Hackerspaces and innovators

I really should post here more often. :)

I’ve been having quite a bit of fun founding and getting a hackerspace off the ground.  We now have a better understanding why TinkerMill’s grown so fast in the last 6 months*.

Local Newspaper Story in the Longmont Time Call.

Apparently, a Hackerspace/Makerspace is something our town’s needed for awhile.  :)

Average number of Patents per 10,000 people in the USA:   4

Average number of Patents per 10,000 people in Longmont:  45

You read that right, 45 vs. 4.  More than an order of magnitude more than the rest of the country.

*50+ members, 3000SF space with lots of great tools and activities, more at: www.tinkermill.org.

drive-a-bout update- Wyoming drive through and Billings, MT landing

I landed in Billings, MT. last night.  Dark and cold.

The drive through Wyoming was desolate.  That is one EMPTY state.  But the landscape was amazing.  From almost alien to wide open and desolate to rocky mountain beauty.  This is the first time I’ve gone past Cheyenne (to the North) and it’s all true:  It’s the backdrop of an old Hollywood western, for hour after hour at 75mph.  The beauty (and sense of being alone) is extreme and, in many places, the wind never stops (I’ve read Wyoming has one of the highest per capita suicide rates in the nation, largely due to the non stop wind).  I can see why some of the most rugged and self sufficient folks might want to choose Wyoming as home.  If you live here, and you want to be, you’re very much alone.

Today:  Not sure if I’ll head North, again, or swing West.  Not feeling the draw to the East today.  I may seek out local hackerspaces as I go.  We’ll see.

Drive-a-bouts (the Amercian version of a Walk-a-bout)

I’m off on another drive-a-bout.

I started doing these about 20ish years ago.

Just get into a (reasonably well stocked up) car and go.  No direction, no destination, no plan, no timeline.

The original idea came from the Australian concept of a walk-a-bout.  Only, being a lazy American, I didn’t do it on foot, I did it by car.

So off on another I go.  It’s a been a few years, but I’m due.

Oddly, this isn’t ‘something a retired person’ does (as one of my younger coharts suggested).  It’s really something everyone should do, the younger the better.

Outfit your car with just enough sleeping gear to spend the night in it if you need to.  If it’s summer, bring camping gear.  Also have enough cash to rent a hotel in any city you happen to land in (I’ve ended up in NYC, New Orleans, LA, Chicago, a vast array of smaller cities and towns and villages and a few totally out of the way trailer parks and hidden enclaves).

You’d be amazed what you find.  If you take your time, and talk to people as you go, strike up conversations, ask them what’s interesting around these parts, let them show you if they’re so inclined, you’d find there’s a magical quality to both the people in this country, and the land we all live in and often take for granted.

I’ve been all over the world.  I’ve seen some truly beautiful places, but, there’s still something particularly striking and alluring to me about America, my own country.  It’s people, it’s land and resources, it’s just…beauty, is still astounding.

Everyone should take a few days, or weeks, and just wander around it, at least once in their lives.

Simple Stuff…

Really simple stuff, actually.  Yea.. we’ve all heard it.  We also forget and the occasional reminder doesn’t hurt one little bit.

Some excellent advice on just living from Brad Feld regarding not falling into a depression (and what to do about it):

“The first is the 80/20 rule. When running Feld Technologies in my 20s, I remember reading a book about consulting that said a great consultant spent 20% of their time on “overhead” and 80% of their time on substantive work for their clients. I always tried to keep the 80/20 rule in mind – as long as I was only spending 20% of my time on bullshit, nonsense, things I wasn’t interested in, and repetitive stuff that I didn’t really have to do, I was fine. However, this time around, I’d somehow gotten the ratios flipped – I was spending only 20% of my time on the stimulating stuff and 80% of my time on stuff I viewed as unimportant. Much of it fell into the repetitive category, rather than the bullshit category, but nonetheless I was only stimulated by about 20% of the stuff I was doing. This led to a deep boredom that I didn’t realize, because I was so incredibly busy, and tired, from the scope and amount of stuff I was doing. While the 20/80 problem was the start, the real root cause was the boredom, which I simply didn’t realize and wasn’t acknowledging.” 

I do something similar, it’s more of a 50% rule.  If I’m not having fun at least 50% of the time, I’m not doing the right stuff.

I’m wondering if modifying that to 80% isn’t a bad idea.

