Why Google is winning the hearts and minds of the American small and micro business man.
This post is a long time in the making, considered it my very first blog post, partly inspired by a twitter exchange between +Robert Scoble and +Louis Gray and myself about Android vs iOS a few months back.
This exchange was centered around a discussion that I was having with +Robert Scoble in which I postulated that most teenagers and adults along the lower socioeconomic ladder of american society, first exposure to smart phones and mobile OS will be android because of the diversity and low cost of Android handsets.
This exchange also touched on the subject of this post, how small business of all kinds are leveraging the multitude of Google free services to build small and micro business all around the US, and how Google as company brings value and the capability to millions of Americans to actually monetize it's interaction with the software giant in a way that Apple does not and will not.
Here is my story:
At the end of 2008 and with the economic meltdown in it's infancy I saw my very lucrative wholesale business of 10+ years disappear in front of me, and along with it my 6 figure income within a matter of months. With a pregnant wife of 5 months, deeply in debt and scared only the way a soon to be father can be, I decided to take the last of our savings and start a local delivery service with a 10 year old used box truck, this I thought, would at least bring some income to put food on the table and slow down the hemorrhaging on our savings.
So in March of 2009 armed with my iPhone and my old truck I ventured into the logistics business with both feet forward. In an effort to make the long days more bearable in my new career as a truck driver I started to listen to podcasts, at first +Adam Carola and then one day he had this fellow, +Leo Laporte I have always loved tech, my first computer was a commodore 64 and it was love at first sight from there, listening to Leo for the first time and hearing him talk about twit and his network was the turning point for my business even though I didn't know it yet. It became painfully obvious that my beloved iPhone and other apple products that up to this point had been my Swiss army knife, go-to friend and trusted advisers were no longer that sharp.
See, everything changed when I started to listen to TWIG and started to realize that Google had a lot more to offer than just search, and then as I listened week after week and I started thinking about how I could actually leverage all these services that Enterprise solutions companies charge thousands for, it dawned on me that I could actually use these services for free, in exchange for Google getting information from me, fair trade.
The Nexus one was the turning point, it was the first Android handset that I wanted to use, and it was better than the iPhone in every aspect with the exception of the number of apps, but most importantly it tied all the Google services together in neat package.
So today almost 3 years later I'm happy to report that we are growing at a rate of 50% a year, I employ a total of 8 people and we did it with no debt, and guess who help me? Google. Indirectly, yes, but still helped, helped me make money, not just take it away and have me come back for more like some techno junkie.
So how did I do it?
1- Google apps (free) gave my company an inexpensive way (free) to deploy enterprise level apps and service for my company so I could project size and polish beyond what I could afford at the time.
2- Inexpensive android handsets that I can deploy in the field with drivers and sales people on which we can scan documents, print and provide Proof of delivery in real time to our customers again leveraging our free apps domain with other CRM apps offered through the market, replacing the need to purchase dedicated handheld single purpose logistics scanners.
3- Real time tracking of drivers and Team members through Google Latitude (something that costs thousands in tracking equipment and monthly subscriptions)
4- Google voice, allows us to have a virtual PBX, and again flexibility to be anywhere and still appear to have a brick and mortar presence.
5- Access to cheap and effective advertising, my monthly budget still is $200.00 a month and this drives 20% of all new business to us, in the past, small companies wouldn't have inexpensive access to top tier advertising. I don't have to be first in every keyword, just the ones that benefit my business.
6- Android handsets have replaced portable PND's making them redundant.
I know that you can do all of this things with a multitude of apps in iOS, but not this simple, not this integrated, and not with the ability to control the devices on an enterprise level for free.
My story is not unique, a family member started a Craft business on YouTube, won a Google sponsored contest to start her own YouTube business and used the seed money to do so, last month she released her first Android app tied to said channel.
So while apple builds really good devices that keeps us consuming, Android and Google help me make money, put food on the table and gives my business a chance to compete with the bigger players by offering me services for free that otherwise I would have to pay thousands a year for.
Silicon Valley and most tech journalist sometimes live in a tech bubble, I challenge you to go to middle america and look around, I think you would be surprised on the real impact that Google has in democratizing technology.
At least one enterprise solutions company agrees with me, Telargo with it's delivery manager software and app that integrates all of this services and more into their custom Logistics software.
RESHARE: If you could help another Human being in pain, would you?
I had the pleasure of meeting +Maya Posch on thursday during +Karl Hughes Weekly technology entrepreneurs hangout were I was a featured guest, Maya is from the Netherlands and intersexed, a medical condition were you are born with both male and female genitals.
In the past, medicine's answer to this condition is to remove one of the genitals and basically choose a sex for the infant at birth with dire and often lifetime consequences for the individuals facing this condition.
What many of you don't know is that i was born in the Dominican Republic, were the largest concentration of intersex or hermaphrodite population in the world exists, all concetrated within this one town and encompasing multiple generations, through these studies the medical community in the Dominican republic and the USA.
Recommendations within the medical community are beginning to change not to perform surgery at birth since individuals tend to manifest one sex stronger than another during puberty and in some cases a specific genital develops further, and in those children were the parents choose the wrong one have long lasting implications.
I agree with Maya that this is a human rights issue, and that the Dutch government should recognize her right to choose who she is.
+Maya Posch I know too well the stigma, close mindedness that you have experienced, myself coming from a culture that's very intolerant of anything that's not "normal" I want to tell you that you are a valuable human being that deserves to pursue happiness and love and be loved.
We walk on this earth not as strangers but as brothers and sisters and should lift each other.
Reshared text: Video I recorded for +SocioloG+ at Google+, talking a bit about how Google+ plays a role in my attempts to make my story known.
RESHARE: My column on +Man'ority Report on which I talk about Google+ and the future of Google Now.
Reshared text: You Are Missing the Point, Google+ Is Not About Social, Is About Owning It All.
Sure you can have friends, share thoughts, photos and videos just like on Facebook, you can hangout and be part of the community and do all things social, we can even sit here and debate for the next decade at who is going to own your Social Graph, but we would all be missing the point.
Facebook didn't blow up because it was great, it just did social better than Myspace which sucked and was slow, and got the college kids first which tend to be very influential in pop culture and from there, the rest is history.
Google+ is just another module in +Larry Page master plan for Google, his vision didn't become clear to me until this years Google IO when I had an A-ha moment.
While every one was raving about Project Glass and the Nexus 7 tablet, what intrigued me the most of all the products announced was Google Now; By now we have all seen the Siri comparisons and most agree that it's pretty cool and useful virtual assistant, and if you are also in the camp of comparing it to Siri as a stand alone product of a concerned Google, you too would be missing the point.
We have all watched +Larry Page march towards the unification of Google, from disparate services into a single experience, we have debated the UI changes, we have groaned at the apparent forced feeding of Google+ and the emphasis on Social, all necessary steps to bring +Larry Page vision of the future forward, one that Apple with it's great hardware and Facebook with it's great penetration into our social fabric are all moving towards but that I think Google will do better.
Which brings me to my point, Google+ is just another module for a preview of a future that Google Now showed us at IO, an ever present Google Search experience, feeding us relevant information before we even think to search it, an experience with so little friction that we will forget is there, one that will be everywhere, on mobile, on your TV and even in your glasses. An experience not only comprised of our collective Social Graph but one also inclusive of all the knowledge being transmitted on the web, a super computer of knowledge just a glance away, that's aware and intelligent enough to anticipate what we want to know before we do.
Privacy concerns are sure to be brought up again and again as we inch towards this vision of the future and in my opinion it comes down to one question, do you trust Google? for me the answer to that question is yes, and to the extent they maintain that trust I believe that this technology to be a game changer.
Ultimately we have to follow the money and the revenue is in_bits_, not in hardware, there is always someone with better hardware around the corner, just ask RIM, and Apple's domination in hardware will also pass, Google cares about hardware to the extent that it delivers the most beautiful, friction-less experience for you to consume while keeping a clear and concise vision about what brings the revenue in, Advertising.
+Larry Page vision is exactly the direction that Google needs to go, to evolve into the company for the next 10 years and in the end Google+ doesn't have to beat Facebook to be successful, it just has to deliver and serve it's purpose towards the bigger picture of Search Everywhere AKA Google Now.
