Back when I started this blog in 2004 there was really one main digital repository for posting your stuff. A BLOG.
Starting in 2004 I made a free blog on Blogger.com and started documenting parts of my life so I could remember them easily (otherwise I’m quite forgetful). In the case of this blog, I was attempting to document my financial life. Hence, Neville’s Financial Blog was born.
Well in that 10 year span there’s been MULTIPLE forms of “life documenting” platforms. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, are good examples that’ve taken off.
You post stuff to these services, and they let everyone else know what you’re doing. Neat!
HOWEVER……In those last two years I’ve noticed some personal disappointment with the rise of these platforms, in the sense that I now take much less effort to document my experiences, therefore the experiences are not documented and preserved very well.
Imagine if your history books documented history purely through something like a Facebook or Twitter feed. It would probably be a less-complete view of what’s really going on in your life.
LEMME GIVE YOU A REAL EXAMPLE USING FACEBOOK:
The primary modus for “looking at someone’s past” on Facebook involves scanning through their pictures. There’s several things going on here:
- Not all the pictures on your Facebook Feed are yours, but some are from other people.
- Just because a photo is awesome, doesn’t mean you had an awesome time.
- The documentation is heavily skewed towards fun social events.
Now Facebook and others have shown that people LOVE posting pictures and keeping their past history alive. In this way a Facebook Newsfeed is essentially a type of blog feed, but it’s WAY easier to create content for….. Just post a photo or updates, people comment, create interaction….now you have “content”! Easy!
Checkout this photo of my family (and surrogate family) on a house boating trip together in Utah in May 2014. This was a picture posted to Facebook sometime during the trip:
“Epic weekend houseboating with the crew!”
Lots of people liked it.
Lots of people commented on it.
Lots of people were informed that eight of us had a baller-ass time on Lake Powell.
Simply looking at this ONE picture will forever remind me of that trip.
By the time we got back home from the trip, there were already several pictures posted online of the trip by various family members, so I became FAR LESS willing to take time to document the trip in the form of a more comprehensive blog post.
But it hardly describes the entire experience.
For that, I would have to write a whole post.
For that, I would have to upload more pictures to an album.
For that, I would have to edit pictures / write text / edit video / upload somewhere.
Uploading that photo and posting a caption to Facebook took less than 30 seconds. Making a full blog post about the experience may take upwards of 2+ hours at minimum.
Essentially it’s a much larger pain in the ass to document the experience in a more complete way.
That trip was a treasured experience of mine. The stuff that makes life good. And it all gets flushed down the toilet in a few months since my memories of that trip will slowly start to fade with time.
I will always have the pictures, but with a complete blog post about the experience, my memories are retained MUCH better.
For example, when I did my homeless experiment, I could simply post one picture of myself and recall that I did that experiment. Here’s me when I got back home after 5 days of pretending to be homeless:
That photo personally reminds me that I DID the experiment, but it doesn’t remind me of how I felt, the boredom I tried to combat, the people I met (which I couldn’t take pictures of), the mini-experiments I tried, the prejudices I had, the problems I saw.
All of that took time to document…..but now that’s all preserved forever, because I took the time & effort to document it:
Another example is when I *ahem* supposedly *ahem* went to Cuba for my 30th birthday. I can see this picture on Facebook and be reminded of it:
But I did a better job with documenting the whole thing also. I made a blog post where you could see a lot of pictures and read about the experience, and even compiled a video:
I also created a whole Facebook album with the pictures, and captioned each picture. I remember all of this documentation taking A LOT OF TIME.
But in the end I’ll forever remember that experience in a much more complete way, which is valuable to me.
Now I actually did a decent job of documenting the Cuba trip on Facebook. There’s an album somewhere called “My 30th Birthday In A Country You’re Not Supposed To Talk About” (or something like that). I sifted through everyone’s different photos, curated which ones made it to the album, and added captions to every picture. I even uploaded the video compilation I made.
But here’s my biggest fear about that, and one of the reasons I don’t put that much time into it anymore:
MANY-A-PLATFORM have come and gone:
…….these were all life-documenting platforms that people spent a lot of time curating their memories on, yet they went away. And along with their demise went your hard work documenting.
However if you keep all these memories on your own platform, over time you’d have quite an impressive collection. THIS my friends, is why I keep this personal blog.
The satisfaction is for no one else but myself, though sharing it adds to that satisfaction. But basically the point of all of this is:
Document your experiences better now, and it will pay off for you later :-)
With my 3D printer I can print all sorts of stuff off the internet from free sites like Thingiverse. Well I had a unique item I needed….and I couldn’t find any sort of bracket/support/mount to exactly fit the specifications.
