Saturday, June 30, 2012

Scott Orn shared an Instagram photo with you

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"Vegas baby! Where they let lactose intolerant people order cream dishes!"
(taken at L'Atelier De Joël Robuchon)

The Instagram Team

PHOTO: I love this Ira Glass quote from the Code…

Signal vs. Noise

I love this Ira Glass quote from the Code Academy handbook, designed by Sawyer Hollenshead.

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folkinz: Louis C.K. Pain Chart

I Love Charts

Thursday, June 28, 2012


via anne hubert on 6/28/12

Louie: TV Review - The Hollywood Reporter

Louie is such a great show. Definitely check it out.

Louie: TV Review - The Hollywood Reporter:
"But no – Season 2 of Louie was tremendous and painfully funny and crazy with originality. And it was even better than Season 1.  He was now a star – always had been with is stand-up comedy career and writing for television. But this was a different level because Louie was the prototype DIY show, where FX sent Louie C.K. the money and left the creator, writer, star, director and editor alone to do his work. When you get that level of respect as an artist, people tend to be in awe."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Dave Kashen on Staying on Your Side of the Net

Dave Kashen with an excellent post on how to communicate. Here is a small excerpt:

"Too often, when we communicate, debate and/or give feedback, we ‘Cross the Net’ and state our interpretations and guesses of what the other person is thinking, intending and feeling as if they’re facts.Here’s an example.  You notice that a team member who used to come in at 9:00am and leave at 8:00pm has started coming in at 10:00am and leaving by 7:00pm.  You say something like: “You’re not as engaged in your work as you used to be.” What is their most likely reaction?

Their reaction will probably begin with negating your claim as false (“yes, I am still engaged in my work”) and end in an argument over whether they are more or less engaged than they used to be.  They’ll likely come up with examples that demonstrate how engaged they are, while you present counter-examples of your own.  The reason for this downward spiral is that you crossed over onto their side of the net by claiming that you know what they’re feeling and intending.  All you actually know for sure is that the time they come in and leave has changed; your idea that their level of engagement has changed is merely your own interpretation of that fact."

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sunny & Still in San Francisco

A VC: MBA Mondays: Retaining Your Employees

Great post by Fred Wilson. Definitely worth reading if you are an employee. It's in your best interest for your employer to take retention seriously.

A VC: MBA Mondays: Retaining Your Employees:
"I hate to see employees leave our portfolio companies for many reasons, among them the loss of continuity and camaraderie and the knowledge of how hard everyone will have to work to replace them. Many people see churn of employees in and out of companies as a given and build a recruiting machine to deal with this reality. While building a recruiting machine is necessary in any case, I prefer to see our portfolio companies focus on building retention into their mission and culture and reducing churn as much as humanly possible."

Monday, June 25, 2012

Alone, Just the Two of Us | Redfin Blog

I liked this blog post from the founder of Redfin. I have this dynamic with Ben and the other folks behind the scenes at Ben's Friends. It's what makes it fun.

Alone, Just the Two of Us | Redfin Blog:

"Where else did the co-founders get the conviction to be different, if not from each other? I recently had dinner with the two of them, equal partners after 10 years in the business, and at 9 p.m. stood up to catch a flight. What surprised me most about our night together was that they didn’t want it to end: “we’ll just stay here,” one said. “We have a lot to catch up on.” It was like watching an old couple steal second base in the back of a movie theater. They were so engrossed in talking to one another that they didn’t notice Francis Ford Coppola in the booth four feet away."

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Apple Stores’ Army, Long on Loyalty but Short on Pay -

Terrible article by the ny times. Apple pays higher wages and benefits to its retail employees than comparables but is attacked by ny times? Makes no sense.

@jasonfried, 6/23/12 10:22 AM

Great speech by the losing coach. Loved it. 

Jason Fried (@jasonfried)
6/23/12 10:22 AM
Scott Brooks shows what sportsmanship and class is all about:

Apple’s Minimum Viable Product

Futuristic Play by @Andrew_Chen

"I think it's important to remember when we're all trying to start something from scratch that you have to start at zero, and the first product will probably suck. It'll be a motherboard, when what you really wanted to build was an all-aluminum Macbook Air with a Retina display.

But you gotta start somewhere."

Friday, June 22, 2012

Nigerian Spam Email: Why spam email is so obvious

Pretty interesting...

Nigerian Spam Email: Why spam email is so obvious:

"The researcher, Cormac Herley, looked into so-called “Nigerian scams,” named for the African nation where the scammers often claim to reside. The emails typically seek a cash investment and promise a lofty payoff, often linking themselves to off-shore corporations or royalty. Herley’s math-rich analysis found that the obvious spam clichés are a deliberate attempt to weed out potential victims who are too savvy to fall for the scheme—and in turn make the most of the human capital required to secure funds from the people who are duped.

"Since gullibility is unobservable, the best strategy is to get those who possess this quality to self-identify," Herley writes, and the scheme ingeniously lines up the most gullible recipients in one swoop. Those who are left "represent a tiny subset of the overall population" but nevertheless a lucrative one for the spammers."

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Video of a Mercedes racing a golf ball

via by Jason Kottke on 6/21/12

I know this is a "viral video" and I'm a sucker for posting it, but it's pretty cool and fits under the umbrella of what fast looks like. Anyway, watch this Mercedes chase down a golf ball that flies off the tee at almost 180 mph.

Hole in one! And just so you don't mistake this for some sponsored Mercedes love-fest, some shitheels in a silver Benz very much like the one in the video woke my whole family up at 5am this morning by deliberately setting off their car alarm every 30 seconds outside my house. You know, for fun.

Judd Apatow & Steve Martin

This is pretty funny:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Traumatic Brain Injury Support Group

Ben's Friends is starting a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) support community. It's near and dear to us because a couple of friends have gone through it. Our community will be launched in a week, until then you can join the Facebook group and get all the updates.

Traumatic Brain Injury Facebook Group

Always Swim Downstream

Words to live by. It took me about 32 years to figure this out.

Always Swim Downstream:
"“Stop worrying about what you’re bad at. Focus on what you’re good at and do more of that. Swim downstream. That’s how you become successful. Play to your strengths.”

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

@GeronimoDoom, 6/19/12 9:01 PM

Made me laugh

Geronimo Doom (@GeronimoDoom)
6/19/12 9:01 PM
@willbrinson Btw, Heat are 5-1 since the "good job, good effort" kid's speech. Turning point of LeBron's career?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Idea of the Day: Shutdown Requires PIN

Excellent idea!

Daring Fireball

Fantastic idea by Cabel Sasser:

When my phone was stolen in SF last year, they immediately powered it down to stop Find My iPhone. Settings idea: "Shutdown Requires PIN"?

I worry that iPhone thieves have caught on to Find My iPhone and now know to shut them down as soon as they have a stolen iPhone in hand. Cabel's idea might keep them on the grid longer.

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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Amazon’s markup of digital delivery to indie authors is ~129,000% | Andrew Hyde

So Amazon is charging 30% for ebooks + delivery fees. But their delivery fees are crazy. See below. Great overall post.

Amazon’s markup of digital delivery to indie authors is ~129,000% | Andrew Hyde:
"So for every $9.99 book I sell I, the author, pay 30% to Amazon for the right to sell on Amazon AND $2.58 for them to deliver the DIGITAL GOOD to your device.  It is free for the reader, but the author, not amazon, pays for delivery."

Scott Orn shared an Instagram photo with you

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"Hiking in Marin"

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Matt Cain's Perfect Game: I Was There. Incredible

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"Matt Cain's Perfect Game: I Was There. Incredible"

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The 'Mad Men' finale and the future of Don Draper - Grantland

Terrific recap of the Mad Men season. Beautifully written and pointed out some great stuff.

The 'Mad Men' finale and the future of Don Draper - Grantland:

"Has a great show ever given us a more depressing season? After considering it for a few days, I no longer want to argue with critics who found Sunday's finale to be a letdown. Everything these people touch is destined to disappoint, from Roger's skirt-chasing and acid-dropping to that once bright and unspoiled white rug. It's hard to imagine Weiner improving things next year; 1968 was when the idyllic promise of flower power died messily in front of the real power of guns and authority. I'd weep for the future, but we are the future. It can't be a coincidence that Weiner left it to the show's youngest main character to spell it out. "How was the city?" Glen Bishop asked Sally after the glamorous Codfish Ball. "Dirty," she replied."

Farewell, Internet. You had a good run.

This is really funny!

