Ben Horowitz on Blockchain

As most people continue to obsess over the term “crypto” representing the financial instruments, Ben Horowitz thinks of it as the latest form of computing.

In the below clip from a recent interview, he very eloquently describes its importance in a way I have not been able to verbalize myself.

I especially love the piece about innovative technologies “being worse at first but with better features.” That’s a common trend we’ve seen with all startups and technologies over the past few decades.

The Future of Genetic Engineering

In most ways, I'm late to the party on this. But in others, it's still super early. 

Thanks to my friend, Austin, for bringing this craziness to my attention last week. I've since gone down the rat hole. 

 

 

 

3D Printing Homes

We've come a long way as a society if we are printing homes for the homeless.

This is a perfect example of using our advancements in technology to solve the world's crises. 

Let's continue using technology for good and reach out our hands to help those that don't have the resources to help themselves. 

I-C-Oh!

I really only just want to put my fingerprints on this video. This is very representative for how I have felt the past year. As always, I leave it to people much smarter than me to articulate and make sense of the cryptocurrency zeitgeist.

Be Fierce, Not Ferocious

I've become a huge fan of Jerry Colonna this year. Other than the amazing talk embedded below, there are two snippets of his that speak to me most deeply.

Questions a Leader Should Ask Herself:

  1. What am I not saying that needs to be said?
  2. What's being said that I'm not hearing?
  3. What am I saying that's not being heard?

What Humans Seek:

  • Love
  • Safety
  • A sense of belonging

My 10 Favorite Films of 2017

10. Colossal

9. The Little Hours

8. Okja

7. Dunkirk

6. The Lovers

5. A Ghost Story

4. Baby Driver

3. Brigsby Bear

2. Get Out

1. The Big Sick

As a disclaimer, here is a list of films I have wanted to, but have not gotten around to seeing quite yet:

  • Mother!
  • Wonderstruck
  • Phantom Thread
  • The Florida Project
  • Ladybird
  • The Post
  • Columbus
  • The Disaster Artist
  • Personal Shopper
  • Call Me By Your Name
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Machine Translating Music

With my background in web globalization, I found this article interesting.

If you can look past the marketing gimmick, there could be something here. I foresee interactive music experiences that span dialect. All the audience would have to do is put on their own in-ear monitors that connect directly with the audio feed of their native language.

Now all of the sudden, the entire world can enjoy one concert - all at the same time.

AR in the Sky

Air Craft is an innovative augmented reality company paving the way for the future of drone travel.

Check out the video below. The sky truly is the limit here.

Making Everything Newsworthy

It doesn't take a marketing ninja to promote a big brand's movements into supposed new frontiers. Amazon Key is a perfect example of a powerful company putting a few existing concepts together to call it a unique service.

It's weird enough to promote...

Let a stranger into your home!

But many smart lock owners have been doing this for Amazon deliveries, and their cleaning ladies, for years. It's hard for technologically savvy individuals to consider this product launch very "newsworthy." 

When you're a company like Amazon, you have the ability to brand everything. I can't knock them for taking advantage of something that obviously turns so many heads. I'm writing about it here, aren't I?

Totality

When two bodies of mass move with such velocity, there is only one perfect moment when their paths cross. 

If you move as expected and remain the same as always, magic will happen in that moment. 

There are plenty of these moments out there. You just have to be looking ahead toward the next body of mass moving toward you. 

Take each one in stride. 

September Will Be Lots of 'Phone'

First I start hearing whispers of the new iPhone being released in a month. Then Android releases Oreo the following day. The mobile OS race continues to heat up (pun intended), and I'm enjoying every moment of it. 

I'll give Apple some credit. Potentially disposing of the 7S altogether is a bold move. After all, if you have the upgrades ready, why not release the better product? But I'm skeptical that they're not going to hit it out of the park with this one. Doesn't this whole thing seem a little rushed? - Especially after it was delayed.

I'll also give Google its fair share of credit. Not only is the ad for Oreo gorgeous, funny, and relevant, but bouncing back from recent hardware issues is no simple task. The fact that they're already creating buzz with the myriad of great new features proves they're in the race to win it.  

I'm also teetering between the two. I am, and always have been, an iPhone user. There is a Google-loving geek inside of me that gets jealous of Android customers, though. 

I can't wait to watch this market continue to unfold - especially since there are so many other potential competitors that can enter the space again. 

When You Put the Time In

I don't want to hear anyone complain about not earning the outcomes they're striving for without tangible evidence of the hours of effort they put in.

It's a simple formula.

The more FOCUSED time you put into a project, the better it will turn out. While not all project outcomes rely solely on effort, putting forth an undying effort leads to success more often than not.

This was made even more clear to me this weekend when I was searching online for a video for my kids. The search was simple... "moana medley acapella."

Lo and behold - these were the top 2 results:

Not only were my kids quiet and captive throughout these videos, but they even had me thinking "this requires a lot of work."

If you think of either of the above videos as a project, we're talking days worth of combined hours to get to this output. There's costume, makeup, editing, and the incredible fact that each of those squares requires the entertainers to sit through the entire song each time. 

Think about that for a minute.

These entertainers deserve the 3+ and 5+ million views, and I'm glad my search yields these are results rather than the expected official songs and videos from the movie.

Long story short - Incredible talent + Relentless effort can make you an exceptional asset that is much easier to be discovered.

Brandless

 

As much as I love branding, you probably wouldn't think I'd adore this mission so much.

Brandless is a startup that works with manufacturers to eliminate the extra costs that are often associated with offering branded products. Instead, the company just provides basic products with simple labels that just state what’s in each product. And all of those items cost just $3.

Do these products interest you? 

How much weight do you put on the products that are made by the brands you love? 

This concept puts that sentiment to the ultimate test. 

My Exciting New Adventure

Today is my first day as the Director of Marketing for PartsMarket. 

Go ahead and Google the company. I'll wait. 

PartsMarket makes it easy to buy and sell used auto parts online.

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My job will be to garner attention to the value this incredible company, and technology is creating for the automotive industry. I'll be getting in front of customers looking to buy auto parts (B2C) as well as garnering interest from auto professionals looking to sell the parts they source (B2B). 

This is an immense opportunity to disrupt an unproductive and antiquated space. The company is already on track to make a dent (pun intended) and I am extremely excited to join in the movement. 

I'll be checking in with updates on some of the marketing strategies I deploy for PartsMarket. As always, I will try to be transparent in my efforts because what works for me, and companies like PartsMarket, can work for many readers of this blog. 

If you feel there may be any synergies between what you do and PartsMarket, please don't hesitate to reach out to me. I will look forward to changing an industry... together. 

Trust and Truth

Jack Welch is right. 

Trust is the single most important factor in business. Period. 

Having trust at the top, and ensuring it connects to every single fabric of your organization, is what ultimately builds a thriving culture based on success. 

Without trust, you can't manifest the truth.

Truth needs to come in two very important forms in an organization:

  • Speaking up when you have something to say
  • No sugar-coating (even your boss)

When a new employee is able to speak openly about his emotions, and perhaps his criticisms of what observes, you're building a powerful machine of honesty. 

Only the trust that you put into that new employee allows him to speak up - and allows even the CEO to listen with an open mind. 

2 Billion Active Users

It's both impressive and scary at the same time. The power and growth that Facebook has accumulated over the past several years are unprecedented. 

To celebrate, Facebook continues to innovate on new features and ideas. Their most recent development is called "Good Adds Up." 

Let's see how much larger Facebook will become over the next few years. With China potentially opening up and a wider internet adoption taking place, the sky is truly the limit for them at this point.