Rules for Revolutionaries

Guy Kawasaki’s, Rules for Revolutionaries is a great book.

The first section is titled “Create like a God” it is full of tips on how to think out side of the box. It includes examples like how universal studios took the business model of Disney world and flipped it upside-down. They offered rides that could break your wrists if you left your hands out, fire-balls that were too hot, etc. While Disney World, and current theme parks of the time, were sweet and genial. The point is to think differently. Say things the way they have never been said before. Think from the problem down. If you are annoyed with the process of paying for your meal at a restraint, it takes too long. Ask yourself what would make things better? Visualize from the top. I think it would be nice if the lady showed me my bill and I said yes or no and then the money was taken out of my bank instantly.

“Don’t worry, be crappy.” This is another great tip from Rules for Revolutionaries. The point of that statement is to say: get it out there, don’t worry if it is not perfect. If you are working on a project it is generally better to release it in beta when it works pretty well. This makes me think of Google. They always release their beta products; GMail in betaforever. By doing this they receive feedback from users, investors see progress, and engineers are happy to see their work has gone live. It’s the bootstrapper’s method.

Don’t hide your mistakes. The example in the book deals with Tom’s of Mane. A change in a deodorant’s ingredients caused half of their customer base to be unhappy with the product. As result, sales plummeted and Tom’s of Main found themselves in a slump. So they fixed the problem, shipped out a response and a free sample to every customer that had complained, and donated the faulty batch of deodorant to the homeless. Soon, sales were up, old and new customers were buying, and they were more loyal then ever.

Be an Evangelist. Someone told me recently that the first step of creation, whatever the concept, is “sharing your idea.” I thought “well, duh.” But it is more then just telling someone, “hey I got this cool idea for a new wireless phone that uses VoIP.” You create a buzz, you play the evangelist. If people believe in your product/service/whatever then they will create with you, for you.

To change the world involves risk. Take it. Step out on that limb that’s never been tested, yell out and make the people below notice you. Turn their skeptical glances to attentive stares, gain their support, and sell them your creation.

Tom says: “hiring myspace developers”

From Tom, the founder of MySpace, via the MySpace Bulletin Board:

Jun 23, 2006 3:10 PM

i want to hire some more .net developers to work on myspace. do you have experience? here’s what i need:

Required Skills/Experience:
– 3+ years of solid C Sharp experience
– 3+ years of ASP.NET (and the .NET 1.1 Framework) experience
– 4+ years of experience developing with SQL Server 2000 (including stored procedures)
– Strong knowledge of several protocols (including HTTP, TCP/IP, and UDP)
– a solid foundation in n-tier, Business Objects, Design Patterns, and general OOP
– Strong knowledge (and wisdom) of IIS6 and its internals
– Experience on sites under heavy loads that require meticulous attention to coding practices as they relate to performance and scalability

go here to upload a resume: myspace developers

please dont upload anything about any other job at myspace. i’m only posting this to find .NET developers!

oh yah, you’ve got to live in, or move to LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA! yeehaw!

Original Bulletin (mySpace account require)

Does this mean the largest and, in my opinion, worst social network is finally going to get better? I sure hope so. I’m getting like 5 spam friend requests per day.

The Future of Cellular

We are in the generation of personalization and communication. Everything is about when and how we want it; personalized to our taste. After reading about cellular technology, I was reminded how much buzz MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) such as Helio and Amp’d Mobile are getting by providing this on the mobile communications front. You can customize your phone; now customize your cellular company.

Helio’s push is providing a high-speed mobile connection to your MySpace account. I think this is a good business model. Is social networking from your phone the really the next “killer app” for mobiles?

As more and more of the MySpace generation gets their first cell phone, mobile companies are spending billions to increase network speed. T-Mobile USA, for instance, plans on spending an estimated 10 billion to bid on spectrum rights this August and build out a new HSDPA infrastructure to provide higher network data capacity (up to 14.4 Mbit/s).

GSM networks gave us low bandwidth data transfers, adding an asynchronous element to mobile communications. Text messaging (SMS) has given us an efficient way to communicate in less time. GPRS, and the like, give us the so far less used ability to communicate via pictures and video. How will recent increases and future significant increases in data transfer speeds, such as CDWMA and HSDPA, again change the way we use our phones?

