Category: Just for Fun


Despite what everyone seems to be saying, lack of ‘resources’ is almost never the actual constraint.

Your real constraints are:

  • Lack of Creativity
  • Lack of Imagination
  • Blind Acceptance of Inefficient Processes
  • Lack of Focus
  • Poor Planning
  • Lack of Direction
  • Lack of the RIGHT People
  • …and the list goes on.

The truth is, ‘Lack of Resources’ is an excuse. It is a rug under which we sweep the dirt of inefficiencies, incompetencies, and poor processes. Heck, I’d even go so far as to say that we use the excuse of ‘Lack of Resources’ to foster, support, and encourage our bad habits.

Sure, getting more people is easy, but doing the right thing (and attacking the items in my list above) has the higher payoff in the long run.

…and I think this is one of the biggest causes of the great division between Employees and Management.

If you’re having back problems, you wouldn’t buy more of the chairs that you already have, so why, when projects are running behind schedule, do we require more meetings (which detract from productive time) or try to throw more people (outsiders to the current project) at the problem (which require the project ‘insiders’ to slow their work to catch their new counterparts up on the tasks at hand)?

Again, I defer to the law of extremes:
-if you threw a million people at your problem would it go away? Most likely not. You would have a smaller, core group working and a much larger group just standing around.
-but, if you put someone who was extremely talented on the job, how would your job look? It would most likely be completed in a timely manner and to a high degree of quality.

So, which will you choose?

Finding quality people and making more productive meetings is hard, but the dividends pay off in the long run.

The end of an era

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No more daily blog posts?!?!?

Yes, my friends, we’ve hit the end of an era. I’ve found an area where I’d like to devote a little more focus, so, as my time is not unlimited, I’m going to have to back down from my current post-a-day pattern.

Rest assured I’ll still be posting as I come across interesting things, but I just can’t keep the same regularity and pursue my other passions.

Thanks for all of the continued support with my wacky endeavors, and I’ll be sure to keep you in the loop with all of my future adventures (I’ll also be opening up a support group for those of you who may begin to suffer from withdrawals)!

Thanks again!

-Jim

WARNING?

Let’s be clear: This is not how you make a warning label when you want it to be followed; this is how you make a warning label when you’re trying to avoid a lawsuit without regard to the well being of your users (or maybe if a government agency is requiring it).

There is a warning label similar to this on my son’s Graco combination changing table/playpen. I was looking for the safe load weight (to ensure that the changing table would not give out below him), and, much to my dismay, this information was not provided on the warning label.

What was present on this warning label, however, was a warning to parents to not leave their kid in the play pen with the changing table attached or else the child could strangle themselves. Now, let’s examine the steps needed for a child to strangle themselves in this manner…The child would have to:

  1. Stand in the playpen
  2. Reach outside of the playpen, and depress the two locking pins on the changing table supports (which is difficult for me to do)
  3. Lift the posts of the changing table portion out of the holes in the playpen
  4. Place their head over the edge of the playpen
  5. Replace the changing table portion poles into the corresponding holes in the playpen

Compare that to the steps needed to exceed the weight limit:

  1. Place a kid who is too heavy onto the changing table

When creating warnings, companies need to figure out what questions the customers have and what actions the customers are likely to perform incorrectly (which cannot be corrected with design).

Safety is too important to leave to poorly formatted warning labels.

…pretty please make it this one!!!

So I’m hijacking my own blog a little bit because I thought I’d have some fun:

A couple of days ago, I discovered Quirky.com.

Basically, you can submit an idea to Quriky, with a 140 character tagline and a bunch of pictures/drawings, and, if you get enough votes within 30 days and they like your idea, they’ll actually produce it (and you can get some royalties)!

 

 

Well, it sounded like fun, so I submitted my Flexible Spatula!

So, here’s my CALL TO ACTION: Please go to this link: http://www.quirky.com/ideations/275496 , and vote for my idea!!!

Now, let’s be clear about somethings before you all think I’m delusional:

I know that I will not get rich off of this idea. I also know that, if this idea is chosen for production, Quirky will get a little richer off of it…and that’s all fine to me.

I love the idea of their site because it brings to market a bunch of products that would otherwise not see the light of day: I didn’t mind devoting the ~40 minutes to draw my design or the ~20 minutes to submit it to Quirky, but I would mind the huge monetary investment into developing materials, creating mold plates, and establishing a good working relationship with China!

Also, they do well playing on the fact that most people are good initiators (they can come up with a plethora of great ideas), but most are awful ‘finishers’ (as this is the part of the job that takes MUCH more work).

On top of all of that, I could, and may, also do a separate post on their website design because it really is top notch (it’s easy to use and it even has a countdown clock for your 30 days that gets as detailed as the seconds until your idea is closed for voting to add to the sense of urgency)!

So, are you feeling inventive? Submit something to Quirky!!!

Shift in Perspective

I love motivational poster generators. They really have changed my life.

In honor of the first-gen iPad that I just ordered off of CowBoom.com for a slammin’ deal, I whipped up the following:

I used to ridicule my dad for his 2-finger ‘hunt and peck’ (or ‘seek and destroy’) method of typing…who would have thought that a few years later we’d all be typing with 2 fingers (let alone 2 THUMBS!) and thinking ourselves to be more technologically advanced than the 10 finger folks?!?

As funny as this is, I feel that it still begs the question: If we had deemed that 2-finger typing was far inefficient to our 10 finger typing, and we have whole high school and college classes and mail-order courses designed to teach you how to type with 10 fingers instead of 2, than why do we accept (and even seem to embrace) this 2-finger typing mandated by our newfangled technological devices?

Why, when we had a fresh palette (by means of a blank touchscreen) did we default to the traditional keyboard set-up/layout? I know that it’s familiar, and it has a quick learning curve, but is it the best way?

Maybe Google had it correct with Google Tap after all…

FREE CAKE!!!

…and now you know what happens when you leave me alone with Inkscape and daFont.com.

Fusho!

Did I get one awesome captcha today?

Fusho!!!

The Placebo Effect

Numerous studies have validated the ‘Placebo Effect’.

Simply stated, if you have a symptom which you’re trying to get rid of, and you’re given a placebo, even if you know that it’s a placebo, studies have shown that you are pretty likely to show improvement in your symptoms (and you tend to have way  less side effects!).

It’s similar to how you feel instant relief after taking a Tylenol (even though, naturally, it takes time to take effect).

I personally believe that we don’t use this to our advantage nearly enough.

As an example, I’ll let you in on one of my darkest secrets: I love playing Ultimate Frisbee, but, unfortunately, I’m not a very fast runner, so I will keep a pack of Sweet Tarts  in my pocket and pop a Sweet Tart in between games or before the game point. I tell myself its an energy pill, and BAM! I’m a running machine!

So, do you tend to be nervous at big meetings? First dates? Take a ‘smartie’ as a confidence pill! Do you get writer’s block frequently? Take a ‘smartie’ as an intelligence or focus pill!

Our minds are so powerful…let’s put them to work for us!

(Disclaimer: this post was, in no way, funded or supported by Nestlé or the Smarties Candy Company.)

Effort…

There are always those who put it forth…and those who do not.

Photo taken by me at the Meijer on Westnedge Ave. in Kalamazoo, Michigan.