Doing Everything Except What You’re Supposed to be Doing

I did it again.  I’ve been trying to commit myself to writing more often, and I did it again.  I went looking for a new WordPress theme.  If you really think about it, it’s really the dumbest thing – but I really do care about how my blog looks.  And every now and then, I feel like it gets a little old.  A little dated.  And then the K-Hole into googling “Best Free Responsive WordPress Themes” starts and totally sucks up all my writing time.

I’m sure everyone does a lot of this in their lives.  It’s not really the fact that we don’t want to do what we’re supposed to do, we just kind of get lost in the procrastination of it all.  Focus is a precious resource and it takes a lot of discipline to spend it wisely.  I’ve also seen it happen at a lot of companies.  I feel like virtually every company that I’ve worked for has had a level of wheel spinning, which always irritates the crap out of me.  But here I am, just googling away.

May 2014 be the year of doing the right things.

#GIJENS is the best piece of marketing material ever

I think the best type of marketing is the type that doesn’t feel like it’s marketing at all.  Especially nowadays when we sort of live in a surreal world where everyone is a professional “brand” consultant.  I myself am guilty of looking at a marketing campaign and trying to tear it apart and critique it using a critical eye instead of just enjoying it.

Long story short, a photographer named Jens Lennartsson went on Alibaba and made a bunch of action figures of himself as promotional items to send off to potential clients to win their business.  The first thing I thought was, holy shit this is the coolest thing ever.  This guy jumped through 50 lazer beams and was able to access the dopamine receptors in my brain and turned them on.  I think it’s especially cool to me, because I’ve been studying a lot of portfolio sites (as research for my new site, which is going to be BAD ASS) and after a while they all became the same.

Breaking through the screen is sometimes the best thing you can do in digital.

 

“WHO WANTS TO PLAY WITH KOBE?!?” or “Why great leadership is more important than ever”

I hate Kobe.

There’s nothing specific that he’s ever done in the sport of basketball (totally bypassing his personal life which is a whole other story) that he’s ever done to make me dislike him.  He’s undoubtedly one of the best people to ever play the game.  But I hate him.

Along the same lines, I hate Mark Pincus.  I don’t know the guy.  Zynga was one of the most successful gaming startups to ever exist in the world of gaming startups at one time, but I hate him.  And for both of these legends in their respective fields, I am not alone in that hate.  So why is it important?

For me, this video of Nelly (ei ei uh oh) has unintentionally become the centerpiece of my thesis on hiring and team-building, which is the fact that you can’t build a great company without the talent.  There are 2 main ways to attract young talent:

  1. Guarantee that you are going to be a company that will make them extremely rich (Facebook, pre-collapse Zynga, pre-self-implosion Groupon).
  2. Provide mentorship and guidance for someone to be all that they can be (37signals, the old do no evil Google, the Chicago Bulls, etc.)

To bring our non-sports viewing audience up to speed, The LA Lakers were one of the greatest basketball dynasties to ever exist, with a lot of their success centered around Kobe and Phil Jackson (who had previously coached Michael Jordan).  For the Lakers, Kobe was a 1 in the sense that he was the dominant force in the Lakers team and would no doubt bring you as close as you possibly could to winning a championship, but he was what Webster’s dictionary would call a “horrible person”.  Phil Jackson on the other hand was the man who could provide the mentorship and guidance that you would need to become the greatest version of yourself that could exist.

The Lakers had it made.  Then Phil left.  Then Kobe mentality took over, and now the Lakers are completely fucked for 2013.  They went from a team that won back to back to back NBA championships to a team that most people think won’t make the playoffs.  Why? They don’t have the talent because Kobe isn’t the best anymore, but his attitude is the same.  My way or the highway and shut the fuck up while you’re at it.

Zynga is the same way.  Here’s a quote from the New York Times in a 2011 article about Zynga’s corporate culture:

Led by the hard-charging Mr. Pincus, the company operates like a federation of city-states, with autonomous teams for each game, like FarmVille and CityVille. At times, it can be a messy and ruthless war. Employees log long hours, managers relentlessly track progress, and the weak links are demoted or let go.

But that culture, which has been at the root of Zynga’s success, could become a serious liability, warn several former senior employees who agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity because of fear of reprisals.

Here is an image of Zynga’s stock price over the last 2 years:

zynga

Pretty nasty stuff.

The allegory for the Lakers and for Zynga is this – you can’t built a great company without a great team, and you can’t build a team without great leadership.

