Tag Archives: essay

The Whims of A Crazy Brilliant Dying Billionaire

Originally posted here.

“I’ve had a long time to make enemies, doctor. There are many governments, business interests, even religious leaders that would like to see me depart this Earth. I’ll grant them their wish soon enough. But before I do, I wish to make a small contribution- a final gesture of goodwill to the people of this little planet who have given- from whom I have taken- so much.”

- S.R. Hadden, Contact

I woke up thinking about this:

1. Steve Jobs is one of the most creative geniuses of our time. From early GUIs to the mouse to multitouch and the iPod, iPhone, iPad, and more, this guy has been behind some amazing stuff.

2. He is also a crazy revolutionary kind of dude. He started Apple with a fierce passion for sticking it to the man and changing the world.

3. He controls a company that has 70 billion dollars in cash.

Combine those three things, and what do you get?

If we brainstormed all the ways we could spend Apple and Steve’s 70 billion dollars, we could come up with a lot of ideas. We could come up with radically ambitious, wild, crazy things that could influence any of a number of world issues drastically.

But it’s unlikely any of us would come up with anything as original as an iPad.

In other words, Steve’s a smart and creative guy in a way that no one else is– and he is in control of an increasingly ludicrous amount of money. What he does with that money is anyone’s guess, but it’s entirely possible that he could do something drastic with it that no one else could have ever possibly imagined– just like he’s done with everything else.

Wouldn’t it be boring to hear that Steve decided to take his billions and donated it to some charity?

With a health crisis looming, Steve may very well be thinking about this right now.

If you had a ton of money, a fierce passion to change the world, and not a lot of time left on this earth, what radical thing would you do?

 

Alone at NWC

Originally published here.

Back when NWC first started almost two years ago, there used to be a lot of nights where I was the last person in the space after everyone else had gone home.

Lately, with so many more members and so many more events and things going on, it’s rare for me to the the last person out the door.

Tonight, after wrapping up a successful Girl Develop IT class, I find myself alone in my new space for the first time in a long time.

The stage is set for tomorrow, the chairs and desks having been returned to their appropriate spots. In 12 hours, the space will be humming with people, building and talking excitedly.

But tonight, everything sits still in peace and silence.

Little imperfections could keep me here forever, as there’s always a chair to straighten or a tabletop to be wiped down.

Not too long from now, we’ll probably hire someone to manage the space. I’ll be freed up to focus on the bigger business stuff, and I’ll likely be spending less time rearranging furniture late at night.

As nice as that will be, I can’t help but feel like there’s a value in getting one’s hands dirty.

I wonder what it would be like to start a coworking space without having to do any of the grunt work. If you had the money right away to hire people to do all of the little things, I wonder whether you’d ever be able to fully appreciate the intricacies of every detail that make a place like this so special?

Either way, I try to take pride in having done a little bit of everything along the way.

There’s an irrational part of my mind that never wants to go home. If it had its way, I’d stop time right now and build everything I’ve ever wanted to build in the space, all at once, right now.

But that’s never going to happen, nor should it. Every day, I’ll do something to make this place a little better. It’ll evolve over time, and when I look back at it a year from now, I’ll see something which all of us carefully sculpted each day as we went.

My own personal giant bonsai tree.

I must be better with coworking spaces than with bonsai trees, because I could never keep the latter alive for two whole years. Perhaps it doesn’t hurt that, with coworking spaces, I’m only one of many people tending to it every day.

This place is nice. It’ll keep getting nicer. Then we’ll see about other places.

But for tonight, for now, my work here is done.

Time to take it all in for a moment while the coast is clear. Who knows how long it will be until I’m alone here again?