Want a break from tech?
Take a journey with me as I learn to take insanely great pictures.
three wifi flight passes for $6.50 each
Buy three (or more) flight pass codes for $6.50 each, and sell them for more to passengers on the flight.
I like little exercises like this (like when I hacked a Vegas cab line), because being a salesperson is uncomfortable. Creating value can be a scary, anxiety ridden process. You have to talk to people you don't know, who aren't expecting to talk to you, and often whose first reaction isn't welcoming. You have to overcome all these obstacles and get them to see the value you're bringing.
That's why while making $20 off a couple of passes isn't a material amount of money, it's very material in the skills you need to use and hone to sell other, more expensive services or goods.
I'm here at Google Ventures in Mountain View, CA where Bambi Francisco is interviewing Aaron, the CTO of LivingSocial. Aaron is discussing shipping product at massive scale, JSIO (watch the video to learn what it means) and what it's like to move from DC to SF, where he's now spinning up a team. Coincidentally, since LivingSocial is based in DC, I also wrote a post & video of the CEO Tim two years ago when I was still in DC.
Here also is a video I took of Balaji, the CEO of DabKick, a company that had a table at the Vator event. Their very cool photo sharing app is available to try now. Here's a video:
Here in San Francisco, almost everyone I know has iPhones. But there are a whole lotta people somewhere in the world with Android devices.
According to this article from ExtremeTech, Android shipments are up from 700,000 total in 2008, to 550,000,000 in 2012. Yes, five hundred and fifty million devices shipped worldwide running Android, with 136 million in Q3 2012 alone.
With Blackberry's penetration cut in half, and Symbian's even worse, it's now a two horse race between Android and iOS . And although in the Valley all you hear about is the iPhone, and everyone's building apps for the iPhone, a peek beyond to the rest of the world showcases the dominance of Android worldwide .
In fact, if you'd like to experience just how easy it is, you can buy Sam a beer to see how he's integrated Helium into his personal blog.
PS Sam, you owe me a beer. :)
Larry Wachowski is now Lana Wachowski. She -- previously "he" -- is one of the directors of The Matrix trilogy and Cloud Atlas.
I've always been pro equal rights for everyone, but this video by Lana got me to take a step further, and donate $50 to the Human Rights Campaign. It's a very moving speech about how Lana never felt like she quite fit in growing up, and why she's now speaking publicly about it.
Thanks, Lana, for spurring me to take action in a cause I believe in.
It seems that politicians these days can't rally to take action on even the smallest decisions, so it's easy to forget about the bold leaders of our past.
But I saw something awesome today in Michael Porath's Manifest Destiny project.
In 1803, Thomas Jefferson executed the Louisiana Purchase. We all learned about it in school. But what's incredible -- and what I didn't learn in school -- is that the size of the land purchased was unknown at the time it was bought.
So, think about that for a second the next time you hear politicians bickering over immaterial issues. Thomas Jefferson paid $15MM in 1803 for a body of land that he had no idea the size of. Now that takes brass cojones and it's a great reminder to follow your gut, because what he was really buying was the removal of French influence in the region, and he knew that alone justified the purchase price.
The CEO of a mobile gaming app just sent me the email above. It's genius.
Up to 1,000 options for beta testing his app.
Now that's a way to crowdsource your bug and beta testing!
If you're an iOS user who likes playing games and you'd like to request an invite to get these options too, please post in the comments below and I'll make an intro. (Make sure you've set your profile up correctly, as I'll message you privately).
Last night I met Ray, the CEO of Blue Octopus Matrix at a Silicon Vikings event where I spoke on a panel about the impact mobile is having on social as we know it.
We were chatting before the event started, and Ray whipped out two Android phones running a network sniffer app created by his company, which showed in a very striking visual manner the latency and speed differences between AT&T and Sprint LTE 4G networks.
The verdict: Sprint -- at least in Palo Alto CA that day -- was horrible. But it's not in just one location that I've noticed this -- a friend with a Sprint iPhone5 and I did a SpeedTest when we were in the DC area last week. I was getting 31mbps on my AT&T iPhone 5 and he was getting 0.3mbps on his Sprint iPhone5.
Sprint might be offering unlimited data. But the pipe that serves that data appears to be about the size of a straw.
Almost everyone I know is busy as hell. Running companies, contracting, doing creative work, and keeping a huge mix of projects going on.
Keeping busy is good, but sometimes it turns into a tragedy where you've got your head down doing work and duties, but you never get some of that real juice out of your life that you're wanting.
And many of the busy people I know -- myself included -- periodically have a day where they snap back to reality and really feel it for the first time in a while. "Oh god, I'm out of shape, my energy is low, I feel like crap, I'm not doing some of the key projects I love, I'm passing up a lot of really big opportunities stuck in the grind, I'm neglecting my hobbies and what I want to train... and for what?"
This applies just as much to entrepreneurs as people on salary, maybe even moreso. It's very easy as an entrepreneur or executive to get caught up in running around, getting stuck in the "errands" of business, dealing with what's on fire, and really neglecting the really expansionary projects that aren't urgent, your health, and maybe worst of all -- forgetting to have fun.
Is there an answer? Read on...
Want to see more photos I've taken? Visit my photo gallery.
UPDATE 12/13: The Lumix GX7 is the successor to the Lumix GX1 that I review (and love) below. It's pricey ($828 on Amazon or $998 with lens) because it's new, and you can now get a screaming deal on the GX1 (as low as $227). The two big advantages of the GX7 are 25% less noise in pics + wifi capabilities (including app remote control). I haven't made the switch yet, but I did do a more in-depth comparison on the two cameras here. If you do, let me know what you think in the comments below!
My wife and I are on a quest to learn how to take insanely great pictures. We are just starting this journey and I invite you to share it with us if photography is a passion of yours. The picture above is one of our first attempts at taking the kinds of photos that have a "wow" factor that transcends a regular photo. The photo was taken by my wife; that's my friend Keoni on the left and me on the right.