startups, creatives and bankers

June 2nd, 2012 § Comments Off on startups, creatives and bankers § permalink

I saw this poster for Brooklyn Northside Festival:

… I was as surprised to see ‘entrepreneurship‘ there as the designer who had to find a way to put it there. It seems we are merging with Arts and creative industries, which I believe is an underestimated revolution. Of course SXSW and TED did that years ago, of course Wired knew all along, but Brooklyn Northside?

don’t get me wrong, I think that’s great. I think entrepreneurs really are rock stars of this age/generation, I think it’s up to us to solve big problems that this Planet is facing, and leave it to our kids in a better shape. I think we are looking to complete the capitalism’s promise, and upgrading it with what we’ve learned from globalization and new age.

And I think that we need to join forces with Arts and Creatives and Everyone else, to make this happen, because if we are to replace a broken and unfair economic system, we have to breathe the same air. Financial industry increasingly feels like new age bureaucracy, pushing pieces of paper around, detached from reality. It won’t survive the century.

A capitalism's social pyramid

A capitalism’s social pyramid (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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networking is not entertainment

April 14th, 2012 § 1 comment § permalink

Pop singer Michael Jackson at the White House ...

Pop singer Michael Jackson at the White House ceremony to launch the campaign against drunk driving. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

networking is not about dressing up, mingling with famous people, drinking cocktails or beer or anything else, it’s not about increasing your visibility or clout, or about checking in with other people etc…

networking is working, and that’s working on a very specific set of activities, which is completely different from the ones listed before.

  1. unless it’s a really huge party (1000 people, several floors etc.), introduce yourself to the host. it’s the only way you can make sure you’ll be invited next time.
  2. do your homework! who will be there? what’s their background? do you have any thoughts for them? how are your worlds connected? why would they want to talk to you? or why should they talk to you? these questions you should know answers to before you show up, for everyone in the room if possible! every time! you have no right to come up to the guest of honor and asking “so what does your company do?” you’re wasting time for everyone else in the room! and don’t you dare ask that question at the public session, because the other person has no gracious way to get out of it without wasting everybody’s time.
  3. don’t small talk! or do so only in the first 10 seconds of each conversation, to break the ice and show your language skills are sufficient. nobody goes to networking events to hear more about the weather, food, drinks, politics or your personal life. don’t waste the time and energy i’m trying to spend in your favor by talking to you!
  4. you don’t have to talk to everyone in the room, but try sticking around long enough, to talk to at least one person. you have to buy the ticket to win the lottery. and after you do, follow up!
  5. don’t read these points and nod your head and think ‘what assholes some people are’ – I so know you are doing the same on every event you go to. it’s human condition to be egoistic and we all have to work to overcome it all the time. fuck you, be humble.

‘Code Poems’, code as art

March 3rd, 2012 § Comments Off on ‘Code Poems’, code as art § permalink

I am always interested in ‘arty’ aspects of creative professions – when does design or architecture become art, why couldn’t entrepreneurship be considered art etc. code and software engineering can be beautiful as well, so this project si really wonderful:

Creative Project Invites Developers to Write ‘Code Poems’

Artist and engineer Ishac Bertran has launched a project that invites people to submit poetry written in any coding language. These code poems will be considered for publication in a book. A code poem is simply a poem written in any programming language including C++, HTML, C#, SQL, Objective C, Applescript and Java.

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i’m just a bit sad that there are no inspirational examples on the site yet, so I feel obliged to write about some cases where I have recognized ‘beauty’ in code before:

  • obfuscated JAPH snippets are mind-boggling in sometimes very profound ways. my absolutely favorite is this piece of code, that uses only reserved words to print out “just another perl hacker” when run:
not exp log srand xor s qq qx xor
s x x length uc ord and print chr
ord for qw q join use sub tied qx
xor eval xor print qq q q xor int
eval lc q m cos and print chr ord
for qw y abs ne open tied hex exp
ref y m xor scalar srand print qq
q q xor int eval lc qq y sqrt cos
and print chr ord for qw x printf
each return local x y or print qq
s s and eval q s undef or oct xor
time xor ref print chr int ord lc
foreach qw y hex alarm chdir kill
exec return y s gt sin sort split
English: Program in the Piet programming langu...

This image is a program code!

  • esoteric programming languages, like brainfuck, are awesome, but Piet is the king of them all. I guess it’s not surprising that you can write a program code as a picture, but after you see it in action, it still give a sense of profound connection between digital and organic world.
  • and lastly some blatant self-promotion – two years ago I started an online unicode art gallery, čšž.si, where I try to use only html/css/javascript basics to present the wealth of worlds languages and scripts, and where every ‘gallery piece’ displays it’s own source code.
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Could crowdsourcing be a better way to make legislation?

February 29th, 2012 § Comments Off on Could crowdsourcing be a better way to make legislation? § permalink

yes! yes! yes!

Could crowdsourcing be a better way to make legislation?

Crowdsourcing has proven to be a pretty good way to accomplish things that require a lot of input from different people, including the creation of encyclopedias and the financing of personal projects such as movies and comic books. But could it be used to create legislation as well?

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but really, to actually get there, we need more transparency. basically, that’s the hope behind the open data movement right? if all the data is open, and real-time controlled using automated agents, then everyone can help on decision making. if all data is distilled to transparent chunks of information, then the politics is cleansed back to relationships management, without deceit or manipulation.

the challenge is not so much collection of information anymore, but figuring out when to present which.

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A Whole Lot Of Reading: Social Publisher Wattpad Hits 1B User Minutes Per Month

February 14th, 2012 § 1 comment § permalink

Image representing Wattpad as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

amazing, i didn’t even know about it! if you like reading short stories, this is perfect!

i’m happily finishing my first real e-book now – 1Q84 – a 1000 pages of fantastic fiction, and was thinking about what to read next. after i’ve read all murakami’s, i’m actually in a state of void – a readers’ dilemma – should i try finding the next author, and risk a few months of agony of trying different ones, or should I go read Proust‘s In search of lost time, and have guaranteed a few months of agony? I think i’ll try with short stories for a while 🙂

A Whole Lot Of Reading: Social Publisher Wattpad Hits 1B User Minutes Per Month

Wattpad, a Union Square Ventures-backed platform for sharing stories and interacting with writers, has been growing steadily, and it hit a nice milestone in January – during that month, users spent more than 1 billion minutes on the service.

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now, if only they had better recommendation engine… hm hm hm… 🙂

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Markos on writing

February 11th, 2012 § Comments Off on Markos on writing § permalink

Announcement of the initial publication of Uly...

Image via Wikipedia

I was struck by this formulation today:

Just a notch above a monkey » On Tumblr

However when I write, it’s not really me who does it. Writing, even when trying to avoid self-censorship (unsuccessfully), engages a different part of a brain than responding to an image or a passage of text. I write so I can think, but even when not, I don’t just type a Joyce-like stream of consciousness. I form sentences I would prefer to utter, but usually don’t.

I’ve written about the difference between retweeting and rebloging recently, mainly from the perspective of individuals contribution to the aggregate knowledge of the world. but Marko hit the nail much harder.

Commenting may grow into expression, but if it doesn’t, all three of these activities are probably distinct in my head. Just like nodding at a meeting, thinking aloud, and sketching an idea on the napkin are very different engagement levels – you can feel the brain switching into different mode.

now, interesting question might be, what happens if you don’t use the ‘narrative’ brain for a while?


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and the geeks shall inherit the hollywood…

January 30th, 2012 § Comments Off on and the geeks shall inherit the hollywood… § permalink

HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 13:  (Top row) Directo...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

a couple of days ago I saw this article, from an obviously certified geek, who believes our species has the right to reinvent everything it did or didn’t hear it existed before:

My idea to “Kill Hollywood” This is in response to the excellent Y Combinator “Kill Hollywood” request for startups. I think it’s simple (though not easy ): beat them at their own game by starting a new studio. A kind of studio that has never existed. A kind that could not have existed before.


it caught my eye, because he is actually writing in response to Y-Combinators appeal to kill hollywood, not because it is supporting SOPA, but:

but because SOPA brought it to our attention that Hollywood is dying. They must be dying if they’re resorting to such tactics. If movies and TV were growing rapidly, that growth would take up all their attention.


… now, coming from media background, I was doubly fascinated with this happening:

Hollywood is a well-known area of Los Angeles ...

Note the cell towers lurking in the background... Image via Wikipedia

  1. what a stupidly short-sighted appeal from y-combinator – as if they don’t remember that TV didn’t kill the radio, than cable didn’t kill the TV, and that internet didn’t kill the cable. if anything they are all jointly killing our old ways of life.
  2. what an ignorant attitude from a random geek towards a humongous industry that developed trough 120 years. don’t get me wrong, his analysis is 85% correct – that’s exactly how the movie industry works, smart-ass!
and again, don’t get me wrong – i do similar ‘sins’ all the time – our generation seems to severely failed to learn from previous ones, or from history. we assume we know everything, because we are the first to really know everything is calculable, and that we might live to see the GUT.
because of that, whatever we do, think or say, is in fact, annoying, presumptuous and half-right. the other half we are yet to learn the hard way. it’s the curse of our generation.
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Importance of Staff Meetings

October 9th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

Staff Meeting
Image via Wikipedia

I’m reading Steven Johnson‘s latest book: Where good ideas come from. Lot’s of interesting points being made, but I just came across one, that is specially important for entrepreneurs.

Steven describes an experiment done by some social psychologists, who wired science labs with microphones and cameras, to be able to track the entire process of idea creation in vivo, and observe where they occurred.

My first thought was: “it’s going to be the coffee machine” – the conversations in a relaxed mode during a short break and the lightbulb moment seem to make sense. The book suggested it will be a lone researcher in his lab, bending over his microscope.

Rather than those two situations, the breakthrough ideas were happening at regular weekly staff meetings. This fact alone is a good enough reason to have them, even if you think your startup is not large enough yet. Just do it, it will pay off.

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Stars and Clouds

November 26th, 2007 § Comments Off on Stars and Clouds § permalink

imageListening to Wanderer made me think about Cash’es relationship with June. Morrisey had a similar story in ‘Half a Person’, and remember Forrest and Jenny.

In the real world on the other hand, love and devotion seem to have become obsolete, a notion of a weak mind even – I know all about Christian ideals, postmodernism and ideological interpelation, and I still claim that they these do not explain everything that is going on in my mind. There remains a solid core to that soft surface.
Maybe my next carier will have to be one of a pop/rock star.

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