Loic Le Meur writes over on LinkedIn about his mistakes betting on Twitter with his company Seesmic. Seesmic was a company that produced a series of great Twitter clients for multiple platforms (Mobile, Web, Desktop etc). When Twitter started shutting down developers and releasing their own official clients Seesmic’s business was undermined and ultimately shuttered.
I’m not blaming Twitter for this strategic change – they did not know they would take that decision at the time when they were fully supporting their ecosystem. I blame myself entirely. I should have never dedicated all my team resources to build on one platform. That is a lesson learned the hard way along with many other developers. I was too excited and became blind.
Here are my two cents for entrepreneurs betting on someone else’s success: be careful that everything can change from one day to another and all the rules will change. I will never be that dependent on anyone anymore.
Loic is a wicked smart and very successful entrepreneur. He’s always smiling, generous and well liked by his peers. It’s a real shame that Twitter pivoted in the way that it did to undermine his business.
I’d like to refine Loic’s lessons learned a little here, though. In my opinion the problem was not betting on someone else’s platform but rather…
Twitter is not a platform, it’s a media company
Betting on one media company rather than multiple
Whenever a company makes money from Ads, it’s not a platform/technology company – it’s a media company. As a media company It needs to control the eyeballs so that it can control the ad impressions.
To be fair, though, Twitter’s ad revenue model wasn’t in place when Loic started betting on them. It was clear, however, that their revenue model was still in flux and that ads would play a role in order to keep the service free for end-users.
The reality is companies successfully rely on other platforms all the time. Amazon Web Services is a great example of this. There’s never a risk that AWS is going to start turning off or competing with its developers because it is a true platform.
Facebook, Twitter etc were never true technology platforms. They are distribution channels. They are data sources. They are social services. But they are not platforms.
Ironically this is still happening today. Major media companies and developers still spend enormous sums of money encouraging their users to participate on Twitter and Facebook as ‘outsourced engagement platforms’. Ironically Media companies who should understand the value of owning the audience and the ad impressions are happily outsourcing them to competing media companies (Facebook and Twitter). I write more about this over on the Echo blog.
The key, then, is not avoiding 3rd party platforms, but rather to understand the difference between platforms, products, services and media companies. It’s key to understand the incentives, revenue flows and business models so you can understand how to align your company and product with the value chain.
At the end of last year I wrote a post about the downside of Hyper Expectations and Ambitions (HEA). I guess living in silicon valley it’s easy to get jaded with the negative effects of our fast paced journey to change the world. It also didn’t help that I hadn’t had a holiday for 3 years.
Since then, however, I’ve visited my hometown in Brisbane Australia for 3 weeks. The truth is they live a very different lifestyle there. The government and other institutions help provide a powerful safety net for those who are sick or unable to find work, the environment is beautiful, warm and welcoming and the people expect (or in some cases demand) less from each other. Those that stand out or show off can even be shunned (a phenomenon we call Tall Poppy Syndrome).
The result is that things there are more laid back, the lifestyle is more comfortable and people suffer the downsides of HEA far more infrequently.
This can be a very fulfilling way to live and many people there are (rightly) happy and healthy.
It was, however, a cold splash in the face having just written about the negative aspects of our Silicon Valley ambition to be confronted with the opposite. It reminded me in stark ways how different our lives are and what some of the advantages to living with HEA are.
So in counterbalance to my previous post, let me try to summarize some of the advantages of HEA.
Fulfilling your potential
If there’s one thing that upsets me the most and keeps me up at night it’s the concern that I or someone I know is not living up to their potential. One of my defining characteristics is a thirst (some may some lust) for the potential in things. I am far more interested in what could be than what is. A great example of this, in fact, is my very poor relationship with times, dates, orders of magnitude or ‘rules’.
The great thing about HEA is that it vacuums out most of the reasons/excuses for someone to not live up to their potential. All of us here are insisting to ourselves and each other that we do the next great thing we know we can do; Or better yet, to do something that scares us.
Remove the roadblocks and put aside the excuses. We attempt to extract every last drop of potential and turn it into outcomes.
Extraordinary and Surreal Experiences
While there’s great value in routine and tradition, we with HEA are far more interested in doing things that are extra ordinary. I split those two words on purpose. Things that are outside the realm of an ordinary life.
Backstage at a concern. VIP at a party. Hanging with a personal hero. Writing a line of code that affects millions of people. Writing that blog post that might influence the influencers. Living in beautiful places. Meeting with smart people. Disrupting that tired business model. Changing the way people live.
There is no patience for the mundane here. Instead there’s a strong hunger and appreciation (and for me, real-time nostalgia) for doing things that are out of the ordinary.
These moments are priceless. And if you’re lucky, they happen often in Silicon Valley.
Changing the World
People with HEA get to change the world. With a line of code, a great piece of UI, a new business model or a conversation with the right person.
Through our skills, ambitions, ideas and access we have the smallest possible gap between our intention and their manifestation into reality and this is not only the ultimate super power (think Neo/Matrix) it’s also a precious gift. We use this super power to make a real dent in the universe (#namethatreference).
The heading here might be fairly grandiose but in many ways it’s true. In San Francisco this town has thrown out most notions of ‘right and wrong’ and embraced philosophies that are radically different than most of the rest of the world. From Gay Rights to massive temporary communities in the desert based on the sharing economy, we are forcing open the definition of what it means to live, love and be human.
Almost every day here I have conversations that vacillate from short term tactical business concerns to wide sweeping philosophical quandaries – and back again. Relationships here are just as likely ‘non traditional’ (open, polly, casual, gay, bi, whatever) as they are traditional.
These are all related attempts to leave dogma in the past and explore what the future might look like.
For some of us with HEA we’re not just trying to ship software or make millions of dollars, we are trying to better ourselves.
Leverage and scale.
Through all of the above, and much more, we get to live high leverage lives. In some ways our work is no harder or easier than the work of coal minors or brick layers (in other ways its obviously very different, but go with me here). We work long hours in back breaking postures and rarely see our families or have enough emotional capacity to invest in some of our relationships. We get to invest similar energy and sacrifices yet touch more lives than most and, for some, make a lasting impact. That’s the gift of leverage and scale.
So there we have it. Like with all things there are both upsides and downsides. The trick is moderation in all things (my mother taught me that – hi mom!).
To say this year was a roller coaster is somewhat of an understatement.
It’s been the stage for some of my lowest lows and my highest highs.
It basically started with the ending of a relationship with someone I thought I’d spend a very long time with. Like most of these things they are both sudden and a long time coming. In either case, though, its heart breaking and emotionally wrenching to say the least.
What followed for the rest of the year, however, was a personal and professional journey of discovery and growth.
I continued working with my colleagues learning how to turn vision into reality at every level – software, corporate governance, culture, growing a team, raising money, selling software and solving customer problems. This is with a group of people and a suite of software that is the latest, best version of a personal dream I’ve had since I can remember.
This process was harder than I had hoped and expected, but more rewarding and will ultimately, I hope, redefine the way the web works. We have so much more to do, and I can’t wait to see some of the seeds we’ve planted, grow.
Along the way I continued to learn how to uncover and understand my own personal truth, how to share that truth with others, how to reveal my flaws and how to accept the flaws of others – all with the hope of living a more loving and loved life.
The result has been a small number of intimate, family style, friendships at a depth I’ve never allowed myself to experience before and a larger set of close friendships with a kind of extended family. Both have worked to lift me up from sorrow, share my triumphs and added so much joy to my life. These people are beautiful, insightful, flawed, ambitious, fun, funny, immature, mature, striving, failing and getting up and trying again. In short, they are amazing.
Throughout this personal and professional growth, I’ve gone from surreal moment to surreal moment – everything from living in an amazing mansion with amazing people, meeting and partying with one of my heroes (who couldn’t have lived up to my ideal any better) to watching a reality TV show get made and broadcast from my home.
I’m thankful to my friends, colleagues, lovers (both past and present) for filling my year with abundance. I’m thankful for the professional opportunities, the personal love and affection, the moments of tenderness and tears.
This is just the beginning. I can’t wait to see what 2013 brings. My only wish for next year is good health and forward momentum. My new years resolution is to continue to find and share my personal truth and to learn to listen and love better.
Disclaimer: I’ve personally flirted with much of what I’ve written about below. This isn’t about anyone else, but rather about what I’ve seen in myself and how some of it could have played out if left unchecked. Thankfully I feel pretty happy and comfortable most of the time – but I find that it helps to write this stuff down to keep myself in check.
Silicon Valley is a place where people come to change the world. They seek it out and travel great distances to be in the place where entrepreneurial dreams come true.
Even those who first arrive looking for love or lifestyle soon realize that most of the people here have their sights set pretty high and it can be easy to catch the ‘change the world’ attitude through osmosis.
It’s easy to start feeling a sense of Hyper Expectations and Ambition (let’s call it HEA for short).
The challenge with HEA is that it can drive the ill-equipped, mad. By “ill-equipped” I mean those that lack a strong personal identity and emotional maturity. And aren’t we all guilty of that at various points in our lives?
The landscape here is dotted with people who have something to prove to their past tormentors, their personal ambitions, their peers or some vision of their future selves. If they are not careful, it leaves them no breathing room for cognitive or emotional rest. And as we discovered in Star Trek the Next Generation’s episode “Night Terrors” – without REM Sleep one can have all sorts of nasty outcomes (yes I’m a geek).
HEA is further exasperated by constant streams of social media updates that tend to vacillate from the trite motivational quote to the well curated highlight reel of best parts of ones life. These only serve to make us feel inferior to our friends who always seem to be having a better, easier time.
There are many symptoms of HEA – let me try to share some of them. You might recognize them in yourself or others around you.
FOMO – “Fear of Missing Out’
This is when people are maniacally trying to turn up to every party or meet every ‘right’ person in case this is the one that’s going to change their life or give them the next emotional high.
I’ve been to my share of parties – in fact most of the time I host or co-host them – but for me they are usually an opportunity to spend time with my core group of friends. For some, however, party hopping can become almost an addiction trying to chase the next surreal or successful moment.
The truth is this town is full of amazing moments all the time. They come and go on a daily and weekly basis. When I feel a little FOMO coming on, I try to remember the last scene from American Beauty.
“there’s so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I’m seeing it all at once, and it’s too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that’s about to burst… And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can’t feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life… You have no idea what I’m talking about, I’m sure. But don’t worry… you will someday.”
FOMO is very real and can be exhausting on the body and the mind.
Because it seems like everyone around here is ‘doing something amazing’ it’s easy to develop or trigger an inferiority complex.
Once in that position, the next thing most people do is (consciously or subconsciously) overcompensate in one of two ways…
1. With overconfidence and bluster:
Puffing out one’s chest, speaking loudly and confidently about stuff that is ill-understood, constructing a success narrative and telling people only exaggerated versions of the truth – these are all examples of what I call Overconfidence and Bluster. The most obvious example of this is the Shirley Hornstein incident, but much more subtle and pervasive versions of this go on everyday in almost every conversation.
Some of the confidence and exaggeration is ok, of course. Speaking prospectively and helping people see your vision for how it could be vs. how it actually is, can help build momentum and positivity. But it can easily get out of control.
2. With drama:
In a disturbing number of cases, however, rather than a success narrative, some use drama to get and hold attention. They always have a story of who and how they were wronged by some other person or company.
The truth is getting anywhere will require countless hours and countless setbacks. This is the cost of doing business and part of the hard work of building something valuable. The more efficiently you process and learn from negative interactions (ideally within hours) the better off you are. Ideally you can optimize your own communication and work style to avoid negative interactions all together.
Being honest (and balanced) about this with yourself and others (without going to either extreme) is critical if you’re going to survive the marathon. Ultimately the only way to really succeed with your work and your personal life is to do the hard, slow and methodical work it takes to win a little ground every day.
Relationship musical chairs
As a natural extension of the first two symptoms, relationships (romantic or otherwise) often suffer. There’s a tendency to get into relationships with one or more of the following undermining thoughts playing in ones mind.
1. Is this the best I can do (FOMO)
2. Could this ruin my reputation (FOMO)
3. I want to focus on my career first (FOMO)
4. They better put in the effort I deserve (Overconfidence and bluster)
5. I need to figure out who I am first (Lack a strong personal identity and emotional maturity)
As I’ve written in the past, relationships are hard work. But if worked on with the right person they can create enormous value by laying a foundation that frees up so much emotional and cognitive baggage.
How? Well if root cause for all of these issues is a lack of strong identity or confidence, then relationships are the answer, not the problem. We are how we act consistently – and especially how we treat others we love and care about. There’s no better way to bolster your identity and confidence than to define and declare yourself as someone who treats others well, and demands the same in return.
In fact, the loving (and authentic) embrace of your ‘found family’ is perhaps the best cure to all of the issues discussed in this post.
Depression and Anxiety
As a natural extension to the first three symptoms listed above (and many more I’m sure) we can each experience depression and anxiety in ways that non-entrepreneurs might never be able to appreciate.
Even those of us who are lucky to have great jobs, great apartments and great friends and even while experiencing great joy can find ourselves feeling down.
I know that personally I’ve felt guilty or unproductive when that feeling of contentment creeps in. It freaks me out because I wonder if I’m content, then maybe I’m not aiming high enough. I feel like I need to be striving for something – moving from here to there – to be achieving my next highest potential.
The result of all this can be a battle with depression and/or anxiety. What’s worse, because one might be going through FOMO and Overconfidence facades, we often can’t share our battle with anyone else.
Unfortunately I don’t have any answers for all of this.
For myself I try to focus on building better, deeper relationships, attending only those parties and gatherings I find meaningful and remembering that contentment and happiness is part of the point (and reward) of having worked hard for the life I want.
This is, of course, easier said than done.
It’s hard, methodical work and discipline that I imagine will never end. It’s part of my routine just like brushing my teeth or having a shower.
One more thing…
I was going to end this post there, basically with ‘no answers’, however I now realize that somewhere in the middle I hit upon the most useful tool I’ve found this year…
In fact, the loving (and authentic) embrace of your ‘found family’ is perhaps the best cure to all of the issues discussed in this post.
Loving (despite flaws) and allowing one self to be loved (by revealing my flaws) has been my principle lesson of this year – it has made the year not just bearable, but successful.
Do you have any other examples of HEA or any other techniques for dealing with it? I’d love to hear your stories below in the comments.
Working with large brands at Echo is thrilling. They have the content, products and reach that matter in everyday people’s lives. This means that even small improvements in their Realtime, Social strategy results in big impacts on large groups of people.
One of the prevailing misconceptions we find when we first get started with a new customer, however, is that Facebook is Social. Facebook comments, Facebook Likes, Facebook Fan Pages are often seen as the beginning and the end of the social ‘strategy’.
For as long as I can remember, my career has been about helping others to remember that Facebook (or Myspace or AOL etc) can only ever be one part of the larger web and Internet landscape. The percentage fluctuates of course but it is never 100%.
A new article in The Atlantic this week, however, reminds us that not only is Facebook only a fraction of the overall web (in terms of traffic referrers and participation) but also that its not even the biggest fraction. It also reminds us that while modern social networking has introduced many powerful novelties, being social on the internet is far from a new phenomenon. In fact, it has been a pervasive part of internet interactions since the beginning – think Email and Instant Messaging for example. These ‘old’ tools continue to have a huge (in fact the largest) impact on your referrer traffic and engagement.
This engagement, however, is under measured and not well understood. The Atlantic postulates that it appears in web analytics as unknown referrers to non home page or section front pages – assuming that direct traffic to deep links can only come from people sharing links to one another using tools that don’t leave referrer signatures. So the Atlantic has taken to calling this class of traffic ‘Dark Social’.
Below is a chart of their referral traffic as measured by ChartBeat. Most notably they have shown and labeled the appropriate traffic as ‘Dark Social’ on the chart.
This chart clearly shows that, for The Atlantic, Dark Social, and non Facebook ‘Standard Social’ together, accounts for almost 80% of all referral traffic.
In this light it is obvious that what’s needed is a ‘Facebook+’ strategy. Or better put, a strategy that puts your website at the center, with Mobile + Desktops + Facebook + Twitter + Reddit + Digg + StumbleUpon + Dark Social + many others as link distribution pipes.
This means that for maximum coverage and distribution, every login, sharing, commenting, following, notification, trending surface can’t just be a Facebook widget. You need white label Social Software Infrastructure that connects your audience to your site using the tools, technologies and distribution opportunities of the entire web.
The web has always been, and will always continue to be the platform. Social or otherwise.
