I stumbled on an old DaveNet piece from 1994 on developers and platforms, which caused me to go back and reread a number of his classic e-mails. I forgot how interesting they were.
These were the good old days of the Internet, where you could write about Microsoft, and Bill Gates would write back telling you why you were an idiot. (Well, he didn’t actually use that word, but how would you describe: “Nothing I said… could have been misinterpreted to suggest [the idiotic thing you wrote].”)
My favorite piece (so far) is an e-mail that Esther Dyson sent to Dave, which includes these highly prescient lines:
The new wave is not value-added; it’s garbage-subtracted. The job of the future is pr guy, not journalist. I’m too busy reading, so why should I pay for more things to read? Anything anyone didn’t pay to send to me… I’m not going to read.
Yes, in a world full of content and advertising and pr, I still want to know what your friends and mine are thinking, but I want only what they think is so good that they’ll pay to have me read it — because they honestly believe it will raise their stature in my eyes.
If that isn’t foreseeing the downfall of newspapers and the rise of Facebook and Twitter statuses and Google AdWords, nothing is.
Popularity: 9% [?]
I am slowly getting around to sorting my sabbatical photos. First up, the graffiti of Barcelona.
Many stores have a metal roll down shutter that they use when they’re closed. As you can see, it’s quite popular to decorate the shutter with graffiti.
Estudi de Ballet
Popularity: 1% [?]
Inspired by watching the Julia & Julia, I not only cooked dinner from recipes in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, but I am now blogging about it.
I watched the movie at Japantown’s Kabuki Sundance Theater. The Kabuki has many positive virtues, such as the ability to pre-select your seat, drink alcohol in the theatre, and no commercials before the show. (They also have the highest ticket prices in town.) However, I chose it for two other reasons.
One: In 1974, Julia performed eight cooking demonstrations at the Kabuki Theater itself, an event covered by Calvin Thompkins in his fantastic 11,005 word profile published in The New Yorker. (Did you know that Julia wrote that she “would be perfectly happy w. only Chinese food…. Either French or Chinese. Could live w. only Chinese.”)
Two: The Kabuki uses real butter on their popcorn. Knowing Julia’s fondness for butter, it seemed disrespectful, and downright untasty, to eat artificially flavored popcorn during the show.
Popularity: 12% [?]
One of the great things about working at eBay is reading the various speculations on the Internets about what’s going on inside the company and seeing how closely it matches up to reality.
I don’t normally comment on these discussions, but there’s a pretty good one right now that I’m enjoying on the screen shot posted under the title a “new split screen GUI” view of eBay.
According to a comment, one person thinks this is some super-secret screen capture ferreted out by someone under NDA. Scot Wingo thinks this is a “snagged screen shot” of a special test “roaming around the playground.”
As usual, the reality is far more mundane. Since the evidence is posted publicly on eBay.com, I’m happy to debunk this.
Go to the eBay investor Web site and check out the “Boston Lunch Presentation” from February 1. (This deck is identical to New York lunch presentation from the day before.) Go to slide 14 “New approach to Fixed Price and Auctions: Early prototype.”
Popularity: 33% [?]
A new year, a new marketing campaign for trachtenberg.com. Between Christmas and New Year’s, I went to Half Moon Bay. Over the weekend, thanks to iMovie and the
Mrs., I ended up with this:
Popularity: 32% [?]
I somehow decided to take 2007 off from blogging. It wasn’t intentional at first. However, at some point during the year I realized I hadn’t been blogging for so many months, it was would look better if I just skipped the entire year.
Popularity: 33% [?]