Friday, December 29, 2006

Nick named a drink after us!

In the latest Nick Douglas' diggbait series, we are provided a listing of specialty cocktails for the tech world. STIRR is honored by having our own drink. Thanks Nick!
The Stirr Looks boozy, but it'll only make you more alert as you cruise your more sauced-up colleagues at an industry mixer. Ingredients: Coffee and whipped foam -- it's an Irish coffee without the Irish

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Holiday vacations have begun!

Two long weekend trips are about to start: Xmas in Vegas with the family (I think I've done this 11 of the last 12 years now) & the Mendocino coast for New Year's (we've rented a big house for the weekend and a bunch of friends are joining us). I'm sure I'll have some stories to share.

What a party!

STIRR's Winter Wonderland party sure was a hoot! Over 120 companies...~470 guests...11 wonderful sponsors and 4 hours of fun! I expect we'll be doing this again next year. Check out some of the initial pictures.

IFTF's 2007 Technology Research theme and agenda has been set

IFTF has a nice theme for next year! I expect we'll have a few more members than last year!

2007 THEME: The Future of Work

The impact of emerging technologies on our daily lives is often felt the most, and the earliest, at the workplace. Emerging technologies continue to transform the way we work. Wikis and blogs are making their way into the workplace; Fortune 500 companies are launching products in virtual worlds. And this is just the beginning. New technological tools are introduced almost daily that help us identify experts in our extended social networks, develop "folksonomies" for knowledge management, unchain us from our desktop, and facilitate online collaboration. While shifts in work practices and work environments will be driven by technology, the effects of those innovations will be decidedly human. How will work styles change? Where will we work and when? How is the physical work environment being reshaped? What new skills will be required of tomorrow's workforce? And what new metrics will we use to measure success?

Report Series

1) Abundant Computing: Observations from the Future
In our recent Science & Technology Perspectives, we forecasted that in the next two decades we will overcome limits in availability of computational resources. While today, high performance computing applications are mostly limited to capital-intensive industries like petroleum exploration, pharmaceuticals, and aircraft and automotive design, over time these capabilities will migrate to mass markets and eventually into hands of consumers. High-powered computing capabilities will be embedded in our physical environment, in living things, on walls, in furniture, fabric, garments, medicines, hand tools, utensils, toys and objects. What will we do in an era of digital abundance? We will try to answer that question through direct observations in environments that are already empowered with enormous computational resources—a few select university and corporate labs. Specifically, we will examine the variety of projects that these environments enable, the new types of work practices that are emerging, the expanding collaborative possibilities, and the new forms of interactivity that are emerging. These laboratories reveal that the future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed. Through direct observation at the facilities, we'll take our 2006 forecast on the evolution of abundant computing a step further: We'll not only describe the future but actually study it as it's being created.

2) Simulation: The New Literacy
Driven by the unbridled increase in processing power, a new language is emerging. Simulation literacy will become more important than computer literacy. Interactive computer graphics are becoming increasingly lifelike—soon, it will be hard to distinguish between what is real and what is "virtual." Our interactions with data, today mostly limited to Excel spreadsheets or relatively simple graphics, will take place in high-resolution simulations incorporating auditory, visual, and tactile inputs and outputs. The line between digital and physical will also blur—surgeons-in-training will operate on lifelike mannequins "programmed" with medical disorders, psychologists will treat real-world anxiety disorders in virtual space, and bricks-and-mortar companies will test entire businesses on the screen before any real money changes hands. In this research stream, we will take a deep look at the future of simulations and their impacts on a range of domains, from gaming to health to enterprise processes.

3) The Chinese Blogosphere: A Look Inside
By the end of 2006, China will be home to an estimated 120 million blogs, four times as many as existed the previous year. The Chinese spend more time online than anyone else in the world, an average of 18 hours per week compared to 13 hours in Korea and 11 hours in the United States. For most of us though, the Chinese-language Internet is a mystery, shrouded in government censorship, cultural differences, and, of course, the language barrier itself. By deeply mining a massive collection of Chinese blogging data, we'll gain our bearings in this powerful yet largely unknown online territory. What does the Chinese blogosphere look like? What are the hotpots in the Chinese Internet landscape? What can Chinese blogging tell us about new Chinese approaches to connective technologies, and their likely effects on the rest of the world in the coming decade?

