Tag Archive: ideas


Sunday’s recommended read

I’m “implementing” a new feature in my blog. I have mulled upon it for a long while, and it is likely that I will keep it running if you find value in it.

I may even suggest CDs in the future ( I’ve been CD reviewer for musesmuse.com long enough). Perhaps be an Amazon affiliate, too.

So, here is my recommended read for this weekend:

INSIDE APPLE

http://www.amazon.com/Inside-Apple-Americas-Admired—Secretive–Company/dp/145551215X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1333873887&sr=1-1

(Sorry, it seems that the link doesn’t display as planned)!

I’m now in the middle of reading Lashinsky‘s revealing book “Inside Apple” (to be coupled with Steve Jobs’s bio by Isaacson, if you want the whole package)!

I don’t care about the naysayers. There is some value in this book you’ll find nowhere else. Really.

Tell me what you think, if you’ve read it. (Of course, not if you use it to fire start a BBQ)!

The book is available in Kindle format, audiobook, hardcover and paperback. iPad owners can read it with the Kindle app.

It isn’t expensive and, if you are like me, puzzled by how much rumors, bullsh’ and hype rule the social world… This is certainly a book you’ll like.

Yes, I love Apple, but I am not OK with everything they do. There is some scary sh*t in this book. It is not for the faint of heart! You’re warned!

What REALLY upsets me is…no more iDisk in June? Are you nuts, guys? (This is just a “sample rant”).

One more thing:

Happy Easter, folks, and thanks to all of my subscribers for following one of the most whimsical and uncompromising blog out there (shameless plug)!

For the last two weeks, I have tackled issues, and I’m still tackling new ones.

(Have a look at my past posts to know what I’m writing about).

Needless to say: it is exhausting.

I always find myself awake at 4:30 am, super energetic (it is usually my energy peak) , and I hate wasting energy.

So, I grab my iPad and read books nobody will. at least I think so.  Would you be interested in reading a book called “Inside Apple“? Unless your are a fanboi computer geek which is interested in HR and temperaments/personalities and their pros and cons, I bet you wouldn’t.

Not a safe bet.

My health has never been great, and I don’t want it to deteriorate.

There are a few tricks that I do before giving in (and I gave in once in my life: I had a lung infection and spent a few days in the coma. OK, I digress, but bear that in mind)!

Taking a shower after having triggered my mind with an insanely intricate computer science lecture, or an inspiring TED talk, is what I usually do.

Solutions and ideas appear when you least expect them. It is common sense.

The next Joe would say the same, but I’m not the next Joe.

When you let purposely your mind wander, it will certainly bring you where it wouldn’t if you were hyper-active and focused obsessed.

My weapon of choice is a simple shower, or a bath.

I soak my hands in warm water before playing keyboards or cello. Any tension disappears, and I can warm-up, then play confidently knowing that I prepared myself.

See… This is a borrowed parallel paradigm (a term I coined a few blog posts ago and didn’t use in a blog post)!

I use a “model” totally unrelated to the task at hand to solve it. I transpose it (sorry for the musical pun).

Well, it’s time for a new TED talk and to catch up on my Stanford lectures (I have a strong disgust for the C language, and we are comparing Objective-C and ANSI C. I want to move on to the next step, yet I know that my teacher is doing what we’ll need ten lectures later).

Oh, one last thing: nothing beats a cup of Yunnan tea.

One more thing: this is the post where my 666th tag will appear. I’m an unabashed metal freak, but in no way Satanist. I just find that ending my post with something less serious could release some tension!

Which are your strategies to kick out stress and burn-outs from tearing you apart?

Do you let your mind wander to find solutions, or do you keep working until you run out of gas?

 

 

 

What I mean by a “borrowed parallel paradigm” is that a paradigm out of my field of study or biz can help me shape – or reshape- my thinking and my doing.
It broadens my vision, or help me see the world through new lenses.

