Friday, October 28, 2011

Mike Arrington: Idiot

Mike Arrington: "I don't know a single black entrepreneur ... There aren't any .... Silicon Valley is a meritocracy. Success here depends solely on your brain size and how you use it."

CNN: War of words breaks out over Silicon Valley diversity debate

Mike Arrington is an absolute, total motherfucker. There is no other adjective for this guy. This guy is like, okay, noone is talking about me anymore. The AOL thing, well, people have already moved past that. I no long write for TechCrunch. So I don't have any comments to read. What do people think? That I have disappeared? I have not. Here, let me make a blatantly racist comment and get back in the news. And so it goes.

Arrington, Calm The F____ Down
Tech, Women, Diversity
Race, Gender, Tech (2)
Race, Gender, Tech

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

How To Recommit Facebook To The Power Users

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...Image via CrunchBaseThe Telegraph: Facebook power users 'have gone to Google+ and Twitter'

I would be a power user. I am on Facebook every day. And since the revamp I have been getting a lot of news out of my Facebook timeline. After I read, I like to share. I read a lot, I share a lot.

And I feel anxious. I wonder if I am being seen too often in the timelines of my friends. I wonder if I am reading too many news articles and am flooding my profile page.

My Take On AirTime (2)

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...Image via CrunchBaseMy Take On AirTime
Sean Parker's AirTime Could Net Him Tens Of Billions
Sean Parker: Mystery Man

What happens when you let a billion stranger faces collide? That is group dynamics heaven.

It has to start at the random connection level. There is a random face, there is no user name. And there is the next button.

2010: Location, Random Connections, The Inbox, Frictionless Payments

The social graph of AirTime is going to be the mother of all social graphs. (I borrowed that phrase from Saddam Hussein who used to talk in terms of the mother of all battles.)

But then you don't want it to be completely random. I should be able to say narrow my pool down to people in New York City who are interested in technology. So it's still random, but it is random inside a particular city, and to a particular topic of interest.

And the block feature. You block someone you meet and you never have to see them again. And if that person gets 99 other blocks by other people, he/she (likely he) gets booted off the service. A good use would be to get rid of the penis problem. An abuse case will be ethnicities that hate each other. I don't like your kind. Off you go into oblivion and loneliness.

People, simply use the next button.

Suddenly the remotest town on earth (with broadband) is going to feel like a metropolis. You can meet as many people as you want. An end to loneliness as we know it.

All The Talk Is On Television

the boy who played alone on the beachImage by jesuscm via Flickr
The Napster corporate logoImage via Wikipedia
The TV is in vogue. Everybody is talking about the TV.

The Next Big Thing For Apple
Seven Screens

Basically what you want is a Spotify for TV. You want gigabit broadband for everyone. This is not about TV as it has traditionally been understood. This is about the video format. People should be able to watch anything, anywhere, anytime. This is primarily a business paradigm challenge. Look at what has happened to music since Napster and you get an idea. Something similar has to happen to the video format, to what has been known as TV shows. Will the networks play ball? I doubt things will be smooth sailing.

Once you thus "free" the content, then software magic can happen. The TV knows who you are, what you like, how you like your news, what shows you watch. You will probably have an app on your tablet and/or smartphone that is your "remote."

Down the line your TV is coming through the Internet. I say free up the spectrum for wireless broadband.

Monday, October 24, 2011

My Number One Feature Request For Google Plus: Blogger Integration

Image representing Blogger as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBaseIs now on the way.

Google Plus: What Went Wrong?

It is one of those moments where you feel like maybe you had a little something to do with it. I did blog about it only a few days back.

Google Plus is not a rich blogging platform. But Google Plus has a rich, open social graph that Blogger does not have. I want to use Blogger to put out blog posts, and I want to use Google Plus as if it were the comments sections to my blog posts. That would be a great combo.

Considering I am an avid blogger - I blog daily, usually multiple times a day - this one feature might turn me into an avid user of Google Plus. So far I have not been.

