Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Europe is Getting Scary

Adventures in Capitalism on Europe Financial Markets
"Lately, I’ve been less focused on the global markets because I’m so focused on Mongolia. However, it’s hard to ignore what’s going on in Europe as it affects all of us. Let me put it bluntly, they have about a week to figure this out, or they’re going back into the Dark Ages. They really have three choices; let the banks fail and destroy their currency, print massively and destroy their currency or find a leprechaun that can conjure up a better solution. I don’t see how this can go on much longer. Unfortunately, the Europeans seem to still favor the leprechaun approach. That didn’t work for Ireland, and they’re the country of leprechauns. Does Germany have a chance?"

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday Brunch - November 27, 2011

Enjoy the links.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Umbrella Man Video

Terrific New York Times video on the "Umbrella Man" who was near the site of JFK's assassination. I had never heard of this guy and had to look him up on Wikipedia.

I found the story through Kedrosky's Blog.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I'm Thankful for Ben's Friends & This Wonderful Message

I posted the note below about Ben's Friends on my twitter & facebook today. Then a member named Janice left me a really touching message. It made my Thanksgiving!

My Message:
"I'm thankful for everyone involved with Ben's Friends Patient Support Networks (www.bensfriends.org) - the 90 volunteer moderators, the 100+ donors, and the patients that make all 29 networks a magical place. The chart shows we are breaking new traffic. Thanks!"

Message from Janice:
"Happy thanksgiving!I haven't told you lately, but I really really really appreciate you!You have added so much beauty and order and wonder to my life through though the good work you do; even though we don't talk personally very often, I know you are behind the scenes to make sure our experience at Life with Lupus stays beautiful.Thank you."

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Reblog - 'The Next Steve Jobs Will Totally Be a Chick'

I'm reblogging a Daring Fireball post (which was reblogged version of Jim Dairympie). I'm trying to do a better job of referencing the stuff I blog about.

On the subject below, I agree with Louis CK on how amazing woman entrepreneurs are. I'm surrounded by so many of them. They have their own approach and that is what makes them special.

Daring Fireball Linked List: 'The Next Steve Jobs Will Totally Be a Chick':

Louis C.K., talking to Fast Company:
The next Steve Jobs will totally be a chick, because girls are No. 2 — and No. 2 always wins in America. Apple was a No. 2 company for years, and Apple embodies a lot of what have been defined as feminine traits: an emphasis on intuitive design, intellect, a strong sense of creativity, and that striving to always make the greatest version of something. Traditionally, men are more like Microsoft, where they’ll just make a fake version of what that chick made, then beat the shit out of her and try to intimidate everybody into using their product.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Derek Sivers on the Co-Op Business Model

Another incredible post by Sivers. It's about doing little favors for the world, your ecosystem and your friends. So many great examples in the post. Here's my favorite:

"In 1997, I got a credit card merchant account to sell my own CD at live shows. It cost $1000 in set-up fees and took three months of red-tape paperwork. Then I built a little online shopping cart, which also took months of work, just to sell my own CD. Musician friends asked if they could use mine instead of having to go through all of that work, so I said OK. At first, I did this for free, as a favor, until it was taking up all of my time. Because it took me 45 minutes of work to digitize, stock, set up a new album in my system, I charged $35 per new album. Because it took 10 minutes of work to pick, pack, and ship a purchased CD, I charged $4 per CD sold. Over the next 12 years, this made me about $20 million."

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday Brunch - November 20, 2011

Links are a little late today. Lazy day in Donner. :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

lonelysandwich - Human-computer-human interaction

"From Siri's acceptance or rejection of our commands or requests, comes a feedback loop that trains us to constrain our thoughts to the crucial data.
As we learn to speak to Siri, we'll learn more about how we formulate ideas into words, how to express those so that they may be understood with less margin of error, ultimately shortening the gap between intention and comprehension.
It's safe to assume that as we learn to talk to Siri, Siri learns to listen to us. So we're not simply assimilating with the robot culture, we're fostering a new understanding between our vastly different types of intelligence.
Which is to say, Siri will teach us how to talk to Siri but maybe more importantly, how to talk to each other."

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Chill Music - November 18, 2011

Some good old Friday Chill Music for you on this Spotify playlist. There's some Wilco, M. Ward, My Morning Jacket and a bunch of newer bands. Plus you get a Pearl Jam lullaby song. :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Self truth (and the best violinist in the world)

Feels like I've been quoting Seth Godin a lot lately, but this was too good not to do it again. This is one of the most important lessons I learned from Ben's Friends. 

"The quest for technical best is a form of hiding. You can hide from the marketplace because you're still practicing your technique. And you can hide from the hard work of real art and real connection because you decide that success lies in being the best technically, at getting a 99 instead of a 98 on an exam.

What we can become the best at is being an idiosyncratic exception to the standard. Joshua Bell is often mentioned (when violinists are mentioned at all) not because he is technically better than every other violinst, but because of his charisma and willingness to cross categories. He's the best in the world at being Josh Bell, not the best in the world at playing the violin."

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

McRibonomics: You’ll NEVER guess what’s in the McRib

Great quote by my friend Kathryn from the following article.
"Life is so much easier when we don’t know how the sausage gets made. If we know too much about something gross that we’re eating, we feel forced to do something about it, like not eat it."

