Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday's 7 Links - June 30, 2013

Back again for Sunday's 7 Links. Here's a link to Saturday's stories from yesterday.

Citi Bike is My New Iphone - Terrific primer on New York's new Citi Bike program by Dan Frommer. It's very simple, you can rent a bike on demand all over the city. Very clever program. When do we get this in San Francisco?

Valuation vs Ownership - Interesting post by Fred Wilson, a NYC VC. He runs a mid-sized fund and has been wildly successful. In this article he explains the different approaches a VC takes on investing depending on his/her fund size.

Parents' Perspective: When Our Son Came Out - One of my favorite financial writers, Herb Greenberg, talking about what it felt like when his son came out of the closet. Heart warming post.

4. Jesus Saves. Can Coffee? - Beautiful article on coffee and its potential to change places like Haiti for the better.

5. Jimmy Wales is not an Internet Billionaire - The Founder (or co-founder) of Wikipedia is not rich despite founding the 5th largest property on the Internet. Wikipedia has done wonderful things for the world so it's a shame to dwell on Wales lack of a fortune. Wikipedia is one of the models we use for Ben's Friends. In fact, I often describe Ben's Friends as "a mini-wikipedia because we have over 170 volunteer moderators." Keep doing good work Jimmy and Wikipedia!

6. Lost in the Supermarket: How to Survive When There is Too Much Good TV - Tim Goodman is my favorite TV writer and he has an interesting perspective on something I've been feeling lately - there is too much good TV on and I feel a little overwhelmed. My issue, like Goodman's, is that I don't want to be a couch potato, but I also want to take advantage of the best stuff. Here's what to do.

7. I'll leave you with an image: The New Yorker cover celebrating gay marriage through Bert & Ernie.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Scott Orn shared an Instagram video with you

Hi there,

Scott Orn just shared an Instagram video with you:

play video

"Tuck Wedding Party"
(taken at Martis Camp)

The Instagram Team

Scott Orn shared an Instagram photo with you

Hi there,

Scott Orn just shared an Instagram photo with you:

view full image

"A Lucky Guy"

The Instagram Team

6 Links Every Saturday - June 29, 2013

Welcome back to 6 Links Every Saturday. If you missed last Sunday's 7 Links, check them out.

Ecommerce is a Slog - What's Your Angle - Great analysis of the economics of an ecommerce business. It's a tough way to make a buck.

The Karma Hotspot - Really clever new hotspot company that rewards you for sharing your bandwidth. My buddy Charles Hudson shared his observations on the product and how it completely changes your typical bandwidth guarding behavior.

Instagram Video and the Death of Fantasy - Terrific post that really gets to the heart of Instagram's popularity. I never thought too deeply about what kind of stuff I share on Instagram, but the author is right. I share my happiest, most beautiful moments through Instagram. It's an aspirational service for all of the photo consumers. Great observation.

Will Bernanke Get All the Bonds? - One of my favorite financial bloggers trying to figure out what Bernanke is thinking and doing.

Things to Avoid When Eating at a Restaurant - An oldie but a goodie by Anthony Bourdain, one of my favorite TV personalities. Great advice too. There is no such thing as discount sushi.

I'll leave you with a song: Chanes - Some Things Featuring Beach House

Friday, June 28, 2013

Friday Chill Music - June 28, 2013

Hope you are having a great Friday before the long holiday week. Here's a great Songza playlist called a Summer Streaming ( that's perfect for today. Enjoy. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

7 Links Every Sunday - A Restaurant with No Prices, Lessons from Improv, Lester Freamon and No Stranger by Small Black

Back again with the 7 Links Every Sunday. If you missed Saturday's 6 Links, take a second to do it. There's some good stuff in there about Jogging, Colbert's Mother, James Gandolfini and Camera Obscura.

1. How a Restaurant With No Prices Makes Money - Innovative and heartwarming.

2. Lessons from Improv - A bunch of great advice rooted in improv. My favorite is "Say Yes and..."

3. The Best Parenting Advice You Will Ever Get - Time to forgive and to grow up.

4. Notes on an Emotional Masterpiece - Terrific analysis of the "Imported from Detroit" Chrysler commercial from a few years back.

5. The Wisdom of Lester Freamon - Nice post drawing from the wisdom of Lester Freamon, one of my favorite characters from the Wire.

