So many of my friends are traveling all over the world. They have the time of their lives. However, many of them suffer from terrible jet lag when they get home. Their days are night, their nights are days. A few confided that it almost makes the trip not worth it
I love dark meat Turkey. So does Larry David. I found this out because Kara Swisher of AllThingsd.com shared the video below with her readers. It’s pretty funny, especially if you come from Brooklyn.
I want to dedicate this blog post to Elliott Lampert, my friend in Miami, who had to spend Thanksgiving in the hospital. You will be out soon. Get some good rest. Thank you Mindi for keeping us informed. I finally see the virtue of texting.
Quite a Turkey Day.
I hate when friends want to hold my iPhone to see a photo or a video. They usually want to get closer to the screen. Unfortunately, they sometimes lose my photos when they try to enlarge the image or they displace videos when they want to switch from one to another. I have been known to grab my iPhone after I see them trying to manipulate the screen. “Get your sticky fingers off my screen,” I sometimes say out loud or mumble to myself
Recently I found a solution to my dilemma that I want to share with you. It’s the new ultra-sleek 3M Projector Sleeve for the iPhone 4/4S. All you do is slip your iPhone into the case. The case allows you to project pictures and videos everywhere and anywhere. All of a sudden everyone can share together. While it hasn’t been publicly announced, 3M is going to shortly introduce a projector sleeve for the iPhone 5. 3M calls the sleeve “dock and go.” I love that because it is small and thin enough to go with you everywhere. You can slip it in the pocket of your jeans, your purse, or the pocket on your shirt.
The makers of the 3M Projector Sleeve claim that users are getting a kick out sharing their new favorite viral video from YouTube® or streaming the newest films from Netflix® on the wall, on the ceiling or on the side of a tent. Others are creating photo sharing nights with family and friends with special slide shows. The 3M Projector Sleeve allows for 100 minutes of projection time. It also has a rechargeable battery. It’s very simple to use. Just project, share and enjoy. It even works as a back-up charger for your phone with the press of a button.
I plan to use the 3M Projector Sleeve for client presentations, to review photos on my camera roll, and to show off interesting videos I took at concerts, musicals, and plays. I may also start my own human interest channel on YouTube and share the videos with friends when we all gather together.
Amazon has the 3M Projector Sleeve on sale for $165.98 through November. It usually sells for $229.00.
Below is a video demonstration.
I was waiting for this night for a long time. Three of the most famous names in the digital world were on stage at the 92nd St Y in NYC, one of the most respected institutions for lectures, talks, and entertainment in the United States.
Eric Schmidt is Executive Chairman of Google.
Walt Mossberg is the author and creator of the weekly Personal Technology column in The Wall Street Journal.
Kara Swisher started covering digital issues for The Wall Street Journal’s San Francisco bureau in 1997.
Most of the presentation focused on what Schmidt calls “The Gang Of Four,” Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook. He said the future really will be about what Facebook does the best, gather personal information from users and their contacts. This will be a valuable growth area and each company will integrate this into their own formats.
Schmidt also pointed out that big name, national newspapers will survive but local ones will not. As strange as this sounds he predicts that celebrities Iike Jay-Z will be the big brands in publishing. “It is very obvious that Americans are celebrity crazed and follow their every word. A newspaper named after a major star will draw more attention than what local newspapers call themselves today.”
Another Schmidt prediction is that mobility will be the most important factor in technology growth. “Software will be designed for mobile devices and then for the web. Today it is the other way around. We have discovered that most users can get along with just using their smartphones. They don’t need anything else.”
Schmidt said six billion people use a phone. One billion use a smartphone. He wants Google to always be the “Center Of Information.”
I get calls every week from tech start-ups asking me to either help them with a public relations program or to secure funding. I try to do my best, but lately they are coming to me fast and furious. Call it a sign of the times, but an increasing number of college graduates or working folks are leaving their careers to become entrepreneurs. I spend countless non-billable hours helping where I can. I write pro-bono press releases, distribute them to targeted press, and make calls to see if we can secure editorial placement. I also spend endless hours working on strategy and business plans.
Eliot often asks me if HWH is really a non-profit. I tell him it is a form of new business. One of these guys/gals are going to make us rich. It hasn’t happened yet, but there is always tomorrow. There are so many great ideas out there that need the support of seasoned professionals like you. I don’t care if you are a fireman, housewife, doctor, teacher, writer, salesperson or CEO, you have something the under 50 crowd needs—a lifetime of experience. Intuitively, you may have a better sense of judgment than the idea person.
