Great Internet Comment

As someone who has been involved in technology for decades, I have been saying for a long time that our technological evolution has far outstripped our social evolution. Technology continues to empower individuals at an exponential rate. These drones are easily affordable to individuals. It doesn’t take much imagination to weaponize them; especially, when we already have military grade drones in operation serving as examples.

People have long been repurposing technology for violent ends. Aside from the obvious killing with guns, terrorists turn fertilizer into bombs, use cars and trucks as killing machines or delivery mechanisms, use airplanes to bring down entire buildings.

There is no technological solution to terrorism. There are stopgaps, but they create short delays until more effective tactics can be used. If we can’t find a way to dramatically reduce the desire to solve problems with violence then we are doomed as a species. We need to somehow navigate toward peaceful resolution of conflict.

We need a War on War. The war to end all wars. We need to inflict peace. Otherwise, we are doomed.

Copy Management Software

I have yet to be able to find a good copy management software platform, so I am just going to build my own. Currently, Coalition is producing 600+ pages of high quality, unique, search optimized copy each month. We manage all of it through spreadsheets and do so fairly efficiently, however as I see the company continue to grow I think that the spreadsheets will eventually break down. So I am going to replace the copy spreadsheets with a Laravel (PHP / MySQL) program that will scale to thousands of employees and clients. I am beginning the process of scoping this out now.

Systems Building

Building systems for a business is a lot like scientific knowledge. In science, you are constantly researching and trying to think of new good ideas and frameworks to test. Maybe you start out in biology and increase your knowledge there, but chemistry and physics remain at zero until you get around to learning and growing these areas.

I have been building systems and processes for Coalition now for 7 years. Some of my processes – like using Quickbooks Online for accounting- have been in place that entire time. Others, like Scoretask for management feedback, are pretty new.

Over time I have layered systems on top of systems, and processes on top of processes. The company has evolved and grown and gotten better because of constant improvements to our systems and processes. A simplified way to look at this is that on day one of the company our level of knowledge / capability looked like this:

  • Accounting – 0
  • SEO – 0 (no systems, just my personal abilities)
  • Legal – 0
  • Web dev – 0
  • PPC – 0
  • Sales – 0

After our first year, we looked like this:

  • Accounting – 2
  • SEO – 2
  • Legal – 1
  • Web dev – 1
  • PPC – 0
  • Sales – 2

After 3 years, we looked like this:

  • Accounting – 6
  • SEO – 7
  • Legal – 3
  • Web dev – 7
  • PPC – 3
  • Sales – 8

It’s amazingly powerful how over time fixing the problem permanently and building a process to address issues can be.

Today, Coalition has a whole wave front of processes and systems that put us far ahead of our competitors. Almost every area of the business has elite level methodologies. Our process for onboarding new clients, doing the work, are far beyond what I see elsewhere.

Just doing a little bit to improve your systems and processes each day eventually builds a tidal wave of success.

G Suite Rebrand is Ridiculous

Google’s recent design changes to the Google Drive / Docs / Sheets have generally made each product more difficult to use. Now they have added insult to injury with the rebranding of Google Apps to G Suite. Google Apps is a great name that specifies exactly what the product does – provide apps for your business. G Suite sounds like a cheesy gangster limousine business that will cheat me out of my money.

Interesting Day Yesterday

I had a fun day yesterday (Saturday):

  • Watched several Laracast training videos on PHP
  • Worked on fixing my importer from Time Doctor to Time Tracker
  • Came up with ideas for improving my SEO team’s tracking
  • Watched Oblivion, a fun sci fi movie starring Tom Cruise
  • Finished beating Inside, a highly rated xbox one game.
  • Watched parts of the Washington Huskies football game where they blew out the Ducks 70-21. Huskies are 6-0 this year and ranked #5 in the country!

Preventing Burn Out When Working 7 Days a Week

How do you prevent burn out when you work 7 days a week? I generally work every day including weekends, and many days I’ll put in very long hours. This can cause physical effects like blurry eyes, sore / stiff back, lack of flexibility. It can also cause mental burn out where you struggle to get anything done productive.

Pushing through the grind / being persistent is the most important trait to achieve success as an entrepreneur. How can you avoid burnout while still driving hard?

I try to mix things up for myself a little bit:

  • My most productive hours are the morning when I first get up, so I try to get in a few hours of hard charging work right away.
  • Naps are incredibly important for refreshing your brain to keep going
  • Working out is a necessary way to relieve stress and get out from in front of your computer screen.
  • Social interaction is huge. I try to call a family member or friend every time I am driving to or from work in my car. Most friends won’t pick up, but I usually can talk to a family member.
  • Intimacy with your significant other is also an important way to relax and release and do something not work related.
  • Occasional short vacations and longer trips can go a long ways. I usually work every day on vacation / trips, but still do find time to recharge since I am in a new environment. I typically do a weekend trip each month and a week or two every six months. Next weekend I am headed to Bishop to rock climb with friends.
  • Drink tons of water. This not only keeps you hydrated, but makes you get up frequently to go to the bathroom. You get a chance to stretch and move around every 45 minutes or so and look away from your computer screen.

7 Years

Coalition has been in business for over 7 years now and tonight I am taking the team out to happy hour to celebrate. Building this company has been the largest project of my life so far. I work on it most days including weekends. Lots of days I put in 11-14 hours. I have dealt with many nightmares (lawsuits, bad employees, bad clients), as well as celebrated many successes (over 70 full time team members now, launch, highest ranked on Google for our search terms, best rated on Yelp / Facebook / Google).

What are some of the lessons I’ve learned?

  1. Nothing is more important to success than perseverance. Show up every day and work hard and grind it out.
  2. See #1 again and think about it some more.
  3. Do work right the first time or you will be doing it again and again later.
  4. Find the right people to work with you.
  5. Build systems and processes and tools that make work easier.

Makeup is Sexist

I saw a photo of a female CEO in the news today and she looked like a clown. Bright red lips, purple eye makeup. The weird thing is I just thought that was normal at first till I thought about it more.

Half our population is expected to cover their faces in pastes and ooze and powder, supposedly so that they can appear more attractive to the other half.
Makeup is sexist.

Hillary Vs Trump

Our choices for President are terrible this year. On the one hand, we have Trump… a man who likely would sell our country down the river to advance his own personal interests. On the other, we have Hillary…. a woman who has very different views on how to efficiently run the country than I do. I would go with Hillary, but it’s a tough call.