This is how you handle Internet infamy

For those that aren't familiar, this guy asked a question at a World of Warcraft conference (ya, they have those, I know) to the creators. It's a pretty funny video, probably because he clearly takes nerd-dom to a whole new level, and really typifies the stereotype. He's got a lot of attention, everything from reddit to Jimmy Kimmel.

Anyways, in today's world you never know when you might make yourself in to an internet sensation, but if you do, there's a good chance you've done something embarassing or are a cat. Most people end up suing, or complaining to the media or some sort. Sometimes that's justified. The interwebs can be a cruel bitch sometimes. However, this video demonstrates how you can respond by being yourself and turn things in your favor. Great job red shirt guy.

For those that haven't seen the original video, it's here.

I hate pop, but I really like this guy.

Obsessives: Soda Pop from CHOW.com on Vimeo.

John Nese runs a grocery-store style shop in LA that only sells soda pop. It's probably going to be tough for him to make his business work over the long haul for a number of reasons, but I really hope he makes it.

He might have a little crazy in him but he's following his passion and making it work for him and others - and he's a likable guy all around. This 15 minutes does a pretty great job of summing up a lot of my thoughts on business, politics and what's wrong with the world today. This is what America (and Canada) should be all about so he's making it happen. Unfortunately it's more of a corn sugar, CRV and Ralph's kind of place - a Pepsi Co. world.

Watching this reminds me exactly why I got excited about Nenshi winning the mayor's race in Calgary. He was talking about making business easier for the average guy (easier to get permits, easier access to city hall, preventing government subsidies to special interest groups). I'm really hoping that it leads to more innovation and industrial diversity in this city. And I'm hoping that the rest of the world takes note and it catches on.

In any case, if I go to LA I'm gonna go visit this guy and buy some rose petal soda.

I would like to work at this place

This is the kind of place I'd love to work at. In many ways this is a lot like working on web projects - heavy constraints, trying to solve real world problems in new ways, trying to make the outcome scale to many people and situations, and all while trying to make it beautiful as well as functional as well as easy to use.

The nice thing about this is that the result is much more tangible.

Vote for Naheed @Nenshi tomorrow. Here's a 30 min video where he explains why. #yycvote

Definitely a bit of a cheese factor in this infomercial-style vid, but this at least demonstrates that he has a bit of actual substance and some realistic ideas that back some of the broader campaign promises that are common pretty much across the board within this Calgary election (accountability, fiscal responsibility, sustainable development, public transit, yada yada).

A few things that I particularly liked:
  • Express buses down 14th Street in the south, and 2 express buses to the airport (from downtown and the end of the east LRT final station)
  • Getting rid of the $3 park & ride fee
  • Upgrading the traffic lights synchronization system & lane reversals as an alternative to massive highway style roads
  • A modern downtown library
  • Community-focused policing beyond downtown
  • Eliminating the sewer/water subsidies for new developments
  • Developer incentives for walkable communities & ability for families to get by on one car
  • Publicly disclosing all meetings with the mayor

If you haven't read his platform, go check it out at nenshi.ca - and then, if you have time, compare it with ricmciver.ca and barbhiggins.ca.

A couple of things that I haven't found any detail about but am interested in are the following:
  • Improving the taxi system
  • Inner city traffic flow (I think of 17th and 14th, 11th Ave between 2nd & 14th, and 4th Ave during rush hour and how inefficiently traffic moves in those spots)
  • Calgary Parking Authority
  • Abandoned developments with giant holes in the ground
  • Empty lots where development never started but also restrict parking

For all the entrepreneurs out there


Watch live video from c3oorg on Justin.tv

This is Andrew Mason, the CEO of Groupon. I saw him speak at the GROW Conference in Vancouver a couple of months ago, and he has a self-depreciating, and easy going personality that I like. It's nice to see successful people be humble.

As he points out in this talk (and as I've mentioned before on this blog), being an entrepreneur is hard. And it's particularly hard to be a tech entrepreneur in a non-tech city. In this speech (which is for something called 'Startup School' in the Valley), Mason talks about previous failures that led to the current iteration of Groupon, the difficulties in starting in a 'shallow' tech market (Chicago), and what is keeping him going.

What I learned here: stay with it, learn when to move on when something isn't catching on the way you thought it would, focus on the smaller ideas, and even when you do all that it is still going to be really hard and you still need help (Mason concedes midway & again at the end that they were given a bunch of money to start & pay a team to keep going).

A heads-up: with the new TED Talks iPad app, I've gone on a bit of a conference/seminar/forum talk spree lately. They're great to have on in the background while you work or are trying to go to sleep, and I like listening to smart people. My blog is likely going to start reflecting that obsession for a while.