When I started my career I spent hours agonizing over making something perfect. Getting that story just right. Making that ad text amazing, or revising wireframes over and over again. I didn’t want to make a mistake and I didn’t want to leave any room for complaint.
This is the most boneheaded way to work.
The 70% Solution
I once did a training on the mobile web and I handed out all kinds of funny shaped “scrap paper” and asked the participants to design an ad. Of course, I didn’t tell them what the real test was. I made lots of oddly shaped paper scraps because the real test was how does the shape of the paper influence the design of the product. Some people simply designed a square ad because they had always seen square ads. They weren’t influenced by the medium at all. Others followed the shape and size of their paper to design their ad to fit in.
We can tell stories however we want
Whipped cream in a can was discovered completely by accident. A university student named Goetz was working with a professor on preserving milk with the goal of eliminating bacterial contaminants.
Goetz trying to use carbon dioxide under pressure with whipped cream as a preservative but his experiments were not going well. Every time he went to test the cream it would spray out in a “whipped” state. Goetz was so frustrated he went and got his professor for help.
The professor saw the potential and the rest is history (more or less).
The Whipped Cream Accident
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This ranking is not based on how good the movie is (though Looper would still be in the right spot).
Hang this on your wall.
Everyone has grown up seeing pictures of George Washington on a boat. Yeah, he won a battle or something right? I thought I knew the story well enough but last year I read 1776 by David McCullough and I learned that I didn’t really know the story at all.
Craziness Crossing the Delaware
I heard about Uber a few years ago and have been itching to try it ever since. Everytime I visited a town without a car I’d reinstall the app and check to see if Uber was there. Finally, this last week in San Diego I hit paydirt.
Uber as a service is awesome but their app is not
I’m not saying we won’t have awesome spaceships like the X-Wing or that there won’t be space battles with lasers. I’m arguing that we won’t really be involved.
Check out this robot playing ping pong.
I’m not talking about drones, I’m talking about fully automated battle. Let me backup a second.
We will never fly around in space shooting lasers
Titanfall is a fun game. OK, that’s out of the way.
Titanfall is unfinished. It has a “campaign” which is just multiplayer with someone talking over the game. What are they saying? Who knows? Who cares? There is usually too much happening on the screen to care about whatever obviously isn’t happening in the story. This, and several other shortcomings is why the free beta was such a brilliant move.
Titanfall’s free beta was a stroke of PR genius
When my wife and I had our first child we were lucky to be in a position where she didn’t need to work and could be home with the baby. One of my goals from a young age was to be able to provide for my family in this way but reality had different plans.
We settled into a routine. I went to work, my wife stayed home, I came home, we ate dinner, put the kids to bed and I sat around. I’m not sure how it happened. But at some point, home became a place of anxiety. I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do. I wasn’t in our home, I was in my wife’s home and I was nervous to mess things up.
In retrospect this is ridiculous.
How my wife going to work made our home more harmonious and brought us closer together.
One of the problems with DRM systems over the years has been that they are centrally controlled and carry inherent risk. We saw this with “PlayforSure” which failed. Anyone that bought into those digital goods lost everything when the service shutdown.
This has advantages and disadvantages. Right now ReDigi is fighting to resell “used” mp3s. This mostly doesn’t work for obvious reasons (how do you guarantee there aren’t any copies?).
Ok, so is it possible to mint digital goods that are unique and enforce a license? Bitcoin offers a decentralized currency and it’s major advantage is that a Bitcoin can’t be “copied” and spent twice. Can we apply the same idea to software? Media? Is it possible to build a decentralized system for distributing and managing these different things, your license can be transferred to others, ie sold, just like Bitcoins. Would that work? Would it be worth it?