Saturday, 4 April 2015

We're Going Round And Round ; Thirteen entrepreneurs give advice to their younger selves, Last of the original ipods & How to eat toast

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. All the things we wish we knew then, we know now and this can bring on a dose of the 'what if's', from time to time. Luckily for me, my mind is wired in such a way that I can't get lost in the retrospective altering of events in space and time, at all. Nonethless, I do sometimes wish that some current situations and scenarios in my life would either speed up or move out of their cycle of event(s). That's not unusual, and is probably everyone's situation at some point or another, for periods of their life.

Ultimately, patience is indeed a virtuous quality to have, most of the time. That's a piece of advice I'd wholeheartedly give my wheel-spinning self from a decade ago ::-

The advice 13 entrepreneurs would give their younger selves

The nuggets proffered here, are indeed golden. Naysayers and doubters, along with self-doubt, is one of the tougher ones to overcome. Especially if you're not naturally self-confident. I struggled with both for years and still have the occasional 'bout of doubt' as I call it. It is healthy to have a smidgeon of doubt now and then, as it can get you into valuable 'self-check' mode.

But ultimately the proof of the pudding, is in the success of the results. That's a different ballgame altogether and can entail all manner of metrics. I will say that you DO need some fiscal return on your time and energy, especially beyond the short and mid-term, otherwise the whole thing can become an expensive passion. That's a set of scenarios within itself, and if you can raise the investment for a longer, future based target ( facebook or any of the other tech based companies are a valid example), or literally start to monetize within a few years of startup, it'll make and give your esteem the necessary boost to keep on going. More importantly, it will keep any debt levels at parity, which is essential in the short to mid term of business set up.

Going back to the days when everything was less internet based, is something that I did briefly the other day. I was clearing out a desk drawer, when I found THREE old pre-smartphone handsets in there. None of them were 'clamshells' , as spotted being used by Anna Wintour a short while ago. But all were less than half the size of my current smartphone. And all of them could access the internet, albeit slowly compared to my current android handset. I've put them in a box and am keeping them together with my previous generation smartphone, for a future 'rainy day'.

It seems I'm not the only one having a 'new-old' device clearout :-

Fans scramble for iPod Classic, the music player Apple killed off

The only question that comes to my mind is, what happens when these obsolete devices stop working?

In the case of Apple, to my knowledge there won't be any hard or software support down the line as they've been discontinued per se. These last generation ipods have been bought to use, so they won't be languishing in desk drawers or storage crates. At least, not all of them will.  And that's how I see it too. Keep them immaculate and get some mileage out of them while you can.

Something that won't become obsolete in a hurry, is food. Especially that humble staple of breakfast, a piece of toast :-

How to eat: toast

I had no idea that eating a piece ( or two) of superbly warmed, heated bread could be such an involving and precise endeavour. I'll stick with my toaster thank you. And the spread I use will also be kept in the fridge, but will be taken out five or more minutes BEFORE I decide to go for my own toast experience.

When you've been around for long enough in any situation, you'll see patterns forming. Habits of people tend to form quickly, as do friendships. Sustaining both requires effort. And in the same vein, you see innovations come and go. The great ones tend to have a level of simplicity attached to the remit somewhere, which is part of their core appeal. I think it appeals to the more animalistic side of our nature.

The aforementioned clamshell phones, the ipod with its simplistic touch interface, and a piece of warmed bread with butter ( and maybe jam) on it are all perfect examples of brilliance and simplicity going hand in hand. All of these are much-loved in a world of ever increasing technological complexity. The irony of course, being that we're being sold an easier life to spend doing other things, whilst our devices are taking over the bulk of our doing AND our thinking as well. But what to do with that extra time, other than work harder to pay for these devices and services?

There's always the gym, keeping on top of housework and resolving and maintaining other domestic scenarios. And let's not forget the garden and long walks in natural surroundings such as parks. It's ironic
that as I've travelled more and spent an increasing amount of time indoors around technology for work, I trully relish the days at the park with friends even more. Besides, there's always the drink at the pub afterwards. And food too.This includes having the odd ploughman's lunch.

And like an ipod or even a ploughman's lumch, you can't always improve something when it's so right the first time; this includes the consideration that each an every modification, isn't necessarily an improvement of the 'game changer' variety .Of course, that doesn't mean there's not an alternate way to do things. So the question then becomes, do you change for change's sake or because other variables have forced the change to happen anyway? Nothing in life is constant, and that's a good thing. After all, having the same day over and over again, would become boring.

In essence, change is the one constant in life that happens with or without our consent. And we should be grateful for that, even if it means we have to adapt.

Keeping centred makes dealing with changes a lot easier. That's something we can all work at, even if it means changing a small portion of ourselves on a daily basis.

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