What they don’t tell you about being an entrepreneur
“The Shakespeare quote is so powerful it bears repeating: ‘Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we might oft win, by fearing to attempt!’ Entrepreneurship is very, very, very emotional. The emotional rollercoaster is such a substantial part of the entrepreneurship. I haven’t seen any entrepreneurship textbooks address this extremely important issue. If you’re doing anything you’re actually passionate about, this is a necessary requirement. You have really high highs, and really low lows.”
We overdose on information because we are programmed for scarcity
“For most of human history, there was little chance of overdosing on information, because any one day in the Olduvai Gorge was a lot like any other. Today, though, we can find in the course of a few hours online more information than our ancient ancestors could in their whole lives. Just like the laser and the cat, technology is playing a trick on us. We are programmed for scarcity and can’t dial back when something is abundant.” [via GE]
Zappos talks about focus on customer service at SxSW
”#1 thing they focus on is company culture. Managers jobs are to inspire the Zappos culture. Empower people to make the right decisions for the company and customer — the reps make their own decisions. Have 5-weeks of training on company culture, taking calls from customers, and working in the warehouse. Then they start the job they were hired for. Put out a culture book, written by every employee, about what the Zappos culture means to them. HR does interviews for culture fit (a second round). This keeps the company culture, even makes it better.” (Another recap)
ReadWriteWeb: “SxSW: Lessons Learned at 37signals”
“This afternoon I attended Jason Fried’s presentation on ‘Stuff We’ve Learned at 37signals’...As a company I’ve long respected, it was interested to hear him discuss some of the things he’s learned developing 37signals.” (Another recap)
iPhone: Prepay the right way
“Here’s what I learned: If you want to set up your iPhone as a prepaid account, do not—no that’s not emphatic enough — do NOT, DO NOT attempt to set up the account in advance with AT&T. Just don’t. Trust me. Here’s how you should do it…”
Leopard’s Quick Look good for previewing fonts
“Quick Look turns out to be immensely useful for fonts as well, as it allows both fonts and families to be easily examined in detail without ever leaving the Finder.”
UsWare vs. ThemWare
“I’ve found that much of the best software is the best because the programmers are the users, too. It is UsWare. It behooves software developers to understand users, to walk a mile in their shoes. If we can bridge the gap between users and ourselves—even if only a little—we start slowly converting our mediocre ThemWare into vastly superior UsWare. To really care about the software you’re writing, you have to become a user, at least in spirit.”
Busy vs. Productive
”’Work smarter, not harder’ is one of the ultimate clichés. Like most clichés, few people actually do it. The busy outnumber the productive by a wide margin. Whether you’re a boss, an employee, or working for yourself, we’ve all had our treadmilling moments. Here’s the difference, from a geek perspective.”
Time is undervalued
“I don’t do things differently to be different; I do what works for me,’ she says. ‘To me, the commodity that we consistently overvalue is money, and what we undervalue is our precious and irreplaceable time…Theoretically, I could choose to trade artistic autonomy and pride in my work for increased income — say, by broadly licensing my characters to be used for television…I love what I do, I love the people I work with, I care very much about the value of the work I create, and I don’t need more money than I have. This is not revolutionary philosophy. It’s just common sense.”