Reposted By: Jason Waldrip
By: Andy Weir
You were on your way home when you died.
It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.
And that’s when you met me.
“What… what happened?” You asked. “Where am I?”
“You died,” I said, matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words.
“There was a… a truck and it was skidding…”
“Yup,” I said.
“I… I died?”
“Yup. But don’t feel bad about it. Everyone dies,” I said.
You looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. “What is this place?” You asked. “Is this the afterlife?”
“More or less,” I said.
“Are you god?” You asked.
“Yup,” I replied. “I’m God.”
“My kids… my wife,” you said. “What about them?” “Will they be all right?”
“That’s what I like to see,” I said. “You just died and your main concern is for your family. That’s good stuff right there.”
You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn’t look like God. I just looked like some man. Or possibly a woman. Some vague authority figure, maybe. More of a grammar school teacher than the almighty.
“Don’t worry,” I said. “They’ll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn’t have time to grow contempt for you. Your wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it’s any consolation, she’ll feel very guilty for feeling relieved.”
“Oh,” you said. “So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?”
“Neither,” I said. “You’ll be reincarnated.”
“Ah,” you said. “So the Hindus were right,”
“All religions are right in their own way,” I said. “Walk with me.”
You followed along as we strode through the void. “Where are we going?”
“Nowhere in particular,” I said. “It’s just nice to walk while we talk.”
“So what’s the point, then?” You asked. “When I get reborn, I’ll just be a blank slate, right? A baby. So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won’t matter.”
“Not so!” I said. “You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don’t remember them right now.”
I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. “Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It’s like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it’s hot or cold. You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out, you’ve gained all the experiences it had. You’ve been in a human for the last 48 years, so you haven’t stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here for long enough, you’d start remembering everything. But there’s no point to doing that between each life.”
“How many times have I been reincarnated, then?”
“Oh lots. Lots and lots. An in to lots of different lives.” I said. “This time around, you’ll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD.”
“Wait, what?” You stammered. “You’re sending me back in time?”
“Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from.”
“Where you come from?” You said.
“Oh sure,” I explained “I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there are others like me. I know you’ll want to know what it’s like there, but honestly you wouldn’t understand.”
“Oh,” you said, a little let down. “But wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point.”
“Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespan you don’t even know it’s happening.”
“So what’s the point of it all?”
“Seriously?” I asked. “Seriously? You’re asking me for the meaning of life? Isn’t that a little stereotypical?”
“Well it’s a reasonable question,” you persisted.
I looked you in the eye. “The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.”
“You mean mankind? You want us to mature?”
“No, just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature and become a larger and greater intellect.”
“Just me? What about everyone else?”
“There is no one else,” I said. “In this universe, there’s just you and me.”
You stared blankly at me. “But all the people on earth…”
“All you. Different incarnations of you.”
“Wait. I’m everyone!?”
“Now you’re getting it,” I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back.
“I’m every human being who ever lived?”
“Or who will ever live, yes.”
“I’m Abraham Lincoln?”
“And you’re John Wilkes Booth, too,” I added.
“I’m Hitler?” You said, appalled.
“And you’re the millions he killed.”
“And you’re everyone who followed him.”
You fell silent.
“Every time you victimized someone,” I said, “you were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you’ve done, you’ve done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you.”
You thought for a long time. “Why?” You asked me. “Why do all this?”
“Because someday, you will become like me. Because that’s what you are. You’re one of my kind. You’re my child.”
“Whoa,” you said, incredulous. “You mean I’m a god?”
“No. Not yet. You’re a fetus. You’re still growing. Once you’ve lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.”
“So the whole universe,” you said, “it’s just…”
“An egg.” I answered. “Now it’s time for you to move on to your next life.” And I sent you on your way.
So if you haven't heard, this morning President Obama passed a bill that would allow anyone to invest in private companies in exchange for a piece of the pie. With KickStarter's big year of success, crowd-funding has already proven to be very successful. Up until today, crowd-funding only yielded a return for investors in the form of a reward or a repayment of a loan with interest. As both models promise some return, whether it be financial or simply rewarding, investors were not able to capitalize on the success of the company in which they were investing. In addition, because of these limited models, crowd funding has been restricted mostly to creative ideas or philanthropic projects. With the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startup) act passed, the opportunity for both investors and companies to become successful has been significantly increased.
Companies like mine, resipsalaw.com, can now easily gain investment. In addition the investors, both small and large, receive a piece of the pie. Could you imagine if crowd-funding was legal when Facebook first launched? Not only would they have certainly taken advantage of it but many of us would be successful investors. Look back just 6 years ago, would you have invested just $100 for a piece of Facebook? The JOBS act has essentially paved the way for new small businesses across the nation and allows individuals to invest in the ideas they love. That being said, its not a way to raise millions, we will leave that for the NYSE and Nasdaq, but it is a way for you to start your company and get it funded from the people you care about most, your peers.
Although it may not happen immediately and tech companies are going to be the first latch on to this amazing opportunity, I believe that the JOBS act is going to be a huge stepping stone to jumpstarting our stalled economy. This is because our economy is fueled by small business. In the past, small businesses had to get large sums of money from banks or just a small amount of investors. Unfortunately with the way the economy has been lately, these sources stopped investing in new small business. But now that any individual can invest, startups don't have to waste time pitching to banks and investors. They can use social networking and the power of the idea itself to bring it to life. Whats great is that the JOBS act just doesn't help people like me running a web based business, but will welcome back an era of neighborhood shops, family restaurants and many more.
