Monthly Archives: April 2011

After 5 years of surfing reddit, these are my favorite discoveries…

Written by Marauder

In no particular order are the most interesting things I have found in surfing reddit for 5 years.

Chemistry a Volatile History is a great review of science and how we got to where we are today. If more programs like this existed, I might actually watch TV.

Mechanical Computers Training videos from the 50s show the basics of fire control computers. Anyone want to help port Portal 2 to one of these?

The making of Star Wars An very good fan documentary. I don’t know how I never heard about this. I’m not really a Star Wars geek so I learned all sorts of things I didn’t know.

James Burke’s Connections Three series of Connections episodes can now be seen on youtube. I really liked the first series. If you are interested in science, history or both you really should watch.

Donald Duck in Mathemagic Land While not completely accurate, if find it interesting to see how much cartoons have changed. Are there any educational cartoons today?

Ever wondered how a differential in a car works? This video makes me wish all instructional videos were this good.

The half-a-handy hour A rather eclectic collection of videos on repair and how things work.

Acme school More videos like the ones above but with better production.

My favorite Airfare search engine I find it more flexible than travelocity or expedia. I would have never found it at all without reddit.

A dynamic periodic table I wish I had this in high school chemistry class.

Apollo 11 launch revisited in slow-mo HD The most interesting commentary I have ever heard on a historic video. History Channel, are you paying attention? Why aren’t you running footage like this that has to do with actual history?

Why are thin people not fat? A fascinating look at how genetics plays a role in obesity.

The banned book of chemistry experiments A children’s book published in the 1960s that was intended to explain to kids how they could set up a home chemistry lab and conduct simple experiments.

Benjamin Zander on music and passion One of my favorite TED talks.

Doom code review How could you be a programmer and not love this?

The Feynman Lectures in Physics Posted by microsoft believe it or not.

CosmoLearning More documentaries than you can shake a stick at.

The difference engine no. 2 The world’s first computer.

Drawing Marilyn Monroe Eight fascinating minutes. Would that I could draw as well as this.

Hand making vacuum tubes Just in case you ever need to go back to vacuum tubes, here is how you go about it.

Test your eyeballing skills If you are a web designer who notices even a single pixel out of place, don’t click on this or you will spend the rest of your day seeing if you are up to the test.

Speed demos of Duke Nukem Each level is completed as fast as possible. You have to see it to believe it.

Swiss Alps Cheese Making The pictures alone are worth clicking on the link.

Harry Porter’s relay Computer wow. That’s a lot of work.

How products are made Don’t click on this link or your day will disappear if you have even the slightest amount of curiosity.

All of the basics of land navigation I’ve always liked using a map and compass.

The secret Life of Machines One of my all time favorite set of videos. My dream in life is to create something so entertaining and educational. I’m working on it but progress when you have a 9-5 job is maddeningly slow.

That’s it. The reason I keep coming back to reddit is for gems like these. I hope you enjoy them too.

Edit: Wow! I had no idea this post would be so popular. I would have done a much better job or going through my bookmarks. I really just grabbed items from my reddit saved folder at random. I just assumed that everyone knew about Cosmos or KahnAcademy both of which are mentioned in the comments so I didn’t include them. I should have included Fantastic Contraption because for mechanical engineers that game is like crack. That was one of the very first links I clicked on reddit that cost my employer productivity. Several people have asked how reddit has changed over the last 5 years. I can only say that I have seen a lot of memes. (I hope these will be helpful during the zombie apocalypse) I’ve noticed that reddit has become faster paced, more humorous and more noisy. It’s made me into a faster reader. I only ever upvote. I didn’t even know that the down vote was a different color until today. My browsing philosophy has been simple. Look for gems (posts and comments) and upvote them. Ignore reposts and everything else unless it is blatant spam. I learned to do this process very quickly or I would spend my whole day on reddit. I wish I had really witty or interesting things to post but I usually don’t. Even after 5 years on reddit, I am still learning all sorts of interesting things. (Maybe at a slower pace. Could be reddit or could be me.) Somehow now I have reddit gold for a month. It’s kind of cool. Do I get that because I made it to a top post? I’m a major tightwad so I’m not sure I would pay for it but it is kind of fun. Like that year that they made us all admins for a day.

50 Ways to Crowdsource Everything

Written by businesspundit

Want something done quickly and well? Sic the swarm on it.

Crowdsourcing, which involves a community of anonymous people completing a given task, has become an attractive labor model. Everyone’s seeking it out, from solopreneurs needing transcriptions to Fortune 500 companies looking for answers to complex scientific problems. Here are 50 ways to crowdsource just about everything you can think of.

Image: Wayne Large/Flickr

Accommodation

Image: Antony J Shepherd/Flickr

1. While hotels offer predictable accommodations and quality, sometimes you need something different. Like an entire oceanview flat, or an ultrabudget basement room in the heart of a city’s university area. Sites like AirBnB and VRBO let you search rooms, apartments and houses listed for (nightly) rent by their owners. When you book through the site, the owner gets everything but the small cut taken by the booking site. Ideally, you get the kind of different vacation or business travel accommodations that you’re looking for.

