Sunset at DoubleM Systems (, Del Mar, California

Monday, January 30, 2023

ChatGPT3 is a Moron!

In my first testing of OpenAI's ChatGPT3 product, I threw it a softball question and was completely surprised by its replies that it made me doubt anything else it might have to say.

My first question was simple enough: Who is Michael McCafferty?

Of course there are many people with my name so I wasn't so surprised when ChatGPT came up with a different one for its first answer... check it out:

Looks good, right?  Wrong. It's all lies! There is no McCafferty Group, and the website is a dead link. WTF?

So I took a different subject, one which I am personally familiar with, the subject of TeleMagic software:

It knows what TeleMagic is and it knows that it is a CRM product, but it thinks TeleMagic was created in 1983, four years before Act! which it thinks is the first CRM (1987... which is what it says on the Act! page in Wikipedia). There's some very basic logic that is missing here.  ChatGPT should know better.

It's almost laughable that ChatGPT3 gets caught in the impossibility of its responses and says "I'm not sure what the first CRM software was, but I know CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management...".  Too funny!

I thought I would take a different, more direct approach:

First it agrees with me, then immediately changes its mind (?) and says it was Salesforce that was the first CRM, 14 years after saying it was TeleMagic. This is where I'm starting to hear the song that the HAL9000 is singing when "Dave" is disconnecting his brain in the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey"  

I persist, to no avail, even though it can feel my pain:

This is where it gets interesting and ChatGPT comes up with something completely different:

WTF? Now we're back to 1983 with a completely different product written by... who the heck is Donny Davenport? And ChatGPT loses the train of discussion and comes up with somebody else, and then after prodding reminder, gets back on track.  Now I'm curious, who is this person I've never heard of who wrote the first CRM product named... what?

Now ChatGPT is getting inconsistent with Mr. Davenport's first name (Donny, Donnie, then Doni) which is weird, but I can let it go in the search for truth. So I press on...

Notice that NexCustomer is not on the list! Yikes. For answers I turn to a real human, Rich Bohn, who is the "oldest living independent CRM analyst".  Rich has never heard of either Doni Davenport or NexCustomer.  Showing no fear, I press on:

Needless to say, the link for Donny D. is broken, no info there. You might think that ChatGPT would check before just running off at the mouth like that, but noooo.

For the final insult, ChatGPT gives 3 different answers to the same question. This is where I stopped. My brain was fried.

For reference, here is the list of the earliest known CRM products and links to sources:


Friday, January 27, 2023

Monday, January 16, 2023

Monday, January 2, 2023

Day 1: Breathe, Smile, Repeat, Write


Day One

The mood of the day is one of sombre reflection. It is overcast and chilly, with intermittent light rainfall.

I've just returned from an afternoon walk, sat down in my favorite chair and mindlessly reached for the remote control and the laptop computer... when all of a sudden I think "NO!" and put everything aside... 

It's working!

I just sit quietly and Breathe, and think of nothing but Breathing, and then think of Smiling. (

Breathing and smiling is certainly better for me than robotically watching some random videos for hours. Screen time is addictive. The precious Now evaporates in the delusion of escape. Screen addiction is the great disease of the 21st century.

I am certain of one thing in this world: whatever we do right after Breathing and Smiling will be Good. 

Enough philosophy for the moment, if possible... Let me get to the point of this writing.

The point of this writing is to write.
To write is to be alive.
I like to experiment with ideas, and how to express them in writing.

To write is to set an idea into life, 
to birth it into the pantheon of thoughts that have found their way into writing.
To write is to seek immortality.
To write is to create my legacy.
To write is to leave some mark that says
"FastMikie" Was Here.
To write is to discover my better self.

This is Day One, in a fresh, new journal. Most previous journals were written on paper, except for the Biplane adventure, and the years of shooting pool. I'm looking forward to keeping this one going longer than those other paper journals. They were many, and short lived. This digital reality is an exponential improvement from the previous 5 centuries of publishing. We are so blessed with the ease of publishing that the sheer volume of the written word is its own worst enemy. My writing is just noise,  a trivial percentage, too little to make any difference.  A lone cry in the wilderness. A message in a bottle set upon an endless and capricious sea.

