So there are a few million hilarious memes about how Mondays suck and, as funny as they are, I just can’t say I agree with any of them. Monday is the best day of the week because you’re starting your week with a blank slate*. The week can be anything you want it to be!
This is an exciting proposition, this week you can work towards a raise or building a happier business. You can finish that project that you’ve been meaning to do for way too long (if you’re me it’s been a couple years…), you can start writing that book you’ve always wanted to write or you can even just bring your wife flowers for no damn reason.
This week can be anything you want it to be.
But, just in case you still are cranky about Mondays try watching this video and not smiling as you kick off your day (singing along is highly recommended):
*The caveat here is that I run my own business so my schedule is more flexible than most. But having a full-time job does not mean you can’t treat all your time away from work as a blank slate. Or even some things within your work!
One of my favorite infrequent e-mails is the one I get from Quora. In case you don’t know Quora, it’s a simple Question and Answer site where anyone can ask a question and anyone can answer. Answers are then voted up or voted down. This reddit-like model has created amazing results. Often questions will be answered by experts, unlikely people with unique experience, or just everyday users with great perspective.
As a recent 30-year-old, I’ve been thinking about my life and what I’ll accomplish. With the deluge of news on young entrepreneurs who are changing the world I can’t help but feel a little behind the curve. This is a normal feeling for many of us. I found some great insight and perspective from this simple question: http://www.quora.com/Life-Advice/I-am-in-my-late-20s-and-feel-I-have-wasted-a-lot-of-time-Is-it-too-late.
If that wasn’t enough motivation just check out this great article by Herbert Liu about it: 14 Stories of Late Blooming Geniuses
The gist of it? NO. It is NOT too late.
The best quote I read was: “You can’t steer a parked car.” So keep moving, get to work, embrace a hobby. Just keep doing.
Okay, so “writing a column to me” isn’t exactly true – chalk it up to a millennial’s sense of entitlement that I phrased it that way.
But, in less than a week I’ll be the big 3-0 and, aside from the general feelings of ‘getting old,’ I’m trying to be thoughtful at this time. Fortunately Wil Schroter has (at least) a two-part series on this, the read is worth it – check it out:
TechCrunch.com in the last week has posted about two non-tech, completely boring, run-of-the-mill, service companies. You know, the kind that have been around forever. For instance, you can get your food delivered by Y-Combinator backed DoorDash or you can, wait for it… Get your laundry done by a service called Prim – goofy shirted people and all:
This leads us to the question: How desperate is Y-Combinator?
Part of the point of Venture Capital firms is to invest in high-risk, high-reward businesses – the idea being that a business that exists primarily on the web is able to grow (scalable) at a rate that can’t be equaled by a business that requires human capital.
This is why the startup community is so alluring to so many people, if you can sell a product or service online, your customer base isn’t geographically limited, nearly the entire world is available to you to sell to.
So, this leads us to consider the possible reasons Y-Combinator, a well established, highly respected Venture Capital firm, is investing in very low-growth, geographically limited startups. I can think of just a few possible reasons:
- The talent is so ridiculously smart, driven, and well-connected that Y-Combinator is willing to do anything to keep them from becoming a competitor.
- Y-Combinator has some senior partner who has run amok and is doing whatever the hell they want (probably not…).
- Y-Combinator has decided to diversify their portfolio and add some lower-risk businesses to their holdings.
- Y-Combinator is working to parlay this experience as delivery services into some software to support other delivery businesses and that will be a more typical investment for them.
What’s next for Venture Capital firms? Investing in gas stations?
Popular Mechanics has a great article on how car customization is changing with the introduction of the ability to modify your car by writing code. What they don’t touch on is just how technical and computerized auto repair has become.
So many systems in a car are run or at least supported by a computer that much of the diagnosis of problems can be done by accessing that computer. OBDII* – the original big standard in auto computer communication – became standard in 1996, that’s 17 years ago!
For at least 17 years engines have been controlled and monitored by computers. As you can imagine, in the years since, cars have just gotten even more high-tech and computer controlled. That control has made it possible for a few lines of code to have a tremendous affect on how a car functions.
This change has made it possible for a tech to approach a car with a scan tool, enter the passenger compartment, hook up the scan tool and run diagnostic tests without even getting a finger dirty. Now, very few cars get fully diagnosed without some actual work but that work is increasingly electrical rather than mechanical.
Welcome to the future!
*Amazingly the standardization to OBDII was a government mandate but it was arguably the best thing to happen to independent auto repair. Ever.
You can check out the tools that NASA has on the International Space Station over at Tim Peake’s flickr photo album: http://www.flickr.com/photos/timpeake/sets/72157634315750824/
I’ve been wanting to make a tool roll for my truck so it is really interesting to see such a cool example.
Sidenote: Obviously those tools are not currently in space, this is a land-lubbing copy.
This morning I took the wife out to go pick some blackberries! I found out about this place because it is next door to where I go dirt bike riding at my buddy’s land. They’re better known for their peach picking but they sure have some delicious blackberries and friendly service.
The place is Gieringer’s Orchard out in Edgerton, KS – http://www.gieringersorchard.com/
If you get a chance it is a lot of fun and a quick drive from KC, especially in the morning on a weekend.
Most people, at least here in the midwest, learn to ride two wheels on a bicycle, then on a dirt bike and THEN they go on to a full-fledged motorcycle. I was a little odd, I never really had the chance to ride a dirt bike so I went straight to motorcycles.
And that made my experience a couple weekends ago all that more fun! A buddy invited me out to his land to ride dirt-bikes, I didn’t think much of it until that morning when I was getting out my sad motorcycle helmet and got some pre-riding happy jitters. (The helmet isn’t sad, the fact that it’s been in the top of my closet for the past 11 months is sad.)
They had 4 bikes out there, including a super-sweet 80cc Honda that was a blast because you could just ride the bike to its limit, rather than your limit. This problem may not apply to everyone but I’m not nearly as comfortable on a dirt bike as I need to be to ride a 125cc 2 stroke to the limit.
Taking a picture of J-me taking a picture:
J-me on his brother’s KTM 125, the 2-stroke in this thing is SCARY when the power comes on:
Of course the truck looks much cooler with a dirt bike in the back:
A couple months ago Cheerios posted a completely normal ad on YouTube. The ad happened to feature a biracial couple and the comments were apparently so racist that all comments were deleted and disabled for the video. Check out the ad here:
Some great people (Benny and Rafi Fine) put together a reaction video from kids who watched that commercial – in case you didn’t realize it: this is pretty good proof that racism and hate are learned, now if we can only get people to quit teaching it!
It’s great to see people still working to improve the good ol’ internal combustion engine. The standard ICE is just so inefficient that someone should be doing it! And the ladies and gentlemen over at LiquidPiston are doing it.
Check out this great new design that merges recent advancements like direct injection with a more classic rotary engine (except with modifications) to build a hyper-efficient internal combustion engine: http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/news/auto-blog/liquidpistons-hyper-efficient-engine-turning-the-rotary-inside-out-13817971
You know where this engine belongs? Connected to a generator in a car with electric motors that drive the wheels and a gas (or diesel) that generates electricity for longer trips. It’s compact, light & powerful; fits the bill perfectly!