Advertising

2. With its network of video producers, copywriters, graphic designers, and other kinds of artists,GeniusRocket crowdsources custom advertising for your organization. It takes care of the nitty-gritty aspects of dealing with herds of people while keeping everything proprietary. You provide direction on the end result, they guarantee the rest. They are perhaps the next evolution of the ad agency: the ad curator.

3. GiantHydra is another ad agency curator that uses the “heads” of its hydra to create customer, crowdsourced ad and marketing solutions. Like GeniusRocket, it vets everyone involved in projects, then fishes together the right team for the campaign. The client company’s Creative Director oversees progress. At the end of each “mass collaboration” project, the team, rather than the winner, is rewarded.

Zooppa is another site that crowdsources the creation of complete ad campaigns. IdeaBounty is more of a branding-focused crowdsourcing site.

Algorithms

4. TunedIT specializes in crowdsourcing data mining and data-driven algorithms. They pose both industrial and scientific challenges, with student contests to boot. The best algorithm wins the payout.

Brainstorming

Image: /Flickr

5. In his book “The Smart Swarm,” author Peter Miller relays the fact that the most effective kind of swarm involves smart people who specialize in a variety of tasks. Atizo, a crowdsourced brainstorming site, harnesses this idea. From naming a unique company to marketing ideas to product concepts, this Swiss site lets you collect hundreds of ideas from people across disciplines. Its innovative payment system is based on points, which brainstormers can accrue in a variety of ways.

6. If you want to focus on the kinds of fresh ideas that young people provide, Brainrack is an idea and solution site with an army of students brainstorming behind it. Prize money gets divvied up between the best 15 ideas. Kluster is another brainstorming site to check out.

7. There’s also a DIY option in this space. If you want ideas for new products or services, or even how you conduct business, take an example from Dell. The computer giant’s IdeaStorm website lets consumers submit their ideas for new Dell products and services, as well as anything else that strikes users’ fancies. Dell doesn’t define the topics, leaving its users creative space. Of the 15,000 or so ideas it has received to date, the company has used more than 400. If you’re a smaller operation, you can do something similar through a Twitter list or a Facebook group (or your fan page) devoted to the topic.

Broadway Plays

8. Ken Davenport is producing the musical Godspell this year exclusively with crowdsourced funding. One share of the musical costs $100, and investors have to buy a minimum of ten shares. This entry ticket pales in comparison to the usual Broadway investor minimum of $25,000. Godspell needs a total budget of $5 million, relatively meager compared to other plays. Davenport, who had to pass a finance exam in order to sell the shares of his play in the first place, runs a site called The People of Godspell to continue the effort.

Business Innovation

9. Innovation Exchange, like many crowdsourcers, runs contests that award winners with a cash prize. They focus on the business side of innovation, such as products, services, and processes. Companies submit problems to the site, then facilitators pull together teams from diverse backgrounds to tackle them. Challenges range from marketing ideas and ad campaigns to better packaging and transport. (Though the site doesn’t advertise its challenges as being technical, some of the challenges do require a technical background.)

Cancer Treatment

10. Cancer Commons’ goal is to provide patients with the best cancer treatment possible through crowdsourced information. Doctors, scientists and patients contribute to the effort by sharing treatment results (based on the tumor’s genomic subtype) and using that knowledge to figure out how to best treat the next person. The website also aims to outsmart the shortfalls of Big Pharma’s randomized clinical trials by gathering volumes of specific information.

Collectibles

11. These guys have quite the niche. Colnect is a crowdsourced collectibles catalogue on which collectors display hundreds of thousands of stamps, coasters, phone cards, and other things they’d gathered. Call it the crowdsourced anti-print catalogue. Users have both wish lists and swap lists, so people in this little industry can fine-tune their collections.

Data Entry and Digitizing

12. Microtask crowdsources your data entry and digitizing of handwritten forms to a mixture of people and machines. Instead of being able to select their assignments, human Microtaskers work through a queue of seconds-long tasks for as long as they’re available to do them. This is what the New York Times calls an “online assembly line.” Companies use these information factory workers full-time; Microtask’s software facilitates the process and guarantees results.

Donations

Image: eperales/Flickr

13. “If you don’t give back nobody will like you” is Crowdrise’s motto. While certain politicians and beloved-by-investor corporations continually prove this statement wrong, there’s something to it, and Crowdrise knows that. Basically, you create a profile, put up your cause (or join someone else’s), message via existing social media sources, and network. Eventually, unless everyone still hates you, you’ll get the money you need.

Finding a Mortgage

14. You know those automated mortgage comparison sites? SmartHippo isn’t too different, except that it’s powered by a human community, which gives you a more personal touch—and potentially more accurate information—during your mortgage hunt.

Forecasting and Data Prediction

15. If you have reams of data and want trained eyes to tell you more about it, hit up the statistical analysis crowdsourcer Kaggle. There, teams of data scientists can predict everything from the speed of freeway traffic at a certain time of day to the ratio of people who will default on their bank loans. The team with the best data prediction model wins your prize.

Graphic Design

16. Your website design, logos, business cards, pamphlets, and more can all be crowdsourced now. 99Designs is a contest site where you submit your concept and let a pool of more than 100,000 designers compete for your prize. At the end, you get the design and the copyright.ReDesignMe is another website to check out in this space.