I finally joined Twitter

You can find me here.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

STIRR Sydney 1.1 wrap-up

STIRR Sydney (110+ RSVPs!) had a great night! Congrats on great launch! There are some blog posts & also some pics. I'm sure as we move forward to different locales, we'll pick up some interesting ideas: like having the audience vote with $1MM dollar VC bills for the best pitch. Again...congrats!

['s some video of the event.]

Friday, December 01, 2006

I'm speaking at January's Web SIG meeting

Web SIG asked me to participate on a panel for their January 31, 2007 event, Back to the Future: Beyond Web 2.0. Joining me will be Robert Scoble, VP of Media Development at & Harry McCracken, VP/Editor in Chief of PC World. The moderator will be Jeremiah Owyang, who recently joined as the Director of Corporate Media Strategy. Before the panel convenes, each of us gets 10-15 minutes to speak with the audience. I'll most likely mix in insights from work and play: topics TBD...

STIRR's Winter Wonderland

Planning STIRR's Winter Wonderland has taken several weeks, but we are close to pulling it off. Our partner in crime is Gabriel Venture Partners, who will be bringing some goodies...over $22,000 in prizes (think flat screen plazma tvs, speakers, ipods, etc. ) Everyone will walk home with something. The premise of the party is simple: big companies have holiday parties, but early-stage startups, don't have the resources, or don't have the time to put one together...and if they do, it's 4 people, a couple of pizzas, some beer with challenges of showing one another the most arcane youtube videos. So, we've decided to have a big holiday party for small startups and bring them all to the SF Exploratorium on December 14th. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

STIRR Sydney launches

Here's that announcement that I alluded too earlier...we have our first international STIRR: STIRR Sydney. More to come! Good luck to Martin Wells and the rest of the organizers!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Thanksgiving weekend update

Thursday: Climbed Mission Peak (2 hours up and back); had Chinese (no turkey!) dinner with friends; drove to Gilroy.

Friday: Shopped from 12 - bed by 9:30am; slept the rest of the day. Highlight of Gilroy: watching people stand in 4 hour lines in front of Banana Republic and Coach. We waited an hour for a mocha latte and an eggnog latte.

Saturday: Moved. (If you need my new address, ping me.) Dinner at Crazy Buffet and gorged on crab legs.

Sunday: STIRR has some big news (no...not the holiday party, though that is a big deal). We may take a few days to officially announce it though. I'm very psyched!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Newsflash: Local boy patents process for loading a dishwasher!

PALO ALTO, Calif., Nov 16, 2006 /PRNewswire/ -- You've seen it before and we know we'll see it again. Can the US Patent Office get any worse? Though this reporter thinks there is no harm/no foul this time around. The latest *patent fiasco* involves a local Palo Alto boy, Timmy Doright, who noticed that people at office where he interned seem to get lazier and lazier about putting dishes in the dishwasher and instead put them in the sink for other people to deal with. He thought *how rude!*and came up with an idea. Searching through the US Patent Office's archives, he noticed that no one had patented the process of putting soiled coffee mugs, crumby plates or other food/drink-stained eating instruments. So he filed and now a process for loading soiled eating insturments into a dishwasher is patent-pending.

When interviewed, Mr. Doright said, "My intention is not to make any money off of this process...but, gee, that sure would be awesome. I'm just tired of putting other people's plates and cups into a dishwasher. I mean...I'm busy, too. Why can't they go the next step and put it in the dishwasher. It's right there? I just don't get it. So now that I've got this patent-thingy, I think more people will read about this, realize that they are doing this and stop!"

According to Susan "Coffee" Craver, of Menlo Park, a co-worker of Timmy's, "I do this all the time. I know it is bad. But I can't help myself. My biggest fear is that a colleague will catch me in the act and call me on it. From now on, I'll be more diligent about putitng my soiled mugs in the dishwasher. I have Timmy Doright to thank for that."

Is Timmy making a mockery of the US Patent Office. Will this act clean up our nation's sink? Only time will tell.

SOURCE LoadTheWasher
Web Site:
AP Archive: PRN Photo Desk,

Monday, November 13, 2006

I've been negligent

What have I been up to?
  • Got a flu shot! I'm almost done reading The Great Influenza...very scary!
  • Went to Hawaii!
  • IFTF had a conference
  • Roadtrip to Portland (had snow to deal with on the way back)
  • Lots and lots of business meetings
Coming up:

Thursday, October 12, 2006

STIRR announces STIRRpedia

At last night's STIRR Founder's Mixer 1.7, we announced the launch of STIRRpedia.

STIRRpedia is a resource for start-up entrepreneurs by start-up entrepreneurs. Contribute and assist your fellow entrepreneur! Let's put some fun into taking care of some of the dry parts of startup business. Stories, anecdotes, links to great info, personal insights are welcome.
We hope that it takes off!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

New toy: green laser

After reading the Cool Tools post on green laser pointers, I had to get one. Shipping was pretty fast and it arrived yesterday. I took it out last night and was able to see a faint green line all the way up to the clouds and beyond (this is in the suburbs where light polution is significant). Looking forward to taking it camping with me and using it as the fellow to the left is doing. Coolest stat: the range is 12,500 feet!

Monday, October 02, 2006

My old employer was acquired by Microsoft today

Hats off to my old friends at desktopstandard (nee AutoProf) for being purchased today by Microsoft! I've read some pretty positive write-ups about the acquisition. While I was there, the company expanded from their server offerings to include Internet-focused products and services. I was overseeing biz dev for the latter. The timing wasn't right and our division was folded and the IP was absorbed by the server side. Good move, as they grew fast after that. I'm kicking myself now for not buying my shares upon departure, but only a little bit, as life is pretty damn good for me. Good job Eric and John!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Future of Science & Technology

IFTF had an article published in IEEE Spectrum, reviewing survey results of over 700 IEEE Fellows. Colleague David Pescovitz provides a synopsis of it on BoingBoing.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Excerpt from "The Great Influenza"

Some of you may have read John M. Barry's, "The Great Influenza" by now. I'm still in the early stages and was struck by a section that describes science and I couldn't help but think of IFTF. I particulaly like the highlighted sentences:

The greatest challenge of science, its art, lies in asking an important question and framing it in a way that allows it to be broken into manageable pieces, into experiments that can be conducted that ultimately lead to answers. To do this requires a certain kind of genius, one that probes vertically and sees horizontally.

Horizontal vision allows someone to assimilate and weave together seemingly unconnected bits of information. It allows an investigator to see what others do not see, and to make leaps of connectivity and creativity. Probing vertically, going deeper and deeper into something, creates new information. Sometimes what one finds will shine brilliantly enough to illuminate the whole world.

At least one question connects the vertical and the horizontal. That question is "So what?" like a word on a Scrabble board, this question can connect with and prompt movement in many directions. It can eliminate a piece of information as unimportant or, at least to the investigator asking the question, irrelevant. It can push an investigator to probe more deeply to understand a piece of information. It can also force an investigator to step back an see how to fit a finding into a broader context. To see question in these ways requires a wonder, a deep wonder focused by discipline, like a lens focusing the sun's rays on a spot of paper until it bursts into flame. It requires a kind of conjury.

Einstein reportedly once said that his own major scientific talent was his ability to look at an enormous number of experiments and journal articles, select the very few that were both correct and important, ignore the rest, and build a theory on the right ones. In that assessment of his own abilities, Einstein was very likely overly modest. But part of his genius was an instinct for what mattered and the ability to pursue it vertically and connect it horizontally.

Monday, August 21, 2006

"Joey" is in the Semi's

"Joey" as Nick likes to refer to Joanne made it out of the Valleywag Web 2.0oh Hottie Contest's first round with a pretty convicing win. Go Joanne! Now to the semis, where she takes on Rachel Rhodes. As of now, she is up 261 - 255. Please vote for her!

[Update: She won. Now to the finals.]

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Valleywag's Hottie contest

Valleywag's Nick is at it again with his latest Silicon Valley Hotties contest and one of the matches pits STIRR's Joanne Wan vs. Tara Hunt. As of now, it is 322 to 317 in favor of Joanne. Please vote for her!

[Update...she pulled ahead for a bit, but then the masses came back and took Tara back ahead. Methinks that this little real-time visualization alerted the Tara voters to press the e-flesh to rock the vote.]

[Update 2...she made it to Round II!!!]

Friday, August 11, 2006

Penn State is #3 in the country...and no, not in football

I saw this over on Ben's blog (Thanks Ben!) The Washington Monthly got tired of (basically) seeing the same college rankings report come out year after year from US News & World Report and decided to come up with its own way of ranking US colleges and universities. Instead of ranking the *best* universities, they chose to rank them based on this question: What are reasonable indicators of how much a school is benefiting the country?

They came up with three:
  • How well it performs as an engine of social mobility (ideally helping the poor to get rich rather than the very rich to get very, very rich)
  • How well it does in fostering scientific and humanistic research
  • How well it promotes an ethic of service to country
Here's a excerpt:

By devising a set of criteria different from those of other college guides, we arrived at sharply different results. Top schools sank, and medium schools rose. For instance, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, 48th on the U.S News list, takes third place on our list, while Princeton, first on the U.S. News list, takes 43rd on ours. In short, Pennsylvania State, measured on our terms--by the yardstick of fostering research, national service and social mobility--does a lot more for the country than Princeton.

Don't get us wrong. We're not saying Princeton isn't a superb school. It employs many of the nation's finest minds, and its philosophy department is widely considered the best in the country. Its eating clubs, or whatever they're called, are surely unmatched. Princeton may be a great destination for your tuition dollars, all 31,450 of them, not including room or board. But what if it's a lousy destination for your tax dollars? Each year, Princeton receives millions of dollars in federal research grants. Does it deserve them? What has Princeton done for us lately? This is the only guide that tries to tell you. That, and a bit more.

Here's the official landing page and THE RANKINGS!!! How did your school do?

I'm curious is THON was a determinent in the rankings? [Update: looks like that is not the case.]

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Milosh the Great!

Working at a place called the Institute for the Future comes with its pitfalls. One is that from time to time we must deal with *interested* parties who want to talk to us about their predictions.

Today, Milosh called in again, and he was transferred to me. I quickly decided to take notes:
  • talking to milosh right now
  • this is milosh who predicts things
  • like hillary clinton will be the next president
  • he's a bus driver for the city of new york
  • before that a tour bus driver
  • he spends time fixing his house
  • and lots of things around the neighborhood
  • when he comes up with an about the future
  • he came up with hillary clinton being president
  • he's gonna meet them [the clintons]
  • it's exactly the way it will happen
  • his boss doesn't believe him
  • he doesn't know the name...he knows it is clinton
  • he has some minor preditions
  • that he presents to family & friends
  • accidents or something similar
  • give me homework
  • i have no control over it
  • but i can give you an answer
  • i can give you name
  • i can give you something...for example...what is your interest
  • where is the stock market going to be
  • everything around me, that is what i see
  • i tell you and we see if true in three years
  • which companies you work with want to know what i know?
  • thank you for your time
We've been talking to Milosh for years now. He's good-humored and friendly, but I don't think we'll be hiring him anytime soon.

Monday, August 07, 2006

STIRR 1.5 is on Wednesday

Wednesday, August 9th, STIRR Mixer

STIRR Mixers are blend of tech-social mixer and launchpad for new startups in an innovative format (the 60 second spot). This is not a sit-down event.

The Original '60 Second Spot'

The companies start presenting at 7:15pm. The pitches are a compact 60 seconds or less. The speakers and their teams are available to speak with one-on-one before and after the presentations.


Have your company present at STIRR


When: Wednesday August 9th. Gathering begins at 6:00pm, presentations at 7:15pm.
Where: Blue Chalk, 630 Ramona St, Palo Alto [map]. Cash bar.
NOTE: No walk-ins accepted, you must RSVP to attend. Pre-printed nametags will be ready at the door.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Venture Capitalist Speed Dating

Funny title for a KPIX story on STIRR.

Joanne's blurb (with an h-bomb!):
STIRR, a Web networking company, runs the mixer and times the presenters to make them get to the point, according to Joanne Wan.

