A Blast From The Past

I’ve been assisting with a project that is attempting to document the history of tech in NYC since Samuel Morse helped to bring the telegraph to market in the 1830s. I can’t help much with what went down in the 19th and early 20th century. But I can help with what happened at the very end of the 20th century. And in the course of doing that, I came across this video of Pseudo Entertainment’s offerings in the late 90s.

What is interesting is the similarity in many respects to the services that our portfolio company YouNow and Meerkat and Periscope have in the market today. The broadcast and consumption devices have changed (from PC to mobile) but the user experience is remarkably pretty much the same.

There’s something important in that realization.

Along the same lines, this conversation between Mark Suster and Ryan Hoover, starting at 8mins, is quite relevant. I love how they take it back to the early days of Howard Stern.

#mobile#streaming audio#Television

Comments (Archived):

    1. fredwilson

      is it worth watching?

      1. awaldstein

        not especially fred.goofy, campy, marginal honestly. thinking of it didn’t make me want to rewatch it.the thing about movies of course is they more than any other medium define and own phrases, images, icons–well done or not–like nothing else.(btw–biking along the Hudson this morning was so perfect)

        1. Dave Pinsen

          the thing about movies of course is they more than any other medium define and own phrases, images, icons–well done or not–like nothing else.In that regard, Mike Judge’s Idiocracy is worth a watch.

          1. awaldstein

            I’ll check it out.But I must say in that regard Romy & Michelle is worth watching—which it is of course so worthwhile 😉

      2. Howard L Morgan

        I’m a movie buff, and loved it. But it’s for spare time – wait for Netflix

        1. awaldstein

          I do admit the bar scenes were pretty damn good.Campy through and through.

    2. JimHirshfield

      Speaking of movies, I watched Ex Macina on the flight the other day. Mind blown!

      1. awaldstein

        sounds like a strong recommendation to watch it.

        1. JimHirshfield


  1. JimHirshfield

    Umm, was Ryan Hoover even born in the early days of Howard Stern? 😉

  2. Twain Twain

    We constantly loop and iterate in tech as we can see from wearables timeline.Plus the “invest in lines not dots” conversation between Ryan Hoover and Mark Suster is so true. It takes YEARS and hard graft to earn relationships and figure out how to help people and ask for help.

  3. Howard L Morgan

    All very true. As Bill Gross said at TED this year https://www.ted.com/talks/b… it’s all about timing.

  4. William Mougayar

    One thing that would be interesting is to see you, Fred on YouNow, 30-45 mins before you publish your blog, i.e. during the write-up. And hearing you say what you’re thinking as you decide (assuming it’s not a planned one).You typically use all your portfolio products if you can, but I don’t believe we have seen you on YouNow yet 🙂

    1. awaldstein

      I can’t figure out why this doesn’t interest me in the least.Is watching Fred blog like watching Jackson Pollack paint?Is the object you create equal to the person who creates it while it is happening?Feels so The Circle to me.

      1. William Mougayar

        I’m curious to learn this thought process. It’s not easy blogging everyday, day in, day out.

        1. awaldstein

          The cult of Fred (sorry Fred!) is less interesting to me than the community of discussion that comes out of it.

          1. fredwilson

            me too Arnoldi just don’t know how to cut one without cutting the other

          2. Pranay Srinivasan

            I come to this blog to read what Fred writes and read the thoughts in the comments on how that affects / affected peoples life.Therefore I respond with my PoV.If I would watch Fred live, I would keep quiet and say nothing because there’s not much to add there. Just IMHO.

          3. LE

            Would be a mistake to cut it as it gets people in the door. People may arrive because of the cult of Fred but they don’t stay around because of the cult of Fred.

          4. Kirsten Lambertsen

            What exactly is the Cult of Fred? How will I know it when I see it?

          5. LE

            Arnold can define, but I took the cult to mean an obsession with anything and everything that a particular person does. Essentially the reason magazines like People, US, Entertainment Weekly and so on exist.Along those lines I always thought that a blog with pictures dedicated to paparazzi photos of tech celebrities in everyday life would stand a fair chance of success.Hard to explain why someone would find it interesting to see Mark Zuckerberg at the DMV but I actually think there is a market for that type of entertainment.

          6. Kirsten Lambertsen

            I didn’t realize he was plagued by people wanting to watch his every move. Oy. I imagine he gets uninvited pitches for money all the time, but that’s slightly different isn’t it?

