Sunday, September 30, 2007
Updated: Looks like NBC needed to pull the clip because of an uncleared sample
- Mint-mojito Orbit gum
- A new gum called "5" which has "invigorating sensations that you can feel as you chew"
- Chocolate Pop Rocks
- Melted Ice Cream, a spray candy
Friday, September 28, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
In some ways it's familiar - you deal with many of the same recruiting, org structure and cultural issues - but I've become more cognizant of the LCD and his/her impact. The LCD is the "Lowest Common Denominator" -- basically the person who for a given quality or characteristic, demonstrates the most outlying behavior. This behavior can be a clearly negative trait (the person who works the least), outright positive or more ambiguous (the person who works every holiday). Either way, the LCD can have a very strong influence on an organization.
For example, the person who works every holiday could be a really dedicated passionate employee who models great behavior, but they also start to create a gentle pressure to work on off-days. The executive who seems to always be responding to emails at 3am is accelerating communications in a way that might also amp up stress and the desire to be "always-on."
There's a point where the Lowest Common Denominator" can start to shift behaviors - their actions become a meme which gets spread and imitated. One LCD who thinks it's okay to let deadlines slip - soon you've got anarchy. Ok, not exactly, but rather than anchor to the average person's behavior, the organization does start shifting towards the most extreme.
So what to do?
1) Be sensitive to outlier behavior which can be toxic and nip it quickly
2) If you want to change group dynamics, drop some positive LCDs into the system and see what happens
3) If you model LCD behaviors, be cognizant of its general effect on your team
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
We're providing enhanced branding, promotional opportunities and donation gadgets using Google Checkout (without any transaction costs).
Go team! And go non-profits!
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
After Google acquired the first two I joked with him that we needed to take out Sling for the trifecta :)
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Now that would be one awesome "People who bought that item, also bought this item" combo on Amazon.
You've been a very bad boy Harry Potter...
Attached to the pumps is a big sign where the largest type reads "If you have a complaint..." followed by information on how to contact Shell Corp. Likely the result of a "service quality guarantee" program or just a way to give HQ more control over issues which when handled by the franchisees, have a high degree of variability in resolution.
Holding aside the notion that empowering the individual station owners to provide great service and resolve issues on the spot would be an excellent solution, the sign irked me.
What's the incidence rate of angry patrons - 1 in 250 customers? That means 249 customers have a lasting memory of a sign which suggests complaints at Shell are so prevalent and challenging that corporate needs to take it into their own hands. All i can recall is 36 point font saying "COMPLAINT." Why not have the sign say "We guarantee excellent service" then in smaller type give the way to communicate experiences where you believe less than excellent service has been delivered. The one person in 250 who wants to escalate their complaint will still have the details to do so, and maybe the other 249 will remember the "GREAT SERVICE" headline instead.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
"Brad Garlinghouse [Yahoo VP] likes the peoples choice Kaltura, hates Metaplace, says that the train has already left the platform, we already have Second Life."
Interesting - i've always wondered if Second Life might find a home at Yahoo in some capacity. Brad G is very bullish on SL. Bradley Horowitz has spoken of his fondness for Linden Lab founder Philip Rosedale (Brad H only gets to do the <$50m acquisitions so i'm hoping SL would be out of his league ;-) )
But SL has said it's not thinking about liquidity for investors until at least 2008
"When will there be a liquidity event? When do the investors and employees who are shareholders get some money back? There’s no timetable on that. Not this year. We’ll look at it again." - LL Board Chairman Mitch Kapor in Davos, Jan 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
I too enjoy the art, lots of smiling faces and animals. But perversely I'm always left with another question: what do they do with the art that expresses, um, a darker side of these artists? I mean these people can't only want to paint happy scenes? When i worked at Mattel there was a locked dumpster where the deformed Barbie dolls went to be shredded. Is there the same thing at Creativity Explored. When the developmentally challenged artist is feeling a bit glum and wants to paint, uh, less optimistic scenes, do they rip up the paper? "No Roger, no more knives with faces and dragons eating babies."
Sunday, September 09, 2007
The article talks about how most of the women are spilling out of their tops and the men possess bulging muscles. Or at least the men and women who aren't otherwise dressed as furries, dragons or robots.
The early days of Second Life saw a very distinct pattern in avatar construction. People would chose to go either representative or fantastic. The former was focused on getting as close to your real life self as possible. The latter again split into two forks: aspirational or extreme.
The aspirational usually hewed close to traditional definitions of beauty. The extreme basically wanted to go to the far end of what you could great - as tall (or short) as possible, as little or much hair, etc. Essentially moving the slider bars to the extreme.
This weekend’s WSJ discussed how Cirque du Soleil recruits special performers but not so unique that they cannot be replaced or duplicated. After all, they spend millions on a show and intend for it to outlast any single performer plus travel around the world.
“Let me tell you, this is our nightmare. It’s quite possible there isn’t another person on the planet quite like him,” lamented the company’s Director of Casting with regards to a amazing Brazilian gymnast.
This reminded me of how I occasionally view Google’s evolution – we’re mechanizing. Turning the core parts of our business into well-tuned platforms. This doesn’t mean we don’t value the individual or have unique people on our teams. Just that when you encounter these sorts of people you want to try and institutionalize their greatness. If it’s a killer engineer, make sure their code can be maintained and evolved by others. A “black swan” salesperson? Well, once they close the deal you want to immediately support the partner with a broader team to ensure the relationship stays with the company and not just the person.
Scale relies upon replaceable parts so the machine can be replicated and maintained.
Saturday, September 08, 2007
Friday, September 07, 2007
"Steve has a love-hate relationship with, well, everyone."
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Second Life: over-hyped or scientifically significant? [@Cnet]
"After all, what is Second Life and others like it but a first attempt at replicating our world in virtual space? That's huge. The implications are no different from space travel, robotics, stem cell research, or any other significant advancement in science. As such, it warrants attention and scrutiny so people can learn from other's mistakes and become inspired to take the technology to the next level.
Think about it. Not that long ago there was no internet, now we depend on it. A scant nine years ago, Google's founders were having trouble getting funding for a search engine company. Now its market cap is $160 billion. Who's to say we won't find ourselves completely immersed in virtual reality worlds in ten years?
And Second Life - even in its present form - is a potentially significant development platform, not to mention a business opportunity to drive demand for internet infrastructure, processing power, memory capacity, software, gaming, and the like. I don't even want to consider the implications for pornography.
Not only is imitation the sincerest form of flattery, it's also a primary mechanism for the advancement of human civilization. Second Life may have a long way to go to fulfill its hype, but as the first baby steps toward imitating the real world in cyberspace, it demands close attention. After all, that's how we humans learn."
Monday, September 03, 2007
Saturday, September 01, 2007
So one of the areas where you're going to see more features is helping our community broadcast more about how they use YouTube. Uploaders can become stars on YouTube but it's difficult for people contributing to the community in other ways to become as discoverable.
Last week we started to dip our toe in the water here with a new module that can be displayed on your channel page - the "Videos Rated Box." When you turn this on, it will display the last five videos you rated and the rating you gave them. Additionally it will qualify your rating to appear on that video's playback page for a while after you've rated it. (if you're a YT user, to turn this on go to your channel design page and click the check box. Yes, i know channel mgmt is confusing - we're gonna fix that too.).
The virtuous cycle here is that if you rate videos, others can discover you through your ratings and then subscribe to your channel to see new videos you've favorited, etc. We want to give tastemakers the ability to implicitly and explicitly share.
Anyway, eventually our goal is to increase the types of social currency that all different user segments can accrue on the site - i.e. how to recognized and rewarded for your contributions to the community, even if you're not necessarily someone who creates video.
hope you enjoy and always feel free to let me know what you think