. Craigslist and Traditions
  278. Craigslist and Frugality & Bargain Hunting
  279. Craigslist and Happiness
  280. Craigslist and Family
  281. Craigslist and Service to Others
  282. Craigslist and Date Nights with the Wife
  283. Craigslist and Crafting / Building
  284. Craigslist and Balance
  285. Craigslist and Travel
  286. Craigslist and Environmental Stewardship
  287. Craigslist and Blue Sky
  288. Craigslist and Exploring
  289. Games and Bricks & Architecture
  290. Games and Chairs & furniture
  291. Games and Soap
  292. Games and Art
  293. Games and Lighting
  294. Games and Friends
  295. Games and Food
  296. Games and Community
  297. Games and Antiques
  298. Games and Kids
  299. Games and Home Improvement
  300. Games and Craigslist
  301. Games and Traditions
  302. Games and Frugality & Bargain Hunting
  303. Games and Happiness
  304. Games and Family
  305. Games and Service to Others
  306. Games and Date Nights with the Wife
  307. Games and Crafting / Building
  308. Games and Balance
  309. Games and Travel
  310. Games and Environmental Stewardship
  311. Games and Blue Sky
  312. Games and Exploring
  313. Traditions and Bricks & Architecture
  314. Traditions and Chairs & furniture
  315. Traditions and Soap
  316. Traditions and Art
  317. Traditions and Lighting
  318. Traditions and Friends
  319. Traditions and Food
  320. Traditions and Community
  321. Traditions and Antiques
  322. Traditions and Kids
  323. Traditions and Home Improvement
  324. Traditions and Craigslist
  325. Traditions and Games
  326. Traditions and Frugality & Bargain Hunting
  327. Traditions and Happiness
  328. Traditions and Family
  329. Traditions and Service to Others
  330. Traditions and Date Nights with the Wife
  331. Traditions and Crafting / Building
  332. Traditions and Balance
  333. Traditions and Travel
  334. Traditions and Environmental Stewardship
  335. Traditions and Blue Sky
  336. Traditions and Exploring
  337. Frugality & Bargain Hunting and Bricks & Architecture
  338. Frugality & Bargain Hunting and Chairs & furniture
  339. Frugality & Bargain Hunting and Soap
  340. Frugality & Bargain Hunting and Art
  341. Frugality & Bargain Hunting and Lighting
  342. Frugality & Bargain Hunting and Friends
  343. Frugality & Bargain Hunting and Food
  344. Frugality & Bargain Hunting and Community
  345. Frugality & Bargain Hunting and Antiques
  346. Frugality & Bargain Hunting and Kids
  347. Frugality & Bargain Hunting and Home Improvement
  348. Frugality & Bargain Hunting and Craigslist
  349. Frugality & Bargain Hunting and Games
  350. Frugality & Bargain Hunting and Traditions
  351. Frugality & Bargain Hunting and Happiness
  352. Frugality & Bargain Hunting and Family
  353. Frugality & Bargain Hunting and Service to Others
  354. Frugality & Bargain Hunting and Date Nights with the Wife
  355. Frugality & Bargain Hunting and Crafting / Building
  356. Frugality & Bargain Hunting and Balance
  357. Frugality & Bargain Hunting and Travel
  358. Frugality & Bargain Hunting and Environmental Stewardship
  359. Frugality & Bargain Hunting and Blue Sky
  360. Frugality & Bargain Hunting and Exploring
  361. Happiness and Bricks & Architecture
  362. Happiness and Chairs & furniture
  363. Happiness and Soap
  364. Happiness and Art
  365. Happiness and Lighting
  366. Happiness and Friends
  367. Happiness and Food
  368. Happiness and Community
  369. Happiness and Antiques
  370. Happiness and Kids
  371. Happiness and Home Improvement
  372. Happiness and Craigslist
  373. Happiness and Games
  374. Happiness and Traditions
  375. Happiness and Frugality & Bargain Hunting
  376. Happiness and Family
  377. Happiness and Service to Others
  378. Happiness and Date Nights with the Wife
  379. Happiness and Crafting / Building
  380. Happiness and Balance
  381. Happiness and Travel
  382. Happiness and Environmental Stewardship
  383. Happiness and Blue Sky
  384. Happiness and Exploring
  385. Family and Bricks & Architecture
  386. Family and Chairs & furniture