Good things happen to those who wait. And vent on their blogs.

TechCrunch: Google+ To Integrate With Blogger

Events: Week Of October 24

Monday, October 24
7:30 PM Trio Con Brio Copenhagen
Advent Lutheran Church, 2504 Broadway (at 93rd St)
1/2/3 to 96th St

Tuesday, October 25
6:00 PM - 8:30 PM InsideTrack with President Stephen J Friedman: “Creative Destruction”— Innovation in America and China.
Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts, Pace University, 3 Spruce Street
There will be a simulcast of the event at 7:00 p.m. in the Gottesman Room on the Pleasantville campus. Pizza will be served.
4/5/6 Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall

9:00 PM - 11:00 PM Baratunde Thurston: Stand-Up Comedy
Bar 82, 136 2nd Ave (at St. Marks) 4/6 to Astor Pl Baratunde Is Funny

Wednesday, October 26
6:00 PM - 10:00 PM ERA Halloween Party at Webster Hall
Webster Hall, 125 E 11th St, Marlin Room
4/5/6 Astor Pl

Untitled from ER Accelerator on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 27
6:30 PM - 9:30 PM Digital Dumbo
155 Water Street, Brooklyn
F to York St

Friday, October 28
4:00 PM - 10:00 PM Halloween is Happening
Trinity Churchyard, Broadway at Wall Street
In the event of rain, Family Fun and the Haunted Hamilton Happy Hour will be held on the 2nd Floor of 74 Trinity Place, accessible via the pedestrian bridge behind Trinity Church.

"Insuring" Angel Investors

An assortment of United States coins, includin...Image via WikipediaThe idea behind insurance is that you pay for auto insurance, I pay for auto insurance, and so do a million other people. Not a million get into accidents. When a few do, it is paid for by all collectively.

Angel investors get screwed by established venture capitalists routinely. In the later rounds the VCs hog the negotiations in ways that people who believed in you early end up getting the short shift. You end up not making money even when the startup does well.

And then there is the no small matter of losing your money entirely because the startup you invested in went down.

It is a numbers game. Startups are known to go down. The best VCs expect at least one third of their startups to go down. And at the outset they have no idea which one third.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

US Royalty: Staying Together

_MG_2649.jpgImage by cesareperdomo via Flickr_MG_2411.jpgImage by cesareperdomo via Flickr
US RoyaltyImage by Lynt via Flickr
Tinted Windows @ Black CatImage by _rockinfree via Flickr
One of the mesmerizing aspects of U2 for me - a group dynamics person - is that they have stayed together as a band, and if they have managed that so far, it probably is too late for them to break up now, or 10 years from now.

How did they do that?

To be able to find the right founding members, and to stick it out, year in year out. How many tech startups can make that boast? It takes a lot. How do you maintain a fiery pace of innovation? And how do you stick it out as a team?

That's an art. That's science.
Tinted Windows @ Black CatImage by _rockinfree via Flickr
If the US Royalty are who I think they are, they will still be one band 20 years from now. And if they are not together 10 years from now I am going to think I bet on the wrong horse. Oh, well.

As of last night I have talked to three of the four. ("Hi, I am John." "I know.") I am going to track down the drummer also somewhere down the line. I'm sure they will be back in town soon enough.
...... singer John Thornley, guitarist Paul Thornley, bassist Jacob Michael, and drummer Luke Adams.
Happy 4th From My Friend Luke
_MG_2458.jpgImage by cesareperdomo via Flickr
And, by the way, they eat organic food. That should help them stay together. I asked Paul, you are on the road often, how does that impact your personal life? Oh, it's hard, he said, it's like going into the military, but I have a girlfriend.

Bono is married to his high school sweetheart.

The Beatles had a John and a Paul, and the US Royalty have a John and a Paul, only these two are brothers.

US (Bloody) Royalty!

