Where Should You Go When You Cut Work

Daytime-game Hey, Cameron. You realize if we played by the rules right now we’d be in gym?

-Ferris Bueller

Cut work.

Alert the powers that be early in the morning while the dew is still settling. Leave a message, be concise. You’re going to be lying, so just keep it simple maybe conjure up a nice stomach bug story to have in your back pocket for water cooler war stories.

In my studies I’ve found that the best day of a 5-day week to take off is Wednesday. An argument can be made for Thursday, but slicing your week down the middle by spending a Wednesday off the clock is the way to go.

If you are planning on playing hooky, you must first realize that opportunities like this one don’t come along very often.

So let us imagine you are planning to take Wednesday off. Let us also assume you’ve done the appropriate amount of legwork that goes into playing hooky. You’ve picked the right week and you can afford to be off the grid without screwing yourself.

Now that you’ve decided on the day, you should start looking excursions that are now available to you that wouldn’t have been if you were reporting to work. Is a favorite band in town? Is there a restaurant that you’ve always wanted to try but couldn’t get a weekend reservation? Play hooky and go do that shit.

Ballgame: In the summer I’d suggest you plan hooky around the schedule of your local ball club. Find a matinee in late late May or early June and circle it. Get there early, bring your glove, and act like you’re 12 again. Going to the ballpark is the perfect way to spend your spontaneous off day. An afternoon spent in the bleachers will fill your mind with warm nostalgia that can lead to some pretty damn good ideas.

A Museum or The Zoo: Maybe the work you do is tedious and you feel undervalued by your employer. You took a day off to remind yourself that there is so much more out there than excel spreadsheets and marketing decks. A trip to a museum or the zoo on company dime offers you the opportunity to spend your day soaking in information that you can use for your next round of Bar Trivia. Going alone to a zoo or a museum gives you the chance to go at your own pace, avoiding the hordes of field trippers on your way to the IMAX movie about Neptune or the new Disney movie about Lemurs.

Movie Theater: I’d suggest a late night movie the evening before your day off over catching the matinee with old folks from the senior center. A late night movie on a Tuesday night will almost certainly be empty. So you will have your pick of seating, snacking, and spreading. Hell, if you want to you could scurry from seat to seat for no reason at all. If you decide to go during the day, you should go early

Nowhere: You always claim that work is what is standing in between you and the next great American Novel, so get to it.

Happy Weekend, From Morning Donuts

Hamilton Leithauser brought down the house this week at Joe’s Pub in New York City. The former Walkmen frontman has gathered a gaggle of talented musicians from all over and by all accounts his new album is on pace to rock. He is also very handsome.

Think back to where you were on Monday morning. You were hopelessly lamenting another workweek, thinking that there was no way you could get to where you are right now.

But, now look at you all fancy and shit. Go out tonight, have that extra drink, and breathe in the weekend as it comes to you…unless you’re tired as hell from the workweek and would just rather suck on a craft brew and watch a ballgame or two, then just do that.

Either way, congratulations on a job done.

Welcome To The McHustle

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Place yourself outside Yankee Stadium on an April afternoon, about an hour before first pitch. At the corner of 161st and River Avenue in the Bronx sits a McDonald’s with a nice outdoor patio, situated slightly higher than street level, offering a perfect vantage point to witness all the happenings of an of an open-air urban market. In a sense, the Golden Arches serve as a symbol for this bustling corner, that on game days can serve as an accurate representation of those chasing what’s left of the American dream.

As fans trickle in from the subway station, leave their Jersey-plated Benz’s at the garage, or hop at of a cab, they are greeted time and time over with the opportunity to spend money. And to spend it the right way.

Inside the stadium you may find yourself explaining to your son that the chicken and waffles (out of this world) he just scarfed down cost him sleepaway camp, but outside the stadium, on the corner of 161st and River, the playing field is level, and everyone is trying to make it, just like you.

Ticket scalpers jockey for corner positions to buy and sell tickets. Grown men, fathers probably, laugh and argue, spat over the precious spot on the corner that catches the most passers by. One could only guess as to the nature of a dispute that begins between two of them, perhaps he snaked his buddy, or spoke to a pedestrian on the other guy’s turf. But the argument ended quickly when a young boy (the runner) ran up to one and called him over to the boss. Then it was back to business, because the game starts in 45 minutes.

“Who needs tickets? Who needs?…Tickets, who needs tickets?”

“Who’s selling tickets…anybody selling?”

Their voices barely heard over the hot dog cart screaming “dollar waters, waters for a dollar,” competing with the overpriced beverages a few hundred yards east. Meanwhile, next to him an older vendor explains to a teenager the layouts of their Yankees merchandise based on size and price.

I sit with my phone in my pocket at a table at the patio and lament not only the interchanges I had just witnessed but also the ones I hadn’t. I though to myself the exponential volume of transactions happening within this one intersection. The true meaning of hustle. Not the guy at the pool hall scamming you on the game two double or nothing. The guy making you a deal for you to buy an extra t-shirt so he can pay the electricity bill.