More on it in Brad’s archives here:  http://www.feld.com/wp/archives/tag/depression

Simple Stuff…

Really simple stuff, actually.  Yea.. we’ve all heard it.  We also forget and the occasional reminder doesn’t hurt one little bit.

Some excellent advice on just living from Brad Feld regarding not falling into a depression (and what to do about it):

“The first is the 80/20 rule. When running Feld Technologies in my 20s, I remember reading a book about consulting that said a great consultant spent 20% of their time on “overhead” and 80% of their time on substantive work for their clients. I always tried to keep the 80/20 rule in mind – as long as I was only spending 20% of my time on bullshit, nonsense, things I wasn’t interested in, and repetitive stuff that I didn’t really have to do, I was fine. However, this time around, I’d somehow gotten the ratios flipped – I was spending only 20% of my time on the stimulating stuff and 80% of my time on stuff I viewed as unimportant. Much of it fell into the repetitive category, rather than the bullshit category, but nonetheless I was only stimulated by about 20% of the stuff I was doing. This led to a deep boredom that I didn’t realize, because I was so incredibly busy, and tired, from the scope and amount of stuff I was doing. While the 20/80 problem was the start, the real root cause was the boredom, which I simply didn’t realize and wasn’t acknowledging.” 

I do something similar, it’s more of a 50% rule.  If I’m not having fun at least 50% of the time, I’m not doing the right stuff.

I’m wondering if modifying that to 80% isn’t a bad idea.

More on it in Brad’s archives here:  http://www.feld.com/wp/archives/tag/depression

Simple Stuff…

Really simple stuff, actually.  Yea.. we’ve all heard it.  We also forget and the occasional reminder doesn’t hurt one little bit.

Some excellent advice on just living from Brad Feld regarding not falling into a depression (and what to do about it):

“The first is the 80/20 rule. When running Feld Technologies in my 20s, I remember reading a book about consulting that said a great consultant spent 20% of their time on “overhead” and 80% of their time on substantive work for their clients. I always tried to keep the 80/20 rule in mind – as long as I was only spending 20% of my time on bullshit, nonsense, things I wasn’t interested in, and repetitive stuff that I didn’t really have to do, I was fine. However, this time around, I’d somehow gotten the ratios flipped – I was spending only 20% of my time on the stimulating stuff and 80% of my time on stuff I viewed as unimportant. Much of it fell into the repetitive category, rather than the bullshit category, but nonetheless I was only stimulated by about 20% of the stuff I was doing. This led to a deep boredom that I didn’t realize, because I was so incredibly busy, and tired, from the scope and amount of stuff I was doing. While the 20/80 problem was the start, the real root cause was the boredom, which I simply didn’t realize and wasn’t acknowledging.” 

I do something similar, it’s more of a 50% rule.  If I’m not having fun at least 50% of the time, I’m not doing the right stuff.

I’m wondering if modifying that to 80% isn’t a bad idea.

More on it in Brad’s archives here:  http://www.feld.com/wp/archives/tag/depression

Simple Stuff…

Really simple stuff, actually.  Yea.. we’ve all heard it.  We also forget and the occasional reminder doesn’t hurt one little bit.

Some excellent advice on just living from Brad Feld regarding not falling into a depression (and what to do about it):

“The first is the 80/20 rule. When running Feld Technologies in my 20s, I remember reading a book about consulting that said a great consultant spent 20% of their time on “overhead” and 80% of their time on substantive work for their clients. I always tried to keep the 80/20 rule in mind – as long as I was only spending 20% of my time on bullshit, nonsense, things I wasn’t interested in, and repetitive stuff that I didn’t really have to do, I was fine. However, this time around, I’d somehow gotten the ratios flipped – I was spending only 20% of my time on the stimulating stuff and 80% of my time on stuff I viewed as unimportant. Much of it fell into the repetitive category, rather than the bullshit category, but nonetheless I was only stimulated by about 20% of the stuff I was doing. This led to a deep boredom that I didn’t realize, because I was so incredibly busy, and tired, from the scope and amount of stuff I was doing. While the 20/80 problem was the start, the real root cause was the boredom, which I simply didn’t realize and wasn’t acknowledging.” 

I do something similar, it’s more of a 50% rule.  If I’m not having fun at least 50% of the time, I’m not doing the right stuff.

I’m wondering if modifying that to 80% isn’t a bad idea.

More on it in Brad’s archives here:  http://www.feld.com/wp/archives/tag/depression