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Showing posts from May, 2008

Quick hits: online video, social networking, movie

Liz Gannes has a great personal post. The moral of the story: find a way to make your content available online allowing people to time/space as they need to. You're not making more money by hoarding your content.Britain's Got Talent vs. America's Got Talent: I've watched both shows mostly on the YouTube. I'm partial to the British version. The particpants are about the same, but the audience can be meaner and less reluctant to boo off the performer in the British version.:) Steven Speilberg is funding a social network around alien sightings. Ugh! It was this obsession that led to the alien theme in the latest Indy movie, didn't it?

Subway switched to Bucket Brigades...

One of the first things you read about in an Operations textbook is about the efficiency of the bucket brigade. More on bucket brigades here. Its a powerful concept that can be counter-intuitive: a way to maximize both throughput and utilization of any system.
I've liked my Subway sandwiches since I had my first one six-ish years ago, but one of the things I noticed when I went to Subway back then during lunch hour was how the person making my sandwich had to play Twister with the other people working behind the counter as I pointed at the various condiments I wanted.
Chipotle was the first restaurant where I noticed that the person simply handed off the sandwich to person standing next to him/her when they came to the same spot behind the counter. Potbelly's ups the efficiency factor by putting a conveyor belt in the mix.
The bucket brigade seems operations du jour now: even the mom-and-pop sandwich shop around where I live seems to have this down. :)

A More Public Life

Fred Wilson's post on the effects and perils of blogging, led me to this great personal story by Emily Gould over at the NY Times.
A long, long time ago I started, and then soon stopped:), reading books about writing. The phrase read and heard over and over again was "Be honest!" Fundamental to being original, meaningful and affecting others was being truthful and writing from experiences that were uniquely yours. The same applies to blogging; the most personal posts can often be the most powerful.
One of the older books I read painted a vision of a better world through creative writing; a world where more people were better understood simply because through writing honestly these people gave others a better chance to understand them. Blogs as a technology and a cultural norm enable that.

There is an intoxicating quality to writing honestly about your life and what you think and what you're doing, but the scrutiny that you invite when you make poor decisions, poor argum…

Hulu et Joost:

As Hulu continues to eat up my time over the long weekend, I couldn't help wonder how much the fortunes of these two companies have changed over the years. As much as I dislike Google Trends as a means to draw conclusions. the graph below does tell a story.

As Hulu continues to add pretty decent features, execute steadily on a monetization strategy, and add interesting content (well, in the US anyway :)) ,  Joost just continues to struggle in each of these departments and more.
The major lesson here? Like most good advice, it can be summed up by something you would hear from you mom: "Don't judge a book by its cover." Don't be too quick to judge: The assumption was that great pedigree, and early content deals were an indicator of the success Joost would have.Don't be too harsh to judge: Too many people assumed that their Old Media backers would mean that Hulu would be incompetent/execute poorly.Be charitable early, instead of late: Instead of mocking it early, a…

Neat presentation, neat site.

Someone from work fwded this pretty slick presentation by Dan Olsen on Product Management for Web stuff.
I really liked it! I liked the Slideshare site which was used to distribute it even more. Here's the TechCrunch post introducing the site from over a year and a half ago.

The description of the site ("PowerPoint + YouTube") really sums it all up. There are some similarities in design and the way it tries to engage users. Its not the only one like it out there either. It works as a clean distribution medium from PowerPoint, just like YouTube works as way to distribute personal videos. But what I liked about it, is that like YouTube, it looks like its growing to be so much more.

The prevalence of digital cameras, phone cameras, video and recording software and number of other complimentary technologies and cultural norms fueled the YouTube phenomena, even as the medium itself meant that people started communicating in a whole new way.

Increasingly for every interesting bus…

Speed Racer: review and smart cross-promotion on Hulu..

I watched a lot of the Speed Racer cartoons when I was growing up, so I made sure that I caught the movie on the first-day.
I really liked it, but I think more because it kept reminding me of how much I absolutely loved the trailer than anything else.

Its not a bad movie, but you'll truly enjoy it only if you were a fan of the show. Only then will the theme music, the demo of the Mach 5 features, the Rex Racer flashbacks not just be cheesy bits that work for kids, but goose-pimple inducing moments.

That's why I think its absolutely brilliant that 49 episodes of the Speed Racer cartoon are on Hulu, and both they and the studio did a smart cross-promotion gig by putting them on the landing page on the first day. I'm surprised Hulu didn't do some better online ad buys to direct traffic to the site though....

Munger's "Psychology of Human Misjudgement"

The blogging has been light both in frequency and substance of late, but hopefully this month it May be different. Did you get that? May...cos its the month of...never mind. :)

I agree with blogosphere consensus that Marc Andreessen is a pretty great addition to the world of blogging. It was the following post of his that really gave me quite a bit to think about: the examples are pretty solid, but the source material: this essay on "The Psychology of Human Misjudgement" by Charlie Munger is absolutely fascinating.!

It took me a while to get through it, but the points are great reminders about the biases all of us have, and the mistakes we so very easily make. Chances are you've probably read many of these before and/or thought about them, but they're a great collective reminder of psychological mistakes you (or others) make and how to correct them.