Monday, February 28, 2011

Greg Yeadon & Ben's Friends

A couple years ago, my buddy Greg Yeadon (Kellogg 07') approached me about helping out with our side project, Ben's Friends. At the time, we probably had 3 networks, but Greg recognized the potential. Since then, Greg has been helping us with special projects, including a deep dive into Medicare & Disability Benefit plans. We have so many members on disability and their money is tight. We're still trying to figure out how to serve them in this capacity and Greg is leading the efforts.

Greg also helps moderate the Chiari Malformations Support group. I know he's had a lot of fun there and it's no coincidence that it's one of our fastest growing networks.

Last week, Greg's good work was profiled in the Alumni Magazine of the University of Richmond. Here's a snippet. Congrats Greg!

"By day Gregory Yeadon, ’01, is an associate brand manager for Energizer. At night and on weekends he is a pro bono volunteer for Ben’s Friends, a rapidly growing and relatively new organization that develops and builds online communities for people suffering from rare diseases. 
The organization was started after Yeadon’s close friend, Ben Munoz, suffered a brain aneurysm as a result of Arteriovenous Malformation, or AVM. Munoz and another friend started a network for AVM survivors and quickly realized there was a need for online patient communities for people with other rare diseases. The two started Ben’s Friends and asked Yeadon to join the management team last year. 
It gives people with rare diseases a much needed place to connect, he says. “By definition, rare diseases are uncommon, so patients may have trouble obtaining advice or support from people who truly know what they are going through.”"

Sunday, February 27, 2011

New Podcast Series on Ben's Friends

We’re beginning a new podcast series on Ben’s Friends. Michael Jones of American Ataxia Networking and I recorded this last week. Michael is an incredible person, having overcome Ataxia and a few other conditions, but what makes Michael so special is the love and energy he seems to spread so effortlessly. The best example of this in the podcast is at the 8:40 minute mark. I hope you take a little time and listen to this. Part 2 will follow shortly.

P.S. We’re going to experiment a little with formats. My voice sounds a little weird but Michael’s is perfect. We’ll also work to get this into iTunes.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Lisanti Quarterly


Sent with Reeder

Avalanche Hits Car on Way to Tahoe

We were going to leave for table on Friday but canceled because of weather worries. Glad we did. 

Paul Kedrosky

I have never seen anything like this: At 45 seconds into this video, an avalanche hits a car on the way to Tahoe today. Incredible -- with language that is NSFW.

And only 315 views? This is going to go very viral.

Sent with Reeder

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Chill Music (February 25, 2011)

This week it's the new Cold War Kids on Friday Chill Music. I'm really into this new album. Unfortunately the music is hard to access on the Internet so I've made a GrooveShark Widget and included a youtube video for a song I can't find on Grooveshark. Not ideal but I promise it's worth the hassle of playing.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Weezer's State Farm Jingle

saw this via Marco from Tumblr

Weezer records the whole State Farm jingle in their own style. Kind of cool.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Vote for Jaclyn

She’s an inspirational teen who suffers from AVM. Her mother, Kim, and Jaclyn put together a wonderful video for the 2011 Neuro Film Festival.
We all got to meet Jaclyn in 2009 when she came to San Francisco for the AVM Walk. What a special young woman.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Daily Gourmet - Group Buying for Gourmet Food

My buddy Chad Jackson is about to launch his new company, Daily Gourmet, a group buying service for Gourmet Food. I'm really excited for Chad and I love the idea. Sign up on their homepage so you get the first couple offers.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Kathryn on Aversion to Losing

My friend Kathryn continues to churn out provocative blog posts. This week Kathryn tackles human's aversion to loss and loss of choice. She's great at illustrating her points with real life examples. In this case it's the guy who has dated a woman for a long time but won't propose. But then she shows us how that relates to people putting off dealing with their retirement savings. Pretty nifty analogy and blog post if you ask me.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Truth Art Beauty Customized Skincare

My friend Emily Graham just launched her new customized skincare company, Truth Art Beauty.

I think it's a great idea because it allows the customer to select what ingredients go into their products. Participation is such a strong trend and I think sooner or later, it will touch all consumer markets. Look at Threadless for t-shirts (where I buy my t-shirts), or J. Hilburn for custom men's shirts and pants (note I work with J. Hilburn). It's pretty simple, people ascribe more value to something they contributed to. It's a natural human emotion and I'm glad my friend Emily is participating in it.

This is Really Cute

Stella's Shasta Adventure from Jesse Rosten on Vimeo.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

"We’re All Better When Everyone’s Online"

Alan Thomas, Moderator of Living With Ataxia, gave a presentation on online support groups. I loved the theme of the presentation, “We’re All Better When Everyone’s Online.”

Btw - Alan is coming out to San Francisco in a few weeks. If anyone wants to meet him, let me know.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Chill Music (February 18, 2011)

Continuing with the "One Band a Week" theme on Friday Chill Music, I'm posting some incredible Bon Iver videos from MySpace. I've had these tracks for a couple years and whenever I need something soft to listen to, I turn to them. I had a tough day on Thursday with a migraine so these came in handy once I started feeling better. :)

Bon Iver - "For Emma" from MySpace Transmissions

MySpace Transmissions | Myspace Video

Bon iver - "Flume" from MySpace Transmissions

MySpace Transmissions | Myspace Video

Bon Iver - "Lump Sum" from MySpace Transmissions

MySpace Transmissions | Myspace Video

Bon Iver - "Blindsided" from MySpace Transmissions

MySpace Transmissions | Myspace Video

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My City of Ruins

Joel Hopman sent me this little jewel. I've always loved this song and this is a great version.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Apple’s Digital Newsstand Just Disrupted The Publishing Industry

Apple made a big announcement yesterday by offering Subscriptions in the app store. Apple will take 30% which is a lot. I'm not sure if that will stick for Apple and how the whole thing will playout. Regardless though, I really liked this quote at the end of the article. I think it's true. The ipad is essentially a greenfield and is an incredible opportunity. Apple's 30% Ask is high enough to discourage big media properties from rushing in. So you'll have a bunch of young people experimenting and figuring out what works while working under Apple's constraints. And they'll be successful.

Apple’s Digital Newsstand Just Disrupted The Publishing Industry:
"In the end, the old guard will fight it as long s they can, while new entrants with nothing to lose will build readerships on the iPad. It’s probably never been a better time to start a digital magazine."

Monday, February 14, 2011

Retro San Francisco Valentine's Day

Vanessa and I celebrated Valentine's Day on Saturday and we decided to do it retro SF style. Here's a quick photo essay from our night at the Buena Vista, Scoma's and The Hot Tubs!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Collin's First Birthday

Straw - Restaurant in Hayes Valley

My friend Courtney Pash took me to the delightful restaurant Straw on Tuesday night. Straw is in Hayes Valley and has a lite Carnival theme. The food is fantastic in a down home type of way. I shared a Crab sandwich and chicken waffles with Courtney and both were amazing, with the nod going to the Crab sando.

Here's where things get weird though. I ran a half marathon on Sunday and I've been starving all day, every day since. So I ordered another Crab Sandwich! As Ari took my second order he told me the Pork Sando is great too. I knew I must have both so I smooth talked Ari (and later Naomi) into making me a half & half sandwich. My second sando of the night was amazing and I was finally stuffed.

Definitely check out Straw. It's mellow, the people are friendly and the food is really awesome.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday Chill Music (February 11, 2011)

I'm enjoying the one artist focus of recent Friday Chill Musics, so I'll continue with this week's band, The National. If I ever complete my best albums of 2010 list, you'll see that High Violet was one of my absolute favorties. I'm stealing this The National playlist from Bryan Kenna at TwoNiner.

If you have trouble seeing the embedded playlist, click here for the playlist inside of GrooveShark.

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Why How Much Money Guys Make Is Important To Girls

My friend Kathryn wrote an incredible blog post on Relative Comparisons and used a real world example - online dating. You should read this even if you don't care about online dating but it's a home run if you find that interesting too. There are so many interesting and persuasive things you can do with relative comparisons. I talk a lot about this stuff with the online companies I work with. Very powerful and Kathryn does a great job explaining it with a heavy dose of honesty and humor.

Why How Much Money Guys Make Is Important To Girls: "
If I had to choose between two guys: one guy made about $250,000 per year and was just “ok” looking, and the other guy made about $60,000 per year, but was “hot”, I’d choose the guy with the cash.

I know…. I’m so superficial right? This is the truth according to a few researchers from University of Chicago and MIT who did a study to find out what factors drive communication between men and women.

The researchers recorded activity from 23,000 online daters during a three and a half month period and found that…..
For men there is no amount of income that the woman in the bottom ten percent in terms of appearance can earn to make men prefer her over women in the top 10 percent. That is, looks really matter to men relative to income. For women though, if the man in the bottom ten percent in terms of looks earns more than $248,500, they will prefer him over the more attractive guy earning $60,000. -
I can appreciate these observations, but it’s now clear that girls are getting hosed when it comes to the online dating stuff.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Fly, A Short Play In One Act

Mark Lisanti is one of my favorite bloggers. Even when he isn't writing the funniest Mad Men recaps on the planet, he's awesome.

Fly, A Short Play In One Act: "

A man sitting at a computer in his home office looks down and discovers his fly is open.

Man Sitting At Computer: [shrugs]

He does not bother to zip his fly.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Airplane Mode

Loved this article on Minimal Mac about Airplane mode. Last week things were getting really busy at work and I decided to turn off all Twitter notifications. For people I really like following, I had it set up so I got a text message when they posted. Until I turned off Notifications, I had no idea how distracted I really was. I've been so much more productive and strangely, I like Twitter more now. It's gone from being a message box I need to pay attention to and get through (and therefore a job), to something that is elective. I check it when I want and it's fun like that. Maybe I should experiment with airplane mode.

He picked me up and, shortly after getting in his car, his iPhone was all business – ringing, beeping, and buzzing with potential activity. He silenced it, we continued our conversation, and just a couple of minutes later, the iPhone was back to business again. At this point, he picked it up and placed it in Airplane Mode, which cuts wi-fi and 3G but leaves the phone otherwise functional. Respectfully, I did the same.

My first thought was, wow, what a show of respect for me and our time together. I was honored and humbled by this simple act that broadcasted that nothing was more important to him (and, trust me, he has other things far more important).

Secondly, it got me to thinking why he chose Airplane Mode versus turning the phone off. After a few minutes at lunch it became readily apparent. We were showing photos across the table about our recent travels and activities. We were sharing tips, ideas and links and taking notes. We were communing and catching up by using this tremendously powerful technology in ways that enriched the conversation, not distracted from it.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Reblog: My Tattoo for Chloe

Ben of Ben's Friends patient support networks sent me this picture over the weekend. I already posted it on the Ben's Friends Blog, but wanted to reblog it here.

It's a tattoo of the AVM Survivors logo that one of the members got. It's the highest compliment we can get.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

13 miles of fun

I did the Kaiser Half Marathon today. It was a blast and a great way to appreciate San Francisco on a perfect day.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Marco on how Apple's review process is the real hero

Marco on how Apple's review process is the real hero in the "There's an App for that Strategy."

"First and foremost, the review process has created a level of consumer confidence and risk-taking that has enabled the entire iOS app market to be far bigger and healthier than anyone expected. Average people — the same people who have been yelled at for decades for clicking on the wrong button on the wrong incomprehensible dialog box and messing up their computers — can (and do) confidently buy large quantities of inexpensive apps impulsively, without having to worry that any of them will “break” their iPhones or iPads, rip them off, destroy their data, or require them to embarrassingly visit the corporate IT department, the Geek Squad, or their computer-savvy relatives (us) for help."

Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday Chill Music (February 4, 2011)

I'm changing gears with Friday Chill Music this week and going exclusively with an old school Wilco acoustic show. It's actually just Jay Bennett & Jeff Tweedy from Wilco. It's a magical show from Old Towne School of Folk in 1999, courtesy of Captain's Dead blog. I saw a tiny show at the Old Towne School of Folk when I lived in Chicago and it was really amazing. I wish I could travel back in time and see this one.

Here are five of my favorite songs, but I'd just listen to the whole thing.

I'm Always in Love

Hesitating Beauty

Via Chicago

The Lonely1

California Stars

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Come Join Us

I'm posting this for all the readers who live somewhere that is sitting under two feet of snow right now. Come join us in San Francisco. Life is pretty good here.

via Mystical Photography

The20 Wine Club

My buddy Scott Fausel is working at a really neat new wine startup called The20 that was featured on Thrillist a couple days ago. They make a really nice cask and then every couple months you buy a bladder of wine that contains four bottles worth. The wine is from smaller vineyards in NorCal and tastes amazing.

The cask system is super convenient and makes sense financially because we never have wine spoil on us. Before The20, we would open a bottle of wine and drink half of it that night. A few days later, that bottle would have turned and we would be pouring $ down the sink. No longer with The20.

I'm a huge fan and subscriber, give it a shot.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Meet Our Newest Designing Mom: Heidi Yarger | Mom Inc Daily

A friend of mine, Heidi Yarger of Spitfire Designs, started blogging for Mom Inc Daily. I post this because she's my friend but also because so many of my friends have kids now and I see them going through what Heidi is going through and what my mom went through - how to be a mom and business owner at the same time.

Meet Our Newest Designing Mom: Heidi Yarger | Mom Inc Daily:
"Ahh, work/life balance…what is that exactly?!? I must admit that I thought it would be a little easier than it actually is. Running a business and having a baby is hard work."

The Fleet Foxes are Back

One of my favorite bands, the Fleet Foxes, are coming back with a new album. Here's a little sample.

Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues by subpop