Saturday, December 26, 2009

Let Me Sleep...

I should have posted this song yesterday. Too good not to post a day late.

"Offend exactly the right people in exactly the right ways"

Great marketing lesson from Seth Godin below. His example is the Kindle but it really could be any great, new product. I tucked this one away to remember on my side projects.

"This a useful insight for anyone who markets anything--the people who buy the first generation of a product are more likely to be enthusiasts. They are more forgiving. They like new things. Bilton has tried to invent a trend by lining the items up in chronological order, but this is deceptive, both because of the number of reviews, but mostly because the people reviewing the new ones have a different agenda.


The Kindle has managed to offend exactly the right people in exactly the right ways. It's not as boring as it could be, it excites passions and it has created a cadre of insanely loyal evangelists who are buying them by the handful to give as gifts."

Friday, December 25, 2009

Kenny Kellogg's Best of 2009 (#10 - #6a & 6b)

We're continuing last weeks theme of my favorite albums of last year and selected songs. Here is a link to last week's list (#15 - #11). There is a master playlist below and then links to videos for specific songs (I embedded a couple really awesome ones). These albums are so good they could have easily been switched with the Top 5. Enjoy and Merry Christmas!



10. Bat for Lashes (Two Suns)- Daniel and Pearl's Dream. Just an amazing couple of songs. Intense, cool, and mysterious. Click through on the videos because they are worth it.

9. Camera Obscura (My Maudlin Career) - James and Sweetest ThingGonzo Gal introduced this band to me. I loved both of these songs. The Sweetest thing video is a great acoustic recording of them in studio.




8. Wilco (Wilco the Album) - Everlasting, One Wing, Wilco and You and I. Wilco always comes through. Nothing beats seeing them at the Greek Theater with friends as I did this year.

7. The Fruit Bats (Ruminant Band) - Primitive Man, Beautiful Morning Light, Being on Our Own, Ruminant Band and Flamingo33 Forever introduced me to these guys. He called it "Scott Orn music", which it is. Great discovery John.

6a. Where the Wild Things Are (Karen O) - All is Love, Worried Shoes, Food is Still Hot and Hideaway. I'm a huge Karen O fan and this soundtrack was amazing. I still haven't seen the movie but I will someday. I don't want to soil the soundtrack. Added bonus, she's terrific in concert.

6b. Blood Bank, Twilight Soundtrack & Volcano Choir (Bon Iver) - Blood Bank, Roslyn, Island IS, Beach Baby and The Woods. I decided to make a late edition to the list via a compilation of songs that Bon Iver released in 2009. They're my favorite band of the last couple of years and I listen to them all the time. I can't believe every one of these songs was considered a B-side and not worthy of a full release.



Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Hmmm...

I'm not sure what to think of this. Thanks to Bells for sending in.

Monday, December 21, 2009

This Movie Exists!

Neighborhood Living

One of the great pleasures of living in Russian Hill in San Francisco, is that a large concentration of my friends live here too. I can count 10 friends that live in a 3 block radius of my pad at Union & Polk. I bump into friends on Polk all the time and it's one of the reasons I'm such a believer in Foursquare.

This Sunday morning I staggered out of my apartment with a headache and desperate need for some coffee before discussing the redesign of Ben's Friends with Ben & Eric. Who did I see, but Alex Bain, limping up Union street on a similar mission. He claimed the limp was due to some poor fitting pants, but I think he was embarrassed to admit he might have gotten a little too frisky at a Holiday party the night before. Regardless, it's such a pleasure to live in a neighborhood with my friends for just these type of occurrences.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Kenny Kellogg's Best of 2009 (#15 - #11)

It's been a great year for music so I wanted to pass on my favorite 15 albums of the year. Big thanks to all my friends that surfaced these great records. Special shout out's go to 33 Forever, I'm All Ears, the Gonzo Gal. Below is a playlist that includes two songs from each album, a quick comment on each album and links to some YouTube videos where they are available. Hope you enjoy.



15. Pearl Jam (Backspacer) - Amongst the Waves and Just Breathe. Usually Pearl Jam discs grow on me quite a bit but these two songs are clearly the best on the album. Solid effort by PJ.

14. Gomez (A New Tide) - Bone Tired, Win Park Slope, Airstream Driver, Natural Reaction, and Little Pieces. One of my favorite bands to see live and it's great to see them producing a new album every couple of years. The album didn't really open up for me until I saw them live. Now I can't listen to it enough.

13. Monsters of Folk - Temazcal, Ahead of the Curve, The Sandman The Breakman..., Dear God, Say Please, and The Right Place. Who would have thought a folk super group would have worked so well. Loved their motto "We play folk so you don't have to," and they were incredible in concert at the Fox Theatre.

12. Blind Pilot (3 Rounds & A Sound) - I Buried a Bone, One Red Thread, Poor Boy, The Bitter End, The Story I Heard, and Go On Say It. Forgot who turned me onto these guys but they are pretty awesome. Sensitive, but awesome.

11. Conor Oberst - Cape Canaveral, Get Well Cards, Moab, and Souled Out. Another great concert experience seeing him play at Mezzanine from midnight to 2am. So much energy and talent.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Fake Steve on AT&T

Fake Steve puts it well:


"But AT&T has a much bigger problem on its hands. The problem is that the wireless data explosion is just beginning. This 3% of AT&T users who are supposedly accounting for 40% of bandwidth use? Pretty soon that 3% is going to become 30%.


The whole point of having these mobile devices is to consume data. This is not just about the iPhone. There’s the Droid, and the Pre, and soon there will be the Nexus One and a zillion other Android phones. Plus all the tablets. This is the future. We are going to carry these devices and use them as our televisions, our radios, our newspapers.


The appetite for bandwidth will be insatiable. The network operators that will prosper will be the ones that can keep up with the demand. The ones who don’t will get left behind. Sure, for now companies like AT&T can hang on to customers with exploitative contracts and exclusivity deals. But at some point, and I think it will be soon, the network operators will have to compete, for real, based on quality of service.


The fact that AT&T is already bonking, here in the first five minutes of a 60-minute game, is terrifying. It’s their own fault, of course. Go look at their financial statements and open up the Financial Operations and Statistics Summary and look at capital expenditures over the past eight quarters. I’m no math whiz, but it looks like capex has gone down by about 30% over the time period. Scroll down a bit to the Wireless section and check out data revenues — they’re up 80% over the same period."

Intermission at 39 Steps (it's good so far)

More

“I would really ask that you guys don’t write this? If Tiger is NOT implicated, and won’t be, let’s please give the kid a break.” via the Sports Guy

Monday, December 14, 2009

PaperWheel's Thank You Cards

When you have a couple side projects that have zero funding, you depend on the kindness of friends to lend a hand or expertise. I've been incredibly lucky over the last couple of years and my friends have stepped up big-time. During the holidays I take the time to write them thank you cards because it seems to mean a little more than just a verbal thank you. Of course, my go-to cards are from Sugar Paper but for Thank You cards, I use Elizabeth Weil's PaperWheel. Below are the cards I have been using this year. They're semi-macho, right? It's an Elephant after all. Those things can kill you in the jungle. Anyways, check out Paperwheel and send the friends who have helped you out this year a nice card.



Btw - I came across this one this morning and thought it was pretty awesome.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Picture Perfect

Everything wrong with the US financial system and attitudes summed up in one perfect photo from Kedrosky.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Arc - Toy Store

I feel like I'm giving away a pretty big secret here, but in the spirit of Uncles and Godfathers everywhere, I wanted to recommend The Arc - Toy Store on Sacramento & Presidio. It's my go-to toy store and I just knocked out gifts for the little ones in my life. Happy hunting.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Molly Mutt on Today Show

Molly Mundt's company, Molly Mutt (www.mollymutt.com) was featured on the Today show this morning. Her doggy duvet's are just amazing. I remember meeting with Molly two years ago when she had just started her company. It's beyond amazing to me that 2 years later, she could be at this point. Big congrats Molly!


All That : The New Yorker


All That : The New Yorker

A new story by David Foster Wallace. I'm a big fan and was sad to see him pass away. This is an interesting story and I had to read the last page twice. I'm not sure I figured it out, but I think it says something about his suicide.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Contrarian's Dilemma

Well written piece by John Hathaway, the Manager of the Tocqueville Gold Mutual Fund. Full disclosure, I own shares in the fund. Also, he makes a great case for gold. It's worth noting that Gold has had a huge run, so while I'm a long term holder, you might want to wait for a pull back before rushing in.

A Contrarians Dilemma height="500" width="100%" > value="http://d1.scribdassets.com/ScribdViewer.swf?document_id=23867967&access_key=key-21599q2ax0cu7v05s0a7&page=1&version=1&viewMode=list">            

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Obama & Savings

Great post from my buddy Alex Bain commenting on a post about Saving from Fred Wilson. Alex's comments reflex my thoughts perfectly. One of the best things Obama could do would be to popularize Saving.

"What America really needs is someone with street cred that can come along and make saving really cool (perhaps a rapper named “401K”). Not saving in the form of buying a house one can’t afford, but saving as in not consuming, individually and nationally.
I don’t know a ton about macroeconomics (despite my econ BA and MBA), but it strikes me that we’re currently trying to spend our way out of debt."

Monday, December 7, 2009

Palladia

Jeremy Steele turned me onto Palladia, an all music channel that actually shows music! It's great and is channel 783 in the Bay Area on Comcast. I came home from a long weekend in Vegas and watched a bunch of concerts on my DVR. One of the shows was the Silversun Pickups who rock even acoustically.


Stats

Ben Munoz sent me the following stats on the patient networks we run. I was so proud I wanted to share them with you. We've made tremendous progress and helped a lot of people. If you want to help out, either casually or semi-part-time, we'd love to have you.

How many visits last month?
www.AVMSurvivors.org: 9,336
www.LivingWithTN.org: 2,706
www.LivingWithAtaxia.org: 2,446
www.ALDSupport.org: 127
www.LivingWithFibro.org: 276

What percent of visitors come from a search engine?
AVM: 44%
LTN: 27%
LTA: 37%
ALD: 9%
LWF: 3%

Outside of search engines, what are the top sources of traffic?
AVM: facebook, dmoz.org
LTN: facebook, wikipedia
LTA:
litsmith.com, ataxia.org.uk, wikipedia
ALD: facebook, kennykellogg
LWF: kennykellogg, facebook

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Beat the Reaper

Just finished Beat the Reaper. It's one of the best books I've read in years. Super fast paced and a lot of butt kicking, with medical knowledge sprinkled in. Great Read. Check it out.

Beat the Reaper: A Novel Beat the Reaper: A Novel by Josh Bazell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars View all my reviews >>



Saturday, December 5, 2009

Smartphone Segmentation

Is Droid trying to segment that smartphone market based on sex? This clip from Fake Steve sure makes it seem so. The next question is, did Droid choose the right segment? This looks especially male oriented, yet women are the ones who are more prevalent on social networks, talk on the phone more and play way more casual online games. Any advertising pros that read Kenny K have thoughts?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Tiger Slow Jam

Friday Chill Music: December 4, 2009




The latest release of Sunday Morning, my hangover/makeout mix is almost here. This week's mix includes some songs that just didn't make the cut, despite being awesome.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Tiger the Brand

Interesting discussion of Tiger the Brand on Tim Calkin's blog. Tim, or as I would call him, Professor Calkins, was one of the best Kellogg professors I had. I read his blog religously. Definitely add it to your RSS Reader.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday Chill Music (November 27, 2009)

Pearl Jam on Austin City Limits. If you are not sure how you feel about Pearl Jam these days, please watch this video. All around great set, but Inside Job, Lukin, Red Mosquito and Porch took the cake for me.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Muzzle of Bees

This song goes out to my friend Mare on AVMSurvivors.org who is having surgery this week.

I find the song soothing, hopeful and the lyrics are beautiful.

Kati's Story on Living With Ataxia

Please take a few moments to read Kati's story about struggling to overcome limitations brought on by Ataxia. It's inspirational and brought a tear to my eye, but a tear of joy, seeing how amazing Kati and folks coping with Ataxia are everyday.

Please join us at www.LivingWithAtaxia.org.

My Communication Story - Kate Norton - Living With Ataxia height="500" width="100%" > value="http://d1.scribdassets.com/ScribdViewer.swf?document_id=22520480&access_key=key-z62vsebf85k86phi0zf&page=1&version=1&viewMode=list">            

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Bonus Music

I highly reccomend you go listen to this song right now.

Chatter from Salesforce

Interesting new service from Salesforce called Chatter that allows you to make a social network for your business. It's like a portal on steroids but is much more social. Scott Holden, one of my buddies, was one of the guys who put this together.

I also found it interesting cause I pitched this to Ning two years ago. They were not big fans. Here's my presentation via Scribd (btw - how cool is Scribd, that I can embed this for the world to see?)

Ning Brainstorming height="500" width="100%" > value="http://d1.scribdassets.com/ScribdViewer.swf?document_id=413399&access_key=hc30yt9jntk69&page=1&version=1&viewMode=slideshow">            

Friday Chill Music: November 20, 2009

A little eclectic this week. Just stuff I felt like listening to. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Customized Santa Video

My buddy Eric Kroll has built a pretty cool customized Santa Video for children. The best part is that the characters in the video say the child's name a bunch of times. I bought something like this for my godson a while back and he was mesmerized. He couldn't figure out how the cartoon knew that he was watching. I looked like a hero and he had a great time. The Santa Video is another opportunity for that.

Carrie Brownstein on Rock & Beards

Cool article by Carrie Brownstein, former guitarist for Sleater Kinney, on how Rock & Roll has gone the way of the beard. I found this at I'm All Ears. It's a great perspective that mirrors my own listening tastes.



I think it's symptomatic of something that has been going on in our culture since 9/11 though. I think people sought comfort and understanding and found it in the gentleness of Bon Iver & the Fleet Foxes. The rebellion that Brownstein talks about in traditional Rock & Roll is real, but when compared against things like 9/11 and terrifying stock market crashes, it can seem self indulgent. I expect to see a lot more music rooted in rebellion in the coming years as we buck up a little, and feel more secure. Because when we feel safe and confident though, now that is the time for adventure...and Rock & Roll.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Comcastic

Funny back and forth with a Comcast chat rep the other day.

Only at Cal...

...do the Offensive Lineman assign junior members of the team a writing assignment about the history of the Stanford vs. CAL rivalry.

Research project: Tepper wants to make sure Cal's young players understand the history and tradition of the Big Game. So he "assigned" freshman center Mark Brazinski to write a six- to eight-page paper on the history of the Stanford Axe, due Tuesday.

"We send him on periodic research assignments," Tepper said. "I told him no Wikipedia quotations, either - we need good, reasonable sources."

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Why Blog?

One of the reasons I blog is because it gives me a chance to promote things I believe in. I do this a lot with the patient networks Ben and I run. Here's a screen shot of the recent Internet searches that have resulted in traffic on my blog. You'll notice that the Painted Turtle Benefit search term resulted in a bunch of people landing on my blog. I'm very proud of this because it means that people who wanted to support this amazing organization could get the ticket & date info they needed really easily. It's an example of helping a charity and friends out in a small way, but every little bit on the Internet helps.

Monday, November 16, 2009

M. Ward in Concert

I'm a huge fan of M. Ward and stumbled upon this NPR live recording of his September concert in Washington D.C. I'm sure the Gonzo Gal was there.

It was great weekend chill music as I celebrated the end of a busy travel and wedding schedule.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Chill Music (November 13, 2009)

I made the attached playlist for a friend recently when she asked what I was listening to lately. It's a hodge podge, but a good hodge podge. I hope you enjoy it.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Niners win!

Simmons on Deadspin

Bill Simmons is one of my favorite writers and podcasters. I'm not sure I could maintain my commute without that podcast. Deadspin wrote an awesome article about him. Alex Bain weighed in on it already. The article is well worth the read because I think Simmons is one of the leaders in building a community around himself, something that we are all discovering, large or small. My favorite quote:

"Now there he is, atop the New York Times Bestseller list, as establishment a pedestal as one can imagine. Simmons did something incredibly rare, particularly in our fractured, niche media world: He made the culture come to him. His triumph is his own, but, in a strange way, it feels like a victory for all of us. The sports culture needed changing, and Simmons is walking evidence that it can, and did."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fake Steve on Blogs vs. Newspapers

Great post by Fake Steve on the difference between blogs and newspapers...

"Because time after time, blogs are simply beating the shit out of the newspapers. They're the ones who still dare to go for the throat, while their counterparts at big newspapers just keep reaching for the shrimp cocktail." -- Fake Steve

Monday, November 9, 2009

Unemployment Rate for People Like Me

Really cool interactive graphic from the New York Times showing what the unemployment rate is for people with your demographics and education level. As always, it pays to be a White Male American...



Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday Chill Music (November 6, 2009)

I discovered "Genius Mixes", a cool new feature in iTunes this week. You click on the Genius Mixes in the left scroll bar and it gives you a bunch of different mixes mapped by song type. It's a pretty awesome way of enjoying "Shuffle" and I have to believe they are piggybacking on the huge user database that shows correlations between songs played by other users. I also like the layout with the album covers on the front to show what the mix is all about. Next stop is to let me publish the mix to the web so my friends can hear it. Since we can't do that yet, I made a quick 8Tracks.com mix to give you a sample of one of my mixes. Only drawback is that 8tracks doesn't have all the songs that were on the mix.




Thursday, November 5, 2009

SavantMD: Advice from a Trusted Doctor

I have an amazing doctor in San Francisco named Mark Savant. He's super responsive, listens to his patients and is a great communicator. When I came back from Chicago I looked him up on Yelp and found he had a ton of recommendations. When I went in for a checkup we talked about the power of the Internet to connect Physicians and Patients, as well as the huge impact reviews like Yelp (and someday Angie's List) have on a doctor's practice. I had my own stories to share from the patient networks I've been building with Ben Munoz (newest networks are www.ALDSupport.org & www.LivingWithFibro.org). Dr. Savant was very supportive and wanted to find a way to work together.

Last time I visited him he told me about the new site he was launching called SavantMD. Together with his partner, Brian Colbert, they are building an information portal for patients to connect with doctors. He's assembled a very impressive group of experts and early this week, the site launched. It's full of great content and I encourage you to explore it. As part of SavantMD's launch, Dr. Savant will be taping informational video segments that we will be embedding on our patient networks. This is truly a new era in medicine and I can't wait to hear of all the benefits that patients get from it.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

AVM Survivors Thank You

Ben and I got a nice thank you from Margaret, a member of AVMSurvivors.org. Ben started the site a couple years ago and I've been helping him build it. I can't believe we're hitting the 1,200 member mark. These messages are so inspirational. Thanks Margaret!


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Phone Karma

I lost my phone last week at the SFO United Terminal. I was leaving for 4 days in NYC and that would have been a disaster. I realized just before takeoff, ran outside to the terminal and the United person handed it back to me, saying someone had just turned it in. I sent this Twitter message our but never heard from the nice person.



I logged into Facebook a day later and got this nice message from a friend that I met last year while returning her dad's lost phone. Pretty cool. Made my day and reminded me how important Karma is. :)


Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween with Jessica and laurel

Grantham on a Lost Opportunity

Jeremy Grantham's 3rd Quarter update to his investors is wonderful. If you're a financial nerd, the whole thing is a great read. If you're an average Joe, than the closing section titled, Lessons Not Learned, is short and to the point. How have we missed this opportunity to restructure the fiancial system?", he asks. I've embedded the whole document below but this is one of my favorite parts.

"We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to effect genuine change given that the general public is disgusted with the financial system and none too pleased with Congress. I have no idea why the current administration, which came in on a promise of change, for heaven’s sake, is so determined to protect the status quo of the financial system at the expense of already weary taxpayers who are promised only somewhat better lifeboats. 


