Saturday, April 30, 2011

Just Watched The First Wedding Video

Image representing Google News as depicted in ...Image via CrunchBaseI just watched my first royal wedding video, although I noticed yesterday on Tumblr they were hard to avoid, not that I was trying to avoid, but I was not actively seeking them out. One thing I noticed was it was said two billion people watched it on television. Wow, those are World Cup Soccer numbers. Now, t-h-a-t is impressive.

Brazil 2014

I came across the video when I dropped by the Google News page like I am likely to near daily.

Jeff Who?

No Big Deal. Really.

Ignite NYC: Here I Come

Ignite, Set It On Fire
Internet Week: Going To Three Events So Far
Digital Dumbo: Here I Come
July 1 Digital Dumbo: Do Not Miss

I tried and failed to get on any Internet Week panel. But something better might happen. I just saw this in my Facebook stream, and jumped at the opportunity. I am applying for my five minutes at Ignite NYC during Internet Week. Tikva, make it happen, please.

Me In The New York Times

"Robin Hood Im Internet"
BBC Calls
Me @ BBC
Paul Graham, Brad Feld, Me, BBC
I Have Been Quoted In Fast Company
Me @ CNN

When I read this article when it came out and blogged about it, I did not realize I was in the picture. I saw a Facebook status from someone else in the picture that made me realize I was in the picture. I looked. There I was. (Two Upheavals Already)

Manhattan’s Tech Start-Ups Settle in the Flatiron District and Chelsea

Friday, April 29, 2011

Indians Point Fingers, Don't Mean To Be Rude

Photo: Soraya Darabi, South By South West 2011

With Jeremy Frank Of FoodSpotting

With Jeremy Frank Of FoodSpotting

Madrugada: Salt

(Via Vruz)

Cary Randolph: A Manifesto On Material Things

“As we get older we gain a little perspective on the material, the perishable, the finite. We age, and as we do, the people we love die, move away, stop loving us. Now if the house caught on fire, I might not take anything. And the things I cannot live without are easily transported but not easily won: a great, brilliant man who loves me, his head on the pillow next to mine, his hand around my waist. My dad’s voice on the telephone line. I want clean, fresh air, and at least one good laugh every day. I feel guilty saying this, having built a career in fashion – an industry that at its center is all about accumulating more things – but I believe it: we really don’t need much.”

- Cary Randolph (Via Jessica Chu)

Himesh Reshammiya

Having Momo: Do Not Disturb

Doing Two Tech Startups

What is better than doing one tech startup? Doing two tech startups.

So I am doing two tech startups. And the newer startup is actually moving faster. But there is symbiosis.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ai Fiori FoodSpotting DrinkUp

Photos From MetroMix

I showed up. On time. And I waited and waited and waited. This place was fancy. I took myself around. I was dressed in my usual black, only it was not a Brazil shirt with an overcoat on. It has been so nice these past few days. I was wearing a dress shirt. I am not much of a T shirt person. I like proper shirts. I like T shirts when they come with jackets.

I had some muchies they had at the bar. Then they brought a bowlful to my table itself. I finished one bowl. They brought another. I ordered a pineapple juice. I asked for a glass of water.

Soraya Darabi: Mobile Productivity Tools

Fleet Foxes: Montezuma

(Via Fred Wilson)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Twitter: Too Complex

The Devil Wears Prada

Dekha Teri Mast Nigahon Mein

Top Bollywood Songs 2010

Kobe Bryant

Jeff Bezos: Still Innovating

Image representing Jeff Bezos as depicted in C...Image via CrunchBaseJeff Bezos was not having the greatest of time when the dot com collapse happened in 2000. The guy still had a lot of money in the bank, but the press was full of critics who said Bezos has never made a dime for his investors, it was only a matter of time before his money runs out also. Bezos proves the bozos wrong. Not only that, Amazon grew like crazy through the Great Recession. And somewhere along the way he gave the world the cloud: Amazon Web Services. He suggested servers were like electricity. Don't buy your own little generator.

