• Some Practical Advice For Getting Profitable

    Ted Rheingold at Dogster has a great post up titled 10 Tips for Building a Profitable Business.  My favorite is #4: Spend at least 50% of your time selling.

    Many technology companies assume if they built great product it will sell itself yet that almost never happens. Usually we’ve found that incorrect assumption is a rationalization of people who love building product, but secretly loathe the business side of running a business. Such a strategy is a great way to lose a lot of money. So constantly ask yourself, are we spending 50% of our time selling? I bet you’ll always realize you’re focusing too much on the product and not enough on finding customers that want it. (Of course the inverse is true. If you love selling you need to make sure you spend at least 50% of your time building product or your sales effort will be for naught.)

    In most companies, too few people sell too little of the time.  If you are a member of the senior executive team of a company that is trying to become profitable, are you spending 50% of your time selling and generating revenue?  If not, why not?  And, if you have a board of directors, are your board members selling also?

  • Oblong – Seeing Is Believing

    Shared by Alex

    HCI matters!

    At Foundry Group, we’ve been talking about human computer interaction (HCI) as one of our key investment themes.  Our premise behind HCI is that the way humans interact with computers is going to change radically over the next 20 years.  If you roll forward to 2028 and look back to today, the idea of being tethered to a computer via a mouse and keyboard is going to be a "quaint" as using the punch card or a cassette tape as a primary data storage medium.

    Rather than try to explain Oblong, take a look (it’ll take three minutes – it’s worth it, I promise.)

    We invested in Oblong a year ago although, as I wrote in my post on their site titled Science Fact, my interaction with the people involved in the company dates back to 1984.  John Underkoffler, the original mind behind all of this, also writes about how Oblong came to be.

    Oblong’s products are real and shipping today – take a look at the commercial overview and well as the description of the various layers of g-speak.

    Now this is innovation with a capital I.

  • T. Moser : BREMEN TABLE

    Shared by Moah

    stunning. totally going on my wish list. 😛

    Published by  Published by xFruits

    Original source : http://thomasmoser.com/image.php?file_id=9587…

  • Meet NYC's Most Expensive Apartment: $65 Million

    Shared by Moah

    wow, the things filthy rich people do. Pay 65M dollars and you don’t even get a yard or your own building.

    mostexpensiveaptfloorplan.jpgAre you freaking kidding us?

    The New York Observer: A 78th-floor penthouse at the Time Warner Center came on today for $65 million, which works out to a bewildering $7,831 per square foot.

    A bigger problem is that the monthly maintenance fees are $13,361 and the monthly taxes are $16,332, which means it costs an extra $356,316 per year to live there. On the bright side, the master bedroom suite happens to have an office, his-and-hers dressing rooms, his-and-hers bathrooms, and a gym, too. Then the condo has a 41-foot-long living room with floor-to-ceiling windows; a red lacquered corner library/office (not the first red lacquered library in town); a dining room with a view of the Hudson River; a chef’s kitchen (“and pantry with full laundry center”); a screening room; and four other bedrooms, all with en-suite bathrooms.

    Records suggest the apartment was sold for less than $30 million two years ago.

    Looks like the Time Warner real estate is a better bet than its’ stock.

    Here’s what happened to the past most expensive pads in town:

    When an $80 million penthouse at 15 Central Park West came off the market late last month, it left a depressingly big hole in New York’s super-luxury apartment market. (As it happens, an 18th-floor duplex in the building is being quietly offered for $75 million, while Courtney Sale Ross’ sprawl at 740 Park is asking “over $60 million,” but neither are official listings, so they don’t quite count.) Not that anyone actually keeps track of such things (actually, of course they do), but a relatively unthrilling penthouse at The Mark was, thanks to its $60 million tag, briefly the most expensive apartment on the market in New York. That just changed.

    Illustration from Brown Harris Stevens via The New York Observer.

  • Google Earth's ancient Roman holiday

    Google Earth's new layer of ancient Rome offers virtual tourists the chance to explore an ancient city at its peak.

    (Credit: Google)

    Google Earth is extending its satellite perspective to paint a picture of what the ancient city of Rome looked like nearly two millennia ago.

    While satellites weren’t around to give us a bird’s eye view of the city in 320 A.D., Google’s “Ancient Rome 3-D” offers a 3D simulation of the ancient city at the height of its power. The new layer for the tool allows virtual time-traveling tourists to fly around the city and zoom in to explore ancient structures as they likely looked at the time, including the Colosseum, the Forum, and the Circus Maximus. Pop-up windows offer historical information.

    The project, which was unveiled Wednesday, is the first ancient city to be incorporated into Google Earth and was developed in collaboration with researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles and the University of Virginia.

    The computer graphics are based on the Plastico di Roma Antica, a plaster model that was created by Italian architect Italo Gismondi and finished three years before his death in 1974. (The model can be viewed at the city’s Museo della Civilta Romana.)

    The digitization project began in 1997 and took 10 years to complete. It then took 15 people the better part of a year to transfer the project to the Web.

    And apparently, they got it right.

    “What fascinates me most about this project is the accuracy of the details of the three-dimensional models,” Gianni Alemanno, Rome’s mayor, wrote in a blog posting on Google’s site. “It’s such a great experience to be able to admire the monuments, streets and buildings of Ancient Rome with a virtual camera that lets you go inside and see all the architectural details.”

    While the public’s interest in ancient Rome has exploded due in large part to movies like Gladiator and TV shows like HBO’s Rome, Google is promoting the new layer as an educational tool and has invited teachers to submit innovative lesson plans that incorporate the new feature.

    In other Google globetrotting, the company recently announced that after recent launches in France, Spain, and Italy, Google’s Street View is now available in six countries. Also, Street View cameras have been spotted in New Zealand.

  • The Lazy Man’s Guide to Getting Things Done

    Shared by Jim S


    Article by Zen Habits contributor Jonathan Mead.

    What if I told you that you could be totally lazy and irresponsible, and still accomplish just as much? What if you could slack off, loiter, and essentially do nothing and get more done than the average person. It’s a bit of an art, but you can master this skill with some practice.

    Some of these things may seem like a lot of work up front, but that’s the price you have to pay to lounge around all day.

    1. Be effective.

    The indigenous lazy tribesman knows the value of hard work. But he also knows that he can get more done easily and more efficiently by being effective. That means focusing on the things that matter. What matters more to you, having a color coded underwear filing system, or writing that world dominating book you’ve been talking about for the past 12 years?

    Focus on being effective, instead of trying do everything perfectly. Let things slide, let your house get a little messy, let your desk be a little less than immaculate. Let your email inbox *gasp* go unchecked for a day. Whatever it takes to focus on what actually matters.

    2. Do your research.

    This might not seem like something lazy people like to do, but it’s essential if you want to waste a lot of time doing things that, you know, you actually enjoy doing. If you want to work less, it’s important that you do your research. Study trends, follow what major movements are going on in your industry. If you know the right time and place to act, you can be miles above others that were simply working hard, hoping things would turn out for the best.

    3. Act from your gut.

    People that work hard and achieve little spend a lot of time thinking about the best course of action. They plan and plot incessantly. What eventually happens is these come up that they never could have planned for. The lazy man knows that planning is useful, but often overrated. It’s better to act from your gut then to have a highly detailed plant you’ll simply throw away later.

    4. Know people.

    A smart, lazy fellow understands the importance of connections. He knows that he can get more done by helping others and cooperating. It’s not always about what you can do, but about “who you know.” If you can focus on helping others as much as possible (being a mensch link) you’ll naturally create meaningful connections with other people. It’s always a lot easier to get help from other people who you’ve helped in the past.

    5. Ditch meetings and other things that don’t matter.

    Meetings are usually unproductive and a waste of time for everyone. They’re usually irrelevant to most of the people involved. The objective of most meeting can usually be handled with a simple email or phone call. If the meeting doesn’t require high level, strategic decision making, opt out whenever possible.

    Whenever possible, cull whatever is not working. There’s certain things that just don’t make much of a difference when you spend twice as much time on them. There’s also things that don’t make sense to do at all. Try to focus only on things that produce the most results. Cut out the rest.

    6. Focus on less.

    If you’re lazy like me, you probably don’t want to spend unnecessary time churning out ineffective work. It’s much better to work on one amazing idea, than 20 mediocre ones. Focus on producing less. Don’t sacrifice quality to fill an arbitrary quota.

    7. Allow things to happen.

    Trying to force things to go your way is not only stressful, it’s not very intelligent. It’s better to guide things along, than trying to marshal them in like a dictator. Try to let things happen, instead of making them happen. Remember that a small rudder directs even the most giant ship.

    8. Don’t do what works.

    The number one dream killer is doing what works. We follow a template of what has worked for other people. But just because climbing a corporate ladder works, it doesn’t mean it’s the best idea for you. If you’re smart and you want to be lazy, you’ll follow your own path. You’ll work from your strengths, instead of trying to follow a predetermined pattern of effectiveness.

    It’s a lot easier to apply your unique strengths, then to force yourself into an arbitrary mold.

    These things might seem like they require diligent work, and they do. But they also allow you to free up the time to be as lazy and unproductive as you want to be.

    This article was written by Zen Habits contributor Jonathan Mead of the Illuminated Mind blog. For more ways to defend your laziness grab a free subscription to Illuminated MInd.

    Read elsewhere: How Getting Nothing Done Can Make You More Productive.
    If you liked this article, please share it on del.icio.us, StumbleUpon or Digg. I’d appreciate it. 🙂