  387. Family and Soap
  388. Family and Art
  389. Family and Lighting
  390. Family and Friends
  391. Family and Food
  392. Family and Community
  393. Family and Antiques
  394. Family and Kids
  395. Family and Home Improvement
  396. Family and Craigslist
  397. Family and Games
  398. Family and Traditions
  399. Family and Frugality & Bargain Hunting
  400. Family and Happiness
  401. Family and Service to Others
  402. Family and Date Nights with the Wife
  403. Family and Crafting / Building
  404. Family and Balance
  405. Family and Travel
  406. Family and Environmental Stewardship
  407. Family and Blue Sky
  408. Family and Exploring
  409. Service to Others and Bricks & Architecture
  410. Service to Others and Chairs & furniture
  411. Service to Others and Soap
  412. Service to Others and Art
  413. Service to Others and Lighting
  414. Service to Others and Friends
  415. Service to Others and Food
  416. Service to Others and Community
  417. Service to Others and Antiques
  418. Service to Others and Kids
  419. Service to Others and Home Improvement
  420. Service to Others and Craigslist
  421. Service to Others and Games
  422. Service to Others and Traditions
  423. Service to Others and Frugality & Bargain Hunting
  424. Service to Others and Happiness
  425. Service to Others and Family
  426. Service to Others and Date Nights with the Wife
  427. Service to Others and Crafting / Building
  428. Service to Others and Balance
  429. Service to Others and Travel
  430. Service to Others and Environmental Stewardship
  431. Service to Others and Blue Sky
  432. Service to Others and Exploring
  433. Date Nights with the Wife and Bricks & Architecture
  434. Date Nights with the Wife and Chairs & furniture
  435. Date Nights with the Wife and Soap
  436. Date Nights with the Wife and Art
  437. Date Nights with the Wife and Lighting
  438. Date Nights with the Wife and Friends
  439. Date Nights with the Wife and Food
  440. Date Nights with the Wife and Community
  441. Date Nights with the Wife and Antiques
  442. Date Nights with the Wife and Kids (not a chance!)
  443. Date Nights with the Wife and Home Improvement
  444. Date Nights with the Wife and Craigslist
  445. Date Nights with the Wife and Games
  446. Date Nights with the Wife and Traditions
  447. Date Nights with the Wife and Frugality & Bargain Hunting
  448. Date Nights with the Wife and Happiness
  449. Date Nights with the Wife and Family
  450. Date Nights with the Wife and Service to Others
  451. Date Nights with the Wife and Crafting / Building
  452. Date Nights with the Wife and Balance
  453. Date Nights with the Wife and Travel
  454. Date Nights with the Wife and Environmental Stewardship
  455. Date Nights with the Wife and Blue Sky
  456. Date Nights with the Wife and Exploring
  457. Crafting / Building and Bricks & Architecture
  458. Crafting / Building and Chairs & furniture
  459. Crafting / Building and Soap
  460. Crafting / Building and Art
  461. Crafting / Building and Lighting
  462. Crafting / Building and Friends
  463. Crafting / Building and Food
  464. Crafting / Building and Community
  465. Crafting / Building and Antiques
  466. Crafting / Building and Kids
  467. Crafting / Building and Home Improvement
  468. Crafting / Building and Craigslist
  469. Crafting / Building and Games
  470. Crafting / Building and Traditions
  471. Crafting / Building and Frugality & Bargain Hunting
  472. Crafting / Building and Happiness
  473. Crafting / Building and Family
  474. Crafting / Building and Service to Others
  475. Crafting / Building and Date Nights with the Wife
  476. Crafting / Building and Balance
  477. Crafting / Building and Travel
  478. Crafting / Building and Environmental Stewardship
  479. Crafting / Building and Blue Sky
  480. Crafting / Building and Exploring
  481. Balance and Bricks & Architecture
  482. Balance and Chairs & furniture
  483. Balance and Soap
  484. Balance and Art
  485. Balance and Lighting
  486. Balance and Friends
