Warrior Wazer

I’m so fascinated by Waze. I’m curious to see how Google implements it after their $1.1B purchase. I’m curious if State Highway departments use it to identify where there are disabled vehicles on the shoulder, or if fire/rescue would ever use it to get to emergencies (especially in big cities). I’m curious when it’ll be more likely than not someone uses it every time they drive somewhere. When/if it’ll be implemented into a car’s computer system. If Waze will ever try to implement things that would help local law enforcement, like reporting the location of a drunk driver, or someone doing 100 mph in and out of lanes down the highway. Honestly it’d be way easier to do that through Waze than to call the non-emergency line and try to explain where I am.

As of this morning, I’m in the top 10% of high scorers on Waze in the state of Maryland, ha.



Cool chalk art

I love videos of artists creating. This one uses chalk, which I’d never really thought of outside a school setting, but I kinda like it. I think it’s cool that it can so easily be smudged or erased with a little water. Makes it feel kind of fragile.

Wrecking Ball

I heard Wrecking Ball on the radio driving home tonight. I think it’s interesting how, either intentionally or unintentionally, there are other artists’ sounds that you can specifically identify.

Like, the opening up-down-up-down thing sounds really similar to what Taylor Swift did in I Knew You Were Trouble.

The hard chorus sounds like something Muse would do.

And the rest of it just has an overall Lana Del Rey feel.


How to Improve ESPN’s Fantasy Draft

ESPN’s Fantasy draft tool is really solid, but there’s one thing I noticed as I was drafting my hockey team this season that could definitely be improved. Since most people are drafting on their lunch break at work they’re short on time — and sensitive about it. So when someone signs up for the draft and then goes completely idle, it’s a nuisance. When more than a handful do this, it becomes a huge pain as each Owner requires 90 long seconds before the tool automatically picks for them (most Owners actively drafting only need 20-45 seconds per round, so 90 feels like forever).

Here’s how you fix this and cater to the people who are actually participating (and, you know, looking at those banner ads):

  1. If an Owner goes more than 2 rounds with no active selection, i.e. AutoPick selects for them after draining the full 90 seconds, they’ll get a message that says something like, “Looks like you’re not there. To respect the other Owner’s time, we’ll be moving through your rounds a little faster. Click I’m Here at anytime and we’ll give you your full 90 seconds again.”
  2. Then with each additional round that they remain idle, give them 10 fewer seconds before AutoPick kicks in (not to exceed an Owner getting less than 30 seconds per round).

Assuming an Owner is idle for the entire draft, this would save 9.5 minutes each. Pretty significant, and it’d make the people actually trying to draft much happier.

When you run out of time or money, ship

I often think about what Seth Godin says here.

“The guys at 37Signals write in almost everything they talk that there are two secrets — actually one — to shipping something on time and on budget. And the secret is: When you run out of money or you run out of time, you ship. Then you’re on time and on budget. If your mindset is that I ship, that’s not just a convenient shortcut, it’s in fact an obligation. And you build your work around that obligation. Then instead of someone who’s a wandering generality, someone who has lots of great and ideas and if only, if only, if only, you were someone who always ends up shipping. … And if you’re proud of what you ship, and you do it on time and on budget, you get to do it again.”

Is it better to ship a product on time and on budget, but only 85% of what you’d initially planned for – or ship a week late, and/or x% over budget, but 95 or 100% of what you’d initially planned for?

Obviously, it depends on the product, but it’s interesting that it feels so much more likely that a project gets delayed to take a final stab at getting to 100% of the initial intent, rather than finishing on time and on budget, but not quite getting everything in.

I forget where I read this (probably *Joel on Software), but *someone said when he lays out a new product, he makes three lists. The features he absolutely must have included, the products that’d be nice to have in but aren’t absolutely required, and the features that’d be cool to explore, but only if time allows. Then you build out List 1, then List 2, and lastly List 3, as time permits. That makes total sense. Then, if you only get to 85%, you at least haven’t wasted time on features from the “nice to have” or “cool to explore” lists.


