I was reminded by a conversation with a friend, to stay focused on the notion: that the business is not worth saving, if it is not scalable. OK. That's about right. I don't remind myself about this often enough, so I worry about keeping it alive to mediocre ends. (Small businesses [and cafes] are like assholes - everybody's got one. And as far as risks go, one might as well try and 10x the competition, or just not bother...)
Talking points for (the 6th) new accounting team:
- we have three departments
- silo1, silo2, and corp
- corp is disgusting (it's no individual's fault but my own, but it underperforms the other departments which at least get the job done, despite high costs)
- the current opportunity is to make corp less disgusting
- this is the final hurdle to setting up the company, so money will be thrown at the problem until it is fixed; and the organisation will bleed until it is fixed, possibly unto death
- individuals at the table can only choose for themselves if this is an opportunity they would like to exploit, unless they have already been contracted in which case commitments have already been made
- go ye therefore and make corp less disgusting
- I have a few models, proposals, and directions that you may or may not find helpful
- if I have to do it myself, then I really will shut down the operation, as this will not be scalable
- at ease; keep pace; and be aware that the company is being bet on this
- that's all I can think of at 6am...
Random noises interrupt sleep. Time for chores.
While I wait out the delicate seasons... where I shall try to move the minimum number of muscles while waiting for specific organisational developments to reach fruition... I remind myself that this has always been what I expected any business venture to be: a slow process of moving slivers of humanity into arbitrary forms for the optimisation of a monetary abstraction. In that light, it seems comforting that with commercial participation given its low priority in my life... I have done the right thing, by postponing it for this long... and by pursuing all higher priorities before going into such business with society. The studies of science, technology, art, history, mathematics, metaphysics, and culture have all preceded this languid mundanity. So life has been well played so far. We now simply wait to see if boredom can transmute into commercial viability...
Next meeting: 2am
Time to paint - because it doesn't appear to be related to work, so it serves as a good recreational activity.
Quit quit. Hire hire. Fire fire. Are we dead yet? Whoop dee doo...
Department on fire: Day 5
I'm surprised that the shop is still standing.
X: You probably don't want to sit on that chair - it's broken.
Y: (Wobbles on chair.) It feels ok...
X: That's what she said?
A bit of kitchen cleaning after accounts tuition.
Talent management is getting a bit tricky. I need to study the APA's DSM if I am to communicate in Standard Theory about mental states. Of course, I have a highly informatical model of these, but it's not standard theory - I just model how people think in terms of their memories, in a very structured fashion.
DSM is, you know, like that. Much sophistry. Many arbitrary concepts. So pop. Anyway... it's starting to feel like Street Fighter. What shall we endure tomorrow? NPD vs BPD... round 1, fight!
I was thinking about this recently. I've done plenty of study on proprioception / interoception / exteroception in the past. Recently I was reminded that it is possible to rely on a short circuit wholly within the CNS in order to obtain kinesthetic (and other) experience. It's basically what happens in dreams, day dreams, and studied imaginations anyway... within the haptic modality.
Tactical: Perhaps I need to eat more protein and simple sugars before sleeping. Recent adjustments positive. Looking at slow business for a whole week. Let me do my best to catch up on housekeeping, the cleaning of our spaces and documentation.
Must focus on team6, and move rubbish out of their way. Always distractions remain. Usually human. Away with the ones, who don't enjoy their work... too many unhappy people, muchly lacking in focus.
We don't work to look good. We don't work to feel good. We work to add value to a market; the end; we are the market... the superset of all desires.
Looking and feeling good are properties of personal lives, which are a bonus to a workplace if its workers cultivate these traits internally. If these traits must be cultivated for a worker, such a worker cannot be effective in a commercial setting. Such a worker remains a seed, and in the short term a seed is as good as a stone.
Scooping the pooper at work, right after a Valrhona cone from Inside Scoop. And all I wanted was to see the cute girl who works there. What a strange day.
Night out with staff. Three people are present. Two have Tinder profiles. No one is swiping their own profile.
X: Is this one OK? What about this one.
Me: I like that one over there cleaning the tables. She has good posture.
Waitress: Can I clear these glasses?
Me: Sure. I think you're really beautiful.
Waitress: Oh my god. That's the most random thing to say.
Me: We're discussing Tinder profiles.
Y: And he has no filter between his mouth and brain.
Me: Of course I do. I mostly avoid talking about customers at our office.
I first tried drawing women when I was 12 - I was pretty bad, being more adept at measured architectural sketches. I have spent maybe under 30 hours of my life doing this, due to low priority. It's fascinating that a time has come when I have the headspace to read up on this... and that it comes during a fortnight in the trenches of talent management, as I supervise the handover of a key departmental transition, for a flailing coffeeshop business. This was rather unexpected.
Incomplete summaries of recent conversations:
X: Someone is doing something wrong.
Me: By all means tell them, not me.
X: Well they don't do what they are told to.
Me: Then you must work closely with them - it is a matter of handholding. It will take hours per week.
X: I expect an immediate change in their behaviour.
Me: Now you have presented a problem without a solution - that is not a good development. If you keep doing this, you will be asked to leave.
X: This is not how things should be.
Me: On the contrary, I expect incompetence from all parties. It has never seemed possible to engage in business without some tolerence for incompetence. Whether it for conscious reasons or unconscious, due to selfishness or stupidity, is besides the point. A role can be clearly defined, but is may be the case that no actor can play the role sufficiently - the rest, is work. If you want a staff to smile more, at the end of the day, you have to think of their face as a lump of plasticine whose shape you want to change - there are many ways to change it, you can use carrots or sticks, you can tell them about the process or you can activate the process without their knowledge, experience will show you the way. That is science...
X: This boss doesn't get angry if you tell him he's wrong. He doesn't have emotions.
Me: Yes, I do - they're just well managed.
X: No you don't.
Me: It takes years. For example if you can figure out how to be happy without money, then you won't be too emotional about losing money. Then you can do business simply, and nonchalently, with clearer prioritisation.
Y: We don't need to be too successful, but we do need to be viable.
Me: As some say, the purpose of a startup is to test the viability of a business model. As we are not yet dead, it seems we are still doing that.
Z: What else can we do?
Me: The strategic options have always been pretty clear... the implementation thereof is tactical. The point of strategic planning is to avoid tactical uncertainty, but switching strategies mid-course comes with certain costs.
A: And why did you bother starting in this industry?
Me: I think it is a boring, and predictable industry. We may be a high risk stock, but the industry is a low risk industry. If we succeed, it is predictable in fashion; if we fail, it is predictable in fashion. We are not expecting to invent new technology... yet.
Department on fire: day 6
Looks like we may have a possible handover by the 10th day. Probably shouldn't bet on it.
One of these days, perhaps, I'll get around to running a commercial kitchen.
Though hundreds of years, the icon of an geek sitting with manuscripts has tortured our sensibilities with gross introspection. Now the notebooks have been replaced with screens, the Moleskins (rubbish) have been replaced with Macs (more rubbish), so... what a revolution.
"Do you care about nothing?"
"I care about everything. It takes some study to care less about anything."
Me: "I guess we're just waiting for reporting, then handover, then we can start moving a little faster again. How about you take a look at the Cash Flow Projection model, and head-off the handover meeting?"
Me: "[Blah blah.] So it works like this, it's really simple."
[Some Q&A ensures.]
Me: "OK, you come here. Instead of me and X discussing this, X, you need to meet with Y, Z, etc. model alternative futures, form questions, and then get back to me, so that when I answer questions the answers go to more than one of you at once. You make comment threads on each question, and learn the model inside-out. I don't need to be in the initial meetings because I already know how this model works."
X: "Wait, you mean you already know how to get us out of this mess?"
Me: "Yup. That's why I'm delegating it to you guys. It's really not worthwhile if I have to be the company - I'm here to build the company, not be the company. Oh look, Y's giving me that face again. Don't worry - you can do it. This is really easy..."
"Studies show that investment groups that have more female managers perform better than those without them." - even Yunus knows
I have concluded that the only content I find worth sharing on Snapchat is aural. For visuals go on IG and text on FB.