It’s been about a year since I threw Johnny Castaway up on the web, and I thought it might be time for an update.
Did you know you can temporarily deactivate your Facebook account without losing your Facebook messenger?
The year was 2011. My startup had closed, and I had spent the summer writing Android apps and blogging. I had just joined a Google Ventures startup (Miso), and we all rented a bus to truck it up to TechCrunch Disrupt.
As a life-long hacker, I have spent my life taking things apart, figuring out how they work, and attempting to improve them. Far more of my hacking projects have failed than will ever grace the pages of this blog, sometimes in spectacular and unexpected ways. It’s through that repeated failure and reflection that I learn to succeed. I share those successes (and quite a few of the failures) with others, and they are often the backdrop of my leadership coaching.
Longtime readers of this blog may recall my slight obsession with an old screensaver: Johnny Castaway. Johnny was a Windows 3.1 screensaver, part of Sierra’s ‘Screen Antics’ collection. Fitting handily on a single 3.5” floppy disk, Johnny spent his time alone on a deserted island. He fished, he napped, he went on dates with a mermaid. It was a fascinating, subversive tale. The true moral of the story was that Johnny wasn’t happy until he was on that island, but he didn’t realize it until after he had been rescued. The ‘ending’ scene is of Johnny parachuting back onto his desert island, leaving his old programming job and city life behind.