 

“My response to @danbenjamin Quit! episode 22” or “Moneyballing your workplace”

dress for the job you want...if you're terrible

Billy, this is Chad Bradford. He’s a relief pitcher. He is one of the most undervalued players in baseball. His defect is that he throws funny. Nobody in the big leagues cares about him because he looks funny. This guy could be not just the best pitcher in our bullpen, but one of the most effective relief pitchers in all of baseball. This guy should cost $3 million a year. We can get him for $237,000.

-Peter Brand (From Moneyball)

If you tuned into Dan Benjamin’s podcast “Quit!” last week, you would have heard Dan’s rant into something that I feel extremely passionate about: attire in the workplace.  Those who have worked with me know that I have an extremely liberal attitude towards wardrobe in the workplace because, lets be honest – it’s work.  On the other hand, Dan has a Mad Men-esque view of what a workplace should be: a nice custom suit, stiff collar shirt and the right time piece that says “hey champ, you’ve made it”.

As a current subscriber to GQ Magazine (if Conde Nast could get their shit together and change my address to the correct one, instead of Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York…long story), I appreciate the aesthetics of a well dressed gentlemen wearing 2 pay-cheques worth of clothes.  I really can.  But at the same time, you also have to recognize that it’s pretty delusional to expect your employees to dress like that on a day to day basis.  With all due respect, I think this attitude has something to do with some sort of neglected childhood experience because you’re pretty much playing dress-up with your employees and that is WEIRD.

I’ll keep it 100 – it’s hard for me to find regular clothes that fit right.  My long torso mixed with my belly generally means that I need strangely short pants and unusually long shirts (and the neck size, my god the neck size!).  Factor in the dry cleaning, steaming or ironing et cetera, this is a full time job on top of my fucking full time job.  Double factor in the fact that I’m sitting in a room staring at a screen in a room full of other people staring at their screen, I’ve really given up on this whole “dressing the part” game.  That is why I literally wear 1 of 2 shirts (blue oxford shirt + blue gingham shirt) and 1 of 4 coloured chinos every fucking day.  Keep in mind, I also usually only wear a black t-shirt and a pair of selvedge jeans every day outside of work.  Long story short – I don’t really buy a lot of clothes.  I usually spend my money on things like bike parts, bike parts and the occasional bike.  And I feel like I should be able to buy what I want with my hard earned money instead of a Junya Wantanabe dress shirt that costs more than a Colnago Master with Campagnolo Shamal wheels.

Dan had one interesting point, which was that the way that we dress is an act of rebellion against our folks, and by wearing more laid back clothing, we’re saying “Hey! we’re not wearing stuffy suits like our parents”!  But what I think we’re really rebelling against is the bullshit politics that used to dominate the workplaces of our parents era.  More specifically, we’re rebelling against the politics of aesthetics and design.  One of my favourite facts that I learned in high school was that an architect purposely designed bridges that were too low for buses or trucks to clear, meaning that they effectively kept poor people (predominately minorities) from going to certain areas.  What this taught me is that physical, inanimate objects have the ability to transpose the thoughts and biases of the designer through an infinite amount of ways.  Power exists everywhere and you don’t have to see it to be affected by it.  Altering someone’s way of dressing frames their behaviour and their mind (see school uniforms, prison jumpsuits, etc.) and conforms them.  Many companies want that – remove individuality and the thought is that you have a more productive widget at work.  However, is that really the company that you want to build?  Is that really the best way to go about extracting the maximum value of your employee?

Now, lets look at what the worse case scenario of this dystopian fashion office could be from a Moneyball point of view.  You’re judging someone on how they dress, so that means fat people (aka me) have a disadvantage from someone that can buy off the rack swag and look good.  BOOM, a segment of the effectively employable population gone.  Next, you have people that can’t afford to look good getting cut out of your employee pool.  Then you have the people that are busy learning their craft/bettering themselves instead of thinking about how they can match their Cole Haan Lunarlon wingtips with their Dior Homme dress pants for their next interview.  Now, that’s reduced your pool of potential employees by a noticeable amount.  What’s worse is that now your adverse selection has filtered your employable pool to the people that spend their time dressing the part and not working to become better at what they do, or as I like to call it, “kids playing dress up”.

Is it worth it to spend time and money to look your best?  Absolutely.  Should you focus on that aspect when judging a potential employee?  Absolutely not.  Dan said that Mark Zuckerberg (…of Facebook.  THE Facebook) set back the world by 20 years when he started his trend of wearing a sloppy hoodie and flip flops at work.  I think Mark Zuckerberg 14 billion reasons not to give a fuck.

