Random Thoughts

chrisDisclaimer: I built this site because I needed a place to keep my ideas, and because everybody expects me to have one. I still don't know what else it's for, but most of us are still figuring out what the internet is for anyway. I write things that seem to be worth mentioning, observations about things I notice and people who stand out. They're not intended to be definitive, complete, or even particularly accurate. So relax, poke around and see if you can find anything interesting.

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What is a company anyway?

150starofindiaThere is a lot of talk about forming companies, and almost as much about how long companies last. Most new companies fail within the first year. Those that survive the first year last an average of twelve years. The half-life of Fortune 500 companies is 15 years. Companies that survive ten years and become very big, only last an average of 30-40 years, but there are companies that have existed for hundreds of years. And so on. What is true, and what is important?

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Germans can't dance

150swingdance1I was trying to cheer up a Greek friend, who was lamenting that his country is now being dictated to by those serial over-achievers, the Germans. Frau Merkel is tut-tutting about Greece's numbers; GDP, debt, tax revenue, etc. and telling them how to put their house in order. And I couldn't help reminding him that despite everything else, the German people have one flaw: they can't dance.

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Are you an unrecognised genius?

150joshua-bellA few years ago, Joshua Bell stood in the entrance to a busy subway station in New York, playing the violin like any other busker. In case you don't know (I didn't), he's one of the world's top violinists, and he was playing a Stradivarius worth US$3.5million.

And nobody took any fucking notice.

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His feet are the wrong size for his shoes

150footshoeThe title of this piece comes from the classic radio show The HitchHikers Guide To The Galaxy, and an episode in which the heroes are being pursued by a 'foot soldier' employed by the Dolmansaxlil Shoe Corporation. When asked why the soldier is limping, an executive responds that "his feet are the wrong size for his shoes."

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What problem does your idea solve?

Enterprise gurus love this question! They ask you, "before you embark on a quest to change the world, tell me what's wrong with the way things are. If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it."

I call bullshit. Whether or not something is a problem depends on who you are, what your understanding is, and what your values are. It also depends on how you define problem.

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Is a picture really worth a thousand words?

150tobiePhotographers are strange people. They see the world through a lens, try to 'capture' it instead of experiencing it. In fact, capturing it is their way of experiencing it, like trophy hunters on the plains of the Serengeti. Yup, got that, let's go!

And then they tell you about it.

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