📺 BOSS: The Black Experience in Business | PBS

Watched BOSS: The Black Experience in Business from PBS

Learn about the untold story of African American entrepreneurship, where skill, industriousness, ingenuity and sheer courage in the face of overwhelming odds provide the backbone of this nation’s economic and social growth.

I’ve either seen or read about large portions of the stories in this documentary, but even then this goes into a bit more depth than some of the vignettes I’ve read about. It also does a great job of aggregating these stories into a broader story arc. A stunning bit of documentary work. I recommend this highly.

It is painful to watch the destruction of lives and value over several hundred years here however.

I was entertained to see the documentary re-appropriate The O’Jays song For The Love of Money to highlight African American entrepreneurship as it was obviously horrifically misused in NBC’s The Apprentice.

Replied to a thread by Ed Johnson-Williams, Johannes Ernst, Greg McVerry, Ton Zijlstra (Twitter)

I read an article by @DHH the other day that shifted some of my thinking about how some of the pieces might work out with regard to commercialization.

At the same time, innovations along the lines of what micro.blog is doing are very important.

👓 Become A Facebook-Free Business | Signal v. Noise

Read Become A Facebook-Free Business by DHH DHH (Signal v. Noise)

If Facebook’s endless privacy scandals have shown one thing, it’s that the company has far too much data on its users, and that they can’t be trusted not to sell, barter, or abuse that data whether for profit, growth, or negligence.

While individuals have long been rallying around , there hasn’t been a comparable campaign for business. Enter: The Facebook-Free Business.

Just like when companies began putting Facebook and Twitter bugs on their websites and in advertising, you know it’s getting serious in the other direction when businesses are talking about leaving Facebook.

I wish BandCamp a lot of luck in also leaving Medium to get rid of that last Facebook like bug.

There is a lot to like about companies behaving ethically like this. I’m much more likely to trust a company (especially those talking about my data and privacy) if they can behave this way.

👓 After selling off his father’s properties, Trump embraced unorthodox strategies to expand his empire | Washington Post

Read After selling off his father’s properties, Trump embraced unorthodox strategies to expand his empire by David Fahrenthold, Jonathan O'Connell (Washington Post)
In 2005, Donald Trump kicked off a decade-long buying and spending spree, vastly expanding his hotel and golf-course empire and cementing his image as a brash impresario. The un­or­tho­dox approach Trump took in making those bold bets — racing through hundreds of millions in cash and drawing loans from the private-wealth office of Deutsche Bank — came when he was on new terrain as a developer.

👓 Instagram’s Wannabe-Stars Are Driving Luxury Hotels Crazy | The Atlantic

Read Instagram’s Wannabe-Stars Are Driving Luxury Hotels Crazy (The Atlantic)
Hotels are being forced to figure out how to work with a new class of brand-peddling marketers.

Just because you’ve got the desire to be a social media influencer doesn’t mean you don’t need to treat it like a serious business.

Social platforms have such huge scale now, I’m surprised they don’t crack down on bots and fake accounts so that it’s more transparent what kind of true value accounts actually bring to the table. They could even leave them in the system so they can show to investors that they’re getting the traffic and “engagement”, but they’re throwing away a lot of actual value by not disclosing actual accounts and real engagement by real people (aka potential customers). Bots are second class citizens because other than the veneer of value, they’re really not adding much to the conversation other than a weak form of tummeling.

This makes me wonder if anyone in the social networking space is doing research on bots as tummelers?

👓 This Is How a Newspaper Dies | Politico

Read This Is How a Newspaper Dies by Jack Shafer (POLITICO Magazine)
It’s with a spasm of profits.

This article outlines an intriguing method for plundering the carcass of a dying business to reap as much profit from it as it dies as one can. I suppose that if one is sure a segment is on its way out, one may as well exploit its customers to turn a profit.

I wonder how long it will take for traditional television and cable related businesses to begin using this model as more and more people cut the cord.

👓 I believe in the IndieWeb. It needs to believe in itself. | Jason McIntosh

Read I believe in the IndieWeb. It needs to believe in itself. by Jason McIntosh (Fogknife)
IndieWeb has forged keys to a better, more democratic web for everyone. They need to get organized before they can start really effecting change.

I love the enthusiasm and excitement here and still share it to a great extent myself. At the same time, however some of the tools are still growing and aren’t quite ready for prime time, particularly for the masses who don’t have the technical expertise yet. As a result, slow continued growth may still be the best course.

On the other hand, I think the area is incredibly ripe for businesses to come in and offer “IndieWeb as a service”. A few more things like micro.blog will certainly help to tip the balance.

Much like the featured photo on the post, while there’s some gorgeous blue sky, there’s still a few clouds, and some of the waters may be difficult to navigate for some without the correct boats. But at the end of the day, this is exactly the kind of paradise world many of us have wanted to live in for a long time!

👓 Do Things that Don’t Scale by Paul Graham

Read Do Things that Don't Scale by Paul Graham (paulgraham.com)
One of the most common types of advice we give at Y Combinator is to do things that don't scale. A lot of would-be founders believe that startups either take off or don't. You build something, make it available, and if you've made a better mousetrap, people beat a path to your door as promised. Or they don't, in which case the market must not exist. Actually startups take off because the founders make them take off. There may be a handful that just grew by themselves, but usually it takes some sort of push to get them going. A good metaphor would be the cranks that car engines had before they got electric starters. Once the engine was going, it would keep going, but there was a separate and laborious process to get it going.

This is a slightly older post, but still has some generally sound advice for start up companies.

As I read it, I can’t help but think about how the structure and set up of the IndieWeb community is mirrored in a lot of this advice. The fact that everyone is diligently selfdogfooding the ultimate product that we all love and are designing specifically for people gives me great hope that we’re all onto something that has great potential.

I’m curious how we can take the rest of the playbook and put it into action as well. This is certainly something I’ll have to come back and think about more in the near future.

Big portions of the article also skirt around the idea of tummeling without actually using the term. It such a useful concept, I’m surprised that it’s not more commonly known.

The Bobby Bonilla Retirement Plan: Quit Baseball In 2001, Get Paid Until 2035

Read The Bobby Bonilla Retirement Plan: Quit Baseball In 2001, Get Paid Until 2035 (FiveThirtyEight)
Bobby Bonilla hasn’t played in a professional baseball game since 2001, yet on July 1 of this year, the New York Mets paid him $1.19 million. And they will every July 1 until 2035, as part of a def…

How Uber Used Secret Greyball Tool to Deceive Authorities Worldwide | New York Times

Read How Uber Deceives the Authorities Worldwide by Mike Isaac (New York Times)
A program uses data Uber collected to evade law enforcement in cities that resist the ride-hailing service, some current and former Uber employees said.