Tesla Model 3 – the world’s most successful crowdfunding campaign

Just last week, Elon Musk took to the stage to unveil the new Tesla Model 3.  This new model is Tesla’s first mass-market car and a lot of people have been waiting to see what they would come up with.

As in previous instances, Tesla did not disappoint in design or features.  As far as delivery dates, some might have been disappointed but pre-orders seem to tell a different story.

It’s pre-orders that bring me to the topic of crowdfunding…

What you see above is a tweet by Tesla’s CEO.  He estimated that in the first 24 hours of pre-sales, Tesla had received approximately 7.5 billion dollars worth of orders.  At that time, reservations were at 180.000.  Since then the number has been updated to 276.000.

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A little fiction might help open up your mind

Not too long ago I met a young lady who is very committed to her work, whatever that work might be. She was just starting at a new position and a new company when we had a chance to talk.

She made a very positive impression on me, but there was one thing she told me that was quite disappointing. You see, she told me that she almost never read any fiction because even though she liked it, she thought it was a waste of time.

That’s something that has been on my mind a lot, since I figured that there probably are many out there who think the same way. If you happen to be one of those people, I’ll tell you the same thing I told her: a little fiction might just open your mind to new ideas.

Recent history is full of cases of people who went out and actually created the things they read about in fiction novels. This is especially true of science fiction novels since they seem to inspire the more technically creative people. However, I don’t wish to just point at the mobile phone, which was inspired by the original Star Trek series’ handheld communicators, and other such developments. That is just one example of how fiction can offer a contribution to people’s lives.

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Listen to the people around you…

Recently I’ve had a good friend ask me if I was going to start writing self-help books as some of my more recent writings were about bettering one’s self or work. This got me to thinking about what I write, but from a different perspective.

I’ve written over fifteen technical books over the years. Thirteen were for commercial publication, while the rest was for free distribution. All of these books focused on teaching people how to use something and all of them were created with the base assumption that a person would pick them up in order to teach themselves how to accomplish something. I guess that in a way I’ve always written self-help books.

This odd realisation again got me into thinking about what I do and how I do it. It’s interesting how a simple question, asked in jest in this case, can lead you to profound reflection, if you truly listen to what people say.

“One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.”
– Bryant H. McGill

You don’t exist in a vacuum. You are surrounded by people all the time. When you are at work, when you are on the streets and for most even when at home, there are always people around.

Some of these people may know you well, others have no clue of just who you are. That is okay, sometimes you probably don’t really know who you are either.

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On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs…

Ever had the feeling that your job might be made up? That the world would keep on turning if you weren’t doing that thing you do 9-5? David Graeber explored the phenomenon of bullshit jobs for our recent summer issue – everyone who’s employed should read carefully

To thine own self be true

“Without change something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens.”
― Frank Herbert, Dune

I have had the opportunity to do lots of interesting stuff. I’ve been a developer, a manager, a consultant, a writer and an entrepreneur. I have helped create a company and get a few others going. I have worked at small startups as well as at larger established companies.

Some of this was by design, some of this was by accident. Some I loved, some I tolerated and some I actually disliked. Regardless, I have always put my best effort into every job and every endeavour I’ve taken.

Through this journey I took the time to write over a dozen books and hundreds of articles about topics on which I was personally interested. Sometimes I did it with a friend, sometimes alone. In going through all this I came to feel that I can do almost anything I put my mind to. I know will not always get it right. Sometimes I will stumble along the path or run into a wall. No matter. I will get up or choose a new path.

Life is about change. Life should always be about doing your best, regardless of what you are doing. If you settle for less, you settle for mediocrity.

You must always be ready for change and embrace it, when it comes. Change for change’s sake is not necessarily a good thing, so you should seek it only when it is needed.

Life is about challenge, for life without it becomes meaningless. It is about helping others. It is about teamwork and collaboration. It’s about having fun.

Reflecting on what I have done, where I have been, what I have accomplished and how I have lived has given me the peace to know that no matter what the future may hold I will meet it with confidence.

