Saturday, June 18, 2011

How beautiful it is to do nothing...

The most amazing video you'll watch all week is the SWITL, a gizmo that picks up semi-liquid materials without disturbing their shape.  (I bet you thought I was gonna link to Go the F--k to Sleep.)

A comparison of the thought processes of successful entrepreneurs and corporate executives reveals that the entrepreneurs think effectually (use resources on-hand to develop goals on the fly then react to contingencies) while the executives think causally (set a goal and then diligently set  out to achieve it).

A venture capitalist who's invested in over 100 tech companies reveals the secrets to success: not technology but people and business models.
Know your innards.  source
How many questions is it appropriate to ask as an intern?  This thread on the Programmers Stack Exchange has generated a lot of discussion and I shared it with our interns.  I look at it this way - there's no such thing as a stupid question but there sure are a lot of inquisitive idiots.

I like Lorem Ipsum as much as the next guy but here's a guy who wants to kill it.  Someone doesn't like beards.  And Wisconsin doesn't like craft beer brewers.

At least ladies seem to like craft beer drinkers. What you're drinking at the bar apparently says a lot about you.  From a lady's perspective, a guy drinking a craft beer "knows his shit and has good taste."  Gin drinkers on the other hand don't get cut any slack.

Chartball melds information visualization and sports resulting in graphics like this game chart for last season's Cowboys vs. Eagles game.
It's been a while for one of these: the periodic table of storytelling.

Remember progressive rock band Yes?  Believe it or not, they have a new album, Fly From Here, coming out in July.  You can listen to the track We Can Fly exclusively at Rolling Stone's website.

If you're thinking about attending this year's Business of Software conference in Boston this October, you can get a taste for what will be presented with this video of Hubspot's Dharmesh Shah speaking at last year's event.

Further proof that sophomoric doesn't mean "not funny."  Play Let's Change Hillary.
Tips for writing: cut the waffling.  #1 Get clear about the topic.  (Topic?)  #2 Cut out any paragraphs that don't belong.  (What would be left?)  #3 Cut unnecessary words and phrases.  (I suppose that would leave just the links.)  Allow me to apply the author's suggestions to their own words.
  1. Get clear about the topic.  (No changes.)
  2. Cut out any paragraphs that don't belong.
  3. Cut unnecessary words and phrases.
There are days when reading a list of product management mistakes is informative and there are other days when reading the same article is depressing.  Today is one of the latter.  Sigh. As my penance, I list them here.
  1. Confusing customer requirements with product requirements.  (As Fred Brooks points out in The Design of Design a designer's goal is to help clients decide what they want designed.)
  2. Confusing innovation with value (i.e. technology looking for a problem to solve.)
  3. Confusing features with benefits (i.e. the products value is derived from its benefits).
  4. Confusing good product with good business model.  (Your product is irrelevant if it can't sustain the business.)
  5. Confusing adding features with improving product. (Can people figure out how to use the product and discover its value?)
  6. Confusing a complete product with a sellable product. (This kinda repeats the #4 about the business model.)
  7. Confusing product launch with success.  (Success is not launching on time but creating a growing community of enthusiastic customers.)
How are your DJ skillz?  Test them at Wheels of Steel.

I'm flying close to the sun by trying to find humor in this gallery of vintage ads that are sexist and racist.  Except for this one.  And the one about cooking.
Teh interwebs was made for this: a collection of hotel door hangers. (When I was a kid I'd bring these home from vacations and hang them on my bedroom door.)

I still read the local newspaper cover-to-cover every morning with breakfast.  (OK, "read" may be overstating it.  I heavily skim.)  If you prefer your newspapers on the internet, check out newspaper map, a map-based app with links to newspapers around the world.   (Warning: can be slow to load.)

Did you remember to celebrate Recess at Work Day on June 16th?  Neither did I.   For keeping up on all your lesser well known holidays use  For example, today is National Juggling Day.

Need an anonymous email address?  Try tempalias.

This solar bikini illustrates the difference between engineering (left) and marketing (right).  Engineering: mannequin.  Marketing: Real live girl.  Engineering: "USB connection!"  Marketing: "Soak up rays, power your iPod!"
Learn electromagnetism online using these lecture notes from UT Austin.

The solar system is apparently like a latte with froth at the top.  NASA is stumped.  Starbucks calls it grande.

From the I'm Not Sure What To Do With This department, here's Asciiflow, an online interactive tool for creating ASCII flowcharts.  I think I know what BoxCar2D is supposed to be doing, but I just like watching it.  Hunting arrows is just fun to play.

Having parented two sons in the school band this question comes up a lot: how many hours a day should I practice?  As long as your practice is deliberate (and not just noodling around), 2-4 hours is sufficient.

...and then rest afterward.


Francis Shivone said...

I'll work backwards this time.

The ads are fascinating. I had seen a few of them but not most. Loved them. It has been said the great works of art in modern times has been in advertising. Not literally true but there is a point there.

I'm a newspaper reader, too. I liked the link, thanks

Yes, the two bikinis illustrate the difference between features and benefits, although in the tanned version I can imagine both. Cough, cough.

On secrets to success: I agree.

The SWITL video: amazing. I still don't know how it works and I watched it over and over.

John said...

Maybe if the engineers who came up with the SWITL had learned a lesson from the solar bikini they'd have called it the SPITL.