Business Books for Non-Business People: Rework

I hate business books. I don’t understand them. They never seem relevant to me. Talking about Sigma 6 training and total customer synchronicity make my eyes glaze over.

However, my head editor recommended the book Rework by Jason Fried and David Hansson. It’s striking how different it is than most business books. It doesn’t have the picture of a smiling CEO in a suit and it doesn’t promise to help you learn everything. The back cover says: “ASAP IS POISON – UNDERDO THE COMPETITION – MEETINGS ARE TOXIC.”

Why this book is relevant to non-business people:
-It provides good advice to help accomplish things more efficiently. (Workaholics are overrated.)
-It’s a good motivational tool to get your ideas flowing.
-It’s a super easy read.

The books chapters are short and easy to digest.

You can check out a free excerpt of the book here.

Crowdfunding Campaign Tackle’s Mad Men’s “Black Problem”

One thing I’ve noticed about my favorite television show, Mad Men, is the lack of black characters. There is one secretary, but that’s the only character who has gotten substantial screen time.

Designer Xavier Ruffin wants to fix that. He wants to accurately and authentically portray black people who worked in advertising during the ‘Mad Men’ era. There were numerous black designers who made substantial contributions to the industry. As Ruffin points out, Georg Olden designed the Clio, the prestigious ad industry award which Draper won in season four.

Check out his full pitch below and his Indiegogo page here.

[Indiewire]

Get it Together, Gmail

Anybody else see those annoying icons on their Gmail tabs? gmail icon

What are those? A wrench? A Turkey?

Hello Mark,
Thank you for contacting Google Apps Support. I understand you want to know more about the favicon you noticed on your Gmail.
This is actually supposed to be the favicon for the Google Apps Admin Console. It is definitely nothing to worry about. We are working on deactivating it for the moment and expect to have the favicon back to the mail symbols with the colored M by the end of the week.

Please be aware this is just a cosmetic icon and in no way has there been any security issues in the appearance of this favicon over the last few days.
I hope this information is helpful for you, Mark. Please get back to me if you need any additional information and I’ll be happy to reply.

Sincerely,

Svilen
Google Enterprise Support

It’s September 22, Google. Get it together. I don’t like looking at wrenches in my tabs.

[Google Support]

Which Industries Feed You the Most Bull$&!*? (According to Reddit)

I try to keep a healthy dose of skepticism wherever I go, however I’m human and have fallen prey to the stereotypical snake oil salesman. Reddit user PaintedCeiling posted an interesting query to the “AskReddit” group, “What is a “dirty little (or big) secret” about an industry that you have worked in, that people outside the industry really ought to know?”

There were plenty of interesting responses.Take these with a grain of salt because, but if even half of them are true, we’re getting screwed. Here are some of the highlights. (Click on the links to see the full comment thread)

Funeral Parlors:

“Throwaway, obviously. I’m a funeral director. Our entire industry is basically a pyramid scheme. It blows my mind how blindly people accept that certain things “have to” be done to the body of their loved one. Think about that for a second: this is the last tangible remnant of someone you loved and you are now going to pay stranger thousands (oftentimes HUNDERDS of thousands) of dollars to (warning: graphic from here on out) systematically mutilate that body.”

The State of the Economy According to Funny People

I don’t always know how to make sense of the economy, but some funny people do. Here’s how things are going according to people who get more laughs and make more money than the rest of of.

Conan sure knows how to fly.

Google unveils Chromecast, the $35 HDMI plugin that streams online videos to your TV

k-bigpicGoogle announced the launch of its newest hardware device, Chromecast, its 2-inch hardware device it bills as being the “easiest way to enjoy online entertainment on the TV.”

Plug Chromecast into any HDTV and control it with your existing smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Send your favorites from Google Play, YouTube, Netflix, and Chrome to your TV with the press of a button. 