Start small. Take a look at www.kickstarter.com. I talked about the company before in generalities but now I want to get specific.
“Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects which include films, games, music, art, design, and technology. Some projects only require a dollar to show you support them. Anyone can join in. Most of the supporters are much younger than us, but that is because they knew about Kickstarter before us. The site launched on April 28, 2009 and to date has raised over $350 million by more than 2.5 million people, funding more than 30,000 creative projects. People who fund Kickstarter projects do not get equity. The Project creators keep 100 per cent ownership of their work. The only gratification you get is identifying a good idea and giving a little bit of yourself towards it.”
Take a look at this Kickstarter project. I bet my ocean loving friends can dig this.
Autonomous sailing robots to study the oceans. Each boat can sail itself anywhere and send data back to shore. Funding ends next Friday. Each robotboat is fully autonomous, needs no fuel, and will bring to bear myriad sensors at remote points on the surface of oceans, lakes, and rivers. Think of it as a satellite for the seas. It studies the health of the world’s water.
Click on the arrow in the video. If you are getting this post via email, you may have to go to http://www.digidame.com to see the video. It is worth it. I couldn’t get the video on Kickstarter to embed here so I used Mashable’s coverage. If you want to know more about the project, go to Kickstarter.
The duo of Simon and Will.i.am are working on a project called the ”X Factor for Tech.” The details are very sketchy at this point but basically it will be the same kind of format that has proven to be successful for singers and dancers: teams of producers screen the entries, the on-screen TV judges select the ones they want to present on stage, the audience then decides on the finalists and then the grand prize winner.
The big question for ”X Factor for Tech” is their particular format. Will there be a final winner for each show that gets a sum of money for a startup, or will it take a year to get to the grand finale? How serious are they in finding the next Steve Jobs? Personally, I think that is just a euphemism for finding inventors who are game changers like Jack Dorsey of Twitter and Four Square, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Steve Case of AOL, and Jeff Bezos of Amazon.
Unlike the entertainment business, there is just a limited number of geniuses. Most of the time when you hear a new and interesting concept, it first sounds like a winner. Then as time goes by, the concept starts developing warts that the money people don’t want to address and the inventor doesn’t know how to cure on his or her own.
If you ever watch Shark Tank, a TV show format with a similar objective as what I think “X Factor for Tech” will be about, you start to understand why the Sharks only give money to those who can stand on their own. They can’t be nursemaids to the idea people. Too many inventors/creators need money but they also need guidance. They know nothing about marketing, accounting, legal requirements, hiring, firing, meeting deadlines, or even sales. The minute the Sharks find out that the person standing before them is an empty suit, he or she gets turned down.
The same thing will happen on “X Factor for Tech.” Simon and Will.i.am are not about to give money for an idea that will go no place fast, so it is going to be interesting to see how they cultivate the inventor. The same thing holds true with American Idol, The X Factor and all of the other entertainment shows. Half of the grand winners cut a record or two but you never hear from them again.
That is show business. This is the tech business. The ultimate Steve Jobs didn’t just appear one day. He was created after decades of trying to make things happen and then deciding that he had enough substance to lead. Very few on earth ever feel like that other than the impostors. There are tons of them. It is going to be interesting to see if these two music moguls will be able to spot that.
Most older folks often question the validity of Twitter. Many of my friends think it is a place where everyone goes to post what they ate for dinner, what movie they saw, and who their favorite rock star is. Au contraire! Twitter continues to be a social media platform where users report information as it develops and voice their opinions on current events
I want to show you what I mean. Crimson Hexagon, a social media research company, recently surveyed Twitter to see what Americans thought of Apple Maps Vs Google. Their results really give you the nitty gritty. Crimson Hexagon grabbed more than 50,000 tweets that mentioned the Maps app, which comes standard on the iPhone 5, over the last six days. Just 10% of those expressed interest, approval or excitement, such as this review from pastor Charlie Campbell: “I was a little nervous about losing Google maps but I must say I like Apple’s maps even better.”
Then Crimson Hexagon dug up 22% of the tweets expressing an outright hatred of the Apple app. But another 30% cracked jokes at the expense of Maps, such as this from entrepreneur Chris Eh Young: “If you ordered an iPhone 5, shipments are being delayed. Apple is forcing the delivery guys to use Apple Maps.”
