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Ben Barren - Confessions of a Mad Man » The Technology Sometimes, it doesn’t a work.

The Technology Sometimes, it doesn’t a work.

If there is one benefit of employment other than rent a crowd friends, centrally located offices, a suggested social life, long list of can-do acquaintances, and importantly a transfer of substantial funds at the same time every 14/28/31 days : It’s that they provide or should The Technology. Or Just Say No in Less than 60 Seconds like RSS/Glue VC Mogul Brad Feld.

Michael Wolff, the 1.0 legendary deconstructer + protagonist in Vanity Fair on Politico : “For two generations—since Watergate, let us say—politics has been about opposing Washington. The true modern American ideology was to believe that the federal government, if not evil, was grossly ineffective and pathetically out of touch. Practicing politics, or writing about it, was a job not for the best and brightest but for the narrow-minded and obtuse. Even Washington reporters, once the zenith of the trade, became stodgy relics. Washington was not even the center of power—finance, media, and technology had much more immediate effects on people’s lives than government did. A whole language grew up to characterize the oddness, and the emotional limitations, of the Beltway-centric: “wonks” or, their own, self-loathing favorite, “political junkies” or, that most merciless characterization of Washington, “Hollywood for the ugly.” Even cable television, with its left and right divide, was not interested in politics per se, or in Washington, but in the clash of opposing sides.”

True Blood this week really kicked into gear - The Vampires have Sookie, and a competitor via Scene Source : “Bill, Eric and the rest of the vampires are caught off-guard when a creature savagely attacks Sookie. A shy Hoyt finds himself attracted to Jessica as she makes her first visit to Merlotte’s. Sarah and Steve try to boost the confidence in Jason in his calling. Meanwhile, Sam considers moving to new scenery, and Tara is shocked by the revelry at Maryann’s latest bacchanal.”

@m0nty is on2 the inquisition.

So whether it’s a Laptop that works; Mobile with unlimited usage; A company car with petrol, insurance, crash repairs and late vintage low kilometres lack of style - the thing that does suck about not doing The Devil Deal (or doing a similar transactional version consulting) is The Technology isn’t just provided. Nor can u just hand back that Blackberry when u drop it in The Toilet : Ocean or just leave your laptop at some sponsor benefacted Internet Advertising Drinx.

If not Bing it’s Bling via VentureBeat : “Bling Nation has come up with a way to introduce pay-by-cellphone transactions in the U.S. for the purchase of physical goods at stores. That, in turn, has enabled the company to raise $8 million in funding, which is being announced today. Investors include Lightspeed Venture Partners, Meck and Camp Ventures. The hope is to disrupt the inefficient $60 billion credit card purchasing industry.”

Some prequel Vintage Nike’s for ya or some totally Factory413_Blog modern Supras (grey wool Cubans or white leather Thunders please!)

“Hello Mr IT : I Need some True Blood Type:O / a replacement Laptop / Blackberry” are not exactly words u utter. Rather how the fk could I have destroyed my 3rd Apple Keyboard within the last year and why did my Blackberry Curve go AWOL a day before the Iphone 3GS came out and the last keyboard died. Not to mention the primary iMac 24″ iMac sitting in the boot of the car needing to be repaired but not getting round to dropping it off at The CompNow Service Centre for fear of sticker shock servicing.

Weeds new season is getting fun and I think Scott Rafer is totally right : “I spent from 1992 to 2006 presuming VC-backed startups were the business I was in, and I worked towards understanding that system. After all that time, two things happened to radically change my outlook.

  1. I finally figured out that one should only raise VC if one is already rich,
  2. I also figured out that being boring and late has better risk|reward characteristics than being sexy and early, and
  3. Cloud computing arrived, making VC deal terms economic only as growth capital for Internet startups, leaving the early-stage field clear to angels (and bootstrapping)…”

Nurse Jackie is kicking along very nice - Like a female updated House with a bit of Dexter thrown in. John Hartigan of News Ltd is well um, not understanding the value of linkage in the new economy. Um lets put that Google Genie back in the bottle, not via Mumbrella : “How many journalists in this room have written a story recently that was original, exclusive, highly relevant and genuinely useful to your audience? I’m not saying there haven’t been stories like this. But, there have been too few.”

I enjoy a bit of Saving Grace minus the God/Avenging Angel conversations. But maybe Mr Hartigan might want to listen to Mr Fred Wilson who far more gets the aggregator linking to specialists with some curation + opinion underpinning the audience orientation AKA the future of the newspaper business : “If I was starting The Village Voice today, I would not print anything. I would not hire a ton of writers. I would build a website and a mobile app (or two or three). I would hire a Publisher and a few salespeople. I would hire an editor and a few journalists. And then I’d go out and find every blog, twitter, facebook, flickr, youtube, and other social media feed out there that is related to downtown NYC and I would pull it all into an aggregation system where my editor and journalists could cull through the posts coming in, curate them, and then publish them. I’d do a bit of original reporting on the big stories but most of what I’d do would be smart curation, with a voice, and an opinion.. At Huffington Post, I believe the formula is create 20% of the content and link to the rest. I think you could make this model work with a 50/50 creation/aggregation model but it would have to be the right locale, the right journalists, and the right advertising market.”

Mumbrella is trying to be nice to Hartigans outdated views on newspapers vs blogs : “I hope and believe that newspapers survive these strange days. But the comments from Campbell Reid and Harto suggest that News Ltd is currently looking the wrong way. Fortunately, there are many within News Ltd who are engaged with social media and excited about the opportunities it offers. I sincerely hope they get heard in the boardroom.”