Like most homes in Silicon Valley, we host all kinds of private events for our friends. These events are attended by a variety of people (depending on the theme and purpose of the event) ranging from our close friends to VCs and Founders. There are a mix of event types including small gatherings, dinners, large mixers, parties, networking and so on.
It’s a place to live your work and enjoy your life. It is our home.
3 of the housemates (out of 6) happen to be involved in the BravoTV Reality TV show about Silicon Valley, so TV cameras are sometimes found roaming around.
It is NOT the set of the reality TV show (unlike the Real World suite or Big Brother house). When there are cameras here (which is fairly rarely) they are focused on the cast of the show and it is VERY obvious – no hidden cameras or mics. The house is also big enough that one can easily keep to oneself. The camera crew is typically attracted to large events hosted at The Villa – in which case the event is clearly labeled as an “on camera event” to attendees, ahead of time.
It was NOT scouted by, set up or paid for by Bravo.
In my last few posts I’ve used the word ‘Love’ a lot. I thought I would try to describe what that word means to me.
From the bible (though I am not a big fan of that book)
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
I would add…
Love is truth. Love is openness. Love is loyalty. Love is nostalgia.
Love survives time, and space. Love survives moods.
Love is vulnerability. Love is drawing power from partnership.
Love is making yours mine. Love is making mine, yours. Love is making you, us. Love is making us, me.
Love is based on trust and friendship. A friendship that could never be abandoned. Love is not being alone.
Love is the thing that survives long after the lust has burned away, the words have evaporated and the disappointments have sunk in.
Love is scary as hell.
The feeling of love peaks and troughs. Love takes faith.
Love is not playing games. Not manipulating. Not having an agenda.
Love begins with loving yourself. It ends with loving everyone and everything.
Love is often confused with fear.
Love is often confused with lust.
Love is infrequent.
Love is evolution.
Love is God.
You can’t convince someone to feel it. You can’t convince yourself to stop.
Above all else, you must have a great relationship with yourself. Without that strong foundation, you can not have a strong relationship with another person or organization.
There’s no such thing as normal. We all have our biases and neurosis.
We obsess over ritual, process, dogma and fear. Did he do the right thing on date number 3? Did she file form number 5? Did they come through the right door?
Our egos, pride and fear get in the way of real connections and meaningful leaps of faith. We classify ‘ideal’ as unattainable ‘fantasy’ instead of a worthy goal. We semi-commit, leverage, tell half truths, white lies or outright betrayals. What if your business model matched your vision? What if your words matched your thoughts. What if your thoughts matched your highest ideals – ideals based on love and openness.
We play power games, instead of realizing partnership affords us the greatest power of all. Saying “I need you” or “I need help” is a critical kind of power.
We think we must choose between love, work or self. We are all selfish. But we don’t realize that definition of love is broadening your definition of self to include another person. We don’t realize that success without love is like a tree falling in the forest with no one to hear – it happens but it doesn’t matter. No one gives a shit.
We think we must choose between one person or another. The truth is we are all nodes on a network. We need different types of signals from different kinds of people.
We try to ‘find ourselves’ not realizing that our everyday actions define us. Did you say that kind word to that stranger? Then you are kind. Were you loyal to a friend? Then you are loyal. Did you avoid that confrontation? Then you are someone who avoids confrontation. Did you tell your complete personal truth? Then you are honest.
We look for the next best thing instead of recognizing that truly getting on the same page with someone is the best possibility of all. Achieving that kind of collaboration – even for a moment – should be cherished in the moment and for a lifetime. Sometimes it happens like a lightning strike. Most times it takes hard work, communication and trust.
We forget that the best relationships are about resonating with something or someone. About helping each other evolve by creating safe harbors, new opportunities and covering each other’s blind spots.
We grow complacent and content in our relationships. They require constant work. Each participant must grow, evolve and contribute to the whole.
There are so many stories of people breaking up because they were ‘too young’ and now, years later, they long for that lost connection. “We’re different now. They have a girlfriend now. They are happy without me.” Why did you give it up in the first place? Why not try again? Are grand gestures only for the movies?
There are so many stories of high-school sweethearts that wake up one day resenting each other. Do they resent each other, or do they resent missed opportunities. Being trapped. Missed freedoms. Did they communicate? Did they give each other freedom? Did they create opportunities for each other? Did they leave when the relationship finally no longer served their evolution?
Maybe most relationships are temporary – a day, a week, a year, a decade. We try to have ‘clean’ breakups. Contracts. Lawyers. Relationships are not clean. They are messy. Love is messy. Life is work. Work is life. A relationship is not defined by what you think it should be or what the contract says it will be – it’s defined by every day. Every hiccup. Every earnest effort to do the right thing for the other person.
Time is not running out. We overestimate what can be done in a day and underestimate what can be done in a decade. Breathe. Take your time. Pay attention. Keep perspective.
Is there always imbalance in a relationship? Does one always need the other more. Love the other more? Is that ok? How does one measure the delta. What is the threshold for when the delta becomes too great? When does the relationship no longer serve your evolution and the evolution of your partner?
These are some of the open questions about a partnership that remain for me.
I know, though, you can’t hold on too tight or you will strangle each other.
These things are only cliches because they are true.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what compels people to behave a certain way. In business. In personal relationships. In life.
I’m certain there are countless books espousing countless metaphors for thinking about the issue. For me it comes down to some common themes.
Perspective is perhaps one of the most important human traits. Along with tool building and self-awareness, it’s one of the core things that separate us from the animals. It allows us to switch angles, points of view, lenses, frames of reference or ways of thinking in order to evaluate an idea or circumstance in multiple ways.
Often times when you’re feeling down, confused or looking for a better option, simply try changing your perspective and your attitude or feeling can change almost instantly.
Our priorities can affect our actions in fundamental ways. In fact just re-ordering a few subconscious priorities can dramatically change our behavior, loyalties and outcomes.
When you hear someone say “they’ve changed” it’s likely that the person in question has changed their priorities or their perspective because the rest of the items on this list are pretty hard to change without a lot of conscious thought and self-evaluation.
Patterns are about what a person has seen in his or her past and is either repeating or trying to break away from. You might also see patterns from your peers or they might even imprint them on you directly with advice. In the worst cases this is peer pressure.
Perhaps it’s their parents. Perhaps it’s a previous business failure. Whatever the case, human beings are pattern recognition (and repeating) machines. We are doing it all the time. It’s very, very easy to fall into them and almost impossible to change them – particularly the fundamental ones.
Patterns are not just about behaviors. They are also about subconscious ways of thinking and the way we might emotionally identify with situations.
In many cases our behaviors change, but the underlaying emotional pattern is the same. Some patterns are probably fairly immutable without a LOT of pain and conscious thought.
There are certain temperaments and personality traits we’re born with. Some babies are irritable, some sleep through the whole night. This isn’t learned behavior, it’s genetic. Our chemical make ups have a profound impact on our patience, personality and actions.
Sure you can take pills to help with depression or anxiety. Ideally, though, you use exercise or other meditation techniques to adjust your brain chemistry but the core genetics are obviously locked in stone.
Pride is a powerful force. It can stop us from reaching out, reaching in or just fundamentally seeing the truth. Pride often times leads us to our worst fears and can block us from getting what we want. It’s like a poison that can fundamentally break our lives in ways we can’t understand and may never be able to repair. It’s based on fear (detailed next) but it’s so specific that I thought it deserved it’s own section.
Fear is an overriding motivating factor. Fight or flight can shut down all other factors listed here and drive us to do crazy things. When we think our person, personality or future is at risk, we can lash out, cut off and fly away from situations or people faster than you can say ‘hey relax, you’re no longer fighting for your life out in the prehistoric caves’.
Living in Love is the highest form of decision making. Highest form of living in general really. Making decisions based on your highest hopes and grandest version of yourself is hard to do because everything in your brain and body tells you to run like hell. When your perspective is wrong, or your priorities are shifting or your patterns are locked in or your predisposition is messing up your clarity or your fear is shutting down your brain and forcing you to simply react, or your pride is getting in the way – finding your love, much less acting on it, is near impossible.
Find it you must, though.
[Update] Love also has another effect. When you truly love someone else, they become part of you. Part of your definition of self. The way you treat/behave towards yourself is vastly different than the way you would treat anyone else. This can dictate your behavior in ways that even supersede fear.
[Editors Note] I left this out when originally publishing the post but a couple of hours after writing it I attended an inspiring dinner where it was clear many people were trying to use this factor to drive their behavior - it was an oversight not to include it in the first place.
Purpose is, in many ways, the easiest way to manipulate your own behavior. In fact In many ways it’s the only way to practically (in material ways) determine success because by clearly defining your purpose (and change the world or be important is not clear enough) you can carve a smooth trajectory for your life, make your actions more consistent and ultimately give you something to succeed at. After all, the definition of success is first stating a goal and then achieving it.
Having a grand purpose also helps inspire those around you to action as well. In many cases our purpose is defined by the factors listed above and just as often the factors above block us from achieving it.
Information Technology and Services | San Francisco Bay Area, US
I like to find patterns in the chaos. I look for microcosms, long-term trends, ripples and waves. I like to think abstractly while designing simple, concrete solutions - solutions that work today while allowing for long-term extensibility and scale.
I pay attention to Attention. Attention is one of the most powerful human cognitive functions. It determines what we see, what we hear and what we act on. Attention motivates us. It compels us. We are drawn to those who have it while we ask for others to give it. In an age of abundance the key economic driver of the coming decade will be Attention. Measuring it, learning from it, managing it and sharing it.
I am interested in the lyrical and the practical. The aesthetic and the technical. The form and the function. I prefer flow over stocks, liberal over conservative, open over closed. I am interested in helping others succeed so that we can all work and play in shared personal and professional success.
My current interests have driven me to a number of projects of passion. They are listed below.
I observe and document trends, imagine the future, design and develop corresponding product road map and business strategies and then share the outcomes with our customers.
Find Echo at www.aboutecho.com
2010 - Present
Co-Author / Synaptic Web
I helped author the Synaptic Web strawman along with Khris Loux and Eric Blantz. Find it at SynapticWeb.org
2007 - Present
Co-Founder / DataPortability Project
Standardized Data Portability is the next great frontier for the web. As users, our identity, photos, videos and other forms of personal data should be discoverable by, and shared between our chosen tools or vendors. We need a DHCP for Identity. A distributed File System for data. This page will list the standards and contributors who are making it happen.
2006 - Present
Co-Founder / APML Workgroup
APML stands for 'Attention Profiling Markup Langauge'. It is an open format for describing a user's ranked interests for 'Attention Aware' applications.
Co-Founder and VP Strategy / Echo
Echo is the next generation commenting system. It’s the way to share your content, and watch the live reaction.
I observe and document trends, imagine the future, design and develop corresponding product road map and business strategies and then share the outcomes with our customers. Find echo at www.aboutecho.com
Co-Founder / Media 2.0 Workgroup
The Media 2.0 Workgroup is a group of industry commentators, agitators and innovators who believe that the phenomena of democratic participation will change the face of media creation, distribution and consumption.
I started the workgroup along with the 14 industry leaders who joined as co-founders.
Co-Founder and Director / Faraday Media
Particls is an all-purpose heads-up-display for your life. it learns what you care about and delivers that information to you while you work. The result can take many forms including a news crawler, pop-up alerts, SMS, email digests, flash visualizations etc.
Find out more at www.particls.com
Founder, CEO / RedShift Pty Ltd
As the Founder and CEO of RedShift I set the vision & strategy for the company. We created business models around simple, elegant web-based software that help communities create and extract value from their shared contributions and experiences.
Founder/Host / Radioactive
Radioactive was about turning radio into a real-time conversation with a community. With a live radio show broadcast on terrestrial radio and the internet every week, the show blurred the lines between chat, forums, voting and radio to create a presentation that was by the community and for the community.
I founded the project, designed the show and managed a team of over 20 volunteers around the country to broadcast a new show each week.
The result was a set of community interaction technologies that were later commercialized through RedShift Pty Ltd (including a form of blogging and podcasting before the practice was popularized by RSS).
The Way - Trailer "The Way" is an inspirational story about family, friends, and the challenges of navigating a complicated world. Martin Sheen plays Tom, an American doctor who comes to France to collect the remains of his adult son (played by Emilio Estevez), who died while walking the Camino de Santiago, also known as The Way of Saint James. Embarking on the historical pilgrimage to honor his sonÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½s memory, Tom meets other pilgrims from around the world: a Dutchman (Yorick van Wageningen), a Canadian (Deborah Kara Unger) and an Irishman (James Nesbitt). Eventually, Tom discovers the difference between "the life we live and the life we choose." THE WAY, written and directed by Emilio Estevez, was filmed along the actual Camino de Santiago. Directed by: Emilio Estevez Starring: Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez, Deborah Kara Unger
Where Soldiers Come From - Trailer From a snowy small town in Northern Michigan to the mountains of Afghanistan and back, WHERE SOLDIERS COME FROM follows the four-year journey of childhood friends, forever changed by a faraway war. A documentary about growing up, WHERE SOLDIERS COME FROM, is an intimate look at the young men who fight our wars and the families and town they come from. Returning to her hometown, Director Heather Courtney gains extraordinary access following these young men as they grow and change from teenagers stuck in their town, to 23-year-old veterans facing the struggles of returning home. Directed by: Heather Courtney Starring: Dominic Fredianelli, Cole Smith, Matt “Bodi” Beaudoin
Trespass - Film Clip In a private, wealthy community, priority is placed on security and no exception is made for the Miller family's estate. Behind their pristine walls and manicured gardens, Kyle (Nicolas Cage), a fast-talking businessman, has entrusted the mansion's renovation to his stunning wife, Sarah (Nicole Kidman). But between making those big decisions and keeping tabs on their defiant teenage daughter (Liana Liberato), Sarah often finds herself distracted by a young, handsome worker (Cam Gigandet) at their home. Nothing is what it seems, and it will take a group of cold-blooded criminals led by Elias (Ben Mendelsohn), who have been planning a vicious home invasion for months, to bring the Miller family together. When they storm the manor, everyone is tangled up in betrayal, deception, temptation and scheming. Kyle, Sarah and Avery will take the ultimate risk to make it out with their lives - and their family - intact. Directed by: Starring: Nicolas Cage, Nicole Kidman, Ben Mendelsohn, Cam Gigandet, Liana Liberato, Jordana Spiro, Dash Mihok, Emily Meade, Nico Tortorella
The Double - Trailer 1 In THE DOUBLE, the mysterious murder of a US senator bearing the distinctive trademark of the legendary Soviet assassin "Cassius," forces Paul Shepherdson (Richard Gere), a retired CIA operative, to team with rookie FBI agent, Ben Geary (Topher Grace), to solve the crime.
Having spent his career chasing Cassius, Shepherdson is convinced his nemesis is long dead, but is pushed to take on the case by his former supervisor, Tom Highland (Martin Sheen). Meanwhile, Agent Geary, who wrote his Master's thesis on Shepherdson's pursuit of the Soviet killer, is certain that Cassius has resurfaced. As Shepherdson and Geary work their way through crimes both past and present, they discover that Cassius may not be the person they always thought him to be, forcing both to re-examine everything and everyone around them. Directed by: Michael Brandt Starring: Richard Gere, Topher Grace, Stana Katic, Stephen Moyer, Martin Sheen, Odette Annable
Margaret - Trailer MARGARET centers on a 17-year-old New York City high-school student who feels certain that she inadvertently played a role in a traffic accident that has claimed a woman's life. In her attempts to set things right she meets with opposition at every step. Torn apart with frustration, she begins emotionally brutalizing her family, her friends, her teachers, and most of all, herself. She has been confronted quite unexpectedly with a basic truth: that her youthful ideals are on a collision course against the realities and compromises of the adult world. Directed by: Kenneth Lonergan Starring: Anna Paquin, Matt Damon, Mark Ruffalo, J. Smith-Cameron, Matthew Broderick, Jean Reno
Puncture - Clip Mike Weiss (Chris Evans) is a talented young Houston lawyer and a functioning drug addict. Paul Danziger (co-director Mark Kassen), his longtime friend and partner, is the straightlaced and responsible yin to Mike's yang. Their mom-and-pop personal-injury law firm is getting by, but things really get interesting when they decide to take on a case involving Vicky (Vinessa Shaw), a local ER nurse, who is pricked by a contaminated needle on the job. As Weiss and Danziger dig deeper into the case, a health care and pharmaceutical conspiracy teeters on exposure and heavyweight attorneys move in on the defense. Out of their league but invested in their own principles, the mounting pressure of the case pushes the two underdog lawyers and their business to the breaking point. Brothers and directors Mark and Adam Kassen bring this real-life story to the screen with all the urgency and passion of the subjects themselves. The result is an effective issue-driven drama that finds its footing in a contemporary David and Goliath story. Produced and co-directed by Adam Kassen and Mark Kassen, PUNCTURE stars Chris Evans, Mark Kassen, Brett Cullen, Marshall Bell, Michael Biehn, Jesse L. Martin, Roxanna Hope, Tess Parker, Kate Burton and Vinessa Shaw. The film was written by Chris Lopata from story by Ela Thier and Paul Danziger and was executive-produced by Jeffrey Gou and Joan Huang, Paul Danziger and Rod de Llano and Craig Cohen.