The dude is a visionary, sure.
San Francisco Chronicle: Why I, Jeff Bezos, Keep Spending Billions On Amazon R&D: Random forests, naïve Bayesian estimators, RESTful services, gossip protocols, eventual consistency, data sharding, anti-entropy, Byzantine quorum, erasure coding, vector clocks … walk into certain Amazon meetings, and you may momentarily think you’ve stumbled into a computer science lecture...... Look inside a current textbook on software architecture, and you’ll find few patterns that we don’t apply at Amazon. We use high-performance transactions systems, complex rendering and object caching, workflow and queuing systems, business intelligence and data analytics, machine learning and pattern recognition, neural networks and probabilistic decision making, and a wide variety of other techniques ..... our architects and engineers have had to advance research in directions that no academic had yet taken ...... Service-oriented architecture -- or SOA -- is the fundamental building abstraction for Amazon technologies. ...... Our e-commerce platform is composed of a federation of hundreds of software services that work in concert to deliver functionality ranging from recommendations to order fulfillment to inventory tracking. ...... to construct a product detail page for a customer visiting, our software calls on between 200 and 300 services to present a highly personalized experience for that customer .... our key data services store many petabytes of data and handle millions of requests per second ...... The storage systems we’ve pioneered demonstrate extreme scalability while maintaining tight control over performance, availability, and cost. To achieve their ultra-scale properties these systems take a novel approach to data update management: by relaxing the synchronization requirements of updates that need to be disseminated to large numbers of replicas, these systems are able to survive under the harshest performance and availability conditions. These implementations are based on the concept of eventual consistency. The advances in data management developed by Amazon engineers have been the starting point for the architectures underneath the cloud storage and data management services offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS)...... our Simple Storage Service, Elastic Block Store, and SimpleDB all derive their basic architecture from unique Amazon technologies ..... product data ingestion and categorization, demand forecasting, inventory allocation, and fraud detection ....... advanced machine learning techniques provide more accurate classification and can self-heal to adapt to changing conditions .... The diversity of products demands that we employ modern regression techniques like trained random forests of decision trees to flexibly incorporate thousands of product attributes at rank time...... Technology infuses all of our teams, all of our processes, our decision-making, and our approach to innovation in each of our businesses. It is deeply integrated into everything we do. ...... Whispersync, our Kindle service designed to ensure that everywhere you go, no matter what devices you have with you, you can access your reading library and all of your highlights, notes, and bookmarks, all in sync across your Kindle devices and mobile apps. The technical challenge is making this a reality for millions of Kindle owners, with hundreds of millions of books, and hundreds of device types, living in over 100 countries around the world—at 24x7 reliability. At the heart of Whispersync is an eventually consistent replicated data store, with application defined conflict resolution that must and can deal with device isolation lasting weeks or longer.... We live in an era of extraordinary increases in available bandwidth, disk space, and processing power, all of which continue to get cheap fast..... we have unshakeable conviction that the long-term interests of shareowners are perfectly aligned with the interests of customers...... As always, I attach a copy of our original 1997 letter. Our approach remains the same, and it’s still Day 1.

9400 Workers In Six Years? Facebook Is Not Seeing Right

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...Image via CrunchBaseFacebook Location
Mercury News: Facebook's plans For Menlo Park HQ: 9,400 Workers In Next 6 Years: The fast-growing social networking company, which currently employs about 1,400 people in Palo Alto, expects to reach full capacity at the Sun campus and nearby buildings on Constitution Drive by 2017. ...... Menlo Park is inviting the public to suggest what environmental impacts should be studied. The deadline for comments is May 26.
You read about Facebook's new location, and you end up appreciating New York City so much more. You appreciate the subway, you appreciate the endless number and variety of bars and cafes in the city. You appreciate the whole damn package deal. NYC is the place to be. The banks imploded, and all of a sudden the tech sector in the city was flush with talent. By now there is even flush money.

Subscription Business Models For Mindfood

Image representing Netflix as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBaseMindfood described as books, movies and music. Better than subscription is ad supported, but subscription is also pretty good. You pay a monthly fee and you get to access all books, movies and music ever created, being created. The movie people don't get this. They are like, oh no, we have to punish you by a few weeks if you are not going to show up at the theater.

The music people get it a little. They are like, if you are going to get the music for free anyways, we are going to make you pay for live concerts. And the movie people are like, we can't get Brad Pitt show up at every movie theater. That's the whole point, that he can't be everywhere. Al Pacino does some Broadway stuff. But that is one location.

Facebook Getting Smarter With Social Ads

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...Image via CrunchBaseFacebook's Ad Space Is Different
Inside Facebook: Facebook Launches Three New Sponsored Stories Types For Pages, Apps, And Websites: turns user activity into ads shown to their friends ..... expand the kinds of user activity that can be converted into ads to include Page post Likes, app or game usage, and activity on third-party sites ...... powerful way for apps to grow their user count without disturbing game play with prompts to share or invite friends
I can see Zynga jumping all over this. Used to be Zynga could flood your streams with Farmville related stuff. I saw some of my Facebook friends ask, where is the button to turn this thing off? Now Zynga
Image representing Zynga as depicted in CrunchBaseImage via CrunchBasewill have a smarter way to get in. And Facebook will make money. This is like Google only charging you if people click on your ads. This model forces the Facebook advertisers to engage users. No engagement, no ad displays. This is smart.

Google 1999

(Via Ujwal Thapa)

King Charles

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

David Karp: Tumblr Or Hipstr

Some people in the media have been calling David Karp a hipster. I don't know about that. I know him to be a Tumblr. Or, rather, The Tumblr. But I don't know about hipster. I just don't know the guy. Never met him. None of that good stuff.

