I don’t know how to shop anymore

The sole is starting to peel of from my snow boots, so I’m in the market for some shoe goo or Gorilla Glue.  I’d really like to get it today because the flapping sole is getting annoying. As I was thinking about this just now, I realized that I don’t know how to shop anymore.… Continue reading

Total freedom in exchange for total surveillance

Today I signed up for TSA Pre-Check.  I gave the some (rather minor) details about my background and scanned my fingerprints.  In two weeks, I’ll get a known traveler ID, and will then be able to skip the line and keep my jacket/shoes/belt on when traveling domestically. Convenience in exchange for surveillance.  It’s a trade I’m gladly… Continue reading

Momentum on my mind

A few weeks ago, Brian asked Brittany and me: “do you think it’s better to build your career around skills or around ideas?”. Brittany immediately said “skills” and I immediately said “ideas”.  We argued about it for a few minutes, and ultimately we both agreed that skills and ideas are both important (duh) and that you can… Continue reading

The Regulation 2.0 challenge

Last night, I had the pleasure of joining Meetup.com GC David Pashman‘s NYU Law class on Internet and Business Law for Technology Companies as a guest speaker.  Over the course of the past semester, David’s students have played the role of internet company General Counsel, working on a variety of legal and public policy issues — everything from… Continue reading

Competitors at the time

At USV, we talk a lot about how the landscape is changing, as more entrepreneurs and investors get behind the idea of building networks around problems, communities & verticals.  And that means that we are seeing more competitors in each space we look at, especially compared to what it looked like when USV invested in… Continue reading

Swimming like a shark

Andy and I were talking yesterday about how both of us really struggle on email, especially during busy weeks when we’re really focused on something (travel, a project, etc).  I can’t tell you how many emails I start with: “I apologize for the long delay here…” I described it as being afraid of the inbox.… Continue reading

Social Detox

There are a lot of great insights in Benedict Evans’ most recent report. It’s worth a read. One that stood out to me is this one: Because a lot of our social network lives at the phone OS layer (contacts), and because mobile social may be “sticky like nightclubs, not like banks”, perhaps the switching… Continue reading

Wanted: Partychat for Google Hangouts

I’ve been a remote or semi-remote worker for a long time now.  Which has a boatload of pros (flexibility) as well as cons (distance from “the watercooler”). Over time, I’ve tried lots of things to help forge a stronger connection among my distributed or semi-distributed teams.  As you would expect, it’s always a lot harder… Continue reading

Exploding business models

It’s fascinating to watch the process of business models exploding. What apple did yesterday in announcing free OSX and free iWork apps is a great example of that.  MS has traded on license fees for Windows and Office forever, and for a long time, Apple has followed suit, charging reasonably high (although continuously declining) prices for each.… Continue reading

David and Goliath

Last week, I traveled to SF, and ended up on a flight with no internet (aaaaaaagh!). And, of course, I forgot to bring the book I’m currently reading. So, I went old school and bought a book at the airport bookstore.  I honestly can’t remember the last time I did that.   Actually, I bought two books: Gladwell’s… Continue reading

Organized vs. disciplined

I’ve been thinking a lot about this idea of being organized vs. being disciplined.  It’s easy to want to “get organized” — or worse, to spend a lot of time and effort getting organized — but then not actually have the discipline to see it through (this is also known as “systems to cover up symptoms“). Framing… Continue reading

Playing Hardball

It seems like everywhere I look right now, people are playing hardball.  I.e., taking tough / extreme positions and sticking to them ferociously. The showdown in congress over the budget and Obamacare is one case. The republicans have shown that they are willing to take it to the wall, and the Dems are calling their… Continue reading

Open311 Data Prediction Challenge

As the federal government shuts down, there is no shortage of predictions about how it will shake out, when it will end, and who will take the blame. Speaking of predictions (how’s that for a segue?), David Eaves (who writes a great blog for those who like the intersection of cities, governments and policy) just announced… Continue reading

T-Corps and the Community IPO

Janelle Orsi has an article in Shareable that should be of interest for anyone following the “sharing economy” (or “peer economy”, or whatever you want to call it). It tackles one of the most difficult and interesting problems facing sharing economy platforms: the relationship (technically speaking, i.e., the business relationship) between the companies operating the platform… Continue reading

Being an Urban Planner Just Got Awesome

I’m here today at the Adaptive Metropolis conference at UC Berkeley, organized by ReBar.  Which, as I suspected it would be, is awesome.  The premise of the conference is how cities, and the way we plan, manage and engage with them, is changing — an in particular, how bottom-up, diy, adaptive, responsive, agile, and user-generated… Continue reading

The Adaptive Metropolis

I’m writing this from a plane en route to Berkeley for what should be an awesome conference: Adaptive Metropolis: User Generated Urbanism.  Among the organizers is my favorite DIY city-making collective: ReBar. Back in 2005, ReBar did something amazing.  They pulled up to a San Francisco parking space and put in a few quarters.  But instead… Continue reading

Systems to Cover Up Symptoms

Cescalouise and I have started using Wunderlist to keep track of shared to-dos (bills to pay, stuff to buy, etc).  I’ve been a user of Wunderlist for a number of years now and have written about it before. The shared lists in Wunderlist actually seem to be working for us.   Whenever she adds or… Continue reading

Beyond Civic Apps: Making All Apps More Civic

(cross-posted on the MIT Center for Civic Media blog, the PBS IdeaLab blog, and the Harvard Data-Smart City Solutions blog) A few years ago when I was working on the Civic Commons project with Code for America and OpenPlans, I did a presentation at Living Cities called “Cities that Work Like the Web”  which discussed… Continue reading