Echo it will soon be live

… and I could not be more excited!

I look forward to showing our creation to the world and release it from it’s alpha-state loneliness and show the world the wonder of it’s beta-teens. So everybody: Set you week’s schedual to revolution! It will happen very soon.

Hey Ho, Lets go!!!


An interesting threesome

Ok, upfront: This is not the naughty kind of threesomes. I am sorry if you thought that, especially since I did try to see if I could boost the views by alluring. Sorry to have cheated you. But hey… Since you seem interested in relations to other people; have a look around the blog.

Ok, with the introduction out of the way, I would like today to talk about choosing a strategy for how you approach life and doing good deeds.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Approach model, posted with vodpod

 

Let’s draw a triangle and say that each point represents a mode that you can approach life with. In the lower left you have analysis, in the top decision, and the lower right corner you have execution. This framework can be viewed as praxeology if you like. In every situation we as humans face we can choose one of these options. We can contemplate on the issue at hand, go about our usual business or take a decision to change. It seems to me that in many situations, people either just continue doing what they have always done, or they think and talk, but make no decision – That surely is the situation in Danish politics right now.

It is not hard to understand really. Taking a decision can be dangerous; you might pick the wrong path, or you become vulnerable to criticism. But we need to take decisions. This has been known to humanity for a long time. Just think of Dante (1321) in his Divine Comedy (Inferno III) He thought that Heaven and Hell were only for those that actually did something with their life. The rest, the lazy, the neutral and the overthinkers-and-underdoers would go to ante-hell. A place outside everything in the afterlife. Because they failed the test of life: To make something justifiable of it. In his view, people who lived ‘without occasion for infamy or praise’ were not even worthy of condemnation. Even if you are not religious that is worth contemplating.

Our human ability to decide a different approach to the world is what has propelled human civilization to its current amazing level of progress. Most humans now live longer and longer and have better and better lives – and the rest will eventually. But this requires that some humans acts as leaders and make a decision to set us on a new cause. I hope that you dear reader will be such a leader and show people kindness. You know that getting a smile from a stranger makes your day, so start smiling, and keep doing it even if other people don’t always smile back. So think about this, take the decision to be nicer and then act on it. Please.

Because we need kids to start punk bands, and we need entrepreneurs to start companies, and we need people to smile to strangers on the street.


Is feedback a good deed?

A while ago I was doing a telco with participants literally spread across the globe. It was relating to some new marketing procedures and the buy-in was good from all except one. This guy kept asking questions that everybody else knew and that was clearly laid out in the documentation mailed out prior to our meeting. After wasting a half hour of everybody’s time, I realize that all the questions he was asking was printed on the next page than the one he was looking at. He clearly had not read it beforehand. I whispered my theory to the meeting leader on our side and he decided to end the meeting with the words that he would explain the procedure to the not-reader later (he didn’t call him that though).

We had a chat about it afterwards and I was told the guy was a real asset and great at his job, so you just had to live with him not always reading stuff before meetings. Hmm… Have anybody actually explained to him that he is wasting a lot of other people’s time when not being prepared for a meeting?

Because even if this guy gets upset or mad or finds excuses if confronted with his behavior, not confronting is potentially worse. Why? Because if he does not change his behavior he will slowly but steadily build up animosity in this organization, and that might in time hinder his career prospects.

I believe you should always ask people if they want feedback, but it can be hard to do. Especially when you think they’ll take it badly. But refusing upfront to try? That surely is a bad deed!

So I ask you, dear reader, is giving feedback, even to a person not asking for it, a good deed? Is it imperative?

Have a nice day. I am happy you took the time to read this.


Thank you Mike!

One of the most important things about being innovative is that you constantly have to challenge yourself. A method to this that I use is to at least once a week do something I don’t normally do. It is not always nice, but always rewarding. Mike, the tech lead at Echo it has a great concept for this. A concept that he was kind enough to share with me last Friday. Once a month he design a tour of parties, bars and clubs that he does not normal frequent. That surely is a great idea, because it forces you to meet and talk to people who are outside your normal world a bit. Think about that for a second. Most of us get up, kiss our loved ones, get in the car and drive to work where we spend hours with the same people we see every day and then we drive home to our families. There is nothing per say wrong with this, but try to think about when was the last time you had a conversation with a stranger? So this is a party report from The Weird Party Patrol, hey ho, lets go! I hope Mike’s idea spreads. Such effort to entertain your friends and meet new people is surely awe-inspiring!

We started with a chilled bottle of Veuve Clicquot in Mike’s downtown Copenhagen apartment and set out some challenges for us for the night. Anders should ask why a random person did not feel like wearing green that day. I was to ask how a strangers mom was getting along. Nice friendly questions to ask strangers.

