Monday, October 31, 2005

A Little Hometown Love

Olson's heroics thrill Piedmont crowd

UCLA quarterback Drew Olson is creating quite a stir in the quiet, affluent East Bay city of Piedmont.

As an slightly older Piedmonter, I can say that Drew's been creating a stir in Pidemont for a long, long time. Even before his older brother, Eric, played quarterback for then-archrival Bishop O'Dowd in the fall of 1993, Drew Olson was a name that people in Piedmont knew. And if he's 22(?) now, he was a 10-year-old in 1993. Either Piedmont was a small town, or Drew was a tremendous talent even then - I think it's probably a little bit of both.

Anyway, best of luck to Drew at UCLA and beyond.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


BeyondVC: Web 2.0 Bubble

Frankly I do not care if you are Web 2.0, Web 1.0, etc. All I care about is what your service or product does, why it is valuable to the end user, why it is uniquely different from the competition, what the barriers to entry are, and how you plan on reaching your customers and how you will ultimately make money.

Well said.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Sad Day for the A's

A's announcer Bill King passes away

...after 25 seasons of broadcasting A's games-beginning with the "Billy Ball" teams of the early 80's, continuing with the "Bash Brothers" era that saw the A's make three consecutive World Series appearances from 1988-90 and transitioning to the talented A's teams of present day, King took his place alongside the game's great announcers, both past and present.

Bill King was fantastic. He will be missed dearly by A's fans everywhere.

Sunday, October 16, 2005


Meet the Life Hackers - New York Times

The researchers took 15 volunteers, sat each one in front of a regular-size 15-inch monitor and had them complete a variety of tasks designed to challenge their powers of concentration - like a Web search, some cutting and pasting and memorizing a seven-digit phone number. Then the volunteers repeated these same tasks, this time using a computer with a massive 42-inch screen, as big as a plasma TV.

The results? On the bigger screen, people completed the tasks at least 10 percent more quickly - and some as much as 44 percent more quickly. They were also more likely to remember the seven-digit number, which showed that the multitasking was clearly less taxing on their brains.

Everyone here at TheLadders has two screens, except for the designers who have Macs. They just have one massive screen each. I'm now so spoiled by having a decent amount of screen real estate -- I can barely get anything done when I use my laptop at home.

I'd like to think that the amount of work we're able to accomplish with our multiple screens has helped us build a better job search engine and will keep people coming back to TheLadders the next time they need a Job.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

New College Football Ranking System

[physics/0505169] A network-based ranking system for American college football

American college football faces a conflict created by the desire to stage national championship games between the best teams of a season when there is no conventional playoff system to decide which those teams are. Instead, ranking of teams is based on their record of wins and losses during the season, but each team plays only a small fraction of eligible opponents, making the system underdetermined or contradictory or both. It is an interesting challenge to create a ranking system that at once is mathematically well-founded, gives results in general accord with received wisdom concerning the relative strengths of the teams, and is based upon intuitive principles, allowing it to be accepted readily by fans and experts alike. Here we introduce a one-parameter ranking method that satisfies all of these requirements and is based on a network representation of college football schedules.

This is fantastic stuff. Now, how about we use these rankings to determine the 16 teams to play in a 4-round playoff...

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Cool Mappings

Radical Cartography has some pretty cool maps:

Place-Name Etymology

Area Codes, over time

Interesting stuff...

Monday, October 10, 2005

Founders, a Perspective from a VC

A VC: Founders

Founders contribute something to companies that is very special. It's the core DNA of most companies. Many founders step aside at some point from the CEO role. Many times that happens at the urging of the VCs. Many times they do it on their own, recognizing that they don't enjoy actually running a company.

But the tricky part is keeping the founders engaged and involved once they'd stepped down from the CEO role.


But how do you get someone of the caliber of Jerry Yang or David Filo to stick around and keep working on moving the company forward.

I saw this at HotJobs (CEO/Founder Richard Johnson left the company and quickly disengaged) and I co-founded a start-up myself, so these questions feel particularly relevant. I agree wholeheartedly with Fred - the importance of the CEO/Founder's vision and enthusiasm cannot be underestimated. Marc is unlikely to toot his own horn on this one, so let me do so here: Toot! to the CEO of the worlds best $100k+ job search engine.

Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Farewell Macha - MLB - Beane bounces Macha as A's manager

"Oakland Athletics manager Ken Macha was out of a job Wednesday after failing to reach an agreement on a new contract, general manager Billy Beane said."

I never felt too strongly about Macha one way or the other, but I know plenty of folks did. Here's hoping the next Oakland manager can be more successful...