I write to exist.

Day One is the beginning of a new writing.

Tomorrow is the first day "back to work" after the long New Year holiday weekend. Time to get serious. Dig in, get real. 

It's an arbitrary date for an idea
We celebrate the idea of a new beginning, 
hope for something better, 
to evolve, 
to get a do-over. 

Who hasn't wished for a do-over?!
This journal chronicles the do over, the re-invention/discovery of self.

What is the value of a do over if we don't do something different.

This writing then, is actually doing something different.
It has been a long time since doing any real writing, so I'm due to get back into it.
I've been on vacation for long enough.
I'm well rested.

All of this is stream of consciousness stuff of course, but there will be other writing (see below) that is more structured. I eschew many rules for this writing. Eschew is such a fun word. 

This writing must evolve, it is an experiment in progress. is a compact ritual that takes so little time, and can even be done without attracting any attention. It is a secret weapon, an unfair advantage, the secret to a life of health and happiness. It is an ideal ritual before starting some other  focused activity. It centers your being and charges it with positive energy that will carry through to the new activity itself.

Imagine: with a few moments of focused BreatheSmileRepeat you have the superpower to greatly improve the payoff from any focused activity (sales, customer support, management, writing, art...).

This needs to be built into an invincible habit.
The Mother of All Habits.

That's a good resolution for the New Year!

Day One can come for anyone at any time. 
at any moment of our choosing
Fearful. The great unknown ahead.

Fear is the disease, action is the cure.

The future evolves from what we actually do, right Now.

The present is the only reality.

Then do the next Most Important Thing.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

How Startup Founders Feelings Evolve


I found this to be true for myself, but even more... I got the 8th year feels in year 7, so I sold the company and I've been on vacation for a very long time (30 years).

Monday, October 3, 2022

Letting Go


On this day, 30 years ago, I let go of the product and the company I worked to build over the previous 7 years. The stress was killing me, and I decided that I would either sell the company or walk away from it. Fortunately, a buyer appeared and the rest, as they say, is history. So, for the last 30 years I have been relatively stress free, a condition I recommend wholeheartedly.

While the first several years after the sale of the company was a period of spending money on toys (Ferraris, airplanes, etc) and travel and parties and homes, that lifestyle was simply not me, although I gave it a good try.

Now my life is minimalist and sustainable, and I feel much more comfortable with who I have become. More importantly, I am truly at my best when I am helping others become their best. That typically involves helping first time entrepreneurs, founder/CEOs, succeed with their business adventures.

TeleMagic was the product I invented in 1985. It was the first of a new class of software the would eventually be called "Contact Management" and currently called "Customer Relationship Management" (CRM). There are a ton of products and companies in this industry, which today accounts for hundreds of billions in value. My company Remote Control International, was the first to enter the industry, we were also the first to exit the industry. This happened in 1992, several years before the Internet, which really exploded the CRM software industry.

I look back in wonder at how it was possible to build such a product and company, starting with zero cash, zero investors, no co founders, no loans, and not even a credit card. It was bootstrapped the whole way… I was dead broke the day I started out, and dead broke the day before the sale, having put every dime of profit back into the company. If the sale had not gone through, I would have just walked away from it all just to survive.

I'm glad things turned out the way they did. It has been a most extraordinary adventure!

I was lucky, and I had help from some good people who I remember with an enormous sense of gratitude.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

TeleMagic - The Secret Files - Condensed version 9:31

From the archives. The year was 1993, just a few months after Sage bought my TeleMagic software company. I personally paid for this video, and offered it free to Sage but they never used it. 

The name TeleMagic:

The Magic part of the name TeleMagic comes from that famous quote by Arthur C. Clarke: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
The Tele part is a reference to Telephone because of the revolutionary interface between computers and telephones.
Another Tele reference was Telepathy: that the software is so easy to use that it knows what you want without being told.

Notice that the software is not demonstrated or even briefly shown in the video. This was intentional, of course. This was to create curiosity in the viewer to know more. Most tech products focus on the tech, but we focused on what buyers want: Results.

