How to cut through the marketing gimmicks. The secret to mattress shopping is that the product is basically a commodity. The mattress biz is 99-percent marketing. So just buy the cheapest thing you can stand and be done with it, because they’re pretty much all the same. And that’s all you need to know. Not […]

Sneetchcrafted Chocolate

Reading this investigative journalism piece about extremely overpriced chocolates made in Plano (Dallas) Texas, you will learn a whole lot about the origins, processing, and packaging of chocolate. Bonus: The word “Sneetchcraft,” following Dr. Seuss. “This collection of four of Dr. Seuss’s most winning stories begins with that unforgettable tale of the unfortunate Sneetches, bamboozled […]

Rich People Don’t Care About Gas Prices

Great essay, with attitude, on why Ford, GM, and Chrysler are sucking eggs so hard. We’re looking at two strategies here. Toyota: build affordable transportation for the masses at a quality level that slightly exceeds expectations relative to price. GM et al: build oversized, under-engineered and fuel inefficient cars for people who don’t care about […]

One Bank, One Card

Here’s a new video for all you U2 fans: One (4:49). Spoiler: Corporate execs wearing ties in a typical hotel conference room co-opting the song with celebration lyrics of their merger. Funny. Sick. Unbelievable. Horrible. Capital-C Culture.

The World Standard in Studless Winter Tyres

Glen said, “The ultimate winter weapon is still the Hakk 2’s with studs, but if you don’t want to run the studs with the noise and the rolling resistance and everything, then the RSi is what people are talking about.” Better than the Hakk 2’s? “Without the studs; With the studs, Hakk 2’s are what […]

Dear Boloco

Quality control in Hanover has GOT to improve. Today: Regular teriaki with chicken. $6.25 They forgot the chicken. Then realized that this is normally $5.25 if memory serves. Last visit: Ordered extra chicken. Got normal amount of chicken. This is the sort of thing where it’s way too much of a hassle to go back […]

Enormous Copyright Infringement Claims

Interesting business strategy analysis of the Google purchase of YouTube.


There’s a new bead store in town. It’s nicely decorated, and my favorite part is a sign on the wall: Unattended children will be given an espresso and a free kitten. Hard to believe they’ll survive when Hanover rents are a couple of grand a month and a beads cost a nickel or a quarter […]

Advice on Work

Paul Graham: The best place to work, if you want to start a startup, is probably a startup. In addition to being the right sort of experience, one way or another it will be over quickly. You’ll either end up rich, in which case problem solved, or the startup will get bought, in which case […]

Sonny Boy

The meeting was 15 people, by invitation. Hosted in a very comfortable high-tech room. The guest speaker was from a famous university a few hours south. Worker bees and VPs gathered to talk shop and think big. 45 minute presentation, then lunch is served. We introduce ourselves. Discussion ensues. Eventually I ask: “What kinds of […]

Just Ignore Any Conflicts

I’m scheduling interviews for a project and I received the following (lightly edited) email at 10 AM today, illustrating the problems of “groupware.” That works for Susan! If this works for others, please feel free to add it to Susan’s calendar (I’m leaving at 10:30am today). Just ignore any conflicts that show at that time. […]

Welcome to the “Soft Landing”

NY Times (September 25, 2006): The median price of a previously owned home fell for the first time in 11 years last month, and inventories of unsold homes swelled to levels not seen in more than a decade. Jason Calacanis (September 24, 2006): Real estate is a horribly inefficient market and many of the brokers […]

Just The Facts

There is a weapons system development effort in every congressional district. [Which weapons system to you want to kill, Senator??] Of the 350 annual megatons of carbon output that Ford is responsible for, only eight of it comes from car emissions; the rest is from factories. The NSA joke used to be, “No Such Agency;” […]

Kids Don’t Use Mail

If you think email marketing is going to work forever, you might want to think again.

Link Roundup

Miscellaneous tabs still open from last week: * Robert Young on the fat belly of the Long Tail. * Kiko threw in the towel and put the company up for sale on eBay. It went for $250K. Tucows explains why they bought the technology. * Another excellent minimalist layout a la Craigslist and Facebook. More […]

Crony Capitalism at it’s Finest

Industry Note: The Rot at the Core, Special Disney Crony Capitalism Edition Of course, neither move – coypright extensions or side payments to politicians in the form of propaganda – are in the least good for the economy, because they destroy more value than they create, through the stifling of potential innovation, competition, and new […]

Facebook Mini-Review

Well, I had a demo of Facebook, and it’s a very nice web application. [Previously: Attention Metastream. Today: Fred Wilson on the changes (good comments thread).] (I have removed names from this screenshot.) It’s hard to get a sense of it from the picture, but I can tell that if I were a college student […]

Commodity Fetishism

Thanks to Tom Matrullo I am now aware of the term commodity fetishism: In Marxist theory, commodity fetishism is a state of social relations, said to arise in complex capitalist market systems, in which social relationships are defined by the values that are placed on commodities. The term is introduced in the opening chapter of […]

Attention Metastream

I don’t yet have access to Facebook, but this TechCrunch review notes the key element in successful web applications: Facebook clearly gets the idea of an attention metastream, where page views aren’t the currency that matters but rather how effectively the service allows users to communicate. Facebook users will now have a much easier way […]

Complex Problem Solving

Very interesting diagram of complex problem solving processes. Mousing over almost anything brings up more depth. Rewards exploration at the expense of obscuring details.