  487. Balance and Food
  488. Balance and Community
  489. Balance and Antiques
  490. Balance and Kids
  491. Balance and Home Improvement
  492. Balance and Craigslist
  493. Balance and Games
  494. Balance and Traditions
  495. Balance and Frugality & Bargain Hunting
  496. Balance and Happiness
  497. Balance and Family
  498. Balance and Service to Others
  499. Balance and Date Nights with the Wife
  500. Balance and Crafting / Building
  501. Balance and Travel
  502. Balance and Environmental Stewardship
  503. Balance and Blue Sky
  504. Balance and Exploring
  505. Travel and Bricks & Architecture
  506. Travel and Chairs & furniture
  507. Travel and Soap
  508. Travel and Art
  509. Travel and Lighting
  510. Travel and Friends
  511. Travel and Food
  512. Travel and Community
  513. Travel and Antiques
  514. Travel and Kids
  515. Travel and Home Improvement
  516. Travel and Craigslist
  517. Travel and Games
  518. Travel and Traditions
  519. Travel and Frugality & Bargain Hunting
  520. Travel and Happiness
  521. Travel and Family
  522. Travel and Service to Others
  523. Travel and Date Nights with the Wife
  524. Travel and Crafting / Building
  525. Travel and Balance
  526. Travel and Environmental Stewardship
  527. Travel and Blue Sky
  528. Travel and Exploring
  529. Environmental Stewardship and Bricks & Architecture
  530. Environmental Stewardship and Chairs & furniture
  531. Environmental Stewardship and Soap
  532. Environmental Stewardship and Art
  533. Environmental Stewardship and Lighting
  534. Environmental Stewardship and Friends
  535. Environmental Stewardship and Food
  536. Environmental Stewardship and Community
  537. Environmental Stewardship and Antiques
  538. Environmental Stewardship and Kids
  539. Environmental Stewardship and Home Improvement
  540. Environmental Stewardship and Craigslist
  541. Environmental Stewardship and Games
  542. Environmental Stewardship and Traditions
  543. Environmental Stewardship and Frugality & Bargain Hunting
  544. Environmental Stewardship and Happiness
  545. Environmental Stewardship and Family
  546. Environmental Stewardship and Service to Others
  547. Environmental Stewardship and Date Nights with the Wife
  548. Environmental Stewardship and Crafting / Building
  549. Environmental Stewardship and Balance
  550. Environmental Stewardship and Travel
  551. Environmental Stewardship and Blue Sky
  552. Environmental Stewardship and Exploring
  553. Blue Sky and Bricks & Architecture
  554. Blue Sky and Chairs & furniture
  555. Blue Sky and Soap
  556. Blue Sky and Art
  557. Blue Sky and Lighting
  558. Blue Sky and Friends
  559. Blue Sky and Food
  560. Blue Sky and Community
  561. Blue Sky and Antiques
  562. Blue Sky and Kids
  563. Blue Sky and Home Improvement
  564. Blue Sky and Craigslist
  565. Blue Sky and Games
  566. Blue Sky and Traditions
  567. Blue Sky and Frugality & Bargain Hunting
  568. Blue Sky and Happiness
  569. Blue Sky and Family
  570. Blue Sky and Service to Others
  571. Blue Sky and Date Nights with the Wife
  572. Blue Sky and Crafting / Building
  573. Blue Sky and Balance
  574. Blue Sky and Travel
  575. Blue Sky and Environmental Stewardship
  576. Blue Sky and Exploring
  577. Exploring and Bricks & Architecture
  578. Exploring and Chairs & furniture
  579. Exploring and Soap
  580. Exploring and Art
  581. Exploring and Lighting
  582. Exploring and Friends
  583. Exploring and Food
  584. Exploring and Community
  585. Exploring and Antiques
  586. Exploring and Kids
  587. Exploring and Home Improvement
  588. Exploring and Craigslist
  589. Exploring and Games
  590. Exploring and Traditions
  591. Exploring and Frugality & Bargain Hunting
  592. Exploring and Happiness
  593. Exploring and Family
  594. Exploring and Service to Others
  595. Exploring and Date Nights with the Wife
  596. Exploring and Crafting / Building
  597. Exploring and Balance
  598. Exploring and Travel
  599. Exploring and Environmental Stewardship
  600. Exploring and Blue Sky

