Everyday The Chip On My Shoulder Gets Bigger

Rejection is a hard thing to deal with for me. Sometimes, it is something that can be washed away and moved onto the next thing. Then there is this other said where you start to believe in some of these things that you were being told.

It seems like at each stage in my life I have always had someone tell me that I couldn’t do this or that. I almost wanted to make a list of all those moments and how they impacted me. But, I was talking to a good friend today and he said something that really stuck with me.
“It’s just fuel. you get to choose the fire you put it in”

The Fury and Then Misery

Today, started with a fury of ideas. I woke up and just really enter into a flow and things was flowing. I was seeing some of my ideas and projects that I have been thinking about in a different light. I was feeling like I haven’t in months. Then a few curveballs were being thrown at me.

But, as I often to do try and change my mindset I put open on a podcast and I heard this quote.

“I wanted to validate my weirdness”

It was one of those perfect moments as that sums up entirely how I felt in the moment. I feel like I haven’t had that moment to validate my path or even just a wink to it.

I Am My Own Worst Enemy

I generate ideas and I never act on them. I talk myself out of them. I say that I am not good enough. I don’t have enough skills. How does this fit my brand and my audience? I don’t have a brand and audience. But, I need to get those.

The lists can go on and on. But, I have to make some sort of change and that change starts now. The urge of shipping and just trying new ideas are going to brought to the forefront. I am not going to be afraid of that the fact that my interest brings me into a lot of wide topics and different areas. I am going to celebrate them all. I am going to create things that bring value into the world and that harness discussion. I am going to create things that are fun and that I want to see in the world.

Below are a few projects that I have been kicking around. But, haven’t done much with them.

Content

Personal Blog – personal blog, daily commentary.
imaginary.club – Old project that I still really like make I want to make it a little more focused. VR/AR lets look at what is next and figure out how it works. I would love to try a podcast component with this as well.

The Weakness of Strength – A Podcast about falling in love for each person’s perspective. Each week hear their side of the story.

Curation

Peaceful Wolf – Tools to help peaceful protests, online tools to block hate and spot fake news.

Also, I Would love to release more courses. It was a task that I did find some enjoyment from them. It helps

I am going to change my mindset from lists and lists to launching and experiment with all of the ideas. Things will go well and things will go south. The goal is to make sure that I empty the tank every day.

A Community Of Power

There are certain people in your life you can have conversations with unfiltered. I mean unfiltered like you can tell them something that you trust would get a deep and honest response. You know that they will take you seriously and respect you. I am lucky to have a few people in my life that I can trust with that level of access to what I am thinking and feeling.

When I talk to these folks these conversations are always the best because you learn the most from them. There is a deep admiration between two parties. Sometimes, this takes the time to develop and sometimes it is just an instant.

I have been trying to open up my trust circle more lately. You can see how they react to that first bout of trust and then you can decide to let them in a piece by piece.

I have always struggled with self-confidence and self-esteem all my life. I won’t get into the gory details here but trust is always I hard thing for me to give people. Access is even harder.
I often think of this quote. “There must be, not a balance of power, but a community of power.”
I am grateful for my community of power. I am grateful for all that I have shared and learned with them.

Amazon…..Chips?

Convenience is going to be a powerful thing in our lives going forward. If a company can make something easier for you and can help you accomplish a task quickly, you might overlook some issues with the company. For example, just think about any free app that you use. We give something to get something; it always happens that way.

Amazon is just one of those companies that continue to fascinate me. They have some brilliant hardware products (Fire TV and Echo) and some forgettable ones like their attempt at a phone.

But lately, they have been releasing things under their own brand. For example, I have some AmazonBasics batteries and ear buds. Usually, it has always been just some basic necessities.

Snacks

Amazon now has their own brand of snack foods. I decided to order a bag just for the hell of it. I used AmazonFresh grocery services to order the bag.

I wanted to try the product for a few things. Was this something that Amazon is going to get into? Are they going to offer their own products? Or is this much more like how Walmart and Target offer their own brand of foods as well?

But, the interesting thing is that Amazon has so much data on what people are searching for and what people are getting primed that they decided to sell popcorn and chips.

Secret Weapon Alexa

Alexa dominated the holiday season and the news coverage at CES this year. I feel like the sales numbers of the Echo Dot were huge over the holiday season. Amazon is also more open with the Alexa technology.

I am curious to see what Amazon is going to do with all of those Alexas out there. I just hope it’s more than just chips.

The Search For Optimization                                                    

As 2015 came to light, I noticed a few things that kept happening to me. I kept failing to do any of the goals that set out to accomplish. Every December, I start to prepare for the coming year and try to set out a set of goals. I break them up into three sections: Professional, Personal, and Wild.

The professional ones are pretty self-explanatory as is the Personal ones. Things such as get a raise, go to the gym, are common things that pop up. I wanted to make a third list of just things that are out there and things that seemed to be borderline unattainable, but I was just getting nowhere. I wanted to do something that would change my habits and maybe even room a few bad ones in the process.

I found that I have a lot of problems breaking my routines and I get into these cycles where the bad habits and everything just take over. There is comfort in the predictable sometimes.

Starting Small

My goal was to start with one thing that I always had a problem with, which is breaking down my goals into small pieces. I wanted to do something that would be small enough such that it would make me do things that made me act every day. I knew if I did something once a week or once a month, I would ever forget or would take too long to find out results from it.

