★ A Tale of Two Jobs

I’ve been wanting to write this post for awhile now but I didn’t want to jinx anything before it all became official. I’ve always been amazed how much can happen in a year and this year is no exception. At the beginning of the year, I was working from home for a small HVAC rep firm and worked on a food truck part time. Fast forward to the end of November and my how things have changed.

As of yesterday, I became an employee of DMG. DES, the company I’ve been working for since 2009, was bought and most of the employees joined DMG as part of the merger. My position has changed. I won’t be in outside sales and working from home anymore. In this role, I’ll be supporting two outside sales people and be commuting 5 days a week to the office. I’m not disappointed at all with the change. Working from home definitely has its pros but it also has its cons. The main disadvantage to working from home are the distractions. I’d often work from coffee shops just to get away from my apartment just to give me a sense of going somewhere to do something. I’m actually looking forward to working in an office with actual coworkers. At home, all I had was Dexter. While I’ll miss being able to run errands during the day and working remotely (sometimes very remotely), I’m excited to start work.

I started working on the Dos Chinos food truck in September of 2010 and while I thought of it as something I would do for fun on the side for extra money, I almost turned it into my career. The truck turned from an unwrapped, roach coach to one of the most popular food trucks in Orange County. The truck was featured in the New York Times, Good Day LA and Eat Street on The Cooking Channel. The truck was doing so well that in October, Dos Chinos opened the doors to its brick and mortar location. With rumors of DES being acquired and the success of the food truck, I seriously contemplated switching careers to manage the Downtown LA location. I told my managers at both DES and Dos Chinos where I was and that after a much needed vacation to Hawaii, that I would make my decision of where I wanted to work. Once I got back, I made my decision to work at Dos Chinos full time. I called Hop ready to work and got the cold shoulder. While we had verbally agreed on how much I would be paid, he back tracked and couldn’t afford to pay me. I had already told DES that I was working the restaurant full time but held off telling DMG. I thank the powers that be for everything working out the way it did.

While I’m sad the Dos Chinos thing didn’t work out the way I wanted, it led me to my current side gig. I met the guys from The Lime Truck back in September 2010. We all hung out at their house in Irvine after a long shift and had a great time. They eventually became one of, if not the most, popular trucks in Orange County. They recently won season 2 of The Great Food Truck race and Chef Jason is using the money to open his own restaurant. A couple months back when Dos Chinos and The Lime Truck put together a pop up restaurant event, I asked him about working at his new restaurant. I called him the closer the restaurant was to being done and while I was expecting to go through some interview process, he ended up bringing me along as part of his staff. My side gig is now a server and stage at Playground in Downtown Santa Ana.

In Steve Jobs’ commencement speech to Stanford, he spoke about connecting the dots.

You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

I know that all the events of the past year have led me to where I am today. Without meeting Hop, I would’ve never met Jason and I wouldn’t have my awesome side gig I have today. If one of my old managers didn’t refer me to Joe, I would’ve never been hired by DES and then later acquired by DMG. I know that the dots I’ve connected this year are only a small part of a bigger picture. I won’t know how the picture will end up looking like, but I trust that it will all work out in the end.

★ Daring Fireball: The Type of Companies That Publish Future Concept Videos

Here’s an absolutely great piece from John Gruber about companies that create and publish futuristic concept videos. Yes, they look cool but as many people have pointed out many times before, they already made Minority Report. It’s great to think and imagine what the future COULD be like, but in essence, it’s just a waste of time. If those videos were true, we’d all have flying cars and robotic servants by now. Just think of the videos that Microsoft has created recently. Courier and Surface come to mind. I wonder how those two products are doing?

This is also why I respect Apple for their secrecy and refusing to announce products before they’re actually ready to ship, let alone exist. Under promise, over deliver.