Friday, March 11, 2005

What a sense of humor....

When asked if being born blind had held him back in life or in
the music business, Stevie Wonder replied, "It could have been worse, I could have
been born black."

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Protective Incompetence

The incredibly brilliant and fantastically lucid Paul Graham has coined a wonderful term: Protective Incompetence.

"I think the reason I made such a mystery of business was that I was disgusted by the idea of doing it. I wanted to work in the pure, intellectual world of software, not deal with customers' mundane problems. People who don't want to get dragged into some kind of work often develop a protective incompetence at it. Paul Erdos was particularly good at this. By seeming unable even to cut a grapefruit in half (let alone go to the store and buy one), he forced other people to do such things for him, leaving all his time free for math. Erdos was an extreme case, but most husbands use the same trick to some degree."

Hmmm, I think my wife would have to agree. It irks her to no end that I claim an inability to program the VCR.

"Protective Incompetence" comes from Paul's latest essay on how to build a startup. I heartily recommend that every prospective entrepreneur read this essay, along with Guy Kawasaki's "Art of the Start." Here are a few more nuggets:

"Financially, a startup is like a pass/fail course. The way to get rich from a startup is to maximize the company's chances of succeeding, not to maximize the amount of stock you retain. So if you can trade stock for something that improves your odds, it's probably a smart move."

"Talk to as many VCs as you can, even if you don't want their money, because a) they may be on the board of someone who will buy you, and b) if you seem impressive, they'll be discouraged from investing in your competitors. The most efficient way to reach VCs, especially if you only want them to know about you and don't want their money, is at the conferences that are occasionally organized for startups to present to them."

"I don't think the amount of bullshit you have to deal with in a startup is more than you'd endure in an ordinary working life. It's probably less, in fact; it just seems like a lot because it's compressed into a short period. So mainly what a startup buys you is time. That's the way to think about it if you're trying to decide whether to start one. If you're the sort of person who would like to solve the money problem once and for all instead of working for a salary for 40 years, then a startup makes sense."
Fo' shizzle

While there are many reasons to love Calvin Broadus (Snoop Doggy Dogg)--his love of marijuana, his embrace of prostitution and adult entertainment, his status as a convicted murderer--surely one of his greatest contributions is his additions to the lexicon of the English language.

Those who enjoyed his show, "Doggy Fizzle Televizzle," can now experience the Snoopification of the Web at Gizoogle.

The site is a bit slow, possibly due to heavy load, so you can instead check out the Izzled versions of Slashdot and CNN.

In all seriousness, while Snoop embraces and advocates a lifestyle that is, at best, immoral by most human standards, as well as downright illegal, he is a great artist, and an extremely dedicated father and youth football coach. Their team bus even included playstations and DVD players in each of the seats!

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Don't Be A Whore

Ron Moore, the creator of the excellent television series, "Battlestar Galactica," talks about how Harlan Ellison's advice ("Don't be a whore.") helped him keep his compass.