Category Archives: Writing

891 Days To Go

It’s March 12th and I’ve only got 891 days to go.  I say it out loud and my heart starts to race faster.   How the hell will I get it all done in 890 days?!

It’s been a hell of a week.  This time last week I was hosting a party at the Fairmont Royal York with some of the best jazz in the world.  Managed to get a new publication launched, now I’m failing fast in terms of continuing to execute.  I spent the better part of this evening trying to catch-up and now it’s 12:30am and I’m just packing up to leave.

Tomorrow I will opt for a change of scenery and work from home.  I’ll put some time in to get some writing done and get something posted that is relevant and less of a freakout.

Fifth attempt at a haiku:Dark morning coffee
Spilling down chin shirt seatbelt
Run for tide to go

Hang tight, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.  And no the tide to go did not get out the coffee stain.  😦

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I see dead people

Everywhere I look – I see dead people.

Well maybe not people per se – but dead things.  Lifeless objects that have been cast aside for various reasons – it became too hard to continue, neglect due to something shinier,   lack of funds – the reasons don’t matter.  The fact is that these lifeless objects were once the pride and joy of someone.  A cherished idea, prototype or product / service – now a dead object cast deep into the earth.

10 Startups was my idea to identify cemeteries of dead startups; a way of collecting data on what didn’t work.  Originally, I went after companies in the startup phase – interviewing entrepreneurs who were filled with hope.  The whole idea was to chronicle their story and be able to tell the good along with the bad.

Well that didn’t appeal to me at all.  All motivation and gumption left me after the first round of interviews.  Turns out, deep down inside I don’t want to talk to those people – it’s all too soon.  I need the people who are down on their luck, had their ass handed to them and are looking to make a comeback (or not and take that cushy government job).  Everyday I deal with people who are happy-go-lucky and naive about the startup and entrepreneur world.  I want to meet the goth equivalent of an entrepreneur.  I want to meet other people who see dead people.

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I should note that I originally started writing this article on October 20, 2012.  This is around the time when I first started exploring the idea of 10 Startups.com.  Since that time, there have been a few hiccups, a few changes of the guard and I’m still unsure how to move forward.  I know that over the next few weeks I’ll figure something out, but I’m looking for input from various sources.

Any input you have would greatly be appreciated!

942 days to go

While Canada Slept…

While half the world slept, I worked through the night.  Music blaring from 7:30pm until 6am with the smell of coffee brewing throughout the night.   A few problems had to be sorted out revolving around web sites – 10 Startups, Gobi Capital and Bay Street Hired Guns.  I made the mistake of upgrading Gobi Capital to WordPress 3.8 (Parker) and it killed off the biggest section of the network (Gobi Capital with 100k+ id’s).  It was a few deep breaths to realize what had occurred due to lack of planning was in reality an opportunity to take something mediocre and turn it into something better. 

I will be at Georgian College in Barrie, ON in two weeks (Tuesday January 21st and Wednesday January 22nd) to discuss entrepreneurship and present to one of the entrepreneurship classes (Speaker’s Corner, Tuesday Jan 21, 1-3pm, Rowntree Theatre H106).  If anyone has any questions or suggestions, I’m open to them.

This past week has been particularly challenging – focus being my biggest issue.  I’ve had five significant events occur in my personal and business life that have caused me to get side tracked from my long term goals.  Fortunately, I sat down with a good friend who helped put me on the right path.  Thank you SS!  Today is day 952.

1040

Once upon a time, there was a man who climbed to the top of a small mountain.  At the top of the mountain there was a temple that had a beautiful view of the town of Yamadera below.  With dozens of other tourists around, you could take in the gorgeous scenery and walk around the temple grounds.

The walk up was just as enjoyable as the walk down and within a short period of time you could pick out landmarks that you had noticed on the way up.  The difference was the perspective had changed:

  • On the way up we were bathed in the morning light; on the way down it was late afternoon and the sun was touching the other mountain peaks.
  • The vantage point for the landmarks was very different – upwards while hiking up and downwards while sauntering down.
  • Exhausted hikers were replaced with relieved tourists.
  • A sense of exhilaration was replaced with a sense of tranquility.

It’s the perspective that matters.

I’ve met many entrepreneurs and wantrapreneurs – the biggest difference between the two is perspective.  It’s very hard to change your perspective from someone who consumes products and services to someone who creates a product or service.  Part of my mission in life is to help people with that transition from consumers to producers, artists and creators.

A major realization occured last night after an intense hot yoga session – I’m nothing more than a ferry master.  People are standing on one shore and they need to go to the other side.  For some people they have to go now and for others they can wait a bit and take a later ferry.

I have 1040 days to go to achieve a goal that I set for myself over 15 years ago.  So little time with so much to do.

P.S.  1040 / Step 2

This is a quote for my friend Greg.

“I wish I had a routine for writing,” Miller told an interviewer in 1999. “I get up in the morning and I go out to my studio and I write. And then I tear it up! That’s the routine, really. Then, occasionally, something sticks. And then I follow that. The only image I can think of is a man walking around with an iron rod in his hand during a lightning storm.”

Arthur Miller (1915–2005)

Searching For A Word

For the past seven weeks I have been searching for a word.

I don’t think that searching is the right word in this case.  Doesn’t quite get my point across.

No, I’ve been hunting for a word.  A single word.  One word that put everything else in my life on hold.  One word that made falling asleep a living nightmare and waking up like a sweat drenched summers day.  I have spent long moments sitting staring out the window, racking my brain over the right way to say it.  This single word has been so elusive from me that I’ve felt like I’m lost in a forest and forgotten where I wanted to go.  I’ve spent a lot of time sitting and looking up at the sky.

Well no more.  I found that word cowering in a dark dusty dank corner of my mind and I dragged it kicking and screaming like a five year old throwing a tantrum and thrust it into the air high above my head.  Just like He-man, with my arm holding that word high above my head, I shouted “By the power of Gray Skull!” and lightning coarsed through my body.  It was electrifying!

The word that I’ve been hunting for?  It’s name is tech.  Yes, tech.  TECH!

I’ve sat in countless meetings in the past four weeks bantering about technology this and technology that.  I’ve reviewed a few patents and debated the finer points of intellectual property law with some of the best and brightest.  My life has been consumed by technology and everything tech and that overused overhyped buzz word is the one that will bring so much clarity to a group of people who need it so badly.

It has been a battle of epic proportions and I’m glad to see it done.  The thinking is done, now it’s time to execute.  Sniper style.