Tuesday, February 03, 2015

cycle of addiction: 99% frustration, 1% pure elation

I'm watching the behind-the-scenes commentary of the movie "Field of Dreams", while working.

Because, you know, the commentary is about cinematography choices, and the movie is about believing in your own crazy passions and dreams.  So it's very relevant.

The director says:
"Kevin [Costner] would want to talk about the take.  And at first it just drove me crazy.  Then I realized you work for hours bumbling through a scene till you finally get a take right where everything is right, where the camera works right, the light is right, the actors are right, the background is right.  There's a moment where it feels good after a couple of hours of being frustrated.  He wanted to stay in that moment another couple of seconds.  He wanted to just feel good before we started feeling bad about the next scene."


I'm very amused by this. That's how programming feels! Your code doesn't compile. Eventually it compiles, but it crashes immediately. After a couple more tries, it runs but the entire screen is black. Finally it looks right, but runs too slowly.

A couple hours or days later, it all works.  The unittests pass.  It runs quickly.  You're on top of the world!  You go mark the task completed in your project-tracker.  Then you get to feel frustrated with the next task!

It's so addictive. It's hard to imagine not being hooked on those moments of elation.

This cycle also describes entrepreneurship.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

hate is not the real problem

Hanging out with my brother.

Brother: "Sometimes we get product feedback that's really negative.  Like: 'This is the worst idea.  You should take a shotgun and put it in your mouth.'"

Me: "What!"

Brother: "If people have intense negative feelings, that means they care.  If you listen to them and incorporate their suggestions, there's the potential of converting them into being your biggest fans."

Me: "I guess it's like how the Lord of the Rings book fans felt about the movie.  If the movies had been bad, they would've been the most vicious complainers.  But because the movies were good, the book fans became the most obsessive supporters."

Brother: "An intensely negative reaction can be converted into an intensely positive one.  The real problem comes when they are disinterested.  If they get bored and go do something else, that's when there's a problem."

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

story of how one guy screwed his team in his quest for glory

A story of the Green Bay Packers, of ego and suffering. Made by Patrick Epino using Evertoon.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

frustration for The Imitation Game

Last week, I watched The Imitation Game.  I was really looking forward to it, because 1. it has the actor who plays Sherlock (which is a great show), and 2. it's about Alan Turing, a pioneer of computer science!

I was all charmed during the film, by the screen time given to encryption and Turing machines.


But then I came home and read articles.

I'm so peeved that they made Alan Turing seem like he's on the autism spectrum, when he didn't act that way in real life.  Why!  Are the moviemakers just following the stereotype of "he liked computers, so he must have Aspbergers"?  It's just perpetuating a negative stereotype!

It's so aggravating.  We owe so much to Turing.  At least portray him as he really was.

Friday, January 02, 2015

pillows for my loft

My friend Shane is a serial entrepreneur / CEO and also an amazing interior designer (she designed Peter Thiel's homes).  Also she is funny and gorgeous and basically a perfect human being.  

Anyway, her company Guildery tells you which furnishing patterns go well with other patterns!  So I got this awesome selection of pillows.  Normally I'd be way too afraid of clashing: a triangular pattern next to a lemon-slice pattern?  Two shades of blue?  Next to beige?  I would go into paralysis of fear, and not have pillows.  But now:


This is a photo of the window seat next to my loft windows.  (I moved into this loft two months ago.  It is still in San Francisco, south of market.)

I've been watching a ton of movies and behind-the-scenes commentary.  It started out because I wanted to learn cinematography for my startup Evertoon, which creates movies.  Then I got hooked!  Now my primary hobby is watching movies.

I didn't own a television for many years, because other people would say proudly "I don't own a tv" in a very smug way.  People would say "tv rots your brain" and generally speak poorly of television.  I think there are also studies about how television is bad for you.  So it was only a few years ago that I got a tv (and now a projector & screen, which you can see in the window reflection).  It was life-changing!  It's so amazing to watch brilliant films, and hear the director and actors talk about the work that went into it.

Starting off the new year with beautiful pillows and films!