Very little feels as good as organizing all of your latent tasks into a hierarchical lists with checkboxes associated.
Doing the work, responding to the emails—these all suck.
But organizing it is sweet anticipatory pleasure. Working is hard, but thinking about working is pretty fun. The result is the software industry. It’s not that email is broken or productivity tools all suck; it’s just that culture changes. People make email clients or to-do list apps in the same way that theater companies perform Shakespeare plays in modern dress. “Email” is our Hamlet. “To-do apps” are our Tempest.
I have watched hundreds of hours of soccer in my life. Thousands. If a thing can happen on the pitch, I’ve seen it. I’ve watched 4-0 leads erased in minutes. I’ve watched managers fight their own players. I’ve watched a star for FC Barcelona receive a standing ovation at the Bernabéu, the home of Real Madrid. I’ve seen every kind of insanity and every kind of brilliance. I’m not saying this to brag. I just want to establish some context. Because I’ve never seen anything like what Tim Howard did yesterday.
The 13 year old in all of us rejoiced when Twitter started supporting GIFS! Yaayyy, but I’m here to crush your dreams, Twitter’s GIFs are actually displayed as looping videos.
We did a little test, here is the original:
Here is the Twitter “GIF”.
It appears that…
For me it’s all about solving a problem. With StumbleUpon, it was about finding cool stuff with very low-effort, without having to search. Before Uber, I would wait 30-40 minutes for a cab that never showed up. I felt the pain. I was essentially building a product for myself. So even though critics would say, “Why are you doing this?” I would think, “This exists and my life seems better.” There are always people who don’t “get it,” but a lot of times I think the reason someone doesn’t get it is because they only thought about it for five minutes. But if they sat down with you for a day or two they’d realize it was a good idea. A lot of times naysayers are just people that have not taken the time yet.
The first respect in which it’s out of balance is in the size and dominance of the major players. Nobody in this industry, other than those trying to compete with them, can now afford not to have a relationship with Universal, and that gives them unprecedented power – power to upset the balance. The power, as their CEO proudly said, to get people into business, the power to STOP people getting into business. How does that imbalance affect us ? Because when they negotiate or renegotiate with digital services, they leverage that power to obtain a larger slice of the pie than should be theirs. And that effect echoes down the food chain, and leaves independents, those companies who have always started new trends, on who the musical culture of our nations depends, finding that Universal have eaten their lunch.
As always, the hover text is amazing.
I get the musicgeek newsletter and the guy in charge is named Derek and every time the newest email hits my inbox I think of a bearded Derek Hale in soft flannel shirts and six year old jeans sitting in his rolling chair at his desk, carefully curating each and every pairing of song and gif.
derek would wear these really soft henleys and cardigans. he’d steep his tea while listening to the black keys and have a pair of thick thermal socks to keep the chill from his feet as they tap out the baseline. his beard is coming alone nicely since he abhors shaving in the morning since he’s barely awake without at least two cups of tea.
he keeps getting e-mails from this guy named stiles criticizing his music tastes. and derek is just like really into music so he writes these really long e-mails back and maybe he made the guy an 8 track to listen to. and no, that’s not a mixed tape. it’s not like he likes this stiles guy. he’s probably just some douchey hipster who doesn’t even like star wars. at least that’s what derek tells himself but really his e-mails with stiles are the highlight of his work week.
stiles mentions an alternative music festival in san diego and derek was actually going for his newsletter and stiles actually sends him his cellphone number because he’s going to with a couple of friends from college. and suddenly derek is anxious because he’s pretty quiet and reserved in person rather than in his e-mails where he uses capslocks and rants about autotuning ruining music. so he’s worried that stiles won’t want to meet derek, because he wears old cardigans and hasn’t made new friends since grad school.
Grad school was a dark time for Derek, what with the stares and rumors about Paige. He actually started Musigeeks to fill up all the time he spent alone in his dorm. and he’d snaked the rolling chair from that room because he thought it helped him pick better songs.
He used his drive to San Diego to listen through a long list of songs in his backlog, hoping to pull a few gems for the newsletter, all the while hoping Stiles would see that you don’t know someone until you know someone and be the kind of person who starts people on a clean slate. They had some mutual friends he hoped would ease the intros a bit, as Sam and Jen always seemed able to do effortlessly, especially at music festivals.
It was quiet on Interstate 5, cruising South through LA with the windows down blasting SAFIA, and San Diego was still two hours away. Fucking San Diego and its early scene; it’d be way too late to get a good cup of tea before hitting the festival grounds.
PS. MUCH LOVE to the Teen Wolf Fanlove yesterday for my Musicgeeks newsletter:) Unfortunately I’m not a Hale lookalike, but I do wear flannels and old jeans. Expect a special GIF soon!
In this industry, you gotta be tough.
I’m just kidding. We’re a bunch of literates who enjoy reading so much that we built our own news readers. But when a behemoth like Google makes a call that places you at the business end of 100,000 frantic power users, reminding yourself how tough you are is…
Newsblur is my reader of choice, and it should be yours.
First thing that surprised me about the Female Founder’s Conference is that it was all women. Okay, I know, that sounds ridiculous. I expected it to be all-women speakers, I expected it to be majority female crowd. But I did not anticipate that none of the male partners of YC would be in…
Secret is the next big thing in Silicon Valley. The app lets you anonymously share and consume secrets from your friends and friends of friends.
Right now it’s apparently jumping the shark to main stream adoption.
Yesterday I declared that I don’t think it will make it- in the really…
I agree on most points, but reserve judgement until there’s evidence this will bleed outside of the early adopter audience. The echo chamber is full of people I’d argue have less of a need for what Secret offers than the general public.
In fact, it might be a perfect mobile social network for normal adults, who came online in true social force with Facebook, and simply can’t say certain things there. Their days may actually be FULL of secrets they need to share and want validation on. In fact, Secret is one way those people could use Twitter, but with better feedback and experience and without the need to build a following.
In similar fashion I think it’s unlikely young people will use it the way they used Formspring/AskFM etc, as there’s no “handle” to collect influence around. Most of the other apps allowed young users to break anonymity in one way or another, and I don’t see much of that with Secret so far.
All said, the diminishing returns point is a great one. Craigslist’s Missed Connections comes to mind as a pretty persistent community in the same vein as Secret, and obviously PostSecret and others have had long runs with similar dynamics.