Archive for December, 2007

Bottled Gifts: What We Sent

Monday, December 31st, 2007

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We bought two cases of the Segura Viudas, a very delicious Cava, and gave them long baths to get their labels off.

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With help from the talented Anabelle Pang, we made custom Barrel to Bottles labels for the bottles.

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Using our in-office laser printer and sticker labels from Staples, we turned our holiday gift idea into a fun DIY project. “Holiday Delight” for clients and “Holiday Juice” for friends.

Our holiday gift, given the Barrel to Bottles photo treatment:

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Great Business Articles from Sorta Way Back

Tuesday, December 18th, 2007

About a year ago, I was browsing through the $1 bargain shelves at Strand near Union Square when I found a copy of Best Business Stories of the Year: 2002. I bought it and read a few articles about junk bond king Michael Milken, Lazard, and some other financial companies but didn’t pay too much attention to the other stories. Recently, I picked up the book again and started reading with renewed interest, especially in the entrepreneurial realm. I found several that were very insightful and exciting to read, even five years after they were written. Some business stories are just timeless, and it’s great to see that many of the same rules of business apply even if we think the Internet and technology has changed so much.

Luckily, I was able to locate three full stories online – perfect for printing out and reading on your commute or to occupy your mind on an extended bathroom break. Here they are:

Why Is He Still Smiling? Bill Gross blew through $800 million in 8 months (and he’s got nothing to show for it). by Joseph Nocera for Fortune. Although the whole Web 2.0 craze has led to some reckless investments and optimism, I don’t think we’ll see the likes of another Idealab-caliber collapse this time around. (Note: they’re still around!)

The Mystery of The Blood Red Ledger by Samuel Fromartz for Inc. Magazine. This is an incredible story about how a newly-hired restaurant chain CEO took on a bankrupt company and turned it around through meticulous attention to details and a steadfast march towards competence. It also sheds light on just how hard it is to run a restaurant – it’s not cake, and it’s easy to see why so many restaurants fail.

The Pitchman by Malcom Gladwell for The New Yorker. We’ve all caught, at one time or another, a glimpse of Ron Popeil pitching the Ronco Showtime Rotisserie & BBQ on a television infomercial. This is an extraordinary story about a lifelong salesman who perfected the art of selling to the masses.

Read up and gain knowledge! Happy Holidays!

The Movement Continues

Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

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Shopping for mailing label stickers at Staples yesterday, I came across this Avery product. Hardly subliminal, but good to see somebody had fun.

All this, just for some TV!

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

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After moving into our office a few months ago, we discovered that our building isn’t wired for cable TV. Time Warner said it would cost over a thousand dollars to get cable installed (no way!), so we looked for alternatives. Having done a similar connection at home, we plugged the TV into our Macbook using a DVI cable, and we’ve been able to feed our favorite TV show downloads through the Macbook.

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Recently, we slapped ourselves in the forehead and realized that there’s free public HDTV available over terrestrial airwaves. We ordered a Terk amplified antenna (any set of rabbit ears will do) and an Elgato EyeTV Hybrid HDTV tuner (our TV doesn’t have a built in HDTV tuner) for the Macbook. The included EyeTV software is superb and everything works beautifully.

Despite the technical difficulties, we’re now able to get pretty much anything we want on our TV. This goes to show you can get by these days without an expensive cable TV contract!