Most epic band I saw at #cmj goes to @usroyalty. I saw Jesus during "the desert can't save you"
Oct 22 via Twitter for AndroidFavoriteRetweetReply

@usroyalty best band at cmj @ Brooklyn Bowl
Oct 21 via InstagramFavoriteRetweetReply

Checking out @USRoyalty do a killer show during #CMJ. --Taylor
Oct 22 via Twitter for iPhoneFavoriteRetweetReply

Foster The People, US Royalty
Brooklyn Bowl: Thursday: US Royalty
Music Bands, Tech StartUps: Much In Common
US Royalty
Think Different

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Foster The People, US Royalty

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 17:  Supyo co-foun...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeBrooklyn Bowl: Thursday: US Royalty
Music Bands, Tech StartUps: Much In Common
US Royalty
Think Different

Here's Sean Parker making a mention of Foster The People.

Sean Parker's AirTime Could Net Him Tens Of Billions
Sean Parker: Mystery Man
White Male Conspiracy To Drive Me Homeless
Foster The People

Mashable: Sean Parker: Facebook Power Users Have Gone to Twitter or Google+

Unless they desperately need an advance, Parker believes, bands are better off on their own. He apologized to his friends in the recording industry but offered the slow-to-grow success of indie band Foster The People as a prime example.
This is Foster The People's signature song. I am thinking you have come across it already, like I had although I did not know the name of the band. Check it out, it is pretty cool.

And now listen to these two songs by US Royalty.

Don't tell me the US Royalty songs are not better. They have richer texture. They have richer melody. They have more meaningful lyrics. Although the Foster The People song has greater simplicity.

These two US Royalty songs remind me of some U2 songs that just tickle you at a few different levels that stay hard to locate.

Foster The People

Friday, October 21, 2011

"Don't Throw Your Business Card At Me"

Brief History: Civil War Pensions: The busines...Image via WikipediaI had been meaning to make it to the Dumbo Tech Breakfast MeetUp a long time now, and finally today I did, although I almost did not go: I am not a morning person. The alarm went off at seven, I rolled out of bed 30 minutes later. This was an unusual time. I am so glad I went.

Events: Week Of October 17

I found myself seated next to this hotshot programmer dude. He has already sold a company. I will not go into details. Because he and I will be in conversation mode for weeks.

But the story of the day was this other dude. At one point he simply stands up and says, "Next time don't throw your business card at me, and don't look the other way before someone has been able to give their business card to you!"

New Business Card On The Way

I was surprised. He made it sound like it had been beneath me to take his business card. That is so not me. I eagerly collect business cards. And I am very good at sending out that first email. Sometimes when there has been a backlog, and I can't remember the name to the face, or where I met the person, the email will simply say, it was good to meet you the other day.

"You have a card? Give me, I will take it," I offered.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Brooklyn Bowl: Thursday: US Royalty

Music Bands, Tech StartUps: Much In Common

Puma Store: Union Square
Events: Week Of October 17
US Royalty
Tweets: 1, 2, 3, 4.

This would be my favorite US Royalty song:

But I think they consider this to be their signature song:

I showed up 10 minutes early so I walked around at the Union Square Farmers' Market in the drizzle. I bought a little something to eat. I was not hungry. And then I walked in right on time. I crossed the street.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Galaxy Nexus (3)

Samsung LogoImage via WikipediaGalaxy Nexus (2)
Galaxy Nexus: Why 5 And Not 8 Megapixel?
Galaxy Nexus
Galaxy Nexus Goes Live

Engadget: Samsung Galaxy Nexus gets handled on video
VentureBeat: Samsung’s Android 4.0-powered Galaxy Nexus has everything you’d ever want
Yes I said phone — not tablet. ...... the competition is going to have a hard time keeping up. ...... the exact same resolution as 720p high-definition video ...... Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich”, the latest version of Google’s mobile OS, which the company describes as a total makeover. ...... the usual accelerometer, compass, and gyroscope. But it also includes NFC capabilities, a proximity sensor, and a barometer ...... It’s also strange that once again, Google’s newest Nexus phone seems to be behind the curve when it comes to camera technology. Last year’s Nexus S couldn’t shoot 720p HD video, when most other smartphones back then could. Now with the Galaxy Nexus, Samsung for some reason has included a 5-megapixel camera when competitors, including the iPhone 4S, are sporting 8MP shooters.