RESHARE: Excellent post by +Karl Hughes btw these rules also apply when someone approaches you to invest in their non existing business.
Reshared text: The Reason You Can't Recruit Technical Talent.
As a web developer who likes startups and small businesses, I get offers from friends and local "idea-generators" to join their non-existent ventures-to-be all the time. I love the idea of taking a blank slate and creating a tool or product that people want to use, but I refuse 99.9% of these offers, and here's why:
1. You have ZERO skin in the game right now. Your product depends on technology, and you don't have the ability to build it on your own. 2. An idea is completely worthless without the right connections and proof of a customer base. 3. You are not qualified or well-connected enough to run a business like this. 4. I don't trust you.
I know this sounds very cynical, but if you're looking to recruit top technical talent to your venture as a co-founder or equity-holding partner, do some work! I may love your idea, but if you have put nothing into it, then why wouldn't I just go create it on my own? When I'm looking at offers from startups or founders, here is what I look for:
1. Have you done detailed market research? Anybody can do that, it doesn't take a technical wizard. If you've put 40-200 hours into researching and testing your market without a product, you've got a compelling reason to attract talent. If you have an idea, you have nothing.
2. What unique or high-level connections do you have in the industry? I've said this many times before, but I'll say it again. It's all about who you know. If you know VC's and Angel investors that's okay, but if you have close relations with 30 high-potential business customers, let's talk!
3. Don't tell me you're going to magically get 1,000,000 users because the product I help you build is just that great. Here's a newsflash: it won't be. Not because I'm not technically sound, but because in an untested market, you have no idea what your customers actually need. If your business idea involves getting millions of registered users in order to make money, I'm probably out. If it involves getting 10 mid-sized businesses to buy a product that makes them more efficient, I can usually see how it might work.
4. Offer pay before equity. If someone comes to me with an idea, and immediately offers equity instead of pay, I know they have nothing going for their idea yet. If I work with a client who is willing to pay me for my services to launch a first-iteration of their product, and then - once we've built trust - offers equity to stay on and help manage technical upgrades, I'll think about it. This goes back to having skin in the game. Don't expect developers and tech guys to join your team without putting something in first. Remember, we're pretty smart, analytical, and often more business-savvy than you realize.
These are just my perspectives. I imagine there are technical guys out there who have spurned offers from would-be startups many times that could give their own advice. Feel free to chime in if you have thoughts.
RESHARE: +Karl Hughes an independent developer based out of Tennessee is building a tool that many on Google + have been asking for.
This tool can filter out your posts and send them to your blog based on certain parameters like length. I also know that Karl is working on adding custom filters to this tool to make it more granular.
+Karl Hughes also hosts a weekly technology entrepreneurs hangout which I'm hoping he will turn over to me for a week so we can have him and +Denny K Miu from +Man'ority Report as featured guests.
Reshared text: What if you could update your blog from Google+?
If you're a Google+ enthusiast, you've probably seen +Robert Scoble and other guys post whole blog posts directly into G+. Well, this weekend, I started building an app for Google+ users that filters out your posts longer than XX lines and posts them to a personalized blog. You can set your sidebar widgets to include your shorter posts and reshares.
Let me know if you'd like an alpha invite and I'll get you an account in the next week or two.
If you are recent follower of mine you probably know me as being an editor at +Man'ority Report or maybe from +Karl Hughes weekly hangout, you also probably know that I mostly post about business and technology, I would like to welcome you to my humble stream as I always strive to provide value to your day.
One of the best things about Google+ is the incredible balance between information and beauty, inspiration and technology is amalgamation of the best humanity has to offer and as close as we can get to a higher state of consciousness.
In that spirit, I'd like to offer some suggestions to complete your stream, the people listed below are some of the best I've encountered on this journey.
As an entrepreneur I'm often asked "what's the secret?" how do I make the transition from employee to entrepreneur, and my answer to these questions if often the same, there is no secret.