Sally Shapiro

Architecture In Helsinki

Some Top Brazilian Albums Of 2010


Always Be Taking Notes

Bruce Springsteen - "The Promise: The Making of 'Darkness on the Edge of Town'" Sneak Peek from Columbia Records on Vimeo.

(Via Aaron Cohen)

Fred Wilson Found What He Was Looking For

Fred Wilson: Locale: I'm really taken with Locale and it is the solution I opted for in the end

Journey Of Action: Latin America Tour Kickoff Party

Hip Hop Basics: Journey Of Action
April Fool?
Journey Of Action: Connecting The Dots: Social Activism: Social Media
Journey Of Action

The venue was the Purpose offices. It is an impressive startup, Purpose is. It has grown organically in two years to become a 40 strong team. I got to meet the Australian founder, Jeremy Heimans. Actually I just shot him an email.

Ugh. Finally I got to meet Kassidy and Ryan in person. They look just like in this picture.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Adaptive Text: The Book Deserves To Come Alive

A Picture of a eBookImage via Wikipedia
The Technium: What Books Will Become: a screen that we watch can watch us. The tiny eyes built into your tablet, the camera that faces you, can read your face. Prototype face tracking software can already recognize your mood, and whether you are paying attention, and more importantly where on the screen you are paying attention. It can map whether you are confused by a passage, or delighted, or bored. That means that the text could adapt to how it is perceived. Perhaps it expands into more detail, or shrinks during speed reading, or changes vocabulary when you struggle, or reacts in a hundred possible ways. There are numerous experiments playing with adaptive text. One will give you different summaries of characters and plot depending on how far you've read. ..... books with moving images. We don't have a word for these yet .... Text inside of moving images as well as images inside of text. .... This hybrid of movies and books will require a whole set of tools we don't have right now. Presently it is difficult to browse moving images, or to parse a movie, or to annotate a frame in a movie. Ideally we'd like to manipulate kinetic images with the same facility, ease and power that we manipulate text -- indexing it, referencing, cut and pasting, summarizing, quoting, linking, and paraphrasing the content. As we gain these tools (and skills) we'll make a class of highly visual books, ideal for training and education, which we can study, rewind, and study again. They will be books we can watch or TV we can read. ......... The current custodians of ebooks -- Amazon, Google and the publishers -- have agreed to cripple the liquidity of ebooks by preventing readers from cut-and-pasting text easily, or to copy large sections of a book, or to otherwise seriously manipulate the text. But eventually the text of ebooks will be liberated, and the true nature of books will blossom. ...... We can even filter the most popular highlights of all readers, and in this manner begin to read a book in a new way. I can also read the highlights of a particular friend, scholar or critic. ....... Reading becomes more social. We can share not just the titles of books we are reading, but our reactions and notes as we read them. Today, we can highlight a passage. Tomorrow we will be able to link passages. We can add a link from a phrase in the book we are reading to a contrasting phrase in another book we've read; from a word in a passage to an obscure dictionary, from a scene in a book to a similar scene in a movie. ........ Even a minor good work could accumulate a wiki-like set of critical comments tightly bound to the actual text. ....... dense hyperlinking among books would make every book a networked event ....... Wikipedia is the first networked book. ...... This deep rich hyperlinking will weave all networked books into one large meta-book, the universal library. Over the next century, scholars and fans, aided by computational algorithms, will knit together the books of the world into a single networked literature. ....... no work, no idea, stands alone, but that all good, true and beautiful things are networks, ecosystems of intertwingled parts, related entities and similar works ........ The complete universal library, all books in all languages, will soon be available on any screen. There will be many ways to access a book, but for most people most of the time, any particular book will essentially be free. (You'll pay a monthly fee for "all you can read.") Access is easy, but finding a book, or getting it attention will be hard, so the importance of the book's network will grow, because the network is what brings in readers. ...... A book is an attention unit. A fact is interesting, an idea is important, but only a story, a good argument, a well-crafted narrative is amazing, never to be forgotten. As Muriel Rukeyser said, "The universe is made of stories, not atoms." ...... In the long run (next 10-20 years) we won't pay for individual books any more than we'll pay for individual songs or movies.
Reducing price and enhancing quality is what businesses strive for. But the music and movie industries have been bummed out for years now because modern technology has managed to drive the price point to zero. That is like the price point attaining nirvana, no?

US Healthcare Vs. The Rest Of The World

Medical Costs Infographic
Via: Medical Billing and Coding

The Scale Of Starbucks

The Scale of Starbucks
[Source: Online MBA]

Apple Does Hardware In Asia

Nepali sadhu performing a blessing.Image via WikipediaHardware is harder to work on remotely than software. And it is not even remote. With all the communication possibilities of today, I think people can overemphasize the importance of geography. I enjoy a party as much as the next person, but if you think about it, the whole premise behind social networking - hello Facebook, hello Twitter - is that it is the relationship, not the physical proximity.

