The real value of money ?

One of top blog in my blogrol is the one of StevePavlina. It gives you some really interesting insights on various topics, thus contributing to your personal development. He recently published this article about what he calls “the outrage script”and why it is a blindsided way of thinking.
Here’s a short summary of it to start this post(yes all his article are always that long 😉 ). Taking as an example how Donald Trump switched from buying cheap shoes to top notch ones, he explains and demonstrates how envying people spending a lot of money may not be the best solution. Instead, it would be much more efficient to try to understand how they can spend so much on things (shoes, travels, restaurant, …) and try to accomplish the same thing. That is find a way of making such big expenses (on a first look) look like small ones. Of course the solution to that is by creating value, thus allowing to redistribute the value you created to other people so that they can benefit from it. This is what he calls running the “contribution script” (I create more so I give more) instead of running the “outrage script”(why the hell is this guy spending some much when he could get the same stuff for less ?)

I really liked this post because I think a lot of people can relate to it, and living in France, I can assure that its a pity that so much people run the so called outrage script all day long. I have to agree that everyone’s is being brought up differently, with more or less resources, making the chances of success in life that much difficult for everyone, but still… Anyhow there’s a good chance that between your student life, your first years of work, your first years as a family, … (I’ll stop here because that’s where I’m at ;-)) the way you bought stuff, and so your relation with money, has changed. At first, you need to save every penny. Then you thought you could buy anything (specially with that first pay check) but that was not really the case… Still getting to the restaurant, to the movies, … became less cumbersome. And as your paycheck became bigger, your family size increased, and lots of other every day life events appeared, your relation to money varied. So at that point you have to agree that spending 100 $ as a student or as a 30 year old junkie is not really the same.

Coming from this assessment, you have to ask yourself why is that ? There I totally agree with Steve saying that one reason is because you create value (while working) so you feel less embarrassment in buying expensive (student mind) stuff. So why should not you feel the same when you see people spending 200$ on a dinner or 2000$ for a night in a luxury hotel ? Why don’t you first try to think on how you could do the same and instead, with some envy in your mind, despise those people ? Of course I’m not saying that some expense are not exaggerated, I’m just saying that most of the time you should try to “get there”.

At the end of the day I’m sure that if everyone was thinking like that, lots of things would be different. Take as an example the difference between US and France. There buying a new TV has to be done every 5 years or so. Here, some people still have black and white (maybe it’s a little bit extremist :-D) … Whose economy is more flamboyant again ? When I see today in France people striking to keep their right to strike in the common transportation … You’ve got to ask yourself why they don’t want to make those common transportation more efficient and reliable thus profitable thus attractive to the common person, instead of being thought has a last resort mean of transportation by most. (This crosses an interesting article read on VentureBeat about the Calltrain I read today where they can introduce new trains if a station is too crowded).

Too give a last thought on this article, and on the “contribution script”, I have to say that this should really be a motor in everyone’s life. One thing I don’t like in some people is their incapacity to understand that work is part of your life, and is thus one way of making it better. Of course personal and professional life should be balanced But try to raise one side first, and then the other one … And you will see that your life will remain balanced, but much better and appreciable for everyone. Moreover if you create more value, you will be proud of that and give back one way or another. Do you really think that buying 20$ power drills is a way to keep factories in Europe ? Buying the 300$ one certainly can help ! And that factory worker may well be your next door neighbor you’re barbecuing with on week ends … You see my point ?

So next time you see someone buying a 200$ shirt, or driving a Ferrari, please ask your self how you could be that guy … Create value, give value, and make the world a better place … too simple to be true ? What’s your take ?

Left brain vs right brain

I found this picture by Alix de La Tour du Pin on a french blog about entrepreneurship (here).
This is indeed a really good mashup of what we are all made of : rigor and creativity. As an engineer I tend to have my left brain side take over my full body, but it clearly is really important to let both sides of it show up every once in a while.
Of course anyone will tell you that women have a more developed right brain side, hence their enhance creativity, and our relative incomprehension of their way of working (easy shot granted :-D).
Anyhow, reading about entrepreneurship and speaking with colleagues I find it really important to manage the both sides of your brain efficiently. The left side will hep you manage your work and keep things on track over time. However the right side will help you find the one path to success as well as the necessary envy to get through the day happily and make sure that you keep your work experience a fun and interesting one. Therefore it should be every manager’s duty to encourage his team to let the fun come at the table once in a while in order to make sure that the work can be done nicely and efficiently. And of course this should be the prime role of every entrepreneur out there, not only to make sure that his company always figures out the best ideas before the other ones, but also to make sure that his team (however big or small it is) remains happy and efficient at work.

And you, what’s your take on rigor vs creativity ?

Is e-Commerce that much of a paradise ?

I’m the first one to go online and buy stuff there. I’m lazy, don’t really like to go out shopping, so having the comfort of sitting in my chair to choose my next clothes or gadgets are really valuable to me.
However you have to make some compromises, like spend a lot of time looking for the tee-shirt you always wanted, or this particular brand of shirt that looks so good on you, or tis particular device with that specific color and memory … But most of all you have to make up with the websites selling all these stuffs which for most of them are really lame at it, and really consist in a list of items without too much of a description for the article on sale !

I recently found a really good list of parodies in this article, and I linked them underneath.

There you really realize how much compromises you are really to make in the comfort of your deskchair… That is a lot !

The funny thing however is that when you get back to real life (and by that I mean real shops with real people) , you expect efficiency from shop staff. As a bad example, last Friday it took a lady 5 minutes (no kidding 🙁 ) to cash on the three items I bought on sale in 3 minutes top after entering the shop (okye, I told you I don’t like shopping, so I’m quick in deciding 😀 ). I was ready to leave after two minutes when I realized I was on holidays and spending some good time with my son so I needed to relax … She got lucky in some sort of sense 😀
Video #1 – If Only Search Engines Could Understand What We Want

Video #2 – Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought…

Video #3 – Premature Redirection

Video #4 – Zero Results Found

If you were a computer …

What would be your most significant flaws ?
In this post, Steve Pavlina gives you the top 10 flaws that you, as a human, encounter or deal with everyday. Here are the first 5 listed, and I’ll let you read the post if you want more details :

1 – Faulty Hard Drive
2 – Low RAM
3 – Slow CPU
4 – Infinite Loops
5 – Lack of error correction

My favorite you might ask ? Well I’ll give you two : Lack of error correction, and legacy code. Those two clearly lead up to miscomprehension between people and/or people starting to get completely insane about certain things.
Fortunately, there is still one thing we can keep for us : Imagination ! Good bye computers, this is a human world 😉