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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Sick with Frisbee ? Try Waboba !

This summer, you want to look cool on the beach ... Since kite surfing is too much Loic, and frisbee is not cool enough, why not try Waboba ?
It's a simple ball that bounces off the water, which you can throw at your friends. It seems easy enough for every public (boys and gilrs) to make it enjoyable. I you are more of a competitive person, they even came up with a game you can win ;-).
It might be 6 Euros worth the fun ... Watch the video to get convinced :

The real value of money ?

One of top blog in my blogrol is the one of StevePavlina. It gives you some really interesting insights on various topics, thus contributing to your personal development. He recently published this article about what he calls "the outrage script"and why it is a blindsided way of thinking.
Here's a short summary of it to start this post(yes all his article are always that long ;-) ). Taking as an example how Donald Trump switched from buying cheap shoes to top notch ones, he explains and demonstrates how envying people spending a lot of money may not be the best solution. Instead, it would be much more efficient to try to understand how they can spend so much on things (shoes, travels, restaurant, ...) and try to accomplish the same thing. That is find a way of making such big expenses (on a first look) look like small ones. Of course the solution to that is by creating value, thus allowing to redistribute the value you created to other people so that they can benefit from it. This is what he calls running the "contribution script" (I create more so I give more) instead of running the "outrage script"(why the hell is this guy spending some much when he could get the same stuff for less ?)

I really liked this post because I think a lot of people can relate to it, and living in France, I can assure that its a pity that so much people run the so called outrage script all day long. I have to agree that everyone's is being brought up differently, with more or less resources, making the chances of success in life that much difficult for everyone, but still... Anyhow there's a good chance that between your student life, your first years of work, your first years as a family, ... (I'll stop here because that's where I'm at ;-)) the way you bought stuff, and so your relation with money, has changed. At first, you need to save every penny. Then you thought you could buy anything (specially with that first pay check) but that was not really the case... Still getting to the restaurant, to the movies, ... became less cumbersome. And as your paycheck became bigger, your family size increased, and lots of other every day life events appeared, your relation to money varied. So at that point you have to agree that spending 100 $ as a student or as a 30 year old junkie is not really the same.

Coming from this assessment, you have to ask yourself why is that ? There I totally agree with Steve saying that one reason is because you create value (while working) so you feel less embarrassment in buying expensive (student mind) stuff. So why should not you feel the same when you see people spending 200$ on a dinner or 2000$ for a night in a luxury hotel ? Why don't you first try to think on how you could do the same and instead, with some envy in your mind, despise those people ? Of course I'm not saying that some expense are not exaggerated, I'm just saying that most of the time you should try to "get there".

At the end of the day I'm sure that if everyone was thinking like that, lots of things would be different. Take as an example the difference between US and France. There buying a new TV has to be done every 5 years or so. Here, some people still have black and white (maybe it's a little bit extremist :-D) ... Whose economy is more flamboyant again ? When I see today in France people striking to keep their right to strike in the common transportation ... You've got to ask yourself why they don't want to make those common transportation more efficient and reliable thus profitable thus attractive to the common person, instead of being thought has a last resort mean of transportation by most. (This crosses an interesting article read on VentureBeat about the Calltrain I read today where they can introduce new trains if a station is too crowded).

Too give a last thought on this article, and on the "contribution script", I have to say that this should really be a motor in everyone's life. One thing I don't like in some people is their incapacity to understand that work is part of your life, and is thus one way of making it better. Of course personal and professional life should be balanced... But try to raise one side first, and then the other one ... And you will see that your life will remain balanced, but much better and appreciable for everyone. Moreover if you create more value, you will be proud of that and give back one way or another. Do you really think that buying 20$ power drills is a way to keep factories in Europe ? Buying the 300$ one certainly can help ! And that factory worker may well be your next door neighbor you're barbecuing with on week ends ... You see my point ?

So next time you see someone buying a 200$ shirt, or driving a Ferrari, please ask your self how you could be that guy ... Create value, give value, and make the world a better place ... too simple to be true ? What's your take ?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

More Harvey Danger !

Remember the LipDub of Harvey Danger from the folks at Connected Ventures ?
Well here is a good parody/remake of it. The dubbing is slightly off, but I really like the moves of people around ! Enjoy ;-)

Flip Flop Freeride

With the summer (well, at least its july) comes its share of flip flops ! As indecently trendy, as the joy of having a plastic piece in between your toes is, this new kind of shoes are everywhere nowadays. And you can't say that it's not comfortable to feel the breeze of fresh air down there (unless you cubmate is in lack of affection with his soap ;-( ).
But who here really likes having something indecently wanting to separate big toe from his friends ? And who here really wants to look like a german tourist on holidays in the south of France ?
Well, I have the answer for you : topless sandals (no sexy picture involved ;-) )

Those are flip flops you simply stick under your feet. Of course you can get them off any time you want and it seems you can re-use them a couple of times (although I really don't think it will work). From the advertising video, they seem to stick enough to walk around, flirt with Pamela on the beach, and even play some friendly soccer with friends ... And all of that for under 10 bucks !!! So go ahead, look trendy, feel comfortable, and let them believe its the next piercing "a la mode" !

Friday, July 20, 2007

IPhone frenzy ... Again !