"Tell them, 'how the hell do you actually make money, and what are you trying to do?' No slide shows -- just you and the mic," she said.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

My international travel needs some help though

create your own visited countries map

Early next year, I'll add Fiji. But what is up with me and no trips to Europe (besides that long weekend to Paris a few years ago)? Pretty weak, huh?

States I have visited (the red ones)

create your own visited states map

I have to thank my grandmother (and my mother) for getting me and my brother into the ol' motor home when we were younger, which allowed us to hit up all those West Coast states early on. Travel for work has pretty much put me in each state as well. I can see going to Arizona and Montana for ski trips or to just *see* those states, but not sure about Oklahoma. Besides oil, twisters and lots of steak restaurants, I know very little about that state.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Morph your face

The St. Andrew's Face Morpher allows you to upload an image of yourself (or a friend) and look at yourself differently: young, old, east or west asian, african-american & also some artistic views. Here I am as a manga character. For fun, you can also see what you would look like as a monkey...well, at least 50% of one.

Friday, July 14, 2006

STIRR gets podcasted, again

Vic from HotFromSiliconValley podcasted & snapped pics of STIRR 1.4. Conversations include:
Also...we should be on KPIX (Channel 5) sometime next week, as they were there filming for a couple of hours.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Don't Push The Button!!!

This is one of the most addicting things I've done in a long, long time! Enjoy!

Pirates on a Houseboat!

The gang took off for Lake Shasta for our third annual Fourth of July weekend houseboating adventure. This year we thought it would be cool to have a theme and went with pirates. Everything went smoothly until one idiot decided to hurt himself on Saturday morning. After a five hour pause in the fun, we resumed the festivities on Saturday night. Hiking to our favorite waterfall, eating great food, drinking sangria & Mike's Hard Lemonade and cruising the reservoir at 3mph made for a great weekend. Hoping to make it four in a row next year!

Note: We went with a boat from Sugarloaf Resort this year and would never go to another marina unless forced to do so. They treat you like royalty there!

Google's PageRank -- Why is still a zero?

So...the website has been around since mid-March or so...and we still have a PageRank of ZERO (if you are using Firefox and have the Google will see our unworthiness in Google's eyes). (not affiliated with is a link farm, so are we punished because our URLs are so similar?

No love on Google Search for "stirr" or on Ask. However, all of these guys have us number one: Yahoo! Search; MSN Search; A9 Search. Anyone have an idea why this is so?

[Update: We ran into a Google engineer that works close to the PageRank team, asked him and voila...we now have a PageRank of 5.]

Thursday, June 29, 2006


Wednesday July 12th, STIRR Mixer

STIRR Mixers are a blend of tech-social mixer with a forum for tech entrepreneurs to present new products and services in an innovative format (the 60 second spot). This is not a sit-down event.

60 Second Spots

There will be 4 early stage companies presenting on-stage at 7:30pm. The pitches are a compact 60 seconds or less. The speakers and their teams will be available to talk with right after the presentations.


Have your company present at STIRR


When: Wednesday July 12th. Gathering begins at 6:00pm, presentations at 7:30pm.
Where: Blue Chalk, 630 Ramona St, Palo Alto [map]. Cash bar.
NOTE: $10 with RSVP. No walk-ins accepted, you must RSVP to attend. Pre-printed nametags will be ready at the door.

Sponsored by CommerceNet

This month's STIRR Mixer is sponsored by CommerceNet. CommerceNet invests in groundbreaking ideas that go beyond the scope of traditional venture investments. CommerceNet: From ideas to impact.

By Invite Only

Due to limited space, this month's event is by invitation only. Spaces usually free up before the event, so please join the waiting queue to get first priority.

[Update: Brian Solis (PR 2.0 blog) has a SOLID wrap-up of STIRR 1.4. Thanks Brian!]

Saturday, June 24, 2006

STIRR's first Podcast

Mike Macadaan & Tami Zhu from AOL dropped by STIRR and podcasted our event. Those interviewed are:

Monday, June 12, 2006

Wedding Reception Damage!

10 guests, 11 bottles, 1 wedding reception table. Ah! Thanks Nancy and Long...we had a great night!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Artifacts from the Future

Business 2.0 wrote a story about some of the work that we do at the Institute. My colleague, Alex, provides his thoughts on the story.