Welcome to Morning Donuts, a hustle manual for entrepreneurs from every walk of life. Check your MBA at the door please.

 

This Story About Two American Spies Who Envisioned A Hippopotamus Driven Economy Is The Best

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It is Wednesday, which means we are half-way to all the margarita-induced spins one can ask for. Spend your hump day researching the hell out of this ridiculous story and maybe even shuffling your Internet feet over to Amazon and copping a piece of American Hippopotamus by Jon Mooallem.

It is the true story of two American spies/politicos who teamed up to try to bring over thousands of hippos from Africa to boost the economy.

American Hippopotamus

by Jon Mooallem

In 1910, the United States—its population exploding, its frontier all but exhausted—was in the throes of a serious meat shortage. But a small and industrious group of thinkers stepped forward with an answer, a bold idea being endorsed by the likes of Theodore Roosevelt and The New York Times. Their plan: to import hippopotamuses to the swamps of Louisiana and convince Americans to eat them.

The only thing stranger than the hippo idea itself was the partnership promoting it. At its center were two hard-bitten spies: Frederick Russell Burnham, a superhumanly competent frontiersman, freelance adventurer, and fervent optimist about America’s future—Burnham would be the inspiration for the Boy Scouts—and Fritz Duquesne, a.k.a. the Black Panther, a virtuoso con man and cynical saboteur who believed only in his own glorification and revenge. Burnham and Duquesne had very recently been sworn enemies under orders to assassinate each other. They’d soon be enemies again. But for one brief and shining moment they joined behind a common cause: transforming America into a nation of hippopotamus ranchers.

 

Emerald Logic’s Bold Claim

Emerald Logic is a data happy start-up that is making a bold statement.

The Aliso Viejo, CA outfit claims that they have the capability to create any algorithm to find out what your data is telling you.

Emerald Logic co-founded Patrick Lilley sat down with Gigaom.com to discuss this potentially revolutionary new system.

According to Patrick Lilley, co-founder and CEO of an Aliso Viejo, Calif., startup called Emerald Logic, the real world runs on systems where there are inputs and outcomes, only the complexity of the data we’re generating makes it very difficult to find the inputs that will lead to the best outcomes. He equates it to sticking a marble in a black box, eventually getting it out the other side, and then having to diagram what you think the inside looks like.

“The challenge there is you have to model what’s going in that system and you can’t often look inside,” he said.

Lilley also claims his company can help you find the answer. The company’s software, called FACET (short for Fast Collective Evolution Technology), tests tens of thousands of algorithms against a dataset in order to find ones that represent the relationships between those data and the end result. He calls the process “evolutionary computing,” because they evolve, mate and migrate, and only the best one survives.

[Gigaom]

Hump Day Soundtrack

It is mid-day on Wednesday, you need that little extra push to get over the hump. We got you.

Here are five tracks that pack that little bit of oomph that you need to get through this workweek.

Gooey by Glass Animals

Take Me To Church by Hozier

I’m Not Part of Me by Cloud Nothings

Seasons (Waiting On You) by Future Islands

Wasting My Young Years by London Grammar

Vine Versus Instagram for Brands

Back in early June, we were  talking about Vine’s incredible success. But it wouldn’t be long before Facebook and Instagram had their revenge, and when Instagram released video, everyone feaured Vine’s demise.

Running checks for Twitter links to Vine and Instagram through Topsy’s analysis shows a huge Vine drop-off right when the Instagram announcement came out. Instagram, yet again, dominates Vine. The stats don’t lie. Check out the graph below:

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If you’re still hesitant about getting on Instagram versus Vine, check out this helpful graphic, which outlines the features between the two.

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Ultimately, Instagram’s popularity, and the integration of both photo and video, offers brands an advantage. Instagram’s statistics clearly play in its favor, with 130 Million monthly active users. Brands  cannot ignore such a large market. Instagram photo and video is a great opportunity for behind the scenes clips about your team and your products. Companies use it to feature Tips and Tricks or funny quirks in the workplace.

 

[Topsy, Nitrogram]

LinkedIn Announces Sponsored Updates

LinkedIn is stealing another page from both Facebook and Twitter’s books with their release of Sponsored Updates.

LinkedIn introduced Sponsored Updates today, Tuesday July 23rd. This update will allow 3 Million+ companies who function on LinkedIn the opportunity to promote updates to a greater audience, as opposed to just pushing their content to those users who already follow them.

There’s nothing more deflating than creating fantastic content then not getting the traffic you hoped for. With the release of this these Sponsored updates, LinkedIn’s Vice President David Hahn stated:

Marketers will be able to distribute this content directly to relevant professionals in a place their customers and prospects are already consuming professionally relevant content

See Also: Getting the Most of  LinkedIn

Facebook currently offers Sponsored Posts, and has updated their ad platform recently, while Twitter has promoted trends and tweets.

LinkedIn released an example of their Sponsored Updates:

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Sponsored Updates will be available to customers with a LinkedIn account representative, and they will begin rolling it out to any company with a LinkedIn Company Page by the end of the month

Head over to LinkedIn and start revamping your Profiles.