Farewell, Internet. You had a good run.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Thursday, June 7, 2012

@daveschappell, 6/7/12 9:24 PM

Dave Schappell (@daveschappell)
6/7/12 9:24 PM
From scrubbing floors to the Ivy League… #fb

McSweeny's IPO Prospectus

loved this. McSweeney's is the best.

Sent to you by Scott via Google Reader:

via BRYCE DOT VC on 6/6/12

"We tried selling our product to users but that failed miserably; so, we turned to an ad-driven model. The way it works is, we give away the product for free, then lure advertisers with the promise of connecting them to millions of people who hate to pay for things. Amazingly, it works."

- from McSweeny's epic IPO prospectus.  

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Netflix’s new ‘Open Connect Network’

Interesting inside baseball maneuvering by Netflix and Comcast. 


Inside baseball, but interesting: Netflix is launching its own content delivery network ("CDN") and is letting Internet service providers run the software within their networks. Actually, any "high-volume provider of large media files" can use it for themselves, too.

Here's a good explanation of the new service and what it means by TechCrunch's Ryan Lawler:

Through Open Connect, ISPs can choose to peer directly with Netflix at one of eight settlement-free peering exchanges. Or, if they want to, they can install one of Netflix's Open Connect appliances into their own network. That would allow them to cache the content locally so that it doesn't have to be transferred over the network whenever it's requested. Either way, doing so could reduce the strain of Netflix traffic going over their networks.

As far as competition goes, this looks like bad news for commercial CDNs like Akamai, Limelight, Level3, etc. Though as Netflix notes in its blog post, YouTube has had its own CDN for a while now, so it seemed inevitable that Netflix would eventually, too.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings made some noise about Comcast a couple of months ago for excluding its own videos from its customers' download caps, which are designed to discourage subscribers from streaming too many videos from, say, Netflix. "Comcast should apply caps equally, or not at all," Hastings said.

The argument supporting Comcast's behavior was that its own videos travel within its network, while Netflix movies have to get pulled down from the public Internet, which, in theory, costs more. Today, Netflix seems to be dislodging that argument by giving Comcast a tool to distribute Netflix videos more efficiently, too. From the outside, at least, it sounds pretty cool.

Meanwhile, Comcast is raising its caps… and likely moving toward consumption-based Internet billing.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

"People really don’t like to hear success explained away as luck — especially successful people. As..."

Words to live by, especially the last part.

James Siminoff

People really don't like to hear success explained away as luck — especially successful people. As they age, and succeed, people feel their success was somehow inevitable. They don't want to acknowledge the role played by accident in their lives. There is a reason for this: the world does not want to acknowledge it either.

Life's outcomes, while not entirely random, have a huge amount of luck baked into them. Above all, recognize that if you have had success, you have also had luck — and with luck comes obligation. You owe a debt, and not just to your Gods. You owe a debt to the unlucky.


- Michael Lewis in his Princeton commencement speech. (via cajunboy)
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Monday, June 4, 2012

Starbucks buys San Francisco's La Boulange bakery chain - San Jose Mercury News

Congrats to the fine folks at La Boulange. It's my favorite coffee and breakfast place in San Francisco.

Starbucks buys San Francisco's La Boulange bakery chain - San Jose Mercury News:
"Starbucks said Monday it is buying La Boulange Bakery owner Bay Bread for $100 million in cash in a deal that is its biggest move yet outside coffee and takes direct aim at what long has been seen as the company's biggest weakness: food.
The world's biggest coffee chain said its first priority is to roll out La Boulange croissants, pastries, cookies and other food in its own stores. It also intends to build the 19-cafe San Francisco operator into a national chain."

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Scott Orn shared an Instagram photo with you

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"Undefeated as a Giants Fan"
(taken at Willie Mays Gate @ AT&T Park)

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Friday, June 1, 2012

Friday Chill Music - June 1, 2012

It's a little late in the day but I thought you would like a little Bon Iver live music to close out the day.

bon iver live at the haldern pop festival, 8.15.09 - captains dead:

The Isle of Man TT, the most insane motorcycle race in the world

This has the Walm written all over it. 

File this one under what fast looks like: motorcycle racers reach speeds in excess of 200 mph as they navigate the tiny curved roads of the Isle of Man during the Isle of Man TT race. The crash at 1:30, which is insane by the way, involves a stone wall, sheep, and was filmed cinematically from a helicopter.

(thx, @garymross)

Tags: motorcycles   racing   sports   video
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