Not because they are easy, but because they are hard

5 05 2016

Every once in awhile, you come across something so inspirational it sends shivers up your spine.

While watching The Martian the other night with Mr 12, they included a snippet from John F Kennedy’s Rice Speech, which JFK delivered when I was two years old.  I’d seen the quote before, but I’d never seen the entire speech. It’s worth the 17 minutes to watch, not only for the inspirational content, but for the inspired way in which the speech was constructed.

This notion is at the heart of every startup, and indeed of most worthwhile human endeavors.

“We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”

“But if I were to say, my fellow citizens, that we shall send to the moon, 240,000 miles away from the control station in Houston, a giant rocket more than 300 feet tall, the length of this football field, made of new metal alloys, some of which have not yet been invented, capable of standing heat and stresses several times more than have ever been experienced, fitted together with a precision better than the finest watch, carrying all the equipment needed for propulsion, guidance, control, communications, food and survival, on an untried mission, to an unknown celestial body, and then return it safely to earth, re-entering the atmosphere at speeds of over 25,000 miles per hour, causing heat about half that of the temperature of the sun — almost as hot as it is here today — and do all this, and do it right, and do it first before this decade is out–then we must be bold.”

Which begs the question: what happened to America in the last 54 years? Perhaps that’s the subject of a future blog post.

The essence of creativity

16 02 2016

Creativity is the spark that occurs when you combine seemingly unrelated things, shove an uncooperative idea into an unexpected context, or look at something familiar in a radically unfamiliar light. That spark of creativity is fun and essential, but much more difficult and rewarding is turning that spark into a steady flame or bushfire of enterprise through experimentation, empathy with your audience, and dogged determination. This is the task most start-up founders face

See more quotes on Idealog.


17 03 2011

“Hollywood is a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.” – Marilyn Monroe

The path of least resistance

2 01 2011

Overheard: “The path of least resistance is only paved for the first 200 yards.”

@tferriss (via @davetenhave)

Civilisation on the edge

2 01 2011

Civilisation may be two meals away from barbarism, but it’s only one coffee way from whining.

@thomasbeagle (via @ThisCJ and @saniac)

Everything you do today

6 10 2010

Everything you do today is an investment – or divestment – in the future.  The same is true of the things you don’t do. -DM

Trying to make yourself stupider

8 04 2010

“Now the trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed.”
– CS Lewis, The Magician’s Nephew

Making money without adding value

11 12 2009

Making money without adding value is like sex without love. [Dave Moskovitz]