5 for Friday

It is the first Friday of SEPTEMBER.  September!  Can you believe how fast time has flown this year?  At least it has for me.  I had lunch yesterday with a friend and she pointed out to me (rather poetically) that as we age time concertinas.  Like an accordian, time compresses and passes faster as we get older.  I have often thought that.  But I don’t want to think that my shock that it is September already is because I am OLD.  Rather, I like to think that it is because this year has been full of so many emotions, ups and downs, so many experiences that have made time feel like it has flown by…

I thought to celebrate the first Friday in September I’d do another 5 for Friday.  Five things that have recently caught my attention.  Hope you enjoy them!

1. Timehop

I have recently started using the Timehop app and I absolutely love it.  Talk about a window into the passage of time!

The premise of the app is that it plugs into our online postings, and everyday produces a summary of “this day years ago” – with all of the status updates we made, photos we posted, retweets we shared.  Basically, a summary of what was on our mind that we chose to share online.  It is a window into how much we share online (hello – I am such an oversharer), as well as a reminder about things that made us smile (or not, in the case of a recent day when my status updates were about the workmen on my street at 2 in the morning who woke me up). 

Can I say it again? I love this app.

How could you not love an app whose mascot is a dinosaur named Abe?!

2. Marissa Mayer

Speaking of technology, how about all of the hoo-ha associated with the new Yahoo logo?  Personally, I applaud them.  Change is good, clean lines are good.  And I am not surprised that they have gone down this path at all, especially after reading this article.

Prompted by a retweet from Steve Case, I clicked onto the Business Insider article by Nicholas Carlson – The Unauthorized Biography of Marissa Mayer.  I found the article completely fascinating and utterly engrossing. 

It is not often that women get a chance to read about successful women in business, and when we do the articles are often full of either glorification of physical attributes, or demonisation of personal characteristics.  In his piece, Carlson does his best to reconstruct the person and motivations of Marissa Mayer.  I loved reading about her commitment to detail, her pursuit of excellence, and how she has been able to reach the pinnacle of leadership in such a male dominated industry.

Even if you couldn’t give a toss about women in leadership, the article about Mayer is a great read from the perspective of what it takes to get to the top in business and technology.  And an insight into how even one pixel matters to the people running the world’s most ubiqitous tech companies.

3. On Smart Girls

In a similar vein, I stumbled across this article about “The Trouble With Bright Girls” in my Facebook feed.  It is an older piece, from 2011, but still interesting.

What resonated with me about the article was the following: it is our mistaken beliefs about our own abilities that are our worst enemies.  I see this in so many aspects of my own life.  From being told I would never be able to run (sure it is hard, but I am out there running today, and learning how to run after being discouraged for more than 30 years!) to being told I had fundamentally flawed logic and would never succeed in mathematics (yes, I did eventually earn my BSc in Mathematics) – I do believe that ability is able to be changed, that we can influence our own development, that sure there is an element of “born this way” but equally we can “shape our success”.

4. Death of an Intern

And speaking of success, the Independent ran a piece which really challenged the notion of success at any cost.  Prompted by the death in August of a summer intern at Merrill Lynch. Polly Courtney writes about her experiences as an intern and junior investment banker and uses the tragedy of Moritz Erhardt’s death to challenge the value we all place on money and jobs.

Although I can’t fully relate to the summer intern experiences written about – my own internships were far more fun, from internships at Capitol Hill attending lobbyist ice cream parties, to a summer in Chicago when I fell in love with the industry I currently work in – I do see her point main point.  And I agree.  At the end of the day, as fulfilling as work can be, if we give our life to it, we ultimately lose. 

5. Kickstarter

One of the things my job does give me is disposable income.  And I believe that a portion of my income should go to support others – either through charity donations, or more recently through contributions to Kickstarter.

I mentioned Kickstarter to someone the other day, and was surprised they had not heard of it.  Basically, it is crowd sources funding of projects and ideas.  Kind of like venture capital, except that projects do not give away equity to their financers, they give away things in exchange for funds.

I’ve funded a few things on Kickstarter – pretty much all of them have related to food!  But this week I backed an art project, because it spoke to me.  Chelsea and Elayna are alumni of the same programme that I went to Japan with – the JET Programme – and are planning to visit the 88 temple Shikoku pilgrimage and to make a hand bound illustrated book of their adventure – from the perspective of a cat on the back of a bicycle

When I lived in Japan I went to about 16 of the 88 temples, and going back is one of my dreams.  I am so excited to contribute to their project, to vicariously live my own dream and at the same time helping to produce (and receive) a piece of art.

If you haven’t visited Kickstarter yet, do.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *