Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Apple Google Ad

Friday, February 26, 2010

Get Ready for Some Great Bluebonnets!

This winter has been the perfect recipe for an awesome bluebonnet season: lots of rain (especially late in the winter) and cold temperatures that were below freezing. That makes for not only a lot of bluebonnets, but especially colorful ones, as well.

So get ready, folks, for a great bluebonnet season. But some general rules to follow, please:

1. Don't trample the bluebonnets. Try to step only in the areas between the bluebonnet plants. It might require you to what I call "the bluebonnet hop", butit will keep the plants looking great for everyone.

2. Don't pick the bluebonnets. Period. Get some seeds off the bottom of the plant instead and grow your own! Besides, it's against the law to pick the bloom.

3. Don't go romping through people's yards and fields to take pictures without permission. It really, really makes the locals mad when "city folks" come up and go on quarter mile hikes into their pastures to take their family's picture in the bluebonnets. It's private property, and it's just rude. Most times, if you'll just ask permission it will be okay, but there are plenty of great photo opportunities on public land. The state makes sure of that.

4. Watch out for fire ants! The same kind of soil that is great for growing bluebonnets is also prime for fire ants. Watch out!

5. Ask a local. As I said before, there a lot of great photo places to take your family's photo in bluebonnets. And a lot of them are very easily accessible, but might not be able to be seen from the highway. Ask a local where some great shots can be had as you buy some Blue Bell ice cream or a sandwich or an antique from their shop.

6. Don't cross a fence. I've heard a lot of stories since we moved up here about tourists crossing fences. Some stories involve getting chased by bulls, some involve broken fences and some involve animals getting loose. But every one of the stories involved trespassing and ticked off the land owner. I've been guilty of this in the past - I admit it - but now I know better, and I'm letting you all know, as well.

7. Have a great time, outdoors. Get outside and enjoy the spring air and the sunshine. You can't see the bluebonets from your living room couch, folks. Unless you live in Brenham, that is. ;)

Now get that camera ready and get out there and start looking for the perfect shot!

The Star Wars Crawl Finally Reaches Earth

Thanks to Johnny for sending this!

January was the Hottest Ever

From the UK Express:

Climate scientists yesterday stunned Britons suffering the coldest winter for 30 years by claiming last month was the hottest January the world has ever seen.

The remarkable claim, based on global satellite data, follows Arctic temperatures that brought snow, ice and travel chaos to millions in the UK.

At the height of the big freeze, the entire country was blanketed in snow. But Australian weather expert Professor Neville Nicholls, of Monash University in Melbourne, said yesterday: “January, according to satellite data, was the hottest January we’ve ever seen.
“Last November was the hottest November we’ve ever seen. November-January as a whole is the hottest November-January the world has seen.” Veteran climatologist Professor Nicholls was speaking at an online climate change briefing, added: “It’s not warming the same everywhere but it is really quite challenging to find places that haven’t warmed in the past 50 years.”

This is why fewer and fewer people are believing "climate scientists" regarding global warming - because we all know that, at least in the United States, we've had one of the coldest, most harsh winters ever. And we're still going through it.

My heating bill also tells me otherwise.

Texas Snowman

Sent to me by Matt:

It doesn’t snow very often in Texas, but when it does, I’d like to think that we make the best snowmen. If you forward this on to your New Yorkian friends, let everyone know that is a shotgun around Frosty’s neck and it’s used to get dinner. And he’s holding a can of Skoal. It’s for desert. God Bless Texas Yee Haw,



Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Avatar Review

From the same people that brought you the review of The Phantom Menace, a hilarious, NSFW review of Avatar:

Crap - That's A Lot of Spiders!

This just makes my skin crawl.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Real Life Fortress of Solitude

Today must be Superman day, kids. Buckle up.

Sneak Preview of the New Superman Movie

I'm only half kidding.

Evolution of Type Taste

From Advertising Sucks

Please, Warner Brothers (for the love of God), Reboot!!!!

From /Film:

... there is some new detail about the next Superman movie from DC and Warner Bros. While recent reports that Christopher Nolan is mentoring the new Superman film were denied by DC and WB, we’re now told that David Goyer, who has worked with Nolan on his Batman films, has been hired to write the new Superman film, The Man of Steel.

Latino Review has the story, and offers a few extra details. The site reports that Lex Luthor and Braniac are part of Goyer’s script, which is not an origin story.

