Category Archives: Quotes

If you go…

If you go [with a break], you can either win or not win. If you don’t go for it, you definitely won’t win.

– Jens Voigt, cyclist


Image: Alex Anlicker

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Michael Jordan is a failure

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.

~ Michael Jordan


White Town made a #1 hit single in his bedroom on a multitrack and an Atari.

How did he make Your Woman sound unique?

You’ve got to fuck up the technology you’ve got rather than let the technology fuck you up. It took me two days to get the beats slightly out of time on Your Woman. Two days! Getting them in time took two seconds.

That was 1997. No need to edit on an Atari now. But the principle is just the same: innovation doesn’t come with a tutorial.


Full Wired interview here.

More miscellaneous tidbits here.

Choices vs. Abilities

I’m rereading Harry Potter (makes me feel like Christmas!), and this was a great line:

It is our choices Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.

Taking risks

In the last 12 months:

  • 3x new jobs (2x for me, 1x for my wife)
  • 3x house moves
  • 2x countries
  • 1x baby

Mad, fortunate, and fun. We took some risks…

Clint Eastwood, The Rookie:

If you want a guarantee, buy a toaster

I never sleep, cos sleep is the cousin of death

As I crossed the finish line of my practice marathon, this song kicked in and I shouted out to the bemused shoppers on Ealing High Street:

I never sleep, cos sleep is the cousin of death!

– Nas, NY State Of Mind

I love this line because this is how I used to think. Then I had a kid, and I learnt the true value of sleep…

Little Big Bangs

Richard Ashcroft on recording The Verve’s second album, A Northern Soul, in Guitar Magazine from July 1995:

If we don’t reach that level of inspiration then we don’t play… This record was a story of three days working up to that level and three days to come down from it. 

I know a lot of bands that can bash out an album in a few days, but that’s cutting out, like, 90 per cent of human emotion. That’s machine-like. 

If you take a photograph of four people, the chances that all four are going to look good at that single moment in time are a million to one. And it’s the same when four people pick up instruments at the same time.

I love this because it encapsulates that amazing feeling of creating something really incredible together with a team.

In my last company, we made the first ever online video gameshow, the first ever Facebook game+show combo, and one of the first ever TV shows you could play along with using a native app. And now I get to create new stuff every day with an electrifying team on Candy Crush Saga.

Those moments of creation – those little Big Bangs – are the absolute greatest. 

Picnics in the rain

In Oman you can wait 6+ months for rain.

So when it does rain, people jump out of their cars to take photographs, students beg for class to be cancelled, and families picnic under the downpour.

Seems mad to me, living in the UK. In London it rains on 44% of days. Everything is seen differently by different people.

A friend’s dad told him:

Son, not everyone’s going to like you – that’s just how it is. Everyone sees you differently.

I found out last week that my friend had died. So this one’s for him.

Rest in peace mate x


Links: Rain stats, Oman blog and photo.

Initial idea came from From Our Own Correspondent, but I can’t recall which episode.

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The Strangeness of Silicon Valley

From a conversation between John Naughton and Judy Wajcman:

The technology industry is actually rather small. And dysfunctional. And solves its own problems. But Silicon Valley has convinced us that the problems of a small set of socially-unusual people (who sleep at their desks and have no social life) are actually our own problems too, and that we need products and services that help to solve them.

In case proof of this were needed – here’s Elon Musk (PayPal, SpaceX, and Tesla founder) on relationships:

I would like to allocate more time to dating. I need to find a girlfriend. That’s why I need to carve out just a little more time. I think maybe even another five to ten — how much time does a woman want a week? Maybe 10 hours? That’s kind of the minimum? I don’t know.

Clearly a genius, but a rather strange one. The other side of the Valley.


Links: Naughton/Wajcman, Musk.

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The Robots Already Won

You can relax! Our robot overlords already took control.

Three examples of their successful infiltration:

1. Ipswich Town’s PR teambots

Ipswich defender Tyrone Mings paid off all his mum’s debts. Wonderful news! A footballer with a conscience!

An Ipswich spokesman said it was:

A private matter between Tyrone and his mum.


2. Verizon CEObot

Verizon spent $4,400,000,000 (that’s $4.4bn) on buying AOL. Blockbuster deal!

Lowell McAdam, Verizon chairman and CEO, said:

Verizon’s vision is to provide customers with a premium digital experience based on a global multiscreen network platform. This acquisition supports our strategy to provide a cross-screen connection for consumers, creators and advertisers to deliver that premium customer experience.


3. Local councilbots

Water fountain dating back to 1853, adorned by Biblical quote. Historically interesting! And possibly significant!


Game over, see you later. MAYBE.


Links: Mings, Verizon, Water.

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