The world of computer hackers can seem as alien as ancient Greece or nuclear physics. But it’s worth trying to understand the geniuses behind the internet as well as the mindset of the minority of hackers who turn bad. Who knows, perhaps you’ll discover your inner geek?
No watch on earth, no matter how expensive, is going to give you an extra minute of your life. No camera, no matter how elegant, is going to freeze time. When we talk about time management, we try to save time – but time doesn’t save, it passes.
Colonel John Boyd (USAF) told people that they had a choice: they could be somebody or they could do something. Being somebody meant playing by the rules and getting promoted. Doing something was John Boyd speciality.
Regular readers will know that I have an interest in military history. (See How to improve morale and confidence and Interview with Stephen Bungay.) I’m reading an excellent biography of John Boyd (Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War) at the moment and this has really got me thinking. I’m going to write a review as soon as I’ve finished it.
Andrew Munro invited me to list my five favourite books. A difficult task and I decided to cheat slightly by breaking the selection into five fiction and five non-fiction books.
I’m a self-confessed geek. My ex-wife is a creative – an actress. My daily life was once a kind of experiment in reconciling two very different ways of dealing with the world.
Why is this important? Well, my job involves the same challenge. Writing is 50 percent technique (geek stuff) and 50 percent inspiration (creative stuff) and, according to my accountant, 10 percent arithmetic.
Get a cup of coffee and prepare for launch. Rome wasn’t built in a day but it should have been. The status quo is obsolete. Best practice is someone else’s idea of what you should do. Good enough isn’t. As an entrepreneur, it’s all about attitude.
Impatience – the fierce hunger for progress – is one of the defining characteristics of an entrepreneur. For them (for us), impatience is a virtue.
‘Two peoples divided by a common language.’
George Bernard Shaw said this about the British and the Americans, but the same can be said of anoraks and suits. Writing for a non-technical audience is a skill often lost on the geeks among us, but I’m happy to provide a cheat-sheet.
There’s a fantastic article on the NewScientist.com website, Six steps to a stress-free career. I wondered how well I was doing.
As a boss, one of the biggest challenges is to build morale and the confidence of your team. It’s not easy. But it is important.
“It is lack of confidence, more than anything else, that kills a civilisation. We can destroy ourselves by cynicism and disillusion, just as effectively as by bombs,” said Kenneth Clark at the end of his classic TV series Civilisation. Continue reading “How to improve morale and confidence”