CrowdSpring is a similar website that specializes in small business graphic design. It also offers a host of writing services, from opinion articles to company naming. It also operates on a prize-based model. Squadhelp is another site that crowdsources web design and marketing, also with a focus on small businesses.

17. Minted is more of a niche crowdsourcer. It only crowdsources paper designs, especially cards, announcements, wedding invites, and other kinds of stationary. Their open design competitions are, unlike many other crowdsourcing sites, democratic: Users vote the best designs to the top.

Ideas

Image: kinmortal/Flickr

18. Tapping your Twitter followers will help you gain real-time input on your products, services, and anything else you need to know. Depending on how much feedback you want, and how detailed you want it to be, you may want to offer an incentive such as a prize. You can also join or create Twitter lists for ongoing collaboration and discussion. Using Twitter doesn’t require an intermediary, it’s fast, and it harnesses people you’re already familiar with.

19. Facebook is another way of doing just that. Through a private group or by using your fan page, you can collect rapid-fire feedback for your company. As with Twitter, offering a prize will often get you more responses. You can also use the site for ongoing collaboration.

Innovation (B2B)

20. Some big corporations have set up proprietary networks to crowdsource their innovation. For example, P&G Connect + Develop, Procter & Gamble’s invite-only open innovation website, lets companies work with the consumer products giant on its innovation. Only select companies can participate, and ideas aren’t visible to everyone. While P&G has the heft and leverage to pull off this kind of proprietary network, if you’re a small business owner, you can also crowdsource innovation through private groups on Facebook.

Investing

21. EquitySplash says it’s “crowdsourcing Wall Street” by letting users invest in a fund (their ownership is proportional to their investment), then having them buy and trade individual picks via a proprietary platform. The outcome of each trade gets spread around the fund. It sounds fun, unless you’re the one making all the bad trades.

22. Through StockTwits, you can network with a huge community of traders around the world, riding their coattails, adding to the info pool, or being a revered lead-dog trader yourself. It doesn’t just run through Twitter, either—you can get tools, widgets, data feeds, and more off their website.

Lawn Mowing

Image: Giovanni Guisi/Flickr

23. Who said you couldn’t crowdsource cutting grass? Put in an order on Lawn Mowing Online, and someone from your area will come over and cut your grass the next day, for $19 and up. Anyone with a lawnmower, digital camera and computer can compete for a gig on this site. As a result, moonlighters and professionals are available at a moment’s notice, all from one central website.

Loans

24. If the bank won’t lend you money, or if you’re looking to make a better interest rate than the measly one banks are currently offer, peer-to-peer lenders like Prosper offer alternatives. Find real people to lend to or from. With more than 1 million users and $227 million lended, Prosper is money.

Marketing Research

25. If you need to build and organize a client database, run marketing surveys, or even just sort your existing information, the dutiful Clickworkers will hand it over with characteristic German efficiency. They also crowdsource things like writing instruction manuals and glossaries.

Mobile Testing

26. If you’re developing anything on a mobile platform, Mob4Hire can basically crowdsource the entire development process you, using a swarm of more than 45,000 testers on more than 300 carriers around the world. They give you feedback in every stage of the development cycle, helping you bring your product to market quickly and efficiently.

Music

Image: Cerebro Humano/Flickr

27. When millions of users share their playlists, streaming individual songs to other users who want to listen to them real-time, you have one massive crowdsourced music system. That system’s name is Spotify, and its technology lets users listen to just about any song they want to—with the exception of a few with licensing issues, like Oasis in the UK—on demand and for free.

28. If you want to crowdsource your music making, MusikPitch lets you tap the swarm for custom songs, compositions, jingles, background music—you name it. is the first site for crowdsourcing custom songs and music compositions. You name the kind of music you want and what you’re willing to pay, then sic the crowd on the task. The winner gets your prize.

Patent Research

29. This task can be a horribly time-consuming pain, and Article One Partners has the panacea. Their network of more than 1 million patent researchers works on whatever patents or patent issues you need dug up. You can communicate with them to make sure you get the right results. As with many crowdsourcing sites, the best or most extensive research, as determined by you, wins your monetary prize.

Philanthropy

30. You have the means. You have an idea of the societal problem you want to address. But you’re not sure how to put your funds or available grants to best use. Enter Philoptima, which crowdsources the design and implementation of nonprofit programs for people who have money, but need good solutions. Whoever finds the winning solution gets the cash prize.

Photography

Image: Fabian Reus/Flickr

31. In the traditional stock photo industry, photographers would license their images to established companies, like Getty Images, and receive fees whenever someone bought those photos. As a result, photographers could establish a passive income stream–say, $50 every time someone bought a photo. iStockPhoto disrupted this system by letting amateur photographers, generally more concerned with getting their names out than making money, sell their photos for $1 a pop. Legions of amateurs filled the site with cheap and, with numbers on their side, many high-quality photos. This changed the stock photo industry forever. Getty ended up buying it.

32. Yahoo-owned Flickr hosts hundreds of thousands of users who display their photography on the site. Many of these users let you use the photo for free—with credit—via specific Creative Commons licenses. All you have to do is find the picture and credit it appropriately. Many such Flickr users have excellent photographs, meaning that companies seeking to crowdsource that function have good prospects here.

Preventing Poverty

33. Yes, even the act of preventing downward mobility has been crowdsourced. The Modest Needs foundation has people with serious financial emergencies write about their issues online. Readers then donate whatever amount of money they can afford until the person’s “modest need” is met. The organization performs due diligence on the people in need, making the website legit and free of scammers.

Project Management

34. Smartsheet is a project collaboration tool with integrated crowdsourced labor. You use their software to collaborate with your remote team on the project, and plug in labor wherever in the process you need it. The software has HR, IT, marketing, and product management features integrated, kind of a one-stop shop for both collaboration and labor.

Protests and Causes

Image: Dave Watts/Flickr

35. Got cause? CrowdVoice can help. By tracking protests around the world, it gives you a central place to find cutting-edge information about your cause and what people are doing about it. CrowdVoice collates news, video, and social media information, so it saves you time and effort in finding the crucial updates you need.

Publicity

36. Help a Reporter Out (HARO) matches up experts and businesspeople with reporters to create a symbiotic source/PR relationship. You scan your daily HAROs and see if there’s something you can comment on; reporter publishes or airs a story with your commentary in it. Bingo—instant PR, without the legwork.

Quality Assurance (QA)

37. uTest offers on-demand, crowdsourced mobile, web, gaming, and desktop application testing. They offer usability, functional and load testing, by nearly 38,000 testers in more than 170 countries. They offer custom quotes in advance, too, so you know exactly what you’re getting into.

Scientific or Technical Problems

38. Familiar with RNA sequencing, chemical derivatives, or GUIs? Then you might be the kind of user that InnoCentive seeks out to solve companies’ pressing technical problems. Geared at braniacs, and offering handsome prizes for the winning idea, InnoCentive lets companies tap a global community of more than 200,000 users to solve the problems they can’t figure out internally. Those users, in turn, attempt to tackle the problem for a prize. Companies select their winners—and gain a whole bunch of alternative solutions from non-winners in the process.

39. Like InnoCentive, Idea Connection taps the brains of engineers, scientists and other tech-oriented people to solve difficult problems. Unlike InnoCentive, however, Idea Connection is facilitated, and keeps much of its information confidential. Companies come to the service with their challenges, and Idea Connection acts as a middleman, seeking out input from users via collaborative intranets. Companies can customize how much input they get and how much they pay; Idea Connection takes care of the rest. With that level of service, one wonder about the size of the cut that Idea Connection takes vis-à-vis other crowdsourcing helpers.

40. There are more companies in this space. Consultant Nine Sigma also provides a high level of service, helping companies customize the kinds of structures they need to support open innovation, as well as facilitating open innovation processes. Hypios is another company that provides a platform to outsource your R&D.

Tedious Tasks

Image: Theodore Lee/Flickr

41. If your business involves QAing software or content, or perhaps transcribing, finding things online, tagging, or any of the other miscellaneous tasks that come up in your business, there are a couple places that can help out.

42. Mechanical Turk, powered by Amazon.com, lets you splice up your task into minute pieces, enabling you to crowdsource those slices of the project to hundreds of people at the same time. As a result, you’ll get your entire project done faster, because loads of Mechanical Turk providers finish their own slices in the time span you allot. You can get a project that would have taken days done in hours or even minutes this way.

43. CrowdFlower, formerly known as Dolores Labs, is a similar service. It harnesses its millions of users to take on parsed sections of bigger projects, many of the same nature as Mechanical Turk’s. Indeed, CrowdFlower sources people through Mechanical Turk (and several other places). They can also help with custom projects for small businesses, as well as enterprise-level crowdsourcing projects.

Translation

44. Starting at 5 cents per word, you can have your content translated by a crowd of 1,200 translators around the world on MyGengo. The Japanese company offers translation in 11 languages. The site’s simple, intuitive interface and pay model make human translation almost as easy as plugging something into a machine translator—but with more accuracy, of course.

Transportation

45. Zipcar is pretty well-known as an easy way to rent a car by the hour, but there are other services that make sense. Car2Go is Austin’s answer to Zipcar; RelayRides takes the community aspect one step further by letting you rent from independent car owners, by the hour or by the day. They’re only in Boston and San Francisco so far, but will hopefully spread to new cities soon.

Video

46. Poptent crowdsources commercials, virals, how-tos and all of the other video needs today’s companies have. Basically a social network for people who make videos, Poptent gathers assignments by mostly Fortune 500 hundred companies, lists them on its site, and Poptent members create videos with the given content and creative brief. After users finish the assignments, the company picks their favorite and pays.

47. Tongal’s tagline is “where the best ideas meet the best filmmakers,” and that pretty much sums up the collaborative videomaking contest website. If you want an ad, you put up your project and prize, and let the masses compete. Users can also be paid based on the number of times people download their videos, so all is not lost, even if a user loses a contest.

Waste Disposal

Image: University of Scranton/Flickr

48. If you have something you want to get rid of, chances are someone in TerraCycle’s crowd is willing to do it for you. They specialize in both recyclables and “upcyclables,” things that you don’t want, but someone else can use. eCycler is another crowdsourcer that focuses solely on recyclables; Freecycle, on the other hand, is the ideal place to dispose of and pick up things to upcycle.