Doodling, Drawing and $100 million

  1. Machine learning workflow for documents and specifications
  2. Computer program to create pros from outline or full language text. Should end up being extremely eloquent
  3.  Computer doodling
  4. Floorplan generator from photos as an iPhone app
  5. E-book on teaching kids about computers
  6. E-book on structuring LLCs
  7. Blog post about creating personal value by building people up
  8. Draw more  
  9. Blog my basement remodel
  10. Brainstorm ways to raise capital for different friends. Five to $10 million. But I suppose why stop there let’s shoot for $100 million. 

10 Places I’d Like to Visit

  1. Alaska – Homer to  be exact. Although Sadie Cove looks interesting too.
    Old Town Homer AK
  2. India – Homestay sounds interesting
  3. Greenland
    Photo by Mads Pihl - Visit Greenland
    Photo by Mads Pihl – Visit Greenland
  4. NYC during Christmas

    Credit: gigi_nyc
    2014 Bryant Park – Credit: gigi_nyc
  5. Rural Japan Read How Not to Travel in Japan
  6. Parma, Italy (Ham and Cheese!)
    Parma Italy
  7. Paris
    eiffel-tower-768501_1280 louvre-530058_1280 arc-de-triomphe-517899_1280
  8. China.
    Specifically I’d like to visit rural China – Guilin to be exact

    Li River
    Li River connects Guilin and Yangshuo County – Credit Chensiyuan
  9. Australia I have friends here. I’d visit them, but I’d also like to get into the outback.tree-392068_1280 melbourne-79216_1280 twelve-apostles-302024_1280
  10. Angel Falls – The water fall that was the inspiration for the falls in the movie “Up”.

Is Scala a Business Ready Language?

I’m a great (but not fantastic) developer and certainly no Scala expert so I approach this topic fearfully, knowing I’ll get something wrong.

And although I have decades of professional programming experience, I have zero Scala experience so I will be relying upon the experience of others. You will find a lot of quotes (with attribution) scattered throughout.

I’m both an opinionated and open-minded person so please express your own opinion below the article – you have a good chance of changing my mind.

A business is a team that takes ideas or products and brings them life.

Business Needs are Priority 1

When evaluating a technical choice in an organization, needs naturally fall into one of two categories: Business and Technical.

Even startup founders organize time and hat wearing between “businessy stuff” and technical execution.

The business needs of an organization must come before the technical needs for a simple reason. Teamwork.

A business is not just a bunch of developers and engineers sitting around building stuff. It’s tempting to draw a line of separation between tech and “everything else.” This is not teamwork – it’s silo building and any organization finding itself engaged in the business of building silos is doomed.

A business is more than a product, it’s more than a brilliant technology, it’s more than a team of 10x rockstars. A business is a team that takes ideas or products and brings them life through strategic partnerships, vision, mission, high-level planning, branding, marketing, sales, customer service, human resources and IT.

Business Needs

HR – Finding and Retaining qualified people.

From 2011:

“…it’s effectively impossible to hire people with prior Scala experience (of the hundreds of people we’ve interviewed perhaps three had Scala experience, of those three we hired one)” source

On May 1st, 2015 a quick trip to Stack Overflow Careers Candidate Search yields this startling metric. 56,000 java developers ( no interns or students) to 5,000 scala developers.

searching for scala returns 3,733 results.

searching for java returns 86,189 results.