Web 3.0 kills startups?

At work last week, the word/phrase "Web 3.0" came up in a serious conversation. My co-worker, Mike Love responded with a phrase that we turned into a t-shirt. I wore one last night at Valleywag's Infinity Plus One Sloshcon and handed out a few to some folks. Will it become a meme? Will it fade away? We shall see. If you want one, go ahead and buy yourself one.

[Thanks for the picture, Jeremiah!]

[Update...Nick Valleywagged the shirt!]

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

STIRR - June 14th

STIRR Mixers are a blend of tech-social mixer with a forum for entrepreneurs from in-progress and recently-launched startups to present new products and services to their peers in an innovative format (the 60 second spot). The mixers are open to everyone in the community (stealth-mode folk, startup-savvy engineers, journalists/bloggers, connectors and investors) to socialize, make contacts and share ideas. This is not a sit-down event.

60 Second Spots

There will be 5 early stage companies presenting on-stage at 7:30pm. The pitches are a compact 60 seconds or less. The speakers and their teams will be available to talk with right after the presentations.


Have your company present at STIRR


When: Wednesday June 14th. Gathering begins at 6:00pm, presentations at 7:30pm.
Where: Blue Chalk, 630 Ramona St, Palo Alto [map]. Cash bar.
Cost: Free with RSVP. (NOTE: No walk-ins accepted, you must RSVP to attend). Pre-printed nametags will be ready at the door.

Sponsored by CommerceNet

This month's STIRR Mixer is sponsored by the great people at CommerceNet. CommerceNet invests in groundbreaking ideas that go beyond the scope of traditional venture investments. CommerceNet: From ideas to impact.

By Invite Only

Due to limited space, this month's event is by invitation only. Spaces usually free up before the event, so please join the waiting queue to get first priority.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

One in a thousand!

I just bought #924. I'm a cheap-o, huh? When it arrives, I'll take a picture of it.

[Update: 924 - it arrived today! (August 16th)...time to hang it up now.]

Here's what wikipedia has to say about 924:




Friday, May 12, 2006

What will be the "summer song" this year?

My bet is "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley. You can check it out on their MySpace page.

[Update: Oh I am soooo prescient! Today, July 20th, the SF Chronicle reviews Gnarls Barkley and calls "Crazy" the hottest hit of the summer. Good job Sean...let me pat me on the back.]

Time for a vacation!

Finally!!! Tonight, I leave for a week-long trip to Grand Cayman for a friend's wedding. A few of us decided to make a vacation out of it. My hotel is North of Georgetown, along Sevin Mile Beach. It is less than a year old and the pictures of it make it look quite inviting! While there, I plan on breaking in my new scuba certification (have signed up for four days of diving), snorkeling with the stingrays, drinking fine wine, listening to music and relaxing.

STIRR 2 ...a success!

STIRR mixer 2 wrapped up on Wednesday night...and it was another success. We had continued sponsorship interest, packed the house and only had one real snafu...the wireless microphone didn't work, so had a 25 minute delay before we were able to locate a replacement. There are a number of flickr pics being tagged 'stirr' now as well. Here is a group of 268 pics.

One of our presenters, Jumpcut, has provided some video and you can use their remix feature and edit away. I'm wandering around, lost, behind the speaker about 40% of the way through the video. Enjoy!

[Update: Here's the Valleywag update of the event.]

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Tim O'Reilly drops by....

Tim O'Reilly (and crew) of O'Reilly & Associates dropped by the office today for a little chat with some of our researchers. My colleague, Mike Liebhold, is the keynote at Where 2.0 this year and a few others here (Paul Saffo & David Pescovitz, etc.) have interacted with O'Reilly (and Tim) over the years, so a nice friendship has developed between our two organizations.

Fun with Google Trends!

Google launched Google Trends yesterday and all my co-workers are having fun with it. Some things that we have learned:
  1. Turkey is bad, bad, bad
  2. DC is #2 on this list
  3. Wall Street Bankers are greedy
  4. Vietnam knows where the future is
  5. Rockville? Who'd of know?
  6. Aussies loves you know who...
  7. ...and Chicago likes her as well
  8. A phrase that peaked during the 2004 World Series
  9. Look at who sucks during the last election
  10. Portlanders are probably mellow people
Have fun & let me know if you find anything interesting.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Apheresis day...

