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On Vacation

Hey hey hey! I’m on vacation every single day cause I love my occupation.  Dirty Heads.

On the long flight from San Diego to Cancun, our first vacation as a couple in four years, I finished listening to The Moral Landscape. On the beach I finished you are here.

I was out of books.

It was Valentine’s day so I sampled Rumi’s Book of Love. We imagined our 20 year old daughter and her new Not a Boyfriend would love it. Charlotte and I met when she was 19. We’ve been married for 25 years. Raging fires seldom burn forever, Rumi. Back to Sam Harris.

It is always now.

Now that’s poetry.

Among all the qualities of Sam Harris, he is an expert semantician. He writes with inarguable precision. His chapter on mindfulness inspired us to write…

We noticed

As Engineers and Financiers we’ve seen deep inside startups from humanity’s biggest industries. We analyzed the numbers and observed the people.

What did people do to cause those numbers to happen? Why did these numbers cause those people to allocate capital that way?

We have organized and reorganized numbers for hundreds of people over a long period of time. We’ve seen the numbers and people’s reaction across so many businesses we started to feel as if we could see through…

The Matrix.

We were curious about the philosophical and the metaphysical. We learned that everything is either consciousness or its contents. The proof is simple to do semantically, less so metaphysically.

In the contents of consciousness, we have the story about our lives — where we’ve been, where we are and where we are going. In that way, semantically, create our reality through our story about it. We noticed it seemed true metaphysically as well.

We applied things we learned in one silo more easily in the next. We developed friendships with like minded people who we could have these conversations with.

We wanted to learn more, so

We became students.

We read and listened to a lot of historical and popular experts. We studied and practiced noticing the separation between consciousness and its contents. We studied and practiced telling better stories. We believed we could accelerate our evolution to the next level of consciousness.

We started writing. We wrote over 100,000 words on thousands of memos. We call it The Appendix. We imagined our Appendix as Robert Pirsig’s drawer full of note cards that he used to prep his books.

We Spirit Checked our language. We developed our Boot Sequence. We cleaned up our room. We let go of our Deadwood and we imagined we could dream any dream we wanted to.

We developed systems.

We came to believe that systems work better than goals Setting a goal without implementing a system is like putting a train on the road. Tracks work better. We kept refining to Our Ethos and we noticed Things about Gardening that made every day better. We began to apply our observations to ourselves in our own work lives. We developed systems to free up our time.

We helped people learn

We were surrounded by people who needed our help. The more people we helped the more people found us who also wanted the help. The better the system got the more easily we could help them. Everyone needed help understanding…

The Story of the Numbers.

The numbers came from systems that recorded transactions. With the right view, the numbers told a story. We helped to use those stories to motivate people to help the business in various ways.

We watched these stories play out over time. We noticed combining data from every system helped to make the views more actionable for people. We noticed that some people were completely unresponsive to numbers – as if they were almost afraid of them. Others seemed to have an intrinsic feel of the numbers for a while, until they didn’t. We noticed when people didn’t pay attention to the numbers, the numbers didn’t get better.

Most importantly, we noticed people did a much better job improving performance with weekly feedback loops, rather than traditional monthly ones.

We thought systemically

After a few more days on the beach in Cancun we drew this picture while eating an Ahi Salad with lots of extra bacon.

Caption: Next Generation Branded Service Companies in general, BraveHealth in particular.

THE END FOR NOW, the rest is just notes

Along the way we seem to develop a language that made all our interactions more efficient and productive.

We noticed people were overly focused on traditional rowsets

We were in a ten year mentor mentee relationship that flipped.

The emergence of Rowsets.

The system needs to learn to teach itself

Needs to learn to improve over time

We could see business metaphysically.

We learned to align the stories people were telling with the numbers

ccountants operated on a very slow cadence and were were more concerned with compliance and tax than they were with the business.

We noticed  

It is always now

It’s taken us a long time and far too many samples to realize that we are here now.(1) Because we don’t have to hurry to get the next job so we have a little space to be creative. After a few turns at bat you’ll realize that hitting the ball creatively is easy once the space is created.  

The space is created when basic financials are covered and attention can be turned to the story.  This happens both at the personal and business levels in a more iterative than sequential way.

  • Personal
  • Financial
  • Narrative
  • Business
  • Financial
  • Narrative

Prior to now, we didn’t have the personal financial resources to risk time tethered to a business that didn’t align with our personal narrative.  


  • the nature of reality “Everything changes” – Zen Master Suzuki Roshi, of
  • the power of story: “We [are] aware that we create reality through our story about it.” – Charles Eisenstein.
  • the nature of our minds: “Consciousness and its contents is all there is.” – Sam Harris.

Investor spectrum: Friends and family, seed, venture, private, public, debt and equity.

Author survey:1/ (Charles Eisenstein, Zen Master Suzuki Roshi through Joseph Goldstein and Sam Harris

Industries we’ve served: Education, healthcare, real estate, consumer products, food and beverage, software, gaming, virtual worlds, virtual currencies, trust companies, innovative financial instruments and advertising.

Eventually we couldn’t see the silos any

Vacations used to be difficult for me.

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