LR also claims to have other details about the project: Brandon Routh will not star, and Bryan Singer is not expected to direct. So, basically a reboot that isn’t a reboot? Fine, no problem with that. If WB wasn’t happy with the way Singer’s film went down with audiences, I’d prefer to see the studio just move on with another chapter. We know the story.

I could not disagree more with that last sentence. Reboot it, already, WB! The old Superman mythos is so stale and bloated with cruft that it's ridiculously stifling. And now you've got Superman's bastard son to deal with. A fresh start would be a welcome change.

And Lex Luthor is one of the most boring villains in history. Please, please, please leave him out of it.

I was thinking about this the other day and came to the conclusion that a period-piece Superman movie might be pretty darn good. Superman in the Great Depression and World War II was his Golden Age. He was a vulnerable, shadowy and mysterious character with limited powers. I would love to see such a reinvention. There's just so much you can do with it. And in that instance, I wouldn't mind seeing Lex Luthor as an evil Daddy Warbucks-type character.

Reboot, Warner Brothers. Please reboot.

Democrats = Crybabies

The Democrats are trying to ram Universal Healthcare down our throats by a simple majority vote in the Senate - called the Nuclear Option. They're all for it now, but see what they had to say about it just five years ago...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Senator Brown Votes with Democrats on Jobs Bill

From Reuters:

Republican Scott Brown joined four other Republicans, 55 Democrats and two independents to overcome a procedural hurdle that sets up a final vote later this week.

Brown was widely hailed as a conservative hero after his surprise victory in Massachusetts last month gave Republicans enough seats to block most Democratic legislation.

"I hope my vote today is a strong step toward restoring bipartisanship in Washington," he said in a statement.

More "bipartisanship" isn't what this country needs, Scott. We need elected officials who vote on principle and who stand firm for the things they believe. Bipartisanship has become a synonym for compromise, and compromise rarely leads to anything meaningful. If you're just wet behind the ears and trying to extend an olive branch to the other side so that they won't hate you, you can forget it. It won't work. Just ask George Bush, who did the same thing with the senator you replaced on No Child Left Behind.

He was still crucified by the left.

But it was an early indicator of the type of politician he would be. He frequently turned his back on the very people that had gotten there in the interest of "bipartisanship." The left still hated him and vilified him and it just ticked the Republicans off. There are no brownie points with the left, Scott.

This is exactly why I'm leery of people like you and Sarah Palin and Barack Obama - political "saviors" who rise from nowhere and are swept into power on a wave of popularity when we know basically nothing about them. When will we learn to quit voting for fad candidates? Not the 2012 primaries, I suspect. I foresee Sarah Palin being the Republican nominee, which will virtually hand another term to Barack Obama.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Not Responsible

I get e-mails from time to time with offers from Canon. I noticed this yesterday in one of the e-mails:

Finally! The answer to all my design problems!!! Thanks, Canon.

Seriously. I'd like to see someone actually try this on some of their work. Accidentally misspelled the company president's name in the statewide news magazine? Sorry. Not responsible. It says so right there.

Who is responsible for them? Dunno, but not us...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I'm Done with Effing Greedy, Lazy Tegeler Toyota

I want to share this cautionary tale to you. A few weeks ago, the check engine light in my truck came on. It was nearing 100,000 miles, so it was about time for something to go wrong in it, right?

So I took it to Auto Zone, where the guy hooked it up to their machine (for free) and gave me the problem codes that it spit out, which could mean one of three things:

1. a bad catalytic converter
2. a clogged fuel filter
3. a loose gas cap

Being that the truck is 5-years old and about to be out of warranty, I naturally assumed that it was the worst thing. So I took it to the local Toyota dealership here in Brenham, Tegeler Toyota. I dropped it off at lunch and asked the guy to give me a call once they had a chance to look at it and let me know what they found. No call. So when I got off work, Kristi took me up to the dealer and I went in to ask the guy what was wrong with the truck.

The guy came back and said that the catalytic converter needed to be replaced, which would be $1000. I bristled. I told the guy that I couldn't leave it (Kristi was headed to Houston the next day and I needed to pick up the kids), but I could bring it back later. Okay, he said, but it would cost me $60 for them to look at the truck.

What?!? I though. You're going to charge me $60 for hooking up the truck to the computer - something Auto Zone did for free???? But I payed the dirty rotten bastard behind the counter.