Rabbi Daniel Lapin in his book Thou shall prosper explains why historically the Jewish people have been successful, is all in the mindset that they have as a people, in his book he explains that the Jewish people do not view themselves as employees, they provide you with a service whether they have one client (their employer) or many while owning their independent enterprise, so when one makes the inevitable transition from employee to business owner the only thing that changes is the source of the payment for services rendered.
So therein lies the secret sauce for entrepreneurship, your mindset.
People often mistake their education level our lack there of as an asset or detriment to their future enterprise, and although these play a role in success is less than most people think.
The market place has changed dramatically in the past 50 years, for American workers not too long ago was possible to work their whole careers at one company, and many did, my own grandfather worked his whole adult life for a cable manufacturer. For the most part companies and employees both had a tremendous amount of loyalty for each other, concepts that were passed down the line to subsequent generations, the problem with this mindset is when the paradigm changed, most of us still were operating with what I call the safety net mentality.
I refer to the safety net mindset as the notion that some sort of job security exist, but the reality that this only holds true for a very small set of workers and only to the extent that the enterprise they work for remains viable, thus this employee mindset passed down for generations, feels like a warm blanket and offers a false sense of security.
The first step to break free from the employee mindset is to recognize the mechanics of it, once the false sense of security is discarded then entrepreneurship can become a viable option within your mindset.
No amount of knowledge or funding is a substitute for hard work, out work your competition and do so smartly and you will probably prevail, and therein lies the pitfall and why most people choose not to be self employed, most people are not willing to make the sacrifices that every entrepreneur I know has in order to win, like giving up getting paid on a regular basis, working insane hours and kissing your social life goodbye.
The good news is that these are temporary and then you get to reap the rewards of your hard work, but in order to get to the end, you have to start, can you change your mindset and make the necessary changes in order to win?
It baffles me at how insistent zealots on both camps are. The arguments about the discoveries of this past week on the so called "God Particle" most people can't even spell physics and certainly have no clue about particle physics or what the Higgs Boson discovery implies.
Yet they waste no time to ridicule and tout as facts, science triumph over religion, when in reality the discovery of this particle neither proves or disproves the existence of God.
Taking it a step further, most can't even tell you why they think the discovery disproves the existence of God, besides regurgitating some meme they saw on the internet. Further more, most people don't even know why is called the God particle to begin with.
So what do you gain from telling me and proving to me that God doesn't exist? In the end nothing, what you are really trying to tell me is that my belief in God somehow makes me less intelligent than you are, and for that, we have no empirical evidence. So I suggest you examine your motivation for trying to disprove my beliefs is not more than your motivation to show me how much smarter than me you think you are.
This is my third entry on my small business series, sorry for the delay.
Fear and paralysis
A few days ago I read a post by +Man'ority Report on making decisions in a start up, specifically on not getting offuscated into trying to make the perfect decision every time, this post will try to expand on this idea.
Visualizing the worst case scenario early in the process, helps you get the fear out of the way and empowers you to move forward. Fear is natures way of preventing self destruction, in most cases, it keeps us from making stupid decisions, but fear can also cause paralysis, and paralysis in business is death.
Most entrepreneurs are faced with countless decisions every day, from the small and trivial, to the important or "life or death" as the article by +Man'ority Report man called them, knowing what level of your internal fear to assign to these decisions, is almost as important as the data set that you are using to base those decisions on.
Because everyones fears are rooted on very specifics life experiences, is possible that two individuals looking at the same data set will come to very different outcomes based solely on their fears and taste for risk.
Recognizing your fears early on, and how they color your decision making , is therefore, an important factor on how your young startup might be impacted by them.
Great leaders always have a very important common quality, they are always surrounded by great counsel, thanks to the great advances in technology they don't even have to be present to offer that guiding hand, and in some instances you may not have even met them face to face.
You are surrounded by these great counselors, kindred spirits that like teachers are eager to pass that knowledge and give you the benefit of their wisdom.
Today at sunset, we're all supposed to unplug for 24 hours. It's called the National Day of Unplugging.
Screw that. I'm not unplugging jack squat. Here's why.
Organizers say the purpose of the Unplugging is to "start living a different life: connect with the people in your street, neighborhood and city, have an uninterrupted meal or read a book to your child."