Galaxy Nexus (2)

Solar Dynamics Observatory VideoImage by YoTuT via FlickrGalaxy Nexus: Why 5 And Not 8 Megapixel?
Galaxy Nexus
Galaxy Nexus Goes Live

Google Mobile Blog: Unwrapping Ice Cream Sandwich on the Galaxy Nexus
Beaming a video with a single tap or unlocking a device with only a smile sounds like science fiction. ...... takes the smartphone to beyond smart ...... created a new font that’s optimized for HD displays and eliminated all hardware buttons in favor of adaptable software buttons. ...... dramatically improved the keyboard, made notifications more interactive and created resizable widgets. ...... desktop-class browser is significantly faster, featuring a refined tab manager and the ability to sync your bookmarks with Google Chrome ...... the best mobile Gmail experience to date, with a new design that lets you quickly swipe through your inbox and search messages even when you’re offline. Calendar boasts a clean new look and you can zoom into your schedule with a pinch. ...... the new People app, which combines high-resolution photos and updates from Google+ and other social services. It’s also easier to capture and share your life with family and friends. Galaxy Nexus sports a high-end camera with zero shutter lag, automatic focus, top notch low-light performance and a simple way to capture panoramic pictures. Shoot amazing photos or 1080p video, and then edit and share them directly from your phone. ....... Android Beam, which uses near field communication (NFC) to instantly share webpages, YouTube videos, maps, directions and apps by simply tapping two phones together. Face Unlock uses state-of-the-art facial recognition technology to unlock your phone with nothing more than a smile.
Official Page: Galaxy Nexus
Voice typing ...... Watch text instantly appear as you speak with voice input. Touch the microphone on the keyboard and use your voice to instantly type your emails, SMS, or anywhere you want to enter text. ....... With Google+ built in, sharing the right things with the right people is a lot easier. With Messenger, you can bring groups of friends together into a simple group conversation and with Hangouts you can now video chat with up to 9 people wherever you are. ...... Single-Motion Panoramic Camera ..... With Galaxy Nexus you get a high-end camera with zero shutter-lag, automatic focus, top notch low-light performance and a simple, intuitive way to take panoramic pictures. No stitching needed. Take amazing photos or 1080p videos, edit and then share them right from your phone............ Vibrant high-definition display ...... Galaxy Nexus is the world's first phone with a 4.65" high-definition sAMOLED display making text, videos & games look crisp, vibrant and rich. With an edge-to-edge 720p screen high-definition, videos look amazing and the unique Contour Display curves nicely to the shape of your face and makes it easier to hold. ...... Galaxy Nexus runs at 4G (LTE or HSPA+) speeds so you can browse, watch movies, video chat & share without delay. With the 1.2 GHZ dual core processor you can quickly switch between apps and enjoy high-definition gaming and a lightning fast web browser.

Galaxy Nexus: Why 5 And Not 8 Megapixel?

Image representing Android as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBaseI am not bothered. 5 megapixel photos are great. But that is one detail that is a little bit of a sore spot. Why could Google not have put a 8 megapixel camera in there?

Other than that it is looking great. It has a bigger screen - no need for tablet - than the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 4S does not have 4G like the Galaxy Nexus does. And the Nexus phone is lighter than the iPhone 4S, a little bit, bigger screen but lighter.

