Birds singing, sun shining, wheels turning

I am so looking forward to starting riding again. Friends of mine cycle through the winter, and maybe cycling today, but I prefer roads free of snow banks, even when melting (prone to icing in the shade). Today is a foretaste of spring to come, and bike rides to enjoy.

Meanwhile, kudos to the town of Concord, MA for surveying non-residents as well as residents on pedestrian and cyclist access and safety. Take the survey!

Great Business Model Canvas introduction

Strategyzer and the Kauffman Foundation have created a great series of short YouTube videos about using the Business Model Canvas (about which I wrote an intro in Four Reasons for a Business Model).

The example presented is for a consumer oriented business, but this tool is incredibly powerful for all kinds of endeavors – new companies, new ideas in old companies, non-profits and more.

Here are the links to the six-episode series – each only 3 or 4 minutes.

  1. Getting From Business Idea to Business Model
  2. Visualizing Your Business Model
  3. Prototyping
  4. Navigating Your Environment
  5. Proving It
  6. Telling Your Story

Choose Life

There is a verse in the Bible which includes the exhortation “I call heaven and earth as witness today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life!”

I have always loved that verse because of the very active emphasis on the word choose. The command is to choose, not to live, or live well, but to choose.

The reality of our lives lies between belief that we have some control over our world, and fear that we are at the mercy of random chance. What we always have, however, is choice about how to hold, frame, and behave in a world where control and random chance play against each other like streams of water carrying a leaf.

I recently came across this amazing commencement address by David Foster Wallace from 2005. I recommend listening to it – it captures these themes so perfectly – and it is worth taking the 20 minutes of uninterrupted time to do so.

This is water–David Wallace Foster

(Link here for those for whom the embed doesn’t show.)

Since this was triggered by me quoting a religious text, I suggest, along the lines of Alain de Botton’s “Atheism 2.0” TED Talk, that you listen to Wallace’s “This is water” every year, perhaps when Deuteronomy 30:19 is being read in the annual cycle of readings in Synagogue.

Seven years of cycling

Seven years ago yesterday, on July 3rd, 2006, I bought my new bike and started cycling (and blogging).

It doesn’t seem “just like yesterday”… it really does feel like a few years since I first bought my bike. So far, according to my Garmin GPS I have ridden almost exactly 8000 miles (7998.95 to be exact). I have loved every mile (well, most miles).

People have been complaining about the pace of modern life for as far back as you want to look. My recommendation is to go out cycling with friends. This picture was from our 5th annual Martha’s Vineyard ride from a few weeks ago.

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PS: Happy 4th of July to my fellow Americans.