My daily readings 09/14/2009

  • tags: phone, call, web

    • The demand doesn’t end with Skype. In the past seven months, venture capitalists poured tens of millions of dollars into mobile Web-calling provider Fring, Internet-calling software maker Twilio, and service provider Ooma, which had multiple funding offers in June, when many startups couldn’t get a dime.
  • tags: Minimalism

  • tags: no_tag

  • tags: quickd

  • tags: no_tag

  • tags: creativity

    • Scientific American has an article An Easy Way To Increase Creativity,  which describes the recent paper about the effects of psychological distance on creativity.

      The SciAm article is worth reading.  Students were asked a series of brain teaser questions.  One group of students was told that the questions were invented at their university; the other group was told they were invented in a far away university.  Thinking that the test came from far away somehow raised the creativity of the subjects.  They answered more questions correctly.

    • Note carefully your answer.  Most likely, your first 6 or so answers are of one category of animal (e.g. farm), and the remaining ones are from another category of animal (e.g. zoo animals).

      Even dementia patients can name a lot of animals– “cow, pig, horse, sheep, umm, cow, no wait, ummm….” but what the demented can’t do well is switch to another category.  They get stuck in the same box, looking around in there for more answers.  They don’t lack fluency, they lack flexibility.

    • Again, the point is to boost my creativity, to help my brain to think with additional software, not to replace the existing software.
    • But effective methods of adopting psychological distance or alternative perspectives have two important similarities.  They are predicated on the idea that who you are, and how your mind works, can be artificially altered at will– you can actually think thoughts you were neither biologically nor environmentally primed to think; and they establish that an inability to see things from another perspective is almost always a failure of will, not of intellect.
  • tags: no_tag

    • Underestimating word of mouth – This one is sort of tied to my first item. It takes *years* to generate word of mouth – it’s a slow build, but slow burning fires burn the hottest. So be patient and do your best to take care of your customers/users even if you can’t find a way to measure the ROI.
  • tags: no_tag

    • The secret behind their success was figuring out which consumer-ready components to pick-and-match to solve the problems space photographers face. Their device had to: rise to an altitude high enough to capture space photographs, withstand extreme temperatures of the stratosphere, and be trackable/recoverable.
  • tags: Audio, lectures

  • tags: no_tag

    • Interesting – post by joel
    • The right-brain utility is in integrating millions of facts (more than the left brain can logically combine) and producing a unified output. However, that output is in the form of an intuition, “gut feeling”, or just plain excitement, which can sometimes be difficult to communicate or justify (“it seems like a good idea” isn’t always convincing). Nevertheless, these intuitions are crucial for making big conceptual leaps, and ultimately providing direction and meaning in our lives.

      So to reformulate yesterday’s advice, I think we do best when using our right-brain skills to discover opportunity and excitement, while also engaging our left-brain abilities to avoid disasters, find tactical advantages, and rationalize our actions to the world. Left and Right are both stuck in the same skull, but not by accident — they actually need each other. (the same could probably be said for politics, but that would be another post)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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