Writing

49. If you need a press release in an hour, content on the quick, translation, or proofreading/editing, Serv.io has officially parsed the single human being formerly known as the writer into an anonymous online crowd of college students, stay-at-home parents, unemployed people, and anyone else seeking a quick job fix. It’s quick, because Serv.io guarantees a 24-hour turnaround time; the proofreaders and other service providers are sourced through sister siteCloudCrowd.com. They attract these users in part through quick assignments and guaranteed next-day pay. Sadly, Serv.io automates the personal communication that generally makes writers more effective to a client, and it doesn’t let you use the same writer twice.

50. LetterRep.com takes an interesting slant on niche writing. For $25, you can get a letter—any letter—written in 24 hours. We’re talking letters of acceptance, resignation, hypothecation, rejection, and anything else you can dream up. In a nod to the former glory days of copyright, LetterRep pays writers again if existing letters get purchased more than once.

Bonus: That window’s an asshole

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8 Startup Lessons You Could Learn from Gotham Gal

Written by MARK SUSTER

It’s easy to think that the wife of a well-known & successful VC (Fred Wilson) would have had an easy and storied life of wealth and privilege. I had previously had the opportunity to spend time with Joanne Wilson, Fred’s wife, and knew otherwise.

That’s why I was so interested in having “The Gotham Gal” come on This Week in VC (video link on YouTube, download iTunes, episode 15)) and dispel those myths. In fact, as she tells it, in their early career when Fred was young in VC, Joanne was earning 3x more money. Well into their 30?s “they were living paycheck-to-paycheck” as Joanne had taken time off of work to raise three children.

After college Joanne worked for 4 years in retail apparel at Macy’s where she initially managed sales reps on the floor and then worked as a buyer of clothing. After 4 years of retail she went to “the other side of the business” working for a clothing brand where she sold apparel to department stores and other companies. This is where she first developed sales skills.

She doubled her salary by going into sales. Then after a year she got into the business side and learned how to manufacture, what the margins of the business were, etc.  She left there to join a man running a clothing brand. She came in and took over the business. In 18 months from $1.5m to $12m in sales. She did this because she had great rapport with buyers. She knew their business needs because she had been on both sides of the business.

Below is a nice summary of our interview with some great quotes from Joanne. I think this video should serve as an inspiration to any young aspiring female entrepreneur (and male!) and is worth watching when you have a few moments.

But for everybody else, where are 6 things you could learn from Joanne Wilson:

Sales: until about minute 20

1. Get out of your comfort zone – don’t just work on the things you know how to do or like doing“People tend to gravitate toward areas that they know. Totally get outside your comfort zone. Put yourself in a position to learn things you don’t know” We talked about this in the context of management (in retail her motto was, “get away from the cosmetics department. You already know that”), in sales and more broadly as an entrepreneur.

2. To be effective at sales you need to really understand the business of the person who will buy your product. “[I was effective at sales because] I understood their business. Most people who worked in the business didn’t know how to make a profit & loss. I provided information for my customers to make their lives easier.” Really understanding the business of your customer matters. It’s the key to growing a successful business and is a theme theSteve Blank plays up a lot. I agree whole heartedly. The other money quote she gave that I loved was, “”Totally get out of your office.” Sounds kind of obvious. Not enough entrepreneurs dedicate enough of their day to this.

3. In sales you also need to establish rapport, ask insightful questions & then shut your mouth! “A lot of sales is innate. A really good sales person can get people excited and get people to tell you information they won’t tell other people. Build rapport in whatever way you can. Who knows, it could be fishing or whatever.  Say very little. The less you say, the more the person on the other side gives you back. As a sales person, just ask the right questions and you’ll get the answers you need.”

4. Be a mensch – the world is small than you think and bad karma will catch up to you “We’re in a very small community. Life is too short to be a dick.” There’s no reason to be nasty to your competitors or mud sling. There’s no need to bad-mouth other people. It’s surprising how small the tech community is and the older you get the more you realize how much people from earlier in your life have a way of coming back into it. Be a mensch.

On being a woman, becoming a mom & forming a sense of identity [20-45 ]

5. For women – ”Don’t get off the train completely when you have children. You need to keep your skills. You need to keep your database in terms of connections and the people you know. You need to keep your relationships up.”

“When I stopped working it was quite a shock to our system. Even if you continue working, you’re still responsible for [your kids well being]. I didn’t think about who was going to put food in the refrigerator.”

“The Internet saved my life. I needed something to find my own identity.” She went to work running sales for Jason Calacanis at Silicon Alley Reporter (mid 90?s). The Internet really re-connected Joanne with her former working self.

Invested in “Catch a Fire,” which is a business that helps people (mostly women) connect with pro bono opportunities where they can put their skills to use. Take a little break but keep your skills fresh.

“There are so many places you can go on the Net where you can find your community. I would tell women to find them.”

6. The current generation of college students want to be entrepreneurs more than rock stars – ”This next generation is going to be very interesting. After seeing “The Social Network” there is an increased attitude amongst this generation (of women) that … why not go into startups? They all want to be entrepreneurs – they don’t want to be rock stars.”

7. To run an effective business it’s really important to hire women in your company & as advisors – “Men tend to pump up their chests more (than women). I think it’s really important (to hire women). Women take a look at things differently. They understand things differently. Make sure they’re on your board, your board of advisors, whatever. Make sure 50% of the people you hire are women. The women are out there.

