#JustRead: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Everyone in the entrepreneurial community raved about Ben Horowitz’s book. It is an interesting, honest look into his mind and the entrepreneurial scene from someone who is clearly brilliant.
Most of the lessons are motivating and widely applicable to all entrepreneurs. Sections about The Struggle, hiring, and more offer solid insights and valuable mantras. Some seem focused for folks with more developed companies, but interesting nonetheless.
Several, such as the profanity, give pause and make me wonder if the subsequent resolution of various dilemmas were a) immaterial to the overall success of the company b) incidental/lucky c) coincidental.
At some point, I would like to chronicle my thoughts from entrepreneurship…unclear though if they are ‘lessons’ per se, as it implies a certainty that seems difficult to isolate/ascertain and likely ephemeral.
Part of the message, though, is that there often isn’t a right answer. Ultimately, his track record as both CEO of Opsware/Loudcloud and one of the best investors provides gravitas.
In the world of startups…and perhaps most arenas, when most people look for advice: success is truth and the successful ones are the teachers. In this case, Ben seems like a worthwhile instructor.
Finally checked out the new X-Men with Shahed and Max, was pretty interesting. Confused by some of the plot, but overall fun
On vacation two weeks back had a chance to watch Jose’s Documented on CNN, was a compelling tale of his extraordinary life. Congratulations to him on all that he has done and will continue to do for so many people.
OK - so it was a month ago, but was awesome
Another book I read on vacation was The Master Switch, really fascinating and interesting insight into the media and telecom industries over the past century or so. It gave immediately helpful lessons for YouAreTV and was an interesting overview as well as analytical lens. h/t Matt Siegel for the recommendation
Went on vacation the week before this past one and had a productive time reading. Two of the books I read were the second and third installments in the Foundation trilogy. These books were awesome and, imo, better than the first. The story of The Mule was particularly awesome.
A great book, really interesting and lots of details that were pretty surprising. On the one hand, highly motivating. To some extent, a reminder of a lot of the darker sides to the tech scene/people.
In particular, the discrepancies between perception and reality plus the fetishization of the former. I tried to walk away from that and steer a well-founded course post-CollegeOnly only to realize its value, sadly.
Perhaps, indeed perception is reality. In the context of Twitter and some of the characters that will certainly be the case for those that don’t read the book. Sad.
My blog posts are not as frequent as I’d like, but I wrestle with whether I should blog or not. It used to be part of what I did and who I was and I loved it. That changed, but not for lack of desire.
I have the urge to continue to write, but negative reasons pop up scarred by the past: potentially+inadvertently alienating others, leaving a trail thereof, waste of time, etc. In addition, I wonder what I should write about as well as how public it should be (myself? friends? everyone?).
This ever-flowing stream of thoughts is triggered when I think about blogging, and makes it tougher to pen the dozens of posts I’ve queued up on Trello…
…in the meantime, I feel there are a lot of moments, memories, +more that get lost from lack of archiving and cataloging. I wonder if there should be a system that would enable me to exclusively keep track of key times, events, and learnings/experiences in my life.
For example, I’ve been keeping track of all the books I’ve read. I realized I should keep track of more: movies, friends’ weddings, milestones, and more. Perhaps I should use Evernote, but an easy way to do it until such a system is devised is to just write a blog post.
So, to kick that off, going to try to keep track of movies I’ve watched. In this case, I just watched The Hunt for Red October. Pretty solid and entertaining, h/t Joe Simon.
I first stopped breathing and was rushed to the hospital when I was around 3, then once more a few years later. Fortunately, modern medicine (plus astute baby-sitting and NYC taxi driving, respectively) saved my life - thanks all around.
For the past twenty years (and a few more on top), every day, twice a day - once right when I wake up and once right before I go to sleep, I’ve taken medicine to avoid this. I used to take two different types of medicine, so 4x per day, but for the past decade or so, I’ve only taken one - Advair - so only 2x.
Although my childhood issues were hardly mild, for the past 10 years or so, I have probably used my “rescue” inhaler once or twice, if ever. While I still exhibit allergic symptoms, I can’t remember if I have had any asthmatic issues during this time.
Around a year and a half ago, I randomly glanced across an article suggesting an overprescription of Advair along the lines of this: http://www.drugwatch.com/2012/12/11/investigation-shows-advair-inappropriately-used-for-mild-asthma/.
More recently, after reading about the adverse impact of glucose (and hearing/watching a few conspiracy theories), it made me question some of my largely unquestioned routines and prompted me to see a doctor.
After going through a few quick breathing tests - one last month and one this week, I am ostensibly free from Asthma. Although I am incredibly, incredibly pleased, there’s some frustration.
My parents must have spent thousands, if not tens of thousands on Advair for me. A quick Google search suggests that the current price is $300 [I actually never checked until just now, wow], and each diskus lasts one month for me. Over 10 years, that’s around $30,000. Fortunately, health insurance makes that number significantly less, but on top of the medicine — they paid for health insurance, and likely a bit more for me because of my condition/need therefore.
Health insurance companies, in turn, spent money on this - instead of for people who have life-threatening or even financial issues that are exacerbated by this externality.
I am increasingly fascinated with biology and the impact of pharmaceuticals, I am by no means a doctor, so none of this post should be considered remotely scientific in nature. It’s highly likely Advair and my other daily asthma medicines helped me: a) avoid asthmatic issues b) improve my pulmonary function c) get me to a place where I wouldn’t need it any more. For any, if not all three, I’m incredibly grateful.
Nonetheless, it is clear that the point I could have stopped talking this medicine was likely at least a decade ago. I felt annoyed when I’d watch movies like The Bourne Legacy and empathize with the protagonist’s reliance on medicine — namely, the apparent need thereof and subsequent fear (of and of being without).
I haven’t blogged in a while, but this experience forced me to. Both for personal gratification and expression of this newfound freedom, and as a cautionary tale for others. Medicine is an incredible thing - and in the near to mid-future something I’d like to pursue, given its potential impact on individuals (like it has for me to outgrow asthma) and mankind as a whole.
As such, this post isn’t about medicine. My childhood experiences traumatized me into a state of dependency and fear in the context of my asthma. This is hardly characteristic of me, which is why with the mild, aforementioned external pushes, I felt an urge to be rid of this.
This post is not intended to criticize medicine (which undoubtedly saved my life multiple times) or American healthcare (which undoubtedly is an ineffable disaster).
Rather, I hope this serves as a cautionary tale and external push to question the unquestioned…with proper doctoral consultation, in the case of personal health.
…and go see The Lego Movie, it is awesome.