I don't want to live "a different life." I was born in the 1960s. I spent most of my life "unplugged." Yet I'm young enough to understand what being "unplugged" means. It means ignorance, wasted time, wasted opportunities and being a prisoner to time and place.
I've travelled all over the world, and have seen how the majority of people on this planet live -- unplugged. If only they could afford Internet connectivity, their lives would be transformed for the better.
I'm supposed to "connect with the people in my street." But why are people in my street better than the people in my circles? They're not. What kind of narcissist believes that people physically near me deserve special attention?
The unplug movement assumes we're all prisoners of connectivity. I don't know about you, but being connected has set me free. It lets me go anywhere, work anywhere, live anywhere, and yet stay in constant contact with my sons and my family and friends.
By all means, unplug if you want to. As for me, I'll unplug when I'm dead.
What I really want is more connectivity. A LOT more. I want faster speeds, and cheaper satellite data and longer battery life. I want to be able to connect from the middle of the Sahara and the top of Kilimanjaro and the middle of the ocean. I want to be "plugged" 24/7 and 365 days a year.
Over the past few months I've had conversations about Makerbot and 3D printing and what the future holds for it.
Most of the conversations revolve around making trinkets and toys, but one article in particular really caught my attention and I shared it here on G+.
The article described a future were every household would have one of these machines, a future in which instead of buying most of what we need, we build it in our own homes, allowing people to be more self sustainable.
The little girl in this video, Emma has AMC a rare condition, watch how these two individuals where able to adapt a metal prosthetic used in adults with the same condition and use a 3D printer to modify and create one for children's use, using ABS plastic.
Photographers are perhaps some of the most active users on Google+ and Google has done a great job of fostering the community and in turn, the photography community has influenced the UI design on both the Mobile and desktop versions of Google+
I attended my first Photowalk this weekend and I can definitely see how addictive it can be.
Reshared text: Dear +MG Siegler, Are you seriously upset about your photo removal? (MG's complaint here: http://bit.ly/sp8mLo) I thought I'd offer an alternate opinion here in the public and see what happens. (An opinion that PR from Google+ will probably not take the time to express, because they're busy and have better things to do. I on the other hand, have copious amounts of free time these days. :-) heh)
Every social network has the policy you're decyring, and why shouldn't they? It's a public sphere. If you had a T-shirt that said "I hate White People" (you can imagine another ethnic group to make it more offensive, if you'd like) and you walked into a mall wearing it, the security would probably ask you to leave, or ask you to cover up your shirt. If your T-shirt said "F*ck you" (which more closely parallells your hand gesture, you'd probably get the same treatment.)
All Google+ has done here is execute on its stated plan: removing offensive photos. This is Facebook's plan, Twitter's plan and MySpace's before it. When you're processing hundreds of thousands of photos a day (and in Facebook's case, millions a day), it's not easy to spot such material (even with algorithms). It's not that Google+ has decided to do things differently, it's just that they're ahead of the game and doing things better. (As they are also doing with their spam detection and removal algorithms. I don't know what you're seeing, but they catch and hide 95% of the spam comments that appear on my posts.)
In any case, I would respectfully submit that we, the users of Google+ (and Facebook or Twitter) don't need to see you flipping us off, nor do we need to see you naked, or displaying something else generally considered offensive. When a social network let's that stuff slide, it turns into a cesspool that no one wants to visit... sorta like MySpace was.
It was very difficult @ MySpace to keep up with the "offensive" photos, and we had decent technology and many warm bodies on the case. (In fact, I'd guess the average person would be shocked how much time and resources we had to put into trying to stop that.) Your suggestion that you should get "warned" is too time-consuming. You want someone to check up on you and make sure you complied with the warning? The limited resources Google could use for something like that would be better spent giving human interaction to questions on how to use the service, technical troubles, etc. Things that seem simple are not as soon as you have 10s of millions of users.
