raise the baseline

In inspiration, motivation by Jay Clouse

The easy trap to fall into is looking at Point Z when you’re standing at Point A. So far away…so many steps between the Beginning and the End. Square 1 isn’t an envious position; Square 3,267,524 is where we want to be. Looking so far ahead, it’s easy to get paralyzed by the reality of the hard work in front …

making empty space

In creativity, inspiration by Jay Clouse

It’s not uncommon for my Google calendar to resemble a jigsaw puzzle – many colored “pieces” butting up against each other in such a way that everything seems to fit, without any gaps. Sometimes this is due to hyper-productivity, deadlines, and over-involvement. Sometimes I forget that my time is my time. Whatever the reason, it’s rare that I have several …

why aren’t you drawing yet?

In inspiration by Jay Clouse

There aren’t many things as intimidating as a blank page. So much opportunity, and so much pressure. Last night I sat down to draw with my nieces, Sophie and Claire. Claire handed me a blank page and I picked up a blue colored pencil and began to stare at the page… What should I make out of this? It could …

the learning cycle

In inspiration, learning, motivation by Jay Clouse

Several months ago, I had a conversation about the way people learn when I was introduced to a concept called the Dunning-Kruger effect. In a nutshell, the Dunning-Kruger effect found that low-ability individuals often over-estimate their ability relative to others. Conversely, high-ability individuals often under-estimate their relative competence. From Wikipedia: Dunning and Kruger have postulated that the effect is the result of internal …

this moment matters

In inspiration, motivation, stories by Jay Clouse

There are a few pivotal moments in my life that I’m intensely aware of. Moments that seemed like low impact or small decisions at the time…interactions that seemed to be cordial, but mundane. Three of them in particular stand out the most. Performing This is probably the most obvious, but it’s worth reiterating. I vividly remember sitting in my high …

opposing forces

In deep thoughts, inspiration, motivation, stories by Jay Clouse

What am I going to write about? What will people want to read? You’re such an idiot – staying out until 4am without planning for what to write today. It’s past noon EST – you’re losing your touch and you’re going to lose people. I’ll just be honest. — I woke up this morning with a host of competing emotions. …

your advantage is time

In inspiration, motivation, productivity by Jay Clouse

I have a point to make here, so bear with me. A couple years ago, I went real deep into the rabbit hole of reading about artificial intelligence. Explanations about the difference between: Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI): specialized machines doing a single task better than a human being Artificial General Intelligence (AGI): a machine that is as smart as a …

the finish line

In inspiration, product management, productivity by Jay Clouse

The most important part of any project or idea is getting started. There is simply no way of getting around the fact that you can’t accomplish anything without first starting it. What is less talked about is the finish line. Of course, many things are never truly finished – products continue to evolve, you continue to improve your skills, time marches …

what do you want out of life?

In deep thoughts, inspiration, stories by Jay Clouse

I’ve long since given up on considering the question, “What is the meaning of life?” In my opinion, life doesn’t have an inherent meaning – it’s up to me to give life meaning. But a similar question that I do wrestle with is, “What do I want out of life?” That’s a pretty loaded question. My biggest issue is that …

who are you trying to convince?

In inspiration, motivation by Jay Clouse

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed that everyone around me has continually gotten better at the same skill: justification. I can justify just about anything… hitting snooze (I was up later last night getting some work done) eating another slice of pizza (well I’ll just run a little more today) pushing out a product release with a known bug (it’ll …