Secure in how clever I was in my analysis of someone else’s work, I wrote an entire blog post decrying it. I know better than you. I opined that everyone thinks they understand design. Everyone wants to look like they have good taste, and this app was merely successful in that it was a safe thing to be opinionated about.
…On second thought, maybe I shouldn’t be a complete dick about an app that some very talented people put a lot of time and effort into. Nobody understands having your design shat upon like a designer. And none of us are enthusiastic about having it done publicly. So I didn’t post it.
Instead, I gave some thought to why this app bothered me so much. Is it possible that we’re just being catty? That this team’s work is very good, and really we’re just upset that the attention is going to them and not us?
Because of this pressure to grow, there’s another incentive to make growth easier. More perversely, to make growth seem easier. Why is this so interesting? We're still in the process of discovering the right incentives to encourage growth. And once discovered there's an opportunity to make tools that help make the right type of growth easier.
What types of achievements matter?
1. 'up to me' is better than 'up to them'
2. increase in skill' is better than 'time driven rewards'
Our society is set up to make us feel as though we must always achieve and grow. That’s true because individuals growing tend to bolster the power and creature comforts of the groups they belong to with inventions, innovations, and impressive grandstanding (Go Team!).
"Yes, most entrepreneurs want to make money, but they are perfectly happy without making billions of dollars a year. They are not predators; they are farmers.
"My original business model -- I actually wrote this down -- was 'interesting work for interesting people.' "
"I wanted more control of my life," he explained in a company newsletter in 2002. "I wanted work to fit in, not to dominate; to support, not to lead the pattern of my life."
"When you have to prove the value of your ideas by persuading other people to pay for them, it clears out an awful lot of woolly thinking."
"Money is like gasoline during a road trip," he says. "You don't want to run out of gas on your trip, but you're not doing a tour of gas stations. You have to pay attention to money, but it shouldn't be about the money."
"Right now, I have this tool that I can use to make stuff happen. If I sold it, I'd just have money."
"Statistics is hard. But that’s not just an issue of individual understanding; it’s also becoming one of the nation’s biggest political problems. We live in a world where the thorniest policy issues increasingly boil down to arguments over what the data mean.
If you don’t understand statistics, you don’t know what’s going on — and you can’t tell when you’re being lied to. Statistics should now be a core part of general education. You shouldn’t finish high school without understanding it reasonably well — as well, say, as you can compose an essay.
We often say, rightly, that literacy is crucial to public life: If you can’t write, you can’t think. The same is now true in math. Statistics is the new grammar."
"This page is an archive of quality Hacker News "Ask YC" posts grouped by subject. "Quality" means posts that are a) generally relevant to startups and b) contain a decent amount of useful discussion/advice. All posts on this page have been looked at manually."
"Here’s the thing about running (and life)… mindset is paramount"
"You know what I found worked better than anything? It wasn’t this intense concentration on the goal at hand or this unwavering confidence. What worked is to just feel really, really grateful."
"The gun would go off and naive little me would take off, feeling lucky (and like a mistake had been made) to even be a part of this group. And what do you know, pretty soon the race was almost over and I’m like, “heyo, I don’t feel too shabby and I’m kinda near the front” and before it registered, I’d cross the tape with a new pr (personal record, for you amateurs). "
"My self-pep talk before a race went something like that MTV unplugged with a bandanna-wearing and newly religious Lauryn Hill “what a beautiful, beautiful life. what a joy it is to be alive” and I’d tear up and then I’d take off smiling and gazelle on past chicks. It’s a winning approach."
My head was once filled with bits and pieces of information like phone numbers, to-do lists, and addresses. I’ve ceded that responsibility to technology...but my reliance on that stream is starting to eat away at important things that have been in my memory for decades.
Last summer, I forgot my friend Norman’s birthday. We’ve known each other since elementary school...I’ve never missed his birthday. Until now. Norman is not a big web user and he’s not in my information stream. The stream creates information equality where it shouldn’t exist. I post happy birthday messages to people I hardly know and then forget Norman’s altogether.
After a few years of this, I realize that when I look up from the screen I know almost nothing. And maybe that would be fine if it were freeing space for deeper and more introspective thought. But I sense that my addiction to the realtime stream is only making room for the consumption of a faster stream.
in explaining why he'll no longer be writing a company blog, Joel does a good job detailing how to make a company blog successful.
To really work (work = increase attention/customers for your business) an entrepreneur's blog has to be about something bigger than his or her company and his or her product. The blog can't be about you...it has to be about your readers, who will, it's hoped, become your customers. It has to be about making them awesome.
If you're opening a restaurant, don't blog about your menu. Blog about great food. You'll attract foodies who don't care about your restaurant yet.
At their best, it sounds like blogs can help you attract your initial customers if you can't get attention otherwise. The danger is spending too much energy creating content that only reaches a limited audience.
"People's thoughts and behavior are responsible for much of their lucky/unlucky fortune. Unlucky people miss chance opportunities because they are too focused on looking for something else. Lucky people are more relaxed and open, and therefore see what is there rather than just what they are looking for."
