Instapaper Zero

MSG’s DAY 1

Read 16 articles! + Archived 9 I already read but never archived.

Added 9 (Damn you Think Quarterly).

1388 articles left

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The following are the articles I read today along with notes & highlights:

1. Amazon, the Company That Ate the World - BusinessWeek
http://www.businessweek.com/printer/magazine/the-omnivore-09282011.html

  • We don’t think of the Kindle Fire as a tablet. We think of it as a service.”
  • As its rivals steadily asphyxiate, Amazon is ringing up 50 percent growth in quarterly revenues, and could reach $50 billion in sales this year. Walmart needed almost twice the time—33 years—to cross that threshold. “Amazon is such a smart learning organization,” says Nancy F. Koehn, a professor of business administration at Harvard Business School. “It’s like a biological organism that through natural selection and adaptation just keeps learning and growing.”
  • We are a company with a lot of ideas,” Bezos says, when asked directly about his plans. And then, of course, he laughs uproariously
  • I believe these industries are so big, there are going to be multiple winners,” Bezos says. He’s been saying that for 10 years, during which time he’s helped consign Circuit City, Borders, and others to oblivion. “When I look at something like the Kindle Fire, what I want is to be one of the winners.”

2. How Does Google Make the Big Bucks? An Infographic Answer | Epicenter | Wired.com
http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2011/07/google-revenue-sources/

Rounding out the top 20 is an odd entry — Cord Blood.

“I didn’t know what that was,” Kim told Wired.com. “Turns out the industry has to with rich parents preserving their child’s umbilical cord with idea that the stem cells in it will be able to cure diseases in the future. And storage of cord blood has huge upfront cost and substantial ongoing payments.”

 
3. How StumbleUpon is winning on the web — Tech News and Analysis
http://gigaom.com/2011/07/18/how-stumbleupon-is-winning-on-the-web/

  • Earlier this month, StumbleUpon surpassed Facebook to become the biggest traffic driver among social media startups in the US.
  • Camp’s dedication to StumbleUpon through thick and thin seems unique in an industry where the label “serial entrepreneur” is often worn as a badge of honor. The CEO told me he has stuck with StumbleUpon for one basic reason: It’s still the best place for him to turn his dreams into realities. “At the end of the day, I just really like the service,” he said. “To this day, when I have an idea, it always seems like StumbleUpon is still the best place to implement it. Now that we’re independent again, you can have an idea here and make it happen very quickly.”

4. [this is aaronland] meat grinder prisms [Flickr Push API]
http://www.aaronland.info/weblog/2011/06/25/meatgrinder/#pua

It works at a scale that no one has been able to do before and it makes possible all kinds of applications that have either been impossible or so annoying to build that they might as well be impossible.

 
5. Teatime » Dangerous Art - 
My friend Teafarie and her friend Seuss dean wrote THE BEST overview of Burning Man I’ve ever read
http://www.erowid.org/columns/teafaerie/2010/09/01/dangerous-art/

  • It’s many things to many people, but even the most jaded of its critics agree that it’s never boring. Burning Man is a social experiment, a networking opportunity, an outdoor art museum, a rite of passage, a great excuse to blow stuff up, and the best damned party in the world.
  • There is a truism amongst enthusiasts that Burning Man, like the psychedelic experience that informs a large subsection of its culture, cannot be satisfactorily described to a non-initiate. That doesn’t stop folks from going on and on about it about it, though, as many long-suffering friends of devoted participants can attest. First-year Burners are the worst. They sound exactly like zealous converts to some kinky new religion; except the only dogma seems to revolve around the decommodification of goods and services, radical self-expression, total participation, low environmental impact, and the primacy of immediate experience.
  • I remember watching movies about the ’60s when I was a kid and thinking that I’d missed all the good stuff. I was wrong, of course. Yet back then, it seemed to me like there had been one great spasm of explosive freedom before I was born, and then it all slipped back to business as usual. Now ever-increasing change has taken business as usual off the menu, but most people still feel like spectators. Unsure of how to turn the juggernaut of history, many of us bury our heads in the silicon confetti, rendering ourselves too numb even to despair. Burning Man illustrates that we can do anything we put our minds to. Burning Man creates a context in which we feel free and inspired to be the change we want to see in the world. Burning Man makes me feel that this is the most exciting possible time to be alive and the best part is just beginning. Burning Man is the epicenter of a true cultural revolution that turns spectators into participants in the art of life, and there is nothing more dangerous and beautiful than that.


