I’m working on a fascinatingly difficult but powerful way of thinking – seeking equanimity every day. I think this is a great excerpt from an article on the topic…
There’s an old story that illustrates the wisdom of this state of mind. A farmer’s most valuable asset is the one horse he owns. One day it runs away. All the townspeople commiserate with him, “Oh, what terrible luck! You’ve fallen into poverty now, with no way to pull the plow or move your goods!” The farmer merely responds, “I don’t know if it’s unfortunate or not; all I know is that my horse is gone.”
A few days later, the horse returns, and following it are six more horses, both stallions and mares. The townspeople say “Oh! You’ve struck it rich! Now you have seven horses to your name!” Again, the farmer says, “I don’t know if I’m fortunate or not; all that I can say is that I now have seven horses in my stable.”
A few days later, while the farmer’s son is trying to break in one of the wild stallions, he’s thrown from the horse and breaks his leg and shoulder. All the townspeople bemoan his fate: “Oh, how terrible! Your son has been so badly injured, he’ll not be able to help you with the harvest. What a misfortune!” The farmer responds, “I don’t know if it’s a misfortune or not; what I know is that my son has been injured.”
Less than a week later, the army sweeps through town, conscripting all the young men to fight in a war…all except for the farmer’s son, who is unable to fight because of his injury.
The fact is, you can’t know what changes your life will bring or what the ultimate consequences will be. Equanimity allows for the mystery of things: the unknowable, uncontrollable nature of things to be just as they are. In this radical acceptance lies peace and freedom—right there in the midst of whatever pleasant or unpleasant circumstances we find ourselves in. When we open to the truth that there is actually very little we can control other than our own reactions to circumstances, we learn to let go. Cultivating the qualities of kindness, compassion, and joy opens your heart to others. Equanimity balances the giving of your heart’s love with the recognition and acceptance that things are the way they are. However much you may care for someone, however much you may do for others, however much you would like to control things or you wish that they were other than they are, equanimity reminds you that all beings everywhere are responsible for their own actions, and for the consequences of their actions.
via Cultivate Equanimity.
This looks to be dangerous stuff! 🙂
reblogged from The last gem you’ll ever need? – thisblog.rules.io.
At rules.io we have benefited from many open source projects, such as Ruby on Rails, D3, and Ember. Now we want to start giving back, with a project called Geekier.
Background: so many APIs, so many gems
It is increasingly the case that building any sort of application, be it for the web, or mobile, or desktop, means connecting to several online services via APIs. As a developer, I mostly view this as a good thing, because it means I can offload all sorts of things that I care about doing well but that aren’t central to how I provide my unique value. I want things like payment handling, exception reporting, and analytics, but I don’t want to build them all myself.
As a frequent consumer of APIs, I’ve looked at lots of API specs and libraries over the years. If you are an API provider, and you’re thinking about writing a client library (or ruby gem, or python egg, or …) then I have one piece of advice for you: don’t do it.
Read the rest at The last gem you’ll ever need? – thisblog.rules.io.
Last year, Arek Hajduk from from SpeedUp in Poznan, Poland, began telling me about his plans to create a completely new kind of accelerator for startups. As Arek describes it, “Huge Thing is a 6 month two-phase business acceleration program for high potential teams with global ambitions.” This includes the usual 3 month accelerator like TechStars or ycom. But, first it includes 3 months of Entrepreneur School put on by the Huge Thing team and all of the mentors. Earlier this year, Arek asked me to become a mentor in this great program and spend some time with their teams.
So, yesterday, another mentor, Zuzana Fedorková, and I traveled by train from Berlin to the @hugething startup-penthouse-like headquarters in Poznan to spend the day with the teams. It was a great experience hearing their early but exciting stories and having a chance to share some of our experience with them.
One of the founders asked me why I’m doing this – why have I chosen to be a mentor. It is a question that Zuzana spoke about on the way over and it was a reasonable question. I am also an entrepreneur building my next technology company right now. We are in the building product phase, raising funding, still constantly validating pain from customers – trying to make sure we have a solid foundation to build a fast growing company.
So, why do this for other entrepreneurs as this stage? It is because I am such a believer in mentoring – and especially peer mentoring from other entrepreneurs at every stage of the process. It was inspiring to sit on the other side and hear 9 pitches from first time entrepreneurs. It helped me see my own process more clearly – the pitch I am doing many times per week right now. It allowed me to stay engaged but stop grinding on my own business for a day. And it allowed me to meet a bunch of great people, leave some value behind and make new friends. As I told another friend, seems like the perfect win-win. I highly encourage you to spend a day on someone else’s business – get involved and leave some value behind with others too.
At BitNami.org, we package open source applications so they are easy to install in any environment, including the Amazon cloud. These packages are available free of charge, but no matter how much we try to simplify the experience, there is still significant friction in the process in terms of just making the decision to give an application a try. The AWS Marketplace removes this friction by making it easier to discover and deploy applications.
This significantly lowers the barrier of adoption of cloud computing at the departmental level, making it easier for business units to bypass traditional IT. Why wait weeks to have a server delivered and setup when you can get pretty much the same result by whipping out your credit card and paying $50 a month for a small instance running the app you need now?
The changing face of b2b sales strategy for software companies is to meet the needs of departmental users and make it easy for them to try & gain value.
3. Beware of selling to the enterprise
Unless the enterprise user is behaving like a consumer, you’ll have a tough time selling to the enterprise unless you’re a large company already, or have raised a lot of money as a startup. As enticing as enterprise users are, selling them a solution that requires group approvals and long budget cycles will kill any startup, no matter how good their product is. The only way to penetrate the enterprise is by having a simple SaaS-based product that individual users can try and purchase on their own without asking anyone.
Don’t get trampled by elephants!
When starting a company, it is easy to focus on the destination rather than appreciating the journey. Entrepreneurship is somewhat unique in this way — most teachers, for instance, are content to be teachers. They don’t consider “teaching” something that happens along the way to a greater goal. There’s a certain stability and peace in this. But because the popular lore of entrepreneurship has been built around the huge mega-exit, many founders focus solely on the goal and forget that until then, there’s life.
This is why I advocate entrepreneurship as a career choice as opposed to than the one-off notion of “doing a startup”. The venture business is a long game best played by those with time and patience. As as the canon of entrepreneurship is written by people like Eric Ries, Fred Wilson, Mark Suster, Steve Blank and others, the gulf between the founders who have taken the time to learn entrepreneurship as a vocation — usually by doing it repeatedly and immersing themselves in the community — and those who have not will widen. In the end we’ll judge ourselves not by the destinations we’ve reached, but the journeys we took to get there and the stuff we did along the way.
as a career long entrepreneur, I can really appreciate this ‘journey’ perspective… more good stuff as I continue my blog content crush on @bhargreaves
On the story of the The Winklevosses Vs. Silicon Valley | TechCrunch
“If the Winklevii had spent all their time and energy competing with Facebook in the arena of the marketplace rather than in the confines of the courtroom, we here in Silicon Valley would have had more sympathy and respect regardless of whether they had failed or succeeded. If you want our respect, gear up and enter the arena of entrepreneurship and be willing to die and battle for your idea to win the hearts and minds of those in the stands. The users who vote with their time, money and passion count here- nothing else. No court order or settlement can give you the legitimacy and honor that hundreds of millions of users can. Merit matters more. Always.”
If you follow Lean Startup and Customer Development methodologies, you’re familiar with the term traction. It’s often used as shorthand for the proof of product viability sought by VCs and Angels when evaluating a potential investment. It’s also critical to building successful channels.