Computer Guy

Computer Guy
Sunset at DoubleM Systems (, Del Mar, California

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Creativity, by Cleese

This is an excellent talk by comic legend John Cleese on How to Be Creative.  Some of my most treasured principles are mentioned, including Play, Solitude, Reserved Time, Perseverance, the Feedback Loop, and dogged focus on Execution.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Goal Setting Example: Ferrari

One of the more important things a startup CEO can do is to set goals, for the company, for himself, and for each of his immediate team members.  The goals should be achievable, specific, with dates, and should be personalized.

To learn more about Goals, let's take a personal example.  Let's say I want the Ferrari above (I do!):

This is the recently announced 2015 Ferrari California T (twin turbo).  It's very fast and looks great, and I haven't owned a Ferrari for a long time. This model moves me emotionally, so I made it a Goal. I can see myself driving this car. I am committed to owning it as soon as possible. 

There's a built-in limiting factor to owning this car, and that is that Ferrari will not be taking orders for it until "late 2014" and there will be a waiting list so delivery may take a year or more. There is no way of knowing, right now, when mine will be built.  

And that's okay because I still need to figure out how to pay for it. I have already gone through the sofa cushions and every coat and pants pocket and I'm nowhere close to the quarter-million I'm going to need. Again, that's ok too, because Ferrari can't deliver one right now even if I could write a check. I have about a year to put together a plan, and to execute. 

One key aspect of setting Goals, in my experience, is to go public with them. This adds energy to the quest. Keep your goals private and you lose energy; you can always quit with impunity. Tell the world. Be Bold!  

"Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has Genius, Power, and Magic in it.
Begin it Now!"

To do the Bold thing, I have started a blog about this new adventure: 
You might want to visit from time to time to see how it's coming along.

The date for achieving this Goal is unknown right now, and it's very important that I get a specific date as soon as possible, which I will get clearer on as Ferrari starts taking orders.  To fulfill the need to be specific, I'll use a placeholder date of September 7, 2015 (my birthday). There Must be a specific deadline.  Deadlines create all sorts of wonderful results.  No deadline; no results.  

"A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline."  (Harvey MacKay)

I like having a Plan A, and a Plan B.  I'm working on both of those plans now. 

A Goal should also be personalized.  For me, this will be the sixth Ferrari I will have owned in the last 40 years, so I could characterize myself as a Ferrari addict. I have been in remission for about 12 years, since I last owned a 2000 Ferrari 550 Maranello (car history). Bottom line is that I am way overdue for my next Ferrari. Yes, this is a very personal thing for me!

The more specific the Goal is, the better.  To make my goal even more specific, I have already decided it will be blue, with a blue/gray leather interior.  Three out of 5 of my previous Ferraris have been RED, but I was a lot younger then. Nowadays I'm a low-profile kinda guy.  That's not really relevant to this discussion, just that goals need to be specific as possible, down to the smallest possible detail. The clearer the goal, the more likely it will be achieved.

Finally, the most powerful part of achieving your goals is to Commit to it.

"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now."  (Goethe)

To that end, I have already contacted the Ferrari factory, and the dealer, and registered my intent to buy as soon as they will take my order. Until then I will wait patiently (and execute my plan) until they build it. Fortunately, I can commit to my order with only a small deposit, paying the balance on delivery.

What are your Goals? Are they specific, personal, and with a deadline? Are you committed to achieving them?

Check out 5 principles of Goal Setting, click here.


Update: Goal achieved. I took delivery of the car on October 2, 2017.