I think a minimum wage makes about as much sense as having a maximum wage. Yes, I understand all the reasons for why minimum wage came about, and I think there is a need to limit//prevent collusion and exploitation. But, setting these limits artificially imposes restrictions on what a “job” can be. If I have a very easy task (eg. I want to hire someone to give me a high five every hour, on the hour), I either have to skirt the law paying them under the table, or value this service at a government-imposed wage. Being a law-abiding American, I wouldn’t circumvent the Federal and State laws, and I also do not believe this service is worth the $9.36 minimum wage of San Francisco. Therefore - as a business owner - I am unable to create this job for anyone, nor can I have the service I require provided.
“Well said, Jessica. Even $5/hour leaves someone working 40 hours a week with $200 to live off - near-impossible as a single person, let alone someone supporting a family.” - miss-r
Q: What about the homeless guy who can’t get hired for the $5/hour minimum wage job, but would be qualified for a $3 an hour job?
A: He will have no job, because no $3 jobs exist. He will dig through trash cans for empty bottles and pizza crusts.
Q: But that’s not fair. It is my belief that no one should have to dig through trash cans.
A: Then why do you advocate laws that make digging through trash cans inevitable? Why do you eliminate the role of the least skilled people in the economy? Why do you insist that the ladder have no bottom rung?
Q: Nobody’s talking about ladders. I’m talking about the basic human right of a well-paying job.
A: What about the right to earn a living that, while meager, is better than no living at all?
Q: Easy for you to say! You’ve made plenty of money — you’re just trying to squeeze every last penny out of the underpriviledged!
A: I’ve made plenty of money because I’m good at evaluating complex systems and understanding how they could be made more efficient. There is an inefficiency here that hurts everyone. It bothers me because it could so easily be reversed, because it causes so much misery, and because it makes the economy worse off for me! But nobody wants to learn basic economics, so they go on repeating the same reality-denying mistakes that have been made, putting forth an agenda that cannot work but sure does sound nice.
“Everyone talks about “monetizing eyeballs.” We all know that if you can amass a giant audience, you can make a fortune selling them off to the highest bidder. Google this. YouTube that. Rupert Murdoch macking on up on the Facebook. So if all these people are willing to pay out the nose to try to sell Adjustable-Rate Mortgages, Dating Services and Credit Cards to your audience, it begs a question. If they think they can sell something to my audience, why can’t I sell something to my audience?”—
"Beginning next Tuesday, Shvarts will be displaying her senior art project, a documentation of a nine-month process during which she artificially inseminated herself "as often as possible" while periodically taking abortifacient drugs to induce miscarriages. Her exhibition will feature video recordings of these forced miscarriages as well as preserved collections of the blood from the process."
“MultiScreener is a set of freeware applications that synchronize the playback of quicktime movies on multiple computers, using a local network to tie them all together.
It is intended for multi-screen video walls, multichannel art installations, and the like. (It’s an alternative to Pioneer DVD Players and expensive synchronizer hardware.) There are two applications: Server and Client. The server plays a movie and sends position information over the network. Each client compares its position to the server’s and changes its playback speed to compensate.”
“The round-trip journey, which will cost taxpayers about $100,000 for fuel alone, has become as much of a tradition as the ceremonial pitch on Opening Day… They must rely on a military ground controller inside Fenway, who will radio them when the anthem starts. Then they will set their “Time Over Target” computers for 80 seconds, the normal length of the anthem, descend from about 10,000 feet over the Cambridge area, and fly in at half the speed of sound.”—Boston.com (via pile)
The next big thing in alt-rock is going to be big bands. I don’t mean ‘Big Band’, I mean bands with lots of folks up on stage, and more complex arrangements, think Anathallo, Arcade Fire, Sufjan Stevens, etc.
Other than Microsoft’s Flight Simulator, I don’t play any games on my computer, and I only have a handful of titles for my XBox 360. Needless to say, I’m not much of a gamer. Regardless, I am hugely interested in product-centric companies — those that have integrity and quality built throughout. The article, 11 Innovation Lessons From Creators of World of Warcraft, discusses Blizzards strategy towards development, and breaks those eleven lessons into subjects like, “Demand excellence or you’ll get mediocrity,” “Statistics bolster experience,” “The importance of frequent failures,” and the value in scrapping work to “go back to the drawing board” in favor of user experience over artificial constraints.