If I use Apple’s biz paradigm (mainly, a platform, to be studied) to improve my creative musician skills, it’s a win. However, it is not easy to draw parallel lines with those unrelated areas.

To create, to innovate, to shape, call it what you want, you need to borrow or shamelessly steal from unrelated industries, areas, businesses -even if the models are outdated- to make your very own product, be it a symphony or a startup.

That’s what Google does, what Amazon does, what a schmazillion of other successful people do. They succeed at what they aim for.
Success is not a one-size-fits-all word!

A pattern can be transposed successfully if applied in a clever way. If you stay in your area, you are likely to learn nothing. If you go where everyone else goes, you end up doing what everyone does. Is it what you want?

Picasso famously said that great artists steal. Is Picasso a great artist? This up to you to judge. The statement is true, though.

Today, the word artist has a broader meaning. A VP or a CEO can be artists, not because they are hobbyist painters or musicians, but because they -the succesful ones- totally pour themselves into what they do. Stravinsky used to say that a succesful piece of art is 99% work!

As far as I am concerned: I come from a very complex background.

I am a musician. That is the core of my being. 26 years of mayhem, and counting!

I sing, I play snare drum, timpani, vibraphone, drums, cello, viola da gamba, guitar, harpsichord, piano, organ… All those instruments have one thing in common: they require the use of fingers (in this case, parallels are drawn quite easily. Starting small is not a bad thing), and demand a very high degree of commitment.
I also produce, edit, mix and master. I started as a FOH engineer, but moved on to my comfy studio more as my back pain increased with FOH muck work. I am now settled.

However, I read business books, blogs about education, biographies, I love CDs and LPs artwork and do my own, I hang around with TED speakers, I study iOS programming and programming abstractions (courtesy of Stanford University). I read other people Ph.Ds’ stuff, too, no matter the subject.

How does all that relate? How does one model applies to the other to foster creativity? I’m diligently working on it.

Easy is not a word I can use to describe that task. I have to learn critical thinking, which is not taught at school/college.

I have to ask for mentorship, sometimes. I have to ask myself the right questions. It’s exhausting, and I already wanted to throw the towel many times. I didn’t, because I’m passionate about what I do.

Of course, it is easy to get lost into all those unrelated areas. Focus on your primary one and look around. How can you improve or change your existing model?

Borrow paradigms. Shamelessly. The more unrelated, the better.
Get the broadest scope you can get, yet keep in mind that you want to raise the bar of your primary activity, foster creativity and get smarter at what you do.

One last thing: don’t lose sight of your own goals.

I’d love to hear from you. You are encouraged to share your experiences and thoughts. Your personal info will never be shared.

Creative Visuals coming your way!

Since my last post, I’ve been discussing the pros and cons of the video résumé.

People from very diverse fields gave their insight and opinion.

Before going further…

Consider this: the way you look, the way you talk, care about your kids, are all parts of your résumé. Please don’t forget that.

What matters is WHO you are as an individual. Forget about endless lists of what you did. It really doesn’t matter.

The past is gone. Do not try to replicate it, too. It is the “safest path to frustration and failure”. This is a weird sentence I coined during a discussion.

So, we gathered, discussed and came to several conclusions and ideas:

-Your résumé has to be thought. You cannot throw out a total improvisation.
You will be lost if you have no clue where you are, where you want to be and how to follow the roadmap YOU create.

Be creative and realistic.

Do you remember when I wrote that honest signals cannot be faked?

-A video résumé is not easy to do, but easier than you may think (the old model is awkward and totally supreme mega boring.)

You have to come to the highest level of clarity about yourself.

You’re not hiding behind a page, you’re in front of the video camera and there is where magic can happen! It’s your chance to get what you deserve: being seen and heard! It’s like public speaking.

Do not hesitate to “practice”. I highly recommend it. Record as many videos as possible… Compare. What’s cool? What sucks?

