Monthly Archives: December 2010

If you are physically in Silicon Valley and not talking w 25 yr olds, then you are not actually in Silicon Valley

It seems like many people who visit Silicon Valley, especially those from Washington DC, spend most of their time with the key CEOs and venture capitalists that have been in position of prominence for years.  While those people are very wise, they rarely embody true originality and disruption because they generally represent interests that would be punished if innovation happened in their industry.

If you come to Silicon Valley, try to spend at least half your time with young people who have little to gain from incumbency and status quo and who are really trying to change the world (or at least changing their own world).

Home size (sq ft) is like the Laffer Curve: too little is confining but too much can pull apart families

There is an optimal number of square feet for a home for a given family.  If the place is too small, it can be smothering.  But over the last 30 years, the size of homes in the U.S. has grown enormously (while the size of an average family is shrinking).  It seems that homes might be getting larger than needed and that might take away from family cohesiveness. 

This also applies to the workplace.  A great office is one where you don’t feel over-crowded but, at the same time, proximity breeds communication. 

long flying when you’re not having fun

There are two types of people in this world: A. People who's day takes a long time but their month seems to go by so quickly and B. People who's day flies by but a month seems so long ago I tend to gravitate toward the latter. If a month ago seems like ages, it often means that you've done so many interesting things over that time. If it seems like just yesterday, then maybe you've done a lot of the same thing. Conversely, if your day goes by quickly, you're energized and excited. But if a day takes a long time, you might be bored and repetitive.


it is opposite day

random thought: you should throw out any piece of postal mail that says "open immediately. Contains time-sensitive documents." if you really want to get someone to read your mail, the envelop should say something like: "do not read. this is not important enough for you. throw in the trash immediately." — i bet that letter would have a 90% rate of being read…


Email Communication Should be Encrypted and More Secure

You know those confidential messages you send via email?  Guess what, anyone can read them.  Most emails are sent to people unencrypted over the Internet.  As these messages travel from one location to another, they could be easily read by the routers they travel through.

Email is still the dominant communication mechanism for most U.S. adults.  And while there have not been many known breaches, a more secure email system will better protect consumers and keep them safer and better secure confidential information (like what you might send your lawyer).

Back in college, I used to encrypt my email messages to friends using PGP keys – it was cumbersome and difficult but all the cool geeks were doing it.  Today people rarely send or receive encrypted emails because of its difficulty.

A Simple Way to Encrypt Emails at the Server Level

Instead of relying on individual senders to encrypt and decrypt emails, email servers could instead encrypt emails for a given domain.  For example, if is sending an email to, gmail could ping GM’s MX record for to see if GM accepts encrypted traffic and then gmail could choose to encrypt its email.  Email encryption would look similar to that of browser encryption (HTTPS) using a standard encryption layer called TLS that handles all the handshakes and certificate exchanges. 

As long as your domain accepts encrypted email traffic, anyone can send you an encrypted email easily.  And while email will be decrypted at the domain level (like or and not at the individual email, at least the emails will be secure from email provider to email provider be able to travel safely between destinations. 

Of course, there would be a significant cost to encrypting and decrypting data and domains might want more complex policies as to who can send and receive encrypted emails, but starting this process would provide a safer internet.  

Special thanks to Bryan Duxbury for his help and edits.