Directed by: Adam Kassen, Mark Kassen Starring: Chris Evans, Mark Kassen, Brett Cullen, Marshall Bell, Michael Biehn, Jesse L. Martin, Roxanna Hope, Tess Parker, Kate Burton, Vinessa Shaw
What happens when a Time Lord meets a reviled dictator? Viewers will have to wait until Aug. 27 when the eagerly anticipated 'Doctor Who' episode 'Let's Kill Hitler' airs.
In this preview clip below, the TARDIS seems to be having a bit of a problem. When the Doctor and his companions gather their bearings, they're face to face with ... you guessed it, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
What happens next? You'll have to wait until the series returns to BBC America on Aug. 27 to find out.
The Hedgehog - Trailer Inspired by the beloved New York Times bestseller, The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery, THE HEDGEHOG is the timely story of Paloma (Garance Le Guillermic) a young girl bent on ending it all on her upcoming twelfth birthday. Using her father's old camcorder to chronicle the hypocrisy she sees in adults, Paloma begins to learn about life from the grumpy building concierge, Renee Michel (FRENCH TWIST's Josiane Balasko). When Paloma's camera reveals the extensive secret library in Renee's back room, and that the often gruff matron reads Tolstoy to her cat, Paloma begins to understand that there are allies to be found beneath the prickliest of exteriors. As the unlikely friendship deepens, Paloma's own coming of age becomes a much less pessimistic prospect. Directed by: Mona Achache Starring: Josiane Balasko, Garance Le Guillermic, Togo Igawa, Anne Brochet
Vigilante Vigilante - Trailer A new breed of crime-fighter now stalks the urban landscape: the anti-graffiti vigilante. These dedicated blight warriors stop at nothing to rid their neighborhoods and cities of street art, stickers, tags, and posters. Yet several of these vigilantes have become the very menace they set out to eliminate. In their relentless attempt to stamp out graffiti, they have turned to illegally and destructively painting other people's property. VIGILANTE VIGILANTE is the story of two filmmakers who set out to expose these mysterious characters and discover a battle of expression that stretches from the streets to academia. Directed by: Max Good Starring:
I Don't Know How She Does It - Trailer Sarah Jessica Parker, Greg Kinnear, Pierce Brosnan, Olivia Munn, and Christina Hendricks star in I Don't Know How She Does It, a comedy from director Douglas McGrath (Emma, Infamous) and producer Donna Gigliotti (The Reader, Let Me In). Based on the critically acclaimed bestseller by Allison Pearson, I Don't Know How She Does It follows a Boston-based working mother trying desperately to juggle marriage, children, and a high-stress job. Kate Reddy (Parker) devotes her days to her job with a Boston-based financial management firm. At night she goes home to her adoring, recently-downsized architect husband Richard (Kinnear) and their two young children. It's a non-stop balancing act, the same one that Kate's acerbic best friend and fellow working mother Allison (Christina Hendricks) performs on a daily basis, and that Kate's super-brainy, child-phobic young junior associate Momo (Olivia Munn) fully intends to avoid. When Kate gets handed a major new account that will require frequent trips to New York, Richard also wins the new job he's been hoping for--and both will be spreading themselves even thinner. Complicating matters is Kate's charming new business associate Jack Abelhammer (Brosnan), who begins to prove an unexpected source of temptation. Directed by: Douglas McGrath Starring: Sarah Jessica Parker, Greg Kinnear, Pierce Brosnan, Olivia Munn, Seth Meyers, Kelsey Grammer, Christina Hendricks, Jane Curtin
Love Crime - Film Clip When Christine, a powerful executive (Scott Thomas), brings on a naive young ingenue, Isabelle (Sagnier), as her assistant, she delights in toying with her naivete and teaching her hard lessons in a ruthless professional philosophy. But when the protege's ideas become tempting enough for Christine to pass one as her own, she underestimates Isabelle's ambition and cunning-- and the ground is set for all out war. In this devilish, propulsive thriller, Corneau sets up a the scenery expertly and his actors devour it. Directed by: Alain Corneau Starring: Ludivigne Sagnier, Kristin Scott Thomas, Patrick Mille
Like Crazy - Featurette A love story is both a physical and emotional tale, one that can be deeply personal and heartbreaking for an audience to experience. Director Drake Doremus' film Like Crazy beautifully illustrates how your first real love is as thrilling and blissful as it is devastating. When a British college student (Felicity Jones) falls for her American classmate (Anton Yelchin) they embark on a passionate and life-changing journey only to be separated when she violates the terms of her visa.Like Crazy explores how a couple faces the real challenges of being together and of being apart. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best Picture at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and of the Special Jury Prize for Best Actress for Felicity Jones, Like Crazydepicts both the hopefulness and the heartbreak of love. Directed by: Drake Doremus Starring: Anton Yelchin, Felicity Jones, Jennifer Lawrence, Charlie Bewley
