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Designing for Emotion by Aarron Walter
We want people to have such a great experience that they feel the need to talk about it to everyone. We want what we make to be remarkable. Often those seeking remarkability get it for just a moment. Some have achieved their goal of joyful office watercooler discussions by creating a thiry-second Superbowl Spot with something as simple as a handful of slothful individuals answering their phone with an exaggerated “WHAAATS AAAWWP?” Others get it with a viral video of dogs on skateboards. But these are just quick flashes in the pan. The real payoff comes when we can make that remarkability last. When we can make people continually feel our work is worthy of discussion.
More Joel on Software by Joel Spolsky
a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, barriers to entry, Black Swan, Build a better mousetrap, business process, call centre, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, failed state, Firefox, fixed income, functional programming, George Gilder, Larry Wall, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Mars Rover, Network effects, Paul Graham, performance metric, place-making, price discrimination, prisoner's dilemma, Ray Oldenburg, Ruby on Rails, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social software, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Superbowl ad, The Great Good Place, Tragedy of the Commons, type inference, unpaid internship, wage slave, web application, Y Combinator
In propagating the narrative of Ruby on Rails as Happiness, they’re practically guaranteeing that at least some developers out there will be looking for Ruby on Rails jobs. 32 More from Joel on Software But 37signals is still new at this identity management campaign thing. They don’t hold a candle to Apple Computer, which, with a single Superbowl ad in 1984, managed to cement their position to this day as the countercultural force of freedom against dictatorship, of liberty against oppression, of colors against black and white, of pretty women in bright red shorts against brainwashed men in suits. The implications of this, I’m afraid, are ironically Orwellian: giant corporations manipulating their public image in a way that doesn’t even make sense (like, uh, they’re a computer company—what the hell does that have to do with being against dictatorships?)
To follow the Identity Management Method, you have to summon all the social skills you have to make your employees identify with the goals of the organization so that they are highly motivated, and then you need to give them the information they need to steer in the right direction. How do you make people identify with the organization? It helps if the organizational goals are virtuous, or perceived as virtuous, in some way. Apple creates almost fanatic identification, almost entirely through a narrative that started with a single Superbowl ad in 1984: we are against totalitarianism. Doesn’t seem like a particularly bold position to take, but it worked. Here at Fog Creek, we stand bravely in opposition to killing kittens. Yaaaay! A method I’m pretty comfortable with is eating together. I’ve always made a point of eating lunch with my coworkers, and at Fog Creek we 48 More from Joel on Software serve catered lunches for the whole team every day and eat together at one big table.
I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59 by Douglas Edwards
Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, barriers to entry, book scanning, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, business intelligence, call centre, commoditize, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, Googley, gravity well, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job-hopping, John Markoff, Kickstarter, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, microcredit, music of the spheres, Network effects, PageRank, performance metric, pets.com, Ralph Nader, risk tolerance, second-price auction, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, stem cell, Superbowl ad, Y2K
"How much do you think a company our size should spend on marketing?" Sergey asked me. From his earlier questions, it was easy to guess what he wanted to hear. "I don't think at this stage you should spend much at all," I said. "You can get good exposure with viral marketing and small budgets. Shooting gerbils out of a cannon in a Superbowl spot* is not a very effective strategy for building a brand." Sergey nodded his agreement, then asked about my six months in Siberia, casually switching to Russian to see how much I had picked up. Finally, he leaned forward and fired his best shot, what he came to call "the hard question." "I'm going to give you five minutes," he announced.
The Chron never called me back. I finally got hold of someone on the business desk at the Merc who told me they would not be covering Google because our Palo Alto office was 'too far north.'" Growing by word of mouth suited Larry and Sergey's animosity toward advertising. They scoffed at profligate startups and their Superbowl spots, because TV ads lacked accountability. You could dump millions and not know if you had converted a single viewer into a user. Engineers rebelled against such inefficient excess in the name of "brand building." "Brand is what's left over when you stop moving forward," was a sentiment engineer Matt Cutts heard expressed in a meeting with Larry and Sergey.
The founders weren't above bribing senior engineers to attend. Each December, Larry and Sergey "surprised" the staff by handing out a year-end thousand-dollar cash bonus at TGIF. Three days before the 2003 distribution was to take place, they asked me for ideas about how to do the presentation. I suggested a casting tape for a (fictional) Superbowl TV spot. Given how often we derided the profligacy of dot-com companies and their mass-market advertising, few staffers would fall for it, but it would give us a framework. I drafted a script and gave it to Delicia Heywood, a marketing staffer, to shoot and produce. She came back forty-eight hours later with the tape we would use the following day.
Smart and Gets Things Done: Joel Spolsky's Concise Guide to Finding the Best Technical Talent by Joel Spolsky
Build a better mousetrap, David Heinemeier Hansson, functional programming, knowledge worker, linear programming, nuclear winter, Ruby on Rails, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, sorting algorithm, Superbowl ad, the scientific method, type inference, unpaid internship
To be an Identity Method manager, you have to summon all the social skills you have to make your employees identify with the goals of the organization, so that they are highly motivated, then you need to give them the information they need to steer in the right direction. How do you make people identify with the organization? It helps if the organizational goals are virtuous, or perceived as virtuous, in some way. Apple creates almost fanatic identification, almost entirely through a narrative that started with a single Superbowl ad in 1984: we are against totalitarianism. Doesn’t seem like a 148 Smart and Gets Things Done particularly bold position to take, but it worked. At my company, Fog Creek Software, we stand bravely in opposition to killing kittens. Yaaaay! Seriously, though, a method I’m pretty comfortable with is eating together.
The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty by Benjamin H. Bratton
1960s counterculture, 3D printing, 4chan, Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, Biosphere 2, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, Celebration, Florida, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, David Graeber, deglobalization, dematerialisation, disintermediation, distributed generation, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, functional programming, future of work, Georg Cantor, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Guggenheim Bilbao, High speed trading, Hyperloop, Ian Bogost, illegal immigration, industrial robot, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Joan Didion, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, Kim Stanley Robinson, liberal capitalism, lifelogging, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, McMansion, means of production, megacity, megastructure, Menlo Park, Minecraft, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Monroe Doctrine, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, peak oil, peer-to-peer, performance metric, personalized medicine, Peter Eisenman, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Philip Mirowski, Pierre-Simon Laplace, place-making, planetary scale, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Robert Bork, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, software studies, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Startup school, statistical arbitrage, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Superbowl ad, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, the built environment, The Chicago School, the scientific method, Torches of Freedom, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, undersea cable, universal basic income, urban planning, Vernor Vinge, Washington Consensus, web application, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, working poor, Y Combinator
Apple's origin story is now as deeply ingrained in the American myth of the prodigal hero-entrepreneur as that of Peter Parker bitten by a radioactive spider. While the company's roots extend back into mid-1970s Northern California hippie hacker culture, in important ways the Apple weltanschauung was not crystallized until the airing of Lee Clow and Ridley Scott's Superbowl TV ad in and of the year 1984.57 Here the driving theologic dichotomy of the brand is established, cleaving the line between Apple (individual, color, youth, cool, iconoclast) and IBM (mass, monochrome, old, awkward, hierarchical), a creed equally appealing to 1960s counterculture and its boomer aftermath, as it is to the John Wayne wing of the American Right.
Netflixed: The Epic Battle for America's Eyeballs by Gina Keating
activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, barriers to entry, Bear Stearns, business intelligence, collaborative consumption, corporate raider, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, Menlo Park, Netflix Prize, new economy, out of africa, performance metric, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, price stability, recommendation engine, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, subscription business, Superbowl ad, telemarketer, X Prize
See Antioco, John; Evangelist, Shane; Hessel, Lillian; Shepherd, Nick; Stead, Ed; Zine, Larry stores, lack of connectivity of, 109 in-store subscription plans, 64, 76–77 Viacom split, 86, 105, 109, 111–12, 112, 122–23 Blockbuster Online beta test, 100, 104 competitive actions toward Netflix, 88–97, 101–9, 116–19, 127–28, 132–33, 172–77 customer complaints, 107, 156–57 customer research for, 87–89, 90, 107–8, 173–75 customer retention problem, 155–57, 173 development stage, 77–79, 89–97 launch of, 103–5 losses predicted for, 135–38, 153–54, 157–58, 181–82, 200–203, 211, 220–21, 228 Netflix competitive responses, 127–32, 138–42, 159–60, 210–12 Netflix leaders, reaction to, 100–104, 124, 129–32, 134–35, 169, 180–82, 200 Netflix price war, 129–35, 161–62, 172 online subscribers, Hastings offer to buy, 201, 204–5, 222 patent-infringement lawsuit, 169, 211 profitability, problems of, 130, 157–58, 172–73 spying, Netflix/Blockbuster, 96–97, 104, 131 versus stores, 158–59 subscription price, initial, 99–100 subscription price cuts, 128–29, 133, 135 subscription price increase, 162, 220–21 Superbowl ads, 132–34, 153 technical problems, 93–94, 105, 107, 156–57 Total Access, 170–77, 180–82, 200 video streaming boxes, 227 video streaming service, 77–78, 226–27 video streaming time limit, 227 Bloom, Sam, 87–89 Blu-ray, 223, 225, 228 Boesky, Ivan, 114–15 Boisseau, Milissa, 214 Bowman, Robert, 170 Box, Mark, 12 Brand blogging, HackingNetflix.com, 142–50 Bridges, Corey leaves Netflix, 54 marketing Netflix, 30–31, 37–41 C Cable programming Netflix as competitor, 238–43, 255 subscribers, decline of, 240 video-on-demand (VOD), 165 California Teachers Association, 43 Canada, Netflix in, 246–47, 255 Candescent Technologies, 55 Casey, Tom, 221 Castillo, Jason, 252 Chabbert, Martin, 194 Cherry Lane Music Company, 18–19 Cibelli, Mario, 135–36, 182, 241 Cinematch recommendation engine, 185–97 initial capability, 61–62, 186, 191 Netflix competition to improve, 186–95 Netflix Prize winners, 195–96 Circle K, 72, 75–76, 111 Circuit City, 40, 60, 220, 225–26 Clegg, Jackie, 170 Clinton, Bill, 42–43 Coinstar, 161, 237 Coleman, Aaron, 105–6 Columbia TriStar Home Video, 66 Comcast, 242, 255 Commendo Research, 192 Cook, Jim leaves Netflix, 54 and Netflix development, 25–29 Cooper, Ben, 92–95, 103–6, 108, 133 Copeland, Michael, 243 Costner, Kevin, 177–78 Coupons, Netflix/DVD manufacturers’ deal, 38–39, 42–43, 49–51, 63 Covad Communications, 78 Craft, J.
See Cinematch recommendation engine Redbox, 5, 84, 234–38 as Blockbuster competitor, 231–32, 234 and Coinstar, 237–38 development of, 24–25, 161 McDonalds placements, 235–36 as Netflix competitor, 228–29 new releases advantage, 161, 235, 238 pricing, 237 rationale for business, 235–36 video stores, impact on, 212, 238 Redpoint Ventures, 53 Redstone, Sumner, 72–74, 111–12 Reel.com, 48, 60, 62 ReFLEX, 78 Reiss, Lisa Battaglia, 45 Remind Me, 36 Rendich, Andy, 248, 251–53 leaves Netflix, 252 ReplayTV, 168 Rock The Block, 219–21, 230–32 Roku box, 224–25 Rolling Road Show, 177–79 Ross, Ken leaves Netflix, 243–44, 247 Netflix corporate communications actions, 138–41, 145, 177–81, 187–88 on Qwikster fiasco, 252 Roth Capitol Partners, 135 S Sam Goody/Musicland, 51 Santa Cruz, Netflix launch, 7–9 Sarandos, Ted, 103, 126, 129, 179, 210, 225, 240 Satellite hub system, 57 Schappert, John, 225 Scorsese, Martin, 179 Sellers, Pattie, 243 Serialized Delivery, 58–59 Sheehan, Susan, 140 Shepherd, James, 128–29 Shepherd, Nick background of, 118–19 as Blockbuster COO, 214–15 Blockbuster financial moves, concern about, 128–29, 202–3 cost-cutting, 118, 162–63 and End of Late Fees, 117–19 and hostile board of directors, 216–17 joins Blockbuster, 90–92 leaves Blockbuster, 217 personality of, 116–17 Redbox purchase, rejecting, 236 sells Blockbuster shares, 219 Siftar, Michael, 107 Siminoff, Ellen and David, 222 Simpson, Jessica, 