Under the weekend I met with a group of interesting people, including my three brothers. They have a habit of steering the discussion to the philosophical level. Here are two highlights that I’d like to mention.
Any argument is a reflection of a person’s own thoughts.
All people are irritated by something. Expressing one’s irritation is often an unsolved personal issue that has the habit of appearing ridiculous when explored a bit deeper.
Still, almost all people leave these issues unsolved. This leads to embittered behaviour that becomes increasingly difficult to solve.
A healthy environment of reflection and analysis from the peers is helpful to handle these issues. The more open the discussion, the better the expected result. This leads us to the second point.
How do you want to spend your time?
Every moment is unique. Everyone has the chance to cherish each moment of their lives if they want to. Doing this even for a few seconds per day would have a huge impact in the long run.
To me the best part of the weekend was when I was mocked about my table manners. Such argument can be quite beneficial to the whole dinner party.
So which one is it?
Negative feelings about this blog entry? What can you learn about yourself?
Positive feelings about this blog entry? Keep that thought and try to copy it to something else you do today.
Today I had a good chat with a bunch of great guys working in the fields of Test-driven and Agile development.
Software development is a risky business.
Developing good quality software is a double-edged sword. Firstly, a software always seems to grow by time. Secondly, only a small software can be maintained free of defects. This being the case, it’s a miracle there is any decent software out there in the first place.
How does one get good quality then?
Here’s a short story about quality. Someone can probably point out the original source but this is the version that I heard:
American company buying Japanese components sometime back in the old days.
Americans: Our absolute quality measurement is six defective units per million.
Time passes and the products are delivered.
Japanese: Here are the million units that you ordered. We wondered why you wanted the six defective ones but we packed them here separately.
The lesson here is that quality is a function of the people who do their job. You can try to demand good quality but it’s difficult to enforce.
Luckily, there is a great measurement for quality.
No matter what you do, products, services, software or something else, this method applies. Just ask the customer of your product one question:
Would you recommend our product to your friends?
This was presented to me as the Harley-Davidson measurement. Their customers apparently answer “yes” 97 times of a hundred.
I spent the afternoon today attending the kick-off session for the Aalto ES Boot Camp. Big thanks go to Petteri Koponen and Taneli Tikka for the inspiring keynote speeches.
But what were you doing there?
I was asked this question a couple of times. Someone might consider it a bit awkward to attend an event that not only were you uninvited but your were especially rejected from the list of participants. Well, it wasn’t quite that bad but I still was the only rogue attendee.
This first event of the boot camp was about the essence of entrepreneurship. One recurring theme in all the keynotes was the persistence of the entrepreneurs – you have to persist through failure. You have to pitch your idea a 1000 times to get good at it.
The program itself presented the justification for my stay.
In the end of the day, it all came down to a one-minute pitch by each team. I wasn’t especially invited to pitch but I asked for a permission to do so. Hard to say to no to that.
The end result was that three people came personally to thank me for an excellent pitch and considered it to be the most memorable of all the 14 pitches. They could even be right. The whole situation was on my side:
- My presence there showed true entrepreneurial spirit.
- I was instantly different from everyone else.
- Being different means being more memorable.
- Since I was rejected, my idea wasn’t expected to be any good.
- I had absolutely no pressure to pitch well.
So, whatever you do, find a way to stand out in a positive way. Sometimes it’s good to be bad.