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"He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me."
- Thomas Jefferson, via Mike Masnick

Feb 25
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(via Benedict Evans, Consultant | SlideShare)

All you need to know

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Apr 13
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internal motivation – the drive to get the customer to say “Wow” – keeps the pace of innovation fast

EX-99.1 (Jeff Bezos letter to shareholders 2013)

The DNA of a hyper-competitive company in the 21st century, case #7583929292.

"Customer capitalism," Drucker said this forever ago, social and search means everyone knows if you’re selling lemons, blah blah blah.

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Mar 25
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The point is that none of us have the background or resources to determine whether there is a problem with the material presented by the company.

Talk:BP - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

If you want to think deeply about the definition of editorial, sourcing, conflict of interest, and other media/journalism/PR topics of the 21st century, read this entire thing.  Crazy interesting.  I’ll have to go back and write up a full analysis soon.

A very interesting mix of biases, good intentions, policy interpretation, and emotions.

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Mar 03
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Also because, after scaling a website in a dorm room to a platform connecting a billion people in 196 countries through revolutionary high-efficiency auto-cooling datacenters, you guys will probably never figure out how to sell a Quiznos turkey club on a phone.

Director Of Product Blake Ross Is Leaving Facebook | TechCrunch

This attitude saddens me.

It’s a blend of sarcasm and pretension I have observed many times among the people who admit to spending all their time “building software in a 10-mile area of Northern California” (his words).

Not to mention the small-minded thinking about how Facebook’s revenue model might align with it’s ostensibly primary social mission.

SIGH.

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Feb 10
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(via Lifetime Achievement Award for Charlie Haden at The Special Merit Awards Ceremony & Reception | GRAMMY.com)

I was very fortunate to study music with Charlie at CalArts and even got to play out with him once, which could easily be the coolest thing I’ve ever done.

He’s an amazing person that’s very hard to describe.  Unbelievably humble and gracious.  Just a beautiful person.

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Feb 09
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fred-wilson:

catastrophe is opportunity
(via How to Save College | The Awl)

fred-wilson:

catastrophe is opportunity

(via How to Save College | The Awl)

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Jan 15
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Perhaps it will cut down on the number of crowdsourcing status updates in the line of “Anyone know a good plumber?” Now we can just Graph Search “friends who know plumbers.” That, to me, is the only really exciting part of Graph Search.

Facebook’s Graph Search: A tool for marketers disguised as a tool for users

Overall, this headline sums up a lame angle on the news, but I’d like to point out that, for the “only exciting part of Graph Search” to work, people have to have already explicitly thumbs-up’d their favorite plumbers.

In many ways, the value proposition of Graph Search (they’re really calling it that?) reminds me of Aardvark, a social search startup that was acquired by Google a few years ago.  I had the chance to do a little consulting for Aardvark and was super fired up for them to succeed because I really liked the product, team, and conceit of the service.  Even still, I hardly ever used it.

So, ya know.

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Jan 07
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I have several reasons for thinking that the current round of destruction is clearing the decks for something better, but the main one is that historically, media that increase the amount of arguing people do has been a long-term positive for society

Containers and their contents | Rough Type

Helluva dialogue among Clay Shirky, Nick Carr, and Kevin Kelly

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Jan 04
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Silicon Valley is overly obsessed with scalability, and Silicon Valley investors want some perfectly scalable ad platform” Mr Peretti said, “but advertisers want to deal with a really creative person, whose talent can be leveraged to reach millions of people.
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Dec 07
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With Republicans in Congress still intent on pursuing a strategy similar to the failed one adopted by the Brits, this is a story that needs trumpeting.

Austerity policies are self-defeating: they cripple growth and reduce tax revenues. The only way to bring down the U.S. government’s deficit in a sustainable manner, and put the nation’s finances on a firmer footing, is to keep the economy growing.

Spending cuts and tax increases can also play a role, but they need to be introduced gradually.

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his separation of economics from the working economy has severely damaged both the business community and the academic discipline.

Since economics offers little in the way of practical insight, managers and entrepreneurs depend on their own business acumen, personal judgment, and rules of thumb in making decisions. In times of crisis, when business leaders lose their self-confidence, they often look to political power to fill the void.

Government is increasingly seen as the ultimate solution to tough economic problems, from innovation to employment.

Economics thus becomes a convenient instrument the state uses to manage the economy, rather than a tool the public turns to for enlightenment about how the economy operates.

Saving Economics from the Economists - Harvard Business Review

Man, Ronald Coase lays it out at 101 years of age.

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I have a hunch Techmeme will be around long after some of today’s other Web 2.0/Social Media darlings have colllapsed, as its based on real user demand and an economically sustainable cost base.

Getting the Techmeme meme - broadstuff

Must read analysis of the best company ever.

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Nov 28
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The Android and iOS platform set us up to fail by attracting us with the veneer of users, but in reality you are going to fight harder for them than is worthwhile to your business.

You certainly need a mobile app to serve your customers and compete, but it should only be part of your strategy and not the whole thing.

Why We’re Pivoting from Mobile-first to Web-first | philosophically by Vibhu Norby

Really interesting essay on mobile user experience and the economics of ad supported web services.

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Nov 27
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The pressure for operational leadership now shifts to marketing and sales. Creativity is no longer delivered in simple advertisements — it requires multifaceted execution skill.

Great brand stories come to life only when they can be delivered through everything the consumer experiences. The cost of all of this complexity can rise rapidly once it gets out of control.

Perhaps the big ideas of 2013 are old ones — efficiency, scale, and execution.

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David Edelman: Social media and the C-suite (by McKinseyCMSOforum)

Towards the end of this wonderfully brief and useful video, David Edelman of McKinsey hits on something I’ve been saying about managing corporate reputation for some time, because it’s true and helpful.  But maybe I’m saying it in a way that’s too abstract.  So here’s three different ways of saying the same thing, for the record.

My version:

When something goes wrong, organizations struggle to communicate effectively online (i.e. directly to stakeholders) and suffer unnecessary reputational damage if they’ve failed to invest in building the necessary processes and channels during happier times.

David says:

"For negative buzz, the implications [of social media] are: having established channels out into the market through social media that you built up over time — a Twitter feed, a community you manage, a Facebook fan base — so that if you need to get your side of a story out there, you’ve got an established audience that you can speak to and provide content to."

And for the militaristically (or sports-jargon) inclined, a not-quite-right but directionally accurate way of summing this up is: the best defense is a good offense.

For a few practical tips on how to do this in the real world, check out my post “On Smart Markets" (November 2011) and a new post from David "My prediction for 2013: ‘Operations’ becomes a key word in marketer’s vocabulary."

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