Ich sehe den Bäumen die Stürme an,
die aus laugewordenen Tagen
an meine ängstlichen Fenster schlagen,
und höre die Fernen Dinge sagen,
die ich nicht ohne Freund ertragen,
nicht ohne Schwester lieben kann.
Da geht der Sturm, ein Umgestalter,
geht durch den Wald und durch die Zeit,
und alles ist wie ohne Alter:
die Landschaft, wie ein Vers im Psalter,
ist Ernst und Wucht und Ewigkeit.
Wie ist das klein, womit wir ringen,
was mit uns ringt, wie ist das groß;
ließen wir, ähnlicher den Dingen,
uns so vom großen Sturm bezwingen, -
wir würden weit und namenlos.
Was wir besiegen, ist das Kleine,
und der Erfolg selbst macht uns klein.
Das Ewige und Ungemeine
will nicht von uns gebogen sein.
Das ist der Engel, der den Ringern
des Alten Testaments erschien:
wenn seiner Widersacher Sehnen
im Kampfe sich metallen dehnen,
fühlt er sie unter seinen Fingern
wie Saiten tiefer Melodien.
Wen dieser Engel überwand,
welcher so oft auf Kampf verzichtet,
der geht gerecht und aufgerichtet
und groß aus jener harten Hand,
die sich, wie formend, an ihn schmiegte.
Die Siege laden ihn nicht ein.
Sein Wachstum ist: der Tiefbesiegte
von immer Größerem zu sein.
– Rainer Maria Rilke
10-08-2011 @ 2017 (As Seen On)
“All the mental energy that you use to elaborate your misery would be far better used trying to find the one, seemingly impossible way out of your current mess. It’s best to spend zero time on what you could have done and all of your time on what you might do. Because in the end, nobody cares, just run your company.”
Source: Ben Horowitz’s blog
@ 2016 (As Seen On)
06-17-2011 @ 1416 (As Seen On)
A few weeks ago, I was listening to some old Freakonomics Radio podcasts, which included one about “the thrill of customization“. I ended up Googling my way to some old articles about Tim Westergren and Pandora — which now are even more interesting in light of their recent IPO.
Schadler thinks Pandora has potential–if it can “match sonic snippets in a way that allows them to make stronger recommendations, that’s the holy grail”–but worries about its ability to monetize the service. The subscription fee may be a hurdle, he says, especially since you have to pay extra to buy music. And the company will probably have to strike deals with a bunch of destination sites–buying ads on Google, hooking up with a cell-phone provider, or licensing the technology to Yahoo–if it really wants to grow.
Yahoo, of course, has its own matching service and although Kennedy dismisses Yahoo’s technology as the “warehouse of choice” approach, he concedes that it could be a formidable competitor.
For his part, Kennedy is beyond coy with his company’s numbers (he learned his lesson after boasting about traffic on eLoan, his alma mater, then being forced to try to match it quarter after quarter). But he insists that “everything is exceeding the high end of our expectations for the launch.” He anticipates rolling out a free, ad-supported version of the service in the near future, and suggests that Pandora may soon go after another round of funding to fuel expansion plans.
The question was how to make money with this thing. In 2000, Westergren pitched the company as an e-commerce site that would recommend music based on the genome, and in March he raised $1.5 million in venture capital. Two weeks later, the stock market crashed, rendering an underfunded e-commerce site a very bad idea. The next four years saw a plethora of different business plans for Pandora. “The first day I started, I sat down with Tim and I said tell me about the product,” says Dan Lythcott-Haims, who joined Westergren in 2000 and is now Pandora’s creative director. “He said, ‘No, you tell us about the product.’ There was no product, just a loose idea.”
It’s not the first time things haven’t gone as planned and it won’t be the last. “I’ve never, ever given up, even when we were in the most depressive bleak times,” he says. “I always thought it was a good idea and would have a day.”
@ 0600 (As Seen On)
Current valuations of dot.com shares seem to assume that they are going to grab a huge chunk of market share from existing firms. Yet history suggests that the gains from technological revolutions often go to unexpected quarters. The biggest winners from America’s railway boom were small firms and farmers who benefited from the opening up of the continent. It is a sobering thought that 99% of the 5,000 railway companies that once existed in America are no longer around. The same is true of 2,000 car firms. And according to a study by Goldman Sachs, profits and share prices of the early electricity firms were disappointing, despite the industry’s profound effect on the economy.
This time, it is said, will be different.
06-15-2011 @ 1128 (As Seen On)
Top left: Never actually trying anything.
Bottom left: World’s biggest bum.
Top right: Progress.
05-31-2011 @ 0608 (As Seen On)