6. The Technium: The Shirky Principle
http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/archives/2010/04/the_shirky_prin.php

  • Peter Principle, which says that a person in an organization will be promoted to the level of their incompetence. At which point their past achievements will prevent them from being fired, but their incompetence at this new level will prevent them from being promoted again, so they stagnate in their incompetence
  • The Shirky Principle declares that complex solutions (like a company, or an industry) can become so dedicated to the problem they are the solution to, that often they inadvertently perpetuate the problem.


7. Bryce.vc: Life in the Crosshairs
IF YOU ARE NOT READING BRYCE ROBERTS’ BLOG YOU ARE AN IDIOT!
The man has a gift of looking at the world and concisely sharing its glory with the world. I find myself wanting to reblog his stuff on a daily basis. I basically highlighted each paragraph in this post.
http://bryce.vc/post/6287289591/life-in-the-crosshairs

  • The first rule of startup club is that if you’re doing anything interesting you’re in someone’s crosshairs. Get over it. Startups are at far greater risk of putting themselves out of business than having Steve Jobs do it for them.
  • But, life in the crosshairs tends to have a better outcome when you don’t start there; meaning, its best not to start your business as an obvious missing feature or a better version of an existing one. Most crosshairs take aim on what’s at the center of the bullseye. Going after pieces of an emergent platform that would bring them to parity with their competitors will occasionally lead to a small exit, but it’s generally a losing strategy
  • We’ve found that creating your audience at the edge of a market allows startups to build and educate a user base on the value of their service before the platform vendor takes note. That existing user base will tend to pull you to other platforms and technologies which will mitigate the competitive risk of being tied to a single platform vendor’s technologies and objectives.
  • As a startup you can’t out Apple Apple, but you can compete in ways they can’t. And if you find yourself locked in their crosshairs, the worst thing you can do is get scared and freeze. Its much tougher to hit a moving target.

8. Mike Hudack • Typed tweets
http://mhudack.com/post/6308247774/typed-tweets

A single-channel Twitter lets us subscribe to our friends’ lives: a multi-channel Twitter would let us subscribe in a much more fine-grained fashion to the specific aspects of their activity that interest us.


9. Hack Your Culture | TechCrunch
http://techcrunch.com/2011/10/01/hack-your-culture/

  • Behavior is a virus. We spread our behavior to those around us, whether passively or on purpose.
  • You can hack your own culture. Surround yourself with people who do what you want to do, and eventually you’ll wake up to find yourself doing the same

