The difference between dreamers and doers
Have you ever noticed that great ideas & aspirations are everywhere? Yet, despite this, many viably good ideas don’t become reality and most of us do not accomplish what we want to achieve. Why? Because there are 2 types of people in this world: “dreamers” and “doers.” Dreamers think of countless ideas of how to make the world a better place. They see opportunity,...
How to build a strong brand.
It isn’t enough to make a product that has cool features or start a business that solves hard problems. Developing a strong brand requires establishing a unique voice and building an emotional connection with your target audience. How do you build this type of connection? 1. Don’t be boring. Be unforgettable. Mailchimp does a great job of making email (typically boring) feel...
The Pursuit of Excellence
Each day I try to teach myself how to operate on a world class level to be in the top 0.1% to be excellent beyond measure 10x more productive than the next great person but with that comes both the good and the bad… the awesome, exciting visionary work but also the boring dumb stuff so i find unique ways to motivate myself and get the mundane done as quickly and effectively as possible so i...
Train Yourself to be an Innovator
Have you ever wondered how you could become “more innovative?” I strongly believe that self-improvement starts with building the right habits. In this case, “building the right habits” means training yourself to innovate. There’s no other way around it. What does this look like in practice? First, place yourself at the intersection of something “cutting edge” that...
Give Yourself Time to Think
Giving yourself allotted time to think without distractions is essential for your own productivity and personal well being. This could take the form of sitting down with a pen and paper, or taking a long walk, or swimming - it should be a planned time when your mind is not occupied with any complex task. For me, I get this daily, for about an hour on the train going to and from work. And on...
Tracing With Your Smartphone
One day after a run in Brooklyn, I wanted know how many miles I ran on my route. But I didn’t want to piece together a solution using Google Maps & mental math. I was mobile, and wanted something visual and simple. I said to myself: “Self… I wish I had an app with a minimal map interface, where I could trace my finger on a map, in any combination of streets, and it would...
Jump Into Your Television
Have you ever wanted to jump into the TV like that kid from Charlie & The Chocolate Factory? Well get ready… it will be possible soon. The TVs of our near future will have apps on them, and amateur video streams will also be consumed as entertainment. As a viewer. you will have direct influence over what you’re watching, via live voting/polling & chat. Mark Suster of GRP...
How a Simple Door Lock Works
Ever wondered how locks work? A few months ago I came across a sturdy, abandoned door on the streets of Brooklyn. I ended up carrying it home, and using the door to make a painting. I removed the handle & lock on the door - finding a supporting structural cylinder. I liked it so much that I put it on a chain, and I’ve been wearing it around my neck for the past few weeks. Since the...
The "Broken Window" Theory
An apartment with a single broken window deteriorates quickly because when tenants see it, they tend to think that the management doesn’t care. This results in neglecting care of the facilities and the building decays rapidly into disrepair. A good example of this is New York City crime rates in the 1980s. The city’s inability to control even a small crime like graffiti was a signal...
Why did Stickam fail?
After 7 years of operation, Stickam is shutting down. A pioneer in the live video space, Stickam paved the way for live video sites looking to be more than seedy hubs for pornography. They were the originators. And now they are closing their doors. Why? Well, I certainly don’t know the exact reasoning, but I can make a few educated guesses as to why Stickam is throwing in the towel. ...
The "interest graph" is coming...
The interest graph represents the next frontier in “social.” Contrary to the social graph, which can be used to make inferences based on your social connections, the interest graph maps tastes, creating a network of people who share interests, but don’t necessarily know each other. Based on data such as: likes, follows, purchases, engagement behaviors, explicit and implicit...
Can a tablet/laptop combo save Apple?
Yesterday I was chatting with my colleague Erez Barkai (CTO of YouNow) about AAPL’s declining stock (currently at $446/share), and how they need to develop a new product, rather than squeezing the extra juice out of existing product lines. He suggested an idea for a new product, although I’m pretty sure that Apple wouldn’t go for it. Nevertheless, I thought it was a cool idea to...
3 Lessons From Snapchat: Get People To Share Your...
I have been talking about Snapchat a lot lately, and with good reason. Their recent growth is proving that they are doing something right - at the very least they are getting people to use the service and invite their friends. So what can we learn about how to increase a product’s virality from Snapchat? 1. Make it clear WHY users should invite their friends Snapchat elucidates that...
Why I Love Snapchat
I’ve been using Snapchat a lot lately. I’ve mentioned this before, but I think it’s a compelling product for a number of reasons. I’ve noticed recently that what has really captured my heart about Snapchat, is that it allows me to find real world canvases on which I can paint my imaginations, and quickly share them with my friends. For example, I’ll draw a genie...
Act Like an Owner
Working at a startup really teaches you how to produce quality work out of nothing. Rather than inheriting proven systems, best practices, and tools to help you be efficient, you have to build these structures yourself, extract key learnings from your work, and above all, execute. And because solving problems out of thin air, and thinking on one’s feet 24/7 isn’t natural for most, you...
Striving for Excellence: My Goals for 2013
As a follow up to my post “Life Hack: Build the Right Habits,” in which I discuss how powerful habit is in shaping who we are, I thought I would be transparent and share a few of my goals for 2013, show the measures I am taking to “build the right habits” and drink my own kool aid. I’m also taking a small, focused approach to these goals, to ensure that I make the most of them. Overall, my theme...
