Laurel has been in NYC for the last couple of days and won’t fly back till the 4th of July. It has been a bit lonely without her. I have been working more hours and then playing Rocket League at home at night. Looking forward to her return!
My company, Coalitiontechnologies.com, now does 3 months of work every day. Our team of 60+ puts in nearly 500 hours of work each day.
Motivation seems to ebb and flow randomly. I would really like to develop a better understanding of how to build up consistent motivation and maintain it. A few influencing factors I’ve noticed on my motivation are:
- How many calories I ate that day and the day before (more generally gives me a bit more motivation)
- If there is anything that scares or angers me that gives me drive
- If I have something I am excited about working on
- If I’ve exercised too much or too little recently I’ve noticed that can reduce my motivation
General advice from the internet suggests:
- Set small and measurable goals
- Develop a mantra (verbal statement reinforcing a positive mindset)
- Commit publicly to accomplishing a certain task
- Create your own routines and rituals
I woke up this morning at 6 am with the intention of working on building out phpunit testing for my recruiting application. 2 hours later I finally find myself at my computer after having surfed the internet on my phone in bed all morning. Reddit, Nytimes, Hacker news, Facebook…. they suck you in and don’t let you go!
Populist anger is rising worldwide in response to frequent terrorist attacks. People see bombings and shootings by Muslim immigrants and are starting to vote for policies that will shut out migrants.
The rise of Trump and his popularity is driven by populist anger at the perceived problems caused by immigration and free trade.
Britain voted today to exit the European Union. The British have had a variety of terrorist attacks and have seen partner countries suffer their own attacks. Their anger has grown enough that they are taking the drastic step of leaving the EU even though it will clearly severely damage their economy.
Today, the British Pound is trading at a massive loss other currencies. Many British firms will be exiting the country so they can stay in the EU trade zone. Their economy will enter a recession. The British Central Bank will need to raise interest rates, deepening the coming recession to possibly a depression. Stocks globally are down 2-3%.
We are entering dangerous territory in global politics as populist anger is now dictating policy in the biggest countries… this anger doesn’t listen to logic. Pretty much every economist in the world counseled Britain not to exit the EU as it would cause a market crash.
During the 1930’s Germany and other countries also had a massive wave of populist anger that pushed extremists such as Hitler into power. We are seeing the first signs of a very dangerous wave similar to that one rising in global politics.
Uploading videos to Youtube is a nightmare through their API. All of the videos have to first be uploaded to your server to a temporary directory, then you can upload them to Youtube itself. The problem is that large videos can cause out of memory errors or timeout errors or cause your server itself to bog down. I am trying to figure out how to do this better to improve my skills testing recruiting application, but haven’t figured it out yet.
I have been eating more unhealthy foods recently. On Father’s Day, I had a steak with butter and a beer. At Disneyland, I had a Churro. Last week I ate mochi ice cream, and a few other unhealthy foods.
I told myself each time that it was no big deal since I workout a lot and generally eat healthy.
I gained ten pounds to 207.
I need to avoid processed foods, especially sugars and butters and deep fried stuff. I will live 7 years longer with a better quality of life if I can reduce my weight to 168 now.
When I worked as an employee at Visible Technologies, I thought to myself that if I ever owned a company that I would like to pay people based on actual work output rather than just for having their butt in a chair.
Now that I do run my own company, I have found this to be nearly impossible to do. Even my salespeople have a base salary. Everyone who works here is paid for the time they have their butt in a chair.
I would still like to change butt in chair time to paying for people’s actual productivity, but this is much harder than it initially looks.
Most employees themselves want the security of a regular fixed paycheck; I have found that any money paid that is not fixed each period is discounted significantly in people’s minds. We do a generous monthly profit share, but people don’t factor this into their compensation when they think about it since it is variable.
From the perspective of the company itself, actually measuring true productivity that helps the bottom line is very difficult. Even our salespeople, who theoretically could just be paid on what they sell, quite often do work outside of just closing deals that helps the company (occasionally managing a client, or helping improve our systems and processes). For people like our accountant it can be very hard to assess how they impact the bottom line.
After much thought, I have found a system I call Cost Per Unit of Productivity or CPUPs to be reasonably effective. It’s not perfect since it requires subjective judgments of managers, but it formalizes that process a little bit.
How does Cost Per Unit of Productivity measurement work?
- List all employees and their accompanying rates of pay
- Find the most productive employee you have and rate them as a 100 so you have a benchmark to use.
- Talk to managers, other employees, and review any objective measures available and arrive at a comparison to the most productive person. If the most productive person is 10 times as productive as the least productive person, rate the least productive person a 10. Establish ratings for each person in your spreadsheet so that now you have 3 columns. Name, Pay, Productivity.
- Create a fourth column called CPUPs. Divide Productivity by Pay. This will result in a number that gives you how much you pay for each unit of productivity.
- Create a fifth column called special skills / circumstances and if a person has a unique skill that cannot be found elsewhere or if there is some special circumstance make note of it here.
- Sort the columns by CPUPs. Those with the lowest cost per productivity are those most deserving of raises. Look at them closely for increases. Those with the highest cost per unit of productivity should be considered for termination unless they have special skills – they are likely the worst employees you have.
- Talk to the leaders in your company before taking any action on the information you found above and consider it for at least a few days then make your moves.
I have used this informally through the last few years of running my company, and formally once about a year ago. When I used it formally, I was a bit surprised by the results, but I talked with my advisers and managers and they recommended to move forward with the raises for the people at the lowest cost per unit of productivity and terminations for the highest cost per unit of productivity and I did so. The result was that the next six months were the most profitable and successful months the company has ever had.
I have been mostly focused on growth and improving our systems over the last few months and not on cost per unit of productivity. As a result, our profit margins have narrowed. I am about to use this methodology again to make adjustments to our team, so we will see if the methodology continues to work as well as it did the first time around.