It is obvious to most that there was a more or less complete failure of our private financial system and its public overseers. The regulatory leaders in particular were all far too captured and cozy in their dealings with reckless and greedy financial enterprises. Congress also failed in its role. For example, it did not rise to the occasion to limit the recklessness of Fannie and Freddie. Nor did it encourage the regulation of new financial instruments. Quite the reverse, as exemplified by the sorry tale of CFTC Chairman Brooksley Born’s fight to regulate credit default swaps. 


But, at least now, Congress seems to realize the problem: the current financial system is too large and complicated for the ordinary people attempting to control it. Even Barney Frank, were he on his death bed, might admit this; and most members of Congress know that they hardly understand the financial system at all. Many of the banks individually are both too big and so complicated that none of their own bosses clearly understand their own complexity and risk taking. The recent boom and the ensuing crisis are a wonderfully scientific experiment with definitive results that we are all trying to ignore. And, except for bankers, who have Congress in an iron grip, we all want and need a profound change. We all want smaller, simpler banks that are not too big to fail. And we can and should arrange it!"

Enjoy the rest of the article.

Jeremy Grantham Third Quarter 2009 Letter height="500" width="100%" > value="http://d1.scribdassets.com/ScribdViewer.swf?document_id=21673022&access_key=key-1pn6rky276vic9f36p3e&page=1&version=1&viewMode=list">            

Friday, October 30, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Jott: Voicemail Transcription

Jott just released a great new customer acquisition tool - a personalized link that let's me invite my friends to the service. Long time readers know I love the Jott Voicemail Transcription service. It's fast, pretty accurate and they send you an email with the transcription in it. It's saved me so much time because I don't have to listen to voicemail anymore and it's improved my workflow because I can just forward transcriptions that are important to co-workers. No awkward voicemail forwarding and big time sink. Jott is a winner. Check it out.


The customized link is a great viral customer acquisition technique. It's so simple, yet I think it's one of the most important acquisition techniques of the last couple of years. It's great cause it's easy, and it rewards both the promoter and the new customer. In Jott's case, each member get's a free month if you click through the specific link.

New Yorker Cover

Loved this New Yorker cover posted by the Himmelsblog.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

This is Why I Own Google's Stock

The Himmelsblog posted a great picture of TomTom & Garmen's stock prices when Google came out with its Navigator functionality today.


I bought Google's stock last year because 1) They have a monopoly in Search & Search Advertising, and 2) They will dominate Mobile Apps. Seeing #1 wasn't that hard, and frankly, I was late to the party. I should have seen that at the IPO, but better late than never. On #2, I don't think people see this yet, but everytime they announce another app like Navigator, people are going to begin to understand. For me, it hit me when I saw YouTube & Google Maps featured so prominently on the Iphone commercials. Apple wanted to sell phones and they needed Apps to show off. Google's apps were among the best and helped Apple drive adoption. But I don't think Apple is going to spend much time on Apps and Microsoft has proven pretty inept here, so Google is going to own Mobile Apps the way Microsoft owns Desktop Apps someday, with or without Android succeeding.

Building an Apps business like Microsoft requires the ability to invest huge amounts of money in loss leading products like YouTube, Maps & Navigator, because it's not obvious how to monetize them at first. You have to take it in the shorts for a while but as you build critical mass and undercut competitors trying to eek out a living charging for products that you are giving a away at a discount (free), you consolidate the market and then you package it into a suite or bundled service. This is exactly what Microsoft did with Office, with the added advantage that they hooked it into Windows. Google's Search business is so crazy profitable that it can easily subsidize the apps business indefinitely and guess what, Google is launching a mobile OS that they'll be able to use as an anchor for apps someday.

As you can see from my Covestor widget to the right, I've done quite well on Google, but I don't think it's fully valued right now. That doesn't mean I would run out and buy a bunch of stock. I wouldn't. But I would start adding it to my portfolio slowly on weakness. Mobile Apps will be the second leg of Google's growth and I believe it will be very powerful. I don't think the market understands this yet, but someday it will.