Sunday, August 7, 2022

That Which Can NOT Be Delegated

I've seen many people struggle with getting going with their ideas because they want other people to do the hard work associated with starting a business.

For example, some founders have relatively clear ideas about what the ideal world should look like, but have no idea how to get it to be that way.

One of the biggest stumbling blocks many founders face is the need to communicate their ideas in writing. This is often so painful a process that it never gets done. Frustration builds to the point where the founder tries to get someone else to communicate what the founder is thinking.

This rarely goes well...

If the startup will need outside investors, you can be sure that the investors will want to hear directly from the founder, the source of the big ideas behind the new adventure. No investor really wants to hear from the Sales or Marketing Manager, or the IT guy. These people are hirelings, they will come and go over the lifetime of the business. The founder is the Visionary, and will, hopefully, lead the company for the possibly 10 years or more that it will take to, maybe, achieve success. 

Another reason why startup idea people want to delegate the undelegatable is because they recognize that they don't have the skill set to communicate effectively. They have never created a slide deck, or a spreadsheet, or a business plan, and they just back away from learning these skills, hoping they will meet someone who will do this work for them. 

It could happen, but rarely, if ever, does. If the idea guy doesn't have the fire to learn new skills, then they probably don't have the fire to lead the adventure over the long run.

Hope is not a strategy, however Recruiting is. Founders who lack the skill sets to communicate their Big Idea must find a co-founder who excels at these skills, and this co-founder should be the CEO. Investors only want to talk to the CEO. So the original founder must therefore fade into the background and let the CEO co-founder take over. 

In order for this Recruiting strategy to work, the Big Idea guy must work ceaselessly to find their ideal co-founder, a true communicator with skills to get the Vision across in such a way that Investors line up to throw money at the fledgling business. 

This means that the co-founders must endure the early period of building the Message (the Vision), and even a Prototype product or service, with no pay and long hours, until that first Seed Money kicks in from the first Investors (usually Friends, Family, and Fools).

Sometimes, failure to launch just comes down to laziness. The Big Idea guy never gets past their own personal comfort zone to risk it all and Just Do It (whatever it takes), and Persist until they succeed. It's a lot easier and more comfortable to stay with their 9-5 day job with good pay than it is to quit and go full bore on starting a new business with at most a 1 in 10 chance of success.

Co-founders aren't always needed to get funding, but it sure does help.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Why NOT be CEO, by Naval Ravikant

As a serial startup founder, I always defaulted to being the CEO, and I enjoyed it at the beginning of each different business, but it became less enjoyable as the business matured. It seems that the business takes on a life of its own and the CEO starts being run by the business instead of the other way around. 

That's the way it was for my first couple of startups, and then I got a little smarter and tried to hire a CEO after a few years of doing it on my own. He  would have been great, but he was there only a few months and decided he needed to buy the company, but couldn't afford it. That happened twice!

While it may be good to be CEO, it can be so much better to not be CEO. Naval Ravikant (@naval) explains why, and how to find a great CEO. 

For some long form video of Naval on a wide range of topics, check out the Joe Rogan podcast episode.

Friday, April 29, 2022

Ten Japanese Principles

Ten Japanese principles for better living:

  1. Omoiyari: embed compassion in your life, work, and product design.
  2. Ikigai: live with purpose and passion.
  3. Wabi-sabi: be grateful, see beauty in imperfection, and strive for excellence, not perfection.
  4. Mottainai: embrace essentialism, and live sustainably.
  5. Shin-Gi-Tai: keep a healthy body and a sound mind. They are the path to mastery.
  6. Shu-Ha-Ri: learn the basics. Imitate, then innovate.
  7. Kaizen: embrace change and strive for small and continuous improvements.
  8. Mono no aware: detach from material things, outcomes, and old beliefs.
  9. Omotenashi: give without expecting a reward. The world gives to the givers.
  10. Ho-Ren-So: over-communicate. Report problems even if you don’t have an answer.

Final words

Adding concepts like these to our toolbox can help us navigate this interconnected world and thrive in it as we experience more of life and evolve.

source for more reading on this topic: