meet the new guy

This weekend I drove out to Meghan’s to meet our latest friend.


About two months ago Meghan mentioned a co-worker’s dog who had several puppies – lots of puppies.  We considered then the idea of taking one of the fellows home, if they would be put up for adoption.  This past week, the little pups came into her hospital and were being snatched up throughout the day.  After a few phone calls, text messages, and emails, we decided to go for it.

He’s a cute labrador & shepard mix – and by the looks of it, he’s gonna be a big guy.  After a lot of discussions and thoughts about how long I’ll stay at my current apartment – This not-so-little guy more than anything might force that decision.  But, we should have a little while before we’ve got to worry about that.

Last night was not the best night’s sleep I’ve had – he can be pretty active when he wants to, and I’m appreciating that this is going to be a bit of work.

We have yet to give him a name, but we’ll have that worked out by the end of the weekend.


A very compelling opportunity for electric vehicles


This video is an excellent presentation about one potential way to get electric cars on the road as a reality in the next few years.

I am amazed by the number of compelling ideas that are covered in this short piece and I HIGHLY recommend it to everyone.

Shai Agassi was a president at SAP but left that post to found his current company, Better Place.  I first saw this video through my TED feed on my Boxee unit and I was floored.  I’ve since watched it again to show others, and I recently stumbled across this article on Wired about one of the battery stations that he mentions in the presentation.

If the video doesn’t show up, you can also see it here:

Last year: Frankfurt. This year? just sitting at work

Last year at this time I was having an awesome, fuzzy jet-lagged walk around Frankfurt on my way to Africa.

I had several hours between flights and decided to take advantage of the excellent weather and speedy train into town to stretch my legs a bit.

The day was one of those totally bizarre half-drunk with jet-lag and half-drunk with excitement of traveling off to new destination days.  The combination of hyped-up excitement and over-tired dull brain made for an interesting, dizzying state of mind.

Africa was definitely one of the best trips I’ve done, and while I imagine it may be a while before I get back, it is definitely on the list.

In the coming weeks I’m going to take advantage of the weekly-photo posts to re-visit the experience.

For now, I’ll just continue sitting at my desk, working.

Interesting metrics on user-generated content

I’ve been working a bit lately with user-generated content – essentially the heart of ‘web 2.0’ – allowing people to not only consume, but also contribute to the experience.

In my daily reading, I came across this article from TechCrunch about Fixya – a product support site where other users provide the support.

What caught my eye were two items:

First, strung along with a few other metrics, they mention one way to gauge the quality of the interactions that your customers are having on the site:

75% of the answers are rated as ‘good’ or ‘excellent,’ with 50% answered within 5-6 hours of posting

It’s important for customers to be able to rate the information – and to be able see those ratings.  On an individual level, this helps when consuming the information to determine how you want to process it (how much credibility will you give it, etc.,).  En mass, it is a decent gauge for how your site is performing as a whole – are you actually solving a customer issue.

The second item was this note:

Interestingly, most questions are about usability issues rather than technical ones

This tells me that most customers find that products these days are either generally reliable or people just know to give up when there’s some kind of outright failure.  When was the last time you actually got something fixed?

Where people continue to have problems, and are continually frustrated, is in actually figuring out how to use the thing.  We may have come a long way in creating rugged materials and reliable electronics but we still have a long way to go in making products easy.

Green lawnmowing

This is one that I love – Google hiring out goats to take care of their lawn.  It’s such a simple solution to keeping large grassy areas well trimmed.  I’ve seen these guys in San Francisco making quick work of a small field.

What was really pleasing was the munching sound – surprisingly audible from a distance, but much better than the roar of a lawnmower.