What Makes Your Job So Special?

the-girls

Out of the blue my oldest asked me a very simple question as we were finishing up dinner last night:

Appa, what makes your job so special?

I told her that that was a really easy question to answer and I gave her these three reasons (she was specifically talking about The Iron Yard):

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When It Hurts

We are creatures that instictively move in the opposite direction of anything that would cause us pain (or seek to cause us pain). It doesn’t matter if it’s emotional, physical, or psychological – we’ll do just about anything to avoid it.

Pain is inevitable. It’s unavoidable. We are predisposed to it. We are destined to experience it. We must walk through it. We must encounter it. And we will, God-willing, survive.

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Numerical Leadership

I spent some time this morning with a startup founder and he’s in a bit of a pickle, crisis mode, really if we’re honest.

It’s a place that I’ve found myself quite a few times in the past where I’m having to make very difficult decisions about the fate of the business and venture, decisions like who to let go, and where to focus time and attention for the next 30 days, and do we go on a capital raise, and do we need to stop development and such.

Big decisions requiring a lot of risk with a ton of unknown outcomes. To top it all off it’s his first venture, his first real company, and he’s made some mistakes and will make a bunch more before it’s all said and done with.

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The Cost of Low Hanging Fruit

There can be a significant cost associated with executing on “low hanging fruit.” In previous companies I came to the realization that trying to convince my team to always execute against them was not only unproductive but distracting.

You see, not all low hanging fruit can be helpful and yet many times we personally try to knock out these things first and what may happen all too often is that we completely ignore the larger goals.

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Craftsmen

I like to think that dedicated and passionate software engineers are craftsmen – consummate professionals who’s work is of the highest quality both in form and function.

Essentially, we love what we do because we really, really care about the entire experience of preparing, planning, building, touching, interfacing, and the art of learning our creative craft.

I’m not entirely sure if we get to chose the craft or if the craft choses us – it’s all the same really. We hone our skills because we pursue the lost art of refined excellence – it is our trade, our livelihood, and our passion.

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The Reason I Like HP

bill-hewlett-dave-packard

I’m a big Apple fan and clearly I enjoy it enough to invest a serious amount of time and effort building products (here and here) for their growing ecosystem. I have spent many years converting my entire family (and extended family) to their product line because I just believe they are superior in every way.

But there’s a number of other computer and technology companies that are close to my heart and HP is one of them, especially because they are distinctly different than other high tech companies.

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