Quick Update

Shot put training and folding paper ships…

Early Morning Desk
Early Morning Desk Views
  • Week of 1-7 February.
  • Monday, took a day off.
  • Tuesday, office, interviews (looks like Octotel will be a total of 8 people by the end of the month – growing pretty quickly), our first building residents information evening – it went okay – I had a good grin, Paul finally made his way home, salad at Da Vinci’s.
  • Wednesday, Headspace, podcast walk to the office, bumped into Paul and Philippa, sunset promenade walk, where I bumped into Pieter, Wouter made home-made friend chicken – even better than the last batch, nice dinner with Johan and Wouter.
  • I discovered Mattermost on Charl’s blog.
  • Thursday, Headspace, walked to the office, updated the Octotel website – coverage maps etc, a swim at home, upgraded Mia’s laptop and installed PyCharm Edu.
  • Sense of humour failure with Naulene again, usual WTaF/brainhurt moments. Took me 3 days to get her to let me have a 5 minute conversation with Mia – even though Mia has a phone now. Who does that? Some pretty messed up people to watch out for on this planet, kids.
  • I tinkered with VMWare VDC this week. It’s okay – but using Linode is way easier.
  • Want Your Children to Survive The Future? Send Them to Art School.
  • A World Without Work
  • “What important truth do very few people agree with you on?” — Peter Thiel

  • The big contrarian question that’s been bugging me for weeks. The easy answer is that everybody should type Dvorak. The more interesting answer, which has taken me a bit of time to realise – is that people should not work. People are bad at working. In the future, the companies that will win will have excellent reproducible customer experiences that do not need any humans. The core of a company should be a machine. Humans should just be APIs to call when it can’t get something done in any other way. DevOps and automation, kids.
  • “Mistletoe can be deadly if you eat it, …but a kiss can be even deadlier if you mean it.” — Batman Returns

  • Some US based student emailed me this week about wearable payments, asking for advice. I was going to turn this into a blog post at some point, but I just emailed him the brain dump… why GUST Pay did not work:

    Sitcom business model – the kinda thing they would write into a Friends episode / or a Microserfs book. Cool, but it did not have a big idea or cause or mission. Product needed to be at least ten times better than existing alternative (cash and tokens). Payments are hard, even Barclays have not figured our how to make money from wearable payments. Payments is a highly regulated space – there is no such thing as the financial police – the banks are the financial police. GUST had a bad legacy – the whole Mxit exit was a mess, bad timing, bad relationship with investors, debt etc. It was not a unicorn, can do better. One thing about going to Techstars is – you learn to spot a good idea from an average one. We left the investment conversations too long. Not inspired anymore. If we white-label the product – it would just be building tech as a dev house – not a product business. SA IP regulation headache. I don’t like fintech, not sure I ever did. Customers don’t really want it – build something people want…. there was even more random notes, but I edited it down, it was a messy time.

  • Friday, Agile/Kanban workshop at 7:30 – I folded ~50 (7/minute) paper ships like a crazy person (good fun – our team won), Space TV meeting, fetched Mia, a fresh juice at Fred & Max, collected some of Mia’s art from art class, we found Mia some new school shoes and a Valentines Day (school) outfit – the extended clothes shopping experience, drove back to Cape Town – we chatted about the industrial revolution, self driving cars, the end of work, and learning to code, a sunset walk around Queens Beach, I made her the bachelor dad minimalist healthy snacky supper.
  • I missed the AfrikaBurn ticket sales process – because I did not have a Burner Bio – how did I become so lame and jaded again? (I blame Michael, okay, not really)
  • “It’s been sitting in an information refrigerator.” — The Agile coach guy, about MS Sharepoint.

  • Made it up to ep74 of the Tim Ferriss show.
  • Who is in your tribe?
  • Saturday, tea, backups, photo processing, we covered Mia’s last two uncovered school books – which involved making some art to stick on the front – I could not resist adding my quote of the week to the cover of one of the books (hope it reminds her to ponder the question), I showed Mia PyCharm Edu (super cool app) and we did the first 7 steps (took some explaining), I cooked us an obscenely healthy lunch – with some Reyneke Organic Chardonnay (it was so healthy I think it undid about 1/16th of the Origin weekend damage), processed some notes (like two weeks), putt putt in Three Anchor Bay – I won 50 vs 60 (par 36 – I don’t think either of us are taking up golf soon), shot put training in Green Point Park – I tested some ideas from the Pavel Tsatsouline interview I listened to, beer and pizza at Posticinos, ice cream, 11h sleep.
  • Mia has read through 13 of the ~70 books I added to her Kindle two weeks ago.
  • Sunday, tea and more PyCharm Edu tasks, Mia built a game with The Foose – pretty cool app, gym – power plate, front squats and breaststroke sprints, Waterfront visit – ladies of leisure day, fragrance browsing, Sunday buffet lunch at Melissas with a Steph Weiss – the single dad’s take on a wholesome family lunch, spent a few hours in the book shop with Mia (while she read the latest Diary of a Wimpy kid) – I mostly browsed design books, ice cream, more shot put training in Green Point Park (for the athletics event on Wednesday), a swim at home and some top trumps playing (undecided outcome), I cooked another obscenely healthy meal for Mia – who by now was in her pink rabbit onesie.
  • Kinda cool that Mia is learning to code and I’m learning to code again.
  • One standard obscenely healthy meal: takes 12 minutes. Boil 8 eggs, while steaming 1/2 a (“buy in bulk and save” size) bag of tender stem broccoli, green beans and kale over that. Serve the greens and 4 egg whites with butter, cheese, tomatoes, gherkins and any other random thing you can find in the fridge. Bribe child with exotic dark chocolate to eat all the greens. Watch as they finish all the kale with a loving expression.
  • btw. did you know breaststroke is the hardest stroke to master?
  • I browsed though a Wired magazine on Sunday, made me want to jump on a plane and go on some random adventure. Used to buy Wired mags for long flights.
  • Have I really become one of those dads you see with the child walking behind them in the mall? Yeah, but when I slow down she still walks behind me playing with either a phone or a kindle. I’m more like a human mall shield.
  • I see a fasting week in my future.
  • You can probably predict my mood by the rate I update my blog.
  • Sorry, the photos this week are a bit boring. Meh. Only the mediocre are always at their best…

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Queens Beach
Queens Beach