Scala and Java are far apart on github.

Conclusion: Scala is the loser. Java is the clear winner with by far the most developers.
I could dig wide and far and come up with countless examples of the disparity between the availability and popularity of Java and Scala. Is this important? Only you and your organization can answer that.

Maturity and Stability of Scala

At 12 years old (internal vs general release), Scala is, without a doubt a mature language but does it’s maturity come with a hidden cost?

This release contains an important fix for serialization, which was broken in Scala 2.11.0 (SI-8549). The fix necessarily breaks serialization compatibility between 2.11.0 and 2.11.1 (this is separate from binary compatibility, which is maintained).Scala 2.11.1 Announcement

Breaking backward compatibility (yes I know it’s not binary compatibility) between minor versions is a negative.

Scala keeps breaking binary compatibility with every new release. In spite of previous promises, compatibility was broken in release 2.7, broken again in release 2.8 and broken yet again in 2.9. Ceki Gülcü – Is Scala worthy of your trust?

Yes, these are old versions and it appears that with the last few releases they have not broken backward compatibility. However, in September 2014, when asked in an interview with InfoWorld about an upcoming release (Don Giovanni – to be released in April, 2017 approximately) , Martin Odersky said: “That’s going to be a more fundamental rethink of what Scala is.”

To be intellectually honest, this is a good thing… technically. I admire the mindset of continuous improvement. This does not lead to stability however.

Conclusion: Should a language be considered mature and stable when these sorts of sweeping changes are planned or necessary?

Bringing Scala into Existing Businesses

There are many testimonials that can reasonably lead one to the conclusion that it is very viable to bring Scala into an existing JVM oriented business.

On Redfin, Alex Payne writes this about twitter

Scala is a lot of fun to work in; yes, you can write staid, Java-like code when you start. Later, you can write Scala code that almost looks like Haskell. It can be very idiomatic, very functional — there’s a lot of flexibility there.

However Julio Faerman writes

Although it is possible to invoke Java methods in Scala code and vice versa, the interaction between languages is not without complications.

Yakov Fain has an opinion about this:

If you have a team of several Java developers and want to introduce Scala, Groovy or any other exotic language, do not hire a person who knows this language. Hire an instructor to teach the entire team how to program in this languages and let one of the developers use it in your project.

Conclusion: Neutral.

Cost of Development

All positions are “senior” The location choice is an affluent community in the midwest which is cheaper than the coasts – adjust accordingly.

Position Location Cost
Scala Overland Park, KS $105,000
Ruby Overland Park, KS $105,000
Java Overland Park, KS $99,000
Python Overland Park, KS $105,000
Haskell Overland Park, KS $95,000
PHP Overland Park, KS $95,000



Conclusion: Irrelavent.

Technical Needs

Poor technical decisions have the potential to ruin a product or company completely. Consequently, appropriate care should be given to research and informed decision making.

I’ll be using mostly quotes for this section. Although I have read numerous articles and opinions and documentation pages about various libraries, I have no real-world experience.

Popularity (Google Trends)

Google Trends for Scala, Java, Ruby, PHP and C++

Google Trends for Scala, Java, Ruby, PHP and C++



For a language to be worthy of a significant commitment by developers and businesses it must have a quality eco-system surrounding it. Topping the list is the community.

Language ( meetings/members) 2014 Conferences (
Scala 398 / 109,873 32
Ruby 781 / 324,640 131
Java 1123 / 406,084 115
Python 1052 / 414,303 136
Haskell 182 / 44,821 8
PHP 1311 / 403,544 99

Conclusion: Scala clearly has a lot of work to do here. Only one of these three metrics is looking at numbers of people yet all of them have Scala at or near the bottom of the list.