A Post Hedi Slimane Kris Van Assche Talent Street Styling on Fashion Week Euro Trains : “Dear Shaded Viewers, I have to admit I was a bit overwhelmed when Kris Van Assche’s Argentinian Boys wanted to have a photo with me when we ran into them on the metro.  Sonny and I were leaving Kris’s show on our way to preview Kim Jones’ collection for Dunhill.”

Did I mention I did pay $69 today and got the new Apple Wired Mini Sized no Numeric Pad (or annoyingly no page up or page down) I’d camerapic the Apple ‘Keyboard’ box with my Lumix Leica lens but that fell thru my Diesels at Federation Square or I’d twitpic the compact keyboard via handset but the email on my blackberry is down and I’m typing this on Generation One PowerPC iMac. So occasionally I just ponder the daily and annual price of my soul and think back on the 15 work laptops I went thru in the 90’s. “Mr IT… I need some new technology*….”

If Newspapers had half a clue they would have launched - Instead they prefer to cry and ask for grants / rip off their advertisers / make speeches / plan their retirements / milk the rivers of gold before they make their sea change. They certainly arent trying to do what two of the black amex tech bloggers circa 2004/5 Engadget/Gizmodo are doing : “Well, for starters it’s the gadget site we’ve always wanted. We both love devices and spend an insane amount of time playing with them, writing about them, talking about them, and thinking about them. We’ve waited for years for somebody to make a gadget site we could go hang out at all day – when no one did it, we just decided to do it ourselves and make sure that it went beyond everything else out there.. While the core concepts that drive the site — gadgets and community – will always stay the same, what we’re most excited about is the fact that we can use gdgt as the foundation for building tons of new features and tools for the gadget world.”

* MacBook Pro 13″, Canon G10 compact camera, iPhone 3GS or Blackberry Curve 2.0 or Palm Pre, Apple 24″ Monitor, Western Digital WD HD TV Media Player with 500G MyPassport Silver Ext.HDD - would be a start.

Hung is a kewl new HBO show that is paired with True Blood if u have a Green Card, about a gym teacher who starts to trick to pay for his burntout house + gothic emo children. Anyway the pilot was fun as would Scoble vs Arrington be in the Real Time Conference debate via Scobleizer where they will “have a discussion about what he sees as a frightening trend: that mobs are being formed faster and with more “real” participants now thanks to real time technologies, in particular FriendFeed. Me? I see that there’s a good part in crowd behavior. I’ve seen charities raise tons of money because of crowds very quickly. News distribution is changing pretty radically thanks to crowd behavior. I noticed that I started watching more TV because the crowd would talk about interesting shows (this weekend, for instance, I saw tons of people talking about the BET Awards). But there is a downside to mobs. People do get hurt and lives are getting threatened. So, we’ll try to come up with some suggestions for FriendFeed to see if we can find some way to help curtail mobs.”

Wings + Horns is on my list of one of those brands (above grey jacket please) which I’d buy if I A. Worked Hard B. Sold Out C. Made It (D. $106M Lotto Not ! I swear Melbourne and probably all of Australia went crazy with this tenth of a billion AUD$ win which was split 50/50 between 2 non-Vic parties. Via HRCollective : “Wings+Horns has one of my favorite collections this fall. Not that many ‘fashion journalist’ can get too excited about the flat front chinos, wool M2-K Military jackets for classic Wings+Horns zip/button flannels, but it would be hard to find so many high quality, easy to wear, great looking products from another brand. The collection is fairly small, but feels really well put together and quite cohesive. With additions like the mackinaw style wool vest, the chambray quilted field jacket and the leather arm varsity jacket, there is definitely enough to set it apart from the market. Being all designed and made in Vancouver, Canada of course brings a special feeling for us, as we are proud to have a brand that is pushing forward while representing our North Western aesthetic.”

Visvim Dissertation for ya from Still really want some Visvim Black Suede FBT’s. Damn Japanese design… and its small sizes and high prices! “Those who are fortunate enough to see Visvim’s lookbook in person knows that each is call a “dissertation” – a handsomely bound, hard cover book instead of the usual fare.  You will not find any insufficiency in it, instead gorgeous and extensive articles in both English and Japanese.  Because just as the title suggested, to Visvim’s Creative Director Hiroki Nakamura, each season’s collection is a tried and true process of experiences and education.  And much like a dissertation for a doctoral degree, each collection is base Nakamura-san’s thesis and inspiration, as well as the procedures of design and production. Now, that process is finally available for public viewing as the label’s official website,, came online today.”

My Future is so Bright I have to Wear Kris Van Assche by Oliver Peoples in Ivory Shadez. Or as Brad Feld says : “One of the keys to this is to “say no in less than 60 seconds.” Given that my email address is easily discernable, I get a lot of random inbound “we are looking for money” and “do you want to have coffee” emails.  These are easy to say no to, but I also get a lot of not-random “we are looking for money” (e.g. sent from someone I know) and “do you want to have coffee” (e.g. sent from someone I know or recommended by someone I know) emails.  And it escalates in relevance from there (and morphs into all forms, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, meeting, run, …) Somewhere between 1% and 10% of these fit my a/b/c criteria above. I can figure this out from the first interaction at least 50% of the time and my first email response is (hopefully a polite) version of “no” that usually consumes a total of less than 30 seconds from beginning to end.  Another 25% of the time I need a little more information and request it via mail. This has the side effect of eliminating another chunk of interactions since the person on the receiving end never bothers to respond. For those that do respond, I can usually figure out from the response whether or not I want to spend more time or not; if not, I’m still probably under 60 seconds for saying “no”.”

Filed under BB_or_not_BB, Entrepreneurship, TV

One Comment

  1. Posted September 28, 2009 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    This is true indeed. Technologies doesn't work perfectly all the time.