The Kazushi

The Candid Imbalance of Dan Walsh

Intrinsic Virality

Messages can be constructed to spread like a virus, or to help other things spread like a virus. Products and services for example. But some products and services spread rapidly without such craftiness. They seemingly dominate the planet overnight without any viral messaging intervention. How is this possible? What sets these products apart? Products that naturally lend themselves to referrals and word of mouth spread have intrinsic virality. There are four common attributes of a product with intrinsic virality. Read the rest of this entry »

IcoBlock – Revolutionary Geometric Building Toy

 

Icosahedron

The icosahedron is a fantastic shape and one of the most common platonic solids. It has 20 sides and 12 points… I know, geometry… BORING! Bear with me. The icosahedron occurs naturally all over the place. From the distribution of of dandelion seeds, to natural crystalline formations all the way down to the shape of the “head” of viruses. Read the rest of this entry »

The Future Science of Marketing and Mankind

Every science begins with the observation of striking events like thunderstorms or fevers, and soon establishes rough connections between them and other events, such as hot weather or infection. The next stage is a stage of exact observation and measurement, and it is often very difficult to know what we should measure in order best to explain the events we are investigating. In the case of both thunderstorms and fever the clue came from measuring the lengths of mercury columns in glass tubes, but what prophet could have predicted this? Then comes a stage of innumerable graphs and tables of figures, the despair of the student, the laughing-stock of the man in the street. And out of this intellectual mess there suddenly crystallizes a new and easily grasped idea, the idea of a cyclone or an electron, a bacillus or an antitoxin, and everybody wonders why it had not been thought of before.

- J.B.S. Haldane, “The Future of Biology”

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All Problems Are The Same Problem

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Humans have this wacky trait that makes it hard for us to take our experience from one context and apply it to another context. I don’t know what it’s called, but it exists. Generalization requires a layer of abstraction. It’s only by removing the details that the general form can be observed. Lose the trees so you can see the forest, so to speak.

Earlier this year I wondered, “If generalizing one layer up can help solve similar problems, could generalizing two layers up solve all problems?” I think it can. Or, at least it provides a framework – a starting point – which I’ve often observed to be the most daunting part of a new challenge. I’ve kept this framework close to my chest for the better part of a year as I ran it through it’s paces. It holds up, at least for me. I’m confident that all problems are the same problem, and they can be solved using the following formula.

You + X = Goal

Looks too simple? Let’s break it down.

You

You is constant. You have a problem. You feel a challenge. You want something. No matter what the problem is, you are a major part of it. You cannot escape it. If you could, then you wouldn’t have a problem.

Goal

Goal is the reason you have a problem in the first place. You’re trying to attain something, or solve something. Whatever it is, you’re not there yet. If you were, again, you wouldn’t have a problem.

X

No matter what your goal is, you are missing the thing that would make it possible. That’s X. It is always a lack of something that gets in the way of resolving a problem. Lack of money. Lack of confidence. Lack of knowledge.

Something. Is. Missing.

Solve for X.

Always solve for X.

 

My Absence

I’ve been gone for awhile. I know.

I’m a firm believer that if you don’t have anything useful to say then you shouldn’t say anything at all.

I felt like I had run out of anything useful to write about. I needed a break. There’s enough noise on the internet, I didn’t want to add to it.

But the hopper is full again, and hopefully with interesting topics. :)

So bring on the posts!

Future Animals

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Humans often think, “wouldn’t it be cool if we could travel through time?”

But in essence we already can! We can remember the past and envision the future. Most animals can learn, so they get a bit of time travel backwards, but humans are the best animals on the planet when it comes to the future. We can think about it, imagine it, write books about it, and even make movies about it. No other animal on this planet is as good at the future as humans. Which sucks, because we’re also complete trash at it. Read the rest of this entry »

Willpower is Bullshit

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There. I said it. And I’ll say it again: Willpower is bullshit.

It was probably a good concept at some point, but it’s become so corrupt that it’s now complete and utter crap. It’s simultaneously an excuse and some ever-elusive mystical force. Yet somehow we’ve come to rely on it as a means for getting what we want in life.

“I don’t have the willpower to say NO when someone brings cookies into the office.”

Excuse.

“Wow. How do you have so much willpower?”

Mystical force.

It’s gotten so bad we’ve even done clinical trials about willpower so we can figure out what causes it to lapse, thereby creating an excuse about an excuse. At some point it even became a muscle that gets tired… Essentially you could overwork your willpower to the point that you didn’t have any left, which made for the most elegant of all excuses.

“I used up all my willpower resisting those donuts this morning, so now I have no choice but to binge eat oreos.”

Essentially, I was a saint so now I’m predetermined to be a sinner. Science even said it was true!

And then you get articles like this that perpetuate the myth by stating “willpower is like a muscle capable of fatigue” like it’s fact. All of a sudden we’re in pop-psychology realm with Malcolm Gladwell for company. The soundbites completely obscure what’s really going on because they provide a convenient way to feel better about ourselves without doing anything to actually better ourselves.

Well I’m calling BULLSHIT.

Read the rest of this entry »

Forgiveness, Blame, and Guilt

Sometime ago a woman in a Mercedes slammed on her brakes and I crashed into her car while riding my bike to work. I wasn’t hurt, and she was apologetic, but my mind has been steadily trying to dissect the nature of guilt, blame, and forgiveness ever since.

Was she at fault?

Am I to blame?

Did we both do something wrong?

One morning, my subconscious decided to finally give me the answer in the following sermon. I’ve tried to clean it up a bit, but after about two weeks of attempting to flush it out into a well-honed essay, the original messy paragraph is still the best. Read the rest of this entry »

The Shoebox Protocol

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Results From a 30 Day Mental Cleanse.

My 30-day shoebox experiment ended on December 10th. This post has been in limbo since that day. The unexpected luxury of this delay is that I’ve had almost 4 weeks to contemplate my little experiment and the ripples it created in my head. In short, throwing all the ideas that suck up my cognitive bandwidth into a shoebox and forgetting about them for a month was a liberating experience.

I expected to tear open that box after 30 days and dump out all my long lost treasures. But by the end, I didn’t really care what was in there. Even now, over a month later, I still haven’t riffled through it. The physical act of writing down and boxing up these projects and ideas helped take them off my mind. And now that my mental and emotional ties have been severed, I feel liberated from the obligations placed on me by my former self.

Here’s how it all went down and the specific lessons I learned.

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The Bullet Factor

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Reduce drag, go further.

If a bullet and an umbrella were both shot from a gun, one of them would go a hell of a lot farther. Why is this?

A bullet has almost zero drag compared to an umbrella. My big project has been closer to an umbrella than a bullet. I haven’t wanted to limit my options – my potential opportunities – but I’ve created a lot of drag by trying to be everything to everyone.

I needed to become a bullet.

Read the rest of this entry »