Here’s a little Sumo Dojo we did about Public Speaking. Some do’s, don’t, tips, tricks:
SPEAKING of public speaking…..I spoke on Thursday about validating business ideas, and I wanted to warm up the crowd a bit. I decided to make everyone sing “We Will Rock You”, and wasn’t sure if a whole crowd could keep up the beat AND sing at the same time. See for yourself how it turned out :-)
It’s a flight where you get on an airplane (a full-sized 727) and do parabola maneuvers that make you weightless for 30 seconds at a time.
It was kind of like skydiving, I always knew I wanted to do it.
Basically the plane does maneuvers like this:
Now the VERY FIRST THING everyone wants to know is “HOW MUCH DID IT COST??”
Well, here’s the after-tax price on my credit card statement:
$5,197.00 total cost.
So yes…..this wasn’t a cheap little adventure (you can take a whole family on a vacation for that much money)…..but it was a “once in a lifetime” unique thing. Plus when I go to space, I’ll have some experience :-)
So I’ll describe the whole day with words & pictures:
At 8:30am me and two friends (Steve and John) went to a Marriott where the ZeroG people were holding an orientation. They have Dramamine and some other anti-nausea medications freely available (after all, this thing is nicknamed “The Vomit Comet”)!
After watching some videos and a light breakfast, they tell you to use the bathroom since there’s no bathroom on the plane (since regular airplane bathrooms tend to “spill over” when you do weird parabola maneuvers in them). Gross.
One of the things I blatantly ignored was them discouraging you from bringing a camera. They said in the air it was “very clumsy” to fiddle with a camera. I still brought one anyway and put it in my flight suit (which you get to keep)!
They were gonna have a professional photographer onboard, plus a couple of high def video cameras to record all the floating.
Apparently this Marriott had Zero Gravity already! ;-)
Soon after the orientation, they bused us to the airport:
Everyone on the bus was pretty excited and ready to go floating!
We got down and saw the plane. It was a full size plane, much like something you’d fly from Austin to New York in:
I naturally had to get my world-wide famous handstand picture pose. This one was timed pretty well!
Here’s a picture of John, TAKING a picture of him throwing a phone in the air:
Everyone boarding the plane from the cargo entrance (the whole thing is actually a converted cargo airplane):
A group photo of everyone going floating that day. I stuck my tongue out like this :-P
Me, Steve, and John walking Armageddon style towards the plane:
There were about 40 regular airplane seats in the back, and you can see the main floating area with padding the whole way around:
When we completed the takeoff and got to cruising altitude, they let us hang out in the main floating area. Sitting like this was MUCH more comfortable than regular old airplane seats!
Since the plane must first do a high-gravity turn before low-gravity, they HIGHLY SUGGEST you lay down and stare at one spot on the ceiling for this part. We would pull 1.8 G’s on this maneuver, so my 170 lbs body felt 306 lbs.
It just felt like a lot of pressure on your body, but not extremely uncomfortable (although anymore G’s and it would be uncomfortable):
Me jokingly falling asleep:
This is me in Martian gravity. Our first parabola was “Mars gravity” which is 1/3 your weight on Earth. The next two parabolas are “Lunar weight” where you weight 1/6th your weight.
This part was really fun! You could jump & flip…..but when you hit the ground it didn’t hurt. You also would still come back down, whereas in Zero G you never fall back down without a push:
This was my first FULLY WEIGHTLESS picture. It was fun just rising up off the ground with literally a tap of your finger:
John got these two great pics of him floating an iPhone. He was actually trying to play Hangtime….a game he developed which got banned from the Apple App store. You throw your phone high as possible and try to see how long it can “hang” in the air. This is a CLEAR loophole :-)
These pics are particularly great since John is CEO of Mutual Mobile (a 250+ person company here in Austin):
John playing Hangtime as Steve flies around:
Everyone just flying around the cabin:
Another Superman pic:
Just hanging out in Zero G:
Eating a water bubble. It seems so nice and spherical in the air….so it looks like a solid. But don’t be fooled! If you miss with your mouth, it WILL splash all over your face!
SO before I went onboard the Zero G flight, I thought THIS is what it would be like floating in Zero G for the first time:
However I quickly found out it was more like this the first couple of times we went weightless (30 seconds at a time):
After the 6th zero-g parabola I think it was much better…..but at FIRST you definitely have a difficult time controlling yourself. Simply pushing off the floor with LAUNCH you upwards towards the ceiling.
Plus you’re often bumping into other people who change your trajectory.
I remember one time I just curled up into a ball and floated around the whole 30 seconds. I would get bumped, pushed, nudged….around the whole area by other people or the walls. It was fun to feel like a ping-pong ball!
