In search of the distraction-free computer desktop
“WriteRoom has me composing more quickly, and it’s brought back the elemental thrill of assembling thoughts by tossing words onto the screen. As outrageous and premature as it sounds, programs like WriteRoom could have the kind of impact for this generation that The Elements of Style had for another, by distilling down the writing process and laying bare its constituent parts.”
How kids respond to the XO laptop
“If Negroponte wants to convert kids to the global information economy, he might consider the chief virtue of the XO laptop: its lights and sounds. Even Western kids, whose toys flash and squeal, are drawn with primitive wonderment to the peculiar phenomena of this computer — the distinctive hums and blinks that seem like evidence of its soul.”
Invest in an athlete
“The 25 year-old pitcher is offering 4% of all his future major league earnings for $50,000. If you don’t have that kind of money, you can buy a share of that 4% for $20…Don’t be surprised if in five or ten years you can bet on any professional athlete’s career the way you can bet on Newsom’s.”
The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs on Microsoft/Yahoo deal
“The Borg-Yahoo merger won’t work. Here’s why. It’s like taking the two guys who finished second and third in a 100-yard dash and tying their legs together and asking for a rematch, believing that now they’ll run faster.” switches to Rails
“By switching to Rails we were able to shrink our maintained codebase to just 20% of its former size while expanding the overall feature-set of the system. There have been some learning curve-related hiccups over the past few months as we acclimated to a new system, but on the whole we now have a leaner, better codebase, more control over our system, and are developing in a language and framework that are joys to code in. We’re very happy with the switch so far.”
Austin jumping on Rails
“When Spiceworks was launched in 2006, its founders spent the first month researching what Web framework to use to build its software. Choosing correctly was key, Abel said. ‘You pick the right one, and everybody wants to be on your team; the cool, super-smart people flock to you. It’s huge for a tiny startup competing for resources,’ he said. ‘It also gives you an advantage in the time it takes to get your product to market, and the size and speed of your application.’”
Ask the Wizard: Business Models
“All startups should think of the long road in front of them in three phases: during phase 1, you need to be passionate about the product (or service); during phase 2, you need to be passionate about your customers (and the product); during phase 3, you need to be passionate about revenue (and customers and the product).”
Secrets of the pharmaceutical industry
“What a lot of people may not know is that for some time now, pharmaceutical company marketing strategies have focused on promoting illness, rather than simply promoting drugs. Underpinning many of the marketing strategies of big drug companies is a very sophisticated and comprehensive plan to widen the boundaries of illness, and create an environment in which more and more formerly healthy people are defined as ‘sick.’”
Twitter blog on 37signals use of Twitter
“It opens up this whole new level of contact with our customers and we’re able to proactively handle support requests within seconds of problems being reported.”
Videos: “You Suck at Photoshop”
Donnie Hoyle has created a hilarious series of “You Suck at Photoshop” tutorials. (NSFW)