Friday, April 27, 2012

Knowledge investor mind

I think every knowledge worker should have the investor mindset.
You are not investing money, you are investing your brain and time.

The output you might expect is exactly the same as the investor expects : money, making the world a better place, and making the best use possible of your input. (money/brain/time)

Accepting a project is not about convincing the customer or partner.
It is about making conscious investment choice.
Is it worthwhile ? useful ? profitable ? when are you going to have your first customer ? What is your team ?

These are the same questions as the investor. Your goal are the same, even though your resources have a different nature.

However be even more careful about the team : you're gonna spend long time every day with them.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The organic project

You can have a inorganic projects. It has a deadline, and once deployed nobody touch it.
Maybe some maintenance and bux fixes there and here but that's all.
The environment does not change it over time.

It happens, and the objective is to freeze the code and make it works perfectly for this specific date.

I call parts of the project fixed in advance by an architect a conscious architecture.

However entrepreneur must work on another concept : the organic project.
It have deadlines, but it cannot have a conscious architecture.

When you start your own project, you never know as a CEO how it will evolve once in the hand of your customer. The fog will dissipe with time, but now you are blind.

If you are a CEO, how can you expect that your architect/developer knows better than you what to fix in stone ?
If you are an architect, how can you know better than the CEO what to fix in stone ?

Consider your new project as an organic project, it will  move forever, don't set things in stone yet, ship, pivot and evolve, make your product grows organically.
Your architecture will emerge organically from environment's input.
I call it the organic architecture.

Facebook did not have a guy from the start that said : "Ok, we'll make things scalable for unlimited number of users."

It became scalable with an organic growth of the codebase, one problem after the other, one refactoring after the other.

Be smart, don't forsee, just improve a bit the life of someone. One line of code at a time.
When you start your biggest ennemy is not bad code.
It's wrong product.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Creative limits

You can go anywhere you want.
You can do anything you want.
... and when you want !

Sounds fantastic ?
Not quite,  the paradox of choice is going to hit you.
With too much choice, you become paralyzed about what to do next.
You end up deferring the important stuff, you can do it latter after all.
Break the paradox, use limits.

Place a deadline, "I have to finish it in 1H",
Place a frequency limit, "I have to work on it only 10 minutes per day",
Place a principle limit, "I will not do it, it does not help me to become as I want to become"
Place a money limit, "I have to use only 200$"
Place a physical limit, "Let's program the coffee machine for 7:05am, so I always wake up at 7:00am"

You feel stuck and not moving forward ? Use limits, you will become more creative and curious.

What if you always violate these limits ?
That's easy ! Combine any limits with a physical limit.

You want a money limit per month ? Burn your credit card, and every month make a wire transfer to a friend against cash.
You want to stop eat less at home ? Do not fill your refregirator.
You always buy more stuff than you need during shopping ? Burn your credit card, and go shopping with strictly the right amount of cash.
You want stop wasting time on this game ? Uninstall it, delete all your saved game, then give your account to a friend or on a public forum.
You want to stop wasting time on social network ? Unsubscribe and use software like StayFocusd or Rescue Time.

Your motivation and discipline are finite resources you spend every day.
Do not waste it, just setup your physical limitations.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Once enough time, experience is the most important currency

I don't really like giving too much time to Seth's blog... but there is always something to learn by speed reading his blog.

Consider: you're buying a $30,000 car and you have the option of upgrading the stereo to the 18 speaker, 100 watt version for just $500 more. Should you?...

In a surprisingly large number of cases, we take the stereo, even though we'd never buy a nice stereo at home

Why ? because we are bad with numbers, $500 seems nothing next to $30,000.
Stop comparing stereo with money, start comparing with experience :

You can have the stereo if you give up going to Starbucks every workday for the next year and a half. Worth it?

Seth's currency might be Starbuck's frappucino, mine is coffee, sushi and trip to japan. What's yours ?