Once a month (if I can find the time...which I usually do), I go to the Blood Centers of the Pacific (San Mateo) and make an apheresis donation. Spent my free time while on the chair watching Good Night, and Good Luck. The only downside is that you can't lift weights for a day, so my workout was a quick one today.

Wanna help out others (and watch a movie or surf the web while doing so)? Give apheresis a shot!

Reputation...who has it?

Auren Hoffman's new company, RapLeaf is up and running. He writes about a book , Cory Doctorow's Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, that I read/blogged about back in January. Yes! Now it looks like we have the start of a common plaform for a worldwide reputation system! (This is great for good people...not so much for the non-good.) You can display your own RapLeaf reputation in your blog (mine is over there on the right), in your Outlook signature (added that) and in auctions and Craigslist postings (damn...don't use those that much). Have a lot of friends that think the world of you? Well...they can add to your reputation as well. The underlying goal: that people will give you reputation (or take it away) when deserved.

My hope: that Cory's word for reputation--whuffie--is used in place of one's rapleaf reputation. "Nice whuffie" sounds so much nicer than "nice rap rep". okay with that?

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Merlin Mann drops by for a visit

On Thursday, Merlin Mann of 43 Folders dropped by the Institute to give us a talk over lunch. (We calls these LOTTs, "Lunch of the 'Tute's".) If you are the victim of information-overload (hundreds/thousands or emails in your inbox, anxiety about never being caught up, analysis paralysis, then you should check out his thoughts/ideas on making your life simpler.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Now...I wonder where Yahoo! got this idea? Do you think there will be a back-and-forth I-can-do-better-than-you DOODLE WAR between the Valley titans?

Thursday, May 04, 2006

IFTF Conference--Science & Technology in Ten, Twenty & Fifty Years

I love my job...doesn't this look like a fun event!


We're hosting our semi-annual Technology Horizons Exchange this May 23-25. Clients, research affiliates, and a collection of noted scientists and researchers will get together to hear IFTF's latest research findings and exchange thoughts. Beyond the Horizon: Science & Technology in Ten, Twenty & Fifty Years will focus the evolution of science and technology, both in terms of research milestones and practice. The content is based on a large project we're working on with the British government's Office of Science and Innovation Centre for Horizon Scanning, which was started a couple years ago by the government's Chief Science Advisor, Sir David King. It also draws from a survey of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Fellows that we recently conducted.

Confirmed speakers/panelists include:
  • Larry Smarr, director of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology
  • Kevin Kelly, author of Out Of Control and a founding editor of Wired
  • Drew Endy, MIT professor and "open-source biologist"
  • Fran Berman, director of the San Diego Supercomputer Center
  • Ken Goldberg, UC Berkeley robotics professor and IEEE Fellow
  • Saul Griffith, co-founder of Squid Labs

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


I am going to winecamp...May 26-28. Not sure what to expect, but I do LOVE wine and camping!

The details

Who: How about this: we're not going to host just the regular Bar Camp crowd -- no, we're also going to invite a bunch of interested and proactive non-profits to mix it up in order to explore how the new wave of social apps that are all so near and dear to us can help bring about an evolution in the tools that non-profits use. And ideally, many of these will be or become open source...!

We're already working with the preeminent tech provider in the non-profit world, CompuMentor, to reach out and connect with folks ready for something new. It's time to meet up directly and make the connection between Bar Camp, open source and the non-profit community.

What: Bar Camp goes upscale! Wine, wifi, good food and a bon fire. What more can you ask for?

...Well, there is one more thing. The WineCampFundraiser! Imagine buying excellent wine for yourself and having part of the proceeds being put towards a program that encourages underprivileged students to get into open source. Sound good? Details (and how to get involved) coming soon!

Where: This event will take place at the Ferriere vineyard in the Sierra foothills... Old Airola Road, Coyote Ridge Peninsula, between Murphy's and Columbia in Calaveras County.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Our first Founder's Table dinner is tomorrow

STIRR Founder's Table

At our Founder's Table dinners we host startup founders (and former founders) to discuss business challenges and forge relationships. This is a limited space event held once a month in both South Bay and San Francisco locations. If you are an entrepreneur and are interested in building a peer group of other entrepreneurs, then let us know.

