Mark

Source: http://lifehacker.com/5915568/impossible-is-not-a-fact–its-an-opinion

"Impossible Is Not a Fact. It's an Opinion."“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” ~ Muhammad Ali

We live in a big world filled with billions of people. It’s hard to believe you can make a dent. It’s hard to believe anything you can do will be remembered. It’s easier to say something is impossible, or at least extremely unlikely. Maybe it is a little delusional to believe you can make a mark on the world in spite of possibility. Then again, nobody who made a mark gave up that hope. Everyone had periods of doubts. Everyone considers giving up sometimes, but then you just have to remember why you tried so hard in the first place. Impossible is your own fabrication, or a thought you’ve inherited from someone else. Ultimately, you decide what’s impossible, and therefore nothing has to be.

Impossible | The Buried Life

Illustration, “Relativity,” by MC Escher.

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Monday, June 4th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5882648/purify-your-water-with-a-burnt-stick

Purify Your Water With a Burnt StickIt uses the same principle as your Brita filter to purify water, but Black+Blum’s Eau Good bottle does it with way more style using a stick of charcoal that’s always visible through the bottle’s lovely curves.

Known as Binchotan, the black stick is a type of carbon made from tree branches, which the Japanese have been using to soften and purify water for centuries. It can even reduce the amount of chlorine in your H2O, though the passive process does require quite a few hours to work its magic. So it’s recommended you leave the Eau Good bottle sitting overnight before drinking. We recommend staring at the bottle while it works.

To prevent the charcoal from floating to the surface, the $20 plastic bottle has been designed with a slight bulge on the side, keeping the $4 Binchotan stick submerged at all times. It’s promised to work for up to 6 months before it needs to be replaced, while a quick 10 minute boil at the 3 month mark will help ensure its effectiveness. And when it does stop working, you can of course just toss the charcoal stick in your garden, where mother nature will recycle it for you. [Black+Blum via bookofjoe]

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Monday, February 6th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

OpenSky Hits 1 Million Users And More Than $1.5 Million In Monthly Sales

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/opensky-1-million-users-2012-1


John Caplan OpenSky

Fab and Turntable weren’t the only pivot success stories of 2011. Another e-commerce site, OpenSky, went from struggling to successful in about nine months.

OpenSky was founded in 2009 by John Caplan as an e-commerce arm for bloggers. Influential writers could create storefronts alongside their content, but it wasn’t a fruitful business model for OpenSky.

“Last year we were dead in the water,” says Caplan. “We weren’t selling very much. When people are reading they aren’t buying things; they don’t have their credit cards in hand.”

Caplan decided to pivot his startup. OpenSky relaunched in April as a personalized shopping site.  Now e-commerce isn’t secondary to content on OpenSky; it’s king.

The new OpenSky operates like Twitter. It works with 80 industry influencers and celebrities, like Martha Stewart, Bobby Flay and Alicia Silverstone, to create lists of their favorite items.  Users can follow the influencers and buy the endorsed products.  OpenSky holds all the inventory, ships items to users, and splits the profit 50/50 with influencers. Caplan says none of OpenSky’s influencers are investors. They just really like the product.

“It’s like Twitter but our merchandisers [the celebrities who pick the items OpenSky sells] are making tens of thousands of dollars every month from their followers,” says Caplan. Martha Stewart, for example, has 83,549 followers on OpenSky just waiting to buy a recommended rolling pin or mixing bowl.

So far, OpenSky’s pivot has worked wonders. In April, its first relaunch month, OpenSky generated about $66,000 in sales. Last month it generated well over $1.5 million. “Revenue has been increasing 50% month over month,” says Caplan.

In October the 87-person startup raised $30 million. Today, Caplan told us OpenSky crossed the 1 million user mark. About 68% of users are repeat buyers, purchasing new OpenSky items within eight weeks.

We asked Caplan what his margins are like. Despite the 50/50 split, he says they’re pretty good.

“Brands are excited about OpenSky because they want to be endorsed by celebrities,” says Caplan. While brands can’t pay for distribution on OpenSky, they generate a lot of sales when celebrities decide to post their items. Caplan likens OpenSky to Pinterest.  The brands’ excitement makes it easy for OpenSky to purchase, store and sell celebrity-endorsed items at reasonable prices and margins.