Do not worry about editing your video.
Worrying can cripple your work (which is actually your ART!)

-Imagine that you are asked to answer a questionnaire. Just that. Better than the old stuff, eh?

Now imagine that you have to reply to it with a video… And that you have 120 seconds. (120 seconds = 6 questions. Don’t fret, it’s OK.)

Words: 7%
Intonation: 38%
Gesture: 55%

Those are the % of the message you send.

The % of what matters the most to a employer/biz owner (they are not all greedy morons…) are different, and there is no rule for it!

Do not forget this. Never.

-What about something so compelling that you will astound everyone with how much of your (true) self you’ve put in?

Make a “whole package”. A résumé and a portfolio!

Sounds good to you?

It sounds fabulous to me.

Think about this. Think deeply.
Don’t feel like shit if you don’t come up with your best piece of art ever in the first place. It never happens overnight!

Discussions are still going on, and more is brought to the table everyday.

I believe that time is the father of all truth. We’ll see what happens next!

It always happens for a reason.

In this case, it’s because we’ve made a conscious choice of making it happen!

I promise you all the inside scoop and the juicy details in the next post. Stay tuned.

Trade But Sue

First off, the title has nothing to do with the content…

Actually, it’s a pun.

I’m sure that you’ve heard about Metallica. You may even listen to the band.

“Sad But True” is one of their hit songs.

I had it spinning in my head for a long time now, and it won’t get out.

I was not listening to it.

I had it in my head, I’m still hearing it.

That led me to ask me this question:

When people talk, do we hear them, or do we listen to them?

Do I need to repeat the question?
No, of course, as you can’t hear me.

If you hear any sound now, it’s not my Doppelganger.

OK, now that you had time to think…

Let me explain my views.

Hearing somebody is simple: just let your ear do its most basic work.

Listening to somebody is trickier, as you have to pay attention to what the person says, and understand what the meaning, the idea is.

I told you, it is trickier.

Do you granted permission?

I mean, did you allow this somebody to disturb you? Not really, uh?

Have you got something more important, more vital to do at the moment it started?

Not so sure.

That is often how we miss opportunities. Not that all opportunities are worth it, but though…

The moment you hear a voice, familiar or not, prepare yourself to engage.

Prepare to listen. Breathe deeply.

It’s important. Extremely important.

For you, for others…

Did you know that written words are only 7% of your message?

Did you know that spoken words are 38% of your message?

Did you know that the gesture is 55% of your message?

Those facts make me think twice before I speak.

They make me think even more about how much of themselves people are giving to you when they engage with you, even when they are disgruntled.

They don’t always ask for anything in return.

Listen, please.

Getting traffic

The fact that so much people spend loads of time driving traffic to their blog is just plain crazy.

Webinars, mentorship (don’t get me started with that) and SEO optimizing are a total waste of time and money if there is no one (no specific audience) to follow you, whatever you do, business or just fun.

Sounds like lecturing? It could be.
You know that “the less common, the better”!

Everyone uses the same techniques, making them prematurely obsolete.
Therefore, a cycle begins: new techniques are needed all the time and nobody can keep up with!

It’s what does NOT follows the rules (remind me, who wrote them?) that wins.

You want to win, yeah?

Blogging is not a game.

I meant “winning” as earning your readers confidence and faithfulness, no matter the content of your blog.

Aren’t YOU tired of all the ready-made schemes? Aren’t you tired of hearing this same ad on the radio?

Let’s be honest there: you do!

So is your reader.

Be different. Be smart and different.

You do not need to be the new Tim Ferris or even the new Laura Roeder.

You need to be yourself, and you know why it is so important.

Honest signals can’t be faked.

Let me write it once again: honest signals can’t be faked.

Does that make sense?
Your reader can screen you in a nanosecond.

Think about it next time you ship (write a blog entry).

As for me… I don’t fit in anything, so I gave up long ago!