My truck was near empty, so I went and filled it up. The next morning, I noticed something strange. No check engine light. And its been two weeks since with no check engine light. It seems that it was a loose gas cap, after all. And that money grubbing, lazy son of a bitch at Tegeler Toyota in Brenham was going to happily charge me $1000 to replace my catalytic converter. I don't know if they're just slow and bored during the recession or if they need practice working on trucks while they're not busy fixing recall issues lately, but I don't appreciate this kind of bullshit.

So I'm done with Tegeler Toyota in Brenham. You don't try to screw over your customers, especially ones with blogs.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Nicole Richie and Joel Madden Are Engaged!

Everyone is all breathlessly atwitter with the following news, via Us Magazine:

Nicole Richie and her Good Charlotte rocker boyfriend, Joel Madden, are getting married.

Richie, 28, made the announcement Monday on The Late Show with David Letterman.

"Yep. i'm engaged. Very happy," wrote Madden, 30, on Twitter Monday.

A source tells, "Nicole and Joel are in the process of planning the wedding. She's very involved in every detail. She’s thrilled."

The couple is expected to tie the knot in the summer.

And in other news, who really gives a rat's ass? Because:

Richie and Madden started dating in December 2006 and have two children together: Harlow, 2, and Sparrow, 5 months.

Ass backwards. That's fine that they've finally decided to get married, but do we have to pretend like she's some virginal bride, awaiting her Big Day and her Dream Wedding because it's What She's Always Wanted and Dreamed About Since She Was a Little Girl? (pause for music swell). This is like getting excited and throwing all kinds of showers for a third marriage. Or in the very apt words of Larry the Cable Guy, "it's like wiping before you poop. It just don't make no sense."

And what was she doing onLetterman? What the hell has she ever done besides be Lionel Ritchie's no-talent daughter and hang around with a skanky heiress?

Hollywood really pisses me off sometimes. And so do the stupid girl magazines who love to get all excited about absolutely frigging nothing.

Get a life, people. Really.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

So Why Not Google?

Thanks to everyone for the pushback on my post yesterday regarding my favorite Super Bowl spots. There were some great honorable mentions including the Doritos "House Rules" and "Samurai" spots. The Samurai, while not a great spot over all, get the mention for great editing.

And in a stunning turn of events, one of you (and you know who you are, Steve) even nominated the Betty White Snickers ad. Just because it was Betty White. Now had Betty White been the one doing the tackling, it would have been a lot more unexpected and funny. And so Betty.

But why not Google? The press has been going ga ga over the Google "Parisian Love" spot. But I was less than impressed. Don't get me wrong - it was a nice enough ad. It didn't have any hairy dudes in their underwear or farting horses, which was good. It was at least classy ("stay classy, Mountain View..."). But my problem is that it was an ad for Google search. And that's it.

Google is synonymous with internet search, and has been for years. Microsoft made a lot of noise this year about its Bing service, but despite their best efforts it hasn't really taken off. And I don't expect it will, either. Can you imagine someone saying "just bing 'B+W filters?'" No. But "just google 'Sheryl crow toilet paper'" sounds natural. But I digress. The fact is that Google didn't need to spend two million dollars on a Super Bowl ad. Everyone already uses their service for what they were advertising. And those that don't *cough* Harris *cough* don't because they like the thrill and the danger of having to perform the same searches over and over without getting the most relevant results.

Had Google used the spot to include some of its other services, such as gmail or Google maps or YouTube or BlogSpot or Google Calendar, or Chrome, the ad would've been much more effective. What Google seems to be building is a one-stop shop for your digital life. Much the way that Apple envisioned the Mac a few years back as your digital hub, Google seems to envision itself as the place to get and store information on the web, and now a way to have it delivered, as well. They're making it so that if you want to - if you're a Googlebot, that is - you don't have to go anywhere else on the web for, well, anything. But search? Come on. This ad would've been amazing in 1998. But in 2010, I'm not impressed with a full minute of watching someone use Google to search the internet, even though it did tell a nice story.

So nice ad, Google. But not good enough to make the Destructo Top 5©®(patent pending). And I'm still wary of you. But that's a topic for another time.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My Favorite Super Bowl Commercials

So everyone can quit flooding my in-box asking me...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Best Superman News, Ever

From /film:

... a new Superman is in very early stages of development. The only sourced quote that will matter to most readers is, “It would definitely not be a follow-up to Superman Returns.”

I think it's best for everyone if Warner Brothers backs away from that piece of turd and pretends that it was never even made. The good news is that it looks as if Superman might get a Batman-style reboot, which is what should have happened in 2006.