Willy Staley over at “The Awl, “Be Less Stupid” just made a nifty little chart to show us that McDonald’s not-so-coincidentally introduces the McRib when pork prices are low. The lines below are the periods that McDonald’s reintroduced the McRib, the blue line is the price of hogs in America over the last 10 years.

Low pork prices = higher profit for McDonald’s. Check out his article, here, when you have a second, it’s really interesting. But it gets better.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Photo by Feltron

Feltron is one of my web heroes. Here he takes a bunch of different photos and overlays them to create one image.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday Chill Music - November 11, 2011

Times a little short today so I'm posting a great playlist by Ziser. It's through Spotify, which pretty much everyone is on anyways. Hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

this is better than the last one

marklisanti (@marklisanti)
11/9/11 11:08 AM
The Academy would like us to welcome its new, improved, drama-free Oscar team, producer Roman Polanski and host Mel Gibson!

@HitFixDaniel, 11/9/11 11:16 AM

Daniel Fienberg (@HitFixDaniel)
11/9/11 11:16 AM
At this point, the Greek government is pointing and laughing at the instability of the Oscars.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Seth's Blog: How to get a job with a small company

Good advice. Worth reading the whole thing. Working at smaller companies seems so much more exciting to me, but you need to know how to talk to the people who are hiring at those companies.

Seth's Blog: How to get a job with a small company:
"Most advice about job seeking is oriented around big companies. The notion of a standard resume, of mass mailings, of dealing with the HR department--even the idea of interviews--is all built around the Fortune 500.

Alas, the Fortune 500 has been responsible for a net loss in jobs over the last twenty years. All the growth (and your best chance to get hired) is from companies you’ve probably never heard of. And when the hirer is also the owner, the rules are very different."

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Just Because...

Bryan Adams - Heaven (Unplugged)

Thank me later.

Sunday Brunch - November 6, 2011

Hope you enjoy the links.
  • Dam Breached, Reservoir Drained - Don't mess with mother nature and gravity.
  • Computer Science Majors By Year - I wonder why this chart isn't up and to the right. The country has a massive unemployment problem but you cannot hire a developer in Silicon Valley right now. The market for computer science majors has never been tighter.
  • Birth of Europe: Full Circle - pretty funny 
  • 2Houses - Software so divorced families can manage the little things. This would have made my life a lot easier when I was a kid.
  • How to Find Cups at Someone's House - So true
  • What Good Interview Questions are Trying to Discover - this posts benefits people who are interviewing to fill jobs just as much as those interviewing for jobs. If you are asking people interview questions that don't give you this insight, you should re-evaluate.
  • Favorite Pitches from TechStars Seattle - I went to this tech incubator event on Thursday. I had a blast and met a lot of great people. So much energy in the room.
  • Day Care Sick Day Incentives - I love thinking about little incentive programs like the one Alex outlined. My favorite example is the b-school case study where a day care center was tired of parents picking up their kids late, so they instituted a $10 fee for being late. After the fee was instituted, late pickups doubled or tripled. All that had been keeping late pickups to a minimum was the sense of guilt parents felt about being late. Once there was a fee associated with it, being late became a transaction and acceptable to the parents.
  • Another 100 Day Event - Kedrosky - Italy is getting scary.
  • Boxer Briefs - informative article on men's underwear. :)
  • Nap in Such a Way That Your Cheerios Are Safe - very cute, and true.
  • Road & Trees - I always like to end with a picture.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday Chill Music - November 4, 2011

I'm traveling today so apologies for the URL links instead of embedded playlist. :)

The National - Sin-Eaters - I'm already getting excited for their concert in SF in early December.

M. Ward - Carolina - He's the best. I like everything he puts out.

Lonely Boys - Black Keys - Rock music.

The War on Drugs - Come to the City - Been listening to these guys like crazy since Hamilton & Kenna turned me onto them.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Note from a Friend in Vancouver on the Housing Bubble There

A good buddy of mine lives in Vancouver and we've been exchanging messages about the housing bubble there. I keep sending him posts like this showing the Vancouver market is going crazy. His latest response:
"Renting--rent hasn't changed in the 3.5 yrs we've been here...the house buying money is all asian cash (obviously), the rest of the economy is fine, relatively flat, and mostly based on tourism and commodities (mining, electricity).  The biggest implications of all of this in my eyes is what it is doing to the community...you walk around at night and only a third of the houses have residents in them and lights on.  No one who lives in those houses are contributing income or sales taxes to canada so what's going to happen to social services over time? An interesting social experiment that I would rather not be surrounded by.
I've actually been thinking about it a bit more and was thinking about what it will do to all the local businesses in addition to the social services.  How does a neighborhood restaurant and market stay in business when there's 50% occupancy around (even with 100% ownership)?  I feel OK about our business b/c it draws people from reasonable distances, but small companies that rely on short-distance "locals" are going to have their number of potential customers cut in half.  It's all kind of fine now that it's a new thing and all these problems are offset by rising property prices...but time will take it's toll on the businesses at this rate and the problem will compound when and if property prices start dropping to boot."

Colbert Super PAC - Occupy Wall Street Co-Optportunity - Stephen On Location - The Colbert Report - 2011-31-10 - Video Clip | Comedy Central

Colbert Super PAC - Occupy Wall Street Co-Optportunity - Stephen On Location - The Colbert Report - 2011-31-10 - Video Clip | Comedy Central:

This is quite possible the funniest thing I've seen on TV in years. Colbert was amazing in this. Everything about this is genius.