on Dec.26, 2010, under other
I recently, saw the movie “Social Network” supposedly, the story about facebook and how it began.
I enjoyed the movie very much.
However, for me …. the real “great story” in the movie and book is Sean Parker’s story.
Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning changed the world as we once knew it — they created the first online music swapping site – Napster.
Napster was instantly popular, but lawsuits from the music industry killed the site, and both Fanning and Sean Parker got sued to oblivion.
Incredible to think: Sean Parker (comparatively speaking), didn’t make any money from developing something which changed the music and movie industry.
Over the years, I have thought of Sean… and always wondered what it would be like to change the world, yet —receive nothing for it,and get sued to the point of ruin.
How many people could come back from this kind of disappointment???
Imagine you and your friend launching the idea for what became itunes… and have to watch others make billions from your idea….
….most people in the same situation would become crippled by negativity, and probably just sit around and moan and complain for the rest of their lives…
For many years after Napster, (from all the interviews I have read) – Sean was nearly broke and had to sleep on his friends couches…but he kept fighting to succeed.
His genius and persistency paid off …
Sean Parker played a crucial role in launching facebook to what it is today.
Once again, he changed the world.
It’s a great story – not because Sean Parker is finally a (well deserved) multi-hundred millionare…
But because he never quit climbing and chasing his summit.
No matter how many times he fell…
He got back up and kept climbing.
We have all made mistakes; we’ve all made poor choices which negatively impacted us.
To be frank: everyone has fucked up once or twice in their lives …
What’s important is learning from our mistakes, and climbing higher.
A couple of years ago, Michael Vick, a black NFL football star was convicted and sentence to federal prison for his involvement with dog fighting.
I won’t give my opinion on whether I think he would have gone to jail if he was a “white” star athlete …
Nor will I give my opinion on whether I think serving 21 months in a maximum federal prison was necessary, considering he didn’t fight Lassie against Hooch.
I definitely wont adventure into discussing why Madoff who stole billions, ruined countless people’s lives sits in a medium security, camp-like prison, but black Vick went to a maximum security … for dog fighting.
None of that has to do with today’s theme…so I will keep my opinions on those issues to myself.
At the end of the day, what Mike Vick was allegedly involved with was illegal, and a jury of his peers found him guilty, convicted him … and he served 21 months in prison.
Michael Vick made some poor choices, and suffered the consequences for his poor choices – however, his mistakes did not hurt the lives of others; he did not kill anyone; didnt steal billions; he didnt rape….
(just to be clear: in my opinion, theft, murder, rape, etc …. are not mistakes or poor choices, they are heinous crimes)
After he served nearly 2 years in a maximum federal penitentiary, he was released … and spent another 2 months in home confinement before being released.
During this time, he went bankrupt – losing something like 100+ million dollars…
After he got out of prison – the Philadelphia Eagles (one of the only NFL teams who would) decided to give Vick another chance.
To make a long ramble short – Michael Vick (his first full season back in the NFL) is having an incredible year, and has guided the Eagles to the top of their division in American football.
What a great story – the guy fuck’s up … accepts the consequences for his actions, doesn’t moan or complain about the severity ….and serves his time.
Many people would have been further sucked down by negativity; or feel sorry for themselves for the rest of their lives — the guy lost everything, and had to start over….
I really hope to see him win the super bowl.
on Nov.15, 2010, under other
I am not a baseball fan.
However, several years ago, Larry Lucchino, the CEO of the Boston Red Sox promoted Theo Epstein, a 28 year old with nearly, no management experience to be the General Manager of the club – the youngest General Manager in Major League Baseball’s history.
The Boston Red Sox had not won the world series in 80+ years … and promoting a 28 year old with no management experience was extremely, controversial.
I was intrigued.
Imagine being 28 years old and being in charge of the 2nd most valuable baseball franchise in Major League Baseball.
The pressure must have been incredible – having the entire sport, the media, the other management, and an entire city – all watching and questioning your every move.
So from that day, the Boston Red Sox became my favorite team – and I followed Theo and the Red Sox with great interest.
2 years later, the Boston Red Sox won the World Series.
3 years after that win, the Red Sox won the World Series again.
A brilliant success story.
Larry Lucchino didn’t care about Theo’s age; he didn’t care about Theo’s lack of management experience – he chose Theo Epstein because he believed Theo was the best man for the job.
Yesterday, I promoted Robin Titus, a 25 year old with relatively, no management experience to be the General Manager of the Middle East and Africa.
Robin has been the number one salesman at naseba for the past 5 years. The past two years, he has been involved helping the producers develop the product, as well as working with marketing to expand our marketing machine.
Although he will have the experienced, senior management support in ensuring his development, and success, he is now the boss responsible for developing/leading/managing our Dubai office which has 43 people; and in charge of developing and expanding our Middle East and Africa business.
I don’t care if Robin doesn’t have a MBA.
I don’t care if he doesn’t have a wealth of management experience.
I don’t care if he is only 25 years old.
Robin Titus has something that age, experience, and no school can teach — he is driven.
If you work in sales, or want more information on Robin Titus this is worth reading: http://www.scottragsdale.com/?p=2709
on Aug.27, 2010, under other
Early this week, I was in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and met up with a friend of mine, an American journalist who is based in Riyadh.
We got into a discussion on my blog…
In particular he said he was “inspired” by my English Channel swim challenge, but he felt I was “not properly marketing it.”
