On Success and other people

I found this great quote again. (Thanks to Readwise.io, which btw. creates such nice pictures from the quote)

The 10 Keys to Success by John Bird  When you hear people say things like this, you need to take it with a pinch of salt. Much of the time they will say it because they are jealous of you and your courage. They will tell themselves that risk is stupid, that it will only lead to something bad and mess up their lives. So then you come along, all excited and full of energy about doing something new, and they are not pleased. Because they do not want to leave their comfort zone, the idea of you doing so is very scary. It reminds them that they have dreams they want to follow, dreams they don't have the courage or guts to chase.
Fantastic observation from John Bird

John Bird wrote a few remarkable books of which I were given two over 10 years ago. His way of life was clearly a different from mine and from most people reading this page. I recommend his books. They are quick to read but very insightful. 

Sitting in the right box

We all have our lessons learned. We all draw on some memes that describe how you think about life in general. At least, that is how I work. A few ideas that got stuck with me, rang a chord and that will be used to explain life or at least patterns seen. 

And this is one that I use consistently. It not only stuck because of the drawing. Here it is:


The heading says “it all depends on sitting in the right box”. Left box offers chicks for cuddling – the right box offers shark fodder both at the same price. 

Whoever did this was a genius. It explains so many things. Just think of rich vs poor parents, born in a rich country with access to Corona vaccination or not. Or think of the great teacher in your parallel class, the genetic disposition of someone, etc. 

Now, I am not saying that everything in life is luck. I neither say that you should accept your box as a stoic. Of course, you need to work on your life. Of course, an initial disadvantage might proof to become the challenge that eventually changes you into a better person –  and the like.

But it still is very much a game of luck. 

Brené Brown on Vulnerability

My first reaction to this video is that I met in my life 3 times people that were able to laugh about themselves. They were making themselves vulnerable, telling me how stupid they have been again and again and laughed about themselves – (hopefully) knowing that I wouldn’t think less of them (quite the opposite). Do I need to tell you that I admire them? Why else would I count? They were warm and I could be a bit more myself in their company.

I simply don’t think myself being capable of this (yet). But this is the way to go!

Brené Brown’s: The Power of Vulnerability

Great talk, thanks Brené.

Vithanco Rebranding

I have been working on my Visual Thinking application line. It’s time to explain the future developments.

The rebranding became necessary when Apple changed the App Store Rules and my existing names became too long for the new rules. I needed to shorten the name although I liked the rather verbose “Visual Thinking” branding.  After some thinking I decided on “Visual Thinking and Communication” or in short: “Vithanco”. I really like the new name, because it really stands for how I think about these applications. They are tools for thinking and tools for communication. And since I was working on it, I worked on a new logo.

logo 2880x1800

Along with the rebranding came new features I had already been working on. Keyboard control, spell checking, performance improvements (now diagrams with 100+ nodes are as fast as diagrams with 10 nodes), and clusters. The latter is currently only available for Concept Maps but will be available in the next releases for IBIS and TOC.

This was the easy part. I made one more decision that needed more consideration. I will switch from several small applications to one application. I intend to update the one Domain applications that I have going forward. But my main focus will be on Vithanco – the generic App. The different diagrams that you can create with the IBIS, Concept Maps, or TOC variants will be part of the new App (in fact you will be able to open them in the generic application). The variants are basically “Domains” within Vithanco. Each diagram will be created according to a particular Domain.

A Concept Map depicting key concepts of Vithanco

New Domains will be included into Vithanco. The first new domain will be based on the benefit realisation approach that I mentioned earlier. More Domains will follow.

The Domain and Node Type Editor will be only fully functioning in the generic application going forward. I will hence take this functionality from the TOC variant.

With Vithanco I will change the payment model from pay in advance to Freemium. Flying Logic is the only similar software that I know. It sells for 249USD. I think that is a too high price upfront for private users. Hence, you can try it for free for 2 months before you will be charged 2.99 USD per month. If you don’t want to use it, you cancel the subscription. This way -ignoring net present value- you will need to use it for 7 years before you pay the same. Updates won’t cost you extra, new Domains won’t cost extra. I hope others see this as well as a fair deal.

Vithanco will be released in the coming weeks. I can’t wait to see it on the App Store.

Lastly, I am now creating Vithanco.com as a new home for the application. I will transfer all software related content there going forward.

Visual Thinking with Theory of Constraints – Version 1.1.0 released today

A new version of my software to support the TOC thinking processes was released today. The improvements will soon come to the IBIS and Concept Map variants as well.

Key changes are the keyboard controls and spellchecker. If you want to learn more about the software then have a look at the dedicated page for the software.


Whose success do I worry about?

I found a little gem to share: http://www.jackvinson.com/blog/2017/11/12/whose-success-do-i-worry-about. It’s a simple twist that changes your perspective. Think about your customers needs, not your needs if you want to succeed in the long run.

On a related note, sometimes I observe the same mentality within a company where I see decisions made that seem to serve personal interest more than the interests of the company.  It seems to have less negative impact as these people tend to change their customer base completely whenever they are switching jobs.

Visual Thinking with Theory of Constraints

I am a big fan of Theory of Constraints (TOC). I read the book “The Goal” years ago – actually after I was presented the great application “Flying Logic”. Ever since then was I wondering why Flying Logic is so expensive. It is such a great tool and so applicable to many kind of issues – but simply too expensive. When I was starting with the Visual Thinking for IBIS application did i have Flying Logic in mind. I wanted a Mac tool that is similar to Flying Logic, but easier to use.

I have now done a big step in that direction. I have released the first version of “Visual Thinking with Theory of Constraints“. It is an early release as the visual language is more complex and will need some adjustments. Next problem is that TOC has several different diagram types and the app needs to cater for it. But, I have a workable first version.

Please add comments to the project page.