TALKING POINTS: Adeo Ressi takes your dumb-ass business idea to school; 5 signs your product is perfect for Kickstarter

November 25, 2013 Leave a comment

Adeo Ressi

An Entrepreneur Who Manufactures Entrepreneurs {New York Times}

Conventional wisdom holds that some 90 percent of start-ups fail. After years of observation, serial entrepreneur Adeo Ressi started the Founder Institute to teach the basics. Unlike other incubators, the Founder Institute doesn’t take students who already have a company. Instead, applicants are chosen through a personality test.

5 Signs Your Product is Perfect for Kickstarter {Entrepreneur}

Kickstarter’s mission as a crowd funding platform is to bring creative projects to life. In theory, it sounds fantastic: You have an idea, but don’t have the funds to get started. Most people think that if they just had the money they could take their product to market. Unfortunately, it’s not that straightforward. Here are five qualities your business idea or invention needs to successfully launch on Kickstarter and get to market.

Lovecasting Meets Crowdfunding Meets Social Entrepreneurship {Forbes}

What better way to strengthen communities, while empowering regular people to support nearby small businesses, than by helping individuals fund local entrepreneurs? This movement—coined locavesting by author Amy Cortesein a recent book–is at the core of a Seattle-based social enterprise by the name of Community Sourced Capital (CSC).

Poolsidepreneurs, Where the Cult of Entrepreneurship Goes to Drown {Pando Daily}

So you’re a founder, and you’re crushing it 24/7. That’s great and all, but what if you could crush it by a pool? What if there was a luxe new way to work?


TALKING POINTS: Dave Eggers’ DIY proposal; the Beastie Boys blow it; YO! Company unveils its incredible new apartment prototype

November 24, 2013 Leave a comment

Dave Eggers
Let’s Make More Stuff: Memories of a beloved stereo cabinet fuel novelist Dave Eggers’ handmade revolution {Financial Times}

In tech-obsessed San Francisco, literary pioneer Dave Eggers wants to help facilitate the making of more stuff. And how, exactly, does he propose to do this? He wants to transform the long-disused San Francisco Mint into a workspace and retail outlet for makers — it’s an idea not unlike that used by the Torpedo Factory in Arlington, Va., but with DIY-style crafters and makers instead of visual artists only. We love this idea so much that we literally had to go to the bathroom after first reading about it. That’s embarrassing, sure, but it’s true. Click the link above to read Eggers’ brilliant proposal.

Beastie Boys Cry Foul Over GoldieBlox’s “Girls” Parody – Bummer! {Refinery 29}

Oh, boo. While pretty much the entire world has been charmed and delighted by the GoldieBlox video featuring three industrious little ladies crooning their own version of “Girls” by the Beastie Boys, it seems the ad has found its first opponent. Unfortunately, that opponent happens to be, um, the Beastie Boys.

New Videos Aim to Give Canadian Youth a Taste of Entrepreneurship {Financial Post}

A new video series on entrepreneurship and financial education, set for launch in 2014, is aiming to boost Canadian youth’s enterprising skills. “The New Spirit of Adventure” video program features interviews with Canadian entrepreneurs including Guy Laliberté, co-founder and CEO of Cirque du Soleil; Tim Hortons co-founder Ron Joyce; and David Chilton, author of The Wealthy Barber and Dragons’ Den host. The videos will discuss topics such as how to manage resources for success, and the importance of strengthening one’s financial knowledge.

YO! Company Founder Simon Woodroffe Unveils the YO! Home Prototype Apartment at 100% Design in London {Complex}

Will homes of the future have mechanized floors and furniture that emerges from walls, floors, and ceilings? YO! Company founder Simon Woodroffe would like to think so. YO! recently showed off its latest entrepreneurial brainchild, the YO! Home, at 100% Design in London; it fits an average two bedroom house into the space of a one-bedroom apartment.

Need more creative entrepreneurial inspiration? Follow YP Media High Commander Dan Eldridge on Twitter at @YoungPioneers.

Wired Editor-in-Chief Chris Anderson resigns

November 3, 2012 Leave a comment

Chris AndersonWired magazine itself broke the rather disappointing news yesterday that its long-time editor-in-chief, Chris Anderson, will be stepping down from his role at the magazine after an incredibly successful 12-year run. “Anderson joined Wired in 2001,” as an item on the Wired website explains, “taking the helm of the iconic digital brand just as the dot-com bubble popped.”

From the article:

“On Friday, [Anderson] announced he’s making the … move … from a career turning bits into words and ideas to CEO of 3D Robotics, a company he co-founded in 2009 that turns atoms into drones.”

Anderson plans to depart his current post by the end of the year, according to an item on the New York Times‘ Media Decoder blog. During his tenure, Anderson was largely responsible for bringing Wired‘s vision of a technology-saturated society to a larger and more mainstream audience than the magazine had previously enjoyed. Wired won eight National Magazine Awards under his leadership.