“Your writing style can gain a lot of readership – but you have to align yourself to a charity to be able to better market your English channel swim and all the other adventure challenges you are doing….”
I tried to explain…. (we have discussed this in the past so our conversation was not a new one)
I am not doing this swim to market myself.
I don’t give a damn about marketing my blog — marketing my blog would go against everything I stand for in this blog, hence, I do not allow naseba’s communication team to promote, link or market my blog in anyway.
He seemed annoyed by my response….
Once again, he tried to persuade me that I could expand my readership of this blog and gain more media interest for my various endurance challenges if I aligned myself to “a cause.”
By now I was annoyed and frustrated so sorted of shouted: “ I AM aligned to a cause …”
“My cause” is to remind everyone: “but, we have to make our lives happen.”
In my opinion…
Too many people waste their lives on facebook.
Too many people live vicariously through movie stars and pro-athletes.
Too many people sit around and talk about what they are going to do tomorrow…
How many people reading this have a goal or a “dream” yet have done nothing to try and go after achieving this dream?
on Sep.08, 2009, under other
For the past week, Mario “team leader” Huys and Michael “Miki” Weiss have been staying at my apartment in Roquebrunne, France.
Michael “Miki” Weiss is an austrian professional triathlete and ex-pro-mountain biker who is sponsored by a naseba company, ambitionlife. He was here to participate in the Monaco 70.3 ironman (half ironman distance)
Last year, although Monaco 70.3 was the first triathlon Miki had ever entered, he finished 2nd place overall.
I had heard a lot about Miki and his crazy, obsessive bike training (he has been a professional mountain biker since he was 15) so I really enjoyed the week, getting to know him, as well as learning about his training, diet and his bike tips.
Being an ex-competitive swimmer, I understand the importance of resting, tapering and being off ones legs before a big meet. However, (apparently) Miki has a different style.
The “team leader” and Miki both explained to me that he was training for Kona, and although trying to win Monaco was important, Kona is their focus. (Kona is the Ironman world championships in Hawaii in October)
Two days before the Monaco 70.3 ironman, Miki went for a 4 hour “easy” ride up and around my home in La Turbie. The area where my house is in France is famous for the long winding hills …. its absolute hell for me to train in La Turbie because some of the hills are so steep, it hurts physically going up them and scary as hell going down them … thus I train most of the time on flat, less steep hills in italy…near my Roquebrunne apartment.
Although I know nothing about bike training and tapering, I asked Mario (Miki’s coach) if it was a good idea to do so much training before a half ironman??? After his “easy” 4 hour ride, while I read for most of the day, comfortably laying down on my couch, Miki went swimming and played around, seemed to have a great day, but …. in my eyes, he wasted a lot of energy.
The night before the race, Miki went to the ironman pasta party and drank 3 beers and ate like crazy!!!
Seriously, I fully expected him to bomb at the Monaco race…
The morning of the race, I got up when Miki did (around 3:15) and I discovered he was putting the dishes away from the washing machine … although I was grateful to him, I was shocked and told him not to worry about doing the dishes, just focus and get prepared for his race.
The beginning of an ironman, even the half ironman is very exciting to watch. 1800 people standing together anxiously waiting for the start horn to blow…
I stood with the “team leader” as we watched Miki run with 1800 other people and dive into the water. Miki is not a great swimmer, thus he came out of the water in 99th place, starting the bike leg already nearly 6 minutes behind the leaders.
Mario told me not to worry, Miki will catch them …..
But, I kept thinking of his 4 hour “easy” ride, 2 days before.
Mario and I had done a 3 hour training ride just the day before. I was stiff and sore, so I have a difficult time understanding how one can ride 4 hours in the hills around the south of france in the heat and not feel tired and sore 2 days later.
… I went to the gym once Miki started the bike leg of the race. Less than 90 minutes later, I got a text from Mario telling me Miki was now in 2nd place. Incredible to catch up so much time, so quickly – there were 40 other pros entered in the race, not to mention the 99 people he would have had to pass going up and down steep hills.
In the end, his bike split was 4:54 faster than anyone else.
I watched Miki do the transition from bike to run … he is 6’3″ and 70 kilo, a pretty big guy so I was interested to watch his run technique.
After hammering the run…up and down the steep hills in Monaco in the heat, Miki finished 2nd place overall.
He was very excited at finishing 2nd because he did not fully rest for this race; it was just a training race before Kona next month.
I probably spent a good hour with Miki and Mario, then Charlie and I went to the VIP section overlooking the Monaco port to eat lunch …. probably, a good 2 hours after Miki had finished, Mario and I then drove home ….
On the drive to my apartment in Roquebrunne, I noticed several cyclists riding on the other side of the street (the opposite direction we were driving) with ironman stickers on their bikes…. naively, I said to Mario that these people seemed to have dropped out of the race??
Mario laughed and told me these people were still in the race, they just had not finished their bike leg yet.
Then it hit me …. I am going to be one of those people when I do my IM in Dec.
(the people still riding their bike, yet to run the marathon….while the winners have finished the race, shower, eat, change their cloths and take naps)
Miki is only 28 years old. He started last year to compete in triathlons; he has great potential.
I look forward to supporting and watching his career develop.
Great job Miki! Very impressive.
I can’t imagine what you will do in Kona after resting and being 100% prepared.
make it happen.