28 August 2008

College Football Predictions by four guest "experts"

Fearless Predictions for 2008

Deano Sutter
Coffee Drinker
Coach Bart
Coach, Historian
Adam Still
Jared Still
Water Drinker
BCS Title Game Kansas over USC
West Virginia over USC
Florida over Oklahoma USC over Oklahoma
ACC Atlantic BC Clemson "Weak" Forrest
ACC Coastal Virginia Tech Virginia Tech Virginia Tech Virginia Tech
ACC Champ Virginia Tech Clemson "Weak" Forrest Virginia Tech
Big East Louisville
West Virginia West Virginia
West Virginia
Big Ten Ohio State Ohio State Ohio State Ohio State
Big 12 North Kansas
Missouri Nebraska Missouri
Big 12 South Oklahoma Oklahoma Oklahoma Oklahoma
Big 12 Champ Kansas
Oklahoma Oklahoma Oklahoma
C-USA East UCF East Carolina Central Florida
East Carolina
C-USA West Tulsa Tulsa Don't care
Tulsa Central Florida Central Florida
MAC East Bowling Green Miami Ohio
Miami (Ohio) Miami Ohio
MAC West Central Michigan Central Michigan
Central Michigan Central Michigan
MAC Champ Central Michigan Central Michigan Central Michigan Central Michigan
Mountain West BYU BYU Belt Buckles
SEC East Florida Georgia Florida Florida
SEC West Auburn Auburn
Auburn LSU
SEC Champ Florida Georgia
Florida Florida
Sun Belt
Florida Atlantic
Boise St.
Troy St.
Boise St.
Florida Atlantic
Boise St.
Florida Atlantic
Boise St.

Define your market bigger

I read & commented on a really solid blog by my friend Brooks, titled "Innovate, Iterate or Obliterate"

However, as I read it again, there's one more comment I would add...and place it in the "food for thought" category, and it goes back to a discussion from early this year on Fred Wilson's blog about Web 2.0 companies being built for and marketed to the extremely narrow realm of early adopters and evangelists.

I feel that any company, in any market place needs evangelists and adopters, but I would caution that having them does not, a true market adoption make. I understand the Gladwell "Tipping Point" perspective to this, but I would also say that a product should be designed to fit a much wider market. Folks like you and I are familiar with many of the Web 2 companies, blogs that cover them and the VC firms that finance them, but are early web-adopters indicative of market success? It's an extremely fickle community and a very tall, insulated silo as well. I saw one straw poll conducted by a VC that found that most "US Americans" (to quote Ms Teen South Carolina) have never heard of Digg, Last.fm, and Twitter...let alone smaller competitors and verticals meant for those communities.

When Jack Welch took a team of his VP's and Directors to the Army War College once to discuss business and leadership, the long-held mantra at GE of being "#1 or #2 in your field, or sell it or fix it if it's not", was shot-down by these aspiring-Generals because they felt that the nature of the execs was to cleverly define their field and competition (marketplace) smaller and smaller so as to fit that #1 or #2 criteria. Instead, in a growth initiative, they were challenged to define their field (competition) wide enough so that they were #4 or #5 (or worse) and look for the growth opportunities therein. It's out of this thinking that GE Aircraft Services, GE Energy Services and numerous GE Capital operations were berthed.

Total genius if you ask me...what do you think?

26 August 2008

Marriage is for Holiness not Happiness

That's the premise of this book Jill and I were given by my great friend Bruce...and it's earth-shattering in its truth.

I shared that with my great friend & 3-year small-group bro Tim, which prompted him to ask me about it.
God uses marriage to produce holiness in us, not necessarily happiness. Not that they're by any means mutually exclusive...but holiness out of the deep, forging, plodding, extracting commitment to Christ & the relationship produces deep JOY...not the shallow happiness that so much of this world is seeking.

Especially in our culture, (most prevalent in idolatry-centric LA) what's everyone seeking? Happiness right? I think that's a total joke. I'm exceedingly happy--I guess--but it's probably more accurately called joy. Because its been forged by going through some deep unhappiness, producing something that's actually sustainable; joy.

The refining of my & Jill's marriage and our souls has been hard, difficult, and beautiful. Sanctification like I've never experienced...producing holiness and a heart for repentance in us both. We are living the transformation. This book, has just beautifully put it into words.

But it's so counter-intuitive...unless you're willing to have your sin shown to you, cut you, hurt you, and be hurt by someone else's, it's hard to be "happy" in a relationship that is the cleaving of two souls. That's like expecting to watch two continents collide into one another without producing a few volcanoes & an earth quake here & there.

We as any man & wife, are not perfect puzzle pieces (her breath stinks, she has bad gas & my body produces constant rose-petal aromas, just for example)...and as much fiery romanticism as Jill and I share, as much deep passion for each other and life together that we have, we're imperfect, sinful people, of whom God wants what? To be "happy"? Romanced? Healthy & wealthy? He wants us to be in loving relationship with Him and to love others as ourselves. Which manifests itself in our lives in holiness. For two people, the places where we don't 'fit' are our rough, sinful edges. They must be ground-down & cut out to fit into place with the other piece. Places we thought were buried deep until we actually go through life clinging to another soul.

It's so crazy how I feel we are both growing in this holiness virtue, in spite of being shown each others' sin and wickedness up close. This is where God has used it in our lives. I feel we've got a desperation and urgency to be more holy & Christ-like towards each other...which interestingly enough, makes us usually two pretty damn happy people! ;)

Holiness. Happiness.

What are your thoughts? Perceptions? From both in and outside of marriage? Please share!