December 2010

How to not dominate

Some good tips on how to be respectful when you come from a dominant culture: Tools for White Guys who are Working for Social Change. Good ideas for everyone, really. And here’s a set of good reminders about [what racial and cultural privilege looks like](

Notes from A Technique for Producing Ideas by James Young

[A Technique for Producing Ideas by James Young]( A good friend and great designer pointed me to this book, a pithy summary of James Young’s learnings from years in advertising. After reading [Steven Johnson’s extended treatise on the subject](, this resonated with me personally much more. *Looking around* > I venture to suggest that, for…more

Notes from Where Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson

(I’ve started reading more books on the Kindle; this is an experiment to see how well clipping and sharing highlights from there works. The numbers after each quote are the Kindle “locations”.) [Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation by┬áSteven Johnson]( *How ideas happen* > The adjacent possible is a kind of…more

The Walker Library of Human Imagination

Best. Museum. Ever. The Walker Library of Human Imagination. Jay Walker, founder of, has collected an amazing set of items that represent human ingenuity. 3 stories, mood lighting, carefully curated for maximum creative stimulus. At TED 2008, he gave a historical walkthrough of some of his favorites. What I like most is that this…more


DropCopy is a cool utility to drag and drop files to other computers on your network (for instance, while sitting next to someone and frustrated about emailing files to each other). Also, feels like magic.

Magnetic water bottle

This magnetic water bottle and mount seems like an elegant solution for cycling.

We’re all Pete

> In describing [Mad Men], Matthew Weiner has said: “We’d all like to be Don but actually we are all Pete.” From [a long and interesting interview with Vincent Kartheiser](, who plays Pete Campbell on the show.

The Groupon voice

For anyone impressed by [Groupon](’s copywriting (today’s SF offer, “Faces act as gatekeepers for incoming food and outgoing laughter, giving them the power to leave our bodies half-starved or bloated with unreleased giggles.”) and the fact that they can turn out unique copy for hundreds of cities every day, check out [their public “voice guide”](,…more

Design lessons from pinball

I went to a very cool underground pinball hall in Zurich tonight for a friend’s going away party. While there I noticed a number of interesting design choices that make for a good pinball experience. * Give people lots of points: nearly every action in pinball gets you thousands of points. Simply shoot the ball…more

YouTube Trends

One of the best parts of working at YouTube was the daily “trend” emails, which identified the videos about to become big hits, using a secret algorithm. Now that resource is public, with YouTube Trends. Good thing it’s the weekend; I’ll be in here a while.