Tuesday, July 25, 2006

N.A.D.D. - Nerd Attention Deficit Disorder - I’ve Got It!

If you are in the business of developing software, you should be reading the most excellent Rands In Repose blog. Rands (not his real name) is an excellent writer and makes the topics of software engineering and project management quite enjoyable. I'll get to some specific examples in the future, but for now, I wanted to point out that I think he has diagnosed one of my "disorders".

It's NADD - Nerd Attention Deficit Disorder. This paragraph struck home:

Stop reading right now and take a look at your desktop. How many things are you doing right now in addition to reading this column? Me, I've got a terminal session open to a chat room, I'm listening to music, I've got Safari open with three tabs open where I'm watching Blogshares, tinkering with a web site, and looking at weekend movie returns. Not done yet. I've got iChat open, ESPN.COM is downloading sports new trailers in the background, and I've got two notepads open where I'm capturing random thoughts for later integration into various to do lists. Oh yeah, I'm writing this column, as well.

Also, this:
My mother first diagnosed me with NADD. It was the late 80s and she was bringing me dinner in my bedroom (nerd). I was merrily typing away to friends in some primitive chat room on my IBM XT (super nerd), listening to some music (probably Flock of Seagulls -- nerd++), and watching Back to the Future with the sound off (neeeeerrrrrrrd). She commented, "How can you focus on anything with all this stuff going on?" I responded, "Mom, I can't focus without all this noise."

Great stuff, and fun reading!

I think I have a mild and "mostly under control" case of NADD. I also think people with NADD, and the ability to control their affliction, make excellent entrepreneurs. However, entrepreneurs need to be focused and need to make steady progress towards their goals and objectives. If NADD gets out of control, an entrepreneur can be like the dog with 10 bowls of food in front of it that died of starvation because it kept running between the "bowls of opportunity", never stopping to feast and finish it off.

As an investor, I spend my time multi-tasking across a handful of known companies each week PLUS seeing a handful of new companies each week. A touch of controlled NADD, and the fact that each company is usually quite interesting, make the job extremely enjoyable for me, and productive for the entrepreneurs and executives that I work with.

Rands ends with:

Oh well, embrace your handicap.

Good advice.

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  1. [...] Looks like they are rolling out the new goodies as we speak. No worries. Since I have N.A.D.D., I can keep myself busy until such time as I can place the order. [...]

  2. We need a national organization. Where do I send in my membership fee...

  3. My name is Bill, and I have N.A.D.D.

    I'm here to start the 12 Step Process.

    First, let's do a mindmap of the process we'll follow, but we need to make sure we integrate it into a project management tool that will connect to a dynamic blog that will post our progress, along with a Twitter presence so we can keep track of each other, that is a front-end to a wiki so we can catalog our knowledge history, and a ...

  4. Bill and Matt,

    I still belive that being a bit NADD is a good thing. Of course I would, since it's pretty much impossible to fix. My excuse: It's all about learning. I think the NADD helps me learn. Believe it or not. It's just how my brain works. And, that's what this blog is supposed to be about. Brian Berliner's Brain.



  5. I definitevely have NADD. I perfectly fit the sintoms.
    The bad side is that is imposible to be focus on anything... thats serius.

  6. [...] me thinking about Business Models as applied to the VC industry now… Ahem. That’s my NADD. Back to [...]

  7. [...] like they are rolling out the new goodies as we speak. No worries. Since I have N.A.D.D., I can keep myself busy until such time as I can place the [...]


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