Please follow SAI on Twitter and Facebook.

Join the conversation about this story »

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Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012 news No Comments

On your mark, get set, GOMC!

Source: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/12/on-your-mark-get-set-gomc.html

Professor registration for the 2012 Google Online Marketing Challenge (GOMC) is now open.
GOMC is a global online marketing competition open to professors and their students in any higher education institution. Professors sign up for the contest and then serve as guides and mentors to their student participants throughout the competition. Over the course of three weeks, student teams are tasked with developing and running a successful online advertising campaign for real businesses or nonprofit organizations using Google AdWords. In the process, they sharpen their advertising, consulting and data analysis skills. (Note: student registration will open on January 31, 2012 and students can only enter if their professors have signed up already and must sign up under their own professors).

After running their online advertising campaign for three weeks, students summarize their experiences in campaign reports, which they submit online. Based on the performance of the campaigns and the quality of the reports, Googlers on the GOMC team and a panel of independent academics select the winning teams.

The global winners and their professor will receive a trip to Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. The regional winners (and their professor) will win a trip to local Google offices, and the social impact award winners will be able to make donations to nonprofit organizations that were part of the GOMC competition.

Last year’s challenge had 50,000 participants representing 100 countries, and this year we expect even more. For more information, visit www.google.com/onlinechallenge. Professors, here is a chance to help your students sharpen their marketing skills and make a global impact!

Posted by AJ Pascua, GOMC Team


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Wednesday, December 28th, 2011 news No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5574937/starbucks-is-slowly-reviving-the-coffee-nerding-of-america

Starbucks Is Slowly Reviving the Coffee Nerding of AmericaThe Clover was a nerd’s way to make coffee. Every parameter precisely, digitally controlled, for the most of tweaky of experimentation—or you can make the exact same cup over and over. Then Starbucks bought the company.

What happened next: Waves of independent coffee shops ditched their $10,000 Clover machines, for practical and philosophical reasons. Starbucks rolled them out to 50ish stores across the Northeast, Seattle and San Francisco. Then expansion stopped. That was almost two years ago.

Starbucks’ first Clover showed up in New York around two months ago, in a nearly 20-year-old location that’s been converted into a concept store. The thaw is beginning. Starbucks plans to finally expand the Clover’s footprint gradually over the next 6-8 months, as they figure out how to integrate the machine into the natural rhythm of stores—which is basically dominated by Frappuccinos these days, not coffee.

In a way, it’s a hard sell. The kind of people who would be most interested in coffee made via Clover, designed to pull the most out of a coffee—so shitty coffee would taste shittier—don’t go to Starbucks. Starbucks is so reviled by people who actually like coffee that they’ve experimented with burying the Starbucks name two pilot stores in Seattle which are designed to look more like the kind of place that serves Intelligentsia or Stumptown coffee. So it’s heartening to see them try to live up a bit more to the ideals of caring about coffee and how it’s served.

Starbucks Is Slowly Reviving the Coffee Nerding of AmericaFor instance, while 30 days is what Starbucks considers the expiration date on beans in a store—16 days longer than any self-conscious shop would serve them—if you order a cup made with Clover, you’re far more likely to get beans roasted within the 2-week mark. (In part because there are limited quantities of some coffees served using Clover, like the Jamaica Blue Mountain they’re offering starting tomorrow.)

They’re also making use of their spin on Clovernet, which was one of the big hype points of the machine: Shops and their baristas could share, upload and download recipes for coffees made via Clover. Starbucks pushes recipes for each coffee it serves on the Clover—around 4-6—to stores via a similar network, so there are custom parameters for each coffee. African coffees get a different treatment versus South American ones, as they should.

For all the technology in the Clover, though, it ultimately comes down to the guy (or girl) handling it. Hopefully, it’s someone nerdy enough to know what the Clover was before it landed in front of them at Starbucks.

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Monday, June 28th, 2010 Uncategorized No Comments

Sony LCD 3DTV Gets Disappointing First Look

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5561454/sony-lcd-3dtv-gets-disappointing-first-look

Sony LCD 3DTV Gets Disappointing First LookGary Merson at HD Guru has seen Sony’s new KDL-55HX800 LCD 3DTV live and in person. His first take? Even a slight tilt of the head makes you see double and lose the 3D effect. Uh oh.

