Very cool. This is my Memolane!
Silicon Alley Talent Fair
Silicon Alley Talent Fair & After Party is June 16th. The recent surge of entrepreneurial activity in New York has created a surge in hiring. Now is the time to join some of New York’s most creative and industrious minds to bring the next wave of computer products and services to the forefront of daily use. Join us on June 16th at the Armory for a Startup Talent Fair, where you’ll have plenty of time to meet with exciting new startups and network with other talented individuals like yourself. Good back story, too: SAJF was born out of 80 + startups doing the entrepreneurial thing and leveraging an email mishap to rally around the concept of doing their own job fair. It took on a life of its own and has found mass support across the NYC startup community. For the full story: http://mashable.com/2011/04/05/nyc-startups-job-fair/ This event is organized and produced by startups for startups. To register as a jobseeker: http://bit.ly/SATFtalent; to register as an employer: http://bit.ly/SATFemployer
Is pivoting natural selection or intelligent design?
Pivoting is not particular to tech startups. Many of the largest companies we know today have done it throughout the years to adapt to new times or even to survive. The list surprises lots of people:
- Berkshire Hathaway: Textiles → Private equity
- BMW: Aircraft engines → Vehicles
- IBM: Office machinery → Computers → IT Consulting
- Nintendo: Playing cards → Video games
- Nokia: Rubber boots → Cell phones
- Pixar: Animation tools → Animated movies
- Sony: Rice cookers → Various electronics
Pivoting as pre-planned strategy is probably rare, most companies do it because they have to do it. It’s however very common to the new generation of tech startups to figure out things one step at a time and be able to understand what/when to pivot. Eric Ries nailed a definition for it:
…The idea that successful startups change directions but stay grounded in what they’ve learned. They keep one foot in the past and place one foot in a new possible future. Over time, this pivoting may lead them far afield from their original vision, but if you look carefully, you’ll be able to detect common threads that link each iteration.
Interestingly enough the two leading startups in the hottest space right now have come to where they are through different pivot paths. (It says something about the group buying business model with such low barrier-entry that practically any web business can pivot to it.)
Groupon started as The Point, a website that let people create a campaign asking people to give money or do something as a group and leveraged their technology to implement group buying after struggling to get traction.
LivingSocial started as a Facebook platform developer. They were all over the place until they acquired BuyYourFriendADrink and e-commerce site that allowed users to buy gift certificates for friends towards any of the bars in their network. One of their salespeople identified the opportunity that triggered the pivot.
Watch these companies founders explain how they ended up being where they are. Natural selection or intelligent design? Leave a comment…
150 years of Gustav Mahler
If you’re a Mahler fan you can create and vote for the dream Mahler symphony cycle. The favourite users‘ recording of each symphony will be released together as a limited-edition CD box-set called Mahler – The People‘s Edition in November 2010.
People ain’t no bad
It may not be unanimous the opinion that people are mostly good - I know some of you are skeptical about it. However from time to time we learn stories that remind us that goodwill exists and people will help strangers without expecting a payoff.
I took a cab last night to Grand Central Terminal and as I enter the car I notice there’s a laptop on the back seat. I show it to the driver and he asks me to give it to him because he would drive back to 54th street - where he had dropped off the unlucky owner - and return it. I asked if he knew exactly where the person went and as he assured me I handed him the computer.
First reaction I had was to tweet it, and the tweet ended up on Facebook where some commenters were skeptical the owner would ever recover the laptop. To the skepticals here’s some good stuff.
NYC cabbie drives 200 miles to return $21,000 left in taxi by tourist.
The cabbie drove about 50 miles to a Long Island address he found in Mrs Lettieri’s handbag. No one answered the door at the house in Patchougue, so he left his phone number and drove back to the city. Hours later, he received a call from the family, turned around and drove back with the money.
The Guardian is running a reader poll - “If you found a large wedge of cash, would you return it or keep it?” Here are the results so far.
LIRR conductor lauded for returning lost wallet containing $2,800
Pinkham was humble about his heroic deed, and isn’t even allowed to collect reward money as an LIRR employee.
“We’re here for the customers,” he said.
(cross posted at blog.tigertag.com)
Sir Ken Robinson speaks about creativity and schools and how they aren’t usually together. Very funny and inspiring presentation at TED.