Wednesday, September 21

Winning? Not Today.

Le sigh. There's no winning.

Okay, so a few things about today's changes on Facebook. No doubt you've heard the complaints, the irritation, the rants, the vents, the general goings-on. If you didn't, you might be the only person on the planet - or you're not online.

I get that it's new. I get that it's different. I get that you liked "the old way". I get that you now have to "learn this". But seriously...c'mon, people. Think about this, as said beautifully by this someecards card:

Here's the thing: Facebook can't win with everyone. Think of it like road construction; we all bitch, moan and whine that it needs to be done - the potholes are terrible, they're eating our car, the government needs to fix this - and then we bitch, moan and whine when it's being done - it's an inconvenience, it makes our travel time longer, it's a pain to sit and wait. Let's be honest here, shall we? If the Facebook of September 21, 2011 looked exactly like and performed exactly like the Facebook of September 21, 2008, we'd all scream and curse and rant and rave that it was "behind the times", "outdated" and we'd ask what in the name of all things techie they were doing in those offices.

If you'd like to see a perfectly good example of what happens when a company stops innovating, take a look at RIM. There are many news stories out there all clearly illustrating that lagging behind has hurt this company more than anyone could have believed. Other companies moving ahead and doing new things that delight and captivate their customers means that the lack of the same at RIM is highlighted fantastically - though not so much for them. When they released their new lineup of phones just a few weeks ago, there were loud cries of "Too little, too late!" - I'm 150% certain that's not the reception they dreamed about the night before launch.

Maybe it's because I'm very much an online person, but I embrace changes like these. Facebook employs an entire team of developers and creative minds whose sole purposes with the company is to innovate and create change. As of July 2011, Facebook has more than 750 million active users. I find it pretty impossible to even suggest that a company that has amassed that sort of user-base doesn't know what it's doing. Even if you're not a fan of the platform, I think it's safe to surmise that they've got a grip on what's going to make their product better or worse. Maybe they could make their plans a little more publicly known, sure - but as I said to a friend (on Facebook, no less), why should they bother? They're not going to drop from 750 million users down to 14 individuals because they didn't hold a press conference before rolling out changes. People will adapt, the same as they always do, and in a week's time no one will remember what September 20, 2011's Facebook looked or behaved like.

The changes are here. Why not spend time getting to know them, find out what's nifty, helpful, interesting or new and embrace them? That's what I'll be doing.

What are your thoughts? Should we expect a message every time a free service/platform upgrades? I'd love to know what you think!

Thursday, September 15

Brilliant or Insane? Game On!

There comes a time in your life where you take yourself by the hand, walk yourself down a scary little path into a shadowy, wooded area and say, "Okay now,'s time to take the next step." Then comes the fun part - watching to see whether you'll take the step, or run screaming back into the light. (I make it sound joyous, no?)

That scary walk happened this week for me - I've started a new venture. Whether or not it'll work, only time will tell. Whether or not I've completely lost my mind, only time will tell. Whether, as the title of this post asks, I'm brilliant or insane, only time will tell. Obviously I'm hopeful that I'm brilliant, but if I'm completely honest there's a pretty good chance I'm certifiable.

I recently read a blog post by the awesome Lindsay Bell that rattled me to the core. Not because she's a fantastic writer (which she is) or because the topic was fantastic (which it was), but because the timing of it couldn't possibly have been better had she said, "Hey Tab - what do you think I should write about that would reach out and touch your brain?" Her post is about being comfortable with being uncomfortable - something many of us simply hate even attempting - and why it's important to take those little journeys.

For me, planning the trip isn't hard. Talking about the trip isn't hard. Getting my shoes on to walk the path isn't hard. Dropping myself off outside of that shadowy, wooded area and saying "Okay....go!!"...that's hard. I almost wish I could halve myself - at least then I'd be able to give myself a push, right? Alas, I have to stare into that shadowed, scary area and say to myself, "Alright...let's do this."

I've done it. I've started what may or may not be the coolest, greatest, most fun and brilliant thing I've ever done, or the craziest, off-the-wall, most insane thing I've ever done. Right now, I have no idea which it is. Am I comfortable being uncomfortable? I'd love to tell you "Hell yes I am!", but I'd be lying. Right now I'm more in a place of "Okay, the first step has been taken. Let's just get some footing and see how the next step forward feels." However, and this is the part that I think is really cool, I'm on the path to getting there.

But you know what? That's a lot further than I was yesterday. :)

Thanks, Lindsay - you've been a great source of inspiration and believe-in-myself the last few months. Pretty good for someone I've never met, huh?