*This entire article is predicated on the fact that people are dressed like normal, functioning individuals.  This article doesn’t apply to say, someone that wears short shorts to work with a t-shirt of a unicorn high-fiving former Attorney General Janet Reno, despite how awesome that shirt would be.

“Anti-Pareto trends in today’s culture” or “I hate people that misuse the word hustling”

 

screenshot from the music video "hustle hard" by ace hoodPareto — a prin­ci­ple also referred to as the ’80:20 rule’, named after an Ital­ian econ­o­mist. The prin­ci­ple sug­gests that a few vital fac­tors (i.e. 20%) are respon­si­ble for the most results (i.e. 80%).

source

 

As I sit back in my chair, thinking of what to write for this blog post, I am exhausted.  I have just woken up from a 3 hour nap and I will most likely go to bed after this as well.  There is nothing admirable about my energy level.  There is nothing heroic in being tired.  If you happen to know anyone who generally describes what they’re doing in life as “hustling”, they probably feel this way all the time.

“Hustling” has literally become the most misused word since the word “literally”, which as David Cross points out, now literally means the opposite of what the word originally meant.  Maybe it’s the fact that I listen to a lot of rap, but I think rap culture has really made it cool to seem like you’re constantly working.  Songs like “Hustlin” by Rick Ross and “Hustle Hard” by Ace Hood (both great songs by the way) are really just punching you in the face with the message that if you aren’t working every waking moment of every day, you’re going to be a failure in your life.  And to me, this attitude in today’s culture has basically lead to the biggest generation of “wheel spinning” most likely seen in history, because lets be honest everyone: it’s not what you do, it’s how you do it.

Now let me be clear: I’m not crapping on people that legitimately have work to do.  If you’re deathmarching on a late project that absolutely positively needs to get done – please disregard this post.  You’re probably too busy to even read this.  What I am saying is that if you’re working on 6 different spec projects while working a 40 hour a week job and freelancing on the side, you’re fucking up and you’re fucking up big time.  Why?  There’s absolutely no way the quality of your work and the development of your skill is meaningful in the long run.  There just is no way that can be the case.

When I first left university, I was cut off financially.  This is pretty normal for a lot of people, so this is not one of those sob stories.  Anyways, out of necessity, I got myself 4 jobs: working retail full time, did freelanced in graphic design for a furniture company, blogged and handled social media accounts for an affiliates company and interned in a social media role for 2 days a week.  I worked as hard as I physically could for somewhere around 4 months and it took a massive toll on my mental health and the relationship I had at that time.  Sure I had money, but I was miserable and most importantly, my work was not what it could be.  Granted, it was definitely better than anyone else they could have hired, but it was definitely not my best.  This doesn’t even include the Ira Glass theory on taste.  It was only when the internship opportunity (25% of my total factors) became a job opportunity and I was finally able to do some great work and improve (the 75% of total result).

It’s really difficult to explain to someone that you need to do less. I’ll be the first to say that 40 hours a week of work probably is not enough to develop yourself.  Extra effort outside of work is needed however, I’m constantly encountering a culture of people that seem to be workaholics for the sake of saying that they’re workaholics.  And let’s be honest.  Most of that work is completely dispensable.  Ask yourself the following 2 questions about the stuff you do:

  1. What is the ratio of projects that you’ve started to projects you’ve completed?
  2. What’s the ratio of projects that are unpaid and paid, and is that ratio trending towards increasing or decreasing?

The first question will basically tell you whether or not you’re doing too much as a whole and the second basically tells you how worthwhile these projects are in the first place.  And let’s be real for a second: if your end result isn’t to get paid off your skills, this is not the blog for you.

Take a second and look over what you’re doing and what your intended goal is.  What you do now is what you’re going to become and I sincerely hope that isn’t being tired for the rest of your life.

 

 

Why applying to jobs is as difficult as talking to these cute girls behind me

Chillin at the Green Grind

So I’m at the Green Grind coffee shop, as I am want to do on Sundays, just doing the usual job application/programming business and there are a fair amount of cute girls here.  By the way, for you python coders out there:

fair = 2
So while I’m working on this job application, I’m also thinking of clever things I could say to talk to these girls and I stumbled upon an epiphany: they’re the same thing.  They’re exactly the same process and they have the same hurdles.  Here are some of them:

1. It’s really difficult to talk about how great you are without sounding like a dick.

I like to think I’m better than a lot of people out there.  I work really hard, have an understanding of technical skills and also an aesthetic eye.  I can communicate very well and don’t get wrapped up in politics or beat around the bush when it comes to getting the job done.  But saying it outright is pretty douchey, so I usually do a slow transition to the topic of “how great I am”.  Even then I feel pretty terrible.  I’d love to see what happens if I just jumped into their conversation going like “YEAH, I ALSO LIKE THE SMITHS AND I LIKE THEM MUCH MORE THAN THAT OTHER GUY”.  That would be amazing.