          7. LE

            Well in theory the more that you know about someone and how they think, what they do, their family, and so on the more easily you would be able to hit the hot buttons and pitch them and or “butter them up”. It is part of the sales process. You have to be subtle about this of course to not set off any red flags. I’ve frequently do this and it works. I do as much research as possible and develop assumptions and theories which I incorporate into my approach.On the other hand…Yesterday I decided to take a test drive in a car that I was thinking about buying. The young salesman immediately made a comment about my sunglasses. He told me that he liked them and named some brand. I know nothing about sun glasses and I don’t even remember where I bought them and what I paid but it probably wasn’t a great deal of money. $50? So I thought to myself “he said that as some technique that he had read or was trained in in order to make me feel good and important”. I gave him credit for trying to do the right thing but it wasn’t the technique that would typically work with me. The other thing that he did (I analyze things like this all of the time) was he complimented me on the way that I test drove the car saying something that actually sounded genuine by comparing me to “most people who come in drive this car to cautiously” or something like that. That was a better manipulation (for me) because I do think that I drive “the right way”. So it hit a hot button.

          8. sigmaalgebra

            Broadly, to characterize a personto their face is to delineate, i.e.,put boundaries, on who they are and, thus, is an insult.

          9. Salt Shaker

            I was turned off by Suster’s initial questions to Ryan about celebrity and getting recognized. Suster then shared how he frequently gets “outed” when in SF. All seemed a bit shallow and Kardashian-esq, no? I guess everyone’s ego is vulnerable, and maybe it’s wishful thinking on my part if in a similar position I’d be above the fray.

          10. LE

            I would definitely not like any attention I already know that. I don’t even like when people recognize me at places that I patronize frequently. I’d rather be anonymous. The idea of that happening frequently has negative appeal to me.But everyone is different. A few years ago I was on vacation and I saw who I thought was Deborah Hersman the NTSB chairman eating breakfast. She had been on the news many times for the Asiana Air crash. [1] She was with her husband and kids. I googled her to see if it was her and figuring that I could triangulate by getting a picture of her husband. The pictures of her husband didn’t jive [2] so as I was passing by her I said “you know you look like Deborah Hersman” and she said “that’s because I am Deborah Hersman” and she then told her kids and her husband and was quite pleased that I had recognized her.[1] http://www.cbsnews.com/news…[2] Maybe her husband had lost weight.

          11. JLM

            .People are funny.I once ran into Chief Justice Roberts at the bar at the Old Edwards Inn in Highlands, NC.He was with a mountain range of big US Marshalls. Any one of them could have been Bigfoot.We had a lovely chat about hiking and waterfalls. He was sunburned and I figured he had been out hiking or playing golf. I went with hiking as my conversational gambit. Mother lode. No flies on me.I pretended not to know who he was. So did he.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          12. LE

            Ntim my ex wife sat next to one of the female scotus on a flight somewhere. I didn’t get the impression that it was a big deal to her by the way she related the story. Would have been to me. I remember sitting on a plane in the 80’s next to an important Philly attorney complete with cufflinks and monogram initials on the sleeve. By the way you describe how you dress I probably would have paid attention to you as well I would have said “I think that this guy is successful” and glanced at what you were reading.My attorney is engaged to (and will hopefully marry) a federal judge. I can tell that he thinks that is a big deal because he is an attorney and a former prosecutor so he has spent time having to look up and cater to judges. What I call “secondary meaning”. You often (I have proof of this) also find that with Pharmacists and Physicians. Pharmacists often have hard <redacted> for Physicians.I have a theory on why people get excited when meeting someone famous. Or even infamous. Let me run it by you.Because you think that it elevates you. Whether it actually does doesn’t even matter.(While there are many reason obviously() I have always felt the main one is that it is social capital in which your brain (the party you know) thinks that it will impress someone or garner positive attention. As such, if you couldn’t tell anyone, you might not be as excited (assumes you are of course) when meeting someone famous, rich or important (or all three). Like my mom telling me when Jay Leno said hi to her.The effect varies with how much the person you are telling has had exposure to the person that you are trying to impress them with. Michael Arrington or Dick Costolo would mean nothing to my wife compared to Bethanny Frankel or the Property Brothers. Potus is universal otoh and garners the most points in one’s brain.A test of the theory can be as follows. If a mass murderer was also the guy who repaired your door most people would almost certainly jump to relate that fact to everyone they knew and there is nothing to admire about that person other than the fact that they are infamous and well known.

          13. JLM

            .Your analysis is absolutely perfect. Would not change a single word.When we meet famous people, it makes us think we are somehow “worthy” of knowing them and therefore we must be kind of famous ourselves.The funny thing is I have met a boat load of famous people and have become friends. One of my friends is an NBA Hall of Famer.The stuff I have learned from him — growing up poor and black in Louisiana and bouncing a basketball to escape — is some of the most intimate information ever.A funny thing that happens sometimes is when someone who is well known sees you at a social event and comes over to talk to you. I knew Rick Perry before he was Lt Gov and Gov. His daughter and one other girl pal-ed around together. When I see him, he will come over and chat.I have never asked him for a political favor except one time I sent a letter asking him to veto some legislation. I must have made a good impression on whomever was writing the veto message because he quoted three paragraphs from my letter.Everyone in the industry had seen my letter and when they recognized the three paragraphs — they went ape shit (technical term). They all swore I had this unbelievable power at the Gov’s Mansion.I never spoke with him about it. Ever.I do admit to liking to meeting famous people but here’s the thing — I think there are no extraordinary people. I think there are only ordinary people who rise to the occasion in extraordinary situations.I have enjoyed meeting what seem to be ordinary people and have left laughing and having enjoyed myself.People are good and interesting as hell.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          14. LE

