Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wine Tasting in Napa

Went wine tasting with the Kellogg crew a few weeks back. Here's a nice picture from the Frog's Leap Winery with Ananda and me.

Thanks for the great picture Kirsten Kenna.

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Audacity of Government

Per David Hegarty's recommendation, I checked out This American Life podcast. I had tried it a couple times but could never get into it. I gave it the extra effort this time and loved the Audacity of Government episode.

It's really easy to subscribe to podcasts in iTunes. That's how I listen to them.


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Confused from Lost?

If you were as confused as I was from this week's Lost episode, check out this recap from Cynthia Littleton. Thanks for passing it on Matt.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Small Business Love

I grew up in my mother's small business, Elegant Clutter, so I know how nice a few kind words can feel. Running a small business is incredibly hard but when you build relationships with your customers and they start spreading the word for you, it's magical.

While I was waiting for my car at Big O Tires in Dublin this morning, I decided to post a review on Yelp for some of my favorite small businesses. My review of Big O can be found here. It felt great to help out someone who helps me out every time I need it. Take a few minutes to do the same for the small businesses in your life and post a few links in the comments section below.

Here are my favorites:
Ella's Restaurant - quite possibly the best breakfast in the world. No joke.

Doctor Mark Savant - great guy and great doctor. I've been blessed with a lot of great physicians over the years but Dr. Savant is my favorite.

Doctor Kevin Growney - best dentist ever. I would say that approximately 25 of my friends go to Dr. Growney. He's a cool dude, only does what is necessary and makes the best wantons at his Christmas party.

Little Star Pizza - Ananda and Taylor both recommended it so we went there Friday night. You can read more on my review but it deserves a spot in my coveted "pizza rotation."

Amen to That

Loved this article in the SF Chronicle about an alternative way to bring gas prices down. Money line:

"God is the only one we can turn to at this point," said Twyman, 59. "Our leaders don't seem to be able to do anything about it. The prices keep soaring and soaring."

Amen! It now costs me $60 to fill up and that is 4 days worth of gas, so my monthly run rate is about $300 on gas. Wow.

Luckily the Fed's favorite measure of price inflation doesn't include energy or food prices.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Cool Friday Music

Before I get to the music, I just want to thank you for reading this blog. I love writing it and it means a lot to me that you take the time to read it. Thanks!

Great Northern - Home
Been listening to this band a lot. There's a great rock element and a little bit of a power ballad element too.

My Morning Jacket - Rocket Man
Via Gust Funnel. Love Jim James. Love Rocket Man the song. Together they are Love^2.

Counting Crows - You Can't Count On Me
More Crows. This new album is really growing on me.

Counting Crows - Washington Square (live on WXPN/World Cafe)
Cool commentary from Adam Duritz before beginning another new song on the album. This is a live performance and sounds great. I'm a sucker for his songs because 1) He references a lot of places I've lived, and 2) He's great at creating visuals of those places.

I spent a wonderful summer in NYC living a block away from Washington Square. Great memories.

Neato Shark

I saw this clip in Emma Blaylock's Facebook feed. Thought it was pretty cool.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Worth $0 but Still AAA Rated?

A funny thing is going on in the financial markets. Monoline insurer Ambac (ABK) is slowly but steadily moving towards a stock price of $0. It collapsed about 40% today when it issued its earnings and they were worse than expected. Ambac's business is to re-insure bonds issued by Wall Street. Ambac blesses the bonds with its credit rating, a AAA, the highest possible, and magically those bonds trade at higher levels because of Ambac's guarantee. Ambac is essentially transferring its credit rating to these bonds and is extracting a fee for the service. It is selling insurance.

So what's the big deal? The big deal is that Ambac is really only functional as long as its a AAA credit. But the stock is going to $0 you say. How can it be a AAA credit and have a stock worth nothing? One of my favorite financial writers, Bill Fleckenstein raised this question today.

I'm not really sure how this is possible but one thing is sure, the ratings agencies like S&P and Moody's are moving really slowly on this. There are obviously serious troubles here, why aren't they downgrading Ambac? Well, if they downgrade Ambac to a worse credit rating, all these bonds that are AAA rated by virtue of Ambac's guarantee will lose their AAA rating. Those bonds are held by large institutions that are sometimes chartered to only hold AAA rated bonds. Those institutions would have to sell those bonds, creating a liquidity crisis and hurting the bond and stock market. This could become a real mess.

There is something fishy going on here but something tells me it won't take long to see what happens.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Hegarty Steps Up on Netflix

My buddy David Hegarty writes a killer blog, the 314 into 206. I'm not sure what that title means, but I haven't really explained Kenny Kellogg yet either. Anywhoo, David announced on his blog that he was tripling down on Netflix today.

The background is that Netflix lost 25% of its value today because they announced they would be investing more in infrastructure to deliver movies over the Internet. Wall Street didn't like the sound of that and punished the company.

Is there any doubt that Netflix needs to have this capability though? I think it's great that management is playing for the long term. David likes the company for this reason and because they have an amazing recommendation engine. I think he makes a great point. Who has the best recommendation engines around? Amazon, Netflix, and Pandora come to mind. Who else do you like because of their recommendation engine?

Through the miracle of Covestor, we can track David's trades and we'll know in a few months whether this was a good idea.

Just to prove he's not a total stiff, here is an artsy entry from him and another one that highlights his favorite music of 07'.

Reblog: When Meg Sued Craig: Ebay vs. Craigslist

Reblogging from Paul Kedrosky the short NY Times article on the lawsuit that eBay filed against Craigslist. This was bound to end in ugliness. A while back, eBay bought about 25% of Craigslist from an employee who had been given ownership but wanted out. That employee cashed out and eBay has been hovering over Craigslist ever since.

From the article, it sounds like some type of dilution scheme was approved and implemented by Craig and his compadre. One mechanism could have been a "poison pill" which allows one group of shareholders to effectively dilute down an unwanted outsider by issuing tons of shares. Poison pills are typically used to discourage a hostile takeover. The weird thing in this situation is that eBay has been a shareholder for a while. They should have some governance visibility into Craigslist. Maybe they saw it coming but couldn't stop it and had to resort to a lawsuit.

Can't wait to see this play out.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Bachelor Game Theory

Saw this article from Slate trying to apply game theory to being an eligible bachelor in Hussein Kanji's Facebook stream. I'm not sure I buy the premise of the article, but it's an interesting read.

Jacket is On

Got a great email from My Morning Jacket yesterday. They debuted their new album, Evil Urges, at SXSW and within a few days, the whole thing was online, in imperfect form. The band wants you to hear the good stuff -- the studio recordings -- first. Totally understandable to me. So linked to their playful email about this problem, copied in below, was an mp3 called Evil Urges. I can't post it so here is a link to stream it.

My Morning Jacket - Evil Urges

hello all you fine and wonderful people out there that are interested in what we do. we now live in the 90's - the era of the interweb and instant gratification. these are confusing times for all humankind, but especially for those of us in the music world as you well know... a week or so ago we played some of our new songs for the first time at a show in houston tx! about an hour later all of those songs were available on the interweb- talk about speed!!! since those and other non-album audiovisual recordings are available to people on the interweb, we wanted to make at least one "real" song version available (if one was interested in what the "real actual studio album" might sound like) to those of you who have supported us most and have seemed most excited about what we are doing over the years.

so here is the song "evil urges". we sure hope you are to enjoy it! we would put the whole thing out there on the interweb, but gosh darn-it, we're still a little old fashioned in that way of wanting the listener to be able to get the actual music when it is supposed to be released, when we say it is finished- not when someone else puts it on the interweb.... but it is the 90's now, we understand that. its a new decade and we want to be part of this decade, but whilst still maintaining a link to the past - where one can't necessarily get everything they want immediately when they want it, but rather when they are told they can have it - by their real life keeper or their digital daddy! we will play both roles here. we all personally relish waiting to unwrap that shrink wrap and smelling that fresh vinyl or compact disc plastic, mmm...that fresh cardboard and paper. or if we buy it off the interweb we all love holding our computers up to our noses and smelling those brand new digital downloads...mmm...fresh! gall durn it- we're just old fashioned that way. sometimes... gentle reader, in this age of instant gratification, waiting can be so rewarding, it can teach us a valuable lesson about the triumph of the human spirit... but sometimes, like our old friend tom petty said- waiting is the hardest part. thank you all for being so supportive of us, and unending in your love... from the bottom of our cold dead hearts!


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Colbert in Chili-Delphia

Amazing week of Colbert. Found this Colbert highlight reel from his week in Philadelphia at Cynthia Littleton's blog. She writes a great recap of Lost everyweek.

Good stuff on Colbert.

Wisdom in the 3-Dot Lounge

Bruce Jenkins is my favorite sportswriter. He's been writing for the SF Chronicle since I started reading the paper (20+ years). His signature Saturday column, The 3-Dot Lounge, is a morning pleasure that helps me get out of bed. You can find him every Saturday here.

This column, on the SF Giant's prospects this year, had a nugget of life truth that resonated with me. I've played baseball then softball my whole life and I think the game of baseball is one of the great teachers. Here is Bruce Jenkins take on it. I agree with every word.

Among its many fine qualities, baseball is a teacher. There's a lot of real life to be witnessed out there, offering lessons in comportment, style, resilience and performance under pressure. What the game teaches us now is that there can be beauty, even pure excitement, within the realm of lessened expectations.

The young Giant's are going to learn things about failure, resiliency and what it takes to succeed this year. Many of the same things I learned my senior year when I went 0-10 with 10 strikeouts. You read that right, I didn't hit a ball fair all year. One of the best growing experiences I've ever gone through.


My blogging friends are amazing. Matt Ziser at Gust Funnel can make a crock pot funny and Greg Yeadon at Dutch Evans can be funny, recommend great music, and make an interesting observation.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Twitter is a Life Saver

Cool, quick article on a CAL kid who was arrested in Egypt but managed to send off a Twitter message before going to jail. May have saved his life.

The world is becoming such a small place.

Monty on CAL

Great interview from Mike Montgomery on CAL. Thanks to Scotty Fausel for passing it on. My favorite quote:

"Just the energy [at CAL]... call it what you like. You walk across campus and there's just a lot of stuff going on, and it's fascinating to me. You've got to have a little bit of an open mind to what's going on. But this is the world. This is life. This is what goes on in this world, and it's here. It's kind of neat that way."

That's how I feel about CAL and why I'm so grateful to have gone there. It introduced me to the broader world, outside the suburb life I grew up in. CAL is the best.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Sir Links-Alot (4/18/08)

Originally uploaded by digitalVerve
Dear Loyal Reader,

On Friday's I'll try to do a quick links post accompanied by a sweet picture of a knight in shining armer. Interpret that as you may.

Sweet New Yorker on Clooney. The guy is pretty darn cool. I'm not even sure why I liked this article, just like I'm not even sure why I like him.

How cellphones can change the world from the NY Times. This is something we talked a lot about in our entrepeneurial and innovation classes at Kellogg.

Google Checkout Earth Day. A cool promotion run by Google and one of my Kellogg friends, Anita Barci, had a big hand in it. On a sidenote, I learned about this from Meredith Papp's Facebook Status update before I even saw it in my own Gmail account from Anita. The world is changing again.

Hilarious post from Fake Steve Jobs. Not only does he pretend like he's Fake Steve, but then he pretends like he knows Woz and then makes up this ridiculous situation. Just an amazing writer.

Great Moments in Directionally correct from Paul Kedrosky. All my consulting friends use this phrase all the time. It means you didn't get a high enough "n" or enough samples to really know what you are talking about.

Great post from Fred Wilson on the difference, or maybe not such a difference, in Facebook and Wordpress (a blogging tool). This is why I think Tumblr is such a cool service. You get both.

Have a great Friday night, happy early birthday Ananda Baron!

Friday Music

Quickies today on the music front.

pearl jam - state of love and trust
Tim Culleton's favorite Pearl Jam song. One of my favorite's too.

Band Of Horses - The Funeral
I know this song is on a tv commercial, but it's awesome.

Great Northern - Telling Lies
I've been listening to this band a lot lately. More to follow.

Special Bonus comes in via Molly who sent in this NPR interview and three song set from Rilo Kiley. Great acoustic version of Moneymaker. Really highlights Jenny Lewis' voice.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Rilo Kiley Tonight

Pumped to be going to see Rilo Kiley tonight. I found them through the wonderful All Songs Considered Podcast and the rest, shall we say, is history. You can find some cool songs from them in my January post. Here are a couple others

Rilo Kiley - Silver Lining

Jenny Lewis With The Watson Twins - Born Secular

Rilo Kiley - The Frug

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Google Trends & Investing

I'm outsourcing the space at Kenny Kellogg today to Paul Kedrosky who writes one of the best finance blogs on the Internet. Loved his observation today that you could look to Google Trends site to gauge the future financial performance of a consumer brand company. His example is Crocs. As you'll see from the post, the stock has been crushed, but you would have known it was on a downward path a few months ago if you would have used Google Trends.

Sometimes finance is so cool...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Cat Power Tonight

Looking forward to the Cat Power show tonight at the Warfield. I've seen her twice in the last couple years and she has put on great shows, the last one in LA being the best. Even if you can't go to the concert tonight, you can sing along with these tunes.

Cat Power - Aretha, Sing One For Me

Cat Power - Metal Heart

Monday, April 14, 2008

Bee Girl

Paulita David passed on a website devoted to "The Great Sunflower Project." The project's goal is to track pollinators in the hopes of understanding their economic impact. You see, conservationists want to be able to make conservation arguments in economic terms as well. That's great.

Paulita's email reminded me of the sudden bee extinctions going on in some parts of the U.S. How do I know this? Because I read a really cool New Yorker article on it last year. It's titled Stung and was written by Elizabeth Kolbert. Experts have a couple hypotheses, ranging from global warming to diseases, but one thing is for sure, the bee population in the U.S. is shrinking very quickly. The article is a great read, as is almost all of Kolbert's global warming coverage in the New Yorker.

While you read that article, listen to these songs:

Blind Melon - No Rain

Wilco - Muzzle Of Bees

The Fed is Stuck

Props go out to Beth Stevens for telling me about this editorial in the WSJ. The article talks about how the heads of central banks have realized that the depreciation in the dollar is a bad thing. So what are they going to do about it? Rather than fixing the underlying policy problems like runaway inflation because of lax interest rates, they are just going to "jawbone," which means try to talk the value of the dollar up. This won't work. It's easy to look at the U.S.'s balance sheet and understand that we are trying to inflate our debt away. Only real changes will work.

Money quote from the editorial:
If central banks really want to put a floor under the buck, the Federal Reserve will have to change its weak-dollar policy.

Such a change will run into enormous opposition in Congress, among homebuilders and on Wall Street – all of which want the Fed to inflate its way out of their current credit woes. (John Makin makes the case for the inflation solution here.) We only wish life were that easy. The Fed's aggressive easing in the last year may already have done more harm than good.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Working the Room

Oski has got to be the coolest bear around. Nice SF Chronicle article on CAL day, but it sounds like the real hero is Oski, who braved the heat and worked the "room," that is CAL Berkeley.

Here's a picture of Oski trying to cool down by sticking his head in a freezer.

Bon Iver on NPR

Great Bon Iver concert from SXSW on NPR. I've been listening to this non-stop for 4 days. Skinny Love is an incredible song and I think I like it better live than the studio version.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Friday Music

Another week, another beautiful Friday in San Francisco, and another smattering of music I've bee listening to. Hope you enjoy.

Pearl Jam - Walking the Cow (Daniel Johnston cover, Bridge School 1994)
Fresh off two Eddie Vedder shows in Berkeley, you had to know I'd lead with Eddie. He opened both shows with this song. I remember listening to this while working at the Lair of the Bear, a CAL Berkeley summer camp, couldn't have been more apropos since Eddie played on the Berkeley campus.

Chris Cornell - Thank You (Led Zeppelin Cover)
Chris Cornell can sing anything and I'll like it. I really like this song.

Band Of Horses - The Great Salt Lake
Kenna was in town for a wine tasting trip. He's introduced me to so much great music over the last 3 years. Band of Horses is 2nd on that list (to My Morning Jacket) and this is my favorite song of theirs.

Eddie Vedder - Ed Vedder, Guaranteed [Humming Version Demo]
This is the last song on Sunday Morning 11. Eddie just humming you to sleep. Magical voice and Tuesday night was one of the best concerts of my life.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Zooey on Fresh Air

Great podcast on Zooey Deschanel from the Fresh Air program. You might remember her as the actress from Elf. Turns out she's a great singer and made a cool album with M. Ward called She and Him.

Here's a quick sample:
She and Him (ft. Zooey Deschanel & M. Ward) - You Really Got A Hold On Me

Reblog: Rachel and Great Heidi Klum Picture

Found this pic of Heidi Klum on Rachel's blog, one of the ones I read on Tumblr. I love Tumblr cause it's so visual.

Rachel writes a nice, artsy blog, peppered with a lot of music. Worth checking out.

New Jawbone

Jawbone has come out with an even smaller and sleaker headset. I bought mine a few months ago and I use it all the time. Great design, great background noise silencing function and best of all, great people that work there. A friend from my CAL days is there. It's tough working at a company growing as fast as Jawbone but he's making it work. Keep up the good work folks.

Reblog: Fake Steve & One Pair of Glasses

Great post by Fake Steve Jobs on the "One Pair of Glasses" theory. I know I suffer from this sometimes. When you find something that works, you tend to stick with it. I also know how frustrating it is to pitch to someone who can only see the world one way.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Eddie in Berkeley

Eddie Vedder in concert was amazing the last two nights. Tuesday was a Top 5 concert of all time for me. The cliff notes version is:
  1. He played a song about Santa Cruz that he had written two days before. It was fantastic. Can't wait for that one to get out on mp3.
  2. He did this looping thing with his voice where he created layer upon layer. The initial loops morphed into an organ like sound, and then he layered sharper sounds on top. The best way to explain it, and best compliment, is that I hope that is what heaven sounds like. (note: this is not hyperbole, it was stunning.)
  3. He brought Sean Penn up on stage. I'm not a huge fan, but he did make an incredible movie with Into the Wild and he did give Eddie a shot at the soundtrack, which made the movie way better. They toasted Robin Wright Penn for her birthday, and then Eddie sang a song he wrote that made fun of Sean Penn. He wrote the song 10 years ago after the first night he met Penn. (note: apparently the Penn's are back together)
  4. They wheeled Mike McCready (lead guitarist for Pearl Jam) onto the stage in a dolley and played a really fast version of Yellow Ledbetter, maybe one other song, and then closed with All Along the Watchtower which had the crowd in a frenzy.
If you weren't lucky enough to make it, here is a blog that has a representative sample of many of the songs played over the two nights. Check it out.

Until next time, I'll be Walking the Cow...

Monday, April 7, 2008

SF Chronicle's City Exposed

The San Francisco Chronicle has a great new feature that explores San Francisco. It's called theCity Exposed. The physical paper has a large picture and a great little story about a local resident. the multimedia version found on the website has a bunch of pictures and a nice little audio file. People profiled range from a Flower Dealer in Noeh, to a Fetish Couple, to a bunch of guys who are Beer Tasters. If you are someone who enjoys living in the city as much as I do, I think you'll enjoy it.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Eddie Vedder Live

Great review of Eddie Vedder live from the LA Times. Thanks for passing it on Matt. My favorite anecdote from the review:
Such asides emerged only after Vedder calmed his first-night nerves; it took him five songs to even pause and address the audience. Pulling aside his long-sleeve flannel to reveal a battered Butthole Surfers T-shirt, he announced it as a talisman: It was the same one he'd worn during Pearl Jam's first show.
Eddie has never toured by himself before, which explains some of the nerves.

Things worked out and I'll be able to go to both Berkeley shows. My most anticipated songs are Guaranteed, Society, The Wolf (weird remix version but you get the picture), Oceans, Trouble and Black.

I'll leave you with this compliment the reviewer (Ann Powers) left Eddie:
That's where Vedder's charisma lives -- in the moment when feeling finds its way forward, growing more articulate as it is shared.

The Addiction Defense?

Tim Keown asks a really interesting question, "Would the Addiction Defense Work for Professional Athletes?"

Fear and Greed are huge motivators. Most of us are just hitting our strides in our careers. We're 30 years old, making some pretty good money, gaining responsibility, and our life path is unfolding quite nicely.

Now put yourself in a professional athlete's mindset. You're 30 and yes, you've made a lot of money, but you are on the downswing now. Maybe you have 1 more contract in you. You'll be done in a few years and you'll be just another one of the guys or gals reliving old memories. However, there's a magic elixir that could extend the fame and fortune for another 5 years. It doesn't really seem illegal, you know some other people in your clubhouse who are doing it and it only seems to be helping them. No side effects, at least that you can tell. What do you do?

Now fast forward. You've done it, and you're caught. You're on the stand and you can look like an idiot and rely on complete denial. Or you can come clean, explain why you did it, and remove that huge weight from your conscience because deep down, you know you cheated. What do you do?

Reblog: Fred Wilson's Declining Power of the Firm

I thought this was an exceptional post and it's something that I have been trying to understand. A big part of me writing this blog is trying to really feel how technology is changing the way we communicate and it's ramifications for friendships and businesses.

Read Fred Wilson's post. Look at the way he builds on someone else's idea, bringing additional thoughts and promoting it to an even broader group of people. Now I'm promoting it to the 35+ daily readers of Kenny Kellogg. Maybe one of you will add something and promote it at the dinner table, a Facebook feed, or through your own blog.

This little virtuous circle proves the exact point of the posts, that technology is reducing the "transaction costs" that a firm is built to handle more efficiently.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Measure for Measure

The NY Times has launched a new songwriting blog called Measure for Measure. I picked up on it through Beth Stevens' Facebook Feed (anyone else noticing that the article postings are getting more frequent and better on their Facebook feeds?). The blog is written by Suzanne Vega, Andrew Bird and Darrell Brown. I'm loving it only 3 posts in.

Last year, I was able to sit in on an Andrew Bird interview and performance at Kellogg (he's an alum) and it was fascinating. For example, he doesn't really pay attention to the meaning of the words he writes, he just looks for a sound. I expect a lot of the themes of that session to make it into his blog. This should be a lot of fun.

Some choice quotes...

"I never worry about the melodies drying up. Since I can remember, I’ve had melodies in my head. I chew my food to them." -- Andrew Bird

"But when an honest, four-dimensional, hook-filled piece of humanity is finally born, there is a clue to recognizing its timelessness. There is a peaceful, non-judgmental appreciation that falls over me when I hear it, a feeling — or even a knowledge — that we songwriters really had nothing to do with its creation in the first place. It’s as if we were archaeologists at a dig and all we had to do was chip away the stone and brush away the sand that hid it from view. We were just lucky enough to be in the room that day when it showed up to sing to us." -- Darrell Brown

Friday, April 4, 2008

Boys & Girls Club of SF

Dear Loyal Reader,

I need a little help. I'm volunteering next Friday (April 11, 2008) at the SF Boys and Girls Club. I'll be hanging with a new friend for the night. Kind of acting like a mentor, you know. So here's the thing, the Club is running short of volunteers and needs another 40 to make the event work. We need your help. Go over to this link, and sign yourself up. It starts at 5:30pm in the Mission and we'll be done by 9:30pm. Then we can hit the town a bit.