And so my tech team is in Kathmandu. It is 50 strong. It has been a profitable software shop five years in a row. But it is only now venturing out on its first tech startup. There are other software things you can do to make money, you know? The team has had global clients this entire time.

I became friends with the team leader before I came to America. This is not outsourcing any more than Nepal and India are foreign countries. They are not, not to me. Why can't I tap into my social capital?

Is It About Women?
GroupOn's Legacy: Cute Email?
Kiva Is In Nepal
The Kiva Story

That 10X Return Thing

Web startupsImage via WikipediaWhen VCs invest in your startup, they want a 10X return. So if they invest a million, they want you to turn that into 10 million dollars.

Why? Because they are greedy bastards? Maybe.

It's a numbers game. Say nine out of all 10 startups fail. That is pretty close to the actual numbers, by the way. So money was lost on nine out of 10 deals. One million turned into zero dollars. That stunt is still a lot of hard work on the part of many people, believe it or not.

But one makes it, and gives a 10X return. So 10 million dollars were invested in 10 different startups. Nine of them went down. One turned that one million into 10 million. That is a break even situation. The VCs started with 10 million dollars, they ended up with 10 million dollars. Where's the game?

Hip Hop Basics: Journey Of Action

Cathy Erway: My Kind Of Chef

(Via Journey Of Action)

Journey of Action - Latin America Kick-Off Party!
Monday, April 25, 2011 from 7:30 PM - 10:00 PM (ET)
New York, NY

Purpose HQ
224 Centre Street
6th Floor
New York, NY 10013

Canal St 4/6/J/Z/N/Q

April Fool?
Journey Of Action: Connecting The Dots: Social Activism: Social Media
Journey Of Action

Brandt Brauer Frick (2)

Brandt Brauer Frick

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Cloud Outage

O'Reilly Community: The AWS Outage: The Cloud's Shining Moment: if your systems failed in the Amazon cloud this week, it wasn't Amazon's fault. You either deemed an outage of this nature an acceptable risk or you failed to design for Amazon's cloud computing model....... two dueling architectural models of cloud computing applications: "design for failure" and traditional. ..... The Amazon model is the "design for failure" model. Under the "design for failure" model, combinations of your software and management tools take responsibility for application availability. The actual infrastructure availability is entirely irrelevant to your application availability. 100% uptime should be achievable even when your cloud provider has a massive, data-center-wide outage. ...... The advantage of the "design for failure" model is that the application developer has total control of their availability with only their data model and volume imposing geographical limitations. The downside of the "design for failure" model is that you must "design for failure" up front. ...... Physical redundancy encompasses all traditional "n+1" concepts: redundant hardware, data center redundancy, the ability to do vMotion or equivalents, and the ability to replicate an entire network topology in the face of massive infrastructural failure. ...... If you had redundancy across availability zones, you would have survived every outage suffered to date in the Amazon cloud. ...... If you had regional redundancy in place, you would have come through the recent outage without any problems except maybe an increased workload for your surviving virtual resources. ...... Cloud redundancy enables you to survive the complete loss of a cloud provider. ....... Being home to the world’s reserve currency confers great advantages on the U.S. economy. Because of it, our government, companies and households can borrow money more easily and cheaply. And because all that demand for dollars artificially raises its value, we can import goods at a cheaper price than other countries. ...... Applications built with "design for failure" in mind ..... will achieve uptimes you can't dream of with other architectures and survive extreme failures in the cloud infrastructure. ...... no humans, no 2am calls, and no outage! ..... Netflix, an AWS customer that kept on going because they had proper "design for failure" .. ? Try doing that in your private IT infrastructure with the complete loss of a data center.
I should have, but I did not expect this to happen. Servers are known to go down. Heck, PCs crash. The browser freezes. The cloud went down. In a big way. What's next? Datacenters? I think it did happen once. One Google datacenter went down. Correct me if I am not remembering it right. What if Facebook's datacenter in Oregon went down for an hour?

So the cloud went down. And there has been much talk. The Amazon Web Services is pretty much the cloud that most of us are privy to. And you thought Jeff Bezos was in the business of selling books.

The cloud should not go down. The cloud can not go down. It is like when there is a power cut the generator turns on on its own immediately, and so although there was a power cut, you did not feel it. The cloud needs that mechanism. Otherwise it is not a proper cloud. The cloud is not like the rest of us. The cloud is not supposed to go down.

Jessica Wilson Hearts Mahatma Gandhi

New York Times: 100,000 PayWall Payers

The New York TimesImage by Laughing Squid via FlickrThe New York Times did not get me, but looks like it got 100,000 people and counting. When they erected the paywall I think they had an inkling as to this number. But the numbers are still not adding up for me.

