Computer Guy

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

Friday, February 27, 2015

The happy secret to better work

An excellent TED talk that upsets the generally accepted wisdom that states we will be happy someday when we are more successful.


Click here for the video: The happy secret to better work

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Startup Reading, 2.22.15

10 Successful Entrepreneurs Share Biggest Lessons Learned in the Journey -
Negotiating tactics - James Altucher, on Quora

Do You Tell Your Direct Reports HOW To Do a Job? - Berkonomics
An Addict's Guide to Overcoming the Distraction Habit - Zen Habits

The Daily Routines of Geniuses - Harvard Business Review

Talent hits a target no one else can hit; 
Genius hits a target no one else can see.
Arthur Schopenhauer

You were once wild here.
Don't let them tame you.
Isadora Duncan

A purpose is the eternal condition of success.
Theodore T. Munger

Success is the sum of small efforts
repeated day in and day out.
R. Collier

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Poster In Jony Ive's Office

There's an article in the New Yorker magazine about Jony Ive, Apple design chief).  It mentions a poster that hangs on his wall, and it's about design principles. Every sentence has one completely unnecessary F-bomb.  Here are those 25 principles, without the redundant verbiage:

Believe in your self.
Stay up all night.

Work outside of your habits.
Know when to speak up.

Don't procrastinate.

Get over your self.
Keep learning.

Form follows function.
A computer is a Lite-Brite for bad ideas.

Find inspiration everywhere.

Educate your client.
Trust your gut.

Ask for help.
Make it sustainable.

Question everything.
Have a concept.

Learn to take some criticism.
Make me care.

Use spell check.
Do your research.

Sketch more ideas.
The problem contains the solution.

Think about all the possibilities.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Startup reading 2.15.15

When I have a little money, I buy books; if I have any left, I buy food and clothes. (Desiderius Erasmus)

A Dozen Things Learned from Cheryl Sandberg about Management and Business - Tren Griffin
You Are Watched More Closely Than You Think - Berkonomics

No Marketing Isn't As Impressive As You Think -
Hierarchy: Good Thing or Bad Thing -

Efficiency is doing things right; 
effectiveness is doing the right things.
Peter Drucker

What a man can be, he must be.

A man's reach should exceed his grasp,
Or what's a heaven for?

Robert Browning

People overestimate what they can do in a day 
and underestimate what they can do in their whole lives.

Business is like a man rowing a boat upstream.He has no choice; 
he must go ahead or he will go back.

Lewis E. Pierson

Thursday, February 12, 2015

33 Productivity Tips

1.  Just start.  Starting a task makes it easier to finish; our brains are wired to complete tasks.
2.  Work in short bursts.  You can do more in less time, if you're focused and energized.
3.  Be unavailable during your peak performance hours, so you can use your energy for big projects.
4.  Quit whining.  You don't have to feel like doing something in order to do it.
5.  Forget Perfection.  Get things done.  If you aim for perfection, most tasks will never be completed.

6.  Increase productivity by 15% by taking 20-minute breaks in between 90-minute work sessions.
7.  Take a vacation.  For every 10 hours of vacation, performance improves by 8%.
8.  The best performers across many disciplines work in 90-minute sessions, no more than 4 hrs/day.
9.  Create a productive office space.  Warmth and natural light make us happier and more productive.
10.  Take a nap.  Recommended nap time varies from 10-30 minutes.  Pick a length that energizes you.

11.  Practice meditation.  Studies prove mindful meditation improves concentration and strengthens memory.
12.  Wake up earlier.  Studies suggest that many successful CEOs start their day before 6am.
13.  Go offline.  The Internet, social media, and email are all productivity killers.
14.  Make a to-do list.  It can give you the feeling of accomplishment you need to be more productive.

15.  Plan out your week in advance.  Adding some discipline in your routine will help prioritize what's important.
16.  Have someone keep you accountable.  The pressure may be enough to keep you firmly on track.
17.  Apply some enthusiasm to your task.  It's how Jerry Seinfeld maintains momentum and keeps up his energy.
18.  Finish your least favorite task first.  This will encourage you to get to the stuff you enjoy doing.
19.  If you can, take one day a week work from home. It can be a distraction-free place to work.

20.  Learn to say no. Creating a stricter daily schedule for yourself can help you eliminate distractions.
21.  Turn important tasks into habits. Habitual habitual routine will make The work feel comfortable.
22.  Delegate tasks when possible. Use the extra time to focus on larger goals.
23.  Break up your tasks into chunks, and then work until you've completed one chunk.
24.  Stopping what you're doing and get some sleep

25.  Reduce your to do list to two or three items. keep it simple and avoid becoming overwhelmed.
26.   make some time for wasting time. schedule your brakes so that they don't turn into lengthy procrastinations.
27.  Consider using off-line tools. A whiteboard, a large notepad, or a sheet of printed paper.
28.  Buy a real-life alarm clock to set reminders. The one on your phone will only tempt you into procrastination.
29.  If it's a task that will take five minutes or less tackle it now!

