Zeitgeist

Zeit·geist = spirit, essence of a particular time

A collection of food-for-thought posts and articles on technology, business, leadership and management. 

Metanoia (n.) the journey of changing one's mind, self or way of life

A conversation over the weekend with Peter Simons, co-founder of Performant, a management consulting firm, turned into a twitter dialog which, eventually, sparked other thoughts and ended up with his ideas about change in my inbox.  His views around change & perceptions are too good not to be shared (thanks Peter for permission to reproduce in here), not to mention his formula to calculate quality of feelings as a function of change in perceptions, simply brilliant (nerds & quants please feel free to comment or elaborate).

Metanoia

CHANGES

Changes in our lives are important and cannot be avoided.  We normally do not like them, they trigger us to take action.

There are many simple examples how we react to changes. If temperature starts raising we notice.

If light levels or sound levels suddenly change we react.  If something in our view suddenly moves we look at it before we know.

The reason is that when we lived in trees we needed those triggers in order to survive.

Today changes affect us in the following way: If something changes for the better we are happy. If it changes for the worst we dislike.  Once better or worse we do not pay attention to it anymore. We get used to it. Hence only the CHANGES give a stimulus to our mood, to our lives.  Please understand the importance of changes to the way you are.

PERCEPTION

Whatever we do in live is mainly driven by perceptions. Marketers now that very well.

We hardly take the time to verify and we believe what we perceive.  The media are very good at that. We assume a lot and that is dangerous.

News shows one side of the story:  the accident with the aircraft. They will NOT TELL US how many aircrafts landed safely.

They will not tell us about all the peaceful muslims on earth after a car bomb kills an American soldier in Afghanistan etc..

It would be worth to THINK at least  a few minutes once digesting information.

QUALITY

Here we go.  We are triggered by changes. You cannot always manage changes yourself.  Or can you? Yes you can because a large part of those changes are changes in PERCEPTIONS.  We are triggered by CHANGES IN PERCEPTIONS:

For those who love mathematics:

U = d(Perception)/dt .

where U is the quality of the feeling that was triggered. It can be positive or negative

Once you understand that,

YOU yourself can change your perceptions too.

- look at the flip side of a story, what was NOT TOLD???

- if you have a bad moment start to think that tomorrow probably will be better and if tomorrow arrives ENJOY the improvement

- in conflicts with other people try to understand that a large part of the conflict is probably based on perceptions. Find out what really goes on instead of assuming

Three ways of improving your quality of life, personally and professionally. It improves your decision-making.

Good news: think about it and you will find that there are many more ways of changing your perception.

About Peter Simons

By applying the management techniques he learnt at AT&T, Peter turned smaller technology companies into successful businesses. In the current crisis he is co-founder of Cohen & Simons that assists companies in financing industrial, technology and life science companies.

Peter holds an MSc (Hons) in electrical engineering from Eindhoven University of Technology and an MBA (Hons) in finance and general management from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

@efernandez

Farewell & Flashback

Farewell: interjeccion utilizada para decir adios.

fare·well

/ˌfe(ə)rˈwel/

interj.
Used to express goodbye.
Noun.
1. An acknowledgment at parting; a goodbye.
2. The act of departing or taking leave.
Ya he dejado mi querida y nunca bien ponderada España, eso si, he cogido el camino largo, pasando por Hong Kong donde estuve la semana pasada.
Blade Runner era verdad...
No tiene mucho sentido despedirse, no tiene sentido si en el fondo no te vas, pero sirve de excusa magnifica para recordar los buenos momentos.

flash·back

/ˈflaSHˌbak/

Noun
  1. A scene in a movie, novel, etc., set in a time earlier than the main story.
  2. A sudden and disturbing vivid memory of an event in the past, typically as the result of psychological trauma or taking LSD
(sin lugar a dudas, la definicion numero 2 'disturbing vivid memory ... result of trauma or LSD' es la que mejor explica todo)
[youtube=http://youtu.be/T9LtaC3V0JA]

'Unboxing' a 1983 Commodore 64

Sometimes, only a few, we stumble upon things that change our lives. It happened to me back in the 80's when I got my hands on one of the first Commodore 64 machines imported into the Spanish market. Will never, never, forget that day. It cost 75.000 pts, nearly 450 EUR at that time, certainly an expensive device three decades ago, and I happily paid the premium price to be one of the early adopters thanks to my father, supporter and financing entity backing the initiative.

The Commodore 64 aka known as C64, was one of the early precursors of personal computing, running on 64Kb of memory and a 1 MHz CPU. May sound sort of trilobite fossil technology now, but, back then, I can assure you it was an amazing computing device grabbing 30-40% market share of the PC market against giants like Apple or IBM. I became obsessed with it to the point of turning myself into an amateur hacker at that time.

Here you have a footage I shot with my son about the original, no longer working, C64 machine. Actually, the youtube video captured the attention of Ajit Jaokar, founder of Futuretext (a follower myself of his content), who featured it into this great page: Concepts of Programming Languages for Kids.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMEyaww0UDA&w=560&h=315]

30 years later, sitting now in the first day of 2013, date for this post, a similar learning experience can be obtained with a Raspberry Pi, a credit card size inexpensive PC available for less than $35. Alternatively, the Arduino microcontroller can also serve for the purpose.

Bring your kids into the digital world, teach them to code, software is eating the world (as Marc Andreessen very well explained) and schools can't cope with it. You can start here, with codeacademy.