Blog Archives

A Baskets Case with Emails

It’s Day 2 of the workweek and you may still be stressed-out and relentlessly catching-up on projects or emails. And while expediency can be a massive benefit through the use of technology (particularly mobile tech), it has also proven to be a massive burden in some cases. We need/have to be able to disconnect from time-to-time. For some, however, the connection between expediency and expectation is linear and non-negotiable. In other words, if you can respond in the moment, some people expect you to respond at that exact second. No excuses.

Enter one of the problems with technology’s increasing speed: Lack of time and understanding to think, reflect or acknowledge reality.

Yes, the following is an interview with a comedian. Yes, you may, therefore, be tempted to write-off what he has to say about an isolated societal problem that seems like a reasonable fix in many (obviously not all) situations.

Yes, the interview is also funny.

(Interview is from last year, which is why it’s announced that Baskets airs on Thursdays in the video)

And yes, the no-work-emails after 5 p.m. sounds like a good idea to try to navigate the increasingly blurred line between our work and non-work life, fueled by the pressured expectation of instantaneous communication via technology.

And yes, season 3 of Baskets starring Zach Galifianakis starts airing tonight at 10 p.m. on FX.

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Happy Monday!

The work week can feel like a treacherous labyrinth with a myriad of turns and trick doors that lead to only one rewarding exit. And once Monday morning hits, it can hit hard. Loosely planning our schedule for the week Sunday evening is instantly translated from an outlook to reality when our alarms abruptly ring Monday morning. It’s here and it’s real.

How are we supposed to approach the work week with this unwelcome jolt of musical tunes/tones?

Some days require laughter, some days require inspiration and some days require the mental equivalent to coffee with shots of acute cognitive awareness…with a timer.

This may even come from somewhere you never expected. But when you arrive and realize how to play the game, you never want to leave that place.

Happy Monday!

“Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!”

Late morning inside a second story lounge at a printing company in Pittsburgh, three businessmen were spread out comfortably on separate couches. The older gentlemen were each playing with one of their favorite toys: an iPad. The younger fellow was slightly more formal with a Macbook Pro laptop.

Three people, wired-in to the wide world of seemingly everything, were content. Also know that the movie “21” was playing in the foreground and was thoroughly enjoyed.

The surfing of the web occurred during commercial breaks (& without the potential presence of a Great White Shark lurking nearby). Three and a half to four minutes does not seem like an ample amount of time to finish any kind of meaningful task, but aren’t we all just a little humbled to know it actually can be more than enough time.

One of the discussions between the three men was imagining what is going to come next after the iPad? The youngest declared with a high degree of supposed certainty about a much more grand ‘product’ for the future. This will remain confidential for now, but it correlates with the modern innovator’s mindset of believing in the notion, “why not?”

While the notion above is the mentality, the following is the subsequent process: When one domino falls, the rest will follow.

This thought rings true for children as much as it does for adults. The only differences are what the dominoes represent and how slowly or quickly they fall relative to time and perspective.

Technology is a permanently forward-looking concept. Humans have progressed from traveling by means of walking to riding horses to sitting in horse drawn carriages to relaxing on trains to driving automobiles to flying on airplanes. Yet this is only a brief history of transportation’s evolution within the last two hundred fifty years or so. Once person A figured out an easier way for people to travel, person B discovered a better way. Then persons C & D had new ideas and so on and so forth. It continues today and will continue evermore.

Want proof? Richard Branson is currently working on offering commercial flights to space…to space!

It was only about twenty years ago that someone figured out how to put lights in the heels of sneakers.

Convenience comes with costs though, with money and privacy as only two examples. This speed and access to information creates necessity to be up-to-date by the second. Not hours or minutes, but seconds.

Briefly reflect upon our own expectations for expectant e-mails and how quickly we demand it arrive in our inbox and how upset we become to be forced to wait even five-Mississippi’s. “What’s taking so long!”

The 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show took place in Las Vegas last week. This has become a premier showcase of what some of the brightest minds are willing to display to the public as the next great product. This year it included a new brand of high definition televisions known as “4K.” David Pogue of the New York Times wrote about its resolution: “It means more pixels — four times as many as HDTV.”

The cost is not even remotely serious when it comes to intrigued consumers and as Pogue noted, “There’s not a single cable TV show broadcast in 4K, and not a single movie available on disc in 4K.” While the world is literally not ready for “4K,” that has not prevented curious minds from innovating for the future. Just as Steve Jobs proved, it’s not always about the device you have right now, but it’s actually what comes after it that generates the real allure.

Currently, people can sit in a room and search an infinite number of websites, play games, watch videos and listen to music to their hearts delight on their computers, laptops, iPads, tablets and cell phones.

This is where we are right now, this second. But what’s coming in the next wave just on the horizon?

As individuals proved at CES 2013, the future of television will soon project unprecedented clarity. It’s a safe bet that an innovator or group of aspiring innovators have examined “4K’ and are already brainstorming about “5K” or a resolution even better, well before “4K’ has been formatted for the public.

There is a scene in “21” when newcomer Ben is playing his first round of team blackjack. It took him only a matter of minutes before he earned thousands of dollars with his disguised partner at a table in the Hard Rock Hotel’s casino in Las Vegas by using an encrypted system of counting cards with hand signals and code words.

Later in the movie, Ben foolishly charges full steam ahead with enormous bets while blinded by his own arrogance of entitled invincibility.

Incredibly, within minutes, tens of thousands of dollars were lost.

Afterwards, their professorial leader informed Ben that he was no longer counting, but instead gambling. This difference literally distinguished between winning and losing.

Every decision has weight and consequence. Speed and access of information comes with benefits and prices of various forms. It is dependent upon ourselves to be cognizant of this and prepare so that the right decisions are made at the right moments. Technology, society and business will continue to evolve in a myriad of ways and we need to be ready to adapt and react in this fast paced and ever-changing era of decision-making.

Otherwise, aren’t we just gambling?