The next stop Mike managed to build up nicely. He told us the place was members-only and that we had to be quiet and attentive. Scary… We thought he was taken us to a sect, so the laughs was high when we pulled up in front of a bingo hall. That was surprisingly funny. We met some nice people and I even won 250 DKK! Thank you, Jytte for helping me out.

Next place was a down and out bar in Valby. A truly authentic place. I won’t say the name because then the Copenhagen hipster scene will all over this pearl in no time and that would likely ruined it for the locals. I loved the place because they still had 47-brand beer  (best ever)! And we got a sneak peak at the challenger to the Iphone.

From here we went to Damhuskroen. All people in Copenhagen will realize the gravity of that statement. Nuff said.

We met many nice people who gave us stuff. Here Mike is holding the Chocolate winnings Jytte gave us (we shared it with many others). Also pictured is the hot girl who wanted to share kisses.

The last stop of the evening was Faust, a downtown goth bar. Some of the girls there had more tattoos than me. Nice.

All in all a great evening! Thank you Mike for putting that together! And thanks to all the people who showed us a great time on our trip.

Have a nice day. I am happy you took the time to read this.


One Douglas Coupland, there is only one Douglas Coupland!

Douglas Coupland

I am a Coupland fanatic. The only book of his I do not like and subsequently do not rate on a top ten of great cultural achievements of each novels publishing year, is All Families are Psychotic. Which I feel bad about as it is the only one I have not finished reading. Anywho, two weekends ago I dedicated (with loving support of Katja) to finally read his latest installment: Player One. Short review: Tragically funny and typically profound. A rollercoaster of suspense and inspiring insights. Below are some outtakes from the book that directly rang a bell with me in relation to the ACAB blog. Just read along, there is no spoiler as I hope you will read the whole book. It is great.

 (Karen, upon being treated badly by a cabbie (due to only going a short distance): “She decided to treat the incident funny rather than annoying, Sometimes life leaves you no other choice,…” (the passage later does however also allude to Karen having something to look forward to).

  • I like this as I find it true, and it gives food for thought on my discussion on transaction costs of doing good and creating the surplus necessary to invest personal energy in improving human relations. It also relates slightly to some party thoughts I shared with you. Remember: Always treat cabbies nice – they get around a lot.

(Luke) “Luke is nursing a Scotch and wondering why money makes people feel good – medically, scientifically, clinically good. What chemicals does it release? What neurons does it block? And just why is it an absolute given that having money – some money, any money – always feels better than having no money? There was a quote at the bottom of the snarky email sent to him yesterday by the Bake Sale Committee, one of those automatically attached quotes from some internet program, and, as it was written by Oscar Wilde, probably went unread by the dutiful committee member. It said, “The thing about being poor is that it takes up all of your time”. So true.”

  • Again, I think this rings true to me to some extend. It is no excuse to be an a**hole if you are poor, but it gives an extra inspiration to becoming rich, which I think more people should aspire to. And I love Wilde too btw… Being a huge Smiths and Morrissey fan that I am. In fact his collected works has followed me around since I lived in Prague many years ago.

(Luke) upon being asked what he learned from his job: “Here goes. To start with, if you’re at work and someone’s bothering you, ask him or her to make a donation to a charity. Keep a charity can and donation envelopes in your desk. They’ll never bug you again. It works.”

  • What can I say. It sucks if he is right! Prove him wrong people. I don’t think he will mind.

(Rick): “I’ve learned that I’m often my own worst enemy. I’ve learned that I rather be in pain than be wrong. I’ve learned that sometimes failure isn’t an opportunity in disguise: it’s just me. I’ve learned that I’ll never be rich, because I don’t like rich people. I’ve learned that you can be a total shithead and your soul will still want to hang with you. Souls ought to have some kind of legal right to bail once you cross certain behavior threshold.”

  • Damn. Depressing as this sounds I think that change and innovation is often painful, but is always the choice of the individual. Bring on the pain! But Rick is here also strangely happy. He knows he dislikes rich people, so he does not want to become one. At least knowing your goal and setting your limitations accordingly can lead to happiness I guess… Even for a character like Rick who is hurting a lot. He works as a bartender, and as such must listen a lot which is a good deed in itself.

“Rick thinks, Nothing very, very good and nothing very very bad lasts for very, very long.”

“Rachel has learned to recognize people’s states of mind from their body language, since she can’t read facial expressions. Rachel is neither stressed nor frightened; she believes adequate measures have been taken to ensure their collective safety. But she has an idea that might help cut the tension. Mrs. Hovell once told her, “Rachel, if you’re ever in a real fix and need something to discuss, ask people what their jobs are and what they have learned from them”. Mrs Hovell is full of good advice. Another piece that always works for Rachel is this: Whenever you encounter a person who appears exhausted and stressed, tell them, “You look really great. You look really relaxed. I wish I had what you have.2 It immidiatly relaxes them.”

