Category Archives: Uncategorized

Finding The Best Water Skier in Luxembourg

“I’m interested in the small worlds, the small worlds that make life worth living.” – Keith Kahn-Harris

Brilliant project. Just brilliant.

“I will travel to a number of places to investigate experts and champions in small fields in small countries. As the title of the book suggests, I will start with a chapter on water skiing in Luxembourg. After which I aim to investigate:”

  • The Icelandic special forces
  • The top bassoonist in Finland
  • The most popular heavy metal band in Botswana

Towards a Reconnected Future

“…it is not unfathomable to imagine a prospective society that finds the tic itself [compulsive mobile gadget use] to be as abhorrent and vile as today’s culture does cigarettes. In that putative future, smartphone users would be relegated to special rooms in airports, where passers by would shake their heads disapprovingly at the grey faces lit from below by their tiny, blue screens.”- Ian Bogost

thx – patrickrhone

Not long ago, I saw someone off in the corner at a social event – juggling a beer and a cigarette while tapping away on their iPhone. Connected.

“Whatever happened to accountability” – anonymous

“I wasn’t really GETTING anything from real time access to my performance data, except the stress of being aware of every time we had a temporary dip below the median performance (which, statistically, occurs uh… 50% of the time).”

“Compounding my error, I actually now have the ability to ACT on this half-baked version of the truth. While theoretically useful, in practice, I’m losing the ‘cooling off’ period that my desktop-based process required… Using my hyperkinetic real time system, I could shoot myself in the foot at warp speed.” – marginhound

“I may be wrong but it looks like Google’s fear of the mobile ecosystem – that apps cannot be crawled, indexed and searched for may be an overreaction. It is precisely because apps cannot be crawled, indexed and searched for, the mobile application ecosystem’s expansion will be limited – mobile app discovery will continue to rely on the web. Apps are isolated and cannot link to a particular state of another app. No links, no network effects. The expansion of the app ecosystem is currently limited by the number of apps in the market; With each new app in the market users will require more time to search for a suitable app. More websites, however, actually encourages even more websites, due to linking and references between all the websites; More websites enable users to discover faster the website they derive the most value out of (due to linking). More mobile applications, on the other hand, do not.” – meric

“It’s all news to someone”

“So let’s call this the newsonomics of the shiny new wrapper, a movement that is allowing editors, publishers, broadcasters and marketers to reimagine what (and how) they can offer to long-time and would-be readers.” – Ken Doctor

This is the space where my most interesting and most recent conversations are occurring.

I see a huge opportunity for publishers to repackage their existing assets in meaningful ways. Ways that add ongoing value to readers. Ways that really highlight existing expertise across a multitude of channels that were historically very challenging to pursue.

“What am I resisting more than x?”

Mark Foster (author of the highly recommended, Do it Tomorrow) has an exceedingly simple and powerful task management system called: Final Version.

“The FV algorithm uses the question ‘What do I want to do before I do x?’ to preselect a chain of tasks from the list. What exactly is meant by ‘want’ in this context is deliberately left undefined. There may be a whole variety of reasons why you might want to do one thing before another thing and all of them are valid.”

Brilliant in its simplicity. No fancy software needed. Just pen, paper, and the desire to do something.

The title of this post? That’s advanced.


“At that point it hit me: the notion of this idea as a ‘startup’ was holding this idea back. What if I dropped all of the pretense and just built the best thing I could think of? What would the idea look like?” – Kyle Shank

On Open Loop #1 Jamie and I discuss dive into this topic, and the word ‘project’ that I use to describe it. Give it a listen:

Download: MP3 Audio (16.1 MB), OGG Audio (23.5 MB)

Open Space Tech: Guiding principles and one law

  1. Whoever comes is the right people
    reminds participants that they don’t need the CEO and 100 people to get something done, you need people who care. And, absent the direction or control exerted in a traditional meeting, that’s who shows up in the various breakout sessions of an Open Space meeting.
  2. Whenever it starts is the right time
    reminds participants that “spirit and creativity do not run on the clock.”
  3. Wherever it happens is the right place
    reminds participants that space is opening everywhere all the time.
  4. Whatever happens is the only thing that could have
    reminds participants that once something has happened, it’s done—and no amount of fretting, complaining or otherwise rehashing can change that. Move on.
  5. When it’s over, it’s over
    reminds participants that we never know how long it will take to resolve an issue, once raised, but that whenever the issue or work or conversation is finished, move on to the next thing. Don’t keep rehashing just because there’s 30 minutes left in the session. Do the work, not the time.

“The Law of two feet”
If at any time during our time together you find yourself in any situation where you are neither learning nor contributing, use your two feet, go someplace else.


a couple things I’ve written on the subject of third party buttons littering the web:

from 2010

“In my experience, customer preferences move faster than website refresh schedules – so by the time the ‘Facebook Like’ button is integrated in a useful manner – the visitors changed their preference.”

from 2006

“Once I’ve decided on where I’m doing my bookmarking and where I’m aggregating my feeds and set up the pre-requisite accounts – all of the other badges are irrelevant, noisy, and ignore the fact that most of those places have bookmarklets. If I haven’t set up one yet – it’s the paradox of choice.”

Short Term’s the Same Too

“In long-term, facebook will be the next AOL. Think about it.” – Stewie

I’ll even say Facebook is Aol in the short term.

  • Both are frequently confused for the internet.
  • Both very rigid, ad-subsidized publishing platforms.
  • Both pay their writers nearly nothing in exchange for a promise of exposure and more efficient publishing tools.

In Aol’s hay day (circa 2000), it acquired Time Warner (awkward). From a media publishing & distribution standpoint a merger sorta kinda makes sense (if you squint). Nine years later – they divorced. A blink in publishing, a generation online.

For Facebook to truly be analogous to Aol, Facebook needs a similar balls out acquisition.

There’s not a lot of candidates.

  1. Someone with a long, established history in cameras and other portable hardware (so not Opera).
  2. Someone without a great deal of cache or presence with Facebook’s target audience (so not Apple).
  3. Even better if they’ve got a huge stable of actors, musicians, and other creative assets that might be attractive to Facebook’s target audience (so not Samsung).
  4. Someone with declining revenues (so not Disney)

How about – Sony?


“While it is possible to find a needle in a haystack, even using specialized machines to do so takes a considerable amount of time, particularly since bone needles cannot be picked up by magnets. The task is difficult enough to still make the saying viable.” – MythBusters, Needle in a Haystack Episode

And that’s with knowing 4 needles existed somewhere within 10 bales of hay. How difficult would it be if you didn’t know the needles existed – just assumed they did.

Inbox 7

I just returned from 4 days in Minnesota’s northwoods. Completely disconnected. The only things I took with me; water bottle, a couple days change of clothes, my notecards, and my wallet.

I hiked waterfalls, scrambled across rocky beaches, and fell asleep to flickering fires.

I pondered living in a lighthouse. Hiking a hundred vertical feet each day for fresh water – with no reliable access to the outside world. Yet, tasked with the responsibility of maintaining safe travels for dozens of ships a day. And the commerce implied therein.

Upon my return to civilization – I burned though the hundreds of messages laying stagnant in my inbox.

Only 7 remain.

Each with a clear action item associated with it.

3 Surprises from my recent Pandora listening

I’ve been listening to more music via Pandora lately. To be accurate – I’ve been listening to a Less than Jake & Might Mighty Bosstones seeded, late-90s ska station.

  1. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones get better with age.
  2. I really dig Social Distortion much more than I remember
  3. Ska-punk covers of ska-punk tunes are delightfully meta (e.g. Linoleum from Streetlight Manifesto)

Give it a listen