Monthly Archives: May 2009

Seattle Digg Meetup and the flying kittens

Jay Adelson and Kevin Rose were kind enough to surprise the Digg Meetup audience with kittens and buttons at the Seattle Digg Meetup. I went on the stage and joined in the fun.

I Love the Smell of Fresh Subsidy in the Morning

Hello. Welcome to Washington State. Do you print outdated news on dead trees while fleecing the advertising industry? If you answered “Yes”, we’ll give you a 40% tax break. That’s now the law in Washington.

In the last 3 years, US ad spending shrank from $230 billion to $222 billion. The two most volatile categories was the Internet and newspapers. (Everyone else pretty much stayed the same.) Internet ad revenues grew from $17B to $26B, while newspaper ad revenues shrank from $47B to $34B. In essence, the Internet started eating newspapers’ lunch in the order of $9 billion. Make no mistake. This is an epic battle to the bankruptcy filing.

What’s truly frightening is the idiotic, insular logic that brought us this bill, sponsored by state House majority leader Lynn Kessler.

“The actual newspaper reporting is meant … to get information to the public, and to make sure that our government is held accountable for decisions that government makes, and that the stories that are written are accurate, and they can get this information out to a broad section of our community,” Kessler said.

Unfortunately, she is tragically misinformed. (Maybe she should lurk moar.) Journalism is meant to do what she describes. I should know. I have a degree in it. Newspapers, on the other hand, make a profit from delivering journalism in the form of newsprint.

Wanna stifle innovation? Then give flawed business models an artificial advantage over innovating competitors.

Kessler and her ill-informed ilk have made it that much harder for those small groups of people who are advancing journalism to actually make a living doing so. But then again, a thousand independent media outlets with their own strong editorial voices would only make political life that much more difficult.

Cheezburger on Agile Software Development

Here’s a little “Internets is serious business” moment:

Me tooooooo!!!1!

(Thx @mazy)

The Bullshit Siren Call of Compromise

By .mushi_king (Creative Commons)

Some time ago, the world decided that “compromising” was a good thing. Eventually, the thought seeped into corporate culture and even trickled down to the startup world. That’s too bad, since compromising is the stoner drug of choice for gutless entrepreneurs.

Just so that we’re clear, I’m not arguing for the complete opposite. Bull-headed, over-confident blowhards can cause quick, painful death to a dream. But compromising is the plaque in the veins of startup arteries that’s slowly cutting the life blood to our collective balls.

Often, people use compromising as a technique to “meet in the middle”. Unfortunately, if you are trying to do something bold, new, or innovative, this is the opposite of what they should be doing. Compromising has become a barrier again exercising our ability to articulate and innovate. Compromising is now a shortcut to getting something done, regardless of how good that something is — a license to half-ass ideas.

There are effective alternatives to compromise. When faced with different logic and reasoning, the response is to find 1) a simpler solution, 2) a more open and transparent solution, 3) a solution more open to experimentation, or 4) a more flexible one.

Never, give into the temptation to just meet in the middle.

(Creative Commons photo by .mushi_king)


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