Galaxy Nexus
Galaxy Nexus Goes Live

Galaxy Nexus

Galaxy Nexus Goes Live

This Is My Next: Galaxy Nexus versus the competition: by the numbers
Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus might represent the biggest evolutionary leap for Android since it premiered on the G1 back in 2008. The hardware is a pretty big deal, too — 720p displays and LTE radios both represent the very bleeding edge of smartphone capability, and high-quality cameras with 1080p video capture are still a relatively recent innovation. And as a “Nexus” device, Google has gifted the phone with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich — the very first retail device to ship with the new platform, which represents a pretty big shift in user experience from the Gingerbread devices that we’ve become accustomed to over the past year........ the iPhone 4S, the HTC Titan for Windows Phone, and the Galaxy Nexus, Samsung Galaxy S II, Galaxy S II HD LTE, and Motorola Droid RAZR for Android.

Galaxy Nexus Goes Live

TechCrunch: Galaxy Nexus Officially Announced At Hong Kong Event

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Shane Snow's Contently

I first met Shane Snow last year at the FourSquare Day party. He asked me a few questions. Next thing you know I find myself quoted in Fast Company.

4/16: I Found Myself A Party: Tonight's Gonna Be A Good Night
I Have Been Quoted In Fast Company

I saw him on and off here and there. We exchanged a few tweets along the way.

I saw him in a big way again at the end of the year at Charlie O'Donnell organized big snowball party in Madison Square Park. It was a blast.

Go Easy On Charlie Now
General Assembly: Singing Praises

Weeks later I met him again at a General Assembly party.

"What have you been up to lately?" I asked.

He mentioned the startup that looks like today stole the show at the TechStars Demo Day.
AdAge: Four Startups Marketers Need to Know: Contently ..... This is a writer marketplace for marketers looking to produce branded content. It's like LinkedIn for unemployed journalists looking to use their skills and expensive masters degrees to lure some of the dollars marketers are dedicating to produce their own content. Journos get free profile pages to show their stuff and, on the brand side, Contently is a tool to manage workflow, payments and all the other joys of editorial production. ..... "Ninety-thousand journalists lost their jobs in last decade," said Contently co-founder Shane Snow. "Great writers are out there, but there's no great way to find them." ...... What we love is that this is the exact opposite of so-called content farms such as Demand Media, which pays anyone on the internet pennies for posts on search-friendly topics. Contently is about linking real, trained journalists with brands who need professionally produced content. After launching in beta in January, the company amassed a network of 2,000 journalists and works with publishers such as LinkedIn, Best Buy, Comcast and Mint. Mr. Snow today announced a pilot program with American Express's small-business site, Open Forum. The site takes a cut of all transactions on its site and is on track to clear $1 million in sales this year. Contently closed $335,000 round of funding this summer and is raising $3 million in additional funding.
Good job, Shane Snow.

Fred Wilson: A DJ

Behind every success there is a team. Good job team.

Baratunde Thurston At The Web 2.0 Summit

web20tv on Broadcast Live Free

Baratunde Is Funny
Baratunde Thurston: The Brain Behind The Onion

Elena Silenok At The Web 2.0 Summit

Event At Hunch: Gender Talk (4)

Watch live streaming video from web20tv at

Dennis Crowley At The Web 2.0 Summit

Watch live streaming video from web20tv at

FoodSpotting's Tech Has Been Stagnant

Ecuadorian ceviche, made of shrimp, lemon and ...Image via WikipediaYesterday as I spotted this exotic Ecuadorian dish I realized I had not blogged about FoodSpotting in a while. I guess the service had some good news at the last Facebook conference (I have not yet seen the video). (The HTML5 Whimper At F8)

Is it just me or FoodSpotting has looked the same since its inception?

I feel like I am done spotting the Desi dishes and now I want to venture out and spot global dishes. My next dish to spot might be Afghan.

What I feel is lacking is when you spot a dish you should have the option to show up for an eatup that is in direct relation.