I don't think this issue deserves attention really, but seeing as how your post has been so popular (making the top of Techmeme, no less!), I thought I'd see how "popular" (or unpopular) this alternate opinion is. Maybe I'm drastically wrong here... I do think Singapore is a wonderful place, after all. :-) I'm kinda curious if people think I'm way off base here. I'm wondering if your post made the top of Techmeme not because people agree with you, but because people generally like controversy. Or maybe people just like you... even if you are flipping us all off. :-) You are a loveable renegade. :-)
P.S. As +Danny Sullivan and others have pointed out, Google is not just concerned about its "public sphere" on G+ itself, but our profile pictures are used in search results as well: http://bit.ly/v6VbWB
P.S.S. Pictured: +MG Siegler looking as innocent as my "MySpace Tom" photo. He is clearing not roaming the badlands in this shot!
UPDATE Added after initial post: +Jeff Jarvis and +Mike Elgan have written some interesting counterpoints that disagree with my post:
Reshared text: That’s not photoshop; that’s an actual cloud hovering inside an actual room. Artist Berndnaut Smilde merges art and science to create small man-made clouds that exist — albeit for just a moment — indoors.
I'm proud to announce that I'm joining +Man'ority Report as a regular author and curator.
Man'ority Report is a new kind of magazine for the new kind of world, focusing on men, those who care about men and our perspective.
We aim to provide first person curation on a wide range of topics with emphasis on expert commentary. +Man'ority Report is an opt-in experience, so if you wish to receive our content you have to circle us.
I hope you will join me on this new journey and will promptly add +Man'ority Report to your circles.
This is a follow up to last weeks post about how I'm using free cloud services and Apps to grow my small business. With the encouragement of +Mark Holmes and several other kind people of this community I have decided to write a weekly blog post about my experiences leveraging free or inexpensive ways to grow a small business using technology available today, please keep in mind that I'm not a writer and English is my second language, so please excuse any grammatical errors.
If you missed my last week post I have included the link.
The most important competitive advantage that a small business has over their bigger better capitalized competitors is speed, being nimble and able to respond to potential customers in a way that bigger business can't. This is a lesson I learned in late 2009 when my small business was just month's old and this lesson became the compass that guides our growth.
Back in late 2009 I got a call from a referral service to transport some video equipment to Turner Broadcasting for a big Oscar party they were having, as most often happens in the Video Rental industry, this was a time sensitive job to make up for someones else's mistake on the west coast.
I was met at the Loading dock by Stan a jovial very matter of factly middle aged man, who helped me load the many cases of video and audio equipment and was very preoccupied as to what would be the fastest way for him to get back the copies of the contracts he was about to give me. I just naturally blurted out "I can scan them with my mobile and send them to you as soon as your client signs them" his eyes lit up and he said "you can do that?" he was so impressed by this, that months later when I came knocking on his door he remembered me.
You see Stan happens to be the Head of a branch of a multinational Video Rental company, also he is someone that wields a lot of influence all across the region in his industry, Stan is single handily responsible for the 10 fold growth we have experienced in the past couple of years and has assisted me in securing 3 of the 5 major players in his industry.
Stan also has what I now call the 28 second rule, you see he gets weekly sales visits by Sales men and women and is always the same pitch, we are bigger than, we have more trucks than, we are faster than. Stan's test is always the same, he asks for a shipping quote during their sales pitch and times how long it takes them to get it, average so far is 13 minutes, followed by a phone call to us to get the same quote and to further drive his point, average 28 seconds.
Identifying what your 28 seconds are is the difference between threading water and actually growing your business, determining what are the areas that you can focus technology to give you a competitive advantage and remembering that the best kit of technology you have is yourself.
We use Google maps and Latitude to get our 28 seconds, what technologies do you use to get yours?
Like intuit, Paypal doesn't get it, the mobile payment landscape is being dominated by square, at least in the USA, not because of the app's availability on Android and iPhone and because of their cool dongle.
The reason for square's success is because their excellent customer service, no hidden fees and no BS up sell.
I've had merchant accounts for the past 15 years and 6 months ago I switched to square for the reasons mentioned above.
Reshared text: PayPal on Thursday introduced PayPal Here, a mobile payment solution that attaches to your smartphone. If the idea sounds familiar, that’s because Square, a similar technology, has been around for about two years.