Companies like radar.net, whose service for cameraphones provides instant sharing of photos with invited friends on PC or WAP, are betting that pictures, worth a thousand words, will be the next revolution. And so is Nokia; who recently announced a line of new phones equipped with single click posting to a flickr account. I believe radar and Nokia are correct. I would also speculate that an using an MVNO for marketing to target potential heavy users, as Helio did with MySpace, would be a good strategy.

Industry experts once said it was impractical to cover a city in Wi-Fi; but Wi-Fi continues to covers more and more of the earth and every few weeks I see a new Skype enabled phone. How will these technologies converge? Will they have too? Will cellular die out? The future will be interesting.

WeFeelFine.org – Absolutly amazing

This is the type of work that makes this computer/information-lover inspired:

Since August 2005, We Feel Fine has been harvesting human feelings from a large number of weblogs. Every few minutes, the system searches the world’s newly posted blog entries for occurrences of the phrases “I feel” and “I am feeling”. When it finds such a phrase, it records the full sentence, up to the period, and identifies the “feeling” expressed in that sentence (e.g. sad, happy, depressed, etc.). Because blogs are structured in largely standard ways, the age, gender, and geographical location of the author can often be extracted and saved along with the sentence, as can the local weather conditions at the time the sentence was written. All of this information is saved.

The result is a database of several million human feelings, increasing by 15,000 – 20,000 new feelings per day. Using a series of playful interfaces, the feelings can be searched and sorted across a number of demographic slices, offering responses to specific questions like: do Europeans feel sad more often than Americans? Do women feel fat more often than men? Does rainy weather affect how we feel? What are the most representative feelings of female New Yorkers in their 20s? What do people feel right now in Baghdad? What were people feeling on Valentine’s Day? Which are the happiest cities in the world? The saddest? And so on. […]

Jonathan Harris & Sepandar Kamvar
May 2006

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Openomy – Intresting name, Great Idea

Foreshadowing how we will access information in the future, Openomy:

What is Openomy? Openomy is an online file system. You can store files on Openomy and access them from any computer. Openomy organizes files and users via tags (as opposed to folders). You can choose to keep your files guarded by Openomy, or allow certain outside applications (of your choice) to do new and interesting things with your data.

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The Chronicles of 27

Obviously, I like the number 27. Turns out other people do too. Like Erinna and Jennifer of The Chronicles of 27:

[…] My friends and I discovered the magic of 27 in college, realizing that people would frequently cite the number 27 in conversation when needing a random number.
For example:”Oh my God, I love this movie. I’ve seen it like 27 times.”

We then began seeing it creep into other things…movies, songs, TV shows. We discovered a website called The 27 Conspiracy, which was a great source of sightings for a while…but Brandon, the keeper of that site, got too busy to keep up with it.

Weird Al Yankovic references the number 27 in a lot of his songs and videos. Some alert listener has chronicled all the Al-related 27s here. […]

The Chronicles of 27

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World's fastest microchip

Edit (July 12, 2006): I have learned something, thanks to this article posted by Christof, and a talk with Adam Malinowski.

The way I now understand it, GHz is just the frequency chips run at and, contrary to what Intel has led us/me to believe, is not necessarily a rating of speed. Using MHz and now GHz as a rating was, as I understand it, done by Intel for marketing reasons. In fact, AMD processors that run at a lower GHz rating are often faster. To compete with Intel, AMD began assigning “Power Ratings” to their chips. For accurate speed ratings, we should look instead at benchmarks.

Incredible:

A prototype that is more than 100 times faster than regular desktop PC chips has taken the world record for the world’s fastest silicon-based microchip, clocking speeds of up to an astounding 500GHz. Needless to say, the chip was kept cool with liquid helium. Further advancement in this field could eventually lead to faster wireless networks and more affordable cellphones to get the entire world connected as new applications crop up and the costs for existing products plummet. By comparison, the fastest Pentium processor available from Intel today runs at speeds of up to 3.8GHz.