Anderson is the author of The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More (Hyperion, 2006); Free: The Future of a Radical Price (Hyperion, 2009); and Makers: The New Industrial Revolution (Crown Business, 2012).

An internal email sent to Condé Nast staffers yesterday, which announced Anderson’s impending departure, has been republished by the New York Observerclick here to read it.

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Burning Man meets Dr. Seuss, and the results are surprisingly digestible

January 16, 2012 Leave a comment

Yes, I know Burning Man can be a bit goofy. But do yourself a favor: Give this one a chance, and watch it all the way through. Trust me: I wouldn’t recommend it if it wasn’t worth seven minutes of your time.

[And a big huge thanks to the Brainpickings Twitter account for posting the link; this video just made my day.]

A Must-Read for Every Struggling Journalist: Robert Krulwich’s phenomenal Berkeley J-School commencement speech

May 17, 2011 3 comments

Left to right: Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich

First, for those of you who aren’t familiar with Robert Krulwich: He’s one of the two hosts of Radiolab, a public radio show so brilliant, so smart, and so singularly unique that it literally must be heard to be believed. Thankfully, they’ve got a free podcast, so if you’ve never had the pleasure, do yourself a big favor a download a few shows, stat. [Radiolab podcasts]

And second, I’m not going to say too much about Krulwich’s recent commencement speech, which he gave on May 7 to the 2011 class at Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, because there simply isn’t much I can add that will do it any justice. But trust me on this one, please: If you’re currently involved in the field of journalism, and if you’re anything other that 100 percent thrilled with the way your career is panning out, please take the time to read every word of this truly brilliant speech.  Read more…

Through May 20: Free Kindle edition of “Do the Work,” from Seth Godin’s Domino Project

May 17, 2011 Leave a comment

Lot’s of incredibly useful and unusually inspirational Seth Godin-related news today.

First things first: Spend some time reading this Boing Boing interview with Seth Godin, which was conducted by the Philly-based tech writer Avi Solomon. It’s a wonderful interview–quite a bit different than most of the other Seth Godin Q&As I’ve read recently–but it’s unfortunately littered with typos and grammatical errors. (Confidential to Mark Frauenfelder: What’s up with hiring a copy editor?)

Anyway, Godin mentions his truly exciting new publishing venture, The Domino Project, during the interview. If you don’t happen to already be familiar with The Domino Project, click on over to its website and read the “About” and “FAQ” pages. It’s essentially an eBook publisher that releases its products through Amazon at especially reasonable rates, and from what I can tell, the books all lean strongly towards the same inspirational/creative entrepreneurial bent that Godin espouses in his books and on his super-popular blogRead more…

Penelope Trunk vs. Tim Ferriss

March 27, 2011 Leave a comment

There’s an incredibly readable feature story in the Sunday Styles section of today’s New York Times–I highly recommend giving it a read–about self-improvement author Tim Ferriss, who was apparently a popular guest at this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) conference in Austin, Texas. Ferriss was in Austin to promote his new book, The 4-Hour Body, which is a textbook-like manual that purports to teach its readers how to become “superhuman”–or as Ferriss himself might say, how to hack the human body.

Interestingly enough, even though I have the Sunday New York Times delivered to my front door each weekend, I found out about this particular story through a Gawker post, which essentially made the argument that Ferriss is a self-obsessed asshole because of the unusual way he handles his personal email. There’s no doubt that Ferriss has a huge number of very fervent fans, but he has also managed to inspire a good number of serious haters over the past few years, and apparently Penelope Trunk, a popular work-culture writer who I happen to be a fan of, has been one of them for quite some time.

Here’s a recent blog post written by Trunk entitled, “5 Time management tricks I learned from years of hating Tim Ferriss”. One of the many reasons Trunk gives for “hating” Ferriss has to do with a meeting that took place between the two at a South by Southwest conference in 2007, in fact. At the time, Ferriss was aggressively marketing his first book, The 4-Hour Workweek, to influential bloggers. Apparently, Trunk feels as if she was tricked into having a coffee date with Ferriss, who wanted a chance to pitch his book to the sort of blogger who might be able to introduce it a wider audience. Read Trunk’s post, here, for the full story.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Ferriss recently put together an incredibly useful blog post about the ins and outs of dealing with haters, and if you happen to be a public personality of any sort, or if you happen to be especially successful in your chosen field, I seriously recommend reading it. One of very best points Ferriss makes in the post, as far as I’m concerned, begins with a quote from the sports agent Scott Boras, who said that, “If you are really effective at what you do, 95% of the things said about you will be negative.” If that’s a quote you can personally relate to, take the time to check out both of the posts I’ve linked to below.

Do you have any especially useful techniques–psychological or otherwise–when it comes to dealing with unnecessarily harsh critics? If so, please post them in the comments section.