6. Repetition and Belief - Great quote from Muhammad Ali, posted by John "JC" Colyer on his personal blog. JC is a major contributor to Ben's Friends and in the last year he has overcome the complete destruction of his home in New Jersey because of Hurricane Sandy. He's emerged as an even more positive force and patient advocate.

7. I'll leave you with a song - No Stranger by Small Black. Now that's a song.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

6 Links Every Saturday - "I Ran for a Year," Colbert's Mother, Gandolfini and Camera Obscura

We're back with 6 Links Every Saturday. I'm writing this from a conference in Vegas. Boy does it get hot out here, unfortunately the tables have been ice cold. :(

1. I Ran for a Year - I've been in a workout funk lately and I've packed on a few pounds because of it. This article broke me out of it. Her message is simple and it resonated with me.

2. Stephen Colbert Honors His Mother - It's a tear jerker. Reminded me how much I love my mom! Love you mom (she reads the blog). :)

3. Bernanke on Rising Rates: We Were A Little Surprised - Over the last couple months I've flagged the changes in the bond market which have led to higher interest rates. It got pretty crazy this week with bonds losing a lot of value (and interest rates popping again), which led to a big decline in the stock market too. Bernanke's comments are especially interesting because this has come as a surprise to him. The Fed may be losing control of the bond market. If so, we're going to see some real fireworks.

4. James Gandolfini's Obituary on Grantland - Well written obit on a man that I can't believe we lost. His work as Tony Soprano will live forever.

5. The Get Rid of Crap Every Month Club - I'm guilty of this too. There's a business in here somewhere.

6. I'll leave you with a song: Camera Obscura's Fifth in Line to the Throne.


P.S. 6 Links Every Saturday is made with Pocket.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday's Favorite Tweets from the Week - Lincecum & Puff, Dangerous Deodorant and Dream Discussers

My favorite tweets of the week.

Love the sense of humor. Tim Lincecum, the Giant's ace pitcher, was busted for smoking weed a few years ago...

We all have to make trade offs...

I'm not a parent and even I find her stuff funny.

Been there before...

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Mad Men's Disappointing Sixth Season - Grantland

Fantastic analysis of where we are in Mad Men right now. Personally, I'm enjoying the season but also ready for Don to make some changes. He's becoming such a drag and he can't get out of his own way. Maybe that's on purpose.

Mad Men's Disappointing Sixth Season - Grantland:

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Daring Fireball Linked List: Least Surprising Tidbit From Apple-DOJ E-Book Trial

Loved this.

Daring Fireball Linked List: Least Surprising Tidbit From Apple-DOJ E-Book Trial:

"Brian X. Chen, reporting for the NYT from the e-book price-fixing trial:

Both parties showed their evidence on a projector screen. Apple’s legal team used a MacBook to shuffle between evidence documents, stacking them side by side in split screens and zooming in on specific paragraphs.

In contrast, the Justice Department’s lawyers could show only one piece of evidence at a time. One video that Mr. Buterman played as evidence failed to produce the audio commentary needed to make his point."

Monday, June 17, 2013

Lamba Lamba Lamba Rap by Guster and Dispatch

Courtesy of Scott Fausel, at the 4:45 mark, these guys bust into the Lamba Lamba Lamba Rap from Revenge of the Nerds. Pretty awesome.

Dispatch/Guster - Cut It Ya Match It, Live Berkeley, CA Greek Theater - YouTube:


Sunday, June 16, 2013

7 Links Every Sunday - Google Loon, Apple Moving Fast, Fragile vs. Robust and Mos Espa

Welcome back for 7 Links Every Sunday. If you missed the 6 Links from Saturday, take a sec to check them out.

1. Google Loon - Balloon powered Internet access for rural areas? Google's working on it. Wow.

2. Formula for Entrepreneurial Success - Words to live by in any profession from Evan Williams, Founder of Twitter and Medium.

3. Fragile vs. Robust Plan - Derek Sivers outlining how he constructed his new project, Wood Egg. We went through similar things on Ben's Friends before we figured it out. And at the end where he outlines his lessons learned, we were lucky that we did find people who cared about it just as much as we did. Lot's of them.

4. The Most Effective Price Discovery Question - Good question. Deciding how to price a new service is so hard. It's all about "relative value" questions.

5. Color Theory and Mapping - Lot's of great insights on color and the subliminal stories it tells. Just as pricing is a big decision, so is color pallet. Some helpful hints here.

6. When Apple Moved Fast - Nice historical reminder that Apple will move quickly when it sees an opportunity. I especially enjoyed Dan Frommer's notes from the World Wide Developer Conference. Some great insights and observations.

