Thursday, July 29, 2010


After getting spam charged by / FanBox on my latest mobile phone bill, I am not a happy camper... I am also having major computer problems at the moment. It took "forever" to upload the following photos (Morris the cat and Spider-Man iPhone wallpaper) to Flickr.

Spider-Man cartoon magazine cover. Iphone wallpaper by GelaSkins.

Maybe I should "go fishing"? Talking about fishing, have you heard about a dating site called Plenty of Fish? I have written a guest post (Heavy Duty, PACE and Kettlebell) on Fitness Date Club's blog.


I need a cup of tea...

Check out Ego Sole Trader on August 1. I will publish a new post every day for circa one month, describing the process of creating a business plan. Reading material: 3 Weeks to Startup and The Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan.

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Saturday, July 24, 2010


I have just received an e-mail from Objectivist Conferences confirming that I have another item to add to the list of great things I did in Vegas: I was part of a new record number of attendees!

The previous record was held by the conference celebrating the 50th anniversary of Atlas Shrugged--clearly not an easy target to beat, but we made it. On to even more next year!

Friday, July 23, 2010


Okay, the original title is slightly more specific: Senate Halts Effort to Cap CO2 Emissions - WSJ

Senate Democratic leaders Thursday shelved their effort to cap greenhouse-gas emissions [...] Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday that neither he nor the White House had managed to line up 60 senators to support even a limited proposal seeking to cap carbon-dioxide emissions [...] Senate Republicans closed ranks in opposition to even limited use of such mechanisms as the clock ticks down to the November elections.

If a bill is so odious that all Republicans and even many Democrats are (or feel they must pretend to be) against it, you would think that The Wall Street Journal might consider it all right to spare us their "fair and balanced" pandering to the dark side just this once. But no--in fact, the article has more "fairness" and "balance" in it than actual content:

Advocates of the cap-and-trade approach say that making it more expensive to burn coal or oil would encourage investments in new technology that reduces greenhouse-gas emissions

In other words, malinvestment. So how about mentioning that government "encouragement" of investment into inefficient projects has always resulted in ... well, an inefficient economy?

Some also argue putting a price on carbon can help reduce reliance on foreign oil.

Oh, don't get me started!

Advocates of capping emissions say that unless the U.S. puts a price on carbon, it will lose out to China in the race to develop the energy technologies--and jobs--of the 21st century.

What will be the energy technologies of the 21st century, and why exactly those? Will they be better or worse than the 20th century ones, and in what ways? What will cause people to adopt better/worse technologies? Why do we need to commit economic suicide to develop them if the Chinese can get them while they continue to progress? And why would it be a bad thing if the Chinese developed them for us?

Utilities now will be forced to make long-term decisions without knowing how carbon dioxide will be treated, said Mike Morris, chief executive of American Electric Power, Columbus, Ohio.

This is like saying that Paris is "now" the capital of France. We (all of us!) have been forced to make long-term decisions without knowing how CO2 will be "treated" ever since they came up with the idea of "treating" it somehow.

Uncertainty over the future price of carbon and what sorts of technology the EPA will require already is having a "chilling effect" on investment in the steel industry, said Thomas Gibson, a former EPA official

This is one of the nice things about principles: the same thing I said about utilities, can also be said about the steel industry.

But other business could be chilled if Washington abandons entirely the idea of raising the price of consuming fossil fuels. Companies trying to develop and sell solar and wind energy technology, energy-conservation systems or electric vehicles have hoped that caps on greenhouse gas emissions would jump-start demand.

If somebody proposed to ban the Sun, would the WSJ be writing in all seriousness about what a chilling effect it had on the candlemakers and other assorted wannabes that had hoped the ban "would jump-start demand" ? And note that they are not quoting this from anyone, this is the author's own remark.

Mr. Reid's decision to pull cap-and-trade from the energy bill could reverberate on Wall Street, where banks and brokerage firms had been anticipating climate legislation that would lead to widespread trading of carbon "credits."

They now get to anticipate a healthy economy instead. I can't speak for the banks and brokerage firms, but as far as I'm concerned, I don't consider that a bad trade at all!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Why Aspiring Entrepreneurs Should Stop Planning and Start Doing