Certainly if you look at eCommerce & social media – women are the ones using these products. What better to have on your team than someone who understands this at a fundamental level.”

8. Women need to start becoming entrepreneurs at a younger age – “Don’t go to work for big companies, don’t get an MBA, go to work for a startup and start on this path. Start early. In the next generation everybody (including women (are going to write code).”

“The majority of businesses that I’ve been investing in lately are ‘women businesses.’

You can watch it all on YouTube or download from iTunes for free.

Bonus: That’s it, I quit torrenting

Top 10 Ways to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing

Written by Whitson Gordon Photo by Drew Coffman.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re an artist or a businessperson, we all require a little creative thinking in our work. If you find you’re getting stuck, here are some of the best ways to get those creative juices flowing again.

 

10. Plan Ahead

Just because you’re being creative doesn’t mean you can skip out on the organization part of being productive. Making plan ahead of time can help you avoid creative plateaus, and waiting to judge your ideas after you finish them can keep you from exploring more alogical ideas. Creativity won’t strike you on cue, but a simple mind map and a bit of creative focus can go a long way.

9. Set Some Weird Rules

While we’ve been hammered with certain guidelines for running businesses and doing good work, to encourage creativity you sometimes need to set some weirder rules. Reward failure, but punish inaction. Create some conflict. Think contrary to what you usually hear, and mix things up to get your mind thinking in new ways. Photo by Hararca.

8. Think Inside the Box

All your life you’ve probably heard "think outside the box". It’s a bit more complicated than that, though—instead of thinking completely differently (which is not only hard, but ignores the principles we’ve found to work), think inside the box and build on those already-useful ideas in new ways. Christopher Peterson said it best: "If you never venture outside the box, you will probably not be creative. But if you never get inside the box, you will certainly be stupid." Photo by Ronit Slyper.

7. Don’t Stress About Being Truly Original

If you reject anything out of a desire for true originality, you’ll never get anywhere. It’s all been done before, and the key isn’t coming up with a truly original idea, it’s knowing what to steal from other artists and how to make it new and interesting.

 

 

6. Stay Motivated with Side Projects

If you focus too hard on one project at a time, you’re bound to get stuck in a creative block, or at least a spell of low motivation. "Distracting" yourself with other, smaller projects gets you away from your big project while keeping you productive and creative. When you’re done with one of those, you’ll come back to your big project with a new mindset and renewed enthusiasm. Photo by Marcin Wichary.

5. Change Up Your Morning Routine

There’s a reason some of the most creative people are known to be smelly and unkempt. While we aren’t about to tell you to ditch hygiene altogether, sometimes switching up your morning routine can give you a creative head start you wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. Try getting up in the morning and jumping right into your work—you may have some creative moments you hadn’t experienced after a shower, getting dressed, and so on. Photo by Chaos Manor Reviews.

4. Get Some Exercise

A change of scenery is always a good idea to get a burst of creativity, but a good 30 minutes of exercise will actually boost your creativity. In fact, it boosts nearly every dimension of cognition, so exercise regularly to get your blood (and creative juices) flowing. Photo by eduardomineo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Stop Working Mid-Thought

If you find that you start some days with no idea where your project is going next, consider when you stop working the day before. Instead of looking for logical breaking points, always know what’s coming next—that way, when you start up the next day, you can build up a bit of creative momentum before moving on to the new stuff.

2. Get Some Sleep

We all know how great sleep can be for your health, but it’s good for your creative brain too. A Harvard researcher found that if you sleep on new ideas, you’re a good chance more likely to make connections between distantly related points. If you’re on a streak, there’s nothing wrong with burning the midnight oil once in a while, but don’t neglect regular, quality sleep if you want to keep that streak going. Photo by Deeleea.

1. Know When to Take Time Off

Top 10 Ways to Get Your Creative Juices FlowingWe can’t all be creative 100% of the time, so don’t burn yourself out by working 24/7/365. Designer Stefan Sagmeister actually takes a year-long creative sabbatical every seven years to rejuvenate his creativity. That’s obviously not in the cards for everyone, but do as much as you can—even a little afternoon daydreaming can go a long way. Photo by Kr. B.


Everyone’s got their own tricks for fostering creativity (in fact, you’ve shared some of yours with us before), but if you’ve got any favorites that didn’t make the list, tell us about them in the comments. And, be sure to check out tips from some of the world’s creative geniuses, too.

Bonus:This is the coolest thing you will ever see. There’s no denying that. [X-post from /r/lego]

The 5 best cloud storage services compared

Written by Andrew Couts

Backup your files and access them from anywhere with the 5 best cloud storage services compared, including Dropbox, Amazon Cloud Drive, and Windows Live SkyDrive.

Cloud Storage

The dawn of the cloud computing era is upon us. Each day a new service arrives that moves to decentralize our data. This new way allows us to live unencumbered by the constraints of internal data storage. With these services, never again will you have to say, “Oh, I forgot that on my home computer.” Instead, your most important files, like pictures, videos and music, will be accessible from anywhere. But for the uninitiated user, choosing a quality service can be a daunting task. We’ve rounded up five of the best cloud storage services currently available so you can pick the one that suits your data storage needs the best.