So one lazy Saturday I tried solving this. You see……since about 2003 I’ve always had a scooter to get around downtown, since driving a car and parking it are quite chore in heavy traffic or during large events. This is my current scooter is a 2013 Aprillia Scarabeo 100cc. Here it is sitting in the garage:
However my little friend here tends to be the victim of clumsy motorists every once-in-a-while, and gets knocked over whilst they park. This does minimal damage, but each impact generally takes one of the front blinker lights out. You can see both of them hanging off by the cords like rabbit ears here:
Unfortunately they’ve BOTH now been broken in such a way that I can’t just screw them back in, and no repair shops have any easy solution for this. In the past I was just supergluing the hell out of the connections to keep them solid. The superglue is a GOOD solution, but the small surface area for adhesion mixed with a 7″ blinker arm that is constantly bouncing around means it only lasts for a few rides before giving way:
WELL…….I thought: “I OWN a 3D printer!! And I sooorrt of know how to 3D model very very basic shapes. Lemme make my own custom mount!”
So I hoped onto my favorite browser-based design tool that’s super-easy to use called TinkerCad. I slapped a few shapes together and came up with this design:
I then ported it over to the MakerWare software (that prints directly to my MakerBot Replicator 2), and scaled it to the size I needed, and mounted it upside down for easier printing:
Well the first version came out horribly as you can see below. The wall thickness was too small, I didn’t use supports, and in general the whole structure was too small to fit around the entire blinker arm:
On a side note, I had to make several trips up and down the elevator to get from my apartment to the garage for measurements…..so I just brought the whole damn scooter up to my place……good decoration eh? :-)
So on Version Two of my custom mount I did some re-tooling of the mount on TinkerCad to beef up the wall thickness, and got a successful print:
Unfortunately my measurement estimations were a bit too small so this one failed also:
The 4th variation of the mount I designed finally worked. Here are the three failed experiments:
Eventually I got it shaped “kinda” right….and with some modifications (shaping the bracket by warming it up under hot water and padding the arm with tissue paper) I was able to get both blinker arms back in operation. It’s kind of a ghetto patch…..but not bad for a first-time custom design of a functional support :-)
Thanks 3D printer!
This isn’t as cool as my 3D Printed Chess Set, but it makes my scooter road-legal again!
P.S. In the off-chance that someone else in the universe has a broken blinker arm on an Aprilia Scarabeo, here’s the .STL file so you can print your own mount!
From the article Chasing The Elusive ‘Quality’ In Online Education : NPR Ed : NPR.
Checkout the graph of the increasing rate of education being done online:
Mrs. Gansky was my 3rd grade math teacher. She was deaf.
It was so cool how I could mouth the words to any question like, “Can I go to the bathroom” from across the room and she would read my lips! It’s like she had a superpower.
She could speak well enough for us to understand, but it was the obvious slurred-voice of a deaf person. She used her hands to communicate a lot, and was particularly good at it. To the point where you could pick up information through her hands.
It’s like she spoke a universal form of Sign Language even 3rd graders could understand.
SO….how can we steal the secrets of my deaf 3rd grade math teacher to improve our businesses to make more?? (did saying that make me a horrible person)??
Well I think the secret to Mrs. Gansky’s awesome teaching was partly to do with the unusual nature of the communication (the slurred voice and lots of hand gestures) which made class much more interesting. In turn, the students learned faster.
Now a STUPID person would simply say:
“OMG if I just start talking with a slurred voice and using hand gestures I’ll communicate better!!”
But a SMART person would quickly notice the real reason behind her success:
Mrs. Gansky was far more energetic than any other teacher, very helpful, and just in GENERAL an all around great teacher. If she could speak and teach normally she would’ve been just as great of a teacher. The slurred voice and hand gestures were a temporary novelty, but that would quickly wear off if she was a sucky teacher.
That’s like when I get questions like this:
“Hey Neville can you make this page convert better by writing some of that magical Kopy of yours?!?!?”
What I hear them telling me is a moronic statement more like:
“Hey Neville, can you make this shitty one-page offer for a useless product make me money without me having to do any extra work!?!?!”
Very often people have this Magic Bullet Syndrome where they think doing some single Magic Bullet can make their crappy product to bring in bazillions of dollars.
But that doesn’t work.
Anything successful will have a multitude of things going right for it such as:
-the copy on the page.
-the layout of the page.
-the actual thing being promoting.
-the way people got to know about you.
-if people are even in the market for what’s being sold.
Basically, it’s not just ONE magic thing.
I love the concept of learning skills, especially for people who don’t know what they wanna do in life.
