The Next Level of Weather Information

Amy asks me to turn on New York 1 (channel 1) at least 3 times a day on weekends. Not because she's a huge fan of Lewis Dodley's monotone delivery ... but because the temperature is always listed on the bottom left of the screen and there is supposed to be a weather report every 10 minutes (except when you really want it - like when the dorky guy talks about his obsession with NYC Transit or "On Stage" are on...)

Anyway - there is something inherently missing from standard weather reports - and it's an idea Amy's had for some time. While it could be a business idea that I'm exposing to the world - I haven't really thought of a way to make money off of it - so if someone can think of a way to do it - and Amy can benefit from it -- then go for it!!

Here's the concept: Traditionally - a weather report will tell you:
  1. The Temperature
  2. Is it sunny, cloudy, or rainy?
  3. Wind conditions (on occasion)
As functioning adults - we then equate these 3 variables into our heads to figure out what clothes we are going to where for the day. If it's 80 degrees and sunny - well then Amy knows she can wear shorts, a tank-top, and flip-flops ... That's easy. If it's 20 degrees and snowing - well then Amy knows she should wear a cashmere sweater, leggings, boots and her "big dog" down coat ... That's easy too...

What I don't think is as easy (especially for women) is when it's 52 degrees in the morning, but could get up to 70 for the day - and it may rain later on ... What should they wear?

My solution is to simply create a large database of clothing options (cotton sweater vs. cashmere, wool pants vs. cotton, etc) and match them up with appropriate conditions (No leather jacket when it's raining, 50 degrees = long-sleeve shirt + sweater, etc) ... You could then match all of the conditions with clothing options to come up with what's appropriate. When the traditional weather reporters gave the traditional conditions - it could automatically be cross-referenced with the appropriate clothing index?

Look - it's obviously not a debilitating loss not having this information - and clearly people have gotten by just fine without it - but I do think people will find it a lot more useful than the current information that's given...


Longest Craps Roll of All-Time

Quick story that blew my mind today ...

This past Saturday night in Atlantic City - a woman who played Craps for only the 2nd time - apparently broke the record for longest craps roll of all time. The news story said she rolled for 4 HOURS and 18 MINUTES! (for non-savvy craps players, think of an average "roll" lasting 3 or 4 rolls - or roughly 1 minute ...)

The news story mentioned that the woman came to the table with $100 - but it didn't say what she (or the fellow players at the table) left with (had to be thousands of dollars... had to be!)
... It's stories like this that all people who enjoy playing craps dream of...



Amy and I moved this past week.

The obvious statement here is that "moving sucks" (although interestingly enough my sister told me earlier this week that she "loves moving" ... so maybe not such an obvious statement)

Anyway - this was the first time Amy moved in over 8 years - and only the 2nd time in 10 years for me ... Needless to say - I was not looking forward to the actual process of moving - and was very much looking forward to it being over.

We are still getting settled (have a bunch of boxes to unpack, things to organize, hang, etc), but the actual move was not bad at all ... I mean ... We ended up paying a company (FlatRate) to pack us up and move us. I just sat there while they were packing up and instructed them what goes/stays/etc.

We are all about saving money where we can ... but honestly ... there was about a $250 difference between having the Flatrate movers pack us vs. us doing the packing ... I'm not rich - but I think that is money well spent. We've been unpacking for 2 days - and guess what ... I would pay someone $250 to unpack, set-up electronics, etc. in a heartbeat.
* So I wrote the above before this Memorial Day weekend ... (After the fact - I realize that it would be difficult to have someone truly unpack for you - unless of course that person is a professional organizer like Barb).

We moved to a new area - so there's a lot of new stuff to get used to - apartment, building, neighborhood, commute to work, etc., but we spent a lot of time setting up our place this weekend - and we both feel great about the move...


Eminem - Relapse

For any hip-hop loyalists who read this blog - when Eminem's new album "Relapse" comes out next week (5/19).... GET IT!

It's been a very long time since I've gotten a hip-hop album and haven't been able to stop listening to it. That is definitely the case with this album.

He talks about a lot of the same topics in all the songs - but the production/execution of the album is just really really solid. I've been hooked since I got my hands on the tracks - and if you're a fan - you'll feel the same way...

If you're a "hip-hop fan" who is more into the songs on the radio -- I can't promise that you'll love the album - but the tracks already available on iTunes are definitely the "commercial tracks" - so you can probably just buy those songs and be satisfied.

BIG FAN! Enjoy!


