Biking Milestones, and why Guy Kawasaki is partly wrong

Yeah, this blog post is going to be non-sequitur. Bear with me, the first part is short, and I want to brag.

About a month and a half ago, we bought bikes.  I’ve been commuting by bike to work averaging about once a week – it definitely takes a while to get into the rhythm of things.  From the previous post, you can see that there’s a crazy huge (well, I’m call it crazy huge) at the 3.4 mile marker.  The first few time we it the hill, we took two mini-rest breaks.  The second time, and subsequent times, I’ve taken one mini-rest break (walking the bike a short distance, along with a few other people that poop out around the same point).  I’ve been getting farther and farther up the hill before the rest break, though, until yesterday… when I made it the whole way sans stopping.  Yay!  Here’s the problem: now that I know it can be done, I no longer have excuses to stop.

Ok, that was longer than anticipated, and many people that ride bikes will say “wow, he’s pathetically out of shape” – they’d be right, but I guess I’m working on fixing that, and that counts for something.

So, back to Guy Kawasaki.  A month or two ago I read Presentation Zen, an excellent book that I recommend people read.  I liked his section on prototyping presentations using paper, pen, tape, and a wall, and I’ve done that when putting together the last few presentations I’ve done.  Where’d Guy go wrong?  Well, he says that slideware (e.g., PowerPoint and Keynote) isn’t usable as a presentation design program.  I think I’ve just come to realize why.

I was putting together a quick & dirty presentation for my homeowner’s association the other day, and I did it directly in PowerPoint.  It worked fine to mock things up, but I found myself doing exactly what you shouldn’t be doing when drafting a presentation: I’d throw text on a slide, and immediately start putting graphics in, figuring out the right formatting, etc.  That doesn’t go in a mock-up, and that’s where Guy is right.  But, if you can ignore the formatting/etc. in your slideware app, I think it’s a perfectly fine spot to put together presentations.