The Entrant’s Guide To The Automobile Industry

Horace Dediu on the auto industry:

    For most motorists, congestion is a bigger problem than any vehicle deficiency. We think people want better cars, but they don’t. Cars stopped getting “better” and started becoming worse when congestion became common and congestion became common when saturation was reached. We can’t build more roads and as populations grow, the traffic becomes unbearable. The vehicle’s role switches from freeing to constraining. The industry is adding cupholders to alleviate the problem.

Very smart take on what it takes to get into the auto industry and to disrupt it.  

Kobe Bryant Interviewed In GQ

Kobe Bryant on Shaquille O’Neal’s work ethic:

He had years where he was lazy. But during those three championships we won? To say he was a beast would be an understatement. To say I didn’t learn things from him that I still use to this day would be a disservice. To be fair, I think what happened is that, as you get older, your body starts breaking down, and you have to really love the process in order to get through that. Like, right now, I hurt. My ankle joints, my knee joints. My back. My thighs are sore. But for him, with his big toe and his knee, it became very hard for him to get up in the morning and push through those things. He might not have been as willing to do those things at the time, and I wasn’t thrilled about that.

How To Kickstarter

Tom Gerhardt and Dan Provost from Studio Neat wrote an exhaustive piece on successfully funding a Kickstarter project:

The most important aspect of a Kickstarter campaign, besides a great project, is the video. Video is the language of Kickstarter. It is generally the first impression a potential backer will have when they view your project.

There are tons of great pointers and behind the scenes stories from their experience of using Kickstarter.

How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life

On December 20, 2013, Justine Sacco sent out a tweet that changed her life forever.

“Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!”

Over a year later, Jon Ronson sat down with Sacco to find out why she sent out that tweet.

“Unfortunately, I am not a character on ‘South Park’ or a comedian, so I had no business commenting on the epidemic in such a politically incorrect manner on a public platform,” she wrote. “To put it simply, I wasn’t trying to raise awareness of AIDS or piss off the world or ruin my life. Living in America puts us in a bit of a bubble when it comes to what is going on in the third world. I was making fun of that bubble.”

Reflections On Parenthood

Jean Hsu on parenthood:

Having a child forces you to change in a lot of ways. Most of the time, people think of what you lose out on.

It’s so easy to commiserate, especially with fellow parents with small children, about sleep deprivation and temper tantrums that sometimes you lose sight of the wonder that new life brings. Alina is almost 2 years old now, so here are some positive reflections of being a parent.

I love this post. Everyone loves to point out the downsides of having to raise a child. No one talks about the upsides.

Being a better person
Having a small person see you as one of the few big people in their life just makes you want to be a better person. Everything I do—how I react in stressful situations, how I talk, how I act—is a template for how she will act. That is a tremendous amount of power, and I want to do a good job.

It makes me think more critically about what I’m doing with my life—I want the work I do to be impactful, to make the world a better place for her to grow up in. And I want to work hard and smart and be ambitious, so that that is her norm.

This has been the biggest one for me. I’ve cut down my swearing immensely. I won’t even use “stupid” or “dumb” in front of my step-child. I want to be a better person so she can be a better person.

The New Yorker On Jony Ive

The New Yorker got unprecedented access to Jony Ive. Lots of fascinating anecdotes about Ive’s background and how he and his team work. Steve Jobs on Ive:

Toward the end of his life, Jobs told Walter Isaacson, “If I had a spiritual partner at Apple, it’s Jony. Jony and I think up most of the products together and then pull others in and say, ‘Hey, what do you think about this?’ He gets the big picture as well as the most infinitesimal details about each product. And he understands that Apple is a product company. He’s not just a designer. That’s why he works directly for me. He has more operational power than anyone else at Apple except me.”

Sriracha

“David Tran, a Vietnamese refugee who built the pepper empire from nothing, never trademarked the term, opening the door for others to develop their own sauce or seasoning and call it Sriracha.”

This is why Jack In The Box, and others, can use the name.  

The Best Seat In Every Restaurant

David Chang on why the bar is the best seat in a restaurant:

When everyone’s so close, it changes the dining experience. Out on the floor, you’re a dickhead if you overhear a conversation and chime in. Not at the bar. You connect, trade stories, then trade bites. I’ve never shared as much food with strangers as I have at the bar. You meet great people that way—you’re part of this band of outsiders within the restaurant. And for me, that’s the best possible dining experience of all.

We are regulars at Kobe Sake, a small sushi restaurant in San Bruno. We always sit at the bar.

How YouTube Changed The World

I think people 30 years old and older underestimate how important YouTube is. I think it will either replace, or come close to replacing the main source of entertainment for people growing up. 

What is beyond debate is YouTube’s influence (spotted by a far-sighted Google in 2006, when it bought the site for $1.65 billion). Almost anyone can upload almost anything to YouTube, for free, and be in with a chance of reaching its one billion monthly users – whether they’re activists, terrorists, politicians or pop stars (or just the proud owner of a “mutant giant spider dog”). It has changed our world.

Instead of asking to watch TV, my 6 year old step daughter asks to watch YouTube videos. When I was a kid, we had to drive 15 minutes to The Wherehouse to rent videos. Times have changed.

Weekend Long Read – February 7, 2015

Bill Simmons wrote a tremendous retro running diary on last week’s crazy Super Bowl XLIX. On Jermaine Kearse’s unbelievable 4th quarter catch that set up Malcolm Butler’s amazing inerception that sealed the game: 

 “People were yelling in disbelief all around me … I couldn’t move. They showed the replay. The football bounced off Kearse’s hands, Ryan’s hands and back up into the air. As Kearse fell on his back and tried to find the ball, safety Duron Harmon jumped over his head. Naturally, the football plopped back down off Kearse’s left leg and then his right leg, buying him time to tip it with his right hand, then it fell into his hands as he remained on his back. 

Also, he gave birth to a nine-pound baby just because everything else wasn’t unbelievable enough.”