2 Television Insights regarding Major League Baseball 2009

Growing up in South Florida (pre-dating the Marlins), I didn't grow up the biggest baseball fan. I did LOVE the 1986 Mets (I lived in NY in '86) - but that was about it...These days the lack of a "hometown team" hasn't hampered my desire to follow Major League Baseball - it's just evolved it to be 100% focused on my Fantasy Baseball teams.

As I've mentioned before on this blog - I definitely root for both NY teams because I think NYC is much more enjoyable when both teams are in the hunt (people are definitely more friendly when this is the case).

Anyway - I follow baseball activities daily (both online and on TV) - and I wanted to comment on 2 baseball related television notes...

1) I really really like MLB Network (In HD).
There is always something so relaxing about falling asleep to a baseball game - but with MLB Network - I can now fall asleep to a culmination of baseball games (They have plenty of "live look-ins" because they own the content) and highlights/box scores (which fits in really well to my fantasy-based interest). I think some of the "analysts" are annoying (such as Mitch Williams and Joe Magrane) - but some I really like (such as Al Leiter and Harold Reynolds)... For the most part - I've really enjoyed turning in and winding down as I go to sleep. I recommend it for any baseball fan...

2) I really like Dave Winfield on Baseball Tonight.
Overall - I've been spending more time watching the MLB Network over Baseball Tonight because I found it more fantasy friendly, but when I know Dave Winfield is on - I definitely check out Baseball Tonight. My first-gut opinion is that he's very well-spoken and has TONS of great insight as a long-time ball player... Again - if he's on ... Check him out and let me know what you think.


"The Next Google"

About a week ago, a co-worker came back from a conference and proclaimed that there was a lot of rumblings at the event that "Twitter was going to replace Google" and she really thought the speaker was on to something ... I have respect for the co-worker, but my first reaction was a simple - "What? Wow - I just lost a lot of respect for you..."

I'll first say that this clearly wasn't a nice way to start a discussion - and to that note - I didn't genuinely mean it. Let me explain..

I started working at Google in 2003, before it went public and right before the hype of all hype of IPOs. Throughout the first few years - I could not read the NY Times or WSJ without seeing multiple stories about Google. (BTW - this was first-hand lesson that you can NEVER trust 100% what's in the paper - even if it is one of the apparent reputable ones) ... Anyway - Google was (and is) a huge business success. With this success comes the naysayers and the ever-popular game of "who's next." I can't tell you how many stories I've read over the years that have proclaimed that XYZ company (icerocket, Kanoodle, myspace, etc) was the "next Google." So - yes - when someone says that XYZ company is the "next Google" I'm touchy and defensive on the subject.

Facebook, Twitter, and tons of other companies are innovative and unique in their own ways... I'm sure they'd love to be as successful as Google one day - but right now - they are not there yet...The argument for Twitter replacing Google went as follows:
1) Mobile devices will dwarf PCs in the future in terms of ways to connecting online (I agree).
2) Twitter is far more mobile friendly than Google (I agree it is today - but don't think that means too much)
3) Social connections are a growing way that consumers are getting recommendations, etc. (I agree).
4) Algorithmic search will be secondary to social search in the future (sometimes - yes - but not always and definitely not for everyone around the world).

Anyway - those 4 points are the crux of the argument. And as you can see -- I agree with some of the facets. But I don't see how anyone can think any of it means that Twitter will replace Google.

There is a lot that makes Google ridiculously unique - but at the core to it's success is the business model. I've never seen a business scenario where EVERYONE involved (Consumer, advertiser, publisher, and platform) are happy with the outcome consistently. In the Google ecosystem - they are ... Google creates holistic satisfaction (well - not everyone - but 95% of those that interact with it) Google focuses on the end users happiness - but the fact that advertisers and publishers are happy too - definitely doesn't hurt. Google does this GLOBALLY in both highly connected countries (more mature) and not (with tons of growth opportunity). What about Twitter? How is their business model set-up? How many satisfied paying customers does it have? Is it able to put ~$1B in the bank every quarter (for the last 8 quarters+)?

I think Search will evolve - but Google will evolve with it. The company knows that search in 2009 is a fraction of what "The ultimate search experience" will be. I drink the kool-aid - but yes - I think the resources at Google's disposal will allow it to be the leader in search - whether on a PC or elsewhere...whether it's algorithmic, vertical, or social search.

So - in summary - until the business questions are answered - I don't see anyone joining the online business success ranks of Google. It is bound to happen some day. I would just recommend that before any journalist or speaker at a conference say that some company is going to replace or is the next Google - that they stay away from the hypothetical. The proven business model is obviously something that evolves over time - and while I have confidence that Google will continue it's success - that doesn't mean that someone else can't/won't come up with something better. I just haven't seen it yet...