Thursday, May 17, 2012


The excitement is pretty high here in Silicon Valley. It's the night before Facebook's IPO. And most engineers are working on an amazing number of projects. Some of them will succeed and could be the next core feature of the Facebook user experience. And some of them will fail. But they will try.
Hacking has been about the anti-culture. It's actually about innovation, because it creates a constant stream of products and services that can transform an experience. 
Culturally, founders have been lovers of places where there are no rules. It starts with Burning Man. It morphs to Coachella. It becomes Winter Music Festival. Or the Ultra Music Festival. It's about places with no boundaries.
As I build the first culture, I hit a wall where I feel constrained. And then I sit back, and smile because I know that I was taught once to Think Different at a place called IBM. That's how you can create something that lasts. And it starts with every person at the company to write their own job description, define their own goals, and set their own responsibilities. 

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Personalize me, PLEASE

I've been thinking a lot about personalization and what it means. It's been an incredible part of every product that I've worked on. And today, it still isn't true.

To personalize something, a user needs multiple ways to establish an account with a service. Then you need to trust that service to manage your profile. FOREVER. I've had a hard time discovering everything from apps to music to videos on all of my devices.

One should consider the challenges of personalization. The web needs a more federated and open way to identify a user. And that needs to apply to a lot more things now that the web is a lot more than Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, Google Chrome, and more. It can personalize everything from apps to how we pay for things in stores to what ads we see on TV.

It's scary to think that one company would manage all of these things, but if all of the services out there would find a way to collaborate, my life in the digital age would be much more peaceful and productive.