Archive for the 'Silicon Valley' Category

About that Twitter thing…

Sunday, February 1st, 2009

I signed up for Twitter way early in 2006 (check my RSS feed, it shows a relatively small number) but only started really using it at SXSW 2007 in Austin, TX.

It was initially meant as an experiment to just give it a try, see how it works and then decide if I really needed it. Well, that experiment has lasted for almost two years now (we know it’s addictive).

Twitter has grown tremendously over the past two years and so has my usage. There are at least seven accounts I use on a regular basis (one personal, a few various business and product ones, a couple of community events etc.).

There’s definitely been a lot of cool stuff to see and I still enjoy being amidst this new thing (micro-blogging, whatever) — except for one big problem: it’s too distracting and it costs too much time.

It’s not so bad with the smaller accounts that have up to a couple hundred followers/following, lower posting frequency (less than daily) and are focused around one specific niche topic.

But my personal Twitter stream has become a real drag. Too much noise. Too little signal. And as much as I appreciate that Twitter is stable after the problems we saw last year, the fact that there’s been feature standstill doesn’t help much either: no groups, no ability to fine tune tweet volume, no easy way to manage your followers and followed — pretty much all the basics needed to help me manage are still missing. I’m sure there’s an application out there somewhere that does some of that but seriously, who has the time to go on that quest?

Anyway, time to clear out some of the brush (sorry to un-follow you). And probably step away from it entirely for a while and see if the world still turns.

Save the bears!

Sunday, October 12th, 2008

You know Michael Arrington loves startups. How else could you explain this outburst of poetry?

Just like a bear in the woods (I imagine) has to slow its activity in the Winter as food supplies dwindle, startups need to go into cash conservation mode to increase their chances of survival when the market slows. They need to be prepared for a hit in revenue, and they know they can’t necessarily go to the capital markets to get money to stay in business.

But to argue that a company should always cut costs to the bare minimum is the same thing as asking that bear to act like it’s Winter in the Spring, just because someday Winter is definitely going to happen. All you end up with is a dead bear.

Well, good luck to all. Especially the bears.

Change agent at work

Monday, November 12th, 2007

Just for the record:

  • Late March (immediately after landing the job) — Started pushing for team/group/department wiki.
  • April 15, 2007 — Started spreading some Twitter love.
  • April 19, 2007 — Started evangelizing the unconference format and its potential benefits in and around the enterprise.
  • No later than early May 2007 — Started pointing folks to Silicon Valley’s vibrant Lunch 2.0 movement.
  • Etc.

Since then:

  • July 2007 — First internal Lunch 2.0 at Oracle.
  • August 2007 — Oracle is BarCampBlock sponsor.
  • September 2007 — Department wiki launches (internal).
  • October 2007 — First public Oracle Lunch 2.0.
  • November 2007 — Public wiki launches, OpenWorld comes nicely bundled with an unconference, Twitter seems to be all over the place at Oracle.
  • Etc.

Of course, none of this would have been possible if it wasn’t for the curiosity, open-mindedness and drive of a number of other people at Oracle (both inside and outside the sphere of influence a small team like ours can command). That’s what’s made this job such a fun experience over the past few months. And while I’m well aware that I can’t claim credit for all the good things that have been coming together lately, I’m glad that I was able to give some of the right queues at the right time.

iPhoneDevCampGermany

Sunday, August 12th, 2007

I don’t know when Apple’s iPhone will officially launch in Germany (I know a few people who bought one in the US to get their hands on it early). Apparently, an official ship date hasn’t been set yet.

The good thing about *camps, though, is you can start organizing one even when you don’t have a clear date yet: iPhoneDevCampGermany

Via Gernot: iPhoneDevCamp Germany

And via Franz: iPhoneDevCamp German

Sunday hard rock V

Saturday, July 7th, 2007

Ok, Sunday came early this weekend.

I’m enjoying a DVD of Revolutions in Music: Copland and the American Sound:

Keeping Score is the ground- breaking series by the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas. It’s designed to bring classical music to people of all ages and musical back- grounds.

This mini-series, Revolutions In Music, focuses on the meaning of music, with episodes devoted to Beethoven, Stravinsky, and Copland, highlighting what made their music so revolutionary, and why it is still so powerful today.

More about Aaron Copland and his Fanfare for the Common Man:

Fanfare for the Common Man is one of the most recognizable pieces of 20th Century American classical music. One of composer Aaron Copland’s most popular works, the fanfare is a short piece scored for brass and percussion written in 1942 at the request of the conductor Eugene Goossens.

I had a chance to hear the San Francisco Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas perform Mahler’s Seventh earlier this June (their live CD won two Grammy Awards last year). If you haven’t had a chance to see them in concert yet, take a look at their 2007-2008 season’s highlights. Some great music coming up.

Web Monday Silicon Valley: June 18, Palo Alto

Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

This will be a casual one — open mic, BYO demo-type event.

Please join us! You can sign up on Upcoming and on the wiki.

No specific topics as of yet (that might change over the coming days, though). Feel free to bring your own lightning talk or quick demo (simply sign up on the wiki to reserve a slot). Anything around the future of the web, internet startups, and/or transatlantic exchange should be interesting.

Hope to see you there.

Lunch 2.0 Germany: Have a bite in Hamburg, May 29

Monday, May 7th, 2007

Don’t know for certain, but this may well have led to the creation of this.

Anyway, Lunch 2.0 is on for the first time in Germany, May 29 at cellity AG in Hamburg, Germany.

Seating is very limited so sign up fast.

Oh, and I certainly hope startups in other cities will pick up the idea.

Update: I have confirmation that the latter was in fact inspired by having read the former. Ah, connecteur transatlantique.

Dev House Cologne

Thursday, April 26th, 2007

Check it out! The Dev House Cologne wiki just launched.

Inspired by DevHouse and Barcamp, this event aims to be a party for developers and designers to share and advance ideas, projects and visions.

No date has been set yet, but I’m pretty sure it will be super happy.

I’ve seen a need for more transatlantic bridging for quite some time now. Glad it is catching on.

Twitter, Inc.

Wednesday, April 18th, 2007

Ever heard of Twitter? Well, Twitter is now Twitter, Inc.

Via GigaOm: Twitter Leaves the Nest

San Jose 95128: Reporting from Silicon Valley for German newspaper Welt.de

Saturday, April 7th, 2007

I was recently invited to blog at Welt.de (the online edition of Germany daily newspaper DIE WELT).

The blog is in German and is called San Jose 95128.

I’ll be covering people, events, startups and anything else that makes this place interesting. I’ll also try to pay special attention to any kind of transatlantic transfer of ideas between Germany and the US.

I’m always happy to hear from my readers. Comments are open. Feel free to let me know your thoughts or what topics you’re interested in.