Steve Jobs Was Right ... Again

From AppleInsider:

Since Apple granted music labels the flexibility to set individual song prices between $0.69 and $1.29 on the iTunes Music Store, growth of digital music sales has slowed, one music executive revealed Tuesday.

According to Peter Kafka at MediaMemo, Warner Music Group revealed Tuesday that it has seen digital music sales sales slow down since the price increase took effect in April 2009. Digital album downloads grew 5 percent in December, down from 10 percent in the September quarter and 11 percent in the June quarter. Digital revenue is slowing as well: Warner saw 8 percent growth in the holiday quarter, versus 20 percent a year before.

Warner CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. reportedly said the pricing change has been a "net positive" for Warner, but conceded that a 30 percent price increase during a recession was not the best move.

Steve Jobs insisted for years against pressure from the music industry that .99 cents was the sweet spot for music pricing and that raising prices would stifle sales. But they insisted, and Steve traded price flexibility for removal of DRM. And it turns out that people aren't willing to pay $1.29 per track the way they were for .99 cents. [I'm leaving out the supposed .69 cent price point because in all my browsing of the iTunes store, I've yet to run across such a unicorn bigfoot track.]

Once again, music industry execs don't know jack about their customers or the market. I think we all saw this one coming in slow motion.

The Green Police Cometh

Amongst the variety of edgy, sometimes distasteful, but usually funny Superbowl ads was one that was meant to be funny - the "Green Police" ad by Audi.

As I was watching it, I noticed that most of the little skits in this as aren't really so far-fetched in our current "green" political environment. Which is scary. Really, really scary. In fact, the ad sent a chill down my spine as I was watching it live on Sunday.

I've long been a nature-lover. Get me outdoors in the middle of the woods or in a big open field - or pretty much anywhere that isn't inside - and I'm a happy camper. And I want to make sure that it's there for my kids. I'm a conservationist, not an environmentalist. I'm a conservative, especially when it comes to the natural environment. But this spot reminds us that the "green" people are zealots who only want to use saving the environment as a political tool to push a radical agenda. They don't give a damn about the environment. They want the power to tell you and I how to live and what size toilet to have and what kind of light bulbs we have to buy and that we're only allowed to use one-ply toilet paper, one square at a time.

This is why you don't vote for "change" jut for the sake of change, folks. Because the people who are running the country right now are the ones who are going to force stuff like this down our throats.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Reality in the Face of a Dream

Last year in October I had to turn in my budget requests for 2010 at work. I was fresh off a photography trip to the panhandle where I had just gotten to use a new zoom lens, a Canon 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS that allowed me to grab some shots that I had never been able to before because of the distance. The lens is a cheap lens for a zoom at only $250, and it's not the one I wanted. But it was the one I was told I had to get, so I got it and used it. But the images I took were really soft and the lens didn't let in much light at all. So when it came time to ask for new items in the budget, I asked for a more expensive lens, an 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS, because I thought I'd be able to get a lens that had a full range of wide and zoom without having to switch lenses. At the time I priced it, it was around $650.

This was before I got the opportunity to use a couple of L-series lenses for a weekend at a work conference last month, including the Dream Lens - a 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM.

I found out last week that I had been approved $650 for a lens. But I had been doing a lot of reading since then and realized that the lens I thought I wanted wasn't going to do what I wanted it to do. No $650 lens would. I wanted a single lens that would have a full range, still be able to capture sharp images, with no distortion or - something that I've come to hate from my images being rejected from iStockphoto - chromatic aberration. In my reading I had come to the conclusion that I actually really do like the two-lens setup I have now at work. I use an 18-55 for wide stuff and group shots, which we take a lot of at work, and the 55-250 for distance shots and artistic stuff. But both my lenses are really, really crappy plastic lenses. But I'm the king of working with what I'm given, so I just did the best I could. And I think I did a pretty damn good job.

I started doing research and found out quickly that I could, in fact, get a decent lens within my budget. But I also found out that if I could convince my boss to spend about $400 more, I could get a really good lens. The thought was that I could get a good lens to replace my every day walking around lens this year and ask for a better zoom lens next year. Then, with the exception of maybe a prime lens or two, I'd have a good all-purpose setup that would work for the way I shoot at work. It was a long-term plan, but one that I felt would be money better spent in the long run.