            I have never asked him for a political favor except one timeI have traced this behavior back to small towns and villages such that “who you know rather than what you know”.My dad grew up in a small town in Poland. Back then (the 30’s) knowing the mayor meant something. Life was not as fair as it is today. In the camps knowing and sucking up to the right people meant having more food and a better job. The “do a favor” has stood the test of time but is almost certainly less relevant today than in the past.My ex father in law did an alarm job for the head of the DOL in Philly. When they sued me he said “he likes me I will call him and take care of this”. I laughed obviously the guy when he found out recused himself. But note what my ex father in law thought would happen. (He had never done work for feds I guess must of been funny when he called him on my behalf..)One of my neighbors here in the office complex is a mayor of a small local town. When I told him of an issue in the township that I live he said “Oh I know Mayor there I will call him”. And he proceeded to speed dial him without me asking him to do so. By doing a favor he gained a favor back from me and he enjoyed thinking he was important. That is the way it used to be. (The small town mayors make between 5k and 15k per year he told me so obviously they don’t do this to make money they do it to have power and to trade favors..) I think there are no extraordinary people. I think there are only ordinary people who rise to the occasion in extraordinary situations.Exactly can’t agree more. Reason I get upset often is the pedestal that people are put on by those who have not learned that lesson.

          15. JLM

            .Not to get all anti-Obama on a nice rainy Sunday in the ATX but one of the reasons we are all so disappointed about President Obama is we had such high expectations for him.He seemed so smart, so extraordinary.Turned out he is just an ordinary machine pol who looks good in a suit, the camera loves him and he can give a great speech.He never grew into the job.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          16. LE

            With Obama people are just naive, period. Oprah fell for him but she also fell for James Frey. [1]Frey of course wrote “a million little pieces”. I remember sitting on an airplane flight with my girlfriend at a time who suffered from pretty bad depression. She was eating that book up like it was the 2nd coming. I looked at a single page literally and thought “if he was so fucked up how does he remember all of those details makes no sense”. We got into a big fight over me saying that and being so skeptical. It just didn’t smell right and the fact that Oprah was behind it (who I admire by the way) didn’t mean I would believe everything that she believes.I was never an Obama fan period. All I had to do was reduce it down to a single point. No experience.When I met my current wife she was a fan of Obama it was right before he was elected and we had just started dating. I told her what I thought of him. She had a gay friend that was all in for Obama. Because you know you elect based on one fucking issue that matters to you not the greater good. And gay marriage is more important than Isis. I am sorry that I actually got to gloat and what I thought turned out to be true.[1] http://www.nytimes.com/2006

          17. sigmaalgebra

            As in an earlier post of mine in thisthread, people like to have membership ingroups, i.e., to have a feeling ofsecurity from acceptance and, hopefully,also praise and approval.More narrowly, nearly everyone has somesocial climber in them.So, with these two, people want to jointhe more respected, prestigious groups.Or, who wants to join a group of losers?Or, who can forget Groucho’s “Any groupthat would have me as a member I wouldn’twant to join.”.

          18. Daksh

            “I’d rather be anonymous.”Too late for that! Just within comments section of this page, we know so much about you and your background. Add your comments across the blog, and we could probably identify you in a crowd with a the outdated KITT 2000 !Anonymity has different layers – more than how you look, we know how you think and this blog is the richer for that.

          19. msuster

            Not meant that way. Anybody who becomes well known in niche circles experiences this. Ask around. Makes you change public behavior.

          20. Salt Shaker

            Came off a tad different to me on first listen, Mark. Will revisit and listen to the entire interview later. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that I’m an avid reader of your blog and an admirer of your commitment to tech, particularly in LA. I hold you, Fred and a few other VC’s in very, very high regard.

          21. sigmaalgebra

            There was a recent story in BusinessInsider that some famous, successful,wealthy people would give big bucks to gettheir anonymity back.I don’t want to lose mine anymore than Ialready have.So, sorry Reid Hoffman, Zuck, etc., incase my project works, there’s next tonothing about me on your Web sites. I’mnot rushing to give away my anonymity justto provide content for your Web site.

          22. sigmaalgebra

            People, US, EntertainmentWeekly and so on exist. because, in a word important on theInternet in recent years, social.One cut deeper, because the readers aredesperate to identify with thecelebrities depicted because moregenerally the readers are desperate to bemembers of a group.To draw from and paraphrase from E. Fromm,The Art of Loving, the fundamentalproblem in life is getting a feeling ofsecurity in face of the anxiety from ourrealization that alone we are vulnerableto the hostile forces of nature andsociety. A shorter paraphrase is that thefundamental problem is doing somethingeffective about feeling alone — thereason we don’t like to feel alone is theanxiety.With either paraphrase, Fromm found onlyfour solutions. The first was “love ofspouse”. One of the other three was”membership in a group”.Well, then, drawing from Fromm and atleast first-cut, the readersidentify so that they can feel thatthey are members of the group of friendsof the celebrities.This stuff about identify is alsostandard in formula fiction entertainment:So, early in the story, introduce andestablish the protagonist assomeone worthy of caring about. Thenmembers of the audience identifywith the protagonist and start to carewhat happens to him.Indeed, it would be fair to suggest thatthe magazines mentioned present thecelebrities much as protagonists informula fiction entertainment.Of course, those magazines are nothinglike gender neutral and, instead,are mostly of interest to women,especially bored, lonely women short onexciting things to do in life. It appearsfrom such magazines and more in life thatthe old cliche has some basis in fact –human females are herd animals. In thewords of Jurassic Park, “they doform herds”.I didn’t hear such thoughts from theteachers in K-12, etc. So, it took me awhile to understand such things; Fromm’sbook, recommended by my brother, BA and MAin psychology and Ph.D. in politicalscience, helped a lot.Such material should be in Girls 101for Dummies — Boys.

          23. kidmercury

            beatlemania led to the beatles ending live performances. will fredmania lead to the end of avc? #letshopenot

          24. William Mougayar

            it’s not about cult. mark suster answered his AMA on video. as i said it’s the learning that intrigues me. it would be a one time, not a regular thing.

          25. awaldstein

            With a wink and a smile my friend-If you are interested in live cams of people writing, performers before they get on stage this is both intriguing and oddly like stalking in a weird way.I like to start from a product and move to the person, often not the other way around.We are what we are curious about and what we do with it.I’m probably the minority here.

          26. Guy Lepage

            If you were an artist you’d understand I seem to recall a quite popular TV show called “The Joy of Painting” with Rob Ross that had aired for 11 years before got lymphoma and pasted away. He inspired thousands of people to pick up a brush. I, to this day, can paint trees, clouds and so on quite easily because he showed us his process.

          27. awaldstein

            If I was an artist…?

          28. Guy Lepage

            Yes. If you have not watched Rob Ross paint you should watch it. Learning from people’s processes is a very important portion to learning how to paint, draw, design, write, etc..http://youtu.be/CjrWKuJWR1U

          29. awaldstein

            Ahh..You are conflating interest and degrees of insight that can be gotten from broadcast of creative and interesting people with a live stream.Not the same thing.I launched a film technology company and am a complete junkie of the craft.When someone builds a live stream with innate production and multi-camera capability (check out amplify.me) and puts it in the hands for the video maker community and production smart storytellers, the world will change and be better for it.Not remotely the same as Fred or anyone streaming a segment on themself.What this tech enables is huge.What this tech is currently doing is honesty in the hands of amateurs is making some of the most interesting people I know amazing uninteresting.

          30. Guy Lepage

            I disagree. I feel that changing a medium does not necessarily change the context. One can learn a lot from curious observation and you never know what will spark an idea. But then again I’m completely self-taught. Observation is one of the foundamental ways I learn. I’ve based my career on it. So I’d say that it has served me well.

          31. awaldstein

            So be it.

          32. Guy Lepage

            No offense Arnold but I highly suggest you watch the video clip from Rob Ross. Watch him reverse engineer a landscape and in doing so it has allowed thousands of others to quickly and easily paint beautiful landscapes. Observing processes is a powerful learning tool that should not be feared, bullied or strongmaned into be called “stalking”.

          33. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Loved him. I didn’t know it at the time but it was because he triggered my ASMR 🙂 As a nice side benefit, I learned a little about how to paint. He still gets tons of views on YouTube by ASMR people!

          34. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Niiiiiice one. Are you one of the tribe? 😉

          35. laurie kalmanson

            partially, yes. this one: shivers.

          36. LE

            I guess the difference is that Fred’s blog, while related and helpful to what he does as a VC, is not the product for which he is “famous” for or more importantly the way that he earns his living.Take the success from the way that he earns his living out of the picture, and there would almost certainly not be anywhere near as many people reading AVC.com.

          37. JLM

            .Not only that, it was great entertainment.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          38. Kirsten Lambertsen

            I personally haven’t cottoned to it yet, but the livestream traffic for people playing video games (by themselves) is impressive.I also follow a bunch of comic book artists on Twitter, and they often livestream themselves working. That I *do* get. I appreciate very much being able to watch people like that work, for all sorts of reasons.There is a There, there. I don’t think it’s so much about the “cult of Fred” as it is about getting to look over the shoulder of someone who has mastered something you’re maybe trying to master (daily blogging in this case).

          39. William Mougayar

            I’m more interested in the learning part. The video was just a medium choice. I’d be as happy if Fred shared how he thinks about what he blogs, how it comes to him, how he starts to write it, etc….But there’s something about seeing the real thing happen. I’m curious to see how he can produce a blog post of 600 words in less than 45 mins, if that’s the case.

          40. Kirsten Lambertsen

            YouNows of people sleeping. Very very Warhol 🙂

          41. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Ha ha ha! Andy Warhol is everything 🙂

          42. aweissman

            +1 to that sentiment

          43. JLM

            .Modestly creepy.Reminds me of the time I was listening to a wire on a guy who went to the bathroom.He had to wear the wire all the time because the listeners were afraid he was going to give them up while pretending to go to the bathroom.Way too much information.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          44. Twain Twain

            1998: Truman Show. 2015: Periscope, Meerkat, Twitch.* https://www.youtube.com/wat…@JimHirshfield:disqus @disqus_Awy3Cl8ObF:disqus — so 2015: Ex-Machina and 2020-2025: …The hardest part of intelligence AI researchers haven’t cracked the code for yet is the female DNA in all our brains:(1.) Language and its emotion expressions.(2.) Relativity.(3.) Simultaneous multi-directional processing — not just linear, tree hierarchical and, even, parallel processing.In 2025, we’ll read a post from Fred entitled ‘Blast from the Past’ and we’ll reference ‘Her’ and ‘Ex Machina’ alongside ‘Terminator’.

          45. Dillin

            younow seems like a recreation drug, I don’t know if we should be more concerned about kids using it or the adults watching it.

        2. JamesHRH

          Depends on your personality.People who see the world in a primarily context free manner – single bits of information basically – tend to be better a sparking a conversation.Theory or experience types tend to dominate conversations but can’t start them as easily.

      2. Guy Lepage

        I’m in agreement with William. You just never know what insight could come of it until you’ve seen it. “It’s like saying I don’t want to learn anymore. I’ve learned enough.” So I too am interested.

        1. awaldstein

          All good.We should go where our curiosity takes us.

        2. LE

          If you read AVC over time you find out that Fred that writes about whatever moves him and motivates him which changes from day to day. If you take him at his word it really is that random, spontaneous and almost shiny ball in origin.

      3. JamesHRH

        Comments are where the actions is – Fred throws a great party.Watching him prep for it doesn’t do anything for me either.

      4. LE

        Agree. And I think that this type of thinking all stems from people wanting what I call “the answer”. (You know in weight loss, in happiness, in relationships, cure for a disease, and so on..)”The Answer” therefore, is this sense that there is some magical pixie dust that you can scoop up that will make you just like one of the masters. People do this frequently obsessing over anything and everything that someone accomplished might do or say. And not just for entertainment value either. Because they think it is that simple.When I was younger a friend and I were at a party where a somewhat successful businessman who was someone else’s father in law was in attendance. My friend was just watching him and related “look at the way he moves” he was just in awe of everything and anything this man did and the halo that surrounded him.In any case William said “And hearing you say what you’re thinking as you decide (assuming it’s not a planned one).” when I guess it’s pretty clear that Fred most likely doesn’t talk to himself.

      5. Dave Pinsen

        Because in real life (as opposed to filmic depictions) the process of writing or painting is tedious and doesn’t make for compelling viewing.

        1. awaldstein

          The distinction that I’ve given up communicating is that it is incredibly interesting to come to grips and observe the creative process.But streaming it live which is what these tech platforms do is not very interesting or revealing without better tools and skills for the producing individual.

          1. Dave Pinsen

            Agreed. It reminds me of Being John Malkovich. The first time Cusak’s character gets inside Malkovich he sees him eating toast, reading the Wall Street Journal, etc. Not very interesting or revealing.

    2. fredwilson

      For some reason I’ve never gone live on any platform. It is not something I have the urge to do

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        You did teach the live online class that time… and said you didn’t enjoy it, I believe. Heh.

      2. pointsnfigures

        Live TV though.

    3. JLM

      .I am going to have to second Wm’s idea.It is always interesting to see how people prepare for big moments. Locker rooms are a hoot. I love watching coaches give their pre-game warm up speeches.I love that moment when you are getting ready to do something really dangerous and people ask you how it’s going to turn out and you can’t really tell them — so you say something so inane that they laugh.When you do that kind of stuff, you personally don’t notice it but everybody else is watching.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. Girish Mehta

        In this case I don’t care about watching Fred prepare to blog.But the idea of the ‘Moment before the Moment’ often intrigues me. It can be about several things.It can be about preparation.It can be about visualization before doing (the idea that everything meaningful “happens twice”).It can be about the moment before serendipity strikes.It can be about the “pause” of doing nothing before you act decisively.From one of my favourite movies “Twelve O’Clock High”..this part where Gregory Peck’s character stops his car before heading to take charge of the “sorry for themselves” unit is brilliant. The stop is not about the smoke (he stubs the cigarette out quickly). Its the Moment Before the Moment. Andy Grove wrote about this scene in his book.https://www.youtube.com/wat

        1. JLM

          .The military is filled with similar moments.You went to a military academy, the combat engineer school, Airborne School, Ranger School and you’ve been with your unit for a while. Your uniforms are broken in.You’re getting ready to take out an ambush patrol or conduct a raid. You’ve prepared for hours — map recon, sand table, patrol order.You tell people where the casualty collection point is going to be, the frequencies for the artillery, medevac, re-supply.You’ve checked every soldier’s gear. The sergeants do it. The ass’t patrol leader does it. Water, ammo, grenades, bandages.You can’t spit and you couldn’t drive a ten penny nail up your asshole with a sledge hammer. Sorry.Then some PFC asks you — “How’s this gonna turn out, Lieutenant?”You say, “Piece of cake, we’ve done this before. I have a date tom’w night.”Everybody laughs but you know that if it goes to form — two KIAs, 4 WIAs. But you can’t say that.Then you get on a helicopter or walk through the wire and you break a sweat.When you break a sweat, your experience and training take over. The moment before the moment passes. You’re still scared but you’re now occupied completely with doing your job and nothing else.The moment before the fucking moment? Yeah, it’s a real thing.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. Chimpwithcans

            I went to a charity function last night which had a stand up comedian as MC. He was ad-libbing entertaining the crowd.He told this long joke that brought the house down….tears of laughter all around…. applause, wooping and hollering it was so good!It was a joke about the Soccer World Cup, bribery and French people bringing cockerels into the football stadiums…..all ad libbed.My point is there was this moment where we could all see him formulating the joke in his head, off the cuff. He had the punch line and needed to form the story around it and there was tension while he tried to kick start the story.Tension reached breaking point and I could almost FEEL him click into gear when he figured out what he was going to say. Then he executed flawlessly….delivery was awesome.It was a great example of amplified idea formulation, preparation, and execution in action. V interesting to see.

      2. pointsnfigures

        Since most great ideas start in the shower, I don’t think we want to see Fred prepare.

        1. JLM

          .Haha, damn good point!JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    4. Matt Zagaja

      Though do not forget the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. The act of observation can change things!

      1. Salt Shaker

        Well, discovering Fred has a meth lab at USV would most def qualify for a “Fun Friday.”You just never know what happens behind closed doors. How about the lady who works in the tailor shop at the Dannemora correction facility? “Can you take an inch off of my orange jump suit, and while you’re at it, can you sew a chisel into the hem?” Now that would be Must See TV!

      2. LE

        Similar: The Hawthorne Effect where the act of being observed can change behavior:https://en.wikipedia.org/wi…The Hawthorne effect (also referred to as the observer effect) is a type of reactivity in which individuals modify or improve an aspect of their behavior in response to their awareness of being observed

    5. Twain Twain

      Everyone wants to both eat the dish made by a Michelin star chef and also see why and how he dreams up his menu, selects the produce, prepares it and then presents the finished article so…+1.

      1. William Mougayar

        Speaking of which, there was a great TV show called Great Chefs of the World, and it was exactly about Michelin chefs showing how they make some of their dishes, slowly in a way that you can replicate it. I learned so much from that series. Very different from Food TV which is more show than anything.

        1. Twain Twain

          I have a friend who’s founded a real-time VR company. He thought, like Occulus Rift and others, that the vertical should be Sports Entertainment and Gaming (Super Bowl, Caesar’s Palace fights etc).Apparently this is what they believe people will pay VR streaming fees to watch so they’re all fighting over the same $$$ in that space.I pointed out to him that both genders, all ages and all nationalities COOK EVERY DAY. It’s a universal habit.There’s a YouTube play of people being able to VR live-stream how they cook from all rendered angles in that, right there!I love universal habit technologies that even my mother gets.That’s my guinea pig test. If my mother gets it in 1 action or 8 words then that’s what I should work on.

          1. Twain Twain

            Maybe explains why I haven’t coded anything for Bitcoin-Blockchain yet.

          2. laurie kalmanson

            my kid was briefly enamored of a youtube cooking show where the host made things that were absolute junk, but she was a charmerhttps://www.youtube.com/wat…

          3. Twain Twain

            Haha, Captain America pizza!I’m looking forward to watching junk kids TV in extreme acid colors with one eye and sober Bloomberg corporate blues with the other, lol, :*).

        2. awaldstein

          You are mixing apples and oranges.What gets streamed and video storytelling are not the same thing.It is like saying that the movie Pollack proves that Merkat is a viable solution.The datatype is not the magic, it is how it is used and video to work is complex to use.

  5. JamesHRH

    People forget that to change the habits of an entire industry, it take repetition.Its like JLM saying ‘7 touches to close a deal’ or a friend in the beer business watching a new restaurant open in a cool spot that used to sell men’s clothes saying ‘ the third restaurant in that space will be the one that sticks.’Its mostly about your customers being ready for you…Environment matters.

    1. Twain Twain

      Indeedy, a pre-primed market. That’s what Apple gets right a lot of the time.Compare with other tech, e.g. Bitcoin, where a steep learning curve is an immediate turn-off for Joe+Jane Public.

  6. @billg

    “What’s past is prologue”. It helps remind us that while technology changes, human behavior doesn’t.

    1. William Mougayar

      But in reality, human behavior does change, but not as fast as technology, no? Human psychology maybe doesn’t change as much.We react to technology.

      1. @billg

        Fair point. Human behavior will change over time. Better to state: ‘technology changes, but problems stay the same”.For example, in the scenarios shown above, people are bored or don’t want to interact with the strangers they commute with. In the 60-70 year span in between when these photos were taken this ‘problem’ didn’t change. What did change was the technology used to entertain or otherwise divert our attention.

      2. Dillin

        “There’s something important in that realization.”can anyone fill me in on the importance?

      3. Dave Pinsen

        Meh. Disqus won’t let me paste in the comment I accidentally replied to BillG.It was about how Uber is an example of behavior and psychology both changing (getting in cars with strangers / picking up hitchhikers).

        1. @billg

          Really depends on how you define the problem you are attempting to solve. People have been jumping into on demand carriage/transportation services (driven by strangers) since the 17th century.Risk mitigation of unknown drivers/passengers is a different problem.

          1. Dave Pinsen

            The admonitions about not getting into cars with strangers and not picking up hitchhikers never applied to taxis, buses, etc.

          2. @billg

            Really? http://wkrn.com/2015/02/20/…Same goes for Uber. There’s always a risk – but that’s a different problem from getting from point A to point B.

          3. Dave Pinsen

            Yes, really. Parents generally didn’t warn their children not to take taxis. Noting the existence of those admonitions is not the same as claiming that taxis are 100% safe, for driver or rider.

          4. @billg

            Parents *today* generally don’t warn their children not to take taxis. But it wasn’t always that way. Case in point: http://www.nyc.gov/html/med…”In addition, taxicab drivers were not trusted by the public, with some having had brushes with the law before they became taxi drivers. Taxis were considered by some New Yorkers to be a somewhat dangerous mode of transportation, because passengers were never quite sure who was behind the wheel.”Similar issues exist for Uber & Lyft today. They are “new” and many people fear ‘new’. Over time, we become comfortable with ‘new’ because of growing familiarity and (sometimes) regulation. But, the fundamental job carriage services, taxis, and now Uber & Lyft are performing has remained the same: helping people get from point A to point B.

          5. awaldstein

            Just not correct.Back in the 70s and 80s, taxi’s were a lot safer than the subways.Everyone uses Uber. I’ve never heard anyone express fear. Some drivers suck and that is life.You are creating a picture that is simply not reality.

          6. @billg

            Wasn’t referring to modern times, including the 70’s or 80’s. The link above cites taxi issues at the turn of the century. And, as I stated, these issues disappear over time.Regarding Uber: I’m not creating an unreal picture. It’s a very real picture that has already been drawn:http://www.whosdrivingyou.o…And, like the issues associated with taxi’s during the turn of the century, these Uber issues will also disappear over time. That’s what I meant when I stated ‘the past is prologue’. Put another way: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”

          7. awaldstein

            Sorry this doesn’t hold together for me logically.Impressions towards cabs when my grandfather drove one in 1915 are not related in most any way to the mindset that we experience today.

          8. JLM

            .I was at an engagement shower with the young folk last night and the discussion turned to Uber in the ATX. The idea that these people even consider their own safety is a foreign language.In fact, I would be willing to say they think Uber is safer than cabs.They don’t use cabs.Quite a bit of the traffic for Uber is newly manufactured. No more “designated drivers.” They get hammered and take an Uber home.They take Uber between social nodes — Sixth Street, West Sixth Street, Rainey Street, SoCo, hip new East Austin.I am amazed to see how much of this traffic is incremental to the cab biz in the ATX. On that score, Uber is absolutely correct. They generate business.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          9. Daksh

            Well, there is some truth in the “fear” part http://bit.ly/1FWoXPd because even if it happens in 0.00001% of the cases, it is still huge enough to justify fearThis fear is not specific to any particular company but rather towards the mode of transport. Fear in this case is also a function of “where” & “when” you are traveling, some of these elements will be absent in a more public mode of transport.Probably watching too many slasher movies, but there is something more reassuring in hailing the familiar color of a cab over just about any random car!

          10. Dave Pinsen

            Parents *today* generally don’t warn their children not to take taxis. But it wasn’t always that way. So, you agree with William’s point that human behavior does change, a point I supported with my Uber example.

          11. @billg

            My point was about the core problem: getting from point A to B. That’s never changed.The safety issue is a separate issue. So: I don’t agree.

          12. Dave Pinsen

            I’m not sure why you are claiming disagreement. In your initial comment, you claimed that while technology changes, human behavior doesn’t.And then you offered an example of human behavior changing with taxis. So, you refuted your initial comment. Saying safety is a separate issue doesn’t fly because safety considerations are part of the broader issue which is human behavior.

        2. laurie kalmanson

          on the road …

          1. pointsnfigures


      4. SubstrateUndertow

        Do new technology-extended human behaviours chasing the same old human psychologies/physiologies represent real fundamental change or does technology simply impose accelerated circumstances upon those same old bedrock human psychologies/physiologies(short of direct genetic engineering)One often hears the sentiment that man continually creates his new toolsets and then those new toolsets reciprocally recreate man.I’m not so sure that accurately captures the full cyclical flavour-profile of human advancement.I suspect that our pivotal evolutionary tour-de-force resides in our fundamental psychological power of “volitional cognitive-introspection” continually being reapplied to integrating those new technical-extensions into the same old circle of basic human psychological/physiological/material needs.Ok sure . . . Thats is a whole lot of words to essentially say the same thing you did !My point is the pivotal importance of our putting a lot more focus on developing fundamentally new collaborative/mass-culture “volitional cognitive-introspection” toolsets this time round.This time round is very different.This new technological revolution represents our initiation into a world dominated by organic acceleration towards interdependently-synchronized mutually-adaptive everything.This organic-tech revolution represent a monumental change of not just “magnitude” but a fundamental change in “kind” towards predominantly self-referentially intwined processes that we must now learn to socially integrate/control and most crucially learn to systemically dampen.I tend to visualize the evolution of technology/culture as falling into 3 broadly overlapping categories.1- engineering technologies2- social technologies3- meta technologiesHere we are now rushing into a world of organically intertwining “meta-technologies” while barely having scratched the iceberg on our integrative mastery of the more basic engineering/social technologies.I don’t pretend to know what a palette of collaborative “volitional cognitive-introspection” Apps might look like or how they might work but I have a strong suspicion they will be as important to our organically collective-survival-strategies going forward as our personal inborn “volitional cognitive-introspection” psychological endowment has been to our individual survival-strategies thus far.As a wild guesses I suspect those collaborative “volitional cognitive-introspection” Apps will require:1- open public-utility based data-object repositories2- publicly warehoused APIs for riding that collaborative remix pony3- Distributive Apps-driven digital-nervous-system based governance4- Secure/moveable/standards-based data-object lockers for all levels of volitional stakeholders

    2. Dave Pinsen

      Deleted. Wrong place.

      1. SubstrateUndertow

        Those aren’t quite strangers they have been vetted/risk-reduced via the App.The basic behaviour of risk aversion is still the same – no ?

    3. JamesHRH

      Human nature does not change. Behaviours adapt to new tools.

    4. JLM

      .The Mad Men juxtaposition-ed with the Hipsters.Cool on so many different levels.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    5. Prokofy

      Well, men stopped wearing hats. Human behavior does change.

  7. laurie kalmanson

    this is awesome. before the internet was invented, cable tv / local access was where everyone was supposed to have their own show — podcasts are that now. also, youtube, vine …https://www.youtube.com/wat

    1. pointsnfigures

      Stan Mikita’s Donuts.

  8. msuster

    Said by somebody who doesn’t even know me. How richly ironic.

    1. kidmercury

      lepage came with a jab, but suster struck back with a lethal cross. going to have to give first round to suster in this beef.

      1. JLM

        .Kid, never like to argue with you. That was definitely an uppercut. I could hear the teeth.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. kidmercury

          hahahaha you know i almost typed uppercut instead! guess i should have trusted my initial instinct — thanks for chiming in to set the record straight! 🙂

      2. Guy Lepage

        Hahaha. Touché

    2. Guy Lepage

      I was generalizing. I used to live there so I didn’t mean you as much as it was a generalization. Hence the smiley face.

  9. pointsnfigures

    Live video on a phone is so infant. There is a commercial use for it, but we haven’t figured out the how, and the economics around it yet.

  10. Kevink

    Would love to hear more about the project you’re helping with that’s documenting NYC tech since the 1800’s!Fascinating fascinating area of history that I’m very into.Have also been pretty disappointed by the lack of oral histories in our industry. Have been throwing around the idea of collecting oral histories from the first tech bubble. Feels like enough time has passed people would be willing to share stories, but is undocumented enough that most people I know don’t remember or know anyone who really lived through it.

  11. ZekeV

    I used to get Pseudo on my pc in the college dorm. The interesting thing to me is how Pseudo was so ahead of its time. Just a few years too early.

  12. leigh

    I have this list from an old presentation from 2000 but only goes back to 1937 (by the way in the middle of collecting old devices/computers for an office art project if anyone has anything they want to donate to me 🙂

  13. Steven Kane

    “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald “The Great Gatsby” (last line)

  14. Prokofy

    Are they going to include Tesla? I understand he short-circuited all of Houston Street once and nearly electrocuted himself and set the neighborhood on fire.