BoxBox

The first thing you notice about Box (formerly known as Box.net) over its competitors is its design, which echoes that of Twitter, Facebook and a wide variety of social media tools out there. “Simple, Secure Sharing,” says the Box website. This service isn’t about storing your resume, it’s about sending it out.

Box offers new individual customers three separate account levels. Like Amazon (below), Box offers a free account version, which provides 5GB of total storage space, and allows users to upload files that are up to 25MB apiece. For 25GB of storage and 1GB file uploads, Box charges $10 per month; the 50GB/1GB option costs $20 per month.

Box also offers a “business” account, which provides 500GB of storage, or an unlimited “enterprise” level account.

Sign-up is simple, and can be done from the Box homepage. Like many services, it does require clicking through a confirmation email to complete sign up.

Box

Box allows users to create private folders, or to easily share files and folders with others: Just click the “share” button, and you’re given a direct link to the file or folder. Uploading files is also simple and straightforward: Drag the files onto the browser window to initiate upload.

In addition to storing files, Box provides a number of applications, like Web Documents and Zoho, an online productivity suite. Box also offers a solid app for the iPad and iPhone, which provides much of the service’s functionality on the go. Users can also connect to an Apple-Air-Print-enabled printer for wireless printing.

Out of all the sites, Box is easily one of the most user-friendly, especially for those who aren’t as familiar with this type of service.

The lowdown: Free 5GB, fast uploads, simple functionality, well-designed site

SOS Online BackupSOS Online Backup

Far more robust than any of the other options, SOS Online Backup is a serious tool for anyone with a large amount of important data to keep secure.

Unlike other services, SOS doesn’t offer any free storage. Pricing plans start at $9.95 per month or $79.99 per year for 50GB, which is accessible from up to five computers. A 100GB plan costs $99.95 per year. SOS also offers two- and three-year pricing options at discounted rates.

Uploading to SOS can be done in a number of different ways. Classic View allows for the highest level of control, with drag-and-drop options and full-system browsing. Users can also use the SOS wizard, which scans a computer for files that are most often chosen for backup, like pictures, videos and music.

SOS-Online-Backup

SOS’s Live Protect feature enables users to select particularly important files for monitoring by the SOS system. These files are automatically backed up on the online server to ensure they are never lost. Automatic backups can be scheduled from one daily to hourly, depending on user preference.

Like most other options on this list, SOS sharing is simple, with links generated for specific files or folders. SOS also offers an easy-to-use iPhone app, which can be used to download, view and share files on the go.

The lowdown: Best overall for high-volume back ups, simple sharing and archiving features, no free opti

Dropbox 

Simple but full-featured, Dropbox is one of the best deals for heavy users, and has the functionality to satisfy everyone from tech junkies to Grandma.

Unlike Box, Dropbox requries users download an application to use the service. The app is, essentially, just a folder on your computer where you can place files you want to back up. But it also opens up further functions for easy file uploads.

Once a file is placed in the Dropbox folder, it’s automatically uploaded to the Dropbox cloud. From there, the data is accessible for download through the Dropbox website. Files can be added to Dropbox simply by right clicking, and choosing the “Dropbox” selection, or by dragging the file or folder into the Dropbox desktop icon.

Another handy feature with Dropbox is that uploaded files are monitored by the service. Anytime a file is updated, a new version is saved online. Fortunately, Dropbox tracks all changes made to every uploaded file, and allows users to revert to older version if necessary.

Dropbox

Dropbox also automatically detects photo files, and makes them available in a gallery view, which makes the service a great alternative to Facebook, Flickr, Imgur, or any other photo storage site.

With the Dropbox mobile app, which is available for iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry devices, users can download stored files for easy transport. Photos and video taken with a mobile device can also be easily uploaded to Dropbox straight from the handset. Files can also be easily shared through the mobile app — just type in the recipients’ email address, and click “send.” The Dropbox website also allows for easy sharing.

Dropbox offers 2GB for free, and charges $10 per month for 50GB of storage, or $20 per month for 100GB.

The lowdown: Best deal for users with multiple computers or mobile devices, simple usability, less free storage offered than some other services.

Amazon Cloud Drive

Amazon Cloud Drive

Amazon has long offered cloud storage under the label S3 — but S3 isn’t made for the average consumer. Amazon’s new Cloud Drive, announced just last week, is.

Anyone who has an Amazon.com account is already registered to use the Cloud Drive. All users get 5GB free, right off the bat. Additional storage options are available for the equivalent of $1 per gigabyte: 20GB costs $20 per year, 50GB costs $50, all the way up to 1TB ($1,000).

While any type of file can be loaded onto the Cloud Drive, the service is built to work with the Cloud Player, which makes it possible to stream any music files uploaded to the Cloud Drive from any computer, or from the mobile app for Android-based devices.

For users interested in using the Cloud Player, or anyone who just wants an online locker for their music, Amazon sweetens the deal by offering any music purchased through its site to be automatically downloaded and stored directly in the Cloud Drive for free.

Amazon-Cloud-Drive

Uploading and downloading files is done through an explorer window, and is fairly easy and stress free. The service isn’t great, however, for large backups, as it is evidentially impossible to upload entire folders without selecting each file individually.