So on Tuesday I went in to see Rodney, my boss's boss and the guy who I'd end up having to ask for the money anyway, to ask for an increase in my lens budget. I was even prepared to trade my Adobe Creative Suite CS4 upgrade - coincidentally about $400 - for the extra money for the lens. I felt that strongly about it. So I went in and gave him my pitch. I explained that a better lens would give us better images and would be more affordable in the long run. The guy is a fisherman, and I even used a fishing metaphor comparing the lens I have now to a Zebco Barbie fishing pole. I showed him my research and the reviews of the lens that I wanted. I presented him with a couple of alternatives, one priced around what I wanted that was an L-Series with a shorter range and another that was still slightly outside my budget range that would have a pretty good range at the cost of some barrel distortion and vingnetting (which that Photoshop CS4 would come in handy to fix). I was on fire. He listened to what I had to say and took the research papers that I gave him. He said he'd have to check and see and told me that he'd let me know.

I thanked him and walked out of his office, lingering for just a second at his secretary's desk to say hello. I heard him pick up the phone and say "can you come down here. James just came in and asked for a lens." Oh, crap. I knew it could only be one person - Laura, my supervisor. I went back to my desk and somehow didn't pass her in the hall on the way. I had a meeting with the vice president of the company to go to, so I started getting my papers and ideas ready for that.

A few minutes later Laura came to my desk and said "what's the big idea asking Rodney for a new lens?" I told her that he had said at the conference to come see him when we got back (I had shared with him how much fun I was having using the borrowed L-series lenses while we were at the conference a few weeks ago and had already started laying the groundwork for me to start begging and pleading for us to get some better lenses). She said that he wanted to see both of us in his office and asked if I could come down. I couldn't right at the moment because of that meeting with the VP, but said that I could immediately after. Oh, crap.

So after my meeting we went down to Rodney's office. Laura and I sat down in front of Rodney's desk, I being closer to the door in case I needed to bolt if they called security to escort me out of the building. Rodney began.

"So you want a new lens..."

Laura jumped in. "I told you he was going to say no." She had a funny tone to her voice, almost... playful?

"Let me explain my thinking." I said, prepared to go over my entire spiel again.

"Let me stop you right there." Rodney said. His face went from dead serious to a smirk. "While we were at the conference, Laura and I watched you and Matt running around like kids in a candy store drooling about how great these lenses were."

"Yeah, they were awesome" I said.

"We noticed you were having such a great time. So we decided to surprise you by buying you Jeff's lens (the borrowed 70-200mm L-series zoom)."

I chuckled. "Yeah, okay" I scoffed. I honestly thought they were joking around with me.

"I was going to order it today," Laura chimed in. "Actually, I was supposed to order it Friday but got really busy, so I was going to order it today. Then you came in here asking for a lens and so I thought we'd better sit down and talk about it before I ordered it."

They were serious. "You're serious" I think I said. "Are you serious?" Rodney handed me a paper printed from a website with the lens on it. They were serious.

"Wow. Wow. Thank you guys" I said. "Wow!"

Rodney told me all about how they had kept it a big secret and had even consulted my buddy, Jeff (the owner of the lenses and a lot of other cool toys that are worthy of their own post at a later time), and sworn him to secrecy. They told me how they had thought about asking Matt, but decided against it because they just knew he'd get excited and tip me off. Good call on their part, because I had gone to Matt to get his opinion while I was researching lenses.

"And you had to ruin our little surprise" Laura exclaimed.

"When you came in this morning I thought you had been tipped off" said Rodney. I hadn't .

"You've done a really great job with the photography and if there's something that we can do to make it even better then it's worth it," Laura said.

The room was spinning. I couldn't believe it. I had gone in to beg and plead for a thousand dollar lens and they were going to surprise me with one that cost almost double that!

"So decide which lens you want and we'll order it."

I floated back upstairs (with a quick stop at Matt's desk to tell him the story) with a decision to make. Do I go for broke and get the Dream Lens, or do I go with the lens that I had carefully researched and decided would be most versatile 95% of the time? Holy crap, my head hurt. It's not every day that someone hands you your wildest dreams (I had never even really considered asking for that lens).

So I sat down to think it out. And I thought. And I read reviews. I agonized over the decision. I talked to Matt about it. I talked to Kristi about it. And in those conversations, the realization of what would be best slowly crept up on me.

Yeah, I could get some amazing shots with the Dream Lens every now and then (like I said, about 5% of the time - but when that 5% comes, a good zoom lens comes in very, very handy). But I could use the other lens every day and really improve the shots that I shoot the most - the day-to-day shots that aren't always glamourous or end up in the annual report.