10. Courtney Love does the math - Salon.com 
http://mobile.salon.com/technology/feature/2000/06/14/love/print.html

  • I have a 14-year-old niece. She used to want to be a rock star. Before that she wanted to be an actress. As of six months ago, what do you think she wants to be when she grows up? What’s the glamorous, emancipating career of choice? Of course, she wants to be a Web designer. It’s such a glamorous business!
  • You funny dot-communists. Get your shit together, you annoying sucka VCs The celebrity-for-sale business is about to crash, I hope, and the idea of a sucker VC gifting some company with four floors just because they can “do” “chats” with “Christina” once or twice is ridiculous. I did a chat today, twice. Big damn deal. 200 bucks for the software and some elbow grease and a good back-end coder. Wow. That’s not worth 150 million bucks.
  • Put simply, the antitrust laws in this country are basically a joke, protecting us just enough to not have to re-name our park service the Phillip Morris National Park Service.) Artists will make that compromise if it means we can connect with hundreds of millions of fans instead of the hundreds of thousands that we have now
  • Digital distribution gives everyone worldwide, instant access to music. As a user, I love Napster. It carries some risk. I hear idealistic business people talk about how people that are musicians would be musicians no matter what and that we’re already doing it for free, so what about copyright? Since I’ve basically been giving my music away for free under the old system, I’m not afraid of wireless, MP3 files or any of the other threats to my copyrights. Anything that makes my music more available to more people is great. MP3 files sound cruddy, but a well-made album sounds great. And I don’t care what anyone says about digital recordings. At this point they are good for dance music, but try listening to a warm guitar tone on them. They suck for what I do.
  • The present system keeps artists from finding an audience because it has too many artificial scarcities: limited radio promotion, limited bin space in stores and a limited number of spots on the record company roster. The digital world has no scarcities. There are countless ways to reach an audience. Radio is no longer the only place to hear a new song.
  • I’m looking for people to help connect me to more fans, because I believe fans will leave a tip based on the enjoyment and service I provide. I’m not scared of them getting a preview. It really is going to be a global village where a billion people have access to one artist and a billion people can leave a tip if they want to.
  • Here’s my open letter to Steve Case: Avatars don’t talk back!!! But what are you going to do with real live artists? And they’re not actors or participators. They’re the rightful owners, originators and performers of original compositions.
  • Every single artist who makes records believes and hopes that they give you something that will transform your life. If you’re really just interested in data mining or selling banner ads, stick with those “artists” willing to call themselves content providers. I don’t know if an artist can last by meeting the current public taste, the taste from the last quarterly report. I don’t think you can last by following demographics and carefully meeting expectations. I don’t know many lasting works of art that are condescending or deliberately stupid or were created as content. Don’t tell me I’m a brand. I’m famous and people recognize me, but I can’t look in the mirror and see my brand identity. Keep talking about brands and you know what you’ll get? Bad clothes. Bad hair. Bad books. Bad movies. And bad records. And bankrupt businesses. Rides that were fun for a year with no employee loyalty but everyone got rich fucking you. Who wants that? The answer is purity. We can afford it. Let’s go find it again while we can. I also feel filthy trying to call my music a product. It’s not a thing that I test market like toothpaste or a new car. Music is personal and mysterious. Being a “content provider” is prostitution work that devalues our art and doesn’t satisfy our spirits. Artistic expression has to be provocative. The problem with artists and the Internet: Once their art is reduced to content, they may never have the opportunity to retrieve their souls. When you form your business for creative people, with creative people, come at us with some thought. Everybody’s process is different. And remember that it’s art. We’re not craftspeople.

11. Introducing Omar Hamoui’s First Project From Churn Labs: Gnonstop Gnomes
http://techcrunch.com/2011/05/23/churn-labs-gnonstop-gnomes/

April Fools post


12. Nat Turner (Don’t assume people are smart)
http://www.natsturner.com/post/5740492206

  • All too often, people give other people (including us) the benefit of the doubt for being intelligent.  This post suggests that you should flip that thinking around and start assuming someone is not smart until proven otherwise.
  • The truth is, not everyone is smart but way too many people are able to “fail upwards” and get credit when credit isn’t due, or are just really good at faking it.
  • Bad advice taken seriously can be as dangerous as good advice that was ignored.
  • I’m obviously not suggesting you use this strategy out in the open and voice your findings.  I’m suggesting that this way of thinking can be useful if you internalize it when judging and sizing up the people you’re working or interacting with, which we all do (and should do) in startup building.

13. Skillshare - Careers
http://www.skillshare.com/careers/culture

  • We build all-star team players. No exceptions.
  • We have an extreme bias towards action.
  • We fail fast and embrace change.
  • We are a meritocracy.
  • We pursue growth and learning as a team.
  • We believe that happiness and passion trumps everything.
  • We have a social purpose and mission.

14. Yokul: Local Google Charts
http://www.mattgreer.org/post/1yokulIntro

Yokul is a little JavaScript experiment I’ve been playing with in my free time. Using the same query string you’d normally send to the Google Image Chart API a local chart is created on the client using an HTML5 canvas


15. Stumptown Expands With the Help of a Powerful Investor - NYTimes.com
http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/02/stumptown-expands-with-the-help-of-a-powerful-investor/?src=tptw

“Getting some money to grow your business is not evil,” Mr. Panos said


16. Greg Meyer of Gist: Finding your true fans in every city - Silicon Prairie News
http://www.siliconprairienews.com/2011/06/greg-meyer-of-gist-finding-your-true-fans-in-every-city

your community is a living and breathing thing – if you help it to grow by engaging key members in a city or in an affinity group, they’ll help you to be interesting, and help you avoid the trap of “try my product” instead of the true goal of “get to know me and my team as people.”

  1. msg reblogged this from instapaperzero and added:
    Read 16 articles! + Archived 9 I already read but never archived. Added 9 (Damn you Think Quarterly). 1388 articles left...
  2. instapaperzero posted this