Saturday, September 29, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
I only recently discovered this coffee gem on the West coast - sad to see the founder passed away - but his legacy lives on every morning for happy west coasters! I wish somebody brought Peet's or Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf to New York - especially to Midtown where we have 50 Starbucks
View Larger Map - but no decent gourmet coffee!
Please Peet's successors, consider it - i'll be the first in line!
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
I'm registered for the OMMA conference in New York right now. They are supposed to be an industry leader and are breaking one of the biggest rules of permission marketing - don't abuse the user. Since yesterday morning I have received a total of 7 emails from them - although I hit unsubscribe after the second.
Yes, according to CAN SPAM they're ok because they have a few days to take me off the list - but it's highly annoying and I don't want any of it.
Play by your own rules, OMMA!
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Skype has released Skype Prime a few weeks ago and since I haven't used Skype very much since I only discovered it today. It enables anyone to setup his/her own consulting/expert service using skype/paypal as the platform and billing provider. This could have an impact on services such as Keen and Questico by enabling people to cheaply setup their own service. Of course Keen and Questico still have ratings and feedback systems, established relationships and most importantly the knowledge to attract users to the experts. This could however put some pressure on them to give more rev shares to the truly valuable experts who might have strong enough a following to now leave Keen and venture out for themselves.
Advertising week starts tomorrow and I will be heading to Mixx 2.7 tomorrow and Tuesday and stop by OMMA at some point as well. Andrew Chen is speaking about Widgets on a panel tomorrow and I'm looking forward to what he has to say. Lots of great panels and speakers both day, also really curious about Nick Denton. The only party i've heard of so far is Vizy on Monday night, let me know if you come across other mingling events.
Last night we had dinner with some friends at Degustation, a heavily praised newcomer to the Tapas scene. We were actually seated at adjacent Jewel Bako because we were a rather large group and Degustation has only 15 seats. The service was very attentive (except for the fact that the sushi chef closed down at 11) and the overall food was very good. Now to the title story: the portions are absolutely tiny! The "tortilla" which Frank Bruni so eloquently describes as "poached quail eggs and shallot confit inside pockets of thinly sliced potato. Each of these savory bonbons was best consumed in one bite, which set off a gooey eruption" are indeed quite tasty - the problem is there are two tiny bonbons on a $6 plate and I could easily eat 10 of them just to start. As girls tend to eat less, this kind of place is perfect for them :-)The experience was similar with the minute foie gras and the somewhat terse lamb.
Over the last few years we have eaten Tapas at Tasca, Casa Mono, Tia Pol, Boqueria, Kana, Pintxos, Xunta and Pipa and have almost always had the same experience: artful, varying degree of quality, definitely americanized (my Spanish girlfriend will testify for that) and TOO SMALL.
In Spain you can walk into any Tapas bar, order 3-5 plates and have a great, simple meal - in New York the same will set you back almost as much as the Porterhouse at Keens!
Cry for help: can someone, ideally from the Basque country please come over to NYC and open a great, authentic tapas place? I will spread the word to at least 100 eaters in the first week!
And if you do want to try all of these yourself, here are my top 5 tapas restaurants in NYC:
1) Casa Mono
2) Pipa (not really Tapas focused)
5) Tia Pol
Please send me any hot contestants!
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Last weekend I read an interesting piece in the New Yorker about a new course at NYU that teaches student how to network in the real world - i.e. meet fellow students. It states the example of one freshman who already counts 900 friends on Facebook - when he starts meeting some of his "friends" he doesn't even recognize them.
The article made me think about my real-life social behavior in the age of online social networks. I'm an active user of Facebook, Linkedin, Xing, Gtalk, Asmallworld and occasionally Twitter. Whereas Facebook and Asmallworld are mostly real friends (being defined as people I actually know in real life), Linkedin, Xing and Gtalk are mostly business contacts and Twitter is purely experimental.
My time on the phone with people has definitely decreased over the last few years though - mostly towards email and SMS though at this point.
It would be interesting to get some research data on this question or simply other opinions
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
"How to change the world" is one of my favorite blogs - not updated superfrequently but always great content. This week, Guy Kawasaki blogs about how you know when you're old. Especially listen to the voicecast. My own humble, not-yet-so-old additions to this are:
1) When you can't eat half a pig anymore and not gain a gram of fat
2) When bouncers at clubs stop asking you for your ID
3) When people start using formal language when addressing you (this works better in German or Spanish)
4) When you and your friends start talking about kids and mortgages
5) When you really start substituting wine for beer (and not only 2 buck chuck)....
feel free to add more to this