I might stumble, I might make mistakes, but I will not settle for just sitting back and letting life go by.

Always ask yourself if you are doing what you should be doing. Always question. Always look for a way to do things better.

“I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
― Steve Jobs

Life is about creation. It is about doing, not just watching. Work should be about satisfaction and fun. If you go to work everyday and you find no satisfaction and have no fun, you need change.

Overdosing on content

We live in a time of overabundance of information. The Web provides instant and free access to many great sources of information. Of course, it also provides access to sources which might not be so good, but let’s not go into that…

On any single day, I can read articles written by very intelligent and capable people and I don’t even have to go looking for them anymore. Sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter send links to these articles directly to my inbox, on an almost daily basis. Apps such as Flipboard or Zite aggregate and format articles to provide me with a great reading experience.

I’ve always loved reading. When I was a kid, I’d use most of the small allowance my parents gave me to purchase a couple of books each month. At that time, that seemed like plenty.

When I didn’t have a new book to read, I would go through my growing library and choose a book to read again. I must have read some of those books well over five times.

Looking back and comparing that experience with what we now have access to, I feel a bit dazed. It had never crossed my mind that one day I would have too much new content to read. Now I am buying books almost too fast to catch up reading.

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On the importance of Focus

Focus is the greatest casualty of the over-connected world we live in.   I’m not one of the people that advocates a slow life, with slow food and all that, but the effect that the inability to focus has on people’s productivity should not be overlooked.

When you get to work in the morning, are you able to sit down and start working where you left off the previous day?  Most likely you spend some time reading and replying to some emails, then if you are not diverted into a previously unimagined direction due to some request you’ve received, you might go back to your previous work.

Once you start, how long do you manage to stay focused on what you are doing without being interrupted by someone?   How long before you are interrupted by a coworker that wants to ask you a question?   How long can you stay without checking your email, Twitter or Facebook?

All these things, these distractions are part of our regular lives, but if you let yourself become to dependent on them, they will suck your attention away from what you want to or should be doing.   Being able to dedicate your undivided attention to something is key to being able to do well, whatever it is you’re trying to do.

Sometimes it is difficult to avoid having your mind wonder whenever your working on something which  you don’t find very interesting, but whenever such things are under your control you should attempt to focus your attention on a single project, per context.

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Starting anew…

Over the past several years I’ve started and dropped off several blogs.  Why?  There were several reasons, in fact.  Two of these stand out, however.

The first and foremost of these was that I was creating blogs which were focused on too narrow a subject.  This would lead me to conclude that a particular post of set of posts I wanted to write was not appropriate for a blog as it was ‘outside’  its subject matter.  The inescapable decision would then be to create a new blog which would cover said different subject.

A second reason was that I ‘listened’ too much to a couple of friends which would comment on how much I was focusing on a specific subject when the blog I was writing on wasn’t specifically targeted on that subject.  This was a really special consideration for me, as it seemed to signify that I might be alienating my readers.

The combination of these two led me to create several blogs and write several hundred posts distributed through all of them, but never be satisfied with what and how much I was writing.  So, I stopped.

I took some time off of writing in general.  No books, no blog posts, no nothing.  I read a lot and contemplated the question of writing.  What did I want to write about? In what format did I want to write?  Would I go back to writing blogs?  Which ones?  Would I go back to writing books?  Which ones?

Now, I’ve decided and I’m back.  I’ll be posting to a blog on this site, instead posting all over the place in several different blogs.  I’ll write about things which are of interest to me.  If they are of interest to you, you’re welcome to read my posts.  You are welcome to get in touch, as well, if you have any suggestions or comments on these subjects.

One thing you should not expect is to see any posts on this blog which are designed to attract viewers.  There will be no numbered lists and no sensationalist headings.

Here, all you’ll find are my opinions and comments on an assortment of subjects.  If you reading this, I hope you enjoy reading some of my posts.

Thank you, for your attention…