Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Having More Time May Not Be the Answer

There's a new drug that doubles the life of worms. There is potential that it might one day be used to prevent aging in humans. Amazing. We would double the amount of things we could accomplish right?

Probably not. I have to think though that this might not change things for the average human.

Let me give an example. The retirement age today is 65. Why is it 65? Well it's really just made up. What happens if we double a humans lifespan (let's say average is 80 and now it's 160 years). Will we still retire at 65 and then have so much extra time to enjoy our retirement? Probably not because we won't feel like we have the money to do so.

So we would probably push retirement to 130 years. My guess is that we live longer, but probably wouldn't live differently than we do now. Also since we have more time to do things, most people would value their time less. We have plenty of time to get to it we'd tell ourselves that middle period where we work probably just expands to fill the gap.
Retirement is just one example. But think of that book you want to write, or the language you want to learn, or that trip you want to take across the world. Is it living in "someday"? If it is it probably still will be regardless of how much time is given.

Things expand to fill the gap. If we give ourselves X time to accomplish something we will probably take that long.

But there would be a group of people whose lives this would significantly change. Its likely that those people are the ones who are doing things now, the ones who are not filling the gap waiting, but rather acting boldly.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Release an Embarrasing Product

"If You're Not Embarrassed By The First Version Of Your Product, You’ve Launched Too Late" - Reid Hoffman

Well.. at least I don't have this problem. Not since I started doing the 12 projects in 12 months challenge which almost guarantees that the product will not be full featured.

One of my projects, , was supposed to be a Progressive Web App that works on all devices. Except, I don't have an iPhone so I neglected to test on Safari. "If it works on Chrome it should work on Safari right?" Sure I thought and hit the launch button on Product Hunt anyway.

With no prior marketing and no name for myself it actually did better than I expected with the up votes (although this isn't usually a very good indicator of product market fit).

When I finally had a friend test it on his iPhone (yes, I launched without testing this), I was quite embarrassed.

But now that I think back on it. Maybe it was perfect. I'm kind of glad that I launched as soon as possible and didn't spend too much time getting it to work in every case. If people actually wanted it then I'd probably still see some Android users using it. Or maybe I'd get an email saying "hey, I'd really like to use this product can you please put more work into it?". You think I'm kidding that someone would actually write this but that's the feedback that I got on my current project.

It was good enough to solve my basic needs (I still use it to track my workouts as an alternative to Google sheets which sluggish terrible on mobile). Although would be nice to have my friend on board. I told him I'd fix it eventually but decided it wasn't worth the effort for now.

That's how it goes with product market fit. People are usually willing to tolerate many issues with the product as long as it solves their problem. Think about Twitter in its early days when it was "fail whaling" all the time. But it didn't lose any users because people needed it, people loved it anyway.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Positive Triggers

Haven't written in ages. I think the reason is perfection is the enemy of doing anything. I want to write, but I want to write something brilliant. Thus, I end up doing nothing because the combination of those two things is hard and that causes stagnation. However, writing itself is easy. Sometimes what comes out is good. Sometimes its terrible. But I don't even have a chance at the brilliant if I don't do it at all. So here I go again.

I just read a blog on triggers and cycles by Seth Godin. To summarize: a trigger prompts us into action and causes cycles that last much longer

If you want to go deep into triggers, cycles and habits check out this book

But this should work in reverse as well. Setting up a positive trigger should set off a positive cycle. Maybe you do a pull up every time you walk through a doorway. Maybe you write a blog post first thing in the morning.

We know that the hardest part is starting but once we get past that part we usually do more. The cycle continues on its own momentum. That pull up might lead to more. And then some push-ups and squats. That single blog post and trigger the start of a sequence of posts, or maybe the start to a short story or book.

Eliminate negative triggers (remove Twitter from your homescreen, hide the remote). Set up positive triggers (put that guitar in between you and the couch, setup your homepage to your blog).