Good Ecosystem

Node.js has an amazing library eco-system. One that I have yet to see duplicated elsewhere. If anyone involved with the Scala ecosystem is listening, you would do well to emulate

Nobody else so far has mentioned this, but the documentation for just about anything in Scala seems very slanted toward the academic rather than the practical. Most documentation reads like a professor is trying to justify a budget item; it’s all about “why Scala” and not much about “how to do things in Scala.” Reese Currie

Scala has methods to get similar results as but it is complicated and is part of the built tool – a product that some advise against using.

Comparing Open Source Projects By Language

Using GitHub as a data source reveals that the top two languages, by both project count and user count are Java and Javascript with the latter having more users than Java even with fewer projects.

The biggest surprise on this first dataset is the stunning disparity between the other languages and Scala. Scala is barely a blip on the radar.

The next GitHub dataset compares issues reported by language both as a number and as a rate per project. Without looking into the substance of the issues, there are two interesting conclusions that can be drawn. The first is that Java has the lowest defect rate (2.153 issues per project) and Scala has the highest (4.604 issues per project).

Conclusion: Between Java and Scala, Java is the clear winner.

Code Readability

Read the comments on this StackOverflow answer. Where is the community consensus?

Readability, readability, readability. Scala supports many programming paradigms(and has features to enable those), they combine into hundreds of idioms making it possible to write code in myriad of ways. Given the possibility, it’s hard to stop developers from going crazy and trying clever tricks, resulting in very unreadable code in the end.

It’s definitely possible to write beautiful code in Scala and then it’s the most beautiful language in the world but practically most people won’t do that. Scala libraries are written by very smart people but somehow even the best get carried away and go blind to code readability. If the best people write difficult to read code there is no way to control others. – Pankaj Gupta

Scala is a lot of fun to work in; yes, you can write staid, Java-like code when you start. Later, you can write Scala code that almost looks like Haskell. It can be very idiomatic, very functional — there’s a lot of flexibility there. –Alex Payne

“Scala is so flexible that you can write code in it that’s utterly impenetrable. You only have to look at Perl scripts to see the downside to that. Programmers who have to work together are happier if there’s only one or two clear ways to do something, not lots of different ways.” John Purcell

“My style changed gradually over time from object oriented to now completely functional” –Quora Review

Conclusion: Caution. Scala allows for code that is “utterly impenetrable.” Scala enables both functional and object oriented code. Without discipline and enforced standards a code base will become a mess – each developer contributing in their own evolving style.

Does Scala Lower the Defect Rate?

In spite of the conclusion drawn by the GitHub analysis that Scala projects have more issues per project, what is the conventional wisdom when it comes to answering this question? Perhaps in an enterprise environment things are different.

But most importantly, Scala taught me to program and reason about programming differently. I stopped thinking in terms of allocating buffers, structs, and objects, and of changing those pieces of memory. Instead, I learned to think about most of my programs as transforming input to output. This change in thinking has lead to lower defect rates, more modular code, and more testable code – David Pollak

This is a deep read on the subject of code quality as relates to programming language.

functional languages are generally less defect prone than procedural languages
A Large Scale Study of Programming Languages and Code Quality in Github

Conclusion: Yes. Probably. Temper this conclusion with the issue data from GitHub.

Performance & Scalability

Scala is named with the word scale implied in the name. While scala works well for large-scale projects, the intent of the name is more about your experience with it – it scales to meet you at your skill level.

“Scala is deep where other languages are broad.”
Martin Odersky – Slide 11

This means, scalable is meant in terms of flexibility and expressiveness. You can create your own control structures. E.g. the actors frameworks is a library, but it looks like it uses language features.

This means that Scala will scale according to the needed abstraction, not necessarily in terms of “answering 1.000.000 requests in a second” – Michael Kebe Programmers.StackExchange

Aleksey Shipilёv has an interesting article about benchmarking Scala vs. Java.

I should add that per amount of time spent programming, my Scala code is usually faster than my Java code since in Scala I can get the tedious not-performance-critical parts done with less effort, and spend more of my attention optimizing the algorithms and code for the performance-critical parts. – Rex Kerr

Java and Scala both compile down to JVM bytecode, so the difference isn’t that big. The best comparison you can get is probably on the computer language benchmarks game, which essentially says that Java and Scala both have the same memory usage. Scala is only slightly slower than Java on some of the benchmarks listed, but that could simply be because the implementation of the programs are different.

