Archive for May, 2007

happy mother’s day!

May 13, 2007

(Insert mother’s day video here)

imagine a real fresh start!

May 13, 2007

I enjoyed this video (1 hr, 26 mins), about a man with total amnesia rediscovering who he is and meeting all his old friends again for the first time. Lots of interesting questions are raised such as how much of our personalities are based on our life experiences and how much are innate. The film maker does a nice job of raising these questions and making you think but ultimately letting you answer these questions on your own.

It’s kind of long to watch on the computer though, it’ll be nice when it’s easier to pipe this stuff to the living room.

“What should I be working on?”

May 11, 2007

“What is the most important thing I can be doing right now?” is a powerful question.  For me there’s a direct relationship between how often I ask myself that question and how good I feel about my work that day.

Checking in and realizing you need to change directions can be a great feeling.  You can tackle the right project with glee, knowing that in some parallel universe you’re still plodding down the wrong path.  (That’s another key to entrepreneurial success.  Always do business in the right universe.)

Two recent experiences:

1.  We’re moving from four servers to nine, so I called our host (ev1.net) to see if we can get a better deal than the posted price.  The sales guy offered to reduce our price by 5%, and though their prices are already quite reasonable it didn’t seem like much of a deal.

We talked for awhile, and eventually he said there was nothing else he could do.  I kept saying we had to find a way to reduce our costs, and so we kept talking.

Eventually he mentioned that on that older hardware they match any lower posted prices if you send the right people an email.  Lo and behold, we knocked off $200/month off our server costs.  It’s a great policy, but no-one had ever told us about it.

I spent about an hour on the phone and faxing contracts, and between the discount and the new hardware prices we’ll save $3,000/year. 

 
2.  The other night I spent two hours trying to install software that would save one measly click when trying to post something online.  In the end I couldn’t get it to work, and now I’ll never get that time back.

Also, some guy in a parallel universe is laughing at me.

ruby loves the wind

May 4, 2007

I’ve always loved the idea that having kids would mean seeing the world all over again. When we’re with someone seeing something for the first time, we get to ride along and it’s always a bit magical.

With a baby this young it’s even more delightful, because he doesn’t hide his feelings. Everything you see is exactly how he feels it, with no filters between him and the world.

He loves to lie on the bed and feel the wind passing over him. He’s come to associate the curtain moving with the wind coming.

Watch his hands. They express the almost overwhelming feeling of what he’s experiencing as well as any words.

(Rueben under breeze video here)

Uploading this for Evgenya who’s landing in Australia on her way to observe there for a few nights… The pirate boys are flying solo, and frozen food never tasted so … so when are you coming home babe?

Eeep!

Joost throws open the doors, and a nice use of the private beta

May 3, 2007

A private beta is when a company starts with a small number of users, and expands by allowing those users to invite others. As Grant Storry describes nicely here, companies often use this technique to add buzz, and to grow at their own pace to ensure they can serve everyone well. 

Joost is a startup offering free TV over the internet, and until recently invites were doled out a few at a time. I’m guessing they needed enough users to prove their concept, but couldn’t push for wide adoption because they weren’t profitable without big-name advertisers.

Last week they threw open the doors, after this announcement:

 

Last week, Joost announced that it had signed more than 30 blue-chip brands, including The Coca-Cola Company, HP, Intel and Nike, as advertising launch partners. Beginning today, advertisements from some of the ad launch partners will begin to play on the platform. Advertisements from all ad launch partners will be on Joost later this month.

 
“Ok, we’ve got the money lined up, open the gates!”

Interestingly, while it’s pretty clear they want as many users as possible, the beta is still technically closed. You can’t download the app at Joost.com because they want you to hear about it from someone else.

Viral marketing at it’s best. A recommendation from a friend is more powerful than anything they can do.

It’s going to work, too. Joost is fun to play with and worth checking out. (It’s from the same folks who brought us Skype.)  Your geeky friends will know about it in 3-6 months and your mom might be watching in a couple years.

Congrats guys, nicely done. 

If anyone would like to give it a spin leave a comment below and I’ll send you an invite.

tuff guy

May 1, 2007

tuff guy video of Reuben

Hope you like it! If it’s choppy Evgenya also uploaded it here.

-aaron