Saturday Musings - Virtual Reality Has Come of Age

Saturday Musings - Virtual Reality Has Come of Age

I’d finally done it! I’d made it through a tumultuous week to Friday. I’m not really sure why Friday’s are so special, but for me, around 6pm yesterday was one of the happiest times of the week.

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So why was Friday so special? It just so happens that earlier in the week I’d finally received my Oculus Touch Virtual Reality (VR) controllers to go with my headset. It’s been a busy time of year and all week I’ve been staring at them in their box while I coded away…..sigh…..

Yesterday, I ceremoniously removed them from their awesome packaging (it really was) set them up and took them for a spin. For those of you that are wondering, each of the VR controllers are like a sawn off X-box controller that you hold in each hand.

When I donned my headset the first thing that I noticed were my hands. They were floating in the air in front of me! When I moved my arm then my virtual hands followed. I could reach out and grab things, throw them or bring them closer to inspect them in more detail. It was like a dream come true…..I had hands!

The controllers came with a couple of games and I pointed to one of them (yes, you can point with your VR hands) to fire it up. The next thing I knew I was being taken through a tutorial on how to have combat by flinging magical fireballs at an opponent. All the time I was doing the action with my real hands and watched as my VR hands enveloped in flames before the ball of flame shot through the air.

Bringing my left arm up and squeezing my fist spawned a glowing shield that I could manoeuvre to block my opponents attacking spells. It wasn’t long before I was teleporting across platforms, shooting fireballs and dodging attacks…..simply incredible. All from the safety of my study.....thank goodness!

I finally exited the game and pointed to the Sports game. Basketball involved throwing the ball to your team mates, catching the ball and then trying to make a score. It was a bit difficult at first but I got into the swing of it in the end.

My favourite sports game was hockey…..maybe due to growing up northern Canada has something to do with it. I played the goalie, defending my goal with a glove in one hand and a hockey stick in the other. Watching the opposition pass the puck back and forth and then suddenly slapshotting it straight at me gave a real impression of the speed a goalie must have to stop scores.

 With every save the crowd roared their approval and adrenalin surged through my body. I began to really feel like I was there and I couldn’t help yelling at the opposition as I got into the spirit of the game. Thank goodness, I was home by myself otherwise I think my family would’ve thought I’d completely lost it.

It’s clear to me that VR is the future of entertainment, education and business communication. The touch controls are the next step in an immersive direction and I’m sure it won’t be long until we’re wearing tactile feedback gloves. For those of you with VR based domain names…..I think you’re on a winner….they just need a little more time.

If you have an Oculus Rift setup then feel free to friend me (my username is whizzbang…of course) as I would love to fly in a squadron of space fighters around asteroids with you.

Have a great weekend!

Greenberg and Lieberman

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Saturday Musings – The Secret Power of Entrepreneurs

Saturday Musings – The Secret Power of Entrepreneurs

I’ve been an entrepreneur all my life. I started my first business when I was sixteen years old and now thirty-four years later I’m still at it. Along this journey, I’ve learned a number of things about being an entrepreneur and the very first of them is the power you have in making decisions.

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Sadly, I’ve found that many people opt out of making decisions and they effectively let the world make them for them. They make the trade-off between financial security and doing that thing they dream of always pursuing. As the year’s tumble by and their obligations creep upwards the dream becomes ever more elusive.

The gap between them taking the leap of faith is actually within their hands but the terror of wondering if something went wrong halts them from taking the first step. I often wonder what is more terrifying? Failing in the pursuit of a dream or living with the regret of never tried.

I’m not advocating “leaping where angels fear to tread” but some people just need to make the decision to go for it! Get good sound advice, do everything you can to minimise the downside and work like the blazes at your dream.

If you find that it was a bit of a “pipe dream” then don’t blindly continue down the road of ruin but make another decision to pivot your business into an avenue that looks more promising. Too many people follow a business plan to the absolute letter rather than treating it as a living breathing entity that changes as you learn more about your service offering, customers, suppliers, and products.

The secret power of an entrepreneur is they can decide the direction for their company. It all hinges on whether they have the gumption to face reality and plot a new course. This is sometimes a little disheartening and it can be a little embarrassing sharing with your friends a change in direction…..but then again you are responsible for your own destiny and there is nothing more liberating than that!

I recently went to the bank (a very frustrating experience) where they were offering me a better deal on some of their products. Everything was going well in the conversation until I informed them that I was self-employed. Suddenly they wanted all sorts of paperwork, accounts, and whatnot before they would move on anything.

I’ve been through this process many times before and it drives me crazy. I said to the manager, I have more job security than you do. She looked blankly back at me, not comprehending what I was saying.

