I’m Too Sexy For This Post

New post up on Seattle 2.0:

How sexy are you? Rate yourself how attractive you are to the opposite sex (or same sex for non-traditional folks) - be honest. Now take that number and add/subtract 2 from it. There are many who would suggest that you should not marry anyone outside that range - the experiences you have in life, and the type of person that it makes you, will create too big a rift for you to overcome over time (this does not apply to shorter term relationships). A similar guideline applies when deciding who to work with in your business. >>

It’s HARD WORK looking this good.

Who Cares About Internet Explorer?

Answer: lots and lots of people. New post up on Seattle 2.0 :

[T]he fact is that, even with years of (public) neglect, there were hundreds of millions of desktops which required IE working exactly as IE had always been. And this was the blessing and a curse that underlies where IE is today. >>>

In the world of the Web, where people constantly focus on the new new thing, there are worse places to be than majority having hundreds of millions of users as an installed base.

Quit Fooling Yourself

A new blog post up on Seattle 2.0:

Correlation does not equal causality – especially when it comes to running a successful business. If you have suddenly had a breakthrough, and, finally, are making some money, gaining market share, winning customers – be sure you know WHY or else you're likely to have all your success taken away just as quickly as it was bestowed upon you. More >>>

There is no greater force in the world than self-delusion.

What’d You Really Learn Anyway?

New Blog post up on Seattle 2.0:

It is ironic then that the second time around people will make some of the biggest mistakes themselves. In fact, when you take on your next project, whatever it might be, the WORST thing you can do is spend a ridiculous amount of time and energy trying not to make the mistakes you made the first time around. More >>

Go and learn how being a naive fool may not be as bad as you think.

Envy the Paper Boy

I have a new post out on Seattle 2.0:

Envy the paper boy. When the papers are delivered in the morning, he knows exactly how much work has ahead of him. He knows how long it takes to fold and put a rubber band/plastic bag around each and stuff it in a bag. He knows how much the bag weighs, and where along the journey it’ll be hardest to carry. At the end of their route, he knows when he's done. And when he walks away from his route, he's done for the day, he doesn't have to think about anything work related until the next morning, giving him complete freedom for the day. What white collar worker can say this? We're all tethered to our Blackberries/iPhones/G1s, answering mails, being randomized to the nth degree and working against arbitrary and deadlines every hour of every day – and, more often than not, getting nothing really done. Yes, envy the paperboy. >>

The unquestionably most awesome part of this post was that it gave me the chance to include a screen shot from one of my favorite games of all time – Paperboy:

The game had handlebars for controls … come on! Man that game was cool.

Reagan, the Tax-and-Spend Liberal

Found this particularly funny (thanks TMQ – )

Apparently, marginal tax rate under Reagan was higher than Obama. TMQ’s got it right; it’s borrow and spend that’s the issue – something that’s been true for the last 4 presidents at least.

All You Can Eat Data

One of my favorite things in science is when a researcher takes a look at a very simple situation and applies some simple analysis of the underlying data. For example, how rad is this?:

Eating Behavior and Obesity at Chinese Buffets

First, I love the fact that there were secret people in the restaurants who’s job it was to watch other eaters. Could you imagine if you got caught, how you would explain that? But, second, and more importantly, what I’d like to know is to what extent there’s a causal relationship here. The authors make it clear that they were not looking for causation, but it is an interesting question nonetheless. For example, people with high BMI scores sat facing the buffet – did this cause them to eat more? Or was that a symptom of them constantly being hungry.

What’s especially interesting are some of the data points measured here – chopsticks vs. fork; large plate vs. small; napkin on lap vs. not. Incredibly fascinating stuff.

And then, a second study also came across my desk recently which also deserves some comment:

Do Firms Maximize? Evidence from Professional Football

This is something that makes absolutely no sense to me. TMQ has talked about this for years – that football teams play far more conservatively than they should. And not just a little bit… check this:

But on the 1,068 fourth downs for which the analysis implies that teams are on average better off going for it, they kicked 959 times.

Holy cow! This paper goes through some possible rationale for this (momentum, information about the players, being interested in always being “in it”, rather than taking a swing early and having the game essentially be over, etc), but rejects them all. TMQ suggests that it’s just coaches playing traditionally just so they don’t have to answer annoying questions (and likely be fired). I’m not sure which is right, but wouldn’t it be awesome to see a team actually follow the way the math indicates?

W. T. F.

Forty-one years ago, the Internets were created. There have been many twists and turns, but there can be no question, that all the tumult was leading to a single creation. That creation is the below video.