Other downsides include no file-sharing options, the interface is bare-bones, and its privacy features are nearly non-existent, compared to other services.

The lowdown: Works great for the casual user, fast upload and downloads, can be used for streaming music, not great for full backups, no privacy guarantee.

Windows Live SkyDriveWindows Live SkyDrive

Launched in 2007, this stellar option is one of the best 100-percent free services available. Essentially Microsoft’s answer to Google Docs, Windows Live SkyDrive offers anyone with a Hotmail address or other Windows Live account access to 25GB of online storage at no cost.

Files can easily be uploaded and organized to the users’ liking. Data is stored in either Public, Private or Personal folders, so users can decide who, if anyone, can access the files. Sharing with SkyDrive is as straightforward as any other service, and can be done simply be e-mailing access rights to other users through the site. If they accept the invite, then they have access. The administrator can allow other users editing rights, or mark a file as read-only.

Free access to the Microsoft Office web apps suite serves as one of the biggest bonus perks of using SkyDrive. Through SkyDrive, users can create Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint or OneNote documents without having to pay for the pricey desktop software.

Windows-Live-SkyDrive

Another added benefit is SkyDrive’s integration with Hotmail, which allows users to send up to 200 photos at a time, without having to worry about pesky attachments or e-mail size caps.

SkyDrive can also be connected with Windows Live Mesh, which syncs photos and videos between a user’s computer and SkyDrive.

The only major downside to SkyDrive is the 25GB storage cap. It’s a great amount to receive for free, but if you’re wanting to backup your entire computer, SkyDrive is the wrong service.

The lowdown: 25GB free, great all-around functionality, Microsoft Office Web apps access, low storage space cap

Bonus: outsmarting a child the old fashioned way

6 Important life lessons

Written by the walrus and the oyster

Lesson 1: Naked Wife

A man is getting into the shower just as his wife is finishing up her shower when the doorbell rings. The wife quickly wraps herself in a towel and runs downstairs. When she opens the door, there stands Bob, the next door neighbor. Before she says a word, Bob says, “I’ll give you $800 to drop that towel.” After thinking for a moment, the woman drops her towel and stands naked in front of Bob.

After a few seconds, Bob hands her $800 dollars and leaves. The woman wraps back up in the towel and goes back upstairs. When she gets to the bathroom, her husband asks,…

“Who was that?” “It was Bob the next door neighbor,” she replies. “Great!” the husband says, “Did he say anything about the $800 he owes me?”

Moral of the story:
If you share critical information pertaining to credit and risk with your shareholders in time, you may be in a position to prevent avoidable exposure.

Lesson 2

A sales rep, an administration clerk, and the manager are walking to lunch when they find an antique oil lamp. They rub it and a Genie comes out. The Genie says, “I’ll give each of you just one wish” “Me first! Me first!” says the administration clerk. “I want to be in the Bahamas, driving a speedboat, without a care in the world.” Poof! She’s gone. “Me next! Me next!” says the sales rep. “I want to be in Hawaii,relaxing on the beach with my personal masseuse, an endless supply of Pina Coladas and the love of my life.” Poof! He’s gone. “OK, you’re up,” the Genie says to the manager. The manager says, “I want those two back in the office after lunch.”

Moral of the story: Always let your boss have the first say.

Lesson 3

A priest offered a lift to a Nun. She got in and crossed her legs, forcing her gown to reveal a leg. The priest nearly had an accident. After controlling the car, he stealthily slid his hand up her leg. The nun said,”Father, remember Psalm 129?” The priest removed his hand. But,changing gears, he let his hand slide up her leg again. The nun once again said, “Father, remember Psalm 129?” The priest apologized “Sorry sister but the flesh is weak.” Arriving at the convent, the nun went on her way. On his arrival at the church, the priest rushed to look up Psalm 129. It said, “Go forth and seek, further up, you will find glory.”

Moral of the story: If you are not well informed in your job, you might miss a great opportunity.

Lesson 4

A crow was sitting on a tree, doing nothing all day. A rabbit asked him,”Can I also sit like you and do nothing all day long?” The crow answered: “Sure, why not.” So, the rabbit sat on the ground below the crow, and rested.

A fox jumped on the rabbit and ate it.

Moral of the story: To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very high up.

Lesson 5: Power of Charisma

A turkey was chatting with a bull “I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree,” sighed the turkey, but I haven’t got the energy.” “Well, why don’t you nibble on my droppings?” replied the bull. “They’re packed with nutrients.” The turkey pecked at a lump of dung and found that it gave him enough strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree. The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch. Finally after a fourth night, there he was proudly perched at the top of the tree. Soon he was spotted by a farmer, who shot the turkey out of the tree.

Moral of the story: Bullshit might get you to the top, but it wont keep you there.

Lesson 6

A little bird was flying south for the winter. It was so cold the bird froze and fell to the ground into a large field. While he was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on him. As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, he began to realize how warm he was. The dung was actually thawing him out! He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy. A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate. Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him.

Moral of the story:
1. Not everyone who shits on you is your enemy
2. Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your friend
3. And when you’re in deep shit, it’s best to keep your mouth shut!

Bonus:Little Jedi girl joins the Dark Side at Disneyland