white and gold floral chandelier 
Photo byLuke Watkinson on Unsplash

Nanogram Wise, Kilogram Foolish

Getting an early start on my New Year’s Resolutions

I suppose that it isn’t quite the right modernization of Penny Wise, Pound Foolish, but the ratios seem more realistic.

Each year I make two New Year’s Resolutions.  One has been repeated annually for a quarter century of my life and has never been kept, while the other is a new one each year.

Instead of shopping on Black Friday, I start working on formulating that second resolution, and I have a candidate. I want to avoid being “Nanogram Wise, Kilogram Foolish.”

I look at a mess of silver-gray charging cables.  USB-B, USB-C, Lightning, etc. They are all the same color: silver-gray. Silver-gray cables tend to be that way. I suppose that that shouldn’t surprise me.

If each type were a different color, it would be much easier to find the one I wanted. But the stack of them in each room would have cost an extra twenty-three cents. That’s almost a full dollar over the whole house.

I have also lost a few hours a few times each year because I had bought a phone or computer without the next increment of mass storage. I also got some extra frustration, stress, distraction, and lateness, but it is harder to put a monetary value on those.

When I look at the time eaten and money saved, it might come out to minimum wage; it might not. It probably doesn’t.

We won’t speak of the swiss army knives that I got cheaply from the TSA auction whose scissors don’t quite work.

My lessons learned file is filled with these. My New Year’s Resolution for 2023 is not to have any new ones to add.

If I take a moment to think beyond myself, there is a broader story.

Each year, I hear all too many horror stories about startups that used free versions of SaaS tools that didn’t have administrative access control and died horrible deaths when a disgruntled employee left with the password. And similar stories of people that don’t do backups. Or those who should have bought a lawyer hour.

If I were more ambitious, I would resolve not to have any of my startups have stories to add; but Ceasar was ambitious, and all know what happened to him.

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Written by Russell Brand

Russell has started three successful companies, one of which helped agencies of the federal government become very early adopters of open source software, long before that term was coined. His first project saved The American taxpayer 250 million dollars. In his work within federal agency, he was often called, “the arbiter of truth,” facilitating historically hostile groups and factions to effectively work together towards common goals


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