Crows are the ingenious tweakers of the animal world. I’ve been witness to their MacGyver-like stunts: in our neighborhood, I recently came across a flock of crows who dive bomb into nut trees. Once they’ve knocked a few down, they park themselves on a telephone wire and patiently wait for cars to run over and crack open these newly-felled nuts. Once the coast is clear, they then swoop down and eat their freshly-cracked meal. I had read about this crow behavior, but to see it in person is beyond surreal.
So, when I saw this video from the Inside the Animal Mind – BBC about a crow being given a complex problem to solve, I wasn’t surprised that the crow nailed it. But still, mind…totally blown.
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Why companies (and specifically startups) need to put their customers first, and stop torturing themselves by emulating Steve Jobs. Here’s an excerpt of a post I wrote last week for Medium.
“Steve Jobs is an impossible act to follow — this type of human comet only comes around every 100 years or so.”
Full disclosure, I worked at Apple for four years. I now run my own UI/UX design firm that works primarily with startups and Fortune 50 companies.
Since leaving Apple, I’ve worked with many startups. I’ve found that people who run and work for startups are generally bright and hard-working. Passionate about their companies. You can’t help but admire these folks, and I absolutely love working with most of them. But, ever since Walter Isaacson’s biography on Steve Jobs came out a trend has reared its somewhat ugly head. This trend deserves a Jesus-inspired hashtag: #WhatWouldSteveDo. My thinking is not new — some of my colleagues in the design industry are on record about how the Isaacson book has made our job both easier and more difficult at the same time. Easy, in that “design first” has become a practice that many startups now follow in earnest. Difficult in that “customer first” has fallen to benchwarmer status. On the team but no longer a starter.
Building A Faster Horse
I was witness to the beginnings of #WhatWouldSteveDo. At an Apple town hall meeting, Steve, in answering an employee’s question about involving customers, uttered the following Henry Ford saying,
“If I had asked my customers what they wanted they would have said a faster horse.”
A poster-worthy saying if nothing else. Nonetheless, that quote vibrated out to the design and business world immediately. Many companies (and especially startups) took this quote literally: see, Steve Jobs doesn’t follow his customers, so we’re going to go with our guts as well, and MVP the hell out of our products. However, if I were ever asked by a startup founder what I thought about the “Faster Horse” quote, I would lead with a slight jab,
But didn’t Ford also manufacture the Edsel — the worst car failure ever?
To read the full article, go here…
On her blog, Cycles Lady, Alena Chendler captures the ultra-chic bike-riding ladies of Moscow. I just want to see what these stylish women wear in the harsh winter. Hat tip to Cycle Love.
“There are more and more beautiful bicycles in Moscow, and the girls who ride them are more daring in their outfit. They’re not scared of wearing heels, skirts or dresses. The bicycle is a perfect, beautiful form of transport for the city.”
– alena chendler
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Not a big deal, if you’re not into Tumblr and its millions of blogs. But to have a post make the Tumblr Radar…well let’s just say we’re kinda of a big deal here. Best of all…this post is Bay Area related: new eastern span of the Bay Bridge just opened yesterday after 12 years of construction, and at a cost of $6.4 billion.
“I’d like to thank the Academy, all my Tumblr followers, my agent, my first wife, my dealer, half-naked Michael Jordan, full-on-naked Jane Fonda…”
Besides the amazing builders and craftsman I get to cover here on a daily basis, I have learned to have the utmost respect for photographers. They make this site infinitely better than it could ever be on its own. I can’t thank you all enough.
In the arena of speed and sport, photographers are the workhorses who sweat every detail to capture those perfect, and imperfect slices of time. I’ve finally gotten around to building a user-friendly page for everyone to find these pros – and you should.
Visit the new photography page…
Some of the of photographers we’ve been fortunate to work with in the past…
Michael Alan Ross
True Bike Spirit
Good news! Ezra got himself a splint from the NYHQ. Very nice!
The nice folks at NYHQ made me not one, but two gutter splints yesterday (I turned down a third.. no joke).
One for full support, and one for playing pool and cooking.
They were wonderfully accommodating. All my gratitude.
Now. Off to play some pool, and see how well it works.
(getting that cast off is like getting out of jail.. man oh man.)
This is heartbreaking – bike builder Ezra Caldwell (whose story we’ve told here) is in stage IV metastatic rectal cancer. Tragically he broke his arm (along with separating his shoulder) on a bike ride last weekend. He needs an orthopedic surgeon who is willing to plate his ulna. If you are a bike-loving orthopedic surgeon, living in the New York area, please contact Ezra as soon as possible.
From Ezra: So here’s the deal. I’m having real trouble finding the humor in this. The discomfort is a non issue compared to the lack of function. Right now, the things that bring me pleasure in life are riding mountain bikes, playing pool, making things, and cooking in the evening for my little family. These are the things that keep me from going off the rails. They are the things that make it seem to me that there aren’t enough hours in the day. Without those things, and none of them are things that I can do with a long arm cast, I’m afraid that the days are going to start feeling pretty long. I was awake for a good portion of the night last night. All I came up with was playing darts.
I’m not looking for suggestions. In fact, please don’t make any.
What I AM looking for is an orthopedic surgeon who is willing to plate my ulna so that I can loose the cast, and even if I am not able to do any weight bearing I WILL at least be able to cook and play pool.