Let's crunch. 100,000 people paying $20 each is two million. Is that per year? Per month? If it is per year, the paywall is a fail whale. If it is per month, the paywall might still be a fail whale, although a smaller one. 20 million can't keep the New York Times afloat.

Glass Half Full Phase

A carnival glass vase.Image via Wikipedia
Fred Wilson: The Word Bubble: There will come a time when the environment we are in will be in the rear view mirror. And entrepreneurs should be crystal clear about that. This is a time to raise money and sock it away for a rainy day. Because it will rain. ...... deals are actually companies and most venture investments are held for five to seven years. I've likened them to marriages over the years. Don't let the lust for the deal lead to a bad marriage that you have to be in for the next decade. ...... we are in the glass is half full part of the cycle. Investors are focusing on the upside and ignoring the downside. That part of the investment cycle lasts for a while and then things change and investors focus on the downside and ignore the upside. Markets are defined by greed and fear. We are in the greed mode right now
I will have to agree. A lot of people sat on a lot of money for about two years. But money does not want to sit still. Money wants to grow. And right now it feels like the basketball that was held at the bottom of the pool was let go. It is not going to end at the surface. It will eventually. But first it will go into the air a little. We are in the air a little phase.

But this is no bubble. I don't see an imminent industry wide collapse. Going out of business also happens in the restaurant business, all the time, but that does not mean the restaurant business is going through a bubble.

War Reporting

Diary (2010) from Tim Hetherington on Vimeo.

(Via Kevin Slavin)

Another One Bites The Dust
Saudis Going Into Bahrain Like Saddam Going Into Kuwait
Ai Weiwei
To Zimbabwe Through Ivory Coast
Obama 2012 Is On
Time For Nonviolent Protests In Libya
A Rwanda Was Prevented

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Brandt Brauer Frick

I listened to all music I could find listed here. I am declaring Brandt Brauer Frick the best group in the crowd. And I noted, from following him on Tumblr, Fred Wilson is big on Arcade Fire.

YouTube: Coachella

Coachella (5)
Coachella (4)
Coachella (3)
Coachella (2)
Coachella (1)

Fred Wilson, Soraya Darabi: Both Crazy About Music

Coachella (5)

FourSquare Up To 500 Million Valuation?

Be There, Or Be Square: The FourSquare Day Party At Sidebar
FourSquare Day Tomorrow: Rad
A FourSquare Mayor?
FourSquare Has 6000000 Users

I think they were at two million users or less when they got their 100 million valuation. Moving from two to eight million jacks up your valuation by four hundred million dollars, looks like. That is really something.

FourSquare is not mainstream yet, although the tech insiders might not believe that to be the case. It is still early days of Twitter for FourSquare. Eight million is not a lot of people, but the trajectory of moving from two to eight million people is what you have to notice. The movement has happened fast.

Mike Arrington And I: Close

Did not realize we were this close.

Mike Arrington Liked My Comment
Mike Arrington's Big Day

Lil Buck And Yo-Yo Ma

(Via @lankybutmacho)

Guns Of Brooklyn: Peaceout

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Wire: 100 Greatest Quotes

(Via Chris Dixon)

Excited About Internet Week

Broadway show billboards at the corner of 7th ...Image via WikipediaLast year I missed out on Internet Week. I checked out a few panels weeks later on online video, but it is not the same thing. I missed because, well, World Cup Soccer was in full rage. And the two don't even compare. It is Jupiter and oranges.

Brazil 2014
World Cup: Spain Deserved To Win

This year I am showing up but until today I was a little confused. I kept clicking on the schedule button, and what showed up was not enticing. There were these long hour events, no panels. And I was thinking, maybe this is not for me after all.

And then today I found the right link: panels. I promptly created an account and voted. I basically went down the list, and every time I recognized a name, I voted for that panel. Social?


