The G-d Watch – Live With The End In Mind

I used to have this manager who was within a couple of years of retirement.

She kept a jar of beans on her desk.

Each bean represented one day of work.

And every day, she would take one bean out of the jar.

This was her way of counting down to the end of her career (and the beginning of her retirement).

Anyway, trust me when I say, that we were counting down too–even without the beans. 🙂

At work, some people may even say of someone just hanging on or just hanging-out waiting to retire that they are Retired In Place (RIP)–a pun, on rest in peace.

Uh, not funny, but when people know the end is coming (either for career or their life), they often change their behavior–they focus on what what’s coming next.

With the end of career, perhaps they are imaging sunny skies, palm trees, and margaritas in retirement.

And with end of life, people are often thinking about judgement day–and how they spent their lives: in love or hate, purposeful or without direction, doing good or taking advantage.

So it’s very interesting to me how this company, Tikker (funny name, as a watch often makes the sound tick-tock, but also a person’s heart is referred to as a ticker), developed a watch (the Death Watch) that not only provides the time, but actually counts down–years, months, days, and even hours, minutes, and seconds–not that they can be so precise–to your expected death.

The watch is supposed to give people new perspective and encourage them to live a better life.

Someone who is going to purchase the watch fills out a questionnaire with information on family health history, age gender, and race, and then they get their estimated date of death, for the countdown!

With the DOD (date of death), we now know what we are dealing with–for better or worse–and of course, subject to change, by the One Above.

But like the boss looking to retirement who took out a bean a day from the jar, we too can look towards our own mortality–not in a sad way, but in a fundamental human way–one that guides us, with the end in mind, to make better decisions for the time we have in life.

Despite, what almost every young person seems to believe, we are not immortal–and the stupid things we do when we are young or throughout of lives comes back to haunt us (whether smoking, drinking, overeating, or other bad stuff).

And so we must choose to live every moment, not as if we have forever, but rather with purpose, passion, and poetry–until the clock runs out on all of us, as it inevitably will.

Google Hypocrisy?

Google Hypocrisy?

Google, which touts itself as the one that “organize[s] the world’s information and make[s] it universally accessible and usable,” ended its Reader product on Monday, July 1.

The RSS reader was a terrific tool for aggregating content feeds on the Internet (and Google is a terrific company that benefits the whole world’s thirst for knowledge).

With Google Reader you could subscribe to tens or hundreds of news services, blogs, and other information feeds and read it on your desktop or mobile device.

Reader represented the Google mission itself by pulling together all this information and making it available in one reading place, simply and easily for anyone.

While the Goolge line is that they killed Reader, because of a declining user base, I find this less then credible, since anecdotally it seems like a very popular that is helpful to people. Moreover, Google could’ve chosen to competitively enhance this product rather than shut it down.

So why did they end a great product that literally fits their mission perfectly?

We can only surmise that the ad clicks weren’t there (and thus neither was the profit) or perhaps Google felt this product was cannibalizing attention from their other products like Google News (a limited aggregator) or from some of their paying ad sponsors or partners feeding other products like Google Glass.

We may never know the answer, but what we do know is that, in this case, Google sold out on it’s core mission of organizing and providing information and abandoned their adoring userbase for Reader.

Feedly and other more clunky readers are out there, but Google Reader is a loss for the information needy and desirous and a misstep by Google.

RIP Reader, I think we will yet see you, in some form or fashion, yet again. 😉

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Laurie Pink)