This is part of the LTMG series. LTMG stands for “Letters to my Gayby” – it’s basically a collection of advice I would give to my future child.
Freud said all of life is “work and love, love and work”. So, I figured I should advise my gayby on how he or she can find good work that it will love forever.
Here are some of my thoughts on the subject…and don’t worry, since I am very aware of the medium in which I’m writing, there’s a picture coming up real soon!
Why App Creation Is For A**holes.
The other day I found myself watching a businessy interview by one of these top video bloggers. The vlogger was interviewing a young man who had created an app. The man had created a very popular app that was downloaded by hundreds of thousands of people. Even though I watched a good half of the interview I still couldn’t tell you what the app is or does. That’s probably because in the scheme of a lifetime apps really DO NOT FECKIN’ MATTER. Now, I am NOT an app-hater. In fact, I have an Android phone that I specifically bought because it provides more free apps than the iphone. I LOVE a good app. However, I am acutely aware of one thing – I could live a very happy life without my Android and all those groovy apps that live upon it.
So, why am I app-hating when I’m also an app-lover? Well, mainly because there was something about this interview with the app-creator-guy that really bothered me. What was it? What was it? I’ve got it. He was an a**hole. As I was watching him curse and talk about how brilliant he was, I realized something horrifying – this man was somebody’s child-boss. That’s right, he was only 22 years old, the recepient of a great deal of venture capital, and that made him some poor adult bastard’s child-boss.
Children Should Not Be Bosses
I don’t care how much coding experience you have or how brilliant your app is, that doesn’t make you a good boss. The way this guy was talking, I’m pretty sure he was a crap boss. He only talked about himself, his own brilliance, why he wanted to work with “different” people who shared his “ideals”, who “feckin’ get it man” – blah, blah, blah. So, now some poor schlub has to work for this child-man who may be good at coding, but who has no idea how to be a human being.
Now, are all app creators a-holes? Of course not. However, I think there are a large amount of ego-driven, app creators who are. Mainly because they think their app is SO incredibly important. Really? There’s a farting app that’s incredibly popular and widely downloaded. Would anyone argue that it’s important? Like really important? Like the wheel?
Here’s the important take-way, little gayby. It is…
Would your job still be relevant during an apocalypse?
Call me crazy, but I’m guessing no one’s going to give a shit about your app during the apocalypse. However, they will seek out the skills of a doctor, an auto mechanic, an engineer, a carpenter, plumber, etc. I think it’s incredibly important to learn how to build things that can be used during a real world crisis. A doctor can rebuild a leg if yours gets crushed during an earthquake, a mechanic can rebuild an engine helping you and your family get out of dodge when the world collapses, etc. An app builder can build something that absolutely no one would have use for when the zombies take over Detroit. Sorry, but it’s useless crap. Even if you built an app called ZombieFinder, it won’t work once the satellite towers are destroyed. So, stop hacking and start learning basket weaving if you want a place at the armageddon-buffet. I understand the apocalypse may not happen tomorrow, so build an app if you like , but please, PLEASE also learn how to build a fire or a housing structure out of beer bottles. At the very least, learn how to talk to people! That way we won’t have to kill you when the time comes.
Why I keep collecting coffee cans.
I can’t stop collecting coffee cans because somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind I think I can start a side business where I create furniture out of old coffee cans. There is something in me that knows working with my hands like this would be extremely fulfilling. Never mind that I never get further than collecting the cans. It’s the idea that counts! I think this build-something desire comes from watching my father read those Time-Life Do-It-Yourself books and then building half of our house in his spare time. The old man said he did all that building by himself to save money, but I think it’s more than that. I think he did it so he wouldn’t lose his mind. Think about it, what do most people do at work all day? They google, email 10,000 people, and push paper around. But, if you’re building a house, at the end of the day you get to step back and see the additional room you’ve finished or the four walls with an actual roof over the top of the place. Far more gratifying, if you ask me, than a clean inbox.
This build-something desire is probably why I cook.
I made these pretzel pizza bites for wifesy and I last night to enjoy during the superbowl. And I mean I REALLY made them, including the dough. You haven’t lived until you’ve watched a dough ball rise to twice its size. And the cooking profession is apocalypse-proof. When there are only canned goods left, people are going to want someone who can rig those canned beans into something that tastes akin to a roast chicken. App-man would be useless in such a situation.
The Paraplegic Who Made A Better Mop
There are people who believe that handyman work is work for the dumb. That’s what they believe. They look at a blue collar, working person, and they think, “Well, he didn’t do well in school.” People think that because society has made the people who do real work feel like they’re stupid. The workers think that’s ALL they can do. So, the person who fixes your toilet, just fixes your toilet. The person who fixes your car, just fixes your car. But, what if the toilet guy tried to make a BETTER toilet? And the auto mechanic spent his time making a better car? Then you have Michael Graves, a man who has elevated the engineering of basic household cleaning tools. Maybe, it’s because this man is in a wheelchair that he understands the importance of using BOTH your hands and your brain to create USEFUL things. That makes this handi-capable guy the very first person I’d pick for my team come doomsday. The app-guy I’d leave to waste by the rubble.
It’s simple, sweet gayby, learn a useful trade that makes you think and you’ll always have work. I hope that helps you in your search. Your momma is still working on it…that’s why she’s got a pantry full of coffee cans. (Don’t worry, I’ll build something or throw them out before it gets to hoarder levels.)
The interesting Michael Graves.