Saturday, August 6, 2011

Something's wrong when comedians are taken seriously...

Google employee #16 shares her eight pillars of innovationAnd I comment on them.
  1. Have a mission that matters.  I think so.
  2. Think big but start small.  Two ways to look at this.  Big ideas and big operations.  We got a late start on the latter.
  3. Strive for continual innovation, not perfection. Agree.  Get a little better each day.  But I can also be a prick and make perfection look like a bad thing.
  4. Look for ideas everywhere.  She doesn't mean what you think.  Inspiration is everywhere.  But the ideas she's talking about are more like being ready to brainstorm at the office.
  5. Share everything.  We try.
  6. Spark with imagination, fuel with data.  She's partly touting Google's famous "20 percent time."  But she's also saying that you need to be able to quantify and measure things so you know you're doing the right thing.
  7. Be a platform.  Here she touts openness, something we're doing better each day.
  8. Never fail to fail.  No problem here.  If only I had a dollar for every one of my screw-ups and bad decisions.
I think this sums it up rather nicely.  source
Examples of unusual musical notation.  Of course, Eno is included in this gallery.

A bibliophile says it's time for book publishers to stop playing the role of the 90 pound weakling getting sand kicked in its face by the new boss of the beach, e-books.  Imagine an ad campaign centered around concepts like "You can't give a signed first edition of an e-book to your grandchildren." or "A paperback has no DRM." or "No one wants to see your e-reader on a shelf." or "A good read shouldn't need a battery." or "A good e-book is just an e-book but a good book is a read." You have any ideas?

Success seems so simple when you consider this definitive list of the three ways to grow your business.  When you look at it this way, #2 seems like the easiest way to go.
  1. Make the market bigger by attracting customers who weren't using anything in your product category before.  I think this is the "rising tide lifts all boats" approach.  But it tends to maintain the status quo.  In other words, you don't catch up to your competitors.
  2. Get your existing customers to buy more.
  3. Take customers from your competitors.  This is difficult because getting customers to switch is a huge hurdle to overcome, not just because you have to demonstrate why you're better but you have to help the customer rebuild their infrastructure around your product.
Here are 101 common-sense rules for leaders.  I think rule #1 should be "Don't have 101 rules."  And they aren't kidding when they call them common sense.  For example, "Keep your promises."

Simon Schama's documentary Power of Art - Rothko begins with the artist's Seagram murals.  After watching it I feel compelled to re-read Rothko's book The Artist's Reality.
This week's post is flush with commodes.  (Sorry.  Had to be said.)

First, a (serious) video about the design of "the world's most advanced toilet" done using PTC's Creo.  Why would you need it to warm your feet?  Circulatory issues? Plus, I'm not certain he should've used the phrase "biggest product splashes."  Maybe their throne has a gizmo to handle that scenario too.

Proof that innovation isn't dead #422: the Adjustable Advantage Toilet Seat.  Only in America. It's worth the click-thru just to watch the animation although I'd prefer it have a soundtrack.  Maybe a seat like this would keep your feet from going cold, numb, and tingly.

And just so you don't think I'm the only person attuned to number two, here's another blogger posting about the AMDM IntelliSeat electronic toilet seat (with remote control!).  What I actually found funniest was that the previous post on his blog is "Cilantro-pistachio pesto, rice and beans."  Coincidence?

Are you man enough to click poo-nami?  It really doesn't work that way.  Who in the hell changes a diaper with the baby on its stomach?  However, I have seen something similar from a child lying on his back and regurgitating.

After all that you might want to read about the science of disgust.  Interesting: "Unlike other emotions, like fear and anger, which make your heartbeat speed up, disgust makes your heartbeat slow down a bit."

Maybe you prefer your science more existential and in that case check out this 3 minute video illustrating how the universe appeared from nothing that ends with the almost philosophical statement that "something and nothing may well be the same thing."   (I could use this to explain my lack of productivity at work.)

Here's a nice collection of movie title stills from 1900 to 2010.  I read an interview with David Lynch about Eraserhead.  He had a bunch of scene ideas but no overall concept for how to turn them into a film.  He was reading the Bible, came across a passage that gave him a Eureka moment, and finished the film.  To this day he's never said what passage it was.
Someone created an on-line shrine to 2001: A Space Odyssey.  That movie is both great and sleep-inducing.

I didn't bother to check how accurate this is, but here's the script from The Fifth Element. I really like that movie.  It's nicely paced, the soundtrack is really well integrated into the film, the Mondoshawan aliens are super, and of course Gary Oldman's performance is excellent.  