Click on the Mashable story here written by Chris Taylor to learn more. It is quite fascinating.
I know David Carnoy as a tech editor at CNET. I also know that he writes mystery books, but I never quite figured out how he does both. When does he find the time? I finally got around to asking him and then I got the biggest shock of all. David told me he has four kids under the age of eight, two of them twins. His wife works full time as a major executive for one of the country’s largest banks. They have an active social life and split their time between Manhattan and a country home.
I was amazed! I have friends who have been trying to write non-fiction and/or fiction books for years. Their excuse for not completing them, is that they just don’t have the time. What they really mean is that they are too afraid to tackle the project, afraid of rejection, or just too lazy. I loved the words that David used when I asked him a few times how he manages. “You just have to learn to stretch yourself.” Wow, how powerful are those words? When I told David that I was overwhelmed by his answer, he didn’t seem to understand why I was so amazed.
“When you are born to write, you write,” he further articulated. “John Grisham said you have to be dedicated to write at least four hours a day. Michael Crichton wrote every day till noon and then quit.” David believes writers have to build up their stamina just like runners. You get to a point where you are writing five to seven hours a day. This is a good lesson to all of us who are quick to lay blame on not having enough time to write. “I get up at 4am every day and I write till my other responsibilities kick in. I try to get three pages written each day. I also write at night after the kids go to sleep. I have been known to lock myself in a closet to get work done. I have been doing this since high school. While ‘Knife Music’ and ‘The Big Exit’ are the two books that everyone knows me by, I have been writing novels for more than 25 years.”
I also asked David if he could see himself as a full time novelist. He was quick to answer that CNET is very important to him. “This is something I have been doing for a long time. The demands of the job keep me involved in the tech business and keep me disciplined. I also learn a lot each day and that is a very important foundation to everything else I do. My goal is not to become a full time writer but rather a bestselling author.”
One of the greatest challenges most self-published authors have is being self-disciplined. “I even have trouble. I sometimes think to myself that I should have written more by now. You can never be too disciplined. That is where the biggest struggle comes in. When you publish digitally and you don’t have someone looking over your shoulder reminding you of deadlines, then you really have to be extraordinary to make it work. Other than that, this is a time in our lives where everyone is in control of their own destiny. Let’s see who makes it.”
Scoop! You are reading about this long before anyone in the tech industry finds out that one of their own is about to debut a Silicon Valley murder mystery that almost sounds all too real. That’s what makes it so perfect. David Carnoy, Executive Editor at CBS Interactive (he oversees reviews of home entertainment products at CNET), is less than a month away from telling the rest of the world that his next crime novel takes place in Menlo Park, CA, headquarters of Facebook. While there is no connection to Facebook, “The Big Exit” does involve a start-up with many twists and turns that make you feel like you are a member of this innovative and creative industry.
Carnoy admits that he was drawn to the tech industry for his second thriller because of his day job. “I just couldn’t ignore it. I grew up in Menlo Park and I write about tech every day of the week. It was just a natural.” One of the reasons I wanted to write about Carnoy’s second novel, is because his journey to become a successful author is one that teaches all of us about the powers of the Internet.
Carnoy’s first novel, “Knife Music” (about the medical field), was a self published e-book generating about $500.00 a month when an agent spotted the sales activity. He pitched the digital book to The Overlook Press who was impressed that an unknown, first time author was creating such a buzz. The tech writer admitted that unbeknownst to Steve Jobs, Apple helped create the PR attention he needed to get the word out. In addition to selling it online through Amazon’s Booksurge, which is now Createspace, and in print, Carnoy tried to offer the book as an app. It got rejected by Apple because the mystery contained curse words. When the media heard about the rejection, a number of reporters wrote stories about Apple’s publishing criteria, which was hot news back in 2009. The book finally made it into the app store after Carnoy removed the profanity.
That helped spread the word. There is an important lesson to learn here. It doesn’t matter if you self-publish online or get picked up by a traditional publisher, you have to have a hook in order to sell books.
Currently, “Knife Music” has sold 50,000 e-book copies and 5,000 hard copies. Carnoy also believes that more and more agents are scouting online, self-published bookshelves, for the next best sellers. He encourages all to take those manuscripts out of the closets, brush them off and convert them to self-published books.
The next installment of my report on Carnoy talks about the discipline needed to be a first time online novelist.