My good friend Adam Kalsey - Founder of many successful enterprises, including IMified (acquired last year by Voxeo) and SacStarts (Sacramento's Startup Network) - dishes out some refreshing advice for new entrepreneurs over at the SacStarts blog:
I talk to a great many erstwhile entrepreneurs that tell me all about their ideas and all the things that they’re going to do when they start their company. Or people who have started but aren’t really getting anything done because they can’t find the right co-founder or they need to design every last detail first, or they don’t have the marketing copy for their web site quite right yet.
Entrepreneurs do. We take an idea and a market and drive to make it happen. Figure out what’s standing in the way of you getting stuff done and just go through it. Once you’re actually building your company, a lot of those things that looked insurmountable turn out to be no problem at all.
These are two paragraphs that any aspiring entrepreneur should read over and over again - this is the essence of why so many wannabe companies never get off the ground.  And why so many wannabe entrepreneurs are forever waiting for the stars to align for them to go whole hog after their vision.
Here's an unfortunate fact of life: The stars will never align.  So if you're waiting around for a few things to "fall into place", you're wasting time.  Just get started and get after it.
As Adam mentions, most problems you're planning for right now will never come to fruition.  At least 95% of your planning time and energy is likely being wasted.
On the flip side, there are obstacles that you'll never anticipate until you start off on your journey.  That's OK - you'll deal with them as they come.
The important thing is to "fail fast" - if something is not working, stop doing it, and start doing more things that are working.
But - what if nothing is working at all?  That's OK too - actually it's completely normal, especially for a startup.  See, you don't have to be that far off for it to feel like nothing is lining up.
If I may, let me use Chrometa as an example.  One year ago at this time, we had very little working.  Our messaging and value proposition was not connecting with the market - people would go to our website, and wonder what the heck we (and our product) did.  Not good.
Our product itself was a little better.  It had evolved to the stage where trial and beta users would say "I can see where this is going."
So we kept tweaking everything - our focus, the product itself, our messaging, etc.  It can be a maddening process, quite honestly, because you can make a lot of incremental improvements, and have nothing to show for it.
"How's the startup going?" is a question people love to ask.  And it's a question a pre-revenue company usually hates to answer!  Because it's tough to say things are going well when you don't yet have a product that people will gladly pay for.
But eventually, it came together for us.  We defined who we were.  We kept honing the product (and continue to do so).  And eventually things started to click.
Moral of the story - inaction is the enemy of the entrepreneur.  Get moving today.  You'll figure out what works, what doesn't (that'll be a real long list initially), and most importantly, you'll be able to go from there and start building something of real value.


After Obama repeatedly told people not to have conferences in Las Vegas, I knew there was no way I was going to miss OCON 2010. Unlike those Sixties nihilists, I had no difficulty having a great time in Vegas: I celebrated the Fourth of July at the Red Rock Station, learned from John Lewis about the spectacular rise of Athens in the 5th century B.C., got an overview of Aristotle's theory of knowledge from Greg Salmieri, attended an enthralling poetry class with my new favorite teacher Lisa VanDamme, jumped off the tallest building west of the Mississippi, hovered weightless above the city looking down on airplanes flying below me, watched the towers of the City Center pass me by and glisten through the mysterious bluish-hued shroud of the tram windows--and dined at the Top of the World. These were the best two weeks of my life so far--no contest!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Bay Area Anarchy?

My good friend Carson, who currently resides and works in Silicon Valley, sent along an editorial from Sunday's San Francisco Chronicle advocating political independence for the Bay Area!
It is clear that Sacramento can't solve California's problems. It is also clear that California's voters are unwilling to force real change, preferring merely to add to the state's thicket of ruinous, gridlock-inducing initiatives. Meanwhile, the mess in Sacramento is threatening the Bay Area's economic future.
That is why the Bay Area needs to start thinking like a city-state. In an age when nations have become so large that their citizens no longer identify with distant governments, city-states are political units large enough to have a global economic impact but small enough for even the most casual citizen to understand the relationships that make their city-state work. Politicians are local and thus more inclined to pragmatism and constructive action. Businesses understand that their fortunes are tied to the success of the local community. This balance between effect and size and the tendency toward social cohesion make contemporary city-states like Singapore and Hong Kong bright spots in an uncertain global economy.
While calls for local sovereignty have drastically increased in frequency since the financial crisis began, this is one of the first I've seen from a "blue state" - in fact, you could argue that the Bay Area is perhaps the bluest region in the bluest state in all the land.

The thought of the Bay Area governing itself is equally intriguing and hilarious - that's something I would absolutely pay a ticket to see.  Most striking, though, may be the measure of social mood this represents, as we're now seeing almost universal disgust with government at many levels - Federal and State, in particular, across the United States.

Some libertarian minded gurus, such as Doug Casey, believe that technology will ultimately be the downfall of the nation-state.  Casey argues that with technology liberating the individual, the need for a centralized government to provide for its citizens is greatly diminished.

If this is true, we could potentially have two anti-state trends coming together at once.  With the second being general dissatisfaction with the "New Deal" way of government, which dominated most of the 20th century in America.  When the Bay Area is onboard with this type of sentiment, you can be sure the fervor is running pretty deep among the American populous!

Friday, July 9, 2010


Morris the Cat

Morris the cat is informing that the editor of EGO blog is hiding at a "secret" location at the moment...

Camouflage Cat

Here is a photo of the hideout:


Go to my photostream at Flickr for more pictures, e.g., blueberries, wild strawberries and rosé wine...

Related: Friday Ark #303 at The Modulator.


I want to introduce you to a new guest blogger. His name is Brett Owens and he is CEO and Co-Founder of Chrometa, LLC. He reached out to me and sent me an email after my comment on Small Business Trends. I have also invited him to become a future guest writer on my new Ego Sole Trader site. I think that the Chrometa's "time tracking, time management and productivity software for professionals" could fit nicely under the WorkFlow section on my site.

Related:  Lisa Barone's post, 6 Lessons From A Week Of Guest blogging.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I will do as last year and take a short break from my regular blogging schedule. At the moment, I am visiting Charlie Bloom of NetZpider.


I will update my new Ego Sole Trader site during the summer and for example write more about my workflow process called F.I.X (Form - Information - eXecution) IT!

The following video is dedicated to my guest bloggers during the summer... Farewell from the Swedish Chef! Do you like "Pöpcørn"? ;) [Editor's note: I like the Popcorn tune.]