Fast Company: What LeBron James And The Miami Heat Teach Us About Teamwork: What LeBron and company are attempting to do applies to any organization that's serious about winning. ...... their mutual sacrifice is a resounding vote for teamwork. Teamwork among superstars ....... Which tech company, when given the chance, doesn't raid the talent pool, stocking up on the world's best execs and engineers in the hopes of racing past the competition? Late last year, Mark Zuckerberg personally persuaded Lars Rasmussen, the cocreator of Google Maps, to join a host of elite ex-colleagues at Facebook. ....... For the most-sought-after talent, company loyalty has given way to a desire for a big, bold short-term project -- developing a breakthrough product, pursuing a new market, expanding into China ...... more and more people work from remote locations, and effective team building becomes an essential priority ...... how to define your role without subverting the group dynamic. ...... how to get a group of disparate personalities to gel and excel before they move on to the next gig ...... Like Wade, James now meets regularly with reporters. ..... the team's leaders have done what stars need to do when they merge: show a willingness to sacrifice. ...... New hires perform better when they bring a former colleague with them ...... Nothing brings a team together like a common enemy. ...... Sequestered 600 miles from Miami, in military environs, the players ate together, practiced twice a day, and toured the firing range as a group. They wore matching black T-shirts that read Heat Troops. ...... The real bonding didn't occur until the Heat Troops began to shed blood on the battlefield -- to lose, and lose badly. ....... "You need those adverse moments. When it's raw, when you don't get along, that's when there's the most opportunity for growth." ...... "We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;/For he today that sheds his blood with me/Shall be my brother." ...... On their way to the team bus, Wade teases James about not packing winter clothes. James laughs. It's obvious these guys get along. But camaraderie doesn't necessarily translate to seamless collaboration. ....... To achieve the proper balance, it's crucial to map out a strategy. Acquiring a player of James's caliber, says Groysberg, "is like acquiring a company. You need a whole integration plan." ....... game-long selflessness ..... The rich, wrote F. Scott Fitzgerald, "are different from you and me." So are superstars. ...... coaching in this league is about managing personalities ..... "All players want to be coached. They want to have discipline. They want structure. But some players get to that conclusion differently than others." ...... There is no more fragile commodity than the credibility of a team leader. ..... Everyone remembers the six NBA titles the Chicago Bulls won with Jordan, Pippen, and a cast of feisty specialists that included three-point marksman Kerr and rebounding fiend Dennis Rodman. What we tend to forget is how long it took to put all those pieces together. The Bulls didn't win a championship its first year with Jordan and Pippen. Or its second. Or even its third. ...... Chemistry takes time. The most successful superstar teams embrace shared leadership ...... They need time to crystallize. They need consistency, the same people butting heads, compromising, collaborating, day after day. ....... Chemistry isn't something you create and then ignore, like a mark on a growth chart. It's a reflection of the bonds between team members, and those bonds are fragile and needy. They're constantly changing, strengthened and fractured by the various personalities as well as the wins and losses. .......... The biggest obstacle to getting there is the blame game. Will the players resist second-guessing one another ..... True brothers, like the young soldiers in E Company who stormed the beaches of Normandy in World War II, don't point fingers. They believe in their mission and fight hard to cover one another's back. This is what any team aspires to: passion, unity, an absolute conviction that you can achieve whatever you want as a group. ....... In the face of unmet expectations and endless questions, bonds crack, friendships sour, and sacrifices, financial and otherwise, become burdensome. Guys move on. Heck, even über-successful teams struggle to keep it together. Look at what happened to the Beatles.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Did I Get An Email From Hilary Mason?

Maybe. Maybe not.

The Shortest Email Address On My Contact List

Cathy Erway: My Kind Of Chef

Cathy Erway was featured on the FoodSpotting blog a few days ago. No, the FoodSpotting blog is not on my blogroll, not yet, although now I am thinking why not, but I must have pressed the like button enough times that the FoodSpotting Facebook page is often in my Facebook stream. So there was Cathy Erway.

FoodSpotting's Dish As Starting Point
Twitter ---> Instagram ---> FoodSpotting

I remember exchanging a tweet or two with her over a year back. I was amazed to find her. The eating in concept is revolutionary, if you think about it.

Wunderlist: Great Productivity App


(Via Joe Lazarus)

Swiss Machine

Watch full screen.
(Via David Lifson)

Water Changes Everything

Happy World Water Day
Bottled Water: Liquid Gold
Sunshine, Water, Rest, Air, Exercise, Diet

(Via Aspen Steib)

Kristina Hoke

This was when I was roaming the political circles of this city. I was the only Nepali in America doing full time work for Nepal's democracy movement. And I got some juice out of going to political events in the city. One organization on my list was Manhattan Young Democrats. Kristina Hoke was running the show.

MYD, High Tech, High Touch
Terry McAuliffe: E=mc^2
Martha Outed Kenton And Women With Issues
The First Major Revolution Of The 21st Century Happened In Nepal

She was razor sharp smart. She was out there. She was friendly. She was a doctor. She had sound political instincts. There are Young Democrats chapters all over the country. Under her leadership the Manhattan chapter got recognized the top chapter.

Way To Go Christina

Mindfood And Business Models

Image representing New York Times as depicted ...Image via CrunchBaseYour Local Library On Kindle

Fred Wilson just put out a post on the music business.
music listening is going to move into the cloud and that the dominant model will be streaming via free ad supported Internet Radio and paid subscription services.
The internet as a technology is best suited for the creation, distribution, and consumption of mindfood: books, movies, music. But we have to get rid of out of date business models first.