I said, for over thirty years I’ve managed to build a number of successful businesses and I’ve proven that I know how to make money. What you don’t know is that there has just been a decision by the banks board to shed 10% of the work force and that you are one of them. So now who has more control over their financial wellbeing? I looked on as comprehension dawned in her expression. She got my point.

When you make a decision to follow your dream you are in the driver’s seat. Assuming you are building a successful venture no one can fire you, tell you to stay back late or deny your planned vacation. What you will discover is that running your own business is the first decision that will spawn a daily litany of decisions. The power is in your hands…..be the entrepreneur you’ve always dreamed you could be.

Have a great weekend!

Greenberg and Lieberman

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Personal Musings - Being Generous...

Personal Musings - Being Generous...

It’s that time of year, where the tree is trimmed and Christmas is in every shop window enticing us to buy, Buy, BUY! Despite the commercialisation of Christmas there is an underpinning of good-will and generosity that permeates the air. So what is generosity and why is it so important?

For a start, people often view generosity as something that involves money. This is only one of the facets of generosity and depending upon your circumstances it is often the easiest one to enact. There is no reason you can’t be generous with your time, your attention, or your love. Generosity is more of an attitude of life rather than doing something at a point in time.

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For example, there is nothing worse than talking to someone that is constantly looking at their phone. They are being a miser with their attention as they constantly tell you that someone else is more important than you are. It’s also just plain rude.

If a person is to be generous then it must be an act of free will. This seems obvious but have you ever been to a restaurant with someone where they’ve waited for you to pick up the tab? They’ve essentially stolen the joy of being generous by manipulating the situation for you to pay…..not cool.

A generous person also needs to be wealthy in what they are being generous with. If you’re time poor then you’re unlikely to be generous with your time…..you just can’t afford it. You may need to ask yourself why you are a pauper in that area of your life and work on how you can bring some flexibility to your schedule that allows you to become time rich.

So many people claim to be time poor but after a few minutes of talking with them you quickly realise they are this way because they consume their time on themselves rather than being generous to others. For example, how much time do you spend watching television, youtube or play games on your phone? Could you cut out just one of these activities and suddenly be in a position to bless others with your time?

For me, there is no faster way to destroy an evening out then when someone pulls out a calculator app to work out how much they should pay. It gets even worse when they ask the waiter for a menu so they can get their numbers down to the cent. But isn’t this fair? What’s the problem with that?

The real enemy of being generous is people who live a life of being fair. Being fair sounds so good until you realise that it removes all generosity. You see, generosity isn’t about being fair, in fact, it’s the polar opposite. Being generous is going above and beyond fair just because you want to bless someone else.

True generosity also means there are no strings attached. I know some people who act like they are being generous but carry a mental ledger of whom owes what to whom. This isn’t about being generous at all…..it’s about balancing the scales so everything is fair…..it’s also a lot how politicians behave.

I knew a couple that would literally keep track of who spent what amount of money on themselves so they could balance everything up. The wife bought some new clothes so the husband could then spend money on some technical gadget. Rather than being happy for the other person’s purchases they had a desire to balance the ledger…..sadly, the relationship broke apart.

One of the sad things about Christmas is it can dissolve into a time of obligations. I must buy a present for so-and-so because that’s what’s expected. The levels of expectations rise up and is one of the contributing factors for why Christmas is not very “merry” for many people.

The fastest way to put a smile on your face is to decide to be generous with your giving…..this doesn’t necessarily mean more money. It could be you spend the time making something. I’ve kept every birthday, Christmas and Father’s Day card that my kids have ever made for me.…..they are more precious than anything Hallmark could have produced. Maybe it’s time you dusted off your artistic skills?

If you ever want to do a “generosity health check” then do something for someone else where there is no possible way you can get anything in return. Don’t be a miser, go way over the top. Buy the groceries of the person in front of you at the store, give your favourite coat to a homeless person, pay for the McDonald’s of the car behind you in the drive through, anonymously donate money to a worthy cause, help a stranger with a broken down car or spend an afternoon with a nephew or niece.

One of the most amazing things about being generous is when you do so you will actually get more from the act then the person you are being generous to. It’s like magic! The feelings of well-being and happiness that envelopes you are worth every penny, second or effort the deed required. It’s only a few weeks until Christmas, decide to bring joy into the lives of those around you by being generous and receive a great gift in return……love.

We can all be a littler more generous.....we just need to practice harder.

Greenberg and Lieberman

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Saturday Musings - I'm Exhausted and Loving It!

Saturday Musings - I'm Exhausted and Loving It!

Have you ever worked so hard that you literally fall asleep at the keyboard? Well, that was me this past week. In the wee hours of the morning I awoke to the uncomfortable feeling of the “A” key pressed into my cheek. So what spurred me into this fanatical desire to work myself into a stupor?

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It all began with an idea. Ideas are very dangerous things and normally should be avoided at all costs but in my case I made the mistake of letting my idea germinate. I couldn’t stop thinking about it so I took the next step in my journey into oblivion….I picked up a pen and sketched on a piece of paper how the idea could theoretically be built.

The problem with this stage is the idea was really beginning to take shape. This of course made my singular focus even worse as it became an all-consuming fixation of seeing it come into reality. In some-ways it reminded me of Victor Frankenstein prior to throwing the switch to seeing his creation come to life.

I’ve said this to the ParkLogic tech-team and I’ll write it here. There’s nothing more dangerous than a person (ie. me) with some rusty old tools, a plan, and a vision. So I dusted off my programming skills and got to the work of breathing some life into my idea.

Like any great undertaking everything hinges on the strength of the foundations…..but they are so boring to build. You spend ages mixing the programming cement, belting together functions and working out the overall architecture. The result is more of a Picasso looking house with all of the bits seemingly in the wrong spot.

For me I, I made the fatal mistake of showing off my strange edifice to Roselyn (my wife) so she could fully appreciate the nuances and clever little bits that I’d built. After being somewhat polite she asked a really dumb but however smart question, “And this does what?”

After being somewhat flummoxed with the response towards my brilliance I ushered her out of my study with the promise of a nice cup of tea. I then returned with renewed fervour as I moved the programming bedrooms out of the garage, attached them to the hallway and made sure the toilet flushed downwards rather than upwards. All really important details that I’d neglected to finalise.

This is when I entered that state of being that many programmers only know as “the zone”. This is a point where you have a singular and intense of focus that can only be described as astonishing. The previous chaos of bits and bytes suddenly seemed to gain a sense of order as I plied my herding skills to the code. I glanced at the clock and casually noticed it was 4am…..how time fly’s when you’re in the zone.

I dragged myself away from my desk, climbed into bed and was asleep in about 3 seconds to the comforting feeling of dancing HTML and PHP code in my head. A few hours later I was back working on my regular tasks and at the end of the day I resumed my vision. Things were really beginning to take shape and I had not just a home but a castle!

So it’s now the end of the week and I’m thoroughly exhausted…..but what a week’s it’s been! For those of you that have any programming experience you’ll fully appreciate the euphoric bliss I’m talking about. It’s a wonderful feeling seeing something come into being that wasn’t there before. It’s an act of creation, built from a vision and powered by passion.

I honestly wish that I could show to you what I built…..but that is for another day. Right now I really to reintroduce myself to Roselyn, and then get some sleep that doesn’t involve a keyboard.

Have a great weekend!

Greenberg and Lieberman

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Saturday Musings - I've Got a New Job

Saturday Musings - I've Got a New Job

Starting a new job, project or business can be one of the most exciting and most stressful times in your life. It just so happens that this evening I’m about to do exactly that….I’ve decided to take on a new job as a bouncer.

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For those of you that have met me, you will undoubtedly have great concerns about by intended new vocation. My physique is not particularly suited for the job as my fingers are more used to typing on a keyboard than rough handling a few delinquents out the door. But, I know I can rise to the challenge!

At some stage in most men’s life, circumstances thrust you into making difficult decisions and whether you rise to the challenge or collapse under the burden is up to your attitude. Tonight, I intend to be triumphant in my ability to become the best bouncer that has walked this planet….so watch out!

I know this is my first night on the job but I seemed to pass the job interview pretty well….even though I'm a bit stressed knowing the success or failure of the event largely rests on my shoulders. I’ve been told that imagining various scenarios can help alleviate my stress, so in an effort to prepare myself I’m practicing my witty bouncer comeback lines. I'd be interested in your feedback...

Partier: “So why are you throwing me out?”

Me: “Because your domains really suck and you have fraudulent traffic! That’s why!”

Or how about…

Partier: “Who the hell do you think you are?”

Me: (with Dirty Harry’s voice – of course): “I bet you’re wondering just how much traffic I have left? Can I really unleash a torrent of hell down upon your website? Well, feeling lucky punk?”

 Or….and now I’m getting way ahead of myself.

Partier (Bill Paxton whining Aliens voice): “Party’s over man, party’s over.”

Me: “It is for you. I just caught you attempting a domain hijacking. You’re outta here!”

So what do you think? Do I need to improve some of them? Please provide me with any suggestions to help me through my first bouncing job……as time marches forward I’m starting to feel a little nervous.

BTW, I should also mention that tonight is my daughter’s eighteenth birthday party and me (ie. Dad) is the bouncer of choice. So it’s with great relief that it looks like my new job is more of a contract appointment that will be finishing around 1am. Who knows, if I’m any good I may launch another business……I just need to buy the domain for that!

Have a great weekend and thankfully, I'll see you at NamesCon!

Greenberg and Lieberman

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