While I don’t play WoW myself, it’s easy to see how the Blizzard mindset has been able to create the most popular game of all time. Kudos Blizzard!
Normally I enjoy Valleywag for its irreverent attitude (and consequently, perceptive insight) to the Valley’s echo chamber, but, as I was going through the 100+ posts in Google Reader that accumulated from the ‘wag while I was in Tahoe this week, I came across a profile-esque post of an entrepreneur named Patricia Handschiegel who recently sold her company, StyleDiary.
It’s reassuring to read about other entrepreneurs whose professional style, and business outlook I can identify with, as well as find inspiring. I have excerpted some of the bullet points from the Valleywag article.
Focus on numbers. StyleDiary “might have not had MySpace level traffic,” Handschiegel says, but because StyleDiary kept focus on its topic, a “60 percent return rate and average session time of something like 30 minutes” was plenty attractive for potential buyers. As is talking stats, not style.
Promote yourself and the company carefully. Potential buyers wouldn’t know about StyleDiary if Handschiegel hadn’t made them aware. But self-promotion is tricky, especially for women. “Whoring yourself out and bouncing around the parties” isn’t the way to do it, Handschiegel says. Neither is “Twittering 100 times a day.” Actually, this advice applies equally to men.
Accumulate real advisors, not Facebook “friends.” ”I was sort of mentored by two really successful serial entrepreneurs. I spent six or seven years working with them, watching what they did, how they conducted themselves.”
In conversations, add information, not just your voice. The best way to counter people’s assumptions about female entrepreneurs — namely, that since you’re a girl, you won’t know anything — is by contributing to discussions online and off with actual knowledge. For a specific example, Handschiegel started talking about IP packets. I didn’t follow, but she sounded way smarter than most of thewantrepreneurs I hang out with in Manhattan.
Don’t spend. StyleDiary was easier to sell, Handschiegel says, because it was “self-funded, debt free and cash flow positive.” Any tricks to keeping it so lean? Things to avoid spending on: “Office, office supplies: things that make you feel like you’re doing something.” Also: “A lot of girl entrepreneurs go bananas thinking they’ll make money. I would never spend the $3k it’d take me to be at SXSW just to party there.”
I love the fact that Web software has become more social. Being able to see what music my friends are listening to on Last.fm or what they’re up to on Twitter has enriched my life and helped me get to know my friends and colleagues in ways I may not have before.
With these new applications, however, comes disconnect. Our data is on dozens of sites and for some it may be hard to keep track of every little thing you do online.
THAT IS OK.
If I am subscribed to your Twitter feed and not to your blog, it probably means I think what you’re writing is shit and I don’t want to waste my time on it. I do, however, find your tweets to be interesting, so please keep on Twittering.
I think we are at a point where this stuff is still being worked out. In a way, it’s like when a new design style is introduced. How many sites are now using that awful Lightbox technique (even PocketTweets.com does)? We feel some sort of internal need to share every single bit of our lives through every avenue we are afforded to ensure that every single person we’re connected to sees what we do.
Rest assured. You are not that important.
There should be a set of best practices for social software usage. If it did exist, I’m sure it would go something like this.
Your Twitter friends do not care when you have a new blog post, update your Flickr or post a new link to del.icio.us.
If you do have a link that is relevant to a discussion that points to your blog, it’s OK to cross-post it. Stay on topic.
Your Tumblr subscribers do not want to be updated everytime you post a new tweet on Twitter.
Your friends will find you on the sites they are interested in joining. You don’t need to spam other sites with crossed data.
(Bonus) Sending over 200 messages on Twitter in a span of 3 hours is completely unacceptable and an abuse of your status.
It’s my hope that sites like SocialThing and FriendFeed eliminate the prevalence of this annoying habit of cross-polluting multiple sites with the same content. Until then, I’ll just keep hitting my unsubscribe button on the overzealous few.