For all our emphasis on techies, I think what we need more of is business innovators. We need MBA dropouts who will offer us better business models.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Silicon Alley

Photograph of Madison Square looking north, Ma...Image via Wikipedia
New York Times: Manhattan’s Tech Start-Ups Settle in the Flatiron District and Chelsea: a decade after the dot-com crash stopped the rapid growth of the city’s booming Internet sector, a high-tech corridor has developed in the Flatiron district and neighboring Chelsea. ...... “Within five years, you’re going to have a true Silicon Alley. Every company that’s a tech start-up will be here.” ..... The older, small office buildings in the Flatiron district have attracted start-ups, while large companies like Google and IAC/InterActiveCorp have found homes in Chelsea. ..... It is no accident, for example, that General Assembly, a new educational institute, meeting place and co-working environment devoted to technology entrepreneurs, was established at 902 Broadway, at East 20th Street, in the middle of the Flatiron district. ...... a lot of young companies, a lot of designers and artists, and a lot of venture capitalists working in that neighborhood ..... “There’s a pretty exciting start-up scene now that there wasn’t in 2003 ..... the loftlike space that the Flatiron district offers, in relatively small footprints ...... a lot of buildings with high ceilings and natural light, overlooking Madison Square Park ..... “You get the amenities of a Midtown building but the flexibility of a loft in Brooklyn,” Mr. Kirven said. “Obviously without the Midtown rents, either.” ..... Prices are substantially lower than in Midtown and other prime office neighborhoods. ..... The Kaufman Organization has also helped Paperless Post, Break Media and Zemoga find space in the neighborhood. ...... “A lot of landlords are looking at 10-year leases,” Mr. Dunn said. “As a start-up, there’s no way to do that. Even a three-year lease was a scary thought.” ...... Union Square Ventures, First Round Capital and IA Ventures, have offices nearby. ...... If start-ups look to Flatiron for its small spaces, larger tech companies are choosing Chelsea for its sprawling floors. ....... “There’s a psychological barrier to going to a different floor to talk to somebody,” Mr. Nevill-Manning said. “Having 800 people on a single floor means we’re much more productive and much more creative as a result.” ....... public amenities ..... Hudson River Park, the High Line, Chelsea Piers and the concourse of Chelsea Market. ..... “From a recruiting point of view, a lot of those connections get made virtually,” Mr. Nevill-Manning said. “They know where to find us online.”

Google Earth Builder

Official Google Enterprise Blog: Bringing 100% web to the world of Google Earth and Google Maps: At Google we’re committed to opening up our cloud infrastructure so that others can benefit from our enormous computational power. Today I’m going to share some exciting details on our plans to make our cloud technology available for processing and serving geospatial data...... Google Earth and Google Maps have given people the ability to easily view rich geographic information from desktop or mobile devices. Google Earth helps us understand the effects of climate change on our ecosystem, Street View provides a panorama of our neighborhoods ...... Constant Innovation: just refresh the browser for the latest features ..... shapefiles of demographic data, spreadsheets of worldwide customer locations and files of your recently acquired imagery for a new development ..... Google Earth has more than 700 million downloads. We hope that more people can use Google Earth Builder to make better location-related decisions within business and government
The day Google Earth first came out, I downloaded it and had an amazing, amazing day roaming the Himalayas and vast expanses of Russia. It was a mind blowing experience. I was like wow.

Google Earth: A House Is A House Is A House

Your Local Library On Kindle

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...Cover via Amazon9 To 5 Mac: You'll be able to borrow Kindle books from 11,000 libraries, says Amazon
ReadWriteWeb: Check Out Library Books on Your Kindle: the announcement from Amazon this morning that it is launching a Lending Library "later this year" that will let Kindle owners check out books from their local library..... participation of over 11,000 libraries in the U.S. ..... the ability to actually make margin notes in your library books. You'll be able to take notes, store them privately - in other words, the next library patron won't see them - and then access them again should you check the book out again or purchase it in the future
This is huge. This kind of made my day. Does this mean all of the New York Public Library will be available on Kindle? That is pretty awesome.

Nihal Mehta: No Sellout

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Local Response: Monetizing On "Their" Behalf

Image representing Nihal Mehta as depicted in ...Image via CrunchBaseNihal Mehta: Being Mysterious About Local Response

