Monthly Archives: October 2005

Burning Man Puppet Show

dsc03529.jpgSo Tyler & Julia are getting excited about Halloween – costumes are a big part of it. My sister also sent along some information about the Burning Man decompression party this weekend and while Izumi and I need to root around to find something interesting to wear, the kids already have their get up picked out.

Today, Izumi helped Julia make some puppets out of popsicle sticks and empty yogurt drink bottles. Julia showed me her handiwork when I got home and made a point of saying the red hair needs to stay down on this one as it tends to get frizzed up. I guess it’s excited.

Web 2.0 Acid Test

On the eve of the second annual Web 2.0 conference, Tim O’Reilly posts a longish analysis that tries to get to the bottom of this slippery label, "Web 2.0." Ever more important because more and more marketing departments are slapping this label onto their products because it’s hip and bleeding edge, O’Reilly’s piece is seminal because of his position of authority.

In recognition of this enhanced definition, I’ve gone in and renamed my 2 year old "Web as a Platform" category "Web 2.0"

You really should read through to the end but the list of qualities (you don’t need all) that make up a real Web 2.0 company are worth pulling up below:

  • Services, not packaged software, with cost-effective scalability
  • Control over unique, hard-to-recreate data sources that get richer as more people use them
  • Trusting users as co-developers
  • Harnessing collective intelligence
  • Leveraging the long tail through customer self-service
  • Software above the level of a single device
  • Lightweight user interfaces, development models, AND business models

Words to live by in this new age.

The first week

One week at Yahoo and what a week it’s been! Monday was employee orientation – got myself badged up and they handed me my laptop. They have this new employee thing down to a science. We had over 80 people in the room and the HR person said they bring in about 50 new people every Monday!

I was very impressed with how quickly they ran us through the paperwork and getting us familiar with how things work at the company. Highlights included a rousing speech by Heidi Burgett on the history and exciting future of Yahoo ("when in doubt, focus on what the user wants and the rest will fall in place") and a totally hilarous presentation on campus security delivered in a dry, deadpan voice by the head of security who has arms as big as my neck.

I really like the fact that "fun" is one of the core values. It’s the little things that make you laugh like the fact that Security staff are called "Paranoids" and that even the sprinkler heads are corporate purple. Did you know that Yahoo stands for "Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle"

As an internet company, all the information you’d ever need is on the web and help tickets manage everything from ordering a power strip to requesting someone shell into your PC to install some software. Unlike most large corporations, Yahoo is cool with you customizing your PC with your own mix of software, the IT staff are sharp and on top of it. In our orientation, there were three different operating systems represented and the instructor walked us through VPN and Mailbox setup on all three without even looking at a screen. I could go on about the free Espresso and massage chair I discovered in the snack lounge on my floor but I fear I’m drifting off topic.

I’m working with a group that is working with all the various Yahoo properties to track their plans to connect up and out their services in a way that is useful in this new "web as a platform" world. This past week I spent time getting to know all the different Yahoo properties – there are over 120 of them. Yahoo Lottery?  The mind just boggles.

Hoping to make it to a few sessions at Web 2.0 next week and will also be going to BlogOn in NYC in mid-October. If you’re going to be at either, drop me a line!