Category Archives: Featured

Stop what you’re doing!

A few years ago (actually just over 6 years ago), I discovered the Jim Collins book “Good To Great” and read it over the Christmas holidays. Jim tells about his research project on how 2 similar companies at similar points with similar opportunities end up at different levels. One company stays a “good” company (or worse) and the other becomes a “great” company.  It’s a fascinating read.

One of the concepts that comes out of it (aside from The Hedgehog Concept) is that of “stop what you’re doing” as a way to make your company great. This means to make clear, conscious decisions about what you SHOULD be doing, and do more of that, while also deciding what tasks/processes you do that detract from your focus, energy and business.

I’ve been advocating this at my 9-5 for some time, but haven’t been too good about applying it to my personal life and projects. Each time I see something shiny (not quite get-rich-quick but seem like a good idea), I get excited. Until recently. I’ve finally wrapped my head around it (or pulled my head out of my ass) and started IGNORING things that aren’t part of my focus. That’s not to say that my focus won’t change from time to time, but I think I’ve got a handle on what I’m doing.

I’ve also stopped renewing some of my domains. Apparently I owned about 30. And I’m not doing anything with some of them. They are, in fact, just time/energy drains. Not to mention financial. Each one is only about $10 a year, but together that’s $300 and if they aren’t earning their keep, why bother.

So – early in this new year of 2011 – what should YOU stop doing? How can you reset your focus on what’s IMPORTANT or USEFUL in your life?

baby elephant in a bowl

Eating an elephant

baby elephant in a bowlI have the coolest idea ever for a WordPress plugin. It serves a need that is currently somewhat served by only 2 other products. They’re established and well known in the industry, but neither actually integrates with WordPress, but rather you can insert some HTML and get an iFrame to the source site which then allows you to implement certain functions or features.

The problems with this that I see:

  • Difficult for non-tech people
  • Not brandable
  • Doesn’t look like your site
  • Your data is stored on their site
  • Requires another login to their site

Don’t get me wrong, these other 2 products are well respected and work, but on forums I often see people complaining about the appearance. One of the companies has done some really great variations on their widgets but even if they did 1000 of them, they may not fit the site you want to build. One native to WordPress either always will, or YOU the site owner will be able to make it match.

So, why is this an elephant? Because the project spans a wide range of features (I have 20 documents of features) it’s a massive project. The existing companies have built their products over a course of years, tweaking and fixing etc. I’m trying to at least catch up with them in a fairly short period of time. It’s like trying to eat an elephant. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

I’ve adapted a few strategies for this, including the above 20 documents, MindMaps, feature lists etc and I’m finding it overwhelming. But progress is being made. I’m learning a lot. I’ve taken/am taking the approach of building one feature/function at a time, depending on what’s required. I have my infrastructure defined, database wise, so that helps. Except I start researching something and discover something new. Like using custom post types, or 3 different ways to implement ajax, or how best to handle multiple user accounts and their custom data. So I have to re-think. Then WordPress brings out 3.0 and it’s got features I want to use, which would them make the plugin only available for 3.0+

One of the hardest things has been choosing a name for it. Once I get close to release, I’ll start shopping around for some smart people to get creative with a name. Which may mean changing my function names…

An AT-AT after my own heart

Everytime we travel, even slightly outside the downtown core, I get a little nervous, but then I see that fabulous green sign that makes me happy.

When this popped up on RolfRazzi the other day I just knew I had to post it and pretty much adopt it. Yeah, I have a problem.

Funny story though – according to the comments on the original post, Lucas and co. filmed the backgrounds in Norway (spectacular) and Norway doesn’t have Starbucks! I guess we know where I’m not going anytime soon.

Movie Monsters

Movie Infographics

Whilst twiddling around the interwebs yesterday, I happened across a post that was all about movie infographics from various sources.

What’s an

you ask? Basically a graphical (pictoral) representation of information. Like a subway map or historical timeline. Click the link you passed over to read about them on Wikipedia.

Being a lover of movies and such, this collection was amazing, so I thought I’d share a couple of them.

The Trilogy Meter

The Trilogy Meter

[/caption]

Click on it to get a better look at it, but here it is in a nutshell. MOST trilogies go down hill (quickly) after the first movie. Now like most “review” type things, it’s subjective opinion and this is

‘s opinion (not mine). Take a look at the The Matrix, Jurassic Park, Planet of the Apes, Terminator, Batman above.

Now think about Star Wars, Indiana Jones (before the refrigerator incident), Lord Of The Rings, Die Hard, Rocky etc. They held up pretty well through their lifetime.

Here’s a less subjective infographic for you. A comparison of movie monster sizes.

Movie Monsters

Movie Monsters

[/caption]

This chart shows everything from Chucky and the Wicked Witch (dots at the left end) to Clover (Cloverfield) at the right! Wow. Someone did a bunch of work on this one.

Here are some other posts with movie infographics in them:

http://www.highdefdigest.com/blog/10-awesome-movie-infographics/

http://abduzeedo.com/movies-infographics-collection