Any recommendation for how you can get your foot in the door for a serious pitch? Don't try to go through any door. Email, Tweet, and write interesting blog posts. Doors are for suckers.
What's the best way to prepare to be a vc? Go build some stuff first and get a rep as being helpful and sharp.
Keys to success? Hustle, present to people how you can be helpful, stalk, and don't give up.
What's your current focus? Constantly trying to work on staying on offense and not being entirely reactive.
Whats with the rodeo shirt? Every few years I pick a uniform so I don't have to waste time thinking about my appearance. A year ago I found one of these shirts in the Reno airport and loved it. It makes everyone smile. So, I bought a bunch and that is all I wear really.
What is the best way to use twitter and connect? Be a good listener, and then engage thoughtfully by replies. It will start working for you.
The web's crowded, there's barely any room (or chance) for creating a new destination site, and there's plenty of opportunity to add value to people's existing habits instead of trying to change them.
My cofounders and I decided to build something that could be accessed from the places where people already spend their time online. The idea was that we should add value to people’s existing habits not try to change them.
Aardvark was the sixth idea that we tried, following a string of failed prototypes. But all our ideas were subject to the restriction that they could not be a destination site.
It wasn’t until we were about eighteen months into the company that we finally built a full-fledged website.
If you can get people on masse to type the name of your site into their browser bar, you will probably be worth billions but you need to be a braver entrepreneur than I to chase that prize.
every 15 to 20 years, with an obvious bell curve of energy, most professions change.
"I was a 25-year-old sous chef at what most considered, at the time, the best restaurant in the world. I had grown up in a restaurant since the age of 5. I graduated with honors from what most considered the best culinary school in the world. I thought I knew food and cooking.
I had no idea what we were in for. Honestly, none of us did. What the hell is going on back there, I thought. I know cooking, but this is the stuff of magic.
People often ask me if the style of cooking he pioneered is a trend, fad or flash in the pan. My belief is that every 15 to 20 years, with an obvious bell curve of energy, most professions change. Technology, fine arts, design and yes, cooking, follow the same predictable pattern. A visionary creates the framework for a new genre, others follow and execute, and the residual effects remain, embedded in the cloth of the craft."
At the bottom of his list, stuck in almost as an afterthought:
"11. I can carry out sculpture in marble, bronze, or clay, and also I can do in painting whatever may be done, as well as any other, be he who he may."
"You'll notice he doesn't recite past achievements. He doesn't mention the painting of the altarpiece for the Chapel of St Bernard, etc...No, he does none of these things, because those are about his achievements, and not about the Duke's needs. Instead, he sells his prospective employer on what he can do for him."
Ebert is dying in increments, and he is aware of it. "I know it is coming, and I do not fear it, because I believe there is nothing on the other side of death to fear, he writes in a journal entry titled "Go Gently into That Good Night." I hope to be spared as much pain as possible on the approach path. I was perfectly content before I was born, and I think of death as the same state. What I am grateful for is the gift of intelligence, and for life, love, wonder, and laughter. You can't say it wasn't interesting."
"I believe that if, at the end of it all, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. I didn't always know this, and am happy I lived long enough to find it out."
Get off Facebook and go be interesting. Don't try to capture your interesting moments in a zillion contrived photos; don't try to hold on to the people you meet through some ridiculous virtual stamp collection; don't broadcast a message to your friends to brag about what just happened. Live your life as though it is the world's best-kept secret.
You could be doing something amazing right now; instead you are reading this. Get out there!
If your child has a problem with authority, it's likely that you have a problem with authority, or your lack of it. The answer is to return it to your child in the form of choices, while you set an example. Your example is your authority.
Our culture has viewed parenthood in terms of decisive moments, but it's better to view it in terms of development, as a continual process, and to be in it for the long haul. If there's no powerlessness, then there are fewer power struggles. The answer is to return it to your child in the form of choices, while you set an example.
1. Make hard decisions about what is important. Be ruthless. Most things aren’t important, just by the very nature of what “important” means. From this:
* Give emphasis to the important stuff.
* Deemphasize the unimportant.
* Put up barriers between you and the distracting.
2. If you curate, add context and value. Add a perspective.
3. Feedback loops: small and tight. Inspiration sources: wide and varied.
So our point of view is “we encourage people to Tweet in a genuine way, because we believe that is the most effective way to make the most of Twitter”, and it flows throughout our team and our users. It means that all decisions are tied to the point of view, and we are very cautious about acting in ways which would not be in line with the point of view we have adopted which is to encourage people to use Twitter in a more effective but still genuine way.
1. Title - The title of the linked page (or store in this case). Facebook pulls this from the "og:title" tag on the shared page.
2. Description - A description of the linked page. Facebook pulls this from the "og:description" tag on the shared page.
3. Image - An image pulled from the linked page's "og:image" tag. The shared image is the first thing that will grab a Facebook user's attention, so finding the right type of image is crucial to success. Since the Moontoast Distributed Store can be opened inside the Facebook News Feed by clicking the PLAY button, Athlon Sports used an image of the promoted school's cover with a call-to-action to help potential customers know where to click.