As some of you may have read, I got my iphone 5 wet this weekend (no, the rice didn’t revive it). Why? I was rushing and forgot it was in my pocket before I jumped in the pool. The next day, I spilled something on the floor on my way out and rushed to vacuum it up before I left. I thought I hit the “on” switch on the vacuum, but instead, I hit the button that drops the handle of the vacuum for more flexibility. That handle hit me right where, as a dude, you don’t ever want to be hit…
While I may be the only one unfortunate enough to get hit in the ____s by a vacuum, I know I’m not alone when it comes to rushing through things…rushing through life. Think about how often we rush through things in our daily lives…both personal and professional stuff. And it’s not just that rushing usually leads to careless output, but it also leads to us not appreciating the moment or the journey we are all on.
Recently I was golfing with some friends and there was a group behind us as I teed off. Even though they didn’t say anything, I felt the need to “hurry up” and rushed my set up and swing and, you guessed it, into the water. Not only did I hit a bad shot, but I was so annoyed with myself, I didn’t even take the time to enjoy the beautiful mountain views and sunny sky that was all around…or even the good fortune of being able to play with 3 guys I’ve known since childhood.
Working at a fast paced start up like I do, we are all too often feeling rushed. Rushed to get a proposal out, rushed to release a new product to stay ahead of the competition, rushed to react to a new opportunity or one of the many meetings we take each week. Luckily for us, we have a talented team top to bottom and many times when rushed, we are still able to put out great results. However, there are other times when the opposite happens and we look careless and uncommitted. Many will say that’s just life in a start up. “We’re driving the car while we’re building it” is something I picked up and often say myself. But even I can be honest enough to admit that while some of the things rushed aren’t avoidable, many are. Additionally, one of the great benefits of a start up is not just the “exit” (especially since most don’t have a good one), but rather, the journey, the relationship building, the struggles, etc. If we’re moving too fast, we’ll miss it and won’t realize it until it’s over.
Now that doesn’t mean to over-analyze everything either. Don’t take 10 minutes to set up before hitting your golf shot. Don’t feel as if the product has to be absolutely perfect before you release it into the wild. Just take a minute. Take a breath. Take a step back. Your mind, your body, your work, your golf swing and…your privates will thank you.
I’m spending the weekend at the place my wife and I got married…5 years ago today. We have been having a great day sitting by the pool, reminiscing and just enjoying the time together. It’s sunny and warm so I got up and felt the urge to jump in the pool like most people do when they are hot and sitting on a lounge chair staring at a sparkling pool. As I leaped into the water I “knew it”. My damn phone’s in my pocket!
I don’t think I have ever gotten out of the water faster. I wiped it off, got rice from the hotel and my phone is now sitting in an air tight bag of rice as I stand watch hoping for its recovery.
Obviously, there is a big part of me that is annoyed. Annoyed that I was such an idiot and forgot I had my phone in my pocket. Annoyed that this device I use as a phone (we don’t have a home phone), email, web, EVERYTHING, is out of commission, and may be forever. Annoyed that if there is a red indicator Apple’s warranty won’t cover it and I might have to fork over $600+ to replace it. But what really annoyed me the most- how dependent I am on this one device.
Don’t get me wrong, smartphones have revolutionized my life, increased my efficiency in both my personal and professional life and allowed me to take photos and videos I will cherish. And Apple, they make a great one! However, I also believe these devices have made me more A.D.D., make me work more and relax less and make it okay to “always be on.”
So, since it’s my anniversary to the love of my life. Since the thing is resting in a bed of rice and can’t be used now anyway, I’m going to try and enjoy/re-imagine a more peaceful, intimate evening with my wife. I’m going to put the world, the tweets and status updates behind me and I’m going to just breathe.
Of course, if I wake up in the morning and it still isn’t working I’m going to be f*ckin pissed! :)
“… Being able to put yourself in the other person’s shoes, that’s one thing you’ll hear a lot from us, in using many different words, but we had to balance the interests of content owners, advertisers, and users, and no one would be totally happy, but they all would be better off if we could manage to sort of wind that careful path.” -Andy Forssell, new CEO of Hulu
Thanks to my bro for coming by #zefr today to drop some knowledge and advice about his amazing career as a TV/film producer
Loved Justin Timberlake & Jimmy Fallon - History of Rap Part 1 - YouTube (via Boxee)
Though not an easy decision to make, today marks my last day at Ustream. It’s been an incredible 19 months filled with tons of highs, strong learnings and extreme fun. I, and the entire team, have a lot to be proud of as our efforts were felt (and watched) far and wide. Some of the most memorable live events I was involved with include:
- Charlie Sheen and his #winning ways
- The most famous Bald Eagles in the world (who have returned to the nest once again & are on their way to 300M views)
- The Chilean Miner rescue via CBS News
- The Japan Earthquake & Tsunami (and the resource Ustream became for the thousands in Japan without access to TV during it all )
- Multiple video game tourneys from the likes of Machinima and EVO
- Royal Wedding Coverage from everyone from PBS and ET to Kevin Smith.
- Occupy Wall Street
- Recently signed Viacom deal that will bring exciting live events from MTV, VH-1, Spike & Comedy Central.
- 30 Seconds to Mars live pay experience (5 hours spent watching per viewer!)
- 1st official live broadcast on @Twitter with @DJTiesto
While I have confidence the company will do what’s necessary to take Ustream to the next level from a product and business point of view, I felt it was time to take on a new challenge. I look forward to staying involved and being a resource to the Ustream family when needed. Keep an eye out as I have no doubt there will be a lot of exciting things yet to come from Ustream as it’s comprised of a solid group of hard working individuals filled with determination and a passion for live.
My next challenge is called Movieclips, yet the opportunity is so much more than that. Since overseeing MySpace Video and catering to our (at one time) 45M video viewers in the US alone, and from my time at Ustream (and their 50M global uniques a month), a couple of things have become clear:
1) The best chance to create a business model around video is to combine premium content (aka content advertisers are comfortable associating themselves with based on its quality, packaging or both) with scale. Once you have both, if you can take that scale and break it up into targeted audience/data buckets that advertisers and others can access…you can make the case to brands why their dollars need to be weighted towards web/mobile vs traditional TV. Then the fun really begins!
2) Video has become so much more than just…video. It’s not just a bunch of moving images with sound but rather, a form of self expression, a badge, a way for us to communicate with each other, a way to deliver news and, other than photos, one of the most popular things to share with our various social graphs.
Movieclips represents the opportunity to combine #1 and #2. They have the chance to showcase what happens when premium content, technology, scale, social, video and people’s passion for entertainment and media collide. They have set out to provide quality and scale around short form “moments” that we all identify with, share with our friends and watch everyday. As the company looks to build on the success of its multiple major movie studio partnerships, and recent YouTube deal, I’m fortunate enough to get the opportunity to lead the business side of things and help them take the company to the next level. It’s certain to be another wild ride!
Oh, and did I mention that I can bodyboard during lunch or bike ride at sunset as it’s two blocks from the beach..need I say more?
In honor of my time @Ustream enjoy the following images (that clearly prove my involvement in much of the company’s success) courtesy of none other than Ustream CEO Brad Hunstable himself
And, in honor of my new start @Movieclips, enjoy the following video: (CLICK HERE)
Follow me @jkirk22
Loved Guy travels the world and shoots one second of footage in each location. - YouTube (via Boxee)