Getting Real

37signals has released their new eBook on web application development, Getting Real. Getting Real details the business, design, programming, and marketing principles of 37signals. The book is packed with keep-it-simple insights, contrarian points of view, and unconventional approaches to software design. This is not a technical book or a design tutorial, it’s a book of […]

Monday Biz Links

A couple of interesting items from lunchtime browsing: Stowe Boyd: Advisory Capital: A New Basis For Strategic Involvement. Argues for a new model of funding startups. Makes sense to me – the VC route is filled with potholes and speedbumps. There has been a great deal of discussion in the tech community about the changing […]

Product Recommendation: 3×5 Blank Index Cards

Somehow, I ran out of index cards at both my house and my office. Life nearly shut down there for a day. The index card has got to be one of the best organizational inventions ever made. I keep a stack next to the phone and another next to my desk. I keep some in […]

37signals Launches Campfire

It took me a while to realize it, but the essential business plan of 37signals is taking modern technology tools and specializing them for business. They do this by 1) stripping generalized options and leaving only the core functionality; 2) creating a good UI that’s obvious (low training and support) and fun to use (easy […]

GTI Project Fast Phase 3

The final installment of the VW Project Fast marketing campaign has landed: To those who participated in GTI Project Fast, we thank you for your input. Through our research, we learned a great deal about your fast, including what it looks like. If you haven’t already seen it, be sure to visit And […]

Advertising on Notio

Well, I have to make a decision: Hi Michael, Thank you for your prompt reply. I represent the affiliate program. We promote 16 online gambling brands. I would like to advertise at least one of our gambling brands on your website – either with a text link or banner. We can sort out a […]

GTI Project Fast Phase 2

Round two is even weirder than round one: We are now beginning phase 2 of Project Fast. According to our records, you chose not to participate in phase 1, but we still value your input. To take part in phase 2, please visit: I did participate, but maybe I didn’t give them my email?

Recent Email

We get letters: Subject: Regarding your website ( I would like to advertise at your website. Please get back to me ASAP, I really want to close a deal today. (Name, company, and email withheld, though it does appear to be from an advertising firm.) My response: Sure, anything’s possible. What did you have in […]

Jack of All Trades, Master of None

A business colleague whom I met at a SoL gathering emailed asking if I or anyone I knew would be qualified and interested in presenting his seminar for 5-7 days in May and June. I sent a bio, CV, and selected projects list. The response (in part): Wow! Talk about diversity! Clearly you are virtually […]

Product Recommendation: Champion Chip Cookies

Possibly the best mass-market cookie ever: Newman’s Own Organics Champion Chip Cookies. Specifically, the Double Chocolate Mint Chip. (Mint Flavored Chocolate Chip Cookies with Chocolate Morsels.) At just two inches diameter – they’re so cute! – you can eat dozens and not realize it. Great for all-night blogging!

GTI Project Fast

Volkswagen has launched what must be an online viral marketing campaign for the new GTI. Dear Michael J., You have been chosen by the Volkswagen GTI Mk V research and development team to take part in a nationwide research experiment exploring the psychological and social concept of “fast.” To take part, please visit: NOTE: […]

Crossing a Car with a Motorcycle

Volkswagen introduces the GX3 – the first new idea in cars or motorcycles in years, if not decades. A two-seater, three-wheeled “motorcycle” that drives like a high-performance car, and gets 46 mpg in the city. The photos are amazing. Seems to be designed for commuters. Not sure if you can get winter wheels for the […]

Chaotic Growth

Michael Arrington tackles the Web 2.0 definition: Web 2.0 is not a marketing slogan. It is the slogan of a people’s army. Our army. They are words that help us explain the explosion of conversations on the web, and justify our enthusiasm for innovation. Web 2.0 is why I came back from my exodus at […]

Competitive Pre-Pay

Interesting news: “CUPERTINO, California—November 21, 2005—Apple® today announced that it has reached long-term supply agreements with Hynix, Intel, Micron, Samsung Electronics and Toshiba to secure the supply of NAND flash memory through 2010. As part of these agreements, Apple intends to prepay a total of $1.25 billion for flash memory components during the next three […]

Jetta GLI Winter Wheels Redux

As I’ve said before, the winter steel wheel you want for your 2004 1/2+ Jetta GLI 1.8T is a Macpek X41657. Not mentioned previously is that the tire size is 205/55 R16. The post generated a lot of comments at the time, and now that winter is coming I’m getting another round of email on […]

Evolution of an idea

Back in the day, memepool was one of my very favorite websites. It was more or less anonymous, had a biting wit, posted very unusual links, and updated frequently so it made for a good daily browse. It was just a guy or two, sharing their cool links with whoever found them. The design remains […]

Any Questions?

jumping_in = { ‘bandwagon’ => ‘true’ ‘initial_impression’ => ‘good’ ‘brain_candy’ => ‘yum’ ‘project_ideas’ => ‘too_many’ ‘time_for_this’ => ‘false’ }

Entertainment ruminations

World of Warcraft, the “subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game,” by Blizzard Entertainment, now has 2 million subscribers. Each player has purchased the CD-ROM for $49.99. In addition, there are three monthly payment plans: The month-to-month subscription plan costs $14.99 per month, the three-month plan costs $13.99 per month, and the six-month plan costs $12.99 […]

Small is the new big

Seth Godin: Small is the new big: “Today, Craigslist (18 employees) is the fourth most visited site according to some measures. They are partly owned by eBay (more than 4,000 employees) which hopes to stay in the same league, traffic-wise. They’re certainly not growing nearly as fast. Small means the founder makes a far greater […]

Appropriate Automation

Last night MacFLAC 2.1.2 (OS X) was choking on filenames of this form: dmb2005-06-01.akg483.v3.d1t01.flac I suspected the additional dots in the filename were the problem, and there were 19 files to fix. Should I do it manually? Nah, let’s learn something instead. I fired up the new Apple “Automator” application for the very first time, […]