2. I really have no idea exactly who you are.

So, now that my greatness is out of the way, who exactly are you?  Just because I think you’re attractive (job or person) doesn’t really mean you’re that great.  If you’re a company and you don’t actually list what your company does to be a company, you’re really making it hard for anyone to want to talk to you.  I’m sure a lot of you have seen those job postings where everything is confidential (this is just an example…not something I actually applied for.  Don’t want y’all poaching my stuff) and say all these generic tasks and what not.  Who applies to these things? You’re forcing me to make all sorts of assumptions and judgements on the slightest things, and if you’re me – these assumptions are terrible.  For example, does that striped shirt means that you buy exclusively blood diamonds and that you actually enjoy Matthew McConaughey movies?  Why are you so secretive about your identity, company? WHY?

3. Cash Rules Everything Around Me

Don’t ask me how much I want to get paid.  Just say I want to pay from X to Y and be done with it.  Not sure how that relates to those girls but I think one of them just looked at me.

4. Y’all need to work on dem extra curriculars.

I’m not eavesdropping on your conversation, but if I was, I’d tell you to talk about something more interesting than the minutia of life or whatever you’re talking about.  Besides, this is research for this blog post I’m writing.  Anyways.  Companies need to do a better job of showing off their company culture and stuff that they do to maintain unity in the company.  A good example of this would be Rethink who has plugged their ping-pong-and-ping-pong-related-lifestyles since as long as I can remember and I’ve been visiting their page monthly since like, 2006.  After showing us what you do, show us how pay your team back for it.  I think showing that you understand what your employee’s interests are will go a long way in keeping morale and loyalty up, as well as be more attractive to new people that want to join your company.  I really hope one of them just starts talking about their collection of Chris Gaines memorabilia.  That’d be a compelling subject.

I’m getting another coffee.

Why can’t programmers agree on a god damn thing?

Programmers debate what language a beginner programmer should learn.  - Image from http://www.tntmagazine.com/media/News/World_news/ukraine_parliament_fight.jpg

Programmers debate what language a beginner programmer should learn.

Recently, I was talking to a girl one time about career and job skills and somehow the topic of programming came up.  She told me that she had “basic PHP” skills to which I asked “what the fuck does that even mean?”  Long story short, she didn’t know PHP.  But by the virtue of her attempting to bullshit the fact that she did know how to program, I think we can agree that knowing how to program is definitely a good thing.

Recently on Reddit, I saw a great response to the question How can a person with zero experience begin to learn basic programming? When I first read that response, I thought “wow, that’s a pretty solid, well thought out answer for the average person”.  What the rest of the internet thought was “everyone that is not me is an asshole and here is why”.  Why is it so god damn impossible for programmers to agree on how someone should learn how to program?

As a communications undergrad, I should know better than to make the following blanket statement, but it’s awesome from a utilitarian standpoint that most people in Canada speak English.  I mean, I can pretty much talk to anyone that I want.  I understand that compared to other languages, English is a grammatical nightmare but for the most part, we kind of get why English is kind of the dominant language around the world (if you want to argue that it should actually be mandarin or something, please never speak to me again).  From my not-really-that-educated point of view, I would say the English equivalents of the programming world are PHP and Javascript.  So it comes to no surprise that people fucking hate PHP and Javascript.

A very insightful user on reddit commented that “there are literally hundreds of different paths you can take to learn programming, a plethora of languages to choose from, and it’s unclear if any are better than the others, and everyone has a different opinion“.  This is definitely the crux of the problem and you might think that a sensible soul such as this one would then recommend some programming languages that will put someone on a well-tested, established path to becoming a programmer.  Instead, they suggest learning Flask, Mongo and Django which, even I have no idea what the fuck that is (and I’m the one researching this topic).

