With the recent news of HP killing off the WebOS the world has seen that innovation doesn’t always mean that you can take on goliath. Apple’s dominance of the tablet market has set the standard for what tablets should look like and perform. What is even crazier is the firesale of HP Touchpads that has caused iPad like frenzy to buy up a product that won’t even have support soon. It reminds me though of the Tucker Torpedo and how such a cool and innovative vehicle still ended before its time. I did appreciate the irony that many tech blogs found in the fray of this final firesale (like the alliteration?) and the comments that some gave for their reasoningbehind jumping on what was effectively a sinking ship. A great majority of folks that jumped on the WebOS were individuals who had not made a decision about a tablet device and took advantage of just a great deal.
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Today I got to take part in an outreach with my church which had just over thirty people in attendance. We had a giant inflatable jump house and slide for the kids. We had lots of great food and desserts (cookies by Hamilton Bakery). As I watched the adults mingling and talking and the children running, laughing, and playing I realized how little this happens in my life. Obviously not that I need to throw cookouts more often, but how little I get outside of my house and truly connect with people in a non-business way. It kind of makes me think of that Toyota Venza commercial in my previous post. I may have 1000+ followers across my twitter accounts and several hundred friends on G+ and Facebook, but the small sphere of folks that I actually come to close relationship with is very small. Amongst those even, only a few get to see me in person so the degree of real influence over some drops even more. I realize that gathering around the watering hole is a social norm that has been ingrained since the days of cavemen. Sadly today’s watering hole is a Starbucks and… I don’t drink coffee. Guess I could drink tea.
I do several presentations a month to educators and tech enthusiasts and always have a video in my back pocket to share with them. I talk about how in education when we deliver instruction to students it might be a good idea in the lesson to add a “brain break”. Just a quick funny video can add some humor and show students that teachers can be relevant.
Being on the cusp of the latest viral video is another whole realm of bleeding edge. It is now the fodder of dinner table conversation to pull out your phone and share a funny video… “You HAVEN’T seen the one with the kid and the paper?… you gotta see it!” Several people ask me how I get all my videos etc and I realize that it might seem like all I do is hunt Youtube for the next big thing. The reality is there are sites that do that hunting for me. Both are very aptly named: Todaysbigthing.com and bestofyoutube.com. You are welcome in advance for the loss of productivity you will induce by catching up on a random collection of awesome.
When blades get sharpened parts get cut away, when someone gives advice it might cut too. Realize they’re just trying to sharpen you. – Me
I thought of this earlier today while working with some teachers. I was giving them some feedback about some work they did but in a few individuals eyes I felt like I just killed their puppy. Some others actually outright rejected my advice. It was a meager thing but then I acknowledged that often times I have had people give me life advice and I reacted similarly.
I thought of the analogy of a knife being sharpened, due to my affinity for blades I guess. The sharpening process for any tool is a destructive process. Metal is cut, sanded, ground, or even melted away to help sharpen a knife. There is no such thing as a naturally sharp knife. Even things in nature like a diamond have to be cut to refine the edge to a blade that can cut anything.
When a friend pours advice into your life, you really can be hurt but it might be sharpening you more than you realize.
Today I had to finish clearing some trees off my property and really got to get my hands in the soil. I used to be in the garden all the time with my dad. Often times that gardening was not by choice, but instead a filial duty to my dad. As I grew I tended to avoid the gardens and yard work because of the “forced labor” I experienced when I was little. Getting back to it today though was very refreshing. I had started to do some indoor plants and minor herb/vegetable planting this year, nothing significant though. I realized that I had some amazing soil in the back of my yard and come spring time I think I might have a concerted effort at building out a good raised garden box to do some more industrious vegetables. I love that Project Delta One is already spawning ideas for Project Delta Seven.
Good friends are worth a drive. We have technology like Skype, Google Hangouts, and Facebook, which all deliver really engaging opportunities to connect over distances. I realized tonight though how valuable a good drive solidifies that friendship even more. Anna and I found out that some travelling friends of ours were just two hours away. Now to most people a two-hour drive might seem like a long way to go just for a dinner, but there was no denying the fact that we had to go see them. It was truly an awesome evening. On the drive up I was able to recall the last time we all hung out together. Remembering the funny stories we shared and then thinking of the stuff we needed to update them on. Dinner was of course a time to share even more stories. After dinner on the drive home we just laughed about the new jokes we made and our plans for next time. Especially as much as I use technology there really is a lot of value in just spending face to face time with good friends.
In 2004 I had a life changing experience when I dove into a swimming pool and shattered my spine. Specifically my C7 bone, which is the same bone that actor Christopher Reeve broke when he fell from a horse. I was told that I could become a paraplegic and would be paralyzed from my neck down. At only twenty years old I saw the entirety of my life’s path changing. I was dating Anna then and we had talked about marriage but suddenly I didn’t know how she might be with me needing constant care and being locked to a wheelchair. I thought of how I might have to readjust my thoughts of being a father. I was however saved by the grace of God and the great advances in modern medicine. The neurosurgeons were able to replace my C7 with a titanium infrastructure that was then fused to my C6 and T1 vertebrae. Now I am blessed to have recovered so well that most don’t even know that I had such a massive operation.
A new endeavor I am pursuing with the influence of my friend Bill Long is Project Delta. Like a lot of great ideas, it was germinated by a late night discussion and some great food. The premise of this project was a TED Talk by Matt Cutts about a 30-day challenge. He had committed to try and do something different every day for thirty days. My friend Bill took that idea and then decided to develop a new men’s group called Project Delta. Our goal is to create a change in men by not only doing a similar 30-day change but also connecting men to a “sponsor” of sorts. My first Project Delta goal is to write at least one hundred and forty words every day for the next thirty days. I just love that it is called Project Delta. Delta is the mathematical symbol for “change” or “change in”. It is represented by a triangle, Δ , and my math brain just loves that when you add up all the angles of a triangle it equals 180 degrees. Such Symbolism! Either way this is my post for day one.