The provocatively titled Your Meetings Suck is a brief promo for Al Pittampali's book Read This Before Our Next Meeting.  I have not read this book.  My reference for business meetings is Patrick Lencioni's Death by Meeting.  I do not share, however, the post's premise that perhaps the best place to get work done is on an airplane or in a hotel.  I can't think of a worse places to work.  To paraphrase Lencioni, for those of us who aren't directly involved anymore in the daily production and delivery of a product (can you say unnecessary?), meetings are our work product.  They serve a valuable purpose if run properly.

Did you know the moon is lopsided?  That might be due to the big splat, the relatively low-speed collision of two moons leaving us with the lovingly crooked orb we have today.  Also explains why the dark side is so different from the front.

Terry Gilliam, the only yank in Monty Python and the man responsible for their signature cut-out animations, is featured in this 15 minute video where he describes his technique.  We have a couple practitioners of that art form in our office.  Trust me - don't leave your passport photo lying around.

Photo highlights from a visit to the Russian Air Force Museum at Monino.
И шондер иф Чорсе Битс ис популар ин Руссиа?  That little bit of Cyrillic brought to you by TypeIt and their tool for typing Russian (and other letters) with a regular keyboard.  Speaking of our (former) communist friends, what's most remarkable about these photos from inside North Korea are that even though a lot was orchestrated by the photographer's minders, the photos are still creepy enough to make the former Soviet Union look like South Beach by comparison.

Back here in the gold ol' U.S. of A. we're free (free as long as we don't mind getting to second base with a random TSA agent including a photo to commemorate the occasion) to fly all over the country as this video of a typical day in America's airspace shows.  Or you can watch a time-lapse video of a Boeing 777 being assembled.

If you owned a company, sold it, and walked away with a check with a lot of zeros what would you buy?  The guy who sold SonicNet to MTV tells us what he did.  First he paid mom's bills.  Then he reverted back to childhood and bought a bunch of Matchbox cars.

Nicely done: periodic table of Heavy Metals, now available as a limited edition, signed and numbered print.

I bet we all know someone who could use these. source
Tickle these virtual ivories on the HTML5 Piano.  Speaking of keys, test your typing speed and accuracy at  (I got lucky and scored an 84 with 0 errors but otherwise scored around 60.)  If typing speed is too 1950s for you, learn the digits of pi with pi-trainer.  (I only know six digits after the decimal point.)

I'm not certain why you'd want to make big, full-screen messages.  But if you do, try gzaas.

The term "documentary reality series" is a euphemism for "reality TV."  However, I've marked my calendar to checkout the premier of the TechStars series on Bloomberg beginning 13 September in which they follow early stage startup businesses.

The article three categories of television food show pulls no punches.  I watch a lot of food TV shows but don't cook making those shows the equivalent of porn.  Things I liked in the article are the picture of Mr. Creosote, the gluttonous food critic from Monty Python's Meaning of Life, the opinion that Rachel Ray "quickly half-asses it through uninteresting recipes that sound like they came from an intern's aunt," and this about Guy Fieri: "...Dumb Gluttony credentials became bona fide when he starred in a ubiquitous series of commercials for the repulsive [emphasis mine] restaurant chain TGI Fridays..."  I can't stand Fridays either. Thankfully they didn't trash Giada, whom I watch each weekday while eating lunch.  Given the porn analogy I just made, that's kinda creepy.

If you don't know the song, forget about it.  From the article How does a programmer become a brogrammer?
For my beer drinking friends, here are 10 breweries with brilliant beer packaging.  They're nice, but even I know Lagunitas should have been included.

Someone compiled a list of ten websites that make you say huh (like you need another one).  Some I've linked to before, and some are new to me.  If my gibberish doesn't make your head spin, the revolving internet will.

...and politicians are treated like a joke.  ~Will Rogers (paraphrased)


Francis Shivone said...

Loved the ten websites. How people conjure up these website ideas puzzles me but I love them.

Can't type so I didn't take the test.

I saw the North Korea photos. Scary amazing.

Food shows. I cant watch Guy F. It's the hair, the over the top comments, etc. Giada I CAN watch and do. The PBS shows are almost always better to me. I also can't watch the show where the guy screams at everybody.

John said...

My oldest son claims to be a fan of Hell's Kitchen - but he also watches wrestling.

Thanks for reading. Doesn't look like there will be a post this weekend. My Saturday was consumed by activities in meat-space.

That means next weekend's post will be doubly boring^x^x^x^x^x^xlong.