The Dark Knight Rises - Trailer 4 Warner Bros. Pictures' and Legendary Pictures' "The Dark Knight Rises" is the epic conclusion to filmmaker Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, Leading an all-star international cast, Oscar(R) winner Christian Bale ("The Fighter") again plays the dual role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. The film also stars Anne Hathaway, as Selina Kyle; Tom Hardy, as Bane; Oscar(R) winner Marion Cotillard ("La Vie en Rose"), as Miranda Tate; and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as John Blake. Returning to the main cast, Oscar(R) winner Michael Caine ("The Cider House Rules") plays Alfred; Gary Oldman is Commissioner Gordon; and Oscar(R) winner Morgan Freeman ("Million Dollar Baby") reprises the role of Lucius Fox. The screenplay is written by Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan, story by Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer. The film is produced by Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan and Charles Roven, who previously teamed on "Batman Begins" and the record-breaking blockbuster "The Dark Knight." The executive producers are Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan, Kevin De La Noy and Thomas Tull, with Jordan Goldberg serving as co-producer. The film is based upon characters appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. Batman was created by Bob Kane. Directed by: Christopher Nolan Starring: Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman
Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life - Clip Taking the best from LA VIE EN ROSE and AMELIE, renowned comic book artist Joann Sfar's GAINSBOURG: A HEROIC LIFE is a completely original take on one of France's greatest mavericks, the illustrious and infamous Jewish singer-songwriter, Serge Gainsbourg (Eric Elmosnino). Born Lucien Ginsburg to Russian-Jewish parents, Sfar follows him from his precocious childhood in Nazi-occupied Paris, to his beginnings as small time jazz musician and finally pop superstar. Along the way he romances many of the era's most beautiful women, including Juliette Greco (Anna Mouglalis), Brigitte Bardot (Laetitia Casta) and Jane Birkin (Lucy Gordon). Employing a witty surrealistic style and a soundtrack that includes many of the musician's greatest hits, GAINSBOURG: A HEROIC LIFE is a quintessential time capsule to '60's Paris. Directed by: Joann Sfar Starring: Eric Elmosnino, Lucy Gordon, Laetitia Casta, Doug Jones, Sara Forestier
Sympathy for Delicious - Trailer Sympathy for Delicious marks acclaimed actor Mark Ruffalo's first foray into directing. This inspired and unusual film tells the story of Dean O'Dwyer (Christopher Thornton), also known as "Delicious D," an up-and-coming DJ on the underground music scene in Los Angeles. When a motorcycle accident leaves Dean paralyzed, he abandons his turntables for a wheelchair as his once promising career disappears before his eyes. Forced to live out of his car on skid row, Dean begins his descent into depression when he meets Father Joe Roselli (Mark Ruffalo), a passionate young priest. Father Joe introduces Dean to the world of faith-healing, an unlikely way for him to begin his quest to walk again. He soon discovers that he possesses the otherworldly power to heal people, but in an odd twist of fate, he is utterly unable to heal himself. Despite Father Joe's warnings, Dean angrily decides to use his newfound gift for fame and fortune. He joins a rock band led by charismatic front man The Stain (Orlando Bloom) with bassist Ariel (Juliette Lewis), and manager Nina Hogue (Laura Linney). But his newfound notoriety is unable to cure the hurt that encompasses his life. To find true healing, Dean must ultimately confront his worst demons and come to terms with his own humanity. Directed by: Mark Ruffalo Starring: Christopher Thornton, Mark Ruffalo, Juliet Lewis, Orlando Bloom, Laura Linney
Resurrect Dead - Trailer Strangeness is afoot. Most people don't notice the hundreds of cryptic tiled messages about resurrecting the dead that have been appearing in city streets over the past three decades. But Justin Duerr does. For years, finding an answer to this long-standing urban mystery has been his obsession. He has been collecting clues that the tiler has embedded in the streets of major cities across the U.S. and South America. But as Justin starts piecing together key events of the past he finds a story that is more surreal than he imagined, and one that hits disturbingly close to home.
Directed by: Jon Foy Starring:
Tucker and Dale vs Evil - Featurette TUCKER & DALE VS EVIL is a hilariously gory, good-spirited horror comedy, doing for killer rednecks what Shaun of the Dead did for zombies. Tucker and Dale are two best friends on vacation at their dilapidated mountain house, who are mistaken for murderous backwoods hillbillies by a group of obnoxious, preppy college kids. When one of the students gets separated from her friends, the boys try to lend a hand, but as the misunderstanding grows, so does the body count. TUCKER AND DALE VS EVIL has been a hit on the festival circuit, debuting at Sundance, and winning the Midnight Audience Award at SXSW, the Jury Prize for First Feature at Fantasia, the Best Director award at Fantaspoa, and the Best Motion Picture Award at Sitges. Directed by: Eli Craig Starring: Alan Tudyk, Tyler Labine, Katrina Bowden
The Darkest Hour - Trailer 2 The DARKEST HOUR is the story of five young people who find themselves stranded in Moscow, fighting to survive in the wake of a devastating alien attack. The 3D thriller highlights the classic beauty of Moscow alongside mind-blowing special effects. Directed by: Chris Gorak Starring: Emile Hirsch, Olivia Thirlby, Max Minghella, Rachael Taylor
The Ides of March - Clip - Make It Mandatory The Ides of March takes place during the frantic last days before a heavily contested Ohio presidential primary, when an up-and-coming campaign press secretary (Ryan Gosling) finds himself involved in a political scandal that threatens to upend his candidate's shot at the presidency. Directed by: George Clooney Starring: Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei, Jeffrey Wright, Evan Rachel Wood