Merson found a whole range of things to be troubled about in his time with the Sony: double-vision, color shift, relatively shallow depth. But the main issue—as Mark reported at this year’s CES—is that LCD and OLED screens just aren’t up to 3D. At least not in the way that plasma displays clearly are.

It’s also worth mentioning that the HX800 Merson viewed is actually the lowest end 3D model Sony offers, and in fact is technically a “3D-ready” set, meaning that it uses a separate sync transmitter instead of the integrated 3D functionality of the LX900 series. We won’t know how big, if any, a difference that makes until we’re able to compare the two side by side. But for now, the early returns suggest that plasma’s still the early king of 3D technology. [HD Guru]

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Sunday, June 13th, 2010 news No Comments

A sure sign Facebook’s already in trouble – meteoric rise and meteoric fall coming

Facebook Suicide is on the rise (people leaving Facebook and not coming back)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/well-these-new-zuckerberg-ims-wont-help-facebooks-privacy-problems-2010-5

According to SAI sources, the following exchange is between a 19-year-old Mark Zuckerberg and a friend shortly after Mark launched The Facebook in his dorm room:

Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard

Zuck: Just ask.

Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS

[Redacted Friend’s Name]: What? How’d you manage that one?

Zuck: People just submitted it.

Zuck: I don’t know why.

Zuck: They “trust me”

Zuck: Dumb fucks.

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5537408/the-devolution-of-facebook-privacy

Google Suggest — top searches starting with “how do i… “

Ecosystem of Apps for Facebook is already overtaken by iPad Apps as evidenced by search volume around the 3 terms.

NYTimes: chart of Facebook Privacy Options – too complex for most people to figure out and use appropriately.

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/what-diaspora-should-do-with-their-newfound-fkyoufacebook-money-2010-5#ixzz0oFA1oSKT

Charlie O’Donnell: “By the time of this post is done, Diaspora, the web decentralization play from four NYU/Courant students in New York, will undoubtedly have $100,000 raised on Kickstarter.  Over and above that, it seems like they’re on a clear path towards a million dollars.  Think I’m poking the bear?  I’m dead serious.  You watch.  A week from now, they get to seven digits.  Why?  Because the ire over Facebook’s privacy issues, platform aggression, etc. is real.  If you’re concerned about Facebook, these guys are your heroes.”

AdAge Poll from May 19, 2010.


My Previous article:  Facebook is going down in unique users, visits, and time spent

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Monday, May 17th, 2010 digital 1 Comment

Mark Cuban foretells Netflix demise, sees a future filled with on-demand video

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2010/05/07/mark-cuban-foretells-netflix-demise-sees-a-future-filled-with-o/

To call Mark Cuban eccentric would be akin to describing the ocean as wet, but what’s not so often acknowledged about the Dallas Mavericks owner is the sharp mind and commercial nous that have gotten him to the position of hiring and firing millionaire ball players. One of Mark’s recent blog posts, entitled “The future of TV … is TV,” got the attention of NewTeeVee, who sought to debunk his contention that VOD (video on demand) services from cable operators would become the primary means by which we consume digital media in the future. They cite the growing success story of Netflix’s digital distribution model, as well as the 12 million hours of March Madness video consumed via CBS’ web portal, in arguing that web streaming is indeed the great new hotness.

Mark’s response tackles Netflix head on, and points out that the company’s rapid growth is about to start working against it, with movie studios and other content providers likely to jack up prices and demand further concessions from the streaming service as it turns into a real competitor to cable companies. According to him, Netflix is presently getting its content at prices that are unsustainable, and his prognostication is that content owners seeking bigger levies — together with the expansion of VOD choice, which he sees as foolproof compared to the overwhelming complexity that web streaming entails — will lead to Netflix passing costs on to the consumers and losing out to cable operators. Irrespective of whether you agree with him, the whole exchange is well worth a read. Use the links below to get filled in.

Mark Cuban foretells Netflix demise, sees a future filled with on-demand video originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 07 May 2010 10:09:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink CNET  |  sourceBlog Maverick, NewTeeVee (1), (2)  | Email this | Comments

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Friday, May 7th, 2010 news 1 Comment

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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