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Month: January 2016

less services

Today I started migrating part of the things I’ve had on SimpleNote/Quip/Evernote to OneNote and iOS Notes.

It’s strange because I wasn’t a fan of microsoft services, but OneNote is well done, works good, and even though the Typography is not the best in the class, it has the feature needed.

This also led me to realize one thing:
We have too many services.

I know that a service that does “one thing and does it well” is perfect, and I love the idea, but what about note taking?
We only need notes, sharing, and a bit of typography.

It shouldn’t be that hard, but instead we are flooded with new services that, guess what, promise us to save more time, improve our productivity and so on.
The truth is that learning has a cost, and sometimes sticking to the old and simple solution is enough for you to be effective.

Think of “how much improvement will I gain from this?”
If a change of service will save an hour a day for you, then by all means go and use it right now, but if that’s not the case then you should pause a bit and reflect if this move is needed or not.

what stops you from achieving?

Today I was with a group of friends that work together in a company.
They’re a very supportive team and work closely together to accomplish projects.

Each of them has his/her own unique skills, but what drove them mad was the fact that some basic tasks didn’t end so fast.
They took way more time than the usual.

Why that happened?
We talked a bit and two things clearly emerged as possible culprit about this.

The first was: Who’s in charge?

Even in democracy we need one people to take the lead, even if not in every decision it’s important to have a person in charge of the task. Not doing it but coordinating it.

The second was: When to do it?

When you don’t have a deadline you procrastinate and it’s hard to feel the pressure to complete the task.

Even though these two things aren’t a requirement for the completion of a task they surely are an important part of it.

better organizations

Today we were talking about how to improve some internal communication inside the company and I wonder: How do things change inside big companies?

I wonder what are the steps to a broader adoption of a tool.
I suppose they all start small, unless they want to do a big mistake, but how does this really work?

Are there some evolutionary people that break the rules or is there some kind of “company acceptance” where is the owner itself that let them trying to improve?

saying no to good things

One of the quotes that resonated with me deeply was the one that Steve Jobs said.
I’m paraphrasing here but it was something along these line

“The difficult thing is not to say yes to good ideas, the difficult thing is to say no to good ideas and say yes only to the awesome ones”

Another quote on the same line comes from Derek Sivers who says only HELL YEAH or a plain no meaning that if it’s convinced fully and fully charged, then it’s no.

Saying no is hard because there are so many beautiful things in the world, but it’s a necessity to improve our life, to live fully.

the harsh truth about self-improvement

When you talk about self-improvement what’s the first thing that comes to your mind?

Success, power, energy, happiness are just few of the words that might pop-up.

What any self-help/improvement book doesn’t tell you is one hidden journey towards those goal.

Everyone in this world has some negative side, some character that its too much.

We all got our issues, right?

To work on that you’ll have to face them directly, you’ll have to fight them, recognize them and work towards improving yourself.

That’s how you do it, that’s the little secret.

Acknowledging your limits and working on them.

Guess what? It’s difficult.

We all ask to be better, but the path to that improved version of ourselves requires us to learn, to fail, to be humble, to go forth, to fail again, and to wake up again with the strong will to face again and again our problems until they are solved.

It’s hard to do it because those shadows in our character are difficult to begin with.

They are hard to accept, and hard to change.

But those shadows are our best bet, they are the path.

Our path.

what to say on a birthday

Years ago when it was someone’s birthday I would congratulate with him/her, nothing else.

Birthdays, afterall, were just a day like the others to me, so it didn’t make any sense to add something to them.

Today I still think that birthdays are normal days, but everything changed.
I remember it all happened when a dear friend of mine wrote me a birthday message.

I didn’t expect it. It was a long message, it was passionate, insightful, full of hopes and wishes.
It was the best birthday message I’ve ever received.

That message got me thinking about how much power you have in your birthday.
It changed it all for me, it changed the way I think about expressing emotions, it changed the way I write messages to people on their birthday.

After that I realized that on the birthday you have the opportunity to positively influence someone.
To give them a boost, without using hypocrites words.
You can do good, real good.

When you say “Happy birthday” you simplify a complex meaning.
What “Happy Birthday” represent is a wishing well.
We all wish the best to others, so when you naturally put that much time writing a message you realize that you write such messages only for the people that count for you.

This makes those messages even more beautiful, and they are vehicle to your emotions, to your wishing well.
In fact, while you say “Happy birthday” you might be noise in the other person’s life, but if you write such powerful message, then you can scratch their surface, you can touch their heart, leave a trace.

It’s not about being selfish, it’s about sharing emotions, sharing wishes.
So now I write less happy birthday, I say less happy birthday, but when I say them I use them my full range of emotions, my full range of words.

I won’t use small phrases, but I write long posts to ensure all the love and friendship doesn’t get lost.

Personally I often talk about expressing love in those messages and the reason behind that is this:
We often don’t show our love to others.
We hide it because we fear it, we fear the consequences.

But to be honest, if we died tomorrow would we regret it?
Yes.
We would regret it.
That’s why I often say “live this day with the people you love and make sure that they will know how you feel about them, hug them, love them, express your range of emotions”.

Because when we die the only trace we’ll live will be made by the memories and the feelings other have for us.
Those feelings will be our trace, our legacy.
They will remember us for what we taught to them in life and love.

Tomorrow is not a good day to love, today is.
Don’t ever let yourself hide your emotions.

Live fully, express your love.

ordering

We need order as much as possible because order is like hygiene to our body.

Order cleans us and I don’t refer to political order or control of society. I mean it individually. Being in order, having house in order, allows us to free part of our mind, to be more efficient and dedicated to what we love doing.

When we live in chaos we can’t fully develop our skills because our mind is so changing that it’s quite difficult to focus deeply.

When we order, though, everything seems faster to do.

what software will last for 20 years?

This is a question I ask myself very often.

We are flooded by new software, startups, and so on. But what will it be their legacy?
I think of the many startup that failed and I see that 12 years is a big time for them.

Surviving 12 years seems almost impossible for many startups, what about 20 years?

Sounds like a lot, and it is, but what’s the purpose if not being able to sustain a business?
There are businesses way older than that, but not in the startup world.

I wish there were more bootstrapped startups and less funded startups.

fast and cheap

One thing I learned about businesses is that one of the worst situation is to have a customer that wants it fast and cheap.

With this minds it’s hard for you to create true value for the user or even for yourself.
Fast means to ignore errors, cheap means to choose cheap resolution.

Anything cheap comes at the price of maintainability and durability.

In italy we say: when you buy something cheap you pay 2 times.