Ubergizmo, The Gadget Blog

College Entrepreneurs Work, Live Together In Frat-Style Dorm

This is similar to what Tom Serres and I are going for at UT:

By Stefanie Shaffer, University of Maryland

[…] The Hinman Campus Entrepreneurship Opportunities Program is a three-year-old living-learning venture at Maryland’s College Park campus, jointly sponsored by the engineering and business schools. Students live and work side by side in a state-of-the-art dorm inside what can best be described as a business incubator.

The program’s home feels more like the office of a Fortune 500 corporation than a traditional residence hall; there are no tile floors, concrete block walls or raucous students in sight. Instead, the lobby greets visitors with a conference room, a professional office and a computer lab, with a seminar room just down the hall and wireless Internet connectivity throughout the building.

“Because it’s a business environment, it should have a corporate look,” Thornton said.

And a corporate look it has.

The conference room – marked by the rich scent of fine leather – features a glass-topped cherry-wood conference table, high-back leather chairs, a whiteboard and telecommunications capabilities. The room is available to every student in the program via a sign-up list for meetings and presentations.

Much of the technology availed to Hinman CEOs has been donated by Avaya Inc., including cell phone technology that links students’ cell phones and dorm phones so they never miss a call.

Executive Assistant Cindy Gilbert mans the program office and provides any services a business receptionist would, Thornton said.

“Our building is really a dorm for dreamers,” said finance major and Hinman CEO Kamana Sharma. “Every apartment has an open-door policy because we all foster the spirit of entrepreneurship and that unites us all.

“If you have a business idea, you can go down the hall and find a computer science major to write up a program, go next door to find a marketing major and then run upstairs for an engineer to develop your prototype – all within a day,” Sharma said. “An idea is just an idea sparked in one individual but is ignited and actualized as a group.”

Roommates and Business Partners
Students experience the program in a broad spectrum of ways. While some students are already running their own successful businesses and have been for years, others – especially computer science and engineering majors -use the program as a business learning tool while honing their technical skills in the classroom.

[…] Current students’ majors vary and include business, engineering, psychology, computer science, math, architecture and English. There are many double majors and one triple major. Character, integrity and drive are key traits Hinman CEOs possess, Thornton said.

“Students join because they know they want to do something different and want to grow themselves and their businesses,” she said. “They don’t know the word ‘no.’ When they see a challenge, they just see a new opportunity.”

Copyright © 2004. YOUNG MONEY®

Photo Sharing 2.?

Liesel Pollvogt of Tabblo, on Mashable.com:

Tabblo is a site you use if you want to tell a story or do something meaningful around a group of photos. The idea is to give people a really easy way to combine text and pictures in an attractive layout, and then give you various options for sharing that content with specific people only or the world at large.

I love the idea of using photos to tell a story. Especially when I’m on vacation, I wish my digital camera would allow me to attach a voice-note or message to one or a set of pictures. When I got home, I would spend less time trying to remember: what did the tour guide say about this building, what’s the name of this beach.

If I had that ability, the next step would be integration with something like Tabblo: Dock my Tabblo-enabled camera >> it brings up all the photos, and the notes >> I add some more notes >> pick a template of sorts >> set privacy >> send them up to the site >> all my subscribers receive a ping that I have new photos. Someone please do this, just let me know about it.

radar might have the jump. They don’t need to reinvent the digital camera, voice-notes and text are already capabilities of most cameraphones.

Does someone know a good word for: a story created with photos?

radar. catching on.

radar.net, on one of my favorite blogs:

Radar is a new mobile photo sharing application – but unlike its rivals, it’s designed for sharing among a select group of friends. When you sign up, you get a unique Radar.net email address to send your images to – you can then invite friends to view your pictures and comment on them. You can use Radar on the web, or view the mobile version on your cellphone.

At a time when everyone else is building wide open, publicly viewable photo sharing applications (eg Where.com), Radar’s strategy is an interesting one. While there’s definitely a demand for less public sharing, these services will surely experience slower growth: if your users aren’t posting images from your service, creating blog widgets and offering free promotion on MySpace, it’s more difficult to build your userbase. Yes, new users will be referred by their friends, but that seems much less efficient than web-based viral marketing ala Flickr and YouTube.

Image quality and network speeds will only get better. If radar continues to grow and innovate their potential is huge.