Less is more

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. 

The next chapter

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. 

"That will never work"

MG wrote a post yesterday about scoffing in the technology world. It’s a great read, especially going into the new iPhone and “iWatch” launch today.

It also reminded me of all the scoffing I’ve heard in my time as an investor these 9+ years. Things like: 

"User generated content can’t compete with professional content"

"Advertisers won’t put their ad next to user generated content"

"You can’t build a big company outside of Silicon Valley"

"You can’t hire great engineers in San Francisco"

"You can’t build a big business around photographs"

"We wanted flying cars and all we got were 140 characters"

"Digital goods are a fad"

"Social networks are a fad"

"Startups can’t build hardware"

"Why would someone want a blog"

"You can’t compete with Facebook"

"Nobody cares about virtual reality"

"You can’t build a real company with a $15k seed" (in reference to all the early scoffing about YC in the early days)

"You can’t build a big company in the music space"

"You can’t build a big company if you don’t charge for your software"

"Bitcoin will never work"

"You can’t build a big open source company"

It is a helpful reminder why I love this industry.