Continuous Deployment (via Timothy Fitz)


Alex has just written a refactoring of some website backend code. Since it was a small task, it's committed and Alex moves on to the next feature.   When the code is deployed in production two weeks later it causes the entire site to go down. A one-character typo which was missed by automated tests caused a failure cascade reminiscent of the bad-old-days at twitter. It takes eight hours of downtime to isolate the problem, produce a one character … Read More

via Timothy Fitz

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Jeff Jonas Video on How Data Makes Corporations Dumb (via GigaOM)


Jeff Jonas Video on How Data Makes Corporations Dumb Jeff Jonas, chief scientist at IBM (s IBM) Entity Analytics Group and an IBM Distinguished Engineer, thinks the world has a big problem with big data and that problem is only going to get bigger. Jonas arrived at IBM after the Big Blue bought his 19-year-old company, Systems Research in January 2005. Jonas & SRD helped develop a surveillance intelligence system for Las Vegas casinos that took in reams of data to identify card counters, includ … Read More

via GigaOM

The secret weapon in the battle to retain a VC’s attention in a pitch meeting


There’s a secret weapon in the battle to retain a VC’s attention in a pitch meeting. And its hiding in plain sight. It can be found in every VC conference room from coast to coast, yet its rarely used.

Sure, you can follow the pitching forumla found on most VC websites. My friend, Mark Suster, even bulleted it out for everyone in his post yesterday:

  • Bio of top 3 people in the company.  Short sentence, bullet points, easy to read.
  • Problem definition (with the market … it’s why you exist)
  • How you solve that problem conceptually at the highest level
  • Details on the solution
  • [Demo could go here]
  • Why you believe there is economic value in what you do / how you think you can monetize one day
  • Competition
  • Progress to date of your company (when started, key milestones, what shape is the product in, any pilot / beta customers, financing)
  • Market sizing
  • Potential future exit possibilities
  • How much are you raising, how long will it last, key milestones you plan to hit before the next round

Viola, you have the perfectly scripted pitch meeting. Just like everybody else. 

I can almost certainly guarantee that by the time you’ve hit the 5th bullet in Mark’s list, the VC on the other side of the table has checked their phone at least once. 

The secret weapon, that I’ve found, to combat VC’s phone flipping ways (of which I’m terribly guilty) is use of the white board.

There’s just something magical about the things. They’re stinky, they’re messy, they’re imperfect- just like entrepreneurship.

When an entrepreneur steps to the whiteboard the energy in the room totally changes. There’s movement, there’s action, there’s something happening that requires attention. The conversation moves from consuming images on a screen in lean back mode, to active engagement. Half baked ideas get refined, new ideas emerge and a two way dialoge develops where a one way monologue once was.

The VC you’re pitching will be bought into the conversation in a very different way as well. They’re now co-creating with you. Brainstorming with you. Drawing on their experiences when they were entrepreneurs or executives scribbling on white boards just like you.

Maybe I’ve been huffing too many fumes from dry erase markers, but I don’t think any discussion on pitch strategies is complete without incorporating white board time into the meeting. 

Re-blogged via brycedotvc

A designer’s job is to package and curate and convey information in a compelling visual organization. Our entire goal is to create rich experiences that digitally instantiate the magazine.


Is “Undesigned” the Next Great Web Trend?

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Quora represents a bigger technology trend, which is the layering of an interest graph on top of people’s social graph


Social Q&A site Quora may be the current darling of Silicon Valley, but not a lot of people beyond the insular tech startup world actually use it yet. That will start to change in 2011, which I believe will be the year Quora has its Twitter moment and start to really take off. Quora represents a bigger technology trend, which is the layering of an interest graph on top of people’s social graph. On Quora, you can follow not only people, but topics and questions. It defines the world by your interests, not just the people you may know or admire. This is a powerful concept and is not limited to Quora (both Twitter and Facebook also want to own the interest graph), but Quora is designed from the ground up to expose and help you explore your interests. It is addictive, and as it reaches a critical mass of early users, this will be the year it emerges from its shell much like Twitter did in 2007.

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What are the innovations for publishers, marketers and developers to grow and engage their communities and drive website visitor time, engagement and traffic?


What are the innovations for publishers, marketers and developers to grow and engage their communities and drive website visitor time, engagement and traffic?
You are welcome to join this discussion on Quora

Some examples:

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What are the best solutions for dealing with information overload?


Beth discovered some wonderful discussion threads about one of her (and my) favorite topics:  Information Overload and Strategies for Coping.  As George Siemens points out the issue of information overload is not new.   His definition of the problem is that it gets in the way of sustained mindfulness in order to get something meaningful done.

What is the solution?  Is it human (habits and skills) or machine (technology/software) or a combination of both?

              

Related articles

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Finding Balance: Designing for Solitude


The world we experience every day bombards us with requests for connectivity from many angles, requests that it seems we feel pressured to respond to. And some of us have no doubt had some responsibility for designing it that way. But is the inability to switch off and disconnect losing us anything valuable as humans?

Ben will talk through a couple of stories from both history and the present day that suggest that considering what happens when the button is in the off position might be just as important for us.

Related Article:

(Source:  youtube.com)

Sharing in 2010


AddThis released an interesting infographic with some statistics about users sharing habits. Among the impressive numbers: 44% of shares occur through Facebook, up 33% from last year (due both to the platform’s record growth and the release of the ‘Like’ button.)

 Shares over Gmail increased by 395%, outpacing StumbleUpon, Facebook and Twitter. Shares via MySpace and Friendster dropped 20% and 31% respectively. While the data gathered from AddThis widget are by no means comprehensive, the percentages should be relatively accurate given the sample size and the number of sharing services supported.

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ProductDB aims to be the World’s most comprehensive and open source of product data


ProductDB aims to be the World’s most comprehensive and open source of product data. Not only do we want to create a page for every product in the world, we want to connect the underlying structured data together into one huge interlinked dataset. All the data is published as Linked Data

ProductDB follows the principles of Linked Data which encourage interlinking of related datasets. ProductDB appears on the Linking Open Data cloud diagram which illustrates the connections of the Linked Data web.

The following diagram shows the Linked Datasets that ProductDB links to. These links are owl:sameAs declarations indicating that a product or resource in ProductDB can be considered the same as a resource in the target dataset. By following these links, a much more comprehesive description of the product can be obtained.

             

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