Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Quick guide to podcasts.....

I'm a podcast junkie. Podcasts are a way to get great targeted content for free. I use them to keep informed, get a diversity of opinion, and further follow some of my hobbies and interests. Some of my favorite podcast are:

(click the podcast title to see the podcast in iTunes.)

BBC Business Daily (well-rounded 15 minute daily business news magazine)

Bloomberg on the economy (15 minutes of informed economic analysis and opinion)

BusinessWeek Global Outlook (weekly 10-minute story on something going on overseas that I probably wasn't aware of)

EconTalk (weekly economists view of current topics such as global warming.)

Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders (lectures by prominent entrepreneurs visiting Stanford.)

HBR Ideacast (weekly insight from the Harvard Business Review)

Knowledge@Wharton (weekly insight from the Wharton School of Business especially market insight from Proj. Jeremy Siegel)

Manager Tools (focused business refresher lessons. Even simple topics like "How to leave a voice mail" are extremely valuable)

PIMCO Investment Outlook (monthly insights from Bill Gross, the 'Warren Buffett of Bonds.' I can't believe his advice and commentary is free and freely available.)

(If I had to choose only one podcast in this category it would be the PIMCO Bill Gross cast.)

Life Sciences
First Word Pharmaceuticals (5 minute review of the headlines of the day.)

Genetic Engineering News GENcast (interviews with scientists.)

PharmaVentures Business Review (regular interviews with pharma deal makers and news makers)

Science Talk (slightly more mainstream audio featuring the best of Scientific American)

News & Politics
Cato Daily Podcast (~5 minute daily expose of libertarian politics and policy. I learn something new every day from Cato.)

The Economist - The World Next Week (weekly look at what will become news next week.)

ESPN Baseball Today (daily during the season)

Golf Tips (3 minute long video lessons - really well done)

My History Can Beat Up Your Politics (yesterday's lessons for today's politics - extremely well done)

NPR Intelligence Squared (moderated Oxford-style debates on the issues of the day featuring teams of acknowledged experts)

RealTime with Bill Maher (audio feed of HBO broadcast. Hard to believe this is free.)

WSJ Your Money Matters (personal finance news and tips)

These are just the best of the podcasts that I listen to, so yes, I am a junkie. However, I liberally delete new episodes that do not interest me, so I'm not THAT rabid. I generally have podcasts playing over my stereo in the background or on my headphones at the gym for two hours a day. I'd like to think I'm learning something by osmosis.

One other free audio option via iTunes: iTunes U - complete college courses available free. Right now I'm slogging through an MIT biology course team taught by Eric Lander and Robert Weinberg.

So how do you get started listening to podcasts?

1) Download and run iTunes if you haven't already.
2) in the far left column, click on "Podcasts." This will take you to the directory of podcasts.
3) Find an interesting podcast either by clicking on one of my links above, clicking on an interesting link in iTunes, or using the search box in the upper right corner to find a podcast of interest.
4) once you find a podcast of interest, click on either the "SUBSCRIBE" button, or click on the "GET" button to download a specific episode. If you "SUBSCRIBE," subsequent episodes will be downloaded automatically as they become available, while getting an episode is a one-time event - perfect if you want to try out a podcast before committing. Either way, the podcast of interest will appear under the "PODCAST" tab once downloading has competed.
5) At this point, you can play the podcast by double clicking the episode, or you can upload it to your iPod or iPhone to listen to it later.

I'd encourage you to try everything. There's absolutely no cost for any of the content (you may have to listen to a 30-second advertisement on some podcasts), and if you find something you don't like, you can delete it in seconds.

Please let me know how you like podcasts, and please pass along any good tips.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

10 traits to make you rich

Courtesy of Yahoo

1. Patience
2. Satisfaction
3. Organization
4. Discipline
5. Reflectiveness
6. Creativity
7. Curiosity
8. Risk-taking
9. Goal-oriented
10. Hard and smart working.

Monday, February 11, 2008

"Go straighter!"

Satirical news site the Onion mock Nascar - something I wholeheartedly endorse - with an interview with a Nascar "coach." He's chock full of wisdom like "The most important point is to drive fast," and "Pushing the peddle down all the way is very important."

NASCAR Coach Reveals Winning Strategy: 'Drive Fast'

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Martin Plaehn's Do's and Don'ts of Entrepreneurship....

Interesting reading courtesy of Will Price's blog:


1. Do ensure for yourself (as founder or chief) that you are addressing a real market and a sustainable one; where the exchange of value is transacted and measured in US currency.

2. Do only hire for pre-identified expertise, operating need, and the energy to accomplish excellence; if you get more, great; don’t hire otherwise.

3. Do always know your cash level, weekly cash spend and receipt rates, cash-runs-out date, and