This isn't web related at all, but it's a superhydrophobic spray-on coating that repels water, mud, ice and other liquids. Say what? Yeah it's as crazy as it sounds. Just watch. It's like science fiction!
I've only been to San Francisco once, but it left a huge impression on me. The landscape and fog were pretty magical. But this. This video take it to another level. I've never seen fog swell and crash like the ocean. Pull this up full screen, turn up the sound and get ready to be amazed.
Nate and I became internet friends with Allan Branch & Steve Bristol of LessEverything about 6 years ago when they wrote a short post about our “Don't Hire Us” page. Many tweets and recriprocal blog posts later, we finally got to meet them at their second LessConf. And we found an even closer friendship with those guys. They totally got us.
Back to LessConf, though - we really enjoyed that conference and came back every year after that, but I think it wasn't until the 5th and final one last week that I fully understood what LessConf was.
You see, Allan & Steve like to make a spectacle. They know how to create things that people talk about. Seven hour hugs on stage. Gourmet popsicles. Milk and cookie breaks. Complimentary massages. The list could go on. Trust me.
This has been out for a while, but it's still super cool. IdeaPaint CLEAR lets you create a whiteboard on top of any wall without turning it white! So if you have a rad neon orange wall that you'd like to be able to write on with dry erase markers this will make it happen. It's not cheap, but if your high end hipster office needs some functionality on top of the meticulously chosen colored walls go get some IdeaPaint!
In case you hadn't heard, we're shooting for this year to be our Best Year Everat FortySeven Media. While we were doing our planning for 47m, Kicktastic and Bright Newt with Austin, he pulled out a curious looking, sprial bound notebook with a bullseye on the front. “What is this madness?” I asked and he replied, “Why, it's Seth Godin's planning workbook, of course!”
Being a Seth Godin fan I ordered the 4 pack immediately, but only recently got to sit down and look through them with my wife as we planned for this next year. It's a really simple concept, based on a program from Zig Ziglar - you take some time to identify goals that are the most important to you, make sure you are balancing between work, home, fitness, money, etc…, and then pick the 4 most important ones to work on for the next 12 weeks.
The book is setup for daily notes on each goal, and that's why I think it's such a great idea. Often wanting to do something like “start a new business,” or “loose weight,” take time. Lots of time. And it's easy to get discouraged or forget about it or get halfway done. But if you're spending at least a few minutes each day on your goal, then you can't help but make progress, right?
For those of you in the ExpressionEngine universe there was a lot of “hot drama” the beginning of this week. Brand new websites, sweeping licensing and support policy changes, taking down the whole Pro Network without any prior notice. I'm not going to try to analyze anything that EllisLab is doing because quite frankly their business is their business (see what I did there - you know you giggled).
However, I do think that this whole situation sheds light on the importance of building your own brand and not basing your business entirely on top of someone else's.
We've worked hard at FortySeven Media to create a brand that stands on it's own regardless of the CMS we use. We write on this blog, go to conferences, do silly web video shows, and all kinds of other projects that don't make money, but help build our brand. We also do great work for our clients and they spread the word.
And while we love ExpressionEngine, we don't just do EE development - we bring branding, design, marketing and consulting to the table as well. The technology is just a means to the end of an amazing final product for our customers. It's tempting to piggy back off of something like EE's success and build your business solely around it, but you have no control if they make drastic changes.
If the news this week is pulling the legs out from under you, maybe it's time to step back and focus more on your brand and how you're different from all those other EE shops.
But that's not the whole story. Because while our brand doesn't live or die by ExpressionEngine and web design work, a good chunk of our income does.
We’re currently doing some “interior” work on FortySeven Media - changing very fundamental things about how we work, collaborate and make money. We’ve basically done the same thing for quite a few years. Everything’s going ok. Why upend everything?
Because things were feeling too safe. We weren’t challenging ourselves nearly as much as we used to. And while incremental updates to processes and tools and contracts are fine, we got to a point where it was time to start fresh.
Inpiring talk by Adam Savage's talk at Maker Faire Bay Area 2012. He tells a great story about his Indiana Jones hat, how he got started building his obsessions, and why makers should embrace the things that they have no choice but to make.
Have you ever wanted to turn Play Doh into an old school NES controller? Or use your stairs as a piano? MaKey MaKey is for you. It's a simple circut board that plugs into your Computer via USB and uses alligator clips to pass the signal to your keyboard keys. Not only do I want one, but I think it opens up a world of possiblities for my kids to learn, make and create.
Currently MaKey MaKey is on Kickstarter and has blown way past their initial pledge goal so if you want one of these I'd suggest you do it fast before they have to cut it off. But seriously - banana piano!!
Nate and I had the pleasure of attending (and speaking) at ConvergeSE a few weeks ago, and while it's a little late for one of those “I take meticulous notes from every speaker and put them in one massive blog post” deals, I had to let everyone know what a great time we had.
Let's get this out of the way: ConvergeSE was by far the best conference we've been to. The talks were great, the workshops covered all sorts of interesting topics, but that paled in comparison to the people we met and the conversations that were had throughout the conference.
If you're tired of going all analog on your Moleskine notebook and want to embrace the new hotness, check out Paper for iPad. It's a free app with several brush types availble for in-app purchase, and it looks like it's a ton of fun to use. I have a lowly iPad 1, but if you managed to snag an iPad 3 with the massively hi-res display Paper will be sure to please. Oh, you might want to pick up a stylus, too.
Holy Smokes, you should watch this right now. Mixing up Tron, Dubstep, illuminated dancing and some genius coreography…it's just awesome. Checkout the thought and planning that must have gone into the jump cuts and part in the middle where they look like they're floating. So very cool.
I didn't think Ok Go's videos could get any crazier, but good grief. Watch this thing. How long did this take to setup? They basically drive by hundreds of chimes, guitars, pianos and makeshift drums banging on them to make music. It's rad.
You silly, nutty ok going guys. Just keep on blowing our minds with your video awesomeness.
When you build a new website, it's best to have a look at your old content and see what you could do better. One of those areas for us was pictures. We built the old site longe before I had a clue about photography so we thought we'd take some shiny new photos that really reflected our personalities. Here's what we have to show for it. Our families will surely be proud.
After I got my UP wristband several people asked me to let them know how it was working out. Now that I've had it for a month and a half I think I have a pretty good idea of how well it works. In my last post I said I was only interested in the activity and sleep cycle parts of the band and after using it that's still true. In all honesty, the food tracker isn't very helpful anyway.
Jawbone – the makers of fine bluetooth headsets – have expanded their product line to include Up. Official marketing copy is “Band + App Inspires healthy living.” Great, but what does it do? Quite a lot, actually! Thanks to a bunch of sensors inside this tiny wristband – and a simple iPhone app – it can track your activity and your sleep. It can also help track your eating habits and let you start up challenges with a friend, but I’m more interested in the first two.
Up can actually tell when you’ve been inactive for a certain period of time and buzz to remind you to get up and move around. Seeing as I sit in front of the computer all day and have tried setting little alarms to do this and failed miserably I’m excited by something that will just know when I need to get up and remind me. Added benefits of this are that it tracks a metric ton of other activity like steps, distance, intensity levels and even GPS so you can literally track how active or lazy you’ve been every day.
Do you know when to say no to a new job? I don’t either. But I’m learning.
First of all, why is it so hard to say no? Because we want people to like us? Because it’s easier to say yes? Because it avoids conflict? Probably yes to all of the above. No one likes to be the bad guy, right?
“But I might not get that job and have enough money to keep my lights on!” you say. “My client will get angry and fire me!”“Deep down I want everyone to love me!” A lofty, but unattainable goal. Get over it.