But those two aren’t the only options for small businesses looking to process credit card payments on the go. In fact, there are now four such payment solutions if you include VeriFone’s Payware Mobile and Intuit’s GoPayment.
Which one is best for you? We took a look at the various features for each offering to help you make the decision:
Seems to me like we prosecute and Jail millions for smoking a joint or misdemeanors, but these executives, that are committing what amounts to treason and espionage are getting off with slaps on the wrist.
Every week without fail, me and my daughter make a deposit into her piggy bank or as we call it, her "college fund".
Today as we are making the deposit she says to me "daddy, I'm going to college" as she is telling at me to put the piggy bank back in it's place on top of the fridge.
Mind you, she is only two years old and although the exercise is mostly symbolic, as her real college fund is elsewhere, we usually put about 10 dollars in a combination of coins and bills as I want her to understand that in order to achieve her future goals, careful planning and most importantly, saving, is a part of achieving her goals.
Yesterday marked my 18th year living as an immigrant in the United States, and also became the date when I have officially lived here longer than in my native Dominican Republic.
I have been reflecting on what this actually means to me, to actually look back and ponder on the almost 2 decades I have lived in this country, so here goes nothing.
The year was 1993 and we arrived early evening at Atlanta Harstfield Airport with the fall chill in the air, this was a small shock in itself since just merely 3 hours before I was in 90 degree heat, I was 17 and very naive, my sisters and I had a very sheltered upbringing and we definitely had a case of culture shock.
I won't bore you with the minutiae of the typical immigrant struggles, we had plenty, and in a way I'm thankful for them, they are nothing but distant memories today, almost like they belonged to someone else and I just merely heard the story, and now that I'm a father of a 2 year old girl, these memories have made me reflect on certain differences.
I can't tell you that I miss the rolling blackouts, the scarcity of potable water and the general chaos that comes when you live in a 3rd world country, but in a way I'm sad that my daughter will miss out on certain perks that come from growing up like I did. We Caribbeans have a thing we call "Island time", nothing and I mean nothing disturbs this loose schedule, islanders have such a relaxed attitude about everything, that it can drive even the most relaxed 1st worlder to insanity. I sometimes wonder if she will ever know the ecstasy that comes from doing nothing, I wonder if she'll know that what she does for a living doesn't define her, and I wonder if she will ever stop long enough just to stare at the sky in wonder.
All the things that make America and Americans great are some of the same things that also keeps us in the shrink's office, the obsession with stuff, so much of it that some of us have storage units to put the stuff we cannot store in our homes. The obsession with money and power, the obsession with fame and the lack of emphasis on family.
I'm guilty of all the above, I long for a simpler time and simpler life, I'm taking a page out of Silicon Valley and slowly but surely I'm pivoting my life away from the New American dream, the one that comes with a mortgage, with never ending debt, and with stress. Instead I want the old American dream, peace and the opportunity for the pursuit of happiness surrounded with children and family.
It's been 18 years and a lot has changed, Kurt Cobain is dead, the twin towers fell and all of the sudden I'm 35 years old and with gray hair, I'm no longer that naive 17 year old that spoke with a funny accent, I'm a father and a thoroughly assimilated immigrant that sometimes wishes he could travel back in time to tell that 17 year old that everything will be alright.
Reshared text: How to Set Up a Google+ Hangout On Air at a Live Music Venue
As many of you may know, Google+ Hangouts are great ways for artists to connect directly with new friends and fans all over the world. Our band +Suite 709 has been experimenting with doing Full Band performances in Google+ Hangouts, so we thought we’d share some of what we’ve learned for all the other artists out there looking to do the same.
We just posted a blog explaining how we turned a normal show for a local crowd in Austin, TX into an international dance party heard in countries all over the world. There are probably lots of ways to set up a hangout for live music. This is just what we’ve found works well for a full band setup. Let us know what you think and any improvements or new ideas you have, as we’re always trying push hangouts further.
Reshared text: Children need something to do when they're potty training, right? A new product for parents of children being potty trained features a mini toilet and an adjustable iPad docking station. The toilet, unveiled at #CES , is aptly named the iPotty.
If you have passion you can adjust with quality, because sometimes passion can stretch our abilities to its limits. If you have less facilities it allows you to think more productive ideas to fulfill your passion. so BE PASSIONATE WHAT EVER YOU DO
Reshared text: This year at AMG, we celebrate our 45th anniversary. The book "AMG 45 - The Story, The Cars" is a tale of superlatives including 117 cars, 34 engines, 67 types of cars, and 279 pictures on 468 pages. The book is available for preorder now at the Delius Klasing Verlag (www.delius-klasing.de/buecher/AMG+45.111657.html) and will be available on Amazon.com in September.
Reshared text: With the release of iPhone 5 and Apple removing Youtube and Google Map from IOS 6, it is clear that there is a religious war between Apple and Google. Apple is all about BYOD, bring your own device (iPhone) and good luck in finding the right service. Google is the opposite. BYOS means they will provide the free services upfront (Gmail, Turn-by-Turn Navigation etc.), giving you the complete freedom to deploy the most cost effective hardware. Google's business model is simple, no fixed cost but pay when as your succeed.+Christian Reyes is a small business owner who will explain how his team deploys free services from Google at zero initial cost and scale their business as they grow. #googleverse#Man03+Denny K Miu
Reshared text: In America, we have a professional class whose job is to maintain a permanent sense of victimhood among its constituents. If you got into college and someone gave you a boatload of students loans such that your monthly payments are now crimping your style, someone will remind you that you are a victim. If you graduate from college but couldn't get a job because the Chinese are willing to work per day for less than what you pay for an iced frappuccino, someone will remind you that you are a victim. If your government didn't do enough to protect you, someone will remind you that you are a victim. If your government did too much, someone will remind you that you are a victim. Being a victim is now the great American pastime. #victimhood #Mr524 +Denny K Miu
But as I started mulling over what to roll out for this week's #OTL , I figured why not a trip back to 1992 and that iconic MTV Unplugged Concert... with Pearl Jam! So for the next 36 minutes, sit back, decompress, decide whether or not to walk ALL the way to break room to reheat your lunch, figure out what you need at the store, take a break from that pile of paperwork (or get back to that pile of paperwork!) and enjoy the classic sounds of one of the best bands of the 90's and forever.
If anyone needs an additional Pink Floyd fix, just shoot it in and I'll get-it-on-later-on!
Previous #OTL Sessions include: Bob Seger, Miles Davis, Esperanza Spalding, Journey, Led Zeppelin, Norah Jones, and Sheryl Crow. If you want to nominate an artist or band for a future OTL, just let me know!
Today Google announced Project Glass one of the worst kept secrets in the tech industry. Project Glass is an augmented reality set of glasses that by all estimations where supposed to be bulky and ugly.
Google has surprised us with a stylish prototype that looks like a prop right out of Star Trek, the video below shows an unobtrusive UI and tight integration with many of Google properties.
I think is time for Google to take control of Android and impose heavy restrictions on it to protect the ecosystem from other commercial players.
Failure to do so puts the entire Android user experience at peril and further confuses the customers buying handsets.
I don't think that Google initially had intentions to exert too much influence on Motorola's hardware division but I think that Google's Android partners are forcing them to do so with their insistence on customizing Android releases beyond recognition.
Reshared text: "Here's to the Crazy Ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status-quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them.
Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world - are the ones who DO!"
Reshared text: ///// The Google+ World - Google+ Visualised (again) /////
Because so much people liked (+1ed, reshared...) the image in this post (http://goo.gl/xWrvJ) we have recreated it with a few improvements and now with around 4.4 million profiles.
Here are the profiles visualised which we (CircleCount.com) have indexed and have a publicly visible location on their profile. Here you can find a description about how we are indexing the profiles: http://goo.gl/XcwyQ
cc: +Robert Redl here is the "the blue pill red pill thing" ;)
Please give him a warm welcome and let's see if we can get him taking soon.
Reshared text: AMG
In Brussels we have encountered Mercedes shop, but they had only one model available. It was Mercedes AMG, but I have to admit it looked nice. So nice, I had to take several pictures before I left the building.