Really though, they’re both so close it’s not worth worrying about. The productivity increase you get by using a more expressive language like Scala is worth so much more than minimal (if any) performance hit – ryeguy


I think startups tend to underestimate the potential benefits of picking atypical technology stacks: learning new things is a powerful motivator for engineers—disproportionately so among those you’re most likely to want to hire—and having an interesting and thoughtful tech stack can help a lot in recruiting – Patrick Collison

Final Word

I’ll close with this series of quotes from Alex Payne of Twitter.

So what were our criteria for choosing Scala? Well first we asked, was it fast, and fun, and good for long-running process? Does it have advanced features? Can you be productive quickly? … And did Scala turn out to be fast? Well, what’s your definition of fast? About as fast as Java. It doesn’t have to be as fast as C or Assembly. …

Scala is a lot of fun to work in; yes, you can write staid, Java-like code when you start. Later, you can write Scala code that almost looks like Haskell. It can be very idiomatic, very functional — there’s a lot of flexibility there.

And it’s fast. The principal language developer at Scala worked on the JVM at Sun. When Java started, it was clearly a great language, but the VM was slow. The JVM has been brought to the modern age and we don’t think twice about using it.

Less Personal Social Media and Situation Context Detection

10 Tech Ideas

  1. Given enough live video feeds (Periscope are you listening?) a person could “walk” around an event switching from stream to stream.  Even better would be if it wasn’t just switching streams but actually 3D transitioning between streams – literally walking around the 3D space.
  2. Less personal social media. This expands our world view – Much of social media is bragging. Instead, enlighten me, enrich my day, educate me, but don’t brag about your kid, dog, or food.
  3. Facial recognition, body language, facial expression recognition. Situation context detection – piped into social media upon user defined triggers.
  4. Video demographic metric collection – clothing brand detection, clothing style detection, car detection (from parking lot). Age and gender detection.  For brick and mortar stores this would offer an interesting data stream about their customers.  Could update offers in real time in store.
  5. Theft detection, loss prevention using real time video feeds and body language detection (from #3) stores could intervene before a crime takes place.
  6. Video and smoke detectors to monitor quality of pizza in oven. Speed up, slow down conveyor.  Crust bubble alarm. Utilize as many sensors as possible – does food off-gas as it cooks? Measure it.
  7. Technology (SAAS) company that specializes in the ultimate in privacy – corporate shielding of average citizens for super cheap.  LLC? All aspects automated.
  8. SAAS company that APIs life.  All of it. Life metrics
  9. SAAS company that provides market flattening technology generically. Everybody wins when a vertical market removes middle men and becomes more honest.
  10.  Gamify tech ideation. Create tools (website) for collaborative brainstorming.

Failing Successfully Using Rowboats.

I’m a failure.  I fail a lot.  All the time, really. And in lots of ways.  I’m not as patient with my children as I’d like.  I’m not as productive at work as I’d like.  I’m not as good of a husband as I’d like. But this is not about any of the specific ways I fail because I’m far more interested in flipping failure on it’s head.

“What is failure?  How do we make it useful? How do we keep it from hurting us? “

I asked a local bartender “What makes a shift successful.”  His answer, “Nice customers and good tips.  Restaurant people are the best customers – they’ve been there before and always tip well.”  Makes sense.  A friend defined success as “on time and on budget.”

I don’t want to focus on success because total success is elusive – seemingly downright impossible.  We are frail creatures, after all, and are prone to coming up short.  I write this not as an excuse but as a realization.  Knowledge is power and knowing where we are currently gives us the power to grab failure by the collar and demand it tell us how we can do better.

I’m the senior software developer where I work and I’ve been wondering, “Organizationally what is failure?  How do we define it? How do we make it useful? How do we keep it from hurting us?  How do we move beyond immediate negative reactions and take a long term view?  More importantly, how do we create a culture that doesn’t punish failure and instead seeks to find the value in  failure?

