Thought Lieder

Friday, April 3: I drove to work this morning with my GPS set to avoid highways. This added an hour to my commute, but someone has to think disruptively. Traffic is just a trap for the innovators who think the information superhighway is a one-way street — that’s a metaphor. As my hero Elon Musk once said: “when two roads diverged in the woods, I took the one less traveled and I did it in a Model S”.

I spent two hours searching for a parking space outside our office, but that’s okay because pain is an invitation to generate more groundbreaking solutions to the world’s complex realities. An example: we could fix the parking problem by adding more parking. We could also fix it by driving fewer cars, but I can’t get into that unless you sign an NDA.

I’m late for work so I run up the six flights of stairs. Our office pioneered the “hybrid architecture” approach to the floor plan, dedicating half the space to communal assembling of Ikea furniture and the other half to meeting rooms we call “thought incubators,” because that is where ideas are born. In the kitchen, I brew up a fresh pot of coffee for everyone, because I am a contributor. My boss walks over to ask for my input on a value-creating tweet. He is the CTO, which means he’s responsible for building technical equity in the digital space.

I open my MacBook Pro, late-2012 model, and get to work. Lately I’ve been focused on writing only constructors because constructors are the thought leaders of code. A constructor sets the rest of the code up for success. What does the rest of the code do? I don’t know. My debugger keeps disconnecting but that doesn’t bother me because sometimes you just have to go with your gut, which is also why I force push everything straight to master. Do you think Evan Williams used a feature branch when he wrote all of Twitter? I don’t fucking think so.

My office is cold today because the building has turned off our heat. The temperatures perfect for burning incense. I start writing this down in an email to my boss, but am sidetracked by an opportunity to participate in the emergent contemporary dialogue and comment on a Medium post instead. The email isn’t thought-complete yet so I save it as a draft.

I’m hungry. My coworkers have already eaten so I decide to eat alone at my desk and keep working on constructors. In the tech industry this is what we call a “soft lunch”.

I order food online and then walk down six flights of stairs to the burrito place. We have an elevator but we require everyone to take the stairs anyway because we find it increases employee engagement with the space.

The burrito place gets my order wrong. The cashier asks if there is a problem, and I tell her there are no problems, only opportunities. I take this opportunity to educate her on the importance of sensitivities to shifting market trends, because our entire office has been intolerant to gluten and other carbs since May. In the end I take the burrito anyway, because in a rapidly changing post-consumer-driven ecosystem we have to learn to adapt or be rendered obsolete.

As I walk back up the stairs, I think about how the burrito is an isolated capsule in a dynamicizing world, a panoply of ingredients working together in synergy towards a mutual goal, a thought pocket.

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