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May I please have 35 seconds of your time.

Did you catch it?

On Jun 26th, 2011 Steve Jobs gave his last keynote at WWDC. He knew he only had weeks to live. After this event Steve knew he was going to hand over the reigns of the company that he built from a tiny garage, pined for from afar when he was ousted, and creativity ideated his way into a historic rebirth.

At :20 – :38 we see tired man readying himself for a long conversation. The turtleneck he wears is no longer snug, but bags and tumbles over his hands like a child’s hand-me-down. He connects with the audience with smiles and nods. He grunts with satisfaction, showing gratitude and urgency to begin. And he starts calming the audience, readying the wheels for the last great pitch of his career…

At :40 an audience member shouts something. To me, it sounds like “We love you!”, but after a dozen listens it changes each time. Maybe Steve heard the same amorphous audio bumble we do.

When he was at his prime Steve would have had a quick retort, the way a clever comedian would at once acknowledge and shame. But this isn’t a normal day. Steve is winded. He was ready to pitch, but this small personal gesture reminded him of the gravity of this event.

At :47 Steve begins to choke up. His voice wavers. He looks down, inside himself. It takes him ten whole seconds to get back on track.

Goodbye

There isn’t a day goes by that I don’t miss Steve Jobs. Not that I ever came close to knowing him. I just liked that people like him existed, somewhere out there, working themselves endlessly so they could bring an ounce of joy greater than when they came into this world. And instead of spending the final days of his life on a tropical isle, he wanted to be on a stage, in old tennis shoes and jeans, talking to a few friends.

Here he is at the end of that keynote, head bowed, crumpled against his wife because of a rough day.

by Lea Suzuki, Steve Jobs rests his head against his wife, Laurene Powell Jobs, after delivering the keynote address to the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference at Moscone West on Monday. Photo: Lea Suzuki, The Chronicle

I’ve never watched this full keynote. I felt the end was coming and couldn’t stomach it. Nor have I read his official biography (for other reasons), or the glossy printed remembrances on checkout shelves. Sure, I bought them. Collected them for when I was ready to let go. They sit in a box waiting to be opened, delicately unearthed like a fresh piece of tech. But it hit me today, heading ever closer towards two years from his passing, that acceptance still feels really far away.

But I got five minutes in today. So, I wanted to share.

Thank you Steve. Not for the pieces of metal, plastics, and silicon, though I make my living building in those. Thank you for the reminder that if you wouldn’t spent your final days doing it, then why spend any day doing it? Do what you love so much that death itself is fearful to interrupt your joyful work.

 

 

Comic Quest – How Webcomics Work from “Stripped” documentary from Frederick Schroeder on Vimeo.

My only three rules when making my own webcomic Pixelton:

  1. No overt pop-culture references
  2. No ads
  3. Provide affordable printed editions

I’m starting to realize what a fucking idiot I am.

Reader is such an intimate part of my life that I forget its even a service. Since 2007 I have read over 150k+ articles. With its death, I’m losing a good friend and a lovely part of my world.

Aldo Cortesi makes a point that Google killed RSS with Reader:

The truth is this: Google destroyed the RSS feed reader ecosystem with a subsidized product, stifling its competitors and killing innovation. It then neglected Google Reader itself for years, after it had effectively become the only player. Today it does further damage by buggering up the already beleaguered links between publishers and readers. It would have been better for the Internet if Reader had never been at all.

He’s right. Free, or aggressively below cost, is the greatest tactic against fair competition a publicly funded company has*. Good thing that this is just a fad, right?

Via Daring Fireball

*I say this is a tactic for publicly funded orgs because the madness of crowds dictates this insane tactic’s success. Companies can post losses, but if they stifle competition their prices go up. Smaller companies can use this successfully to, but the odds are against them. The stories we hear are heavily tipped by survivor bias. Only a few become mega-contenders, while most start-ups burn out moving on to the next unsustainable business model. When young start-ups do get a win the VCs swoop in to prop them up artificially until they find a revenue stream. Free does not usually end up in freedom.

Mr. Schwarzenegger, I don’t know if you will read this, much less respond to it, but I have been such a huge fan of yours for a very long time. [...]

I am nearing my mid-20s and I work at a very prestigious financial firm. However, I know my heart is not in it and that I am just here wasting my life and time away in hopes of discovering a passion I can pursue and one day make my own business or something and be successful like you. I am scared to leave this job because it has an amazing money potential in income and it is one of the biggest firms in the world, and the prestige is a plus. If I left I know a lot of people I know will probably laugh at me and at my dreams of being significant. Can you give me some quick advice on what you would do? I have dreams of becoming a man who makes a difference in the world like you and I know I won’t do it here, nor do I want to. I just dont know what I want to create or pursue yet and I am scared. Because of my lack of passion at this job, it’s making me depressed.

Arnold Schwarzenegger via Reddit:

A: Stay with the firm until you find your passion. But stay with me here. B: How do you know right now your passion isn’t something that you will need money for? Maybe you will decide you want to start a healthy burger shop. You will need money.

So look at this as a stepping stone instead of an end. We can’t always do what we are passionate about, but everything we do can move us closer to our passion. I was never passionate about construction. But I laid bricks and worked so I could support my passion when I was starting out in bodybuilding.

The most important thing is, you need to find your passion. And once you do, put everything into it. Everything. But until then, it sounds like you are at a good stepping stone. Just remind yourself to think of it that way and don’t let yourself think of it as the end point. You sound like a smart guy. I bet you will do great once you have somewhere to direct this energy.

I think this should be mandatory reading at the workplace. Heck. *poof* It now is at Cubicle Ninjas.

The only way to own very little and be safe is to be rich.

So society made you buy all of that stuff and not plan your day to carry it appropriately? You do have it rough.

Via Hacker News

 

The counter has never reached double digits.

Sales Fu – The Launch at Launch

Yesterday Greg Ochab, Tyler Etters, and myself launched the first public app created by Cubicle Ninjas at the Launch Festival in San Francisco. It is called Sales Fu. We think it makes mobile sales super simple.

I was really humbled to hear people’s excitement.

When you work on something so long in silence it can be tough to know which way is up. But to see it in people’s hands, as they churlishly smiled and nodded understanding the pain we solved, it snapped me back to reality. Feels good.

We’re live blogging our experience at the Launch Festival on the Sales Fu blog.

In my experience: never take investment capital.

Via Hacker News

Each day I interact with people trying to game our studio.

First there is the spec work. If we only do this design project for free they will give us all of their future business. Yes I say, so let’s bundle all of this into one contract then?

Then there is the price pushing. They have a guy who can do it for half what we quoted. He never sleeps, doesn’t have “all of that overhead”, and knows development too. Yes I say, but what happens when Mom’s basement floods?

Or there is the overseas argument. They could hire a team in a far-off land to do this if they wished. Yes I say, but isn’t it strange how the project ends up being harder to manage, and costing more?

I often hear drama as a currency in exchange for our services. So-and-so’s going through a rough patch, so surely we’ll have the heart to help out for free. Yes I say, but why does someone need in a fancy website when it sounds like a hug will do?

Next is the constant, unending intentional scope creep. Sometimes this occurs unwittingly, but much more often this is stupid people thinking they’re clever. Yes I say, but did you read the contract you signed?

Here is the truth: You don’t get good results from being a bad person.

It just doesn’t work. Sure, you may make out in the short term, but people notice and react in the long term. They know that you can’t be trusted. Your opportunities diminish, so you have to game harder. The game plays you.

Be nice. Be dedicated to your craft. Be willing to help, but not quick to ask of others. And then watch as opportunity presents itself.