Woot.com Email Marketing Copy from 2008

“Good day American taxpayer, complments of the season to YOu. Please allow me to introduce myself I am Mr. Henry PAULSON very high official of United States Treasury of United States, Washington, USA. I please to be writing you this day because someone of our mutual acquaintance Mr. BERNANKE vouch for you as trustworthy and gullible individual of high moral standards.

“Through no fault of my own I am come to hard straits and although I am a proud man and father, I must beseech your partnership in resolution, an urgent and vexing matter. Through malfeasance and rascality, certain individuals of my close acquaintance have sabotage national banking system, hence an imminent disaster will befall if I am unable to secure the amount of $700,000,000,000 DOLLARS U.S with all utmost haste. This amount is currently being held by millions of fellow Americans but thus far these scoundrels refuse to release the money to me on grounds of that it is not mine infact.

“Therefore I must, find a partner who can assist in the collection of this funds with, advance fee of $179.99 DOLLARS U.S a nominal amount I am sure you will agree. In return for you cooperation I am authorized to release as a token of my good faith to you one iRobot Scooba Floor Washing Robot, can thoroughly clean a floor with FOUR (4) cleaning stages, prep,wash,scrub,dry,
and include one bottle of 8 OZ. (8 ounce) Scooba Juice cleaning fluid. This robots can follow walls and crisscroos rooms without need of human agency. Not to be use on carpet, laminate, stone of course I am sure you understand. for such price you would not expect to buy such Scooba but I, can assure you.”

Raising a Moral Child

The shame-prone toddlers avoided the researcher and did not volunteer that they broke the doll. The guilt-prone toddlers were more likely to fix the doll, approach the experimenter, and explain what happened. The ashamed toddlers were avoiders; the guilty toddlers were amenders.

If we want our children to care about others, we need to teach them to feel guilt rather than shame when they misbehave.


Read the Entire Essay on NYTimes.com

In the past, much of the public interest in diversity has focused on issues of fairness and representation. More recently, however, there has been a rising interest in the benefits of diversity.

In the common understanding, diversity in a group of people refers to differences in their demographic characteristics, cultural identities and ethnicity, and training and expertise. Advocates of diversity in problem-solving groups claim a linkage among these sorts of diversity (which we will refer to as identity diversity) and what we might call functional diversity, differences in how people represent problems and how they go about solving them. Given that linkage, they conclude that, because of their greater functional diversity, identity-diverse groups can outperform homogeneous groups (4-6).

Vinod Khosla interviews Larry Page & Sergey Brin.

Got tired of Evernote and upgraded to Paper—better input UI, crashes less.

Got tired of Evernote and upgraded to Paper—better input UI, crashes less.

Uber’s Algorithmic Monopoly: “We are not setting the price. The market is setting the price. We have algorithms to determine what that market is.”


That’s a remarkable quote from the CEO of Uber.

Uber of course is a cab service that lets you order a cab from your smartphone via an App. It’s really neat, you get to watch the cab approach on a map, the payment is automatically applied so you don’t have to even deal with the transaction itself. The company is now taking its approach to logistics, and moving to ‘disrupt’ the delivery industry as well, competing with courier services, UPS, Fedex, and the Post Office. It’ll be interesting to see what happens there.

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Fantastic analysis. I believe that Uber drivers will ultimately be classified as contractors to Uber––as opposed to employees of the company or contractors hired by the passenger––and that Uber will be help liable for what happens inside its cabs. 

Uber is a great service, but it is not marketplace. 

VCs aren’t unintelligent. Nor are VCs evil (not all of them anyway). They’re not even necessarily misaligned with you. What they are doing is optimizing for a very specific outcome.

Share that alignment, or don’t take their money.

“There is no place with more experienced mentors than Silicon Valley.”

A Better, More Human Approach to Management

He started spending one-on-one meetings talking to his reports about their lives, instead of their tasks, and productivity shot through the roof. “When you sit across a table from someone, ask them ‘What’s going on in your life?’ That will always remove more hurdles than asking them ‘What’s blocking you at work?’” he said. He started taking his reports out to lunch, to drinks, to coffee to see what was up. How was their wife settling into her new job? Did escrow close on their new house? This is the stuff that people bring into work with them but never talk about, Stirman says. As soon as you ask, the pressure starts to dissipate.

This more human approach starting paying off in other, less expected ways too. “I’d hear that someone on my team had a problem with someone on another team that brought everything to a standstill – just because they didn’t like each other. I thought, what if I just got them in a room together and we all talked about everything except the problem at hand? When we did, we got some casual conversation going, they discovered some similarities, and by the end of the hour they were talking about how to solve their issues. This was a conflict that literally kept me up at night, and as soon as there was space for them to connect as people, it was fixed.”