Recaps of Some Past Experiments:
[https://medium.com/@siwicadilly/30-days-no-tv-d8ee77a5a03d#.uhn64otct]
[https://theascent.biz/365-days-of-writing-9c2ad1d65d87#.8fjlhmefs]
[https://medium.com/@siwicadilly/one-month-without-meat-96d60e59971#.rtr0728nc]
[https://medium.com/@siwicadilly/one-month-of-mediation-178386a5862e#.y2zto49od]

What I Learned

The first thing that surprised me was that it was a lot of fun to carry out some of the experiments. IT allowed me to find that thing that works well in my life and it made me take some chances. I think that was the important part of all of these experiments. I am a guy who loves routine and time, and just loves a clean schedule. But, having to make myself more uncomfortable every day, I was ready to try different things and would embrace things that would come at me instead of being terrified.

My Favorite Things: Podcasts

Podcasting has achieved a new level this past year. The number of shows that started to become required listening keeps growing.

Podcasts become an important part of exploring new ideas and learning from a wide variety of resources. I don’t know if its just the form factor but I feel like I get so much out of the episodes.

I wanted to call out a few podcasts that I thought were really special. These were shows that helped me grow or expand in some way.

Homecoming

The Orbiting Human Circus (of the Air)

Within the Wires

This Week In Startups

Reply All

Waking Up With Sam Harris

Being Boss

Shop Talk Show

The Tim Ferris Show

You Made It Weird

The James Altucher Show

MegaMaker

Science VS.

Usability Testing Made Me a Better Developer

A few months ago, I took some intro to user experience classes online. I wanted to get more familiar with some different areas and get a better understanding of the entire process. I have always wanted to design more and learn more about other parts of the stack then I have been working on.

I wanted to learn more and wanted to be more involved in that area. I bought Sketch because I figured that I could start playing around with that. I then read the book Sprint, and I wanted to get more involved with testing and the process before coding might start to happen.

Taking a Test

I took a few tests quickly after signing up. Most of the tests were just a static homepage to start. The questions were about different aspects about the homepage.  

The thing that I found most valuable about the whole process was having to say outright what I was thinking and what I was doing as I was consuming the content. This is something that took me some time to get used to. I was so used to just consuming and filtering all of the data in my head. I was struggling at first, but being able to stop and ask myself a few questions, even on my own projects, was a bit of an eye-opening experience for me.

Can Black Mirror Save Us?

In 2009, a documentary was released called, “We Live In Public.” The film follows Josh Harris, founder of the site Pseudo.com. While watching this movie, it was hard to believe that it all took place in the 90s. Josh Harris founded a streaming TV network during the 90s boom.

The movie was an interesting look at the tech climate in the 90s. These are companies and scenarios that some of us might not remember quite well. In the 90s boom, some of us were only a few years old.

It is almost hard to believe that there was a company in the early 90s that was working on streaming tech and was succeeding on a certain level.

Live Stream

Live streaming seems to be a space that everyone wants to get involved in. Facebook Live, Periscope, and Snapchat all want to capture our moments.

Now, with Snapchat glasses, the live component is something that is going to go to the next level of sharing.

The dream of “We Live In Public” is starting to come to the surface. It is going to be interesting to see how people share when it comes to wearables.

I think it is something that has altered all of our behaviors. I recently went to take a photo on my phone, stopped myself, and said, “I better Snapchat this.”

Black Mirror – The Near Future

[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-ΩAp9n8rQc

Netflix released a new trailer for their latest bit of original programming, “Black Mirror.” If you haven’t seen any of the previous seasons, it was worth a binge. The seasons are only a few episodes each.

Cash Apps – Venmo, Square Cash, Google Wallet

I have tried different hacks and different ways to save money and track all of my spending. I have even used some unorthodox methods before. Financial apps have always been something that is interesting to me.

I was recently at a restaurant with a bunch of people. We decided to let one person pay for the meal and then we would all send that person money for our share of the bill. Sounds easy enough, right? It was interesting to watch the group of ten people figure out this whole process. Some people used this app and some people used others. I had a preference which one that I liked. But, as always, I wanted to see what I was missing out on.

Venmo

I made an account on Venmo, and I just didn’t get why there was a public feed for the transactions. The feed when I made the account was loaded with nonsense comments. “$5 for a great night last night” (I am censoring that) or “$10 for trump donation.”

I sent someone over a $1. The whole process with Venmo just took too long. The removal of the money from my account and the fact that all of this was public was weird to me. I didn’t find that information to be useful. I felt like I was missing something.

Google Wallet

Google Wallet was once an amazing prepaid debit card that you can manage from your phone. Google has since transitioned the product to just a service to send and receive money.

Google transactions were almost immediate from debit card to sending. The money was an instant transfer to my account. It got the job done and it was fast. But the problem was that not a lot of people in my circle uses it.

Square Cash

Full disclosure, Square Cash is the app that I have used the most. But recently, Square has made a few changes. The biggest change is that they now charge a 1% fee for immediate deposits into your checking account. The only reason why this is a big deal is that if you are like me, you like having your money in certain spots, or if you have a $100 restaurant bill in your account, you want that money deposited ASAP to avoid any issues.

I found myself paying the fee and not waiting. There is no charge for next day deposits.

The other interesting thing that Square added is a virtual debit card. You can use your “Cash” balance to manage the card and provide the funds. The card was an awesome experience to use. I was able to use it for some internet orders, and my main cards were not subject to that type of input. You can look at it as a nice disposable way to get an online order up or hide the transactions from your main accounts.

Square also has a few business possibilities and a full web experience to send and request money.

What Now?

Venmo has its own audience and set of features. I did a little research, and it seems people do love that feed. But I think Square wins in all areas; design and UI are just so natural and easy to use. I love the feature set and how the product does seem to be evolving.