I understand that programming is difficult and is on the cutting edge of scientific progression and all that good stuff.  It’s not easy.  There’s a reason why developers get paid bucket loads of cash and have offices with original Q-bert machines and get shiatsu massages on demand.  But if you were a developer, wouldn’t you want to work in a world where your non-programming coworkers didn’t ask you stupid questions with stupid demands phrased in a stupid manner?

Maybe I’m just making excuses for myself for not being better at programming (I probably am) but it would be nice to a united front of programming where regular people can get good, concrete answers on what they should learn and how they should go about it.

Why Startups Need To Think About User Experience

 

taxi

I was lucky enough to check out the DX3 digital marketing conference today and among the booths that were plugging the latest and greatest was the booth for the app, Hailo.  I’ve heard a lot about Hailo and the whole mobile transportation trend, which for me, is dominated by Uber.

Basically, Hailo is an app that allows you to hail a cab from one of their participating taxi drivers and it also allows you to pay for the ride using your credit card through the app.  Uber is similar, but instead of having taxis, they use town cars (think the blacked out sedans that the president rides on) or SUVs (Finally! We can fit more than 4 people in 1 car!) and it also allows you to pay via credit card using the app.

I asked the very nice person handing out coupons for Hailo rides to give me the pitch and I also told her how I’ve used Uber before.  The main selling point for her was that Hailo does not charge the premium that Uber charges, which is about 20% and the size of their fleet of cars was the 2nd largest in the city (vastly outnumbering Uber’s town cars and SUVs).

To me, Hailo’s thesis that people want a more convenient way to get a cab is fundamentally flawed.  For the most part, I’ve never had to call to get a taxi in my neighbourhood, or most of the areas that I go to.  Having the ability to make pay via credit card through the app is nice, but that’s not really the major pain point that people have.

The reason that Hailo will fail and Uber will win is because people fucking hate cabs.  I cannot personally recall a single time where I was pleasantly surprised by a cab.  I may have liked the driver, or it might have been cheaper than I expected to get from point A to point B, but for the most part the experience sucks.

Here are several reasons just off the top of my head:

  1. They don’t even try to hide the fact that they do not drive the fastest route.
  2. I have to ask if they take credit, which is a formality in the first place since all cabs are equipped with credit/debit machines (or an old school ticketing system which just scream “fraud”) and 50% of the time they get incredibly sketchy and say “Cash Only”.
  3. They do ghetto things such as ask for “flat rates” aka. off the clock prices which are usually above market price.
  4. Good luck if you live in the suburbs.

Whenever I use an Uber, things are vastly different.  The cars are unmarked and in immaculate condition.  The people that drive the cars seem to take pride in presentation of the vehicle.  Every single person who has taken an Uber with me is immediately infatuated with the service.  As a matter of fact, I have actually (drunkenly) taken an Uber to meet up with a lady instead of a cab because I wanted to appear more “baller” when I met her.

The major lesson from this is that that I think startups needs to take into consideration the product that they’re actually serving and not just adding features that help the distribution of the product.  In Seth Godin’s amazing Startup School podcast, he makes an amazing point, which to paraphrase, states that the price barrier for a product is 1 cent.  It’s either free or it’s not.  If it’s 1 dollar it might as well be 10 dollars and if it’s 10 dollars it might as well be 20.  As soon as the customer makes the choice to pay for the actual good, it really doesn’t matter how much money they give you.

I might be completely wrong with Hailo.  Maybe they put their participating cab drivers through rigorous testing and perform constant quality checks.  The problem is that I’ve already had a bunch of terrible experiences with cabs and they don’t seem like the best product to build a business on.

Hopefully that Hailo coupon I received at DX3 can pivot into a better product – in the recycling bin.

 

The hard truth about being a millennial

Photo from New York Times article "No Limits Job"The New York Times and Globe And Mail recently published articles on the difficulties of being a Millennial in today’s rough and tumble economy.  An economy that, for the lack of a better word, just fucks over anyone in their 20’s.  I definitely agree with the fact that we’re living in difficult economic times and that it’s not easy to start your professional career.  I once was an unpaid intern doing work for a company that I should have been paid for, a company who didn’t really appreciate me at all.   Even worse, after a few months I got hired and was given access to a world of moderate means and even more menial work. Yay me.

Strangely, I get pretty pissed when I read these articles that are supposed to reflect our generation because they portray our generation as if we were starving children in a third world country.  Our situation isn’t “bad” in the “we’re going to die from starvation bad”, but more of a “I thought I was going to get X but instead got Y bad”.  People thought that after paying tens of thousands (god forbid hundreds of thousands) of dollars, that they would be prepared for a work force that would invite them with open arms and at the very least, they would get paid enough that they wouldn’t have to live at home.  But they didn’t.

