Category Archives: Random

Posts that don’t fit any other categories.

Cool New GuideMe Feature We Just Launched

One of the features I’ve been most excited about with GuideMe just came out yesterday.

Simply put, we’re monitoring hundreds of daily deal sites and then notifying people of daily deals that exactly match the places that they’ve saved on their GuideList as a To-Do or a Love.

This solves the problem of not wanting to subscribe to a ton of deal services and get a bunch of emails every day for deals that don’t interest you. You just see deals for places you want. Simple.

Personally, I’m not a frequent deal buyer. Although, when a deal is available for a place that I have been meaning to try or a place that I’ve loved in the past, why would I not want to know about it?

Unfortunately this isn’t available in all cities yet, just most of the big high tech cities at the moment. We’ll roll out to more cities over time based on what cities grow in popularity on GuideMe.

GuideMe Is Open For Business!

GuideMe MapAfter months of hard work, it felt great to open up the startup I cofounded (GuideMe) to the public last week. Feedback and usage has been pretty good so far, although we have high expectations and know we need to keep building, listening to users, and improving the product to make their local lives better.

GuideMe is your local To-Do List. It’s super easy to build your list of places you’d like to go, where you’ve been, and what you’ve loved.

Despite all the online tools that exist, we still primarily rely on friends and people we know to get great recommendations for restaurants, bars, shops, hotels, landmarks, and everything else. We’re working on scaling those recommendations from friends, making it easier to get them, save them, and share your own.

We’re striving to make it easy to build and manage your local To-Do list, and to provide people with a ton of value that will make it seem worthwhile to use GuideMe.

I’d love for the long-time readers of this blog to sign up, kick some tires, and pass along any feedback whether it’s good or bad.

GuideMe Social Connections

Does Multiple Messaging Systems Solve Email Overload?

Weird...11111 messages in my inboxphoto © 2009 Chad Swaney | more info (via: Wylio)
If you’ve spent much time working in a heavy tech related job, you’ll quickly learn how annoying email can be. No matter who you are, it’s rare that you don’t at some point feel overwhelmed by the number of emails staring at you in your inbox.

Numerous tech luminaries have written about email overload, including going as far as declaring email bankruptcy. The concept of “inbox zero” is often tweeted about as a fantasy land where you actually have replied to, deleted, or processed every email in your inbox.

There are even multiple investor-backed startups such as Unsubcribe.com or ccLoop who are working at solving the “email problem”.

This was brought up again recently in an article on Techcrunch by MG Siegler about Tumblr’s new messaging system. While it looks like a pretty standard application messaging system, MG is excited about it as another place he can get messages that isn’t his email inbox. MG writes:

Yes, all of this stuff is rudimentary for a messaging system. But again, it does offer a small email relief in that it’s a new system with a slightly higher barrier to entry (you need to have a Tumblr account, unless you choose to allow anonymous messages). Mixed with Facebook Messages, Twitter, Twitter DMs, group messaging apps (Beluga, GroupMe, etc), and soon iMessage, I have a bunch of small work-arounds to avoid the nightmare that is my email inbox.

MG’s solution actually seems like the opposite of a solution to me. I have a personal Tumblr site like MG does, a Twitter account, Facebook account, the blog you’re reading, a LinkedIn account, a Quora account, and other various applications where I can get messages. I actually feel more overwhelmed by all the different places I have to go to gather the messages meant for me, then I do from the number of emails in my inbox.

When all the messages meant for me are coming to my inbox, I can handle them without switching to different systems, I can use filters, I can use labels/folders, and can do it all on one device without switching from mobile to PC. How does breaking up my messages across all these different applications actually lessen the burden? Does it lower the quantity or increase the quantity?

If anything maybe there is mental value of getting some variety by getting out of email, but I actually think the fragmentation of messaging takes up more time and makes me more likely to miss something.

Maybe I’m wrong, or maybe I just don’t get as much email as some of those who have complained publicly about it. I’ve led numerous teams of 30 people or less, and while I was at Yahoo! there were definitely some times in which a lot of email was coming my way.

I’ve tended to be able to handle the email load through effective filtering, keeping my subscriptions to lists and commercial newsletters to a minimum, and realizing the more email I send the more likely I am to get email in return.

But, I’m also not a tech journalist or notable venture capitalist so it’s quite possible I just haven’t felt the pain as badly where breaking up messages across multiple applications seems like a welcome thing. Someday…

Join the GuideMe Invite List

Gramercy TavernAfter initially testing an alpha prototype of our product at our startup GuideMe, we have spent the last month and a half taking what we learned and changing a whole slew of things with the product.

We’re on the verge of starting to let in a small number of users to begin testing, so if you want to be an early bird and get to save and share the places you love and want go to go, head over to our main page and leave your email address. Once you do that you’ll also be able to get a $300 dinner in a raffle drawing for anyone who refers three friends or more to signup for our invite list. Get a nice dinner on us!

How Starting a Company Is Like Coaching College Football

Chip Kelly Oregon Ducks Football CoachThere are two huge things going on in my life right now besides the usual exciting things my wife and kids are up to all the time.
Read More …

AT&T’s Data Auto Renewal Email is #FAIL

ATT failure notification email

I recently received my first auto-renewal email for my iPad 3G wireless data plan from AT&T. I suppose I should first give them some credit for even bothering to send an email to the customers they are auto-renewing since so many companies don’t do this at all. However, it seems like sending these emails would be common courtesy so I can’t get too excited.
Read More …

PCMag Case Study on the YPN Blog

A member of my team put together a short but sweet case study of one of our advertising partnerships with PCMag/Ziff Davis and it’s now up on the YPN Blog.

It gives a preview into the type of things we’re working on making possible in a scalable manner through a premium exchange on APT from Yahoo!.

Sad Guys on Trading Floors

Sad guy on a trading floorIn the middle of economic crisis, it’s always good to have a little humor.

Enter another ahort-lived internet meme, Sad Guys on Trading Floors. The captions are the best part.

Home Automation Knowledge Leads to Less Power Usage

I’ll admit it, I’m a green hypocrite. There are a lot of green and sustainable activities I participate in and support, but I’m far from perfect on me and my family’s environmental impact.

In some cases, we’re not being as green as we could be due to not wanting to make the sacrifices, but in other cases it’s a lack of knowledge.
Read More …

Zappos Pays New Employees To Quit

As this past year at Yahoo! has been my first year working for what I’d consider to be a large company, I’ve become more interested in strategies around running and operating companies efficiently. My past experiences have been with startups or small companies where a lot of the challenges that larger companies face don’t exist.

This recent article about a practice at Zappos.com where they pay new customer service employees $1,000 to quit after their first month of training caught my eye. They seem to be thinking it’s doing well so far in making sure the employees working for Zappos.com really want to be there and feel that they are a good fit for the company.
Read More …