I've Found My Tribe

In the shadow of "AngelGate", Graphic.ly CEO Micah Baldwin wrote a good post today ("Entrepreneur at the Door; Angel at the Gate") about the risk taking nature of The Valley, "the rise of the Super Angel", and how investors/advisors add real value. It's a good read and you should definitely check it out. But I wanted to say a little something about the part of Micah's piece where he talks about the Valley and what makes it unique. In his words:

"The Valley has long been an echo chamber that relies on its own ability to drink its own kool-aide and believe in its own self-worth. I know, I grew up there.

The genius of that environment is that risk is part of the culture, and if you are not a risk-taker, then you are ejected from its bosom, and left to fend for yourself outside of the community. But, if you are willing to take risk — real risk, not the I will dip my toe in the risk waters risk — you are welcomed with open arms, even when you fail.

That basic belief is what makes the Silicon Valley unique and different."

Approximately 15 months ago I moved to The Valley from Minneapolis (which is an awesome city) to speak at the first organized Twitter conference (140TC) in Mountain View. The idea was that I'd spend the summer out here to see if my Twitter related business idea could be nurtured and to see what was so special about this place.

The quality of the people I've met, the unbridled positive energy of the community, and the breadth and scope of the opportunities available is beyond description. The summer came and went and there was no question that I was not going back to Minnesota. There was just too much "awesome" going on here.

With that as a backdrop, here's the best way I've come up with to describe this place:

Silicon Valley is the home of a massive army of self-selecting, hallucinogenic, non-conforming, entrepreneurial mutants.

After years of searching, I've finally found my tribe.

If Twitter Were TV - In Search of a Better Twitter App

I recently read a post from Joshua Kerievsky at Industrial Logic entitled "Product Metaphor" that was so spot on I wanted to pass it along. According to Joshua, "A product metaphor shapes the look and behavior of a product, integrates the product's features and inspires new functionality." It's always been somewhat of a mystery to me why Twitter doesn't seem to have a strong product orientation along the lines of what Joshua is proposing. I understand they have some pressing issues regarding scaling and reliability, but I've never gotten the sense that they have a strong vision of where they want to take the product.

You can read the entire post here, but I wanted to share his specific points on the "channel" metaphor (below). In my opinion this is precisely the direction Twitter needs to head in order to build a "must have" product for the masses.  Let's hope that someone at Twitter is tuned in.

If Twitter were TV, then everyone I follow would be a channel.

I could define a network as a grouping of channels

I could channel surf people, networks, geographies and areas of interest.

I could mute/unmute a channel, network, hashtag, word or phrase.

I could record a channel or whole network by hashtag or time period.

I could suspend a broadcast thereby communicating that my channel is off the air.

I could schedule a tweet to broadcast from my channel ("This tweet will air tomorrow at 10am and 5pm.").

I could schedule a program on my channel, a designated time when I discuss/debate some topic.

I could schedule an advertisement to air once every day for X days.

I could promote a product on my channel and obtain an advertising fee.

I could have subtitles for foreign tweets.

I could have a breaking news ticker crawling across the bottom of my Twitter app, like news channels do.

I could study a Twitter Guide, like TV Guide, to learn about channels.

I could analyze ratings for my channel, like TV advertisers do, to better understand my audience.

I could pay-per-view to follow a special channel.

Are you sure you want the iPhone4?


Update #2: 7/6/2010 TechCrunch is reporting that Best Buy Issues Reprieve For Employee Behind Videos — But He Declines Reinstatement.

Update #1: 7/1/2010 TechCrunch is reporting that Best Buy is trying to fire it's employee who made this video. They felt it disparaged a brand they carried (iPhone/Apple) as well as the store itself and were fearful of stockholders & customers being turned off to Best Buy Mobile”. Getting fired will probably be the best career move ever for the guy.


HT @edkohler