Plug Chromecast into your TV and there’s hardly any setup time needed, according to Google. Pop the flashdrive into your TV’s HDMI port, connect to WiFi and tada! Wirelessly transfer what you’re watching on your computer, phone or tablet to your TV.

BUY IT. Buy it now. 

Facebook’s Hoppin’ on the Hashtag Train

facebook-hashtag

Today Facebook announced that it is bringing hashtags to its platform allowing users to add context to a post and indicate that it is part of a larger discussion, or use hashtags to discover shared interests.  Hashtags are huge in 2013, and Facebook doesn’t want to get left behind. They’re following the likes of Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest to allow more streamlined sharing abilities-cross platform.

Now these hashtags will be clickable, bringing you to a wider array of  posts from users across Facebook’s platform.

These new features will allow you to

  • Search for a specific hashtag from your search bar.
  • Click on hashtags that are originally posted on other services, ie. Instagram & Pinterest
  • Compose posts directly from the hashtag feed and search results.

 

The reaction to this is going to be a mixed bag. People appreciate hashtags on twitter, as it really does help find new content and join discussions. But Hashtags have also yielded conversation that is even more shorthand than ever before.  Cue more criticism for the way young people communicate.


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This Ad has a Secret Message for Kids who are Abused

A Spanish organization called the Aid to Children and Adolescents at Risk Foundation, or ANAR in short, created an ad that displays a different message for adults and children at the same time.

The secret to this ad is a lenticular top layer, which is detailled in this video. The lenticular layer shows different images at varying angles. They designed it so children shorter than 4’5″ would see one message. while an adult taller than 4’5″ would see a different one. The child sees an image of a child with bruises and a message “if somebody hurts you, phone us and we’ll help you” and a number to receive help, where the adult image displays a sad looking child with the message “sometimes, child abuse is only visible to the child suffering it.”

The ad is designed to empower children, especially those who may be standing beside their aggressor.

The intentions of this promotion are positive, they aim to help. However, at which point will advertisers use this technology to target children for products and services, without adults even realizing that their kids are being targeted.

Ch-ch-ch-changes to Facebook’s News Feed

new NF

Today is the day Facebook announces all of its much whispered about changes.

Facebook is the platform we love to hate, and Facebook’s News Feed is one that people often feel more hate towards than love.

The News Feed has a huge impact on how we interact with social media, our peers, our brands, and public figures. The News Feed is important, everyone will give it that, but it is also a tad annoying.

Currently the News Feed is the landing page for any logged in Facebook user. You see updates, images, and event notifications from all Facebook connected friends, brands, organizations, celebrities, you name it.

The News Feed is crafted to display information that it believes you will find interesting. People whom you connect with often will often show up on your News Feed, people whom you never interact with, will not appear as frequently. It will feature popular posts, or trending topics, based on the involvement of the posts. The algorithm Facebook uses is clearly an intelligent one, but obviously, like anything in the internet world, Facebook doesn’t exist without criticism.

The News Feed is something that Facebook is focusing on as the core to it’s future success, thus, giving it a facelift was highly necessary. News Feed’s changes reflect the changes that Facebook has undergone over the last few years, becoming a greater visual database, basically it’s all about the images, baby.

Zuckerberg announced that he wants the News Feed to be each user’s “best personalized newspaper” with social and local updates on a variety of topics.

The new News Feed will have an “all-friends” feed, which will reflect what Facebook was originally created to do…connect with friends. Looks like Facebook is getting back to its roots…sort of.  There is also a music stream, photo stream, news stream. Everything is categorized, and to me, it sounds fantastic. Tiny little organized compartments, everything in its place.

Essentially, Facebook is allowing you more sway in what you actually see on the day-to-day. Sick of scrolling for days to see an update from your friends as opposed to a sponsored posts or a brand posts? Well, here you go, folks, the new News Feeds is a’comin’

Here are some images from the Facebook Tech event that happened today in Menlo Park, CA at Facebook Headquarters.