175 Skip shipping, 28–29 Skorman, Stuart, 48 Smith, Therese “Te” background of, 16 leaves Netflix, 54 and Netflix development, 22, 28, 33, 37–38 Smith’s grocery (Las Vegas) Netflix Express, 83–84 Redbox at, 237 Social Register, 13 Sock puppets, 40–41 Software Publishing, 15 Soleil Securities, 209 SpeakerText, 42 Squali, Youssef, 135 Starfish Software, 16 Starz Entertainment, 225, 239–40 Stead, Ed and Blockbuster Online development, 86–89, 95 and Carl Icahn, 116, 121 and Hastings alliance attempts, 66–67, 77 leaves Blockbuster, 170 personality of, 60, 95 and video streaming plans, 77–78 Streaming video. See Video-on-demand (VOD) Sundance Film Festival, 198–200 Superbowl, Blockbuster Online ads, 132–34, 153 Swasey, Steve Fortune story involvement, 243–44 and international expansion, 247 joins Netflix, 139–41 Netflix Prize promotion, 187–88, 195–96 personality of, 139–40 price increase damage control, 248–49, 252 T Technology Crossover Ventures, 53 Technology Network (TechNet), 43–44 Television shows Hastings on new generation TV, 238–40 streaming by Netflix, 225, 238–40 TELUS, 78 Thomas Weisel Partners, 160 Throttling, 145–47 Tik Tok DVD Shop, 235–36 Toscher, Andreas, 192 Toshiba, Netflix deal, 39 Total Access (Blockbuster) development of, 170–77 impact on Netflix, 180–82, 200–204, 209–10 Keyes abandonment of, 218–20 success of, 181–82, 200–202, 207–10, 222 Travis, Nigel, 104–5 Trimark Pictures, 79 Turner, Michele, 144 U Unlimited Movie Rental, 63 U.S.
Shipping Greatness by Chris Vander Mey
corporate raider, don't be evil, en.wikipedia.org, fudge factor, Google Chrome, Google Hangouts, Gordon Gekko, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, minimum viable product, performance metric, recommendation engine, Skype, slashdot, sorting algorithm, source of truth, Steve Jobs, Superbowl ad, web application
If you’ve ever noticed that things at the office go better than you’d expect when you take a long vacation, you’ll find that the same is true when you walk away from your old project. The team will probably slow down for a bit. They’ll probably do things that make you slap your forehead or make decisions that cause you to groan horribly as you pour your coffee—but it’s not your problem anymore. Worse than that, you may see your product, under its new leaders, in a Superbowl ad. This happened to me, and boy, did I second-guess my decision to leave! All of this drama will eventually disappear because you’re shipping something new. You shipped V1 of their software, and it’s not yours anymore. Wish your former team good luck and get back to work. Check in on your mission and your strategy, and start writing your next press release.
Social Life of Information by John Seely Brown, Paul Duguid
business process, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, cross-subsidies, disintermediation, double entry bookkeeping, Frank Gehry, frictionless, frictionless market, future of work, George Gilder, George Santayana, global village, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, information retrieval, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, Just-in-time delivery, Kenneth Arrow, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lateral thinking, loose coupling, Marshall McLuhan, medical malpractice, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, Productivity paradox, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Superbowl ad, Ted Nelson, telepresence, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the strength of weak ties, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Y2K
No Room of One's Own The Wired hot desking stories that we mentioned earlier covered the famous attempt by the advertising company Chiat/Day to reconceive work in a new way and a new building. The first story followed the firm into its new offices.18 The second, five years later, watched its retreat to a more conventional way of working.19 The agency is well known for producing Apple advertisements, including the famous 1984 Superbowl ad, which portrayed Apple as champions of individualism, and the later "Think Different" campaign. The new offices of the early nineties (in Los Angeles and New York) suggested that Chiat/Day, too, could both champion individualism and think differently. Page 71 The exterior design of the Los Angeles building (by the architect Frank Gehry) expressed the forward-looking approach directlyit resembled a pair of binoculars.
Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes by Mark Penn, E. Kinney Zalesne
addicted to oil, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Biosphere 2, call centre, corporate governance, David Brooks, Donald Trump, extreme commuting, Exxon Valdez, feminist movement, glass ceiling, God and Mammon, Gordon Gekko, haute couture, hygiene hypothesis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, independent contractor, index card, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, labor-force participation, late fees, life extension, low cost airline, low skilled workers, mobile money, new economy, RAND corporation, Renaissance Technologies, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Rubik’s Cube, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Superbowl ad, the payments system, Thomas L Friedman, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, War on Poverty, white picket fence, women in the workforce, Y2K
What women want in electronics comes from research done by Motorola, as reported in “On Cellphones, Girl Talk Comes with a Bling Tone,” cited above. Sharp’s efforts were reported at “Shopping for Electronics: Isn’t Just a Guy Thing,” Associated Press, January 22, 2004. Car-Buying Soccer Moms To see the Superbowl commercials, check out http://www.ifilm.com/superbowl/2005. The data on women’s experience in automobile showrooms come from numerous sources, including “Survey Finds 77 Percent of Women Car Buyers Continue to Bring Man Along to Dealership,” accessed June 2006, at http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2006/06/01/009311/html.
Start Small, Stay Small: A Developer's Guide to Launching a Startup by Rob Walling
8-hour work day, en.wikipedia.org, inventory management, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Marc Andreessen, Network effects, Paul Graham, rolodex, side project, Silicon Valley, software as a service, Superbowl ad, web application
Your Subject is Your Headline - Perhaps the only factor that determines if your mail gets opened is your subject line. You must hone and craft your ability to write engaging subject lines in 7 words or less. Here are some guidelines: The shorter the better. Ask a question in your subject and answer it in the emails. Example: A DotNetInvoice Super-Bowl Ad? Make a partial statement with “…” at the end and continue the sentence in your email. Example: A Free Copy of DotNetInvoice Every Day… Use the recipient’s first name in the subject line. Example: Rob, DotNetInvoice is Free for 24 hours… Include your product’s #1 benefit in the subject.
Samsung Rising: The Inside Story of the South Korean Giant That Set Out to Beat Apple and Conquer Tech by Geoffrey Cain
Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Asian financial crisis, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, business intelligence, cloud computing, corporate governance, creative destruction, don't be evil, Donald Trump, double helix, Dynabook, Elon Musk, fear of failure, independent contractor, Internet of things, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Kickstarter, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, patent troll, rolodex, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Superbowl ad, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, WikiLeaks, wikimedia commons
He had a new $15 million ad-libbed: Jason Evangelho, “With Hilarious 2-Minute Super Bowl Ad, Samsung Steals Cool Factor from Apple,” Forbes, February 3, 2013, https://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonevangelho/2013/02/03/with-hilarious-2-minute-super-bowl-ad-samsung-officially-steals-cool-factor-from-apple/#130b5461326a. “We actually can’t say”: “New Samsung Commercial Mocks Apple Lawsuits in SuperBowl Teaser Ad Feat. Odenkirk, Rudd & Rogen,” posted by YouTube user Zef Cat on February 1, 2013, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vf2xRupwzoA. “a barrage of not-so-subtle jabs”: Evangelho, “With Hilarious 2-Minute Super Bowl Ad.” “We have a lot of work”: Daisuke Wakabayashi, “Apple Considered Firing Longtime Ad Agency TBWA,” The Wall Street Journal, April 4, 2014, https://www.wsj.com/articles/apple-considered-firing-longtime-ad-agency-1396647347.