Jay Shirley

Striving to be a man of gallantry and taste

My Best Is Not Good Enough

I want to do more. I want to be better. In reaction to this, I’ve devised a series of monthly challenges. Each has the following characteristics:

  1. I must work to success. 75% probability to succeed.
  2. It must be something I’ve never done before.
  3. I must be able to measure success.

November, 2013: Write something resembling an eBook

For a while now I’ve been kicking around this idea of a book. I’d like to write one, but I also don’t have the time really to do it now. At least not to do it properly. Instead of proper, I’m just going to set out a writing goal to work on a writing project significantly larger than random 500 word disconnected articles I publish here. I want to have better appreciation for writing a cohesive, longer work and simply continue to improve my writing ability. Oh, and also editing and proof-reading. I think I am pretty week there.

Minimum Success: 15,000 words written on a single topic.

Outcome: TBD

October, 2013: Have one interesting conversation a week

Each week I must reach out and schedule a conversation with some intersting person. They don’t have to be in technology, doesn’t have to be in person. I just want to find more interesting people and practice reaching out and making contact. I’m terrible at being social, and it’s very hard for me to simply invite someone to have a chat.

Minimum Success: Get at least 4 responses, even if the conversations can’t happen immediately.

Hope: First, meet more awesome folks. Second, get more comfortable just talking with people and introducing myself.

Outcome: Success

September, 2013: Post 4 videos to YouTube

After creating the video for Premortems, I thought it would be a good exercise to create more. Since I’m an avid reader I wanted to combine the two, write up scripts based on the real world impact the books I read have had on my life.

Minimum success: Post 4 videos online.

Hope: Learn more about video editing and feel more comfortable in front of a camera, as well as developing spoken outlines.

Outcome: Miserable failure. Wow.

August, 2013: Post every day for a month

A marathon to get me over the struggles I have with publishing. I write nearly every day without fail. I enjoy to write. Nay, I love to write. I just don’t like to publish. After 31 days in a row of publishing if I don’t love it, I’ll at least be able to put up with it.

Minimum Success: Publishing every day without a gap, by 6pm each day. Publicize what I wrote. Post on G+, Facebook and Twitter for each post.

Hope: See a measured increase in traffic, more importantly be involved in at least 3 conversations about something I wrote.

Outcome: Success! This was really rewarding in many ways.

July, 2013: Plan, Build and Launch an app in 3 days

Holiday weekends are often times wasted away simply enjoying life. No more! I wanted to see if I could build and develop an entire application with real, delivered value in a holiday weekend. I even blogged about it.

Minimum Success: Create, launch and share the site with revenue numbers and a marketing plan.

Hope: Generate some non-trivial revenue out of it and attract some attention.

Outcome: Launched successfully, however didn’t get much traction. The landing page wasn’t informative, growth has been glacial. The app works very well and I personally use it, so I’ll keep it around.