Saturday, April 11, 2015

2 out of 3

This weekend my dad won some box seats at the Utah Jazz game.  We went up and it was a really fun game. The food was great, the game was exciting, the only downside was we lost by just one point. 
There was one second left.  Gordon Hayword launched up a desperate three ball that went nowhere -but wait- he was fouled! We have a chance to tie the game up and send it into overtime. Hayward had to nail three free throws in a row, and with the pressure that is no easy task. 

First shot (arena = silent)………………………………….. swoosh, good!

Second shot (arena = silent)…………………………………swoosh good!

Third shot (arena = silent)…………………………………….ka-dunk- NO-good!

We lost by one point and we were so close.

The experience made me think, what had happened if Gordon Hayward had missed the first shot instead of the last?  It is interesting but I think that we as fans would have been much less disappointed had we lost early than had we lost at the very last shot as we did. I was very impressed that in the post-game interview when asked, Hayward simply said, I took a shot and it didn’t go in. 

What a great perspective.  I think we would do ourselves a great favor if we put things into their proper perspectives rather than getting caught up in the emotions. If we lose by one at the last second or a thousand it counts all of the same, we lost.  The same applies if we win. 

For me I am going to focus on not letting things get to me, but rather realize that if I lose I lose and if I win I win, and barring ethics I am not going to worry so much how I ended up there. This way I won’t let my emotions lead me to irrationally get upset about things that I really don’t need to beat myself up about.     

Saturday, April 4, 2015


This week was the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ General Conference.  This conference occurs every six months and is one of my favorite times of the year.  I love hearing from church leaders and being able to be uplifted.  The things that they talk about are always so relevant to the times and things going on in the world. 

Every conference there seems to be a theme.  So far, only two sessions in I feel like the theme has been family and that we need to serve everyone around us.  One quote I liked was “thee lift me, and I’ll lift thee and we will ascend together.”  Today’s world it is ever important that we help one another to get through, this is why the family is so important. 

I know that these men and women who deliver these messages are called of God.  I encourage everyone to listen to and study their words.  Whether you are a member of this Church or not.  I know that the gospel and the messages that center on Christ can change lives, because they have changed mine. I know that this Church really is Christ’s church here on earth.  It is a refuge from the troubled world that we live in, and brings peace to one’s soul.   

I am going to try and make this General Conference different.  I am going to review often the talks that were given. So that I won’t have to wait every six months to enjoy the blessings that come from listening to the words of the Lord.  

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Entrepreneurship in Action

I am in an Entrepreneurship class in which I am learning a ton.  In the course of the class we have learned many of the basic steps to come up with a business idea, validate it, and then take it to the market.

The first step is to identify a pain point, something that is an irritation or pain to customers. A big pain point that one of the members of my group mentioned, is scrapping off the ice on your windshield in the mornings.  So we ran with it.  We came up with the idea of a car cover that would prevent ice from forming on your windshield, preventing one from staying out in the cold scraping ice, freezing their hands off.

My team after doing basic market research (asking people).  We found that for people to be interested in such a cover, it would have easy to put on and off.  After thinking of many possible solutions, and adjusting those ideas we came up with two models.

                   The Sheet Model                            &                      The Accordion Model        


Both models use magnets to cover your windshield. The difference is in the putting on and taking off of the products.  One can be wrapped up while the other is folded.  

The thing that I have learned the most from the class is that any business it is all about your customers and what they want.   Too many companies spend millions of dollars in resources and time, in developing products that people don't want.  They could have known if their product would have satisfied their customers if they would have done one simple thing - ask them.  

Most businesses fail, but if you fail fast and fail often, you will eventually find your golden goose.  
That is what I learned the most from this class.  

But hey? What do you think?  Would you rather use the sheet model or the accordion model?

I am probably not going to take this idea to market, but I would still love to hear what you have to say, so click on the link and tell me what you think.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Remote Meeting

This week I had a meeting online using the modern technology of video group chat.  My team used a google program to host our meeting.  It seems common place, but this technology is amazing.  I remember as I child I was in awe when I watched Pokemon and professor Oaks talked to Ash through a phone that showed the other person through video.  Today that technology not only exists but is also common place. 

Online interactivity is extremely useful for many reasons.  One time I found my roommate on a “date” with his girlfriend in Italy, they were watching a movie together through their tablets!  The greatest advantage of group video conference calls is convenience.  Because everyone in my group has different schedules, we couldn’t all be together until 9:45 p.m.  Trying to find and get to a physical location that late at night would have been such a pain, but we were able to do it from the comfort of our homes.