My response is based on this TechCrunch post. Looks like in one sweep Nihal Mehta is about to monetize on behalf of all players in the local space. It is quite an audacious move.
TechCrunch: Buzzd Rebrands As Local Response; Debuts Social Customer Management Tool For Businesses: combine the element of the check-in he found intriguing with Buzzd and advertising and marketing elements ..... he calls “a culmination of everything he’s done,” of this is Local Response, a new web-based tool that allows local businesses to respond to the “check-in” on social media sites with marketing campaigns to promote transactions. ...... LocalResponse aggregates real-­‐time social media check-­‐ins from Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Gowalla, Instagram and dozens of other services to provide a simple interface for local businesses to directly respond to their most influential and valuable customers. What’s compelling about the platform compared to competitors is that it analyzes massive amounts of data in addition to check-ins from the Twitter firehose, photo sharing sites and more to find other forms of check-ins. These could be posting a picture on Instagram of a dish from a restaurant or Tweeting that you are visiting a particular bar. ...... explicitly (i.e. check-ins on Foursquare) and implicitly (by analyzing natural language on Facebook, Twitter, etc.; e.g. “I’m headed to ShakeShack”). Mehta says most check-ins are actual implicit and many social media platforms catered to helping businesses track check-ins miss this key data. ...... Not only does Local Response track all of this data but it allows businesses to respond to these Tweets and messages with a marketing campaign, coupon or advertisement. ...... So Shake Shack could send a Tweet back to someone who had just snapped a photo of a burger with a link to a 10 percent off coupon on the next visit. ...... Local Response has actually creates a number of canned responses which businesses can automatically send. ..... For the past six months, LocalResponse has been running a private beta, with over 2,000 campaigns for local businesses in New York City. The links in the Tweets and messages sent by these local businesses to consumers who “checked-in” to their establishment are averaging a 60 percent click-­‐through rate and 15-­‐20 percent redemption rates. That’s high and impressive. ...... Mehta says that the platform is so highly-focused in its data collection, that it can send highly targeted Tweets to consumers who are interested in the promotions or campaigns. For example he says that Local Response will run two to three hundred search terms across its data for a particular business. Also, the aim of Local Response is not to overwhelm consumers’ stream with advertisements. Users will never receive more than one message in 7 days ...... a platform for brands and agencies is in the works. ...... closed a $1.5 million in funding this past December from Verizon Ventures, Charles River Ventures, and Metamorphic. ...... plans to raise a new, larger round of funding this Summer ..... For now, Local Response is free for businesses. Eventually the startup plans to go the freemium route and will also charge for the brand-focused application. And Local Response is launching with half a million businesses that are already pre-indexed (with search terms). All they have to do is type in the business name, and they can get started using the platform.
A second natural move might be to partner up with the willing players to help them monetize their particular services for cuts, like Google ads help you monetize your particular media site. Because Local Response is not going to have access to the detailed data that those individual services might have.

English Patient

The English Patient
I Must Really Like Movies

Indian Invasion Comedy

Way To Go Christina

Christina Cacioppo Fan Club, sign here.
Christina Cacioppo, pride of Columbus, Ohio.

Is It About Women?

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Mark Birch

Is It About Women?

70% of the recipients of micro loans end up being women. Because the vast majority of the world's poor are women. It is not because they don't work. Women do all the work at home and much of the work on the farms in all those poor countries. So why are they the bulk of the poor? Sexism pure and simple.

I have said my corporate team is going to be majority female. If the vast majority of your customers are going to be women, it only makes sense to have a team that is majority women.

So is it about women for me? Am I some kind of a raging feminist?

No. Yes and no.

Patti Smith: Dancing Barefoot

(Via Soraya Darabi)

Goldfrapp: Believer

(Via Soraya Darabi)

Pink Floyd: Money

(Via Mark Birch)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Brooklyn Loves Bollywood

Bollywood Loves Brooklyn

I was just on the phone with Anne Marsen. She is the woman in the video.

Bachna Ae Haseeno (BollyBrook Remix) from Anne Marsen on Vimeo.

She was a friend of a friend of Nick Gray who happened to be in Mumbai. So one day Nick calls and talks about his idea for the music video. Would she do it?

My Non Personhood Of 2009, 2010

2009 and 2010 have been my years of roaming the tech circles of this city and avid tech blogging. I have done so as a non person. Tech felt safer than politics.

I have roamed. I have done so as a window shopper. I have not had the option to participate. It's called being in an immigration mess. For the rest it might have been the Great Recession, for me it was the Great Immigration Humiliation.

I was done raising 100K for my IC startup - that was the stated goal - months before the 2008 primaries were over, but I decided to be with Barack just a few more months. The primary was the only real contest. November was a no contest, it was so obvious to me. I had been his first full time volunteer in the city. I was in before he announced he was in.

But my political enemies came after me. The day the primaries ended, I disappeared. They had me disappear. The establishment picked that precise day lest I missed the message.

One day early in 2009, in March perhaps, maybe April, I went to see someone at Columbus Circle. We had met online, we had met, and we were going to meet again. I had two dollars in my pocket. That is all the money I had. I did not have any money back home. I did not have a bank account, let alone money in a bank account. I did not have a credit card. And I could not have walked back home. I would not have known the way. I did not have a phone. I did not have a metro card.

I remember thinking, if I lost those two dollars, I could not get back home.

Just Became A Cofounder
Sean Parker, Billionaire, Was Really Poor Once
Permanent War
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