30.  Work where you feel most comfortable, but don't feel confined to one place.
31.  Work in 10 to 15 minutes increments using a timer for bursts of efficiency.
32.  Eat a big breakfast. it's proving to energize you and make you more productive throughout the day.
33.  Turn your to-do list into physical appointments and scheduled events to keep your checklist short.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015


With the arrival of my new license plate, I am drawn to the opportunity for low cost advertising, I just ordered a black custom license frame bracket with "" printed on the lower space between the screws. On the upper space, the single-word question: "Startup?" (SeaSweet Software is too long)

To compensate for the extra clutter, I should de-badge the rear end, removing the Audi rings and the S5,  darken the tail lights, and paint all black that completely superfluous silver air splitter. That would focus all attention on the message, not the medium.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

My Why

I have always advised entrepreneurs to consider this most important of all questions before they commit to a long term business adventure. See this video. Here's my answer, in 3 parts:

A. The Mission

Make a positive contribution in the world.
   Create a system to improve the odds for success in human endeavor. 
   To make it fun to be taking care of business.
   Add one more successful bold adventure to my Legacy.

B. The Journey (Process)

They sicken of the calm, who knew the storm.
Dorothy Parker

    I enjoy creating original software product ideas and building a successful growing business to design, code, sell, and support the software. I also enjoy recruiting and managing a team of highly talented, positive, focused people and helping them execute plans to achieve optimum results for everyone in the business adventure. It's important to have fun while working to achieve great goals. The hermit in me seeks solitude to do deep thinking, and my personal social needs are fulfilled by working with team members on common goals.

C. The Destination (Goal)

A man's reach should exceed his grasp,
or what's a heaven for?
Robert Browning

     The rewards. Software products have the potential to quickly produce maximum financial rewards for minimum investment. The idea of using Leverage to create the optimum output from minimum input, is the ultimate fun mental challenge for me. If unicorns can be built, then let's build one! I feel strongly that all team members should share in the rewards of building a great business. 

As for personal rewards, I already live peacefully, comfortably and debt free near the sea in Del Mar, California. This is the result of focus on these Priorities:

Health. Personal health, mental and physical, is my priority at all times. It is the primary goal, and the leverage for all other goals. This includes healthy relationships with family and friends

Home, for the last 12 years, is a small condo one-half block from the edge of a cliff, with peaceful views of the Pacific. It's paid for, serene, and well suited to my minimalist lifestyle, although there are a few things I am motivated to improve: 

To be one half block closer to the surf, with easier access to the beach for long walks. A detached home, a with a guest room, a small exercise pool, and a garage for a car or two, a pool table and a fireplace. I do miss the warmth of a fire...  Here's a photo of a home that would fill the requirements nicely:

Financial Security. A modest nest egg to provide security and comfort for the future for myself and family. 

My family: Kendra and Mike

Anything beyond that, I'd follow the example of Buffett and Gates, giving it to others who would do good with it.

My advice to entrepreneurs is to be specific about their goals, with dates and dollars, and so I'll take my own advice. To achieve my goals, The Number would be in the middle 8 figures, after taxes, and that seems reasonable for the potential of a software adventure. I'd enjoy it if key team members were to earn even greater rewards, and that all team members share appropriately in the rewards of a job well done. The target date to achieve these two goals would be in the 3-7 year range.

Beyond the financial rewards, it would be a good goal to have the software system taught in introductory business classes, recognizing it as the first and best of a new breed of software for success in business. 

This answer will continue to evolve with more specifics and photos to more effectively communicate my Why.

Startup reading 2.8.15

How to set up a landing page to test a business idea - Medium
Where do most startups fail? - Quora

When should gut override data? - SpikeLab
Every Elon Musk Video - Tumbler

The unexpected common trait of 9 tech billionaires - Inc.
Free Guide to Usability Testing - Uxpin

How to manage highly productive virtual teams -

You can't change the way people think,
all you can do is give them a tool,
the use of which will change their thinking.
Buckminster Fuller

The time to relax is

when you don't have time for it.
Sidney J. Harris

Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact.

Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.
Marcus Aurelius

Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word.

There are no exceptions to this rule.
Stephen King

We don't know a millionth of one percent about anything.
Thomas A. Edison

No one has ever had an idea in a dress suit.
Sir Frederick G. Banting