7. I'll leave you with some incredible pictures of an original Star Wars set, still standing in the middle of a desert.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Six Links Every Saturday - Baseball Stadiums, Depression, The Spark File and McCain's iPhone

Welcome back for another Saturday Links column. If you missed last Sunday's column, you can double your reading pleasure today.

1. Grantland Ranks the Best Baseball Parks - There is something special about baseball parks. They're modern day cathedrals for us sports nuts. I spent so much time playing baseball as a kid that I still feel at home around a baseball diamond. The best part is I substituted eating hot dogs for striking out. In the article, Jonah Keri gives a scouting report on the best parks and it's no surprise what the best active one is (hint: below)

2. Depression is Not a Weakness - Thoughtful essay about a difficult subject to discuss.

3. The Spark File - Loved the concept of keeping a list of things that spark your interest. The Author keeps a Google Doc filled with things he wants to write about. I keep a list of things in Evernote. More like a hodge podge, but it helps me come back to topics I want to figure out or write about.

4. How Do You Want to Die? - A public service announcement of sorts by Seth Godin, but an important one. Unfortunately, we've had to grapple with this for one of our loved ones. It's especially painful to discuss in the heat of moment. Better to figure it out ahead of time, for everyone's sake.

5. John McCain Got What He Wanted in the New iPhone - Your tax dollars at work. Actually everyone but Apple's tax dollars since the company is so good at avoiding them. :)

6. I'll leave you with a video...of the Seattle Public Library breaking the world record for longest domino chain.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday's Favorite Tweets of the Week

My favorite tweets of the week.

Colbert always says it the best...

I can relate...

It's almost football season!

No Comment...


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Goodcausetv talks to Co-Founder Scott Orn

I did an interview on Ben's Friends with GoodCauseTV. I think it came out pretty well. Take a few minutes to check it out, please.

Goodcausetv talks to - Spreecast

A Family Affair — Karl the Fog - Medium

Karl the Fog is the best. If you don't follow him on Twitter you are missing out. And now he writes a post with his life story.

A Family Affair — Medium:
"I wasn’t always the fog of San Francisco.
 I had several shitty jobs before I took over the family business. I spent one winter being a stand-in for a broken fog machine on the set of Who’s Afraid of the Dark? (it was as insulting as it sounds). And there was that time I posed for pictures against a green screen for The Weather Channel where they screamed things like “dance, monkey, dance!” (just awful)."

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Two Videos Every Tuesday

A new, cool band called Chvrches, performing in studio. Found them via Plumspotter.

Larry David & Jerry Seinfeld in "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee - This episode was so great. Unfortunately Crackle disables Embeds so you have to click through to watch it.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Seven Links Every Sunday

Happy Sunday! Sorry for the late links column. Big night last night as the Schweifler's are homeowners and we had to celebrate. I had to heroically fight through the hangover to bring you the the links! If you missed Saturday's Links, then check them out.

1. Start-up Drugs - Another great post by the CEO of Bonobos. He covers the downside of dumping money into marketing, managing a board and their expectations and the roller coaster ride that is a startup.

2. Food Rules for Startups - You know what they say, "a startup that eats together, stays together." Here's how to do it and why.

3. Naz Hamid on the People You Surround Yourself With - "Choose Wisely" is right. I'm lucky that I have amazing friends.

4. Everybody Calls it OK Stupid - Great essay on online dating. So many people meet their loved one through online dating, including me, that it's worth understanding what it's like.

5. Pimco's Bond Fund Losing Assets for the First Time - The bond market is slowing changing with rates starting to rise. When rates go up, the value (price) of your bond goes down. If you're in a bond fund you're going to start feeling it and losing principal. Hard to tell how long this move will last though.

6. The Loss of Privacy and the Collapse of Creative Ambiguity - "The old equilibrium is perhaps no longer stable."

7. I'll leave you with a song, The Trip by Still Corners.

P.S. This list was made with the help of Pocket...and a little aspirin. :)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Six Links Every Saturday

It's a beautiful day in San Francisco. Hope you enjoy the links and then get out and enjoy the city!

1. Tech Companies Concede to Surveillance Program - I'm disappointed that the companies I love on the Internet caved to the government. I'm disappointed in the President I voted for twice let this happen. I completely agree with this New York Times Editorial. And as I'm writing this, more news is breaking that AT&T and Sprint were part of the program too.

2. Turkey at a Tipping Point - Big things are happening in Turkey. I've had the pleasure of visiting the country and have been watching all this happen through blog posts like this one. And don't miss the images of the Lady in Red either.

3. Children's Cancer Center Rebrands Chemo as "Superformula" - Heartwarming. These kids are braver than the superheroes in the movies.

4. Kuppy's Presentation on How to Be a Value Investor - Such a smart presentation on modern finance with examples on how to play a long term bullish trend from the value investors perspective. (note: I'm a personal investor in the Mongolian Vehicle referenced in the presentation)

5. Jay Fanelli on Work/Life Balance - It's really that simple.

6. I'll leave you with a picture, and a wonderful story about the Excel Spreadsheet Artist.

P.S. Six Links is made with the help of Pocket.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Friday's Favorite Tweets from the Week

My favorite tweets of the week.

Crossing the streams between my professional life and music tastes...
Those high heels can be tricky.

Tony Parker used to be married to Eva Longoria. He also played a hell of a game for the Spurs.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Whistle - Dog Tracking

Love this new pet product named Whistle. It's basically FitBit for dogs. So cool.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Two Videos Every Tuesday

Back for another round of Two Videos Every Tuesday. If you missed Sunday's 7 Links, check it out.

1. I love Wheel A Fortune and it's still fun to watch. Especially when someone makes an impossible guess for huge stakes...

2. I'm breaking the rules and not posting a video. Instead of posting a link to an editorial where Andrew Bird, one of my favorite musicians, has a bunch of MP3 files documenting the evolution of a song. It's really cool to listen to him whistle melodies into his tape recorder and read his explanation. I hope you don't mind me including this but it's really interactive so I thought it would qualify on Tuesday.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Seven Links Every Sunday

If you missed Saturday's Six Links, please take a peak. Also, I work really hard on these and would appreciate it if you send it to a few friends or post it on Facebook/Twitter. Thanks!

1. Mary Meeker's Internet Trends 2013 - She's been doing these big data dumps on emerging Internet trends for a long time and I always love reading through them. There's always a hefty bias to Kleiner Perkins portfolio companies, but overall it's excellent work and a service to the tech community.

2. Amputee in Rural China Builds a Bionic Arm - People are amazing.

3. Why Is Facebook Blue - Good tutorial on how colors affect us. This goes way beyond Facebook and even made me feel better about the colors we've chosen for my new side project, Orbit, which will be released soon.

4. Innovative Ad Hides Anti-Abuse Message - This is really cool. Anything to protect kids from this stuff.

5. From Blog Post to Movie - Neat story. Carpe Diem! P.S. Reddit is crazy powerful.

6. To Get Big, Start Small - I firmly believe in this. You have to work the kinks out, you know? Remember in the movie when Bambi was born and he couldn't walk and would slide around and fall all over the place? That's you when you start a new venture. Bambi needed some time and so do you.

7. I'm going to leave you with a song. I'm actually re-linking back to my post on Wednesday with the Plumspotter May Playlist because it's so damn good. I must have listened to this playlist 10 times this week. Enjoy.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Six Links Every Saturday

I'm away for the weekend in the great state of Texas for a bachelor party. I put some extra effort into this week's Six Links on Saturday so you wouldn't miss me. :) If you missed my favorite tweets from the week yesterday, check it out.

1. E-Commerce is a Bear - The CEO of Bonobos explains why E-Commerce is such a difficult business. A lot of it boils down to Amazon being such a tough competitor, but there are other challenges. Still, it's a terrific way to reach customers and people like me rarely buy anything in retail stores outside of groceries. It's still the future. (note: I'm personally long Amazon stock)

2. Healy Jones' Best Marketing Tweets - Healy is a friend and VP of Marketing at Boundless, an eTextbook company. Why weren't those around when I was in school? He's a great online marketer and these tips are must reads.

3. Inside Pixar's Leadership - Tons of management gems. Makes you realize why they make such great movies.

4. Alpha Dads - Posted by my buddy Scott Barrett, who owns a very successful supply chain consulting company. He's a good dad and so are all my friends with kids. It's fun to watch. It's also good to know how they approach it and what they struggle with. All of that is in this article.

5. Spark Networks and the Failure of Sex Starved… - A hedge fund investors take on investing in the dating site that owns J-Date, the dominant jewish dating site. He makes some good points and also some funny ones.

6. Liquid Mammoth Blood Found - This is so awesome. How long until there is a cloned Mammoth running around?