There are disadvantages however.  For instance, it can be really easy to have technological difficulties.  Case in point, I couldn’t get my side of the video chat to work for like 10 minutes, which was very frustrating to me and my team.  Many times things become laggy and it is hard to understand what people are saying.  I think video conferences should be used when the convenience is a very high priority. Through my experience I observed that quality is definitely better in the traditional face to face meeting.

I will definitely try to utilize today’s technologies more often.  I will still be mindful however, that technology brings new good ways to do things, but it maybe does not always bring the best ways.

Friday, March 20, 2015

It's March, and there's Madness

This is probably one of my favorite times of year- The NCAA tournament!  I am not a basketball guru or anything but I love that co-workers, friends, and family can all come together, and unlike most sporting events, everyone can participate.  Everyone is invested. 

So just like every year there are upsets.  For me it Baylor is always a team that destroys my bracket.  I cannot believe it.  Watching the end of the game, the other team made a crazy end of the game miracle deep three.  A shot that easily could have missed; it could be said games are won by centimeters. 

So in my apartment we made a group.  And we made a bracket for our good friend Phil (Phil by the way is a plant in our apartment that we named - yes we are crazy) Well Phil’s bracket got absolutely destroyed in one of the very first games of the tournament.  The team he had winning the entire tournament was upset and lost by one point = why the tournament is known as March madness.

Something I have learned from this is just how useless we are at predicting the future, (granted Phil is only a couple years old so we will cut him some slack).  Even the experts have no clue what is going to happen.  The same is true for my major, finance.  In finance we are constantly trying to forecast the future.  But the truth is it can’t be done.  If it could everyone would be filthy rich.

We can make good guesses but our good guesses are often wrong.  This applies to personal life as well.  It is important to never be over confident that you know what reality is.  I am 21, so I know a lot, right? Well there are 6 billion people, with an average age of 30 that is 180,000,000,000 billion years lived compared to my 21.  This puts things into perspective a little bit. 

I am going live my life making the best choices that I can given the knowledge that I have, but I am going to make a point to not become overconfident in my abilities or in my opinion.  I will always keep trying to figure out what the “madness” of this life is all about, but will expect to get things wrong once in a while. But the good news is that just because I am wrong doesn’t mean I am not learning. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Coming Home

This week my friend who I trained on a two year mission just arrived home.  It caused me to reflect that I have been back in America for ten months now.  Much has happened in these ten months.  Yet I always wonder what more I could be doing with my life. 

Elder Thompson who got home this Wednesday is going to be going through a transition into non-missionary life.  It was something many people here in the Provo area go through.  I remember on the mission Elder Thompson and I would talk about life back home.  What we had done, and what we planned on doing.  We imagined what it would be like.  Two years is a long time. 

It is really interesting to me to see how things have changed.  I am in the thick of life with classes and such that I rarely take time to have a good reflective view on my life as I had did the mission.  I think that it is really important to always take a good inventory of our lives and our goals.  I want to more regularly consider the larger scope of my life.  To not get so lost in the thousands of things that I have to do.  If we take our lives in perspective more often I think that we can plan for, and end up having more meaningful lives.  

Saturday, March 7, 2015

The measure of success

What is success? We measure ourselves, and when we improve on our measurements we feel good.  This is normal but how often do we actually deserve the success that we obtain.  Is there really a measure of merit that correlates with success in this life?

This week I had a finance test.  I did really well, I got 100% on it!  Which is awesome.  I feel really good, life is great, etc. etc.  The thing that I just don’t get is that I studied for half of the time that I did for the first finance test, and on that one I didn’t do so well. 

If it is just luck or the difficultly of the different tests then why do we still feel so much satisfaction when we do really well.  Maybe we need to just detach ourselves, this way when we score poorly we won’t feel upset either. 

I have thought a lot about these things in my entrepreneurship class.  The teacher who has sold businesses for hundreds of millions of dollars, has told us straight, I got lucky.  That luck is a huge part of being successful.  If it is luck, being at the right place in the right time, then what is the point?

While I am not about to quite trying, I am going to avoid stressing myself out about outcomes that I don’t have full control over.  I will do my part, and be happy with whatever is the result-- though it never hurts to get a 100%.