Friday, May 30, 2008

Do The HARD Stuff First! (or, What Are You Going To Blow Up Today?)

Here's some good advice: Do the hard stuff first. Every day.

Hate exercising? Do it in the morning, first thing. Nervous about calling a big account to see if they will re-order? Make them the FIRST call of the day. Have a relationship issue that's been on your mind? Don't sneak out the door with a quick good-bye... Stop, look him or her in the eye and discuss it NOW.

"Procrastination is nothing more than fear of the hard stuff."

Procrastination is nothing more than fear of the hard stuff. Conquer that fear and you WILL get things done. Conquer that fear and you will feel productive, every day, because every day you tackle the hard stuff first is a day you accomplish something important.

Easier said than done!

Doing the hard stuff first IS the hard stuff! I am guilty of being a master procrastinator. But I am trying hard to mend my evil ways, and with some inspiration from reading Tim Ferris' 4-Hour Workweek, I am working hard to pick at least one HARD thing to tackle every day.

Of course, I should have learned this lesson a long time ago. One of the best examples of doing the hard stuff first came when I was making movies, in the late 80's. I actually worked for Troma, the masters of low budget filmmaking. Although we operated on shoe-string budgets (eventually upgrading to Velcro budgets) and we didn't take ourselves (or our films) too seriously, we DID take the business of filmmaking seriously, and I learned many great lessons from Troma founders Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz.

When we made a movie, we always tried to schedule the hard stuff first. On a Troma set, it wasn't uncommon to schedule a complicated stunt or to blow something up on the first day of filming. By tackling something really hard on Day 1 we were ensured to establish a quick bond amongst the cast and crew and create a level of focus and teamwork that set the tone for the rest of the shoot. If we could do THAT (stunt, explosion, etc.) then WE could do anything, and we were ready, willing and able to face the challenges ahead. Bring it on!

So what are you going to blow up today? Go ahead, do the hard stuff first, and let me know how it goes in the comments below. How do YOU conquer the fear of the hard stuff???

Photo: A stunt AND an explosion from TROMA'S WAR (1988).

Sunday, May 25, 2008

I Do Like Mondays! (Mobile Monday)

I used to agree with the Boomtown Rats and didn't like Mondays. In truth, I don't really particularly care for Mondays now, although on some level I do think I like them better than Wednesdays. Is there a song for that? But I digress...

I do like Mobile Mondays, and and have been working with Alex DeCarvalho to try and grow an active Mobile Monday chapter in Miami and South Florida. Our first meeting had 4 people in attendance... the second meeting, hosted at the offices of my employer, Myxer, had 15, so we are excited to see the organization growing. The next meeting is being hosted by Nokia at their Miami offices on Monday, June 9th. If you are in South Florida and work in the Mobile industry, or have an interest in Mobile, or just want to hang out with a bunch of cool folks who like to geek out about their mobile phones, feel free to join us.

With more than 250 million mobile phones in the US alone, and the rapidly expanding capabilities of handsets and data networks, there are few, if any, devices that have had such an impact on our daily lives, and there are few markets as vibrant and exciting as Mobile. Share some of this excitement by getting involved in Mobile Monday Miami, or in a chapter near you.

Here is taste of our last meeting: Myk Willis, founder and CEO of Myxer, shared some of his vision and views on Myxer.

If you have any suggestions as to how we can grow Mobile Monday in Miami and South Florida, please share them in the comments.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Twitter: A Shoe-In!

On a recent trip to San Francisco I had the chance to get down to the sole of Twitter. I was sitting in the hotel lobby, debating dinner plans, when I flipped open my trusty laptop to check my email and take a quick dip in the Twitter stream. In a bit of Twitter synchronicity, I happened upon a Tweet announcing a "Zappos Twitter Party" from 6-9pm at an address on Mission Street. I follow @Zappos and had recently been reading about how the Zappos CEO was becoming more and more active on Twitter. I was intrigued. It was not quite 7pm, and Mission Street was just a short cab ride away. No brainer!

When in Rome, Do as the Romans...
When in San Francisco, Do as the Geeks!

So, I hauled Sass over to Mission Street and joined the Zappos crew and many other fine Twittizens for drinks courtesy of Zappos. In a low tech variation on Jeff Pulver's "Real-Time Social Tagging" theme, everyone had their Twitter name written on their right hand, and for free drinks, the word "Zappos" written on their left hand. I had a chance to record a few words with Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh (@Zappos) and several others in attendance.

Additional short videos from the party are HERE and HERE.

If the shoe fits... Tweet it!

Shoe Photo Credit: Donald Bartkowiak -