A Small, Historic EatUp

The critical mass might not be there yet. But it will get there. An eatup self-organized around a particular food type or restaurant. You meet people who are passionate or curious about a particular food type.
Image representing Foodspotting as depicted in...Image via CrunchBase
FoodSpotting should become social and become an excuse to meet people, strangers. It should become a little bit like Chatroulette. Only there is no video camera involved. And it is offline, it is real. It is local.

My FoodSpotting Photos Are Being Viewed
FoodSpotting API
Twitter ---> Instagram ---> FoodSpotting
FoodSpotting's Dish As Starting Point

Or maybe even take it online. You get to video chat with people who are passionate about similar kinds of food, passionate or curious. I was not passionate about Ecuadorian food, but I was curious. That was a nice dinner.

Sean Parker's AirTime Could Net Him Tens Of Billions

Sean Parker At The Web 2.0 Summit

web20tv on Broadcast Live Free

Needed: 4Chan Log In(s)

Image representing 4chan as depicted in CrunchBaseImage via CrunchBaseI have been aware of 4Chan although I have never visited the site. But this guy is convincing. I think I do want a 4Chan log in option like I have Facebook and Twitter log ins, as pervasive. I like the idea of multiple log in names that you chose for yourself.

Mashable: 4chan Founder: Facebook and Google Do Identity Wrong [VIDEO]

Google Plus: What Went Wrong?

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBaseNothing went wrong. Google Plus continues to grow like a weed.

But I have not been using it daily, or even weekly. It has not become an integral part of my life. Contrast that to the fact that I use Twitter and Facebook every day, Twitter several times a day.

What went wrong?

For me it really bothered me that I could not feed my blog - hosted on Google's very own Blogger - into my Google Plus stream. I'd have liked it if my blog posts showed up in my Google Plus stream and gathered some comments.

Events: Week Of October 17

October 17, Monday
7:00 PM October NYC Web Design Meetup
770 Broadway

October 18, Tuesday
7:00 - 9:00 PM The Ecstasy of Defeat by the Editors of The Onion
powerHouse Arena, 37 Main Street, Brooklyn, NY

October 19, Wednesday
3:30 PM US Royalty
Puma Store, 33 Union Square West

6:30 - 8:30 PM Nightlife @Daylife Presents Khoi Vinh: What Comes After Reading on the iPad?
Daylife HQ, 444 Broadway

October 20, Thursday
6:00 PM - Midnight US Royalty
Brooklyn Bown, 61 Wythe Avenue, between N 11th and N 12th
L to Bedford Ave, G to Nassau

6:00 - 11:00 PM Obliterati: Do You VYou?
Sweet and Vicious, 5 Spring St

October 21, Friday
8:30 AM DUMBO Tech Breakfast Meetup
The Gallery, 108 Jay Street

October 22, Saturday
9:00 PM US Royalty
72 Orchart Street
F to Delancey

Monday, October 17, 2011


The corner of Wall Street and Broadway, showin...Image via WikipediaCongregate. Do not disrupt. This is about getting together, peacefully, amicably, almost in a celebratory way.

This is not about disrupting traffic. This is not about preventing people from going to work. This is not about seeking confrontations with the police.

It has to stay completely nonviolent. It has to become super, duper organized. It has to be sophisticated.

Occupy one public space in each city, each town where people camp out around the clock. If the space's capacity is 1,000 people, stay at 1,000 people. Get people to participate in rotation. So one person might clock in for one 24 hour period to be replaced by another person who signed up to be there.

The occupation can not end until the fundamental fabric of the democracy has been impacted. The goal is one person, one vote democracy. The insane people running the banks on Wall Street threw the bus into the ditch and gave the world the Great Recession. Now they want to go back to their same old ways. That is not an option.

We want a new architecture for global finance. And so the occupation has to continue. It has to grow. It has to grow on all continents. It has to grow from one city to many cities. It has to go to every town, every city. Maybe you are a small town, and your public space will only hold 50 people, and that is okay.

The thing is, we are all connected. The occupation in one town is connected to the occupation in every other town. Each city is connected to every other. This is a global movement, a national movement.