Ahhhh, that little piece of technology has made the world gone counter clock-wise for the past few weeks ... Fortunately for us those late night talk show are always there to remind us of how stupid we are ...

Yes, I'm sure you clearly heard the roaring in the audience when the word "Ipod Nano" was sent out there ! It's true that a lot has been rumored on the subject but come on, do you really think Dave would be the one showing it first ;-)

Found via Yannick.

Original Advertisement

For once I did not find this one via Blog De Nuit (although I have not checked it in a while so it might be there) but via a standard email chain. I guess the goal is to find who that guy is ...

So, did you find who he was without cheating ? Not that difficult I guess. But in today's world where energy and green stuff are all over the place, I do feel this ad stands out and gives us this little smile on the corner of your mouth. Not really deep, but a good couple of minutes !

What do you think ?

Monday, July 16, 2007

Left brain vs right brain

I found this picture by Alix de La Tour du Pin on a french blog about entrepreneurship (here).
This is indeed a really good mashup of what we are all made of : rigor and creativity. As an engineer I tend to have my left brain side take over my full body, but it clearly is really important to let both sides of it show up every once in a while.
Of course anyone will tell you that women have a more developed right brain side, hence their enhance creativity, and our relative incomprehension of their way of working (easy shot granted :-D).
Anyhow, reading about entrepreneurship and speaking with colleagues I find it really important to manage the both sides of your brain efficiently. The left side will hep you manage your work and keep things on track over time. However the right side will help you find the one path to success as well as the necessary envy to get through the day happily and make sure that you keep your work experience a fun and interesting one. Therefore it should be every manager's duty to encourage his team to let the fun come at the table once in a while in order to make sure that the work can be done nicely and efficiently. And of course this should be the prime role of every entrepreneur out there, not only to make sure that his company always figures out the best ideas before the other ones, but also to make sure that his team (however big or small it is) remains happy and efficient at work.

And you, what's your take on rigor vs creativity ?

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Real Life ?

Do you get all the fuzz about Second Life ? I don't ! Even though I tried getting into the game and understanding the ins and outs of it ... I probably did not spend enough time out there to figure out the real interestd of the thing, because I indeed did not have too much time to do so.
Anyhow, I found this really cool video mocking the virtual world with real character, simply showing how dumm real people doing second life moves would look ! Enjoy.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

How is that possible ?

This morning when arriving at work, I realized I had forgotten my laptop at home. Since I leave about 20 minutes away, this mistake implied a major hit on my day, however it was not the worst part of it. This "hole"got me into thinking : "how could I possibly have forgotten about the one thing I use more than 10 hours per day ?"
An easy answer may be found in the fact that this week is quite special. My wife has gone on a business trip to Romania, which means I need to take care of our son all by myself. One of the key point of that is getting him to his nanny qround 8:30 AM and fetching him back before 7PM. This leaves me a mere 8h30 of total work time, lunch included, which is lets say it, not a lot ! So one probability is that I needed to hurry when leaving the house, thus forgetting my work tools...
Another possible reason for this, would be the fact that I'm quite busy at work currently. This year has been a difficult one for the team I am part of, which induced a lot of stress, and work. Since I have not taken any substential vacations since March, it must be time for me to think about it ... Lucky for me it's coming in next week, and I should be off the burden for a few days. And quite frankly I really do think this is the reason for my morning forgetness : I really need a break !
Don't get me wrong, I do like my job. However this past weeks have put a lot on my mind, and clearly I cannot think straight anymore. Reading the Positiviy Development Blog, A few GTD other ones, have clearly helped me in doing things better and more efficiently, but the truth is that I cannot see the end of it ! Anyhow, enough complaining for tonight, as I clearly need to get some sleep. And hoppefully I'll think about taking my laptop with me tomorrow. Oh wait ! I lent it to a colleagut for the next two days, so I'm sure this wont happen ! One thing of my mind as Allen would say ;-)

Monday, July 2, 2007

Is e-Commerce that much of a paradise ?

I'm the first one to go online and buy stuff there. I'm lazy, don't really like to go out shopping, so having the comfort of sitting in my chair to choose my next clothes or gadgets are really valuable to me.
However you have to make some compromises, like spend a lot of time looking for the tee-shirt you always wanted, or this particular brand of shirt that looks so good on you, or tis particular device with that specific color and memory ... But most of all you have to make up with the websites selling all these stuffs which for most of them are really lame at it, and really consist in a list of items without too much of a description for the article on sale !

I recently found a really good list of parodies in this article, and I linked them underneath.

There you really realize how much compromises you are really to make in the comfort of your deskchair... That is a lot !

The funny thing however is that when you get back to real life (and by that I mean real shops with real people) , you expect efficiency from shop staff. As a bad example, last Friday it took a lady 5 minutes (no kidding :-( ) to cash on the three items I bought on sale in 3 minutes top after entering the shop (okye, I told you I don't like shopping, so I'm quick in deciding :-D ). I was ready to leave after two minutes when I realized I was on holidays and spending some good time with my son so I needed to relax ... She got lucky in some sort of sense :-D
Video #1 - If Only Search Engines Could Understand What We Want

Video #2 - Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought…

Video #3 - Premature Redirection

Video #4 - Zero Results Found