Percentage wise, it is 100% easier not to do things than to do them, and so much fun not to do them — especially when you were supposed to do them. In terms of instant relief, canceling plans is like heroin.
John Mulaney (via maxistentialist)
One of my favorite Mulaney bits.
We work in a world now where fast isn’t good enough. Where quantity is fairly regularly getting edged out by quality. You shipped twelve just-good-enough things this year? You’re about to get smoked by folks who shipped three of those things thoughtfully and holistically. Where you cut corners on twelve projects to get them out the door, someone else crafted three focused experiences and left themselves little-to-no design or technical debt.
Couldn’t agree more. I’m really tried of the “Fuck it, ship it” mentality in the startup world. Yes, being pragmatic and consistently shipping is extremely important, but it’s not the only value that matters in the equation. As usual with glib startup advice, the reality of things is a lot more nuanced and complicated than the aphorisms lead people to believe.
James Brooks, the producer of “The Simpsons,” had come up from Los Angeles for the event and was immediately shocked how few women there were in the crowd. He asked if that was normal.
Q: You were doing a lot of writing.
A: I guess. But a lot of it was desperate. I really wanted to change my life. Having a kid made me serious about my life in a way that I hadn’t been before.
Q: You felt like you were complacent before?
A: Yeah. I wasn’t serious. I had no stake in the world, so my ambitions tended to be tamped down because at the end of the day I didn’t give a shit.
I have a tiny little secret hope that, after a decent period of silence and prose, I will find myself in some almost impossible life situation and will respond to this with outcries of rage, rage and love, such as the world has never heard before. Like Yeats’s great outburst at the end of his life. This comes out of a feeling that endowment is a very small part of achievement. I would rate it about fifteen or twenty percent. Then you have historical luck, personal luck, health, things like that, then you have hard work, sweat. And you have ambition. The incredible difference between the achievement of A and the achievement of B is that B wanted it, so he made all kinds of sacrifices. A could have had it, but he didn’t give a damn. The idea that everybody wants to be president of the United States or have a million dollars is simply not the case. Most people want to go down to the corner and have a glass of beer. They’re very happy. In Henderson the Rain King, the hero keeps on saying, “I want. I want.” Well, I’m that kind of character. I don’t know whether that is exhausted in me or not, I can’t tell. But what I was going on to say is that I do strongly feel that among the greatest pieces of luck for high achievement is ordeal. Certain great artists can make out without it, Titian and others, but mostly you need ordeal. My idea is this: The artist is extremely lucky who is presented with the worst possible ordeal which will not actually kill him. At that point, he’s in business.
If you are anywhere apart from the States, WhatsApp is the de facto standard for messaging. Here in Rwanda, it has far more penetration than Facebook, it is used by literally everybody who has a capable device. That came about not by having some edgy new user interface, or by a gimmick around disappearing messages, but by providing real value, value that can be measured in the pocketbook of a market that is massively under served. So the next time you are thinking about “putting a dent in the universe”, maybe you should look a bit farther, and maybe, just maybe you should start with a J2ME app.
Feasible or not, gamification is the object of desire of contemporary capitalism and, as such, deserves attention because it prefigures trends to come. It’s the fantasy of measurement of the unmeasurable (lifestyle, affects, activism, reputation, self esteem…), as measurement is a precondition for commodification. It’s the new frontier in the rationalization of our lives.