  • Try it and let us all know what you experience?

 

So thank you Coupland for writing the way that you do. And thank you Descendents for inspiring me to say thanks in that way… and for playing the way you do.

Have a nice day and weekend when you get there. I am happy you took the time to read this.


Life gets hard and then it gets good… Like I always knew it would

Hey! My second pencast is up! View it, or read below. Whatever rocks your world!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Life gets hard and then it gets good, posted with vodpod

As talked about in earlier posts, life entails transaction costs. This naturally means that doing good deeds also carries transaction costs. Logically for you to pay for something that carries a cost you either must have saved up or burrow. This is not to talk about which is the best strategy, but it is to give you some idea about how I think you can get some surplus to invest in good deeds.

If we assume that surplus to be a good person comes from being in a good place yourself let us examine the following graph.

Everybody’s life is a series of highs and lows. It simply must be, because the alternative – a flat line – would make it impossible for us to tell happiness from sadness, joy from anger and so on. The interval between highs and lows might vary, and so can the slope, but generally this graph is your life human. But that is not entirely true, because we can in fact alter the direction of our life in either positive or a negative spiral as illustrated below.

By doing this we can make our highs higher or our lows lower. You might jump to the easy conclusion that this is a material matter only. But I beg to differ; I would say it is the least important aspect. Obviously if you are eating gold for breakfast it might be easier for you to get happy, but the graph testifies that happiness and surplus is relative. If you already played Half-life Episode 2 you will only be happy when Episode 3 hits your console, but before you played Episode 2, playing that made you happy. So I will claim it is simply a matter of attitude. If you view the world, even adversity, in a positive light, you will prevail, be happier and have the surplus to be a good person. Life’s surroundings are objectively important, but your subjective attitude decides how you approach these facts.

So Mike Ness is right when he sings: “Life gets hard and then it gets good… Like I always knew it would” on the new Social Distortion record: “Hard Times and Nurserry rhymes”, and you can use that fact to always invest transactions costs in doing good.

I want to look like that some day!

PS: SocialD is playing in Copenhagen! I got my ticket hope you got yours.

Have a nice day. I am happy you took the time to read this.


Some party thoughts

It is Monday everybody! And while the weekend brought some great parties, it also resulted in some food for thought I will now serve up for you all.

Saturday sure was a blast. A long football dry spell ended and I managed to get drunk twice! First time involved a cold blown field @ Frederikberg, a 2-0 win and a police officer who was a good laugh and another that wasn’t. The next trip down the alcoholic fog that day contained two parties; the first had a good “post grad” feel with civilized conversation and nice people I care deeply about. Nice to see how everybody seems to be getting happier and happier everyday of their life after school. No more institutions dictating your goals if you do not want them to. Lovely wonderful and different people. It was also slightly sad because the occasion for the party was Mathias leaving Copenhagen to work for google @ Dublin. Congrats… You will be missed my friend! All you adwords crazies out there – you will never get a better key account so give him a call.

So here is the first food for thought of today; what is the best going away gift? Seems most people gave him alcohol… Which seems strange since he is leaving in like two days… FOR IRELAND;-)

I decided to gift him a percentage of my check-in luggage when I go visit him this summer. What do you think?

Next food for thought; Going home from the party we got in a cab. I forgot to give him my card upfront because Katja and I was chatting nicely. When we got home he asked for payment. I just handed him my card. Which he got a bit pissed over, and told me to please give that upfront another time. I told him sorry and that my mind was elsewhere and offered cash if that would make him happier. He didn’t want that. I told him I learned my lesson. So dear readers; please remember to give cabbies your card upfront… or they’ll be mad and when you think about how many people they talk to, we should try to keep them happy at almost all costs. This is hence very important: Be nice to cabbies – they get around!

Woops… Didn’t I say two parties? I guess I did… The last one was a welcome back in Copenhagen to Karina @ Nokia that got a little out of hand and went a lot over the allocated timeslot, but who is looking at the clock when the laughs are roaring? It was thrown by my great roommate Tesen (she is a good friend to all). It included a lot of love too (not all of it entirely on the level in some people eyes I guess), people wearing other people’s pants, limbo dancing, girls with fake mustaches, drinks which seemed to be made from everything from 16 year old whiskey to dishwashing liquid and… well… ask my roommate for more details (I am just glad not to be on fb), although I doubt she recalls most of it.

Have a great Monday everybody! I am happy you took the time to read this.