Jafet = Speed

Tyler’s soccer team this past season had a secret weapon. Jafet Oidor is a striker on the team who, when he wanted to, could turn on the jets like no one I have ever seen. Here he is blowing past four defenders who get ambushed and then left in the proverbial dust as he moves on to score a goal. It was a joy to watch him play.

The season ended on a high note. The coaches did an amazing job and we feel really lucky that Tyler was on their team. He didn’t know anyone in the beginning but over the weeks the team came together so that by the season’s end they were really playing like a team. During the final tournament they were beating teams that they lost to earlier in the season and beat easily teams that had much better records then them. Going into the second day, the team was leading their flight and only needed to tie to advance to the semi-finals but, unfortunately they lost by one point.

Coach Mark & Jerry

Great season Alameda Rebellion and thank you Coach Mark & Jerry!

Yelp Release Notes go Political

I always make it a habit to read the release notes of apps when they push updates to see what’s new. Usually it’s pretty dry stuff, what’s fixed, what’s new. Yelp is always good for a few laughs too and their latest release pokes fun at the latest Rick Perry gaffe.

For those that haven’t been following along, here’s what is being referred to.

Jack Dorsey the Zen Master

I had a great day yesterday at the GigaOM Roadmap conference. The agenda had a number of great speakers including Brian Cheskey of AirBnB and Tony Fadell of Nest, the red hot company that is re-defining what a thermostat should look like.

The thesis the conference explored is one that Om Malik (now my boss) has put forth a number of times. If you think of the steam engine as the PC of our age and the portable version of this technology, the locomotive, as the mobile phone, what does increasing bandwidth and the enabled mobility mean for society and businesses going forward?

Each speaker chipped away at this thesis with their own slant but Jack Dorsey, as he described how Twitter has enabled empathy on a global scale and how Square has removed the barriers of a Point-of-Sale system and the, “massive counter” that sits between a customer and the vendor, more than anyone else opened my eyes to the incredible transformation going on around us.

Yet, in light of all these incredible transformations, Dorsey challenged us to maintain a balance between the “sleek, modern perfection and the rustic, zen-like chaos” and to build products that maintain this “balance in-between”. He referenced the Japanese design aesthetic of wabi-sabi (if you want to read a great book about the topic, I highly recommend Wabi-Sabi: for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers).

In the end, Dorsey advised all product managers to guide themselves with these two principles.

  1. Simplification, work real hard to get technology down to its essence (of an interaction). Take away the “conceptual debris”
  2. Make things fun, remember to be human, relate, “have some whimsy” in your application and make it human.

The whole interview is worth a listen. I’ve embedded it below.

Watch live streaming video from gigaomroadmap at livestream.com

Digital Cartography

Eric Fischer takes large datasets and turns them into art. His flickr stream is a collection of fascinating time-series maps plotting data over time to draw out shapes which take on a greater meaning. Weather it’s a map of taxis in San Francisco or an overlay of flickr metadata on top of NYC, Eric’s creations are at once beautiful and informative.

Last month Eric was able to use an open-sourced version of Chrome’s language detector library to parse a week’s worth of geo-tagged tweets and identify who what tweeting in what language, where. What you see above is is the result. Note how languages such as Portuguese, Spanish, English, Dutch, Italian, Swedish, and German stick to and define the borders of their nations. Within each country, major transportation hubs are lit up like avenues. One can only imagine it is the result of people tweeting while enroute somewhere on a train or bus.