Category: Things I Like

Oct 23 2018

The Superhuman Change To My Current Email Tools

It’s 2018. I’m still an incredibly heavy email user. It’s the primary tool in my workflow and has been since the early 1990s. I’ve tried a lot of different things over the years, but always come back to email.

I’ve been a Gmail user for almost a decade. While I’ve tried client-side apps, Gmail in Chrome has been the only thing that has stuck for me. I’ve also tried many of the iOS email apps and always end up back at Gmail for iOS.

Until now.

An increasing number of people in my world have been using Superhuman so I decided to give it a try. I was skeptical that it would capture my attention beyond a day. Two weeks later it is, in fact, superhuman. I’m using the Chrome app and the iOS app as my primary email clients.

The other tools I have in my email workflow are SaneBoxTodoistNotebene (which recently replaced Captio), and FullContact. As a result of Superhuman, I eliminated TextExpander from the mix. The one limitation of Superhuman that causes me a little pain is lack of direct integration with FullContact, which would make managing my address book better.

I didn’t realize how sluggish Gmail on Chrome is, even on a 225Mbps connection (which is what my office is clocking in at this morning.) And, at home, where I often see 3Mbps at high peak usage times, it’s a dream. But, that’s a tiny part of the speed. The big change is that I keep my hands on the keyboard 100% of the time. While I’ve been a heavy Gmail keyboard user, it turns out that you need the mouse for a bunch of Gmail things. Superhuman has turned them all into either keyboard commands, a slightly different workflow, or a “snippet” that lets you create your own compound shortcuts.

I never thought I’d recommend a web-based email client that costs $30 / month, but Superhuman is worth every penny of it. I wish I was an investor, but I guess I’ll live with being a Superhuman user.

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Oct 12 2018

The Expanse

As the weekend approaches, I sense the need in the universe for some people to find a new TV show to binge watch.

If you fit in this category and haven’t yet watched The Expanse, give it a try. If you are a BSG fan and haven’t seen it yet, start tonight. If you like sci-fi, drama, space opera, global political intrigue, underdogs, detective noir, the risk of mass extinction, and believable human history a few hundred years in the future, this one is for you.

There’s a ton of setup, so you need to hang in there for the first five or so episodes. As the friend who referred me to it stated, it’s “Boring boring PROTOMOLECULE…” You get there quickly enough.

There are three seasons, and Amazon just picked up the fourth, so there is a lot to catch up on along with a future. And, after reflecting on it compared to our current geopolitical situation, it’s easy to assert that “nothing ever changes.”

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Aug 2 2018

Becoming Warren Buffett

I regularly get asked where my investing philosophy comes from. There isn’t an easy answer, as it comes from a lot of places, numerous people who influence my thinking (publicly and privately), my partners, and lots of reflection and critical thinking around things that have worked and haven’t worked for me over the past 25 years.

However, one public person who has influenced my thinking for a long time is Warren Buffett. I don’t know Buffett, but I’ve been a fan and follower since college. I read his annual report every year. I’ve also read several biographies on him as well as a bunch of stuff on his long-time partner Charlie Munger (who I’ve learned even more from.)

Last weekend, Amy and I watched the documentary Becoming Warren Buffett. I thought it would be a harder sell to her, but I think we needed a break from binge-watching The Expanse, so she was game to go in an entirely different direction for a few hours. She loved it, which was fun. I liked it a lot also, and, while there wasn’t much new information for me, seeing and hearing Buffett reflect on some things was fascinating.

My behavior is not to emulate Buffett. Nor is it to emulate any of the other inputs I have. All of the inputs influence how I think about things, but I view them as inputs rather than fundamental principles to follow. But Buffett has been – over an extended period – a particularly interesting and stimulating input for me.

As a bonus, his view on philanthropy and generational wealth is very consistent with mine and Amy’s.

If you are a Buffett fan, or just interested, Becoming Warren Buffett is definitely worth watching.

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Jul 3 2018

Fun With Numbers

My friend Katherine pointed me to the Number Gossip site. If you like numbers, you’ll quickly lose the next hour playing around. Since 49% of the US is taking today off, it seemed like a relevant thing to spend some time on.

For example, did you know that 67 is the only number such that the common alphabetical value of its Roman representation is equal to its reversal (LXVII – 12+24+22+9+9=76)?

Or, did you know that 111 is the smallest palindromic number such that the sum of its digits is one of its prime factors? It’s also the age at which Bilbo Baggins leaves the Shire.

I had forgotten that evil numbers are a number that has an even number of 1’s in its binary expansion. But, I didn’t know what an odious number is (it has an odd number of 1’s in its binary expansion.) Apparently, being evil is related, but the opposite, of being odious.

While we all know that 42 is the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything as calculated by Deep Thought, did you know it is also the number spots on a pair of dice? It’s also the smallest abundant odious number.

Have fun. Don’t forget to come up for air once in a while.

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Jun 8 2018

Ray Dalio’s Principles of Success

I became a Ray Dalio fan earlier this year when I read his book Principles. I went on my Ray Dalio journey, read a bunch about him on the web, and watched some of his videos and interviews.

While on vacation last week, I watched his new 30-minute cartoon adventure Principles for Success. It’s spectacular and worth 30 minutes of your life to watch and ponder.

His Episode 4: The Abyss, made me think “just another one of those” (a Dalio construct that I’ve come to love.) My abyss happened between 2001 and 2003 and, while I wasn’t alone in my mistakes as Dalio was in his, I related deeply to it.

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Apr 5 2018

My Search for a Thinking Machines CM-1 or CM-2

I have a Cray-2 showing up at our Carriage House in the next few weeks. It’ll be a permanent fixture there and, while it’s not functional, it’ll be fun to have around.

I’m now on a quest to find a Thinking Machines CM-1 or CM-2. Every supercomputer needs a friend after all.

If you know where I can get one (I’m happy to buy it), or display something publicly that is hidden away in storage somewhere, drop me a line.

In the meantime, if you want to learn more about the CM-1 or CM-2, the following promotional video is a nifty walk through memory (see what I did there?) lane. Yup – enjoy the parallel universe (sorry – I couldn’t help myself.)

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Jan 29 2018

Adele and Everything After

Long Haul Films is the video production company that does our videos like Bored Meetings, Worst of Times, and I’m a VC. We are huge fans of Melissa and Tom.

They have a new documentary coming out called Adele and Everything After. It is an award-winning documentary about Marty, a woman with an untreatable heart condition that made her pass out every day, and Adele, one of the world’s first cardiac alert service dogs.

Pre-order it today or visit Adelemovie.com to find out where else you can catch this inspiring film when it’s released on January 30th.

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Oct 23 2017

Blade Runner 2049: Dystopia With a Happy Ending – Maybe

Blade Runner 2049 is still in the theaters and has a rotten tomatoes score of 88%. While long, it’s definitely worth seeing on the big screen.

If you have never seen the original, please see it before you go. And, if you haven’t seen the original in the past six months, please-please-please watch it again before you go. There are so many wonderful linkages and homages between the two movies that you’ll miss them if you aren’t fresh on the original.

The original is set in Los Angeles in 2019. That’s less than two years away. It was made in 1982 (about 37 years ago). We still don’t have flying cars or jetpacks. Maybe we’ll have them by 2049. Harrison Ford has aged a little but he’s still an amazing actor. The evil genius inventor is different but is still the evil genius inventor. Replicants are still the future, maybe. The visual beauty of the movie is magnificent. Atari is still around. Dystopia is still dystopic.

All the important questions are asked in the film.

  • Who are we?
  • Where did we come from?
  • Where are we going?
  • How much time do we have?

And, most importantly, Blade Runner 2049 brilliantly sets up a sequel!

On our way home, Amy and I had a long debate about whether K dies in the end or is just chilling out in the snow and is finally happy for once.

Oh – and Joi is way more interesting than Samantha (from Her).

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Sep 27 2017

Mesmerizing 30 Day Timelapse At Sea

This is worth the full ten minutes. Sit back, relax, and be amazed.

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May 8 2017

Sonos + Alexa Strategy

We all know that Sonos is finally working on an Alexa integration. As I sit here listening to Atom Heart Mother on my Alexa (via “Alexa, play Pink Floyd’s album Atom Heart Mother”), I so badly want it to play throughout my house on our Sonos, rather than just on my desk via Alexa.

As more hardware companies start paying attention to revenue attach, following the lead of companies like Dropbox, Ring, and Peloton, there’s an obvious place for Sonos to do this. I hope they are thinking hard about it, rather than fearing being disintermediated by Alexa.

I’m very invested in both Sonos and Alexa, as I’ve got them installed in multiple places. Alexa is my desktop music system; Sonos is my house-wide music system. I pay subscriptions to a number of music services, including Amazon, Apple, Pandora, and Spotify. I’ve got them all integrated into Alexa, and most of them (except Amazon) integrated into Sonos.

I’d happily pay Sonos $5 – $10 / month for “advanced features” like Alexa integration. Right now I don’t pay Sonos anything, so $60 – $120 / year (and – a hint to my friends at Sonos – I’d prepay a year if you gave it to me for $50 – $100 with auto-renew) is easy to part with given how much value I get from my Sonos.

Now, I’d want to be part of “Sonos Life”, versus just paying for additional features. As a member of Sonos Life, I’d get all kinds of special happiness via Sonos on a monthly basis. Sonos doesn’t have to look very hard to figure out what to do since they – well – are central to music and have integrated many subscription services. Give me a free month of a service I haven’t yet activated. Or maybe special access to curated channels. Or live music that is syndicated from a different partner. Early access to new products. Fun promotions that all music lovers thrive on. Geez – maybe even a Sonos magazine (well – not really …)

Rather than being afraid of Alexa and integration, I wish Sonos would go all in before Amazon comes out with a connected speaker that causes me to consider ripping out all my Sonos systems and replacing them with Alexa’s …

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