After the flight was done, we found out why the plane wasn’t flying in a straight line…..THESE goofballs were driving ;-)
I got one last pic in the plane….of course a full-gravity handstand:
The second thing after the “how much did it cost” questions….is “did you throw up in the vomit comet??” The answer is: YES!
“THE NICEST VOMIT EVER” I’m not sure I’ve ever been motion-sick before……but I know if I ever DID get motion sickness, the LAST thing I’d do is start doing flips, handstands, or achieving terminal velocity. However that’s EXACTLY what I was doing the whole time.
For the last 3 parabolas I could feel a small part of my stomach go further and further up my throat each time. By the last parabola, I could tell something was gonna give. I grabbed the little air-sickness pouch they give you (everyone keeps one in their flight suit pocket), and wee bit of vomit came out.
HOWEVER it was the “nicest” vomit I’ve ever had!
Normally if someone vomits, it’s either because you’re violently ill, or very very drunk. Both are not good feelings. However, this was rather….dare I say…..pleasant?
I balled up the pouch when done, put it inside another…..and felt ok after that.
I kind of ignored feeling a little sick on the last few parabolas because I didn’t wanna waste my weightless time. Only 30 seconds each, 16 times total (8 minutes of weightlessness).
If I ever do this again (or go to space), I’m going to take the anti-nausea medication they give.
By the end of the flight, I’d say at LEAST 50 percent of the people felt A LITTLE worn out or nauseous. Not necessarily throw-up nauseous, but if you think about what your body just endured for the first time, it makes sense:
You were weightless for the first time in your life with NO visible reason why. You endure 1.8 G’s for 30 seconds at a time, then go weightless and do flips & tricks for 30 seconds…..then you repeat that SIXTEEN TIMES!
By the end, it’s not TOO surprising your body is probably saying, “WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON!!??!?!”
“SO, WAS IS WORTH $5,2000.00 ?” If you’re actually INTERESTED in this kind of thing, and you can easily afford it….then go for it.
If you’re either going to spend your hard-earned $5,200 on a car down-payment or $5,200 on this…..perhaps the car payment might be better.
However I wouldn’t recommend saving up for years for this. ONLY if it’s easily affordable AND you really wanna do it….would I recommend.
SOME OF MY VIDEO:
A little side note: I checked to see which astronauts were currently in space at the time of my Zero G flight (August 18th, 2012). There were SIX humans in space….all aboard the International Space Station. I checked their names:
Not a single Indian person…..nevertheless a Zoroastrian……so that means on August 18th, 2012…..from 12pm to 2pm ….
I WAS THE ONLY WEIGHTLESS INDIAN PERSON IN THE UNIVERSE!!
I’ve also helped sell (or create) a bunch of AppSumo email template products and even a last-minute-but-well-selling course about hiring with Noah Kagan. And I even did 3 products before all the AppSumo stuff that were sold to someone else.
I’ve also done a bunch of these Sumo Dojo things too.
Now I can easily keep making products, and intend to continue….but there’s a major problem:
I ONLY KNOW SO MUCH SHIT.
It’s one thing to teach about things I know….and am good at, and have a proven track record at doing successfully (like kopywriting), but it’s NOT cool to hastily research a subject then teach about it.
It’s not fun for me.
And it’s a disservice to anyone buying that information.
I think most people would agree they’d rather be taught by someone EXPERIENCED in something.
Now on another note…..I’ve had the opportunity to occasionally “take over” the production of some of our products at AppSumo that were botched in some way or other (poor planning is usually the main reason).
And when I take over, it usually becomes a better product. I say that in a NON-humble way….and am OPENLY bragging.
My obsessions with being on schedule and conveying information in the LEAST painless way (usually by making it FUN) kick in when being in charge of the product.
The interesting thing is, I actually LIKE doing this! I thought the term for this was “directing” …but my video guy told me my role is a “producer”.
I guess I enjoy “producing” ….as much as I enjoy being in front of a camera, being behind it seems almost MORE important (think Steven Spielberg).
I enjoy when someone takes a course of mine and says, “Holy crap….after watching your course in two hours I now…” ….and then they gush about the benefits and actions they got out of it.
I LOVE the feeling of changing a persons life in a small way (plus I even get PAID for it).
So I might move more into producing some of these products, rather than starring in them.
Producing has a few drawbacks and some advantages.
DRAWBACKS OF PRODUCING PRODUCTS:
I have to find talented and knowledgable people to use as the star of the product.
I have to share percentages of the product with those people.
