Monthly Archives: December 2008

travel hacks: develop work-out routine in your hotel room

i got a twitter reply from Cameron Schaefer with a link to his blog on travel hacks.

one good one i like: Develop a Hotel Room Exercise Routine:

One of the best ways to stay energized and refreshed during long trips
is to exercise.  Most hotels have some type of fitness center, but
there’s an even simpler solution — work out in your hotel room. 
Push-ups and sit-ups are an obvious solution, but I discovered a tool
the other month that has made a huge difference in the variety of
exercise I can accomplish in a confined space: exercise bands.

More at Cameron's blog.

email sabbatical

I sent an email to a friend today and for the following message (name redacted to protect the innocent):

I'm [names]'s email bot.  I'm here to tell you that [names] is off celebrating [an accomplishment] without the Internet or email.  She will be gone until [return date] and decided to take an email sabbatical. This means that no emails received during her vacation will be stored, including your message. In other words, she will NOT receive your message. It won't be waiting for her because I've been instructed to throw everything away so that she can come home to a little less stress.

If you feel as though your message is still relevant post-[return date], you should email her again then. If it is uber urgent and you know how, contact her mother or brother.

For good reason, [names] believes that a vacation is spoiled by coming home to an inbox that is a mile high filled with requests for things to do. When [names] returns, she will be starting a new job and she wants to be at her best without such a crazy backlog.

I apologize for [names]'s quirkiness. She's definitely an odd duck. But I think that she deserves a proper break from the world. I hope you do too.


my best articles of the last twelve months

"Recessions Promote Breakthrough Innovations":

This was written last March but it
is much more relevant today.


"It Takes Tech to Be Elected President":

Much has been written about the
Obama technology coup.   This goes over a
history of tech innovations in elections.


"Social Media Gender Gap":

Men are from video games and women
are from social networks.


“How to Hire: When Good Isn't Good Enough”:

With the recession in full swing, it
is even more important to hire great people.


"You think for yourself but you act like your

This was my most talked about blog
in 2008 … on homophily.


"Implicit is the New Explicit":

getting users is hard
marketing.   Getting data can be a better


"The art of a job offer: encourage candidates to turn
you down":

Some non-obvious ideas on how to
give a job offer.

Best books I read in 2008




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Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Gang Leader for a Day by Sudhir Venkatesh

(special thanks to Marc Andreessen
for the referral)


Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely

(special thanks to Jeremy Philips for sending me the book and making me
read it)


How best to explore a new city

When I end up in a new foreign city as a tourist (or the
beginning of a business trip) I often seek out one or two people I can go to
lunch or dinner with.   That way I learn
more about the city and really understand what’s going there.


Recently I had an opportunity to go to Ho Chi Min City
(Saigon) in Vietnam
for a few days.  Before going I combed
LinkedIn to find people that were just one degree away from me (we knew someone
in common). I ended up setting up a
lunch with one person who know an entrepreneurial friend and another person who
knew a venture capitalist friend. These
people were enormously helpful to get a lay of the land, understand the city,
and get a good understanding of the culture.

I’ve done this in Santiago, Munich, and many other
cities where I did not know many people before arriving.  

If you’ve done this (or you try it) let me know about
your experiences (I look forward to learning more).

Hat tip to Scott Bonds who suggested I post this.