It has to stay nonviolent. It has to stay intelligent. It has to be about the conversation. The mass, public action is about the conversation. For every person camped out at a park, there are 1,000 people and more participating online. That online "occupation" is as real as it gets. These are real people with real opinions, with real challenges, real political weight.

This movement is about roping in more and more people into the conversation.

Sales Tax, Wealth Equity Tax
The Conversation Is The Revolution
Tahrir Square In America
America And Europe Need To Learn From Japan
This Woman Is Dynamo
The Mini Me Stimulus Bill Lacks Imagination

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Imran Khan

I got to see Imran Khan in person Friday evening. He showed up at the Columbia Journalism School. This dude is to Pakistan what Amitabh Bachchan is to India. You don't find personalities like Amitabh and Imran in countries like England and America. You don't find this one person that dominates the imagination of an entire country, and big ones too.
Amitabh BachchanImage via Wikipedia
Happy Birthday Amitabh

This guy Imran is the next Prime Minister of Pakistan and I think he is going to be a good one, and I speak as a fairly political person. I was Barack Obama's first full time volunteer in New York City.

I asked him. App to cricket ke samrat rah chucke log hai. You have been the emperor of cricket. Ab aap rajniti mein hain. Now you are in politics. Rajniti mein samrat hone ka arth hota hai Prime Minister banna. To be emperor in politics means to be Prime Minister. To aap Prime Minister kab ban rahe hain? So when are you going to become Prime Minister?

"Agle election ke baad, Insa-allah!" he said. After the next election, God willing.

My Hat

Facebook Album
Brandy Jones

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Super Amit, Super Swabbed

Mike Bloomberg, Amit Gupta

I showed up at the New Work City space in Chinatown on time - 9:30 PM. And I left past midnight. The people who were doing the swab thing were busy the entire time I was there.

Events: Week Of October 10

The first person I met was Nick Gray. Nick Gray! This was my first time meeting Nick Gray in person. This is quite an amazing person. At times it can feel like this dude is a mutual friend to everybody who is somebody in the New York tech ecosystem. If Nick Gray did not exist, the New York tech ecosystem might have to create one. He is one of those people.

"Oh my God, Oh my God, it's Nick Gray!" I said. He was out on the sidewalk eagerly waiting for people to show. The venue was one floor up. This dude was so feeling it.

Nick Gray: Bollywood Moves (2)
Nick Gray: Bollywood Moves
Brooklyn Loves Bollywood
BollyBrook Says Hello

I was born Indian. Nick Gray chose to be Indian. We are both Indian through and through.

He was in a somber mood. I tried to cheer him up.

"It is good to see you too, Paramendra," he said simply.

The Huffington Post: Help Amit Gupta: $30,000 Reward Offered For Bone Marrow Match

This whole thing has been an amazing social media success story. But it has also shown social media can be an echo chamber.

There are enough brown folks in New York City and in New Jersey to find a match for Amit Gupta. And there are enough mass based Desi/South Asian organizations in New York City and New Jersey to push the number into thousands, tens of thousands.

The tech crowd is only managing hundreds, and that is not good enough. But it is managing to raise thousands of dollars, and that is great.

The swab thing is so, so super easy.

How much time do we got? It is a race against time, right? It is time to go past social media. Keep using it, but now use it primarily to raise money. I guess there are costs involved to do the swab thing.

Now we have to treat it like a political campaign. We have to start making phone calls. We have to start knocking on doors in the right neighborhoods. We have to reach out to mass based South Asian organizations in the region. They might not know Amit, but they don't have to. Every person who swabs and is not a match is a potential match to some other member of the South Asian community down the line. That not Amit angle is the one we have to push now.

Raise money among the tech, social media, smartphone crowd. Reach out to the non digital, non social media, non smartphone crowd for a potential match. We should be able to organize some events by next weekend.