……its the way to ensure you can be of value to society and create a living for yourself. I’m no exception.
In the last two months I’ve picked up a few skills:
I bought a full-sized electric piano with weighted keys. This doesn’t necessarily improve me business-wise, but learning ANYTHING new keeps you sharp.
I learned how to use Wishlist Member, a piece of membership software for WordPress.
I learned how to a use a WordPress framework to build a WordPress site instead of just a theme.
Those last two things I learned together. I could’ve paid someone to do these for me….but I was genuinely interested to see how these work. At first I stumbled through by watching videos, reading how-to’s and just monkeying around on the software.
Now two months later I’m an EXPERT. If I need to put together a new course or membership website I can do it in less than 10 minutes.
I’M NOW A MORE VALUABLE PERSON BECAUSE OF THIS SKILL!!!!
So lemme ask you:
What skills are you currently working on to improve your life?? Lemme know in the comments!
Neville Medhora – Horrible piano player
P.S. If you’re NOT working on any of your skills, I’m gonna forcibly make you listen to me practice piano chords ;)
Well May 2014 went off well, hit all my goals.
Now onto June 2014!
Here’s my goal sheet for the month. Just two major objectives:
Happy June :-)
Here’s a random mind-hack I often use whenever I’m mulling over a problem:
P.S. This was an excerpt from The Problem Solving Checklist
Soooo this last week was pretty cool :)
The whole AppSumo Team was going on a Workcation to Napa Valley on April 21st – 26th, and put this post out:
So not only does the whole AppSumo Crew get to go on a workcation, but we invite 10 people to come work with us and we’ll help them with their businesses.
Needless to say, just like the AppSumo Seattle Getaway in 2013, it sold out hella fast.
So on April 21st, 2014 we hopped a plane to San Francisco. Here’s some of us at the airport:
We tried to fit 6 team members into an SUV, but with luggage it didn’t workout…..so instead I rented a 2014 BMW and drove that the whole time.
Don’t worry, we drove it “very gently” ;-)
After a 1 1/2 hour drive from the airport we arrived at the country house which is in the Napa Valley area.
There were two houses rented so everyone could sleep relatively comfortably (at the last house in Seattle a lot of people ended up sleeping in random-ass places because there wasn’t enough space in all the rooms).
The main house was AWESOME!! It was a 33 acre estate with a:
- Private lake
- Paddle boards and kayaks
- Water trampoline
- Land trampoline
- Outdoor gas fireplace and wood fireplace
- Hot tub
- Olympic-sized pool
- Bocce Ball court
- Basketball court
- Tennis court
- Workout room
- Wine cave
- HUGE house with 8 or 10 rooms plus billiards room
- Private chef
- Full outdoor seating and cooking area
Everyone sitting around the fire pit for introductions:
Private tour and tasting of vineyard wine by The Wine Spies:
Noah looking hella shady:
Aaron Batalion on the left (one of the founders of LivingSocial) was hanging with us at the house, spoke to people about bidnaz, and went on the winery tour with us:
TAKING A SELFIE OF OTHER PEOPLE TAKING A SELFIE:
The second house:
Everyone congregating and working and discussing:
Chilling by the fire was my favorite thing. I realized that a gas fireplace is SO much better because it requires no cleanup like a traditional fire, and your clothes don’t stink like smoke!
Private tour of the greenhouse and farm before eating at Ad Hoc. Andrew Warner of Mixergy was with us:
Oh man the food was good!! It looks so “normal”, but it was truly an awesome meal:
Goofing off while Andrew Warner speaks to everyone:
He should interview me about how to do handstands!
I stole someone’s dog while taking notes:
On the way back home I flew Virgin Air for the first time….and it was AWESOME. Since I just had such a cool trip in a mansion in Napa Valley, and dropped off my white BMW….I figured I may as well upgrade to 1st Klass (only $139 extra from San Francisco to Austin)!?
It was actually the best domestic first class I’ve ever been in. Good job Virgin Air!
Aaaannnddd that was my trip for the Napa Valley Workcation. A good combination of getting work done, helping people with their businesses, and goofing around.
This is an idea for the “unique work scenario parties” I enjoy (kind like this Reading Party)!
I held a “Rock Climb & Work & Laptop & Horse Around Day” this past Wednesday.
All it took was a small Facebook invite I made in 5 minutes:
I bought $49 worth of goodies for everyone (people barely touched ANYTHING except the clementines, so it was total overkill):
Here’s some pics!
These events are AWESOME ways to co-work with people whilst having fun at the same time.
Feel free to copy this with your friend circle!
Of all the interviews this is my favorite title :-)
It goes through how I started businesses in high school, college, and after.