Hold on to Sixteen as Long as You Can

Little ditty about Jack and Diane…

A favorite John Mellencamp song popped on the radio as I left for lunch today after shipping a new release of MoneyWell.

Two American kids growin’ up in the heartland.

It followed a ZZ Top song and the two songs sent me back to my days in college. Everything was so possible. All the doors were wide open and we could do anything we wanted. We just had to try.

Jackie gonna be a football star…

None of us had any history of business failure or lost career opportunities. One of my best friends in college was a fellow Computer Science major and we constantly competed for top grades and the highest bonus for handing in our projects early. We also had hacked the college’s computer system and had the passwords for all the operators and even created our own teacher account so we could have higher access rights. Fred Dartner was one of the nicest math teachers at Erie Community College—he never failed a single student. We were big fish in a very little pond.

Oh yeah, life goes on… Long after the thrill of livin’ is gone…

But then the real world hits and the self-assuredness of academia fades as rejections and failures pile up.

Oh yeah, life goes on… Long after the thrill of livin’ is gone. They walk on.

Many people forget that there are no limits to what we can do. We are only limited by our imagination, desire, and faith. That by serving the greater good, we too will be taken care of and will survive.

Jackie sits back, collects his thoughts for the moment. Scratches his head and does his best James Dean.

I was thinking back to a year ago, before MoneyWell 1.0 had shipped, and how I felt at the time. This was after many months of design and coding and I wasn’t quite sure how it would be accepted by the marketplace. But there was a glimmer of hope that I was on the right track.

Gonna let it rock, let it roll. Let the Bible Belt come and save my soul…

Now with the release of MoneyWell 1.3.3, thousands of customers, and a vivid vision for what is planned in the 2.0 release, I feel rejuvenated. Full of hope. Ready to take on any challenge.

Hold on to sixteen as long as you can… Changes come around real soon make us women and men.

There was no fear when I started my first company in college—I had more guts than brains. There was a ton of fear present when No Thirst Software launched—I had more failures than successes. But now, it’s almost two years since I started this blog and caught the bug to go out on my own again and I’m happier than ever.

Little ditty about Jack and Diane…

Because I know that anything is possible.

Two American kids doin’ the best that they can.

Peace.

8 thoughts on “Hold on to Sixteen as Long as You Can

  1. Chad

    What we really want to know is….

    What ZZ Top song was playing?

    I noticed MoneyWell 1.3.3 went up today, so I was wondering if you would be posting something soon. Indeed!

  2. Chad

    The Offspring song “The Kids Aren’t Alright” is in a similar vein — the Youth are so optimistic and eager for the future before the cruel joke of Life opens up an extra large can of Whoop@$$ on them. Mwahahaha!

    ———————-

    I understand the excitement of wanting to get to the next version of your software. I (finally) released my first non-freeware app 33 RPM a few weeks ago, and I’m already itching to start working on Version 2.0, however I need to address version 1.1 and so on first…

  3. jeffgo

    Heh, and we got into a little trouble for that hacking… as I recall, we couldnt use the computer for a week or two?! Aiiieeee! Thankfully, the admin were cool and, as you said, we always turned in our projects first so they knew we werent cheating… honestly, we were just poking around trying to learn all we could about computers! Although it was fun too, wasnt it? 🙂

    Ahh… thanks for the trip down memory lane Kev! You got me thinking tho. It seems to me the reason we have this amazing memory is so we can learn from our experiences. And the one thing you wrote that caught my attention was “There was no fear when I started my first company in college […] There was a ton of fear present when No Thirst Software launched.”

    And the questions that came to me were: where does this fear come from? What
    is its origin? Why do so many people grow more fearful over time? What is it about the way our mind works that causes this to happen? And since we all have a mind, each of us can inquire into ourselves to understand the origins of fear… and desire, and faith!

    Life is a most wonderful opportunity to see the awesome beauty in how everything is connected!

    Fred – Jeff – Dartner 🙂

  4. Chad

    It’s all about past experiences.

    You can warn that child not to touch the stove since it will be hot, but they may never believe you until they have burnt themselves!

    So it is natural that Kevin might have had some apprehension about starting up another company when some of his past ventures may have not been overly successful. But hopefully the successes and failures that Kevin has had in the past turned into wisdom on what to do and not to do.

  5. jeffgo

    Hi Chad, just had some thoughts about what you wrote…

    > It’s all about past experiences.

    Okay, so why is that? I mean, does life have to be about past experiences, or do we just (unknowingly) make it that way? Doesnt it seem that who we are today is a result of our past experiences? For example, had you been born in Africa or Canada, you’d be a different person with a different sense of self today, right?

    It seems then, that we use our past experiences to build this sense of self. And that gives us security, doesnt it? “I am an American.” “I am a Republican or Democrat.” “I am for this and against that.” We become secure in our knowledge of who we are. “I am this!”

    But if you think about it another way, who we are today is really an accumulation of who we were in the past. And we continue to live out of those past experiences, cling to them like a security blanket, here in the present. So now, when we meet something new, we unknowingly carry all this baggage along. We meet the present with our past… we either live in the past or dream of the future! Like if someone experiences a failed relationship or business or whatever, the next time they try the same thing, they often end up with the same results (or give up out of fear of trying).

    > You can warn that child not to
    > touch the stove since it will be
    > hot, but they may never believe
    > you until they have burnt themselves!

    Is the implication here that child has learned to fear the stove? Or that though this experience, the child learned a stove can be hot?

    As a child, I stuck a car key into an electric socket right after my dad told me not to do it (a very vivid memory :-)). But I certainly do not fear electricity today, but I did learn something from that experience!

    Similarly, while I’ve never been bitten by a rattlesnake, I neither fear them nor do I wish to wave my hand in front of one to see if, in fact, they are poisonous. I have acquired my “rattlesnake knowledge” a different way!

    > So it is natural that Kevin might
    > have had some apprehension about
    > starting up another company when
    > some of his past ventures may have
    > not been overly successful.

    Natural or not, was his apprehension necessary? Look, Kevin is an awesome entrepreneur — he gave me my first job! — and I also know he has great people skills. He knows what people need, works hard and learns from past experiences. Sure there’s some randomness involved, but in the end, it will work out for him. He has what it takes. Of what use was fear?

    > But hopefully the successes and
    > failures that Kevin has had in
    > the past turned into wisdom on
    > what to do and not to do.

    Hmm… I would say he has acquired a great deal of business knowledge. See, anything that implies direction or purpose… where actions can be judged (success/failure, good/bad), I consider all that to be in the realm of knowledge.

    Wisdom is different though. It has no direction, goal, or purpose. It can not judge (or be judged). It can only be approximated by words, and wisdom is just a silly word!

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