Life Hack: Build the Right Habits
Habits are incredibly powerful in determining our productivity levels, professional success, personal health, values, and more. And how “good” or “bad” they are is really shaped by the behaviors we exhibit. Therefore, by understanding that we as humans naturally create habits, and that habits are incredibly formative in your development as a person, you can mold yourself...
Let's Focus on Moments, Not Memories.
Facebook introduced an app called “Poke” yesterday. “Poke,” which seems to be a clone of Snapchat, lets you nudge your friends by sending them a poke, message, picture or a video - the catch is that the content only lasts for matter of seconds. There is no archiving of the event: simply a record that it happened in a blank activity feed. What I like about Snapchat (&...
What can LEGO teach us about making good products?
Since my childhood, I have been enamored of LEGO products. The iconic construction toys were instrumental in development of my identity as a “maker”, and have fundamentally shaped the way I see the world. I would lock myself in a room for hours and build vast civilizations. Things I read in books, historical events, space travel, medieval kingdoms - all became real to me. I built...
Why Computer Keyboards Are Dying
Lately I have been considering what a next-level computing experience looks like (an integrated hardware & software solution). I’ve been imagining the role of gestural mapping, holograms & 3d space, all of which I will likely discuss in more depth at some point. But before we get to the fancy stuff, there is one aspect of the “navigation” experience that is ripe for...
Nostalgia & "Vintage" Technologies
In the over-saturation of consumer technology & social media notifications, many people are finding themselves on digital sensory overload. There is a perceptible desire to return to the simplicity of the past - back before cell phones were navigation devices, jukeboxes, gaming consoles, televisions AND computers all at once… but were bricks instead. We used to keep physical photo...
Imaginations: Flexible Dual Screen Folding Tablet
a dual screen folding tablet with flexible and thin touch screens. The tablet would offer multiple orientations and use cases, allowing for truly diverse experiences.
Imaginations: Elegant Floating Orb of Light
a candle-lit lamp, levitated by repellent magnetic forces. two concentric quasi-spheres ensconced together to form a floating orb of light. the gently capricious flame dances around the spherical glass body, at once romantic and enchantingly graceful. simple in its form and elegant in its execution.
A Few of My Art Pieces
I make art from time to time - It’s something I can’t help but do, really. Recently I’ve been into found objects, wood, denim and installation art. Here are a few of my pieces that I’ve documented. Feedback is welcomed. — “A Learning Process” — a collaboration with Quinnton Harris — acrylic, oil stick, mixed media on a wooden door...
Why YouNow is a Big Deal
For those who don’t know, YouNow is a live video social network where anyone can broadcast live to the world & find an audience willing to watch them. It’s a cool new way to meet new friends and build a social following. At YouNow, we are using an intimate medium (live video) to bring people together from all over the world, creating an interactive social experience that fosters...
What is the meaning of "hustle"?
A friend asked me the other day, “Yo, why do people in tech/startups love to use the word hustle?” and I gave him an intuitive quip: “Because ‘hard work’ just doesn’t describe what we do.” Unfortunately, this was a poor answer, and I knew it was inadequate as soon as I said it. The question stuck with me for a while. And after probing around in my brain, I...
Flex the Muscles of Your Imagination.
Each day I try to conceptually invent something new, useful and imaginative - no matter how outlandish or impossible my ideas may seem at first glance. Since I haven’t actually built prototypes for these ideas, they’re not quite inventions - so I call them imaginations. I start by taking myself mentally to a place of calm and solitude where I can think without interruption. And in this...
Design Simplicity: Dyson Does it Better
Dyson (a British technology company that designs and manufactures vacuum cleaners, fans, and other tools) is a giant among men when it comes to creating sophisticated products that are easy to use. With their novel technology, Dyson is known for pushing the limit of what is physically possible, while removing common elements that are inherently problematic. Since Dyson was founded in 1993, they...
3d printing is the future of manufacturing.
My latest obsession is 3d printing. Back in April 2012 I was inspired by an article in the Economist called “The Third Industrial Revolution.” It describes how 3d printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a technological disruption in the making, and will change the way we build and interact with the world around us. Its power lies in the ability for individuals to...
Myspace Gets a Makeover
I took a look at the new Myspace a couple weeks ago, and I’m excited to check it out! A sleek new redesign with a modern, Web 2.0 feel makes Myspace seem sexy once again. The Pinterest-style boards / items are an interesting addition as well. And while it’s hard to get a feel for the service while watching someone else click through a prototype, I think they do a good job of creating...
Thy Product Dost Bore and Confuse Me!
~ Sir William End User ~ Sir Willam End User was an avid social user; thoroughly engaged when a new product properly scratched an itch and excited him, but equally fickle and capricious. Without an intuitive mental model to guide his thoughts, Sir William would find himself frustrated, bored & confused. After numerous disappointments by...
Mobile Live Video > Mobile Video
In light of Instagram’s success, many rising mobile video apps have endeavored to become the “Instagram for Video.” Companies like SocialCam, Viddy and more have shown prodigious growth in app downloads / monthly active users, but I wonder if these users will truly remain active after the initial buzz dies down. One thing Instagram really has going for them is that it...