Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Twitter / JohnTesh: One of the most desirable ...

I did not know that. :)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Seven on Sunday

More links for weekend reading. Here are Saturday's links if you missed them.

  International Orange

Treat Strangers Like Colleagues - Good things will happen for you and them.

Hiring Sales People - terrific story on how to hire sales people. The most important thing to understand is a good sales person isn't like most people. They have different motivations and their ability to handle rejection is incredible. I'm not like that by nature, so when I need to be a good salesperson, I play make believe like I am one. It helps me cope with the rejection but also allows me to enjoy the successes a lot more than I normally would.

Don't Let a Good Crisis Go to Waste - wise words. Most of us only act in a crisis. Knowing that, you have to take advantage of those moments.

Has Amazon EC2 Become Oversubscribed - one of the single biggest technology innovations of the last 10 years is Amazon Web Services (AWS). Developers can plug into the Amazon back-end web hosting and get their ideas up on the Web quickly and cheaply. Almost every big Internet startup service you use began on Amazon and most still run on it. But it's hard for anyone, even Amazon, to build enough datacenters to keep up with Internet traffic growth. If AWS becomes oversubscribed, it will get slow and more costly, hurting the whole startup ecosystem. Keep an eye on this.

Big Macs vs. the Naked Chef - standardization is not your friend unless you have massive scale. And even then all you get is a mediocre product.

The Bucket Maiden Voyage - Colbert pioneers remote robots.

A Cover of Skinny Love - I'll leave you with a beautiful song.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Six Links on Saturday Morning

Catching up on the best links of the week.

Colbert & The Prez via the Himmelsblog - It's Stephen Colbert's world, we just live in it.

A Rake Too Far - Bill Gurley is a super successful VC and a great writer. His advice here is simple, keep your greed in check and you can build a big, lasting business.

Courtvision: The Year in Charts - Nowadays most people know about Moneyball and how statistics reshaped baseball. But baseball is relatively straightforward to analyze because it's just a hitter vs. a pitcher and you can draw clear conclusions from this one on one contest because there aren't that many variables. In Information Technology terms, Baseball is Structured Data. But basketball is a whole different animal. There are five different players on each team all interacting and the players are constantly being subbed in and out. Basketball is Unstructured Data and this type of information is much harder to handle. That's what makes Kirk Goldsberry work charting NBA shot patterns and player efficiency so ground breaking. He's teaching us all that if we are clever enough, we can use quant approaches to make sense out of almost anything. Goldsberry's analysis on the evolution of Lebron James is one of the best things I've read all year. Quant is cool.

Five Worries About Mad Men - it used to be my favorite show, but I can barely stand Don Draper now. Tim Goodman's analysis of the show's slow decline is right on. Btw - Goodman is televisions best critic and always a great read.

Don't Launch Your Product - big product launches in the Internet space are a fool's game. The best services start small, stay small for a while as they find their footing, and then they explode. Better to give yourself some time to figure things out and build a loyal user base than to crash and burn out of the gate.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Apple - iPhone 5 - TV Ad - Photos Every Day - YouTube

Finally a good Apple Ad after a lot of mediocrity. Seems like Apple is getting its groove back.

Apple - iPhone 5 - TV Ad - Photos Every Day - YouTube:

New Robot Receptionist

I walked into a portfolio company today and they had a new receptionist! A woman in Boston (remote) could see me through the lense and talk to me. She told me that she was sitting on her couch watching Ellen while greeting me. Pretty amazing.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

WISH I WAS HERE by Zach Braff — Kickstarter

The Garden State was such a good movie that we should all take a leap of faith and send this guy some money. It's hard to find lightning in a bottle twice, but once someone demonstrates they can do something really special, it's important to help them try to do it again.

WISH I WAS HERE by Zach Braff — Kickstarter:

"I want you to be my financiers and my audience so I can make a movie for you with no compromises. I know it's risky, and I don't know if it's going to work, but here are a few reasons why I think it's worth it to fund via Kickstarter. "

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

An 800 # for me to call and talk to someone about what I should eat for meals/snacks?

I couldn't agree more with Aziz. This is a service I've needed my whole life. I can't make a decision on lunch without talking to five people.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Having The Right People in the Room

Twitter / andrewrazeghi: Exhibit A for having the right ...: "
Exhibit A for having the right people in the room. Best-selling jazz album, ever. Number of recording takes: one. twitter.com/andrewrazeghi/…
— Andrew Razeghi (@andrewrazeghi) April 21, 2013

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Seven Links on Sunday Morning

Following up on my Six Links on Saturday post from yesterday, here is Seven on Sunday. I'll be doing this every weekend. I'm grateful that you took the time to read it. :)

A Manager's Manifesto - words of wisdom from a Facebook-er.

