The Guy Who Ate His Shoe

02.27.08 | Category: Asymmetry, Unexpected

Werner Herzog and Drue KataokaZen lessons from a master of the unexpected. Last night I met Werner Herzog, acclaimed German filmmaker, at a special screening of his latest film, Rescue Dawn, starring Christian Bale. In a career spanning 54 films, Herzog has dragged a steamship over a mountain in the Peruvian jungle, hypnotized a cast for a shoot, filmed on a volcano ready to explode, and boiled and eaten his own shoe…

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EPISODE 2 – Tim Draper, VC Samurai – Video Interview

02.25.08 | Category: Power Zen, Simplicity, Video

Today we are releasing Episode 2 of Tim Draper VC Samurai. Last Monday we posted Episode 1 and a short trailer of this action-packed interview with Tim. In Episode 2, delve deeper into the Zen world of Tim Draper:

Tim’s Samurai Lessons for Entrepreneurs:

  • Freedom from life and death
  • Approaching life with wild abandon
  • Samurai loyalty
  • Discipline and asceticism
  • Tim’s tips on how to simplify…
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Talking with Bill Gates – Code Simplicity

02.21.08 | Category: Simplicity

Front row, beneath the podium in the press box, I had a great vantage point to observe Bill Gates speak at Stanford’s Memorial Auditorium Tuesday. The following section from his speech on code simplicity made me think:

“And so you say, what is that explosion of complexity that is expensive, it’s fragile, it’s hard to prove it’s correct? Well, it’s a failure of abstraction. We have not changed that level of abstraction…

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Tim Draper, VC Samurai – Video Interview

02.19.08 | Category: Asymmetry, Power Zen, Simplicity, Video

Tim Draper - VC SamuraiTim Draper, Founder of DFJ, gives us an AMAZING interview. In over 50 minutes of high-energy footage, Tim catapults Drue in the air (literally!), shows his art in DFJ’s Men’s bathroom, and reveals his Zen insights on entrepreneurship, business and life.

For the next 5 weeks, every Monday we will release one of the episodes, about 10 minutes each, of Tim’s irreverent wisdom.

Here is a short trailer, to whet your appetite:

Here is the first episode.

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Is Kanso the Progenitor of Interaction Design?

02.13.08 | Category: Interaction Design, Simplicity

iPod wheel and receiverDo you have an iPod? We have somewhere between ten and fifteen in my family. About all of the versions are represented among the family’s iPods. From the initial version with all the controls contained in the little wheel in the middle to the version with no wheel but controlled by a touch screen.

In the late ‘60’s and early ‘70’s I represented one of the creators of stereo hi-fi components for general consumers. Companies in that industry were pioneers in designing, building and creating demand for a hi-tech consumer product to be bought by consumers from retailers. For sure, there existed a small community of audiophiles who were heavily into hi-fi. Many were not considered to be well-adjusted citizens, although they made good salespeople for hi-fi components…

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Use the Wrong Angle

02.12.08 | Category: Asymmetry, Interaction Design, Zen Jazz

Wynton backstageUnexpected angles and perspectives lead to invaluable insights.
What does watching a Jazz performance live from backstage have to do with giving your Palm Pilot to a Senior?

Jazz Backstage
Last week, Jazz legend Wynton Marsalis invited me backstage. It struck me—Watching a brilliant jazz performance from behind, where it is not meant to be watched, connects you with the spirit of Jazz like nothing else. Jazz by its nature is asymmetrical, dynamic, improvisational– (one can argue, like a start-up). From this vantage point…

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AllTop All Zen: Launching Today

02.08.08 | Category: Interaction Design, Simplicity, Video

“This is where I like to come to avoid the traffic,” said Guy Kawasaki—soon after launching into a discussion of the opposite (i.e. how to attract web traffic).

On the eve of the beta launch of Guy’s new site, Guy gave an exclusive interview about the site. See part 1 and 2 below.

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IT Searchbox Zen

02.06.08 | Category: Simplicity, Zen Search

Paglo is a search company named after the Italian explorer Francisco Paglo. There may be Italophiles in the company, I didn’t find them at today’s Lunch 2.0 event.

I did meet a brilliant engineering team with a deep appreciation of Japanese Zen aesthetics. “You’ve stumbled upon the company’s two Japanophiles,” Chris Waters, Co-Founder and CTO of Paglo, said of himself and Eric “Scanner” the online application architect.

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Is Zen Bureaucracy an Oxymoron?

02.05.08 | Category: Interaction Design, Simplicity, Zen Government

CapitolIs the use of Information Technology by Government Bureaucracies Consistent with the Zen Concept of Simplicity?

Bureaucracies could learn from the Zen principle of simplicity. They have the incredible ability to add complexity to people’s lives: confusing them, cluttering their minds, and raising their anxieties. Simple, targeted, non-cluttered communication could greatly improve the quality of the interactions between citizens and bureaucracies. An extreme story of bureaucratic clutter illustrates this…

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Zen Super Tuesday

| Category: Zen Government

Sumi-e Elephant DonkeyWe are the country of “Winner Takes All.” There is only One National Champion, One Best Picture, One Album of the Year. If you happen to be #2, you might as well not exist.

But who is in a position to select a single winner? Who said that Michael Tilson Thomas’ Mahler is greater than Haitink’s Beethoven? And that the Dixie Chicks are even greater?

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