It's safer in earthquakes, too

"Trying to be happy by accumulating possessions is like trying to satisfy hunger by taping sandwiches all over your body." - George Carlin

Happy Discardia, everybody! The weeks around the solstices are when we discardians let go of whatever is not adding value to our lives. Sometimes it's a shirt that looked great in the store but now hangs funny. Sometimes it's a habit like compulsively checking for traffic on my blog posts. Sometimes it's a person who is raining on my parade.

This year I'm letting go of a lot of assumptions about business that I made when I was a youngling in San Francisco. That was more than a decade ago and I was fresh off the bus, so it's time to retire those lessons about how to build value and culture and approach the process with new eyes.

I'm finally letting go of my huge oak desk, too. For years it hosted a lively ecosystem of paper and electronic mechanisms for thought and business, but I've converted all of that into a tiny laptop and a file box in a closet. Now that trusted wooden friend is in the garage, awaiting donation.

Later this week the kid and I will do a sweep of the house, looking for things which we haven't used in a year and putting them in piles to toss or donate. Her brain is changing so quickly that toys become uninteresting long before they lose their emotional weight. She was into the idea that those toys would get love from another kid instead of gathering dust on her shelf. That helps me, too.

Do you have a thing, habit, person, or idea which is no longer adding value to you life?

More posts

Recent posts

  • One Hour Fiction: The Panelist

    The pounding in my head is in sync with the ticking of the escalator steps as they rise from the netherworld of the convention center's floor. I pull a smile from memory and ignore the sweat in my eyebrows. So many happy attendees, clipping ...

  • Agreements: Fuel for the Engine of Business

    Note: This is an old post. I am now a CTO and no longer offer this service.

    The first person I watched run a company was Bly, the owner of a computer sales and service shop in Athens, Georgia. She gave me, a painfully young ...

  • What I hope Amazon is doing in secret

    Last weekend I had coffee at the wonderful Uptown Espresso with a friend from a nearby Amazon office. I write "a" nearby office because he's working on a multi-year project so secret that he can't even tell people which building he's in ...

  • Top 5 opportunities for growth in software

    I am a software engineering newbie. I thought that I knew a lot about it after I coded my first BASIC program on a TRS-100 way back in the before time, but now I see that the creation of software is a vast landscape of ...

  • Don't touch that dial

    I grew up in the future. My childhood room was next to an attic filled with science fiction so as soon as I could read I buried my nose in the universes of the great pulp era authors. I love it in that future because ...

  • The manual labor of code

    One day soon a robot will replace me. I'll be focused on some gnarly coding problem, happily munching on green grapes and slouching like the meatbag I am, when the interaction designer, call her Alice, will walk by and ask me if I want ...

  • The future-proof startup

    All of the production clusters I've retired have been ready to scale. As I pulled their plugs and listened to their disks spin down, as I slid them from their racks and thanked them for their service, each and every one of them was ...

  • What is "The Bear"?

    There was a distinct moment when I realized that I had completely borked the accounting system for my photo mapping startup. It was February of 2004 and I was living and working out of a tiny apartment in Berkeley and had spent two days tracking ...

  • Face down on the cutting board

    On the day I found out that my wife was cheating on me and had hired a divorce lawyer, I was defeated. I bailed out of the 3D web startup which I had been sweating over for years, leaving two of the nicest partners I ...

  • One big machine

    The infrastructure I use in teams and those I use for my personal projects are quickly diverging and it comes down to this question: What can one person do?

    When I'm working on solo projects like Transmutable Work or Science Saints the key word ...