Bill Gates talk on Reinventing Capitalism

From Bill Gates talk on Reinventing Capitalism from the Techonomy conference.

Video training resources mentioned by Bill in the talk.

  1. Math – see Khan Academy as the best
  2. Physics – see Walter Levin Classical Mechanics

Around minute 24 Bill talks about “Education Decoupling” (more) where you could complete the best-of-the-best course and still get a degree from one institution. Why can’t you take Physics from MIT and get credit at no cost from A&M? If the real goal is education, it seems reasonable.

a respectful manner

As your leader, I encourage you from time to time
And always in a respectful manner to question my logic.
If you’re unconvinced of a particular plan of action I’ve decided is the wisest  
then tell me so.
But allow me to convince you and I promise you right here and now
No subject will ever be taboo.

Lucy Lui, Kill Bill, Queen Of The Crime Council Lyrics

great design is not reductionist

“Great design is not reductionist,” (Mau) says. “A lot of current design seems to be about just getting everything down to a clean, perfect experience — which, at its worst, is stale, cold, and lifeless. I think good design should be complex and rich and even messy, like life. When you think about it, design is a philosophical statement. It’s a way for you to say to the world ‘This is who I am. This is what’s important in my life, what I value, what I believe.'” – Glimmer, Pg 248, 249

Apple has been able to create a halo of good experience around its products

“Microsoft wonders why people get so upset when the Windows system crashes, and they try to point out that it crashes less than Apple. But try telling that to an Apple person, and they’ll vehemently deny it. And the reason why is that Apple has been able to create a halo of good experience around its products.“

““ Ziba Design’s, Steve McCallion quoted in the book Glimmer by Berger.

Can we get a debate for Texas Governor?

I have to agree with Bill White’s campaign on this one. Why isn’t Rick Perry going to debate? Mayor Bill WhiteYes he would have to answer some tough questions, but you know, being Governor isn’t supposed to be easy. From Bill’s latest email:

Rick Perry won’t answer for nearly doubling state spending, doubling state debt and helping create an $18 billion budget deficit. Don’t you think Perry should answer questions about his record?

Yet it isn’t all one-sided. Rick could ask Bill some really tough questions about paying pension obligations in Houston with bonds, for example.

Governor Rick PerryI understand an incumbent is theoretically at a disadvantage debating a new candidate (safer to ignore), but I don’t think that applies in this case, as Bill White has plenty of public history being Mayor of Houston. He has a track record you can examine, which suggests to me the playing field is more level, and in this case I’d like to see Rick rise to the challenge.

From one Aggie to another, can we get a debate Governor?

the rules driving python

  1. Borrow ideas from elsewhere whenever it makes sense.
  2. “Things should be as simple as possible, but no simpler.” (Einstein)
  3. Do one thing well (the ‘UNIX philosophy’). And that was to create a great programming language that can be used anywhere.
  4. Don’t fret too much about performance – plan to optimise later when needed.
  5. Don’t fight the environment and go with the flow.
  6. Don’t try for perfection because ‘good enough’ is often just that.
  7. (Hence) it’s okay to cut corners sometimes, especially if you can do it right later.
  8. The Python implementation should not be tied to a particular platform. It’s okay if some functionality is not always available, but the core should work everywhere.
  9. Don’t bother users with details that the machine can handle.
  10. A large complex system should have multiple levels of extensibility. This maximizes the opportunities for users, sophisticated or not, to help themselves.
  11. Errors should not be fatal. That is, user code should be able to recover from error conditions as long as the virtual machine is still functional. At the same time, errors should not pass  silently.
  12. A bug in the user’s Python code should never be allowed to lead to undefined behavior of the Python interpreter; a core dump is never the user’s fault.

LinuxUser, Python, the Universal Programming Language paraphrasing Guido van Rossum

focus on offering goods and services people actually want and need

“In today’s increasingly saturated product marketplace, surface appeal is not enough to elevate me-too products or services above the pack, or to yield sustained success. The harder trick is to use design to get beneath that superficial marketing level and to delve down to core business issues such as: What do people really need? And how can we best provide that?

That business should be focused on offering goods and services people actually want and need may seem obvious. Why would companies do otherwise? The reason is that they often are focused more on their own existing capabilities and objectives than on the needs of others.“

– Warren Berger, GLIMMER: How Design Can Transform Your Life, and Maybe Even The World, pg 100

SXSW: Personal Brands for Profitable Companies

Yes it is that time of year when all of the speakers and bloggers ask for your vote for their SXSW panel. And I am no exception. For people who aren’t familiar with SXSW it is a HUGE tech & media conference held each March in Austin Texas. My panel information is below, and if you are so compelled, a vote and a comment are appreciated.

SXSW Panel Name:

Personal Brands for Profitable Companies


Personal Branding, defined by wikipedia as: “the process whereby people and their careers are marked as brands,“ are typically viewed as a THREAT to corporations. It has been our experience that not only tolerating, but actively helping employees build their personal brands leads to greater profit for the corporation. In this session we will cover strategic as well as tactical steps you can take as an entrepreneur to foster the growth of personal brands to increase the bottom line.

Questions Answered

  1. Is this personal branding stuff fluff, or profitable?
  2. What are the threats of strong personal brands in your company?
  3. What low cost strategies are available to facilitate the personal brand building process?
  4. What are the total costs?
  5. What happens when strong personal brands clash within your culture?

Panel Category
Entrepreneurism / Monetization

To vote you have to create an account on the panel picker. And then please vote for my personal brand profitability panel!

don’t be so judgmental

“I always laugh when somebody says, “don’t be so judgmental.“ betty boopBeing judgmental is just what we do. Not being judgmental really would be like death. Normative behavior is normal. That original self-conscious, slightly despairing glance in the mirror (together with, “Is this it?“ or “Is that all there is?“) is a great enabler because it compels us to seek improvement.”
Andy Martin, NYT The Phenomenology of Ugly