Love Will Tear Us Apart – Joy Division

Last week I asked out loud on twitter for some favorite bass lines. Mine was The Real Me by The Who. My friend Raj called out Love Will Tear Us Apart. Good call. So that’s my song of the day.

Fifteen years ago she said yes

Lauren and I have been married 15 years as of today.

We were both pretty young when we married. I was 26 and Lauren was 25. Our first place together was a 900 square foot apartment in Cole Valley, SF.

Since then a lot has changed. We’ve grown a bunch, ended up moving across country, started a family, and work changed a lot too.

But with all this change the one thing that has remained is this connection I’ve got with Lauren. If anything it’s gotten better over the years. That’s the only way I can describe it.

Anyway I’m just glad she said “yes”.


A taste of Mexico’s healthcare system

This week is winter school vacation for our kids so we are down in Mexico.

Yesterday my daughter Ellie bumped her head pretty hard at the pool and ended up needing a couple of stitches (small cut but kinda deep). I felt so bad for her but she’s a remarkable kid. If it happened to me I would have milked this injury for more sympathy but she’s already back in the pool today :)

It was our first taste of a healthcare system outside of the United States. Clearly this is only one data point but here’s how it went down from a healthcare point of view:

Ambulance. The hotel called an ambulance for us. Came to the hotel in about 10 minutes. Driver was helpful, friendly and informative. Took 20 minutes to drive from the hotel to the hospital. Cost: $60 round trip.

Hospital. The hospital and emergency room were clean and professional. Ellie was seen by a doctor within 40 minutes of arriving at the ER. They saw a few other patients in the emergency room and the staff did a good job prioritizing which patients needed care first. Cost of emergency room and two stiches, $900.

Medicine. The doctor told us to pick up antibiotics for Ellie to avoid any risk of infection from the initial cut. Ellie is allergic to the default type of antibiotics so the doctor gave us an alternative. Cost: $40 which included a service charge because the pharmacy dropped it off at the the hotel. It took just two hours for the medicine to arrive after calling it in.

Naturally, I’m not thrilled that Ellie was hurt but I’m grateful that it wasn’t serious. Mexico’s healthcare system took good care of her.

The reason why google makes so much money

This post is crazy obvious to many but I need to write it down anyway.

I received an email from a founder telling me about his startup.

The email starts out saying “the reason google makes so much money is because they capture intent”

Then because they capture your intention they can sell ads that are contextual and relevent.

We’ve heard this countless times and yes it’s true.

But here’s the real reason google makes so much money: their search engine works fast and amazingly well even as the number of web pages and spammers have exploded in recent years.

Everything else is only true because their search product is so excellent.

This rule of building something amazing and at scale is the pre requisite. Otherwise it doesn’t matter how you monetize (ads, virtual goods, subscription, a la carte, etc).

There were so many skeptics about facebook’s ability to monetize. The haters would say : they can’t monetize, it’s all UGC, they don’t capture intent. Blah blah blah. Today FB does over $100M a month in revenue. A month! Now I’m not a big Facebook user. It doesn’t work for me but clearly it works for many.

So before you get locked in on the business model make sure the product just works and blows people away.

(please excuse any typos. Wrote this post on my iPhone)

Four apps I want on my iPhone

Like many folks, I have a ton of apps on my iPhone. I’ve written about my favorite ones in the past. There are so many good ones.

This morning I thought I would take a different approach and jot down four apps I want on my iPhone someday:

1 – A lightweight to do app that syncs (fast) with a web service.

There is an app i use to keep track of notes called Simplenote. Simplenote does exactly what it’s supposed to do without any extra bells or whistles. And it syncs really fast with their web version. I need the same thing for to dos. All the To Do apps I’ve tried on the iphone are either too slow, include too many features or sync poorly if at all to a web version. The best i’ve found to date is an app called ToDo – but it has too many features and the sync takes too long.

2 – Native gmail. Gmail in a browser (w/gears) is the only way to go. I love keyboard shortcuts, send/archive and conversation/threading. But those don’t exist when you use the iPhone mail client with gmail. Is it possible to create a native gmail app for iPhone?

3 – Batch photo uploader to Flickr. Maybe it’s just me but I can’t seem to upload multiple photos at once with the latest Flickr iPhone app. The app either times out or crashes. I want a simple app where I select multiple photos, press one button and copy them to Flickr.

4 – Disqus. I love the Disqus commenting service. Disqus powers the comments on my blog. It’s solid, handles spam well, has the best UI for comments and it allows me to reply to comments via email. But my inbox, like yours, is a mess. And sometimes I just want to read/reply to comments without dealing with my inbox. A disqus iPhone app would be a great way to get caught up with comments (on my blog and other blogs) and could provide an easy way to like, delete, tweet, mark as spam or respond.

Okay, I know I said four apps but here’s a bonus one :)

5. GDGT. gdgt is my social network for all things gadgets. I’d love to see a GDGT iPhone app in the near future.

That’s it for now.