[Update: GRAND SUCCESS!!! We have already received recommendations for the next class!]

The next STIRR event is May 10th

If you are an entrepreneur, join us on May 10th in Palo Alto.

STIRR Mixers are a blend of tech-social mixer with a forum for entrepreneurs from in-progress and recently-launched startups to present new products and services to their peers in an innovative format (the 60 second spot). The mixers are open to everyone in the community (stealth-mode folk, startup-savvy engineers, journalists/bloggers, connectors and investors) to socialize, make contacts and share ideas. This is not a sit-down event.

60 Second Spots

There will be 5 early stage companies presenting on-stage at 7:30pm. The pitches are a compact 60 seconds or less. The speakers and their teams will be available to speak with right after the presentations.



When: Wednesday May 10th. Gathering begins at 6:00pm, presentations at 7:30pm.
Where: Blue Chalk, 630 Ramona St, Palo Alto [map]. Cash bar.
Cost: Free with RSVP. (NOTE: No walk-ins this time, you must RSVP to attend). Pre-printed nametags will be ready at the door.
Sponsors: The good people at CommerceNet are sponsoring the event (including food, yum!).

I'm in HEAVEN!

LOST (and other ABC shows) are free for streaming the day after they air!!! Check it out at their new site. Sorry won't dominate video like you thought you would...

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Meez has launched

Want a 3-D avatar? Mine is to the right. Go to Meez and get one!

Tahoe weekend

I went up to Tahoe on Friday, but bad weather (70+ mph winds) caused I-80 to be shut down around 5 or 6pm (both ways), wo all those heading up had to take other routes (doubtful), head home or locate a hotel room or a friend's house to crash. We found a hotel around 11pm.

The skiing was great (made it to Northstar by 10am Sat morning) and got in 5 good hours of skiing.

Coming home, on the Carquinez Bridge, a Mercedes sped past us followed by a cruiser in pursuit. We knew something was up when the car swerved onto the breakdown lane to get around slower moving cars. At the curve, we saw the car accelerating away from the police car. A few minutes later, move cruisers passed us and a helicopter appeared as well. Nothing on the news yet about this, but I'll update if I see anything.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The earth shook 5 minutes ago!

I feel a quake about once every six months or so. This is the third time that I've been home while one has happened. And it comes in at a 3.8!!! Not bad...but I probably felt it cause it was so close...over in the East Bay.

[Update: it has been reclassified as a 3.7. Here's a community intensity map that shows how widely it was felt.]

Announcing The Stirr Network...a Silicon Valley forum for early-stage startups

San and I just launched Stirr. Looking forward to April!

Event Information

WHAT: stirr mixers provide a forum for entrepreneurs from recently-launched startups to present new products and services to their peers, as well as an opportunity for everyone in the community (stealth-mode folk, journalists/bloggers, connectors and investors) to socialize and swap thoughts and ideas.

WHEN: Wednesday April 5th. Gathering begins at 6:00pm, demos at 8pm, giveaway at 8:45pm, wrapup by 10pm.

WHERE: Fanny and Alexander, 412 Emerson St., Palo Alto [map]. Cash bar.

COST: Free with RSVP. $15 without RSVP. Pre-printed nametags will be available at the door.

HOW: Go to, click RSVP and fill-out the Reservation Form

There will be 3 early stage companies presenting demos on-stage at 8pm. Demos are 420 seconds long. There will also be 2 Demo Tables running during the evening.
Stage Presentations From: At the Demo Tables:
This month's event is sponsored by Netgear. Enter the drawing by 7:30pm for a free high-speed wireless router.

[Update: the event was a HUGE success! We now even have our very own 'stirr' tag on Valleywag!]

Friday, March 17, 2006

Going skydiving tomorrow...

...if the weather holds up. I'm flying down to LA to visit some college friends and celebrate St. Patty's Day. Will have pictures linked when I return.

[Update: bad weather prevented us from going. On Sunday AM, we got geared up and made it to 9000' before we were told to return to the ground. The plan was to fall out of the plane at 13,000 feet.]