Failure is worthless when you fail to learn from your failure through accident or ignorance. The worst kind of worthless failure is produced by a culture that structurally prevents learning from failure. Not knowing if you’re failing, or at what rate you’re failing means you have no hope of making meaningful change.

Everything else is useful.  Think about conversion metrics.  For online businesses this is the ratio of  visitors converting to customers.  People tout their conversion rates like they are some measure of success.  “Oh, we have a 30% conversion rate!”  Wait, did you just tell me you lose 70% of all visitors?

In baseball failing most of the time is acceptable.  Failing half of the time is ridiculously good.  If you convert 30% of the time in baseball you’re going to make millions.  I don’t know what good conversion metrics are for an online business.  You probably have some idea what is acceptable for you.  It all depends on your acquisition cost and the lifetime value of a customer for your business.

But here’s the thing.  If you’re not learning from your failures be they a 2%, 10%, or 30% conversion rate (a 98%, 90%, 70% failure rate) you’re being hurt by your failure.  It’s time to turn that situation around and figure out how to learn. The answer is shockingly simple, but requires dedication and discipline.

Anyone can flip failure on its head,

Find yourself some third-class levers.

Did you know 3rd class levers even exist? (I didn’t.) A third class lever allows you to gain speed or distance at the expense of effort.  Put another way, the effort we use to improve our success rate can move it a lot (distance).

Rowing Team Row boats use 3rd class levers – effort translates into speed and distance.

It logically follows that you would pick areas of your business that have a high rate of failure – they represent the areas that can experience the largest amount of  improvement. In addition to the high rate of failure, you would also want to identify those areas that are frequently repeating and easily testable.

If you have a business that is profitable with a 2% conversion rate – a 3rd class lever can make a huge difference to the bottom line – you don’t have to move the needle much to get a doubling or tripling of revenues.

The exact details of your testing greatly depend upon your industry, your goals and the hypotheses you decide to test.  For example, to improve customer acquisition you might try changing the amount of information required on sign up forms. For trial accounts try testing a decision to not require a credit card.  For project management you might try testing a new methodology or technique.  For a pizza restaurant you might try a new approach to special prices or offering a more interesting pizza.

As a father I could try different approaches with family chores and rules. I could gamify things. Yes it’s more difficult to measure, but anecdotal evidence is acceptable in this situation.  The important thing is to be trying and measuring – in whatever way is appropriate.

When it comes to failing  when you learn from your mistakes you are honestly improving. If you are not learning you have truly failed and are doomed to repeat the past.

Anyone can flip failure on its head, in any industry and in any human endeavor.
Do you want to?

People Want to be Heroes, not Commodities!

Lots of technology is created in an effort to systematize or commoditize existing sectors and business professionals – software developers, artists, writers, lawyers – the list is seemingly endless.

Technology has proven itself to be one of the greatest liberators and equalizers of human existence.

This perpetuates a paradigm of subjugation and enslavement.  People don’t want to be commodities they want to be heroes – they want to be Free – (Libre!)

It’s all wrapped up using a false value proposition; i.e. if you join you will have more work, stability, etc.  But at commodity prices? No thanks. But at loss of individuality ? Not a chance.

The next 500 years is just beginning and it’s going to be another period of enlightenment.

The idea is thus: technology has proven itself to be one of the greatest liberators and equalizers of human existence. We must find the areas of human existence in most dire need of liberation and bring technology to bear on the problems of injustice, inequality, and  the commoditization of humans.

This is done through a transcendent, transparent and kind application of technology to level playing fields removing barriers blocking greatness. We design systems and redesign human institutions  in ways that eliminate hooks, greed, fear and coercion; we recognize the need to create an organization and system that outlives our great grandchildren’s generation.

Join the conversation and let’s talk about the sectors and paradigms that need reforming. The next 500 years is just beginning and it’s going to be another period of enlightenment.