Thanks a bunch and I'll see you there.

Kenny Kellogg (Scott Orn)

Friday Music

Quickie Friday music selection today. The Kenna's are in SF and we're going to do a nice little trip to Napa. Should be a lot of fun. Cheers to old Kellogg friends visiting San Francisco.

Now, to the music...

My new apartment has a dishwasher. This is big news for me. This song reminds me of the old days, B.D. (Before Dishwasher).
Wilco - Hate It Here (SNL 03-01-2008)

The new Counting Crows is pretty good. Not mind blowing, but good. Here is one of my favorite songs from the album.
Counting Crows - When I Dream of Michelangelo

Mr. Eddie Vedder will be playing Berkeley next week. I will be there. It will be amazing. Tears may be shed. :)
I hope he plays this song.
Eddie Vedder - I Am A Patriot (Madison Square Garden 2000)
"And the river shall open for the righteous...someday..."

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Umm, SF Chronicle...Here's the Thing

Umm, SF's the thing....maybe you shouldn't be spending money on new presses. You see, there is this thing called digital, and it's really picking up steam.

The Checklist

In the December 10th issue of the New Yorker, Atul Gawande wrote a fantastic article on how intensive care units are trying to improve survival rates. I worked with Life Sciences companies before Kellogg and even interned at Becton Dickinson, a company that makes and sells a lot of hospital products. Those experiences taught me how deeply care providers and really anyone in the Life Sciences industry cares about patients. Folks, they care about their jobs and the good they do on a daily basis more than many of us could ever imagine.

You would expect an article on improving survival rates to be centered on a new miracle drug or a new medical device that allows doctors and nurses to do their job better. Well guess what, the innovation in question is a checklist. It turns out that the checklist helps standardize the incredibly complex care an Intensive Care patient must receive. One stat jumped out at me:

“A study of forty-one thousand trauma patients found that they had 1,224 different injury related diagnoses in 32,261 different injury related combinations for teams to attend to.”

Talk about complexity! Gawande compares this to the complexity an airplane pilot faces and says that would be like a pilot knowing how to fly 32,000 different airplanes. Wow.

The subject of the article, Peter Pronovost a critical care specialist at John Hopkins Hospital who designed the checklist, and his innovation saved the state of Michigan over $175M and fifteen hundred lives in just over 18 months. As the article points out,

“[Pronovost] work has already saved more lives than that of any laboratory scientist in the past decade.”

The article talks about how difficult it has been to roll out the checklist nationally. If it was a new drug, there would be reps pounding down the doors of physicians, and company execs calling on insurance companies and hospital administrators. There isn't a huge profit incentive with something like a checklist so getting people's attention is a little more difficult. The patient survival numbers are pretty amazing though.

I'd love to hear the thoughts of Kenny Kellogg readers, especially those in Healthcare.

Nine Times

I've listened to this song nine times this week. Great song.

Ryan Adams - Fire cracker

Gust Funnel is Back

Ladies and Gentleman,

Gust Funnel is back.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Land Shark

Last night I was talking with a few folks about great Saturday Night Live skits and brought up Land Shark. Well, no one had really heard of it, so I tried to explain it. There is no way I can do justice to Chevy Chases comedy on SNL, so of course everyone was confused. Here is a quick clip I found.

Saturday Night Live - Season 1 - Land Shark

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

More Cramer

More Cramer from Marc Andreesen. Nails it.
[After Bear blew up] quickly removed Cramer's March 11 "buy" recommendation from its page devoted to Bear Stearns.
Here is my previous Cramer post.

Eddie Used to Work in Chicago

Eddie Vedder singing "Used to Work in Chicago," courtesy of Greg Mercer.