Both articles (if not all) will mention something about how these Millennials have worked so hard, done so much, volunteered their time and effort and are now baristas that live with 17 roommates in a house that is made out of mold and asbestos.  But here’s the real hard truth about our generation:

The work that we do is not worth money.

I mean seriously.  It’s really not.  In my first internship fresh out of school, I really didn’t know what I was doing.  I took one class in 4 years that taught me how to barely use Adobe InDesign.  I didn’t really write as much as I should have and I just used social media to pick up girls in my class.  Objectively, I was way more skilled than my bosses. However, I was also fucking terrible at what I did.  Even worse, nobody told me that the problem is that what I’m doing isn’t profitable, it’s just the “fluff” that people in real careers choose not to do.

In my old internship, one of my tasks was to “punch up” an extremely shitty Microsoft Word document that the company presented to potential clients to sell them on a certain product.  I spent hours converting a terrible Word template into something that was pretty and effectively conveyed the identity of the brand.  I remember complaining to my girlfriend at the time that I was being abused as an intern and how this was total bullshit.  Now I realize the truth: that document didn’t need to be improved at all.  It would have been nice to have it look all pretty and what not, but it was absolutely not vital in the selling process.  I doubt the sales people ever used it.  The point is that almost all of my tasks would not have meant a measurable change in the company’s profits.

The skill set that we picked up as a generation (basic computer skills, understanding of social media and the internet etc) aren’t real “skills”.  They just are.  In my opinion, saying that you have “strong social media skills” is like saying that you speak English or that you know how to breathe air.  I remember seeing the first episode of the show “Girls” and there was a part where Lena Dunham’s boss tells her character that the other girl that was interning got a job because she knows Photoshop.  My instinctive reaction was “who the fuck doesn’t know how to use Photoshop?”  It’s really not that hard.

That is not to say that the New York Times article about young people that intern for 60 hours a week and get paid pennies isn’t heart breaking, because it is.  No one should work that much, period.  The real sad part is that their work is the shitty menial labour of our generation.  Answering emails isn’t a marketable skill anymore, nor is responding to phone calls at all hours of the night.  Sadly, they’re just doing the left over junk that people higher up don’t want to do.  Similarly, I feel that social media is not a mission critical position in a company.  You can read mashable all you want, but no one stopped buying Big Mac’s just because McDonalds’ twitter account was hacked.

These conditions and expectations are magnified by the fact that young kids want to work in cool places, and cool places have an endless supply of people that want to work there for free, because it’s cool.  If you owned a cool business and people were offering to work for free, wouldn’t you take them up on it?

When I look around at the our generation, I only see 2 groups of people: those who are lucky to have the jobs they currently have and the under employed.  You either have game and are waiting for a Lebron like situation where you are developing the skills to blow up in your field and crush it, or some how you got lucky and have a career where you get paid decently and just maintain the status quo.  I honestly have not seen any other scenario.  If you’re in the latter category, congrats.  You are one of the few and you should enjoy it.  However, you better cling on to that job like it’s the last life jacket on the Titanic because your ticket will come up some day, and when it happens it will be ugly.

We live in a generation where people complain about the inability to find good paying jobs, but any quick search on O-Desk shows that any internship level tasks that are required can be accomplished for pennies on the dollar.  My friend and I found one such person living in the Philippines who knew C#, Objective C, Python and Ruby with 90% proficiency in English looking for work for $5.00 an hour.  Five-fucking-dollars an hour.  Needless to say, this is some scary fucking shit.

On the upside, if this person has all these skills and is looking for work, the real skill is learning enough that you can utilize and manage this person.  I truly believe that the problem with our generation is that most of us believe that just because we can use social media and a computer better than our bosses, we should have jobs.  That is definitely not the case.  The reason that anyone should really have a job is because your economic output is larger than their input, or in other words, we pay you money so you make more money.

For the last few months, I’ve been trying to focus a small amount of time in order to learn and improve “real skills” such as programming, networking and executing small projects in order to become a fucking monster in the workforce and to hopefully start my own company someday.  I would love to see people my age at the meetups and lectures that I attend, but I’m strangely the youngest person at these events by a long shot.

I truly believe those who have ambition and the will to improve themselves will win out in the end.  I just hope that my generation becomes less jaded about the opportunities in front of them and becomes more realistic about what it takes to earn a reasonable living in our day and age.