The Power of Levers

Over the years, as I’ve come to value my time more and more, I’ve repeatedly turned to the concept of levers when I’ve needed to accomplish more in less time. Archimedes stated it simply: Give me a lever long enough, and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.

Archimedes' Lever

Source: Sandia.gov

A long lever, placed in the right position, can amplify the effort of the user by an order of magnitude. I don’t know about you, but I love getting more results from less effort ;)

Bill Gates said it best: “I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.”

You need to learn to think like a lazy person!
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Gun Control Won’t Prevent Anything…Here’s Why

Columbine. Aurora. Newtown.

I’d be incredibly surprised if anyone reading this doesn’t recognize those names. Each was a tragedy, each involved guns, and each might have been preventable…but not by gun control.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand the feeling. When tragedy strikes, we look for someone to blame, and if that doesn’t feel like enough, we look for something else to blame. Casting blame, vilifying something or someone, helps us to feel better about things that are out of our control.

But casting blame doesn’t solve problems. Reacting instinctively, emotionally, without stepping back and thinking logically, doesn’t solve problems.

So, gun control…let’s look at this logically for a minute. Continue reading

The World is Broken – Here’s Why

Of the many things I enjoy doing, thinking deep thoughts and solving puzzles are two of my favorites. As I was walking home from breakfast this morning, I found myself thinking about our world and just how wrong things seem to be.

It may sound cynical, but I’m 100% convinced that our world is well and truly broken beyond the point of repair (though not beyond the point of rebuilding, a fine point)…and I think I finally understand why.

To sum it up, our world is broken due to faulty education, because we’re taught from an early age that some things are impossible.

Monsters in the closet? Impossible. Superheroes and super powers and mutants? Impossible. Big foot, Loch Ness monsters, and Ghosts? Impossible. Flying cars, fusion at room temperature, exceeding the speed of light? Impossible. Impossible, impossible, impossible.

And that’s an absolute load of shit. Continue reading

The Method Behind Apple’s Madness

From its humble beginnings 36 years ago to its ascent to the most valuable company on earth, Apple has achieved truly incredible things. 23.9% profit margins, for a hardware company? Yup. Roughly $100 billion in cash, tucked away for a rainy day? Yup. 60% Y/Y growth after 35 years in business? Yup.

How exactly have they achieved such incredible success? Now that’s the trillion dollar question.

I’ve studied Apple for years; their business methods, their products, their stock fluctuations. I’ve read books and articles, watched videos, studied earnings reports, and watched product launch after product launch after product launch.

After all that observation, I think I’ve got it figured out…and perhaps it will help to put it in context of some recent Apple happenings. Continue reading

Facebook IPO – Why It’s Not Worth the Valuation

Facebook is set to IPO on May 18th with a valuation in the neighborhood of $100 billion dollars ($96-$108 billion, based on the high end estimates of $35-$40/share, which I think it will DEFINITELY hit). Depending on whether you’re looking at last year’s revenue or projected revenue for 2012, that’s giving FB a value of 20-25x gross revenue. GROSS.

Can anyone else say bat shit crazy?

Let’s do a little bit of math here. Based on Facebook’s 901,000,000 monthly active users (MAUs) (according to the latest revised S-1 filing) and matched to their revenue of $1,058,000,000 revenue in the first quarter of 2012, Facebook has gross revenue of ~$4.70/yr per MAU (give or take a tad.) Continue reading