** Check out the site and sign-up to get notified when we launch! resipsalaw.com**
res ip·sa lo·qui·tur (n) latin: The thing speaks for itself.
In October 2011 My girlfriend, became a licensed attorney in Colorado and landed a job as an Associate Attorney at a small law firm in Parker, CO. Since it was such a small firm I became very close with the firm’s owner. The owner expressed to me that she was looking to update her website without the hassle of having to maintain in house hardware for email and document storage. I discovered that she was already using cloud based software for time tracking and billing, and was looking to move the remainder of her services to the cloud. I immediately thought of something like a CRM, similar to l Salesforce, for the legal community. After a little research I found this was referred to as Practice Management. After further research I found a few players in the market who were trying to achieve this same goal. We signed the firm up for the leader in the market, Clio . After a month of evaluation, we found that although Clio was packed full of features it didn't take into account that most lawyers, especially those of older generations, are not very technical. They don't tend to understand complex setup's and techy ideas that I would usually love in my industry. I came to the realization that there really wasn't an easy to use, non-technical Practice Management solution in the market place. Thus, the idea for Resipsa was born. Long before the name, I started jotting down some ideas of what Resipsa would entail and how users would access it with ease. They are as follows:
Feature: > Must be 100% web-based and secure.
Solution: > I would build it as a web app and allow firms to create and manage accounts on the fly.
Feature: > Must integrate to existing software that lawyers are not likely to ditch anytime soon. i.e. MS Outlook, MS Office, and Quickbooks. * Solution: > I would develop a plugin for MS outlook allowing users to easily add client communications to matters/cases. I would later build an integration with Quickbooks and Quickbooks online.
Feature: > Must provide a document storage solution that is easy to set up and accessible to any OS.
Solution: > I would provide a document storage solution based on WebDav, which is supported on every OS, secure and easy to set up.
Feature: > Must build a time tracking system, which allows time to be attached to clients and matters/cases. Then it must allow the firm to bill/invoice their customers.
... I'll stop there but as you can see, Resipsa is really trying to easily manage the business of a law firm enabling attorneys to continue gaining new clients and practice law.
If I have learned one thing in my professional career, it is the importance of how a company treats its employees. Unfortunately, many executives at large companies are lost in the world of thinking “how this benefits me” rather than focusing on “how this benefits everyone”, i.e. the employees and customers. If we examine the landscape of successful modern companies, we find proof that being respectful and loyal to your employees leads to rapid success and extraordinary products.
When making your employees happy, there are a couple of factors to consider. Being an exceptional manager or executive is not just about what you do or how you speak to your employees, it extends much further. To create a successful environment, the goal of every company should be to make its employees feel as though they are not going to an obligatory “job” day after day. Rather, you want your employees to feel as though they are headed off every day to work on a project they enjoy, and with people in which they enjoy collaborating.
ONE BIG HAPPY FAMILY
As a manager of any kind, it is important that you implement and exercise the elements of collaboration, recognition, and friendship in your teams. How can you build a strong company if your employees don’t trust and respect one another? If you ask people in various teams at Google, Facebook, or Twitter, they will tell you that their colleagues are like family. That strong feeling of trust that these elements create lead to many great things and allows everyone to work for the better of the family, rather than the better of themselves as individuals.
ENVIRONMENT IS KEY
If you look at some of the most successful Startups from the last decade, you see some of the coolest and most fun office environments. The benefits of creating an enthusiastic and exhilarating work environment will vastly outweigh any potential cost, monetary or otherwise, to your company. A great example is having games in the office. Recent studies have shown that employees are more productive when they are able to take short 10-15 minute breaks approximately every 2-3 hours. This allows your mind to rest, revitalize, and do some background thinking while you are consciously doing another activity. Keeping active during these mental breaks further helps with this theory of productivity. Ping pong, foosball, and pool are all great 10-15 minute games which allow your employees to not only rest their minds, but it also allows for people in various areas to intermingle and socialize. This will not only increase the “family element” in your team but will also spread the family essence company wide.
Another important element for a great working environment is food. As simple as it may sound, people who continuously work hard use there minds extensively, and a hard working mind needs fuel. Rather than having tired, burnt out employees or employees that frequently leave to grab a snack, it is much more efficient to have snacks on hand and available. Also, it is beneficial to remember that by having meals or snacks available in the office, employees will spend more time in the working environment rather than out on a coffee/snack run.
NOBODY LIKES SMOKE AND MIRRORS
If there’s one thing I know, it’s that being transparent is one of the most important things in running a company. If you are honest with your employees about your vision and all the hurdles that must be overcome, trust me when I say they will be on board and even enthusiastic about the challenge. Honesty allows employees to believe that you, as their employer, have their best interests in mind and that everyone is truly working together as a team. By setting that example as a representative of the executive tier, that honesty and enthusiasm will trickle down throughout all of your teams and employees. When team members feel they can be honest and transparent to their employers, their teams, and their co-workers individually, a productive and successful working environment will inevitably result. A company that has clarity in its expectations and goals, and the ability to know where you stand as an employee and as a company is an amazing thing to have.
THE WRAP UP
All in all, as you can see above, there are many great aspects to pleasing your employees, and showing them that they are valuable. Ultimately, all of your employees are cells in one large organism. If cells dont work together, the organism fails. Although it may not make your company fail immediately, it can and will impede its growth and success.