I need a co-founder - okcofounder.com - really clever way to find a co-founder. "How do I find a co-founder?" is one of the questions I get most often.

TV's Death by Mandoline - loved this quote: "After wrecking the music industry and scaring the hell out of movies, the Internet actually saved television over the last decade. As shows began to take greater risks with storytelling, content, and serialization, the web served as a bubbling water cooler for debate and a boiling pressure cooker for anticipation. The DVR may have freed us from the shackles of time slots, but Twitter — and an increasing phobia for spoilers — put us all right back in the cage.2 In many ways, the second screen has become just as important as the first."

The Irrelevant Giant - touching, brave and heartbreaking, the 10 minute video story of a football player's batter against cancer.

How Booking.com Conquered the World - the playbook on building a great Internet company.

It's Not a Web App, It's an App You Install From the Web - these guys make the beautiful Forecast.io weather app. But the twist is that it's not in the app store. You just go to the mobile web page and it's beautiful. That's significant because right now App Stores control mobile app distribution, but maybe someday we'll have a more Internet-style distribution model for Apps. 

Marv Albert is My Therapist - legendary sports announcer, Marv Albert, becomes Jesse Eisenberg's therapist.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Six Links on Saturday

Thanks for reading! I've been putting a lot of energy into my Saturday and Sunday links columns. I really appreciate all the positive feedback. The traffic on the blog is way up! I really enjoy the links so I'll keep knocking them out!

Apple Then & Now - saw this on a Tweet that I can't find now, but it's such an awesome example of technology's march forward.

A Silicon Valley Vision for San Francisco - nice article about the efforts of Ron Conway, a big time valley angel investor, to reshape San Francisco for the better. This quote jumped out at me because it really explains one of the secrets of Silicon Valley, “The tech community is a closely knit group, which is why it’s so powerful. All of these companies have an affinity for each other, even if they compete with each other.”

Dove Real Beauty Sketches - I found this so interesting. My takeaway was that women are way too tough on themselves. 

A List of Horrible Businesses - this is why venture capital and entrepreneurship are so hard, but also demonstrates the power of thinking differently and sticking to your convictions.

Pivotal Books - a terrific list of books that have influenced entrepreneurs to do something great. It's never to early to get your summer reading list in shape. Tribes by Seth Godin is the most important book I've ever read. We had already started Ben's Friends by the time I read it, but the book crystallized all the important themes we had swirling around us. Life changing book.

I use an app called Pocket to save all the stories throughout the week and then I read them on Friday and Saturday night. It's a really slick app and it makes this column possible. There are lots of articles I want to read but would miss without the app. Pocket launched some new features this week so I wanted to highlight it for you.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Makin Sense Babe on Asset Allocation

Funny but educational video on asset allocation and investing from my friend, the Makin' Sense Babe. Very well done. I love the sense of humor. Finance education is normally so boring.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Monday, April 15, 2013

Vine Video of the Boston Marathon Explosion

This video of the Boston Marathon explosion is really disturbing. I hope everyone is ok. It's way bigger than I thought it was when I read the first media accounts.

My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in Boston and all their loved ones.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday Reading Catchup - April 14, 2013

More links for a sleepy Sunday Morning.

Failure Gets a Bad Rap - couldn't agree more with this article. You have to try a lot of things before you find your thing.

Jeff Bezos of Amazon Writes to His Shareholders - it's a gem.

Seattle Brewed - a local social network for people in Seattle built by members of the tech community. I asked Daryn if he would build one for San Francisco. I'd join. What a great idea.

When you start something new, you have to believe that attrition is a group statistic, and doesn't apply to you. Sometimes things don't work out, and it's good to know what to do in that situation.

Data Killed the HiPPO Star - Oldie but goodie. Btw - HiPPO stands for Highest Paid Person's Opinion. Made me laugh but also drove home how much implicit influence people have in an organization just by making more money.

Flip to Fly and Airline Price Discrimination - very interesting. Wonder if this could be incorporated into other things like restaurant reservations or entertainment events.

How Dave Goldberg Built Survey Monkey and Still Gets Home by 5:30pm - terrific. Survey Monkey is so simple, you know it took a ton of work to make it like that.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Saturday's Weekend Reading Catchup

Saturday Reading. Pairs very nicely with a cup of coffee or green tea. :)

The Tyranny of Taxi Medallions - really great article, especially since I've begun to take Lyft, a ride-sharing service, almost exclusively around San Francisco. The pink mustaches that sit on the cars hood are some of the best branding I've seen a startup do.

