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Self Improvement

Investing In Yourself

01.09.06 | Comment?

Billionaire Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban had a great blog post the other day, a follow-up to a previous post about investing. In that previous post, he basically ran down investing in the stock market, arguing that by paying commissions you were throwing your money away when you could invest elsewhere with guaranteed returns.

In his follow-up, he details what he thinks is the best way to invest: invest in yourself. Spend that money on a book and learn how to program in PHP, or PERL, or if you’re a half-wit like me, VB Script. Come up with solutions to your own problems, then sell them to others. In my own small way, that’s what I’ve been trying to do with my various programming projects.

Most programming tools come free with the operation system. To learn ASP all you have to have is a computer with XP Professional installed. The hottest new technique, Asynchronous Javascript and XML (AJAX) requires no fancy software. It just requires patience and determination.

It’s not just programming that’s easier these days. It’s always been true that to make yourself an author you need only a typewriter, but digital technology lowers barriers to entry for other artistic types. Musicians can cut entire albums on their computers. Filmmakers can’t quite make featurs, but with an inexpensive MiniDV camcorder they can at least make some demos, and learn from their efforts.

With the approach of inexpensive computer-controlled fabrication, soon you will be able to create physical objects with a computer and a few hundred bucks. If you really want to do something, you no longer have any excuses.

Speaking of my programming projects, the latest one is nearing completion, and I hope to have a grand unveiling on February 1st. Some of you may hear about it ahead of time… the cool ones, anyway.

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