Alex Muir

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Code sober, get things done drunk

I've tried coding drunk.  It was a disaster - even a couple of beers had me really struggling to produce anything worthwhile.  I decided coding was like driving - you need all your faculties to work.  You might get by on a straight road, at 5mph in a car you don't care about.  But we can't all work at RIM - and startups just don't suit that driving style.

Business operations on the other hand, don't require accuracy or precision.  It's something that takes momentum, decisiveness and, often, balls.  I'm at the airport in a lounge with unlimited drinks - I HATE flying so this is my new way of coping.  I'm four gins to the wind and flying along with my emails.  I'm Getting Things Done that I've put off for weeks - awkward emails to be written, decisions to be made.

Where normally I'd be umm-ing and argh-ing over the slightest detail, I'm just whacking things out.  I've got to tell someone their writing isn't good enough for me to print in a magazine I edit.  I've put it off for a couple of weeks and that's cost me money.  But Gin Number Three me sends this:

I'm afraid your writing style doesn't fit with what I'm looking to publish.  That's not a criticism of your style, it's just a reality.  I'm sorry not to be able to go any further.  I wish you all the best and will, of course, pay you for the the work you've done so far.  If you'd like to have a chat with me that's fine, you've got my number.
Job done.  And that's just one of about ten awkward things I've done.  And this blog post.

I've read things where people brag about coding drunk, and frankly I've been jealous that I couldn't do it.  Or code tired, fuelled by nothing but pizza and coffee.  But I think that doing some of the shittier tasks around a startup is easier after a few drinks.  I've watched a fair few drunks in my time, and they have a single-mindedness that offsets their poor balance and lack of co-ordination.  That can't hurt when it comes to churning through some monotony and getting back to a zero inbox.

This post was migrated across from my old blog. Please excuse any horrible formatting. If it is unreadable then let me know.

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