Bitcoin, Explained - a terrific primer on a new currency that is getting major traction in the Tech Community. It's not that different than gold, in that it can't be created by a Federal Reserve with questionable judgement. It's global and fairly anonymous. Something worth understanding.

Social Hierarchy in Elevators - men and women, young and old, behave differently in elevators.

Mark Lisanti's Made Men Power Rankings - Lisanti is one of my favorite writers on the planet. This column is always so funny and it build on inside jokes so the more you read it, the funnier it is.

Google Fiber's Next Stop - someone needs to break the monopoly of big phone and cable companies. They control one of the most important resources in the country/world - Internet Access. Google is doing good work here and I hope they are successful.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

thoughtbot Podcast - Ben's Friends & Scott Orn

thoughtbot Learn:
I'm on the ThoughtBot Podcast talking Ben's Friends this week. Really fun. Hope folks enjoy it. The guys at ThoughtBot couldn't have been nicer!

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Power of Community for Rare Disease Patients « lillycoi

Pretty cool moment for Ben's Friends last week when Eli Lilly blogged about us on their corporate blog. This isn't just a mention either, it's a couple of pages about Ben's Friends with screenshots and everything. We continue to get really great coverage from people who understand the issue we're addressing. Feels really good to be recognized by the outside world.

The Power of Community for Rare Disease Patients « lillycoi:

"One way rare disease patients have found a way to meet their challenges is by connecting with one another online. Bensfriends.org is one such place where patients and caregivers are conversing, sharing and supporting each other."

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Sunday Reading - Catching Up on the Week

More good articles that I caught up on this weekend.

As Web Search Goes Mobile, Competitors Chip Away at Google - so true. I must search inside of apps at least 50% of the time while on mobile. That's a lot of lost revenue for Google. If they hadn't pushed so aggressively on Android, they'd be in a tough position.

Mad About the Cost of TV, Blame Sports - the coupling of sports and the cable bill is fascinating to me. the NFL, NBA and MLB have never been stronger because the teams are all signing huge regional cable deals. They're guaranteed huge amounts of money over the next 20 years. Meanwhile people like me are cutting the cord. Something will have to give 5 years out.

At 25 Mark Cuban Learned Lessons About Leadership That Changed His Life - some great lessons in life and business.

How People Sit in Meetings and What it Means - cute and funny

Human Intervention as a Competitive Advantage - people are expensive, but they make all the difference.

Saturday Reading Catch Up

I spend a lot of time reading on Saturday Morning catching up on the best articles of the week. Here are a few I wanted to pass along.

Neophilia as a Form of Hiding by Seth Godin - Focus on what works, not what's new.

Grantland Picks Jimmy Fallon's Replacement - so many great candidates here and the video clips are awesome.

The Great Movies by Ebert (blog post by Derek Sivers, a huge Ebert fan) - I had no idea that Ebert had put together this collection of essays on the best movies of all time. A treasure that I'll explore.

Monopolies and Startups by Fred Wilson - thoughtful post on startups ability to break up monopolies through competition.

Video of Ricky Gervais, Louie CK, Seinfeld and Chris Rock - super duper funny.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

this is the best support group - Living With Fibromyalgia - Online Support Group

This made me feel really good.

this is the best support group - Living With Fibromyalgia - Online Support Group:

"i have joined groups on fb for my ic and vulva. but never do i check or chat with ppl like i do here. everyone on here is so great patunia girl sk and lori have been so helpful as i am still trying to get reality that this is not my imagination. Thank you so much for the support and it really makes me sad to see how many golde hearted people have to suffer while so many take there health for granted and feeling of others. Thank you again big gentle hugs and prayes for better days for all of you guys on here suffering."

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Seth's Blog: A field guide to the Meeting Troll

Love this. Pardon the obnoxiously long URL.


What's next for Aereo and online TV? | The Verge

This seems like a big deal in the entertainment world.

What's next for Aereo and online TV? | The Verge:
"Aereo is trying to make live TV available over the Internet and yesterday the company got a step closer. The United States Second Circuit Court of Appeals declined a request by some of the country's largest television networks to issue a preliminary injunction against Aereo, which would have closed the service down. The broadcasters allege that Aereo violates their copyrights by distributing their shows without compensating them. Aereo says all it is doing is helping people watch freely available over-the-air broadcasts online, which they have a right to do."

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Monday, April 1, 2013

Sundown in America - NYTimes.com

Excellent editorial. The Fed has printed us to a temporary prosperity, but it can't last.

Sundown in America - NYTimes.com: