Thursday, March 01, 2007

Maybe I should get my head shaved...

What Sri Chimnoy, Seth Godin, Boo.com and Colin Hetherington have taught me about working on the interweb.

Apparently over at the new Boo.com "the countdown has started". The story interests me from the whole idea of taking time.

In Gruel on Dame Street the other day, Giovanni picked up a leaflet offering a Free Meditation Course. On a whim we decided to go, just to see what it was all about.

The meditation class was due to be held at the Irish Sri Chimnoy Centre on Wicklow Street. I hadn't heard of it, but we went and I'm glad I did.

There's a certain manic nature to the web, a rush to get things done, get results, get that short term offer. We don't have patience. We want the information there as quick as possible. And for those who work online, there's the same pressure to deliver.


So it was nice to step away from all this for a couple of hours and enjoy some quiet time. There were a lot more people than I expected and yet despite my hesitance to do things like this, I did and I enjoyed it.

During the class, one of the things that really stood out for me (and I'm getting to my point soon, I promise) was a photo of this Sri Chimnoy person himself at the centre of the room.

I couldn't find it online but in it the man is just staring into the distance with a wonderful warm - but knowing - smile on his face. He looks chilled. Like at the end of a web project when everything has worked out.

Sri Chimnoy is a contemporary meditation teacher, poet, composer and athlete. He leads the meditation centre at the United Nations HQ in New York. Very well respected internationally is possibly an understatement.

Taking the time out to try this meditation technique I had a couple of things running through my mind. Foremost was how nice it was to take a couple of minutes out and focus. That's what the meditation was for me - a focussing.

In that line, I've been thinking about the nature of web projects and getting things done online.

I read Seth Godin's blog religiously every morning. I've read all the books available in Ireland, and the constant theme running through Seth's posts is about distinguishing yourself by doing things right.

This morning he posted about how "showing up on time with a smile on your face being the most important part of business". Dead right, but things like that take preparation, planning and all that stuff. It's the whole swan over and under the water thing.

In everything I do online, I make the effort to do it right, because maybe I'll become a Purple Cow. Better I suppose than being this guy.


I was lucky enough to work with Colin Hetherington, now managing director of Agency.com Dublin for a couple of years from 2003.

Colin hated mistakes. Even more of a perfectionist than I was he taught me how to get the job done and get it right. Not take ages doing it but to keep an eye out for what could go wrong and avoid it. Something I still do (thanks Colin!)

And then there's this book. As I've already posted I'm reading about the collapse of Boo.com, and now that it's coming back it's even more relevant.

Reading it all I want to do is advise Ernst Malmsten to slow down, take it easy and look at what they're doing.

Of course it's easier knowing the end to advise at this stage but still, I've seen some great examples of rushing things and not taking enough care.

I think this photo is possibly the best example in the offline world. It's called Not my job, but it could as easily be Not taking the time to do it right.

With the pressures of modern business, targets, budgets and closing dates there's a lot more of a need to get it live and done rather than getting it right.

Personally I'd prefer to use a site that was right than just done. I don't know if Sri Chimnoy uses the internet but I'd imagine he'd advise taking time to reach perfection. He says satisfaction is perfection. I like that idea.

And he's gone for that less hair look. As have Colin and Seth. With the summer coming in I'm thinking of it...

1 comment:

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