If the product is a flop, I get more blame (before…I was the only one disappointed. Now other people have chips on the table too).
ADVANTAGES OF PRODUCING PRODUCTS:
I can crank out products MUCH faster (it normally takes me a full month to do my products….and usually by the end I’m killing myself working too much).
I can produce products in areas where I’m NOT an expert…..but I know people who are.
I can bring in people to produce awesome products that help the world….and me, and AppSumo.
The star of the product makes monthly income for the lifetime of that product and has to do little or no support work to keep it live.
I can comfortably make 2 products a month…maybe even 4 if I’m feeling ballsy.
So as with anything in it’s infancy, I’m not absolutely CERTAIN this will work out well, but it seems to have a shot.
With this course of action in mind, I’ve started going on the hunt for internet-famous people to star in these products. And since I live in Austin, and since I have cool friends who know other cool people……I think my first product might be made with Ryan Deiss as the star of the product.
Ryan’s got a $30,000,000/year company selling digital products (actually….the VERY FIRST QUESTION I asked him when he said he was interested was, “Why the fuck would you wanna make a product with AppSumo and not yourself??)
….his answer was, “To be exposed to a new market.”
I figured in this economy, and with a lot of people hating the sh*t out of their jobs….a lot of people would want to know how Ryan would start from scratch.
Even I’m kinda curious how he’d do it.
….anywhoozle, I’m still wondering what the topic of this new product should be.
Would you mind selecting which topics you’d be MOST curious to have a guy who built a $30,000,000/year digital products company teach you about?
You see, a day before getting my hair done, I came to the VERY obvious conclusion that I DO GREEN SCREEN VIDEO ALL THE TIME!
For example, THIS video screenshot was filmed on a green screen and digitally replaced with a background image:
Obviously dying my hair green will pretty much NOT allow me to do green screen videos without them looking all jacked up, so I went with the runner-up….BLUE!
Here’s the quick photo-journey of it turning from BLACK to BLUE:
DAMN THAT’S SOME BLUE HAIR!
But I’m calling this color “Chameleon Blue” because the color constantly changes depending on the light.
For example, in the pictures above, I’m in the sunlight which makes the hair REAALLLLYYY BLUE.
But inside, you can almost miss the blue, like this picture I took while making this post:
Also the blue KEEPS ON CHANGING everyday! Every time I take a shower blue literally POURS out of my hair (apparently this is supposed to happen for about a week).
Here are some unexpected results of this weird hair color thing:
Homeless people are starting to recognize me.
I can’t take a shower without worrying about staining the shower blue.
I can’t go into the pool or hottub without a huge trail of blue following my head.
I can’t sleep on white pillows.
Anyhow….thanks for voting on the new hair color. I’m sure this will make me look insane and lose all credibility in any new product I put out :-)
So after a few weeks, the hair keeps changing color because the blue fades with every shower. NOW my hair isn’t blue at all, it’s like this GRAY color!
It actually looks like I have a full head of gray hair, NOT blue!
In the sunlight you can still sort of tell there’s hints of blue:
Although now my hair just looks weird. Look at this screenshot from an upcoming video I shot on green-screen…..you can see how odd the hair looks:
….not so cool eh :-/
ANYHOW……every time I get my hair made some weird color it always goes through phases. While the awkward faded-blue-green-yellow stage lasted longer than I’d like, it’s now fading into a browish/yellow color which doesn’t look all that bad.
It’s part of the fun to watch the hair change everyday :-)
Just did a quick Cancun destination wedding trip….lotsa fun, lotsa friends, great wedding…good times!
I was already pretty beached-out from the San Juan trip I took a few days before, but still had a blast!
Lots of relaxing by the pool/beach and massive hot tub:
Attempting to take underwater photos:
Getting 120 people to cut the line at the Coco Bongo:
The Coco Bongo club…..it was a giant tourist destination, and probably the most stunning visual effects system I’ve ever seen:
One of the wedding event areas…..PERFECT warm breeze the entire trip:
The groom riding a (clearly Indian) horse:
Very picturesque wedding overlooking the beach:
Me sitting on the dance floor. I don’t know why:
This Q4 2011 travel schedule is starting to get hectic….in one day I’m packing up again and heading to Manhattan to film some videos with Adam of MyBodyTutor for an upcoming product thingy on AppSumo called SumoDietKourse. Then immediately after that I’m flying off to Hawaii for two weeks (aaawwwww….poor Neville)!!!
The SumoDietKourse we’re doing will combine what Adam already does with the AppSumo crowd. So the goal is to get fat nerds to lose some weight (and become more productive like I discovered in the six pack experiment).