So I turned down the gift and asked for the every day lens, with the full intention of asking for the Dream Lens, actually its newly-released younger sister, next year.

I'm grateful for what my bosses tried to do for me, and I'm truly and deeply touched. I'm not sure I've ever been surprised or given such an awesome show of appreciation at work, ever. I sometimes feel unappreciated at work, and this was an enormous olive branch - something that shows me that even though I'm not out there winning awards and making some huge name for myself, that I am appreciated professionally. And that respect goes a long way.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Hiking on the Moon

I was digging around on my hard drive this morning and ran across this:

It's the first photo composite I ever did in Photoshop, back in 1996. It's comprised of three photos - one of me and my buddy, Gary, hiking at Buescher State Park, another of a colorful cloud that has been stretched and another of a shot of the Earth from the moon.

I even found the original Photoshop file with the layers. As I look at it almost 15 years later, I still love it. It's simple, it's not put together well and you can see the seams, but it represents a more artistic, more imaginative time in my life. Looking at this image just reminds me of all the creative energy I had back then, when every project was fresh and new and a little (sometimes a lot) scary.

Wow. Good times.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

People I Want to Meet: Bill Watterson

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer (via Daring Fireball):

It's always better to leave the party early. If I had rolled along with the strip's popularity and repeated myself for another five, 10 or 20 years, the people now "grieving" for "Calvin and Hobbes" would be wishing me dead and cursing newspapers for running tedious, ancient strips like mine instead of acquiring fresher, livelier talent. And I'd be agreeing with them.

I think some of the reason "Calvin and Hobbes" still finds an audience today is because I chose not to run the wheels off it.

But since my "rock star" days, the public attention has faded a lot. In Pop Culture Time, the 1990s were eons ago. There are occasional flare-ups of weirdness, but mostly I just go about my quiet life and do my best to ignore the rest. I'm proud of the strip, enormously grateful for its success, and truly flattered that people still read it, but I wrote "Calvin and Hobbes" in my 30s, and I'm many miles from there.

Wow. You know, I never realized that Watterson was only in his 30s when he drew Calvin & Hobbes. Actually, I've never even thought about it. His writing was always so wise and insightful. Also striking is that it's been time-and-a-half as long since the strip ended as the entire run of the strip. Amazing. I can still remember reading the final Sunday like it was yesterday.

I can't wait to share Calvin & Hobbes with my kids, which reminds me of this (which Watterson did not create, but could have):

A Metaphor for My Design Philosophy

Monday, February 1, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me.

I'm totally going to see this when it comes out on March 19, and it has nothing to do with Jennifer Aniston.

Okay, maybe a little.

Random Rules for Ideas Worth Spreading

From Seth Godin's blog. Incredibly true and incredibly inspiring.

If you've got an idea worth spreading, I hope you'll consider this random assortment of rules. Like all rules, some are made to be broken, but still...

• You can name your idea anything you like, but a google-friendly name is always better than one that isn't.
• Don't plan on appearing on a reality show as the best way to launch your idea.
• Waiting for inspiration is another way of saying that you're stalling. You don't wait for inspiration, you command it to appear.
• Don't poll your friends. It's your art, not an election.
• Never pay a non-lawyer who promises to get you a patent.
• Avoid powerful people. Great ideas aren't anointed, they spread through a groundswell of support.
• Spamming strangers doesn't work. Spamming friends doesn't work so well either, but it's certainly better than spamming strangers.
• The hard part is finishing, so enjoy the starting part.
• Powerful organizations adore the status quo, so expect no help from them if your idea challenges the very thing they adore.
• Figure out how long your idea will take to spread, and multiply by 4.
• Be prepared for the Dip.
• Seek out apostles, not partners. People who benefit from spreading your idea, not people who need to own it.
• Keep your overhead low and don't quit your day job until your idea can absorb your time.
• Think big. Bigger than that.
• Are you a serial idea-starting person? If so, what can you change to end that cycle? The goal is to be an idea-shipping person.
• Try not to confuse confidence with delusion.
• Prefer dry, useful but dull ideas to consumer-friendly 'I would buy that' sort of things. A lot less competition and a lot more upside in the long run.
• Pick a budget. Pick a ship date. Honor both. Don't ignore either. No slippage, no overruns.
• Surround yourself with encouraging voices and incisive critics. It's okay if they're not the same people. Ignore both camps on occasion.
• Be grateful.
• Rise up to the opportunity, and do the idea justice.