I wasn’t in the audience at the time, but the very first time I saw the video of Steve Jobs presenting the iPhone to the world I was in awe.
Sure we had plenty of smartphones previously but this was something entirely different.
I pre-ordered mine as soon as I possibly could.
It had nothing to do with my work trying to understand the latest new thing. I wanted it for myself. After I had embraced this new thing, my mind opened up to a world of possibilities, for my personal life and my professional life.
I pre-ordered the next iPhone and every other one that came out since. And last week I did the same thing with the iPhone 6. It looks like another insanely great product.
Last week, along with so many people around the world I watched Apple introduce the Watch.
It is a thing of beauty. It’s thoughtful, well designed and capable.
But at this time I don’t have any plans to pre-order it when it becomes available.
I really don’t want another thing to power up and charge in my life. I don’t want another thing to interrupt my moments. I don’t want to see any sort of notification when I’m playing basketball in the driveway with the kids. I am finding the joy of walking into my house, taking the phone out of my pocket and leaving it on the counter.
I love the miracle of the mobile, high speed internet. But I want to choose my time with and without.
There is a real possibility that by not getting an Apple Watch I will miss out on important emerging trends. That’s a concern I suppose. Or maybe developers figure out how to innovate and respect our time along the way.
There is also a chance I eat the words of this very post as we get learn more about Watch and as it’s capabilities radically improve as these things always do.
But less is more in so many ways and this might be another example. At least that’s how I’m feeling at the moment.
I’ve heard it described that raising kids at different ages is sort of like different formats of tests, if you will.
The baby/toddler years is like a true/false exam. It’s obvious, your job as a parent is to love them, protect them, feed them, etc.
As they get older, during elementary school years, parenthood moves from true/false to multiple choice. Which schools are best, how to juggle after school activities, how to manage online vs offline etc.
The teenage stage is more like an essay test.
The answers are not in front of you. In fact, there may not be a right answer at all.
We have three children. The oldest one has entered the essay test stage. She is dealing with them as an adolescent and we have them as parents. Sometimes the three of us work together, sometimes we freestyle. Each moment seems to reveal new choices, new opportunities, new challenges, new risks, new experiences. Some feel familiar and many are completely new ….even though I was a teenager once before.
I’m excited for her and this new stage of life. It’s truly wonderful. In many ways I am looking forward to it. But the old days were pretty damn great as well. And definitely much simpler.
Kilkenny is basically like the Yankees (except this league is amateur, not professional). They have a history of winning these finals. They say in Ireland that Kilkenny children are born a hurley in their hand.
Tipp was the challenger.
Comcast didn’t broadcast the game but we found the match online here. After punching in my credit card we had access to the game. We streamed it to our big screen tv via AirPlay. Worked like a charm.
The match was fantastic. An overview of the game here as well as these awesome tweets.
It ended in a tie. I love that they will just play a rematch in a few weeks and didn’t resort to sudden death or a shoot out.
As I write this post I’m on a plane headed to San Francisco for a few days. It’s very much a business trip but hopefully will see some friends as well. I still consider SF our home after all these years.
As the kids get older we’ve also been able to travel more as a family. It’s just easier now to deal with longer flights and go places. The August trip was a true test in many ways. We were in close quarters for many weeks and on the move every few days.
But the one trip I haven’t done is with just my dad and my brother. We have talked about it a few times over the years but never committed.
We just fixed that and booked our trip. Next month, the three of us are going to New Mexico and I couldn’t be happier about that.
On Saturday, one of the founders in our portfolio called to let me know that one of the executives at the company was leaving. He wants to move to cross country for personal/family reasons.
Typically when a great person is thinking about leaving a portfolio company my instinct is to help the founder keep the person onboard.
But instead of hanging up the phone and calling the person, I opted to just let it go.
About 13 years ago, I moved cross country with my family 3k miles for personal/family reasons so I can totally relate.
But there was another voice in my head. The one that said, life is too short. I am supportive of doing what you need to do as long as it’s done with care and respect.
Last week a man died in our town. He was just 53 and I’m told he died in his sleep. My wife knows his wife. My daughter goes to school with his daughter. It’s unbelievably tragic. I can’t imagine what his family is going through. This was a portion of the post his wife left on Facebook:
S**** loved us; we were his life and he ours. So today I ask you to look around you, look into your partner’s eye’s; your child’s eye’s; your friend’s eye’s. Tell them how much they mean to you. On this day and always, live like S**** would live; take that run, take that sail, walk your dogs , drink that rum and coke sitting on the deck blaring your favorite music! My challenge to my family and friends is this: Give me a wave as you drive by the house, sit and have a cup of coffee or a glass of wine with me, hug me and my girls when you see us, plant a tree in my yard . And please remember what Father C**** reminded us of…”Three things will last forever-faith, hope, and love- and the greatest of these is love.”
This weekend I’ve been often thinking about his dear family. He was just 8 years older than me. And just 3 years older than my wife’s father when he passed of a massive heart failure at 50 years of age.
So kiss your family and take a deep breath. Decide what you are doing tomorrow and the next day. Make it count. And do what you love, because life is way too short.
“What’s the moral here? For years, pundits and politicians have insisted that guaranteed health care is an impossible dream, even though every other advanced country has it. Covering the uninsured was supposed to be unaffordable; Medicare as we know it was supposed to be unsustainable. But it turns out that incremental steps to improve incentives and reduce costs can achieve a lot, and covering the uninsured isn’t hard at all. When it comes to ensuring that Americans have access to health care, the message of the data is simple: Yes, we can.”—The Medicare Miracle - NYTimes.com
My oldest daughter is going into 10th grade. School starts next week in our town.
Over the summer her AP world history teacher assigned over 300 pages of reading and a lengthy writing assignment. Her english and biology teacher also assigned summer reading. She has a test during the first week at school.
My other daughter who is 12 had summer work and so did my 8 year old son.
I was an active kid growing up. But I also had free time. I could attend school, play sports and have time to teach myself guitar and play in an awful cover punk band. I hung out with my friends and spent time hacking away on my BMX bike or finding new wheels for my skateboard.
It felt like I had all the time in the world.
It’s fairly obvious my kids are all smarter than me. They certainly get better grades than I did and have a better work ethic. They are also better athletes. Mostly I’m proud they are kind and love each other (even if they want to kill each other and me from time to time).
But I feel like there is tendency to push these kids well beyond what’s necessary and they are racing against the clock.
I need to figure out ways to hit the pause button. Or at least find it.
“So my advice is always pretty much the same – ‘good portrait and documentary photography has very little to do with equipment and technique. Spend a year learning how to use your camera and then devote the rest of your life to learning about people’.”—Phil Kneen