In other news:

Fantasy Hockey mock draft

Now that everyone’s talking fantasy football, I really can’t wait for hockey to start. I did a quick mock draft using ESPN today. Curious as to how accurate ESPN’s projected stats have been in year’s past…

Round: 1
(1) Team Reed – Steven Stamkos C
** (2) Team Gordon – Sidney Crosby C
(3) Team Johns – Henrik Lundqvist G
(4) Team Hackett – Alex Ovechkin RW
(5) abra cadabra – Evgeni Malkin C
(6) Team Konkel – John Tavares C
(7) Team 7 – Erik Karlsson D
(8) Team 8 – Corey Perry RW
(9) Team 9 – Claude Giroux C
(10) Team 10 – Kris Letang D

Round: 2
(11) Team 10 – Phil Kessel RW
(12) Team 9 – Tuukka Rask G
(13) Team 8 – Henrik Zetterberg C
(14) Team 7 – P.K. Subban D
(15) Team Konkel – Patrick Kane RW
(16) abra cadabra – Jonathan Toews C
(17) Team Hackett – Pavel Datsyuk C
(18) Team Johns – Ryan Getzlaf C
** (19) Team Gordon – Craig Anderson G
(20) Team Reed – Henrik Sedin C

Round: 3
(21) Team Reed – Daniel Sedin LW
** (22) Team Gordon – Roberto Luongo G
(23) Team Johns – Martin St. Louis RW
(24) Team Hackett – Anze Kopitar C
(25) abra cadabra – Eric Staal C
(26) Team Konkel – Pekka Rinne G
(27) Team 7 – Ryan Suter D
(28) Team 8 – Chris Kunitz LW
(29) Team 9 – James Neal LW
(30) Team 10 – Dustin Byfuglien D

Round: 4
(31) Team 10 – Tyler Seguin C
(32) Team 9 – Sergei Bobrovsky G
(33) Team 8 – Rick Nash LW
(34) Team 7 – Jonathan Quick G
(35) Team Konkel – Taylor Hall LW
(36) abra cadabra – Nicklas Backstrom C
(37) Team Hackett – Zach Parise LW
(38) Team Johns – Alexander Semin RW
** (39) Team Gordon – Zdeno Chara D
(40) Team Reed – Carey Price G

Round: 5
(41) Team Reed – Jimmy Howard G
** (42) Team Gordon – Patrick Sharp LW
(43) Team Johns – Shea Weber D
(44) Team Hackett – Dion Phaneuf D
(45) abra cadabra – Jason Spezza C
(46) Team Konkel – Marian Hossa RW
(47) Team 7 – Marc-Andre Fleury G
(48) Team 8 – Max Pacioretty LW
(49) Team 9 – Jakub Voracek RW
(50) Team 10 – Joe Thornton C

Continue reading

Listening, 9/12/13

“Hymn” – Pedro the Lion
Not a huge Pedro the Lion fan (though “The Longest Winter” is solid), but this instrumental is smooth and crescendos nicely.

“The Hours” – Beach House

“7 O’Clock News / Silent Night” – Simon & Garfunkel

“Idaho” – Gregory Alan Isakov
“We were running through the autumn leaves / A couple kids just wearing out our jeans”

“Change (In the House of Flies)” – Twinkle Twinkle Little Rock Star (cover)
Classic Deftones, covered as a lullaby.

“Caught Me Thinkin” – Bahamas

“Sweater Weather” – The Neighborhood

“What’s up Fatlip” – Fatlip

“The Pit” – Silversun Pickups

“Smother” – Daughter

“12” – Alexi Murdoch

“If you’re already in a mess, you ain’t got room to make one”

This video in general is great, but one part in particular really struck a chord (around the 10:40 mark).

My most productive times are when I have the freedom to make a creative mess. You too. I need room to be crazy. To make some mistakes. To brainstorm. To be chaotic, go a little off the edge. That is gonna be your most productive time… when you have the freedom to do that. However, folks, if you’re already in a mess, you ain’t got room to make one. If your kitchen’s a mess, you ain’t got time or energy to have a creative dinner for your friends. If your desk and your office are a mess you don’t have room and space to go crazy about some new project and spread out and have a brainstorm of ideas. If your email is backed up on you with a thousand unprocessed emails and you got three thousand other things going on in your head, you have no space to take advantage of discretionary time that may show up in terms of being creative.

I was really into GTD years ago, but I didn’t realize how many of its principles stuck with me until re-watching and -reading some of this stuff. I’m such a Next Action guy at work now.