Archive: Feb 2009

Here’s to the crazies

The crazy people will change the world for the better. The people who hear they are insane, it can’t be done, it’s silly to do it *now* and still go ahead and pursue their dreams – these are the folks that will have a positive impact on large groups of people.

The crazy people are special in many ways – most importantly, they are super-smart, very capable, confident, and almost universally acknowledged for their capabilities (unless you are an emerging crazy, in which case you have yet to be universally acknowledged)1

The people who rely on the status quo, have never earned a job or title on their own, and skate along trying to fool people might be fine now, but average is all they’ll ever be. These people look down on the crazies. They may secretly want to be one of the crazies, but only for the glory that will eventually await the crazies – they don’t want to do the hard, grinding work that it will take for the crazies to succeed. And therein lies the core reason they’ll always just aspire to mediocrity.

The truly bold ones – the ones who may fail big, the ones jump off the treadmill of safety – are the most likely to win big too.

This wonderful piece talks about how young crazies from Yale are pursuing their dreams.

it’s refreshing to know that the world keeps minting idealistic young people who are not waiting for governments to act, but are starting their own projects and driving innovation.

I know of a couple of others who had the courage and capabilities to walk away from secure, stable jobs to venture out on their own. To those crazies, whether you are in Madras, London or New York, my most sincere good wishes. May you soar. May your hard work and your idealism be rewarded. I’m rooting for you – you’re inspirational.

  1. My “crazies” are different from Hugh’s Crazy  Deranged Fools in some ways. CDFs seem to be creative or artistic, my crazies can be pure business folks although successful business folks have to be creative too. And my crazies may not pay the bills for a while – they will live without if they have to, they will adjust their lifestyle downwards. CDFs could work alone but my crazies want to start companies/ventures/projects. I am not quite a crazy, but I am a CDF. 

What you can control

It’s easy to get into funks about the state of our lives. Our lives have many components and there’s usually at least one of those pieces that’s off-kilter. And with the global economy the way it is, let’s brace ourselves – things will get worse on some dimensions for sure.

The only way to get through it is to focus on what you can control and ride the rest of it the best you can.

“You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.” – Brian Tracy

The same is true for negative people who are in your life. Negative people can drain your energy, but it is your choice whether you have them in your life and how you deal with them. I chose to cut out a lot of the negative people from my life (some still stalk me on my blog!) But letting negative people change who you fundamentally are is letting them win. If they make you wary and untrusting when you are fundamentally a trusting, open person, then they win. So screw them, cut them out and live your life.

Is this hard advice to follow? Sure. It’s very hard for me and I struggle at times to remain positive and ignore the negative. But it’s the only way you can remain true to yourself and be happy.

Tumblr – users want more control

This was a comment on Rob’s blog that I decided to turn into a post…

Good products are simple for the majority of users with more complex features for those who need it. I’ve always believed this.

And in this I see the fundamental drawback with Tumblr.

It has a wonderful UI and is easy to use. But it is so because of the limits they have put on it. Adding widgets is hard. Plugins couldn’t exist till recently. Good in some ways… but truly good UI is the ability for the user to customize. Simple is the default, but you have to be able to make it more customized (or complex) as needed. And this last part is what Tumblr is missing. Big time. It is a huge issue (for me, anyway).

Reblogging is such a great idea. But it is only available within Tumblr blogs. Could Tumblr figure out a way to let you reblog from any blog? Sure they could – they are smart folks. But it wouldn’t be as easy or as pretty. So no one can have it. That’s an issue. Why not make the standard reblog easy and as it is and then why not offer an option in the dashboard that more advanced users can turn on that will allow reblogging from anywhere?

The exact same thing is true with your suggestion, Rob – the ability to see any blog in your dashboard rather than just Tumblr blogs. Is it possible? Sure it is – just grab the site’s RSS and present it nicely in the dashboard. For the basic user, they can only see Tumblr blogs they follow, for the advanced user, an option should exist to see other blogs.

Tumblr’s biggest drawback is that it mandates how users will use it. Dictating how your users can use something by not enabling customization is not a great way to ensure simplicity. Open does not have to be complex and ugly. And the smart people at Tumblr can figure it out.

These are just two examples of how users would like to see more out of Tumblr. Other users will have their own pet requests. For each of these examples, I know Tumblr can give us a great reason why they don’t enable it. But… their users want it – isn’t that what’s important? Tumblr needs to allow the users to have more control in how they use the platform.

I’ve been wanting to write this post on Tumblr for a while and your post prompted this long comment!

Originally posted as a comment by Shripriya on Why Didn’t I Think of That? using Disqus.