I want to reach out to people like Nick Gray and Tony Bacigalupo to see if I can get a little more involved.

It can not be all that hard. Google up "South Asian organizations in New York City, New Jersey" and start building a list of people to call up, office holders of the top organizations.

If there was a match somewhere in the tech/digital crowd, we would have found it already. It is time to reach out to the true grassroots. We are not it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Letter To Joanne Wilson

Events: Week Of October 10

Hello Joanne Wilson.

The Wilsons Were In Cairo Recently
This Week In Venture Capital: Gotham Gal
The Gotham Gal
Gender And The Wilson Household
A Mind Blowing Party

I showed up for your event for the evening that simply had Central Park West for venue and I read the phrase open space somewhere. I got off at Columbus Circle and walked 25 blocks north before going underground. I guess you and your crew were hogging the sidewalk somewhere along the 25 blocks I did not walk.

Oh, well.

Where Is My Nexus Prime?

Incredible India

The Dalai Lama On Homo Sapiens

Alexa Von Tobel Of LearnVest


Mike Bloomberg, Amit Gupta

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg opening ...Image via WikipediaI think I first heard about it from Anu Shukla on Facebook.

Anu Shukla Has Found The New Frontier In Advertising
I Just Became Friends With Anu Shukla
The Highlight Of My Internet Week

I am like, I know Anu Shukla, but I don't know the guy. I know of him, but I don't know him. There are many people in the NY tech ecosystem that I know of, but don't know. On the various social media platforms when you follow the people you know you end up coming across people that you don't know but you "see" so often that you end up kinda sorta knowing them. Plus, it is only a few clicks to getting to know the outlines of someone's life online, especially of those in the tech space. I learned about the guy in one paragraph. Small world.

But I am like, the guy looks fine, he is healthy. And there are a bunch of Indians out there. He will find his match. If we Indians have one thing, it is us. There are only like a billion of us.

And then the guy started popping up a few places. People were reblogging his blog post on Tumblr. The first time I saw it it had been reblogged over 6,000 times. And I am thinking, he must have already found his match.

I saw him a few different places, at a few different updates. Then I saw him in Charlie O'Donnell's events newsletter that I like to skim through on Monday mornings.

Inviting Charlie O'Donnell To A Pillow Fight
Charlie O'Donnell At His Inspiring Best
Charlie Bit My Finger

Then Tikva Morawati announced the name at Ignite NYC.

I felt shadowed.

How do all these people know I am Indian? I felt targeted. Wherever I went offline and online, the name Amit Gupta followed me.

The guy even shares last names with my childhood best friend: Gupta.

And then it happened all over again at the New York Tech MeetUp. Because Mike Bloomberg showed up - big, big surprise - and although I am pretty sure it was someone else who made the Amit Gupta - I don't even know the guy - announcement, I keep thinking that guy was a stand in, Mike Bloomberg himself made the announcement. I mean, this guy rules the city, right?

That was the straw that broke the camel's back. I am like, okay Mayor, I am showing up for the party Friday. I will do the cotton swab thing.

But what if I win the lottery? Don't you have to go under the knife or something? I was a biology major at high school. I know bone marrow is not a skin level thing. Do they use antiseptics and anesthetics these days? Because back in the days they didn't. I mean, for a guy who has never donated blood.

I'd rather Nihal Mehta went under the knife. One of the places I learned about this was also from his tweet.

Nihal Mehta: No Sellout
Nihal Mehta: Being Mysterious About Local Response

Truth be told, from minute one I have been thinking, this thing needs to be outsourced to India. If it is a one in 20,000 thing, divide a billion by 20,000 and this Gupta dude - who I do not know - ends up with more lives than a cat.

New Work City
412 Broadway, Floor 2
New York, 10013

Friday, October 14, 2011 at 9:30 PM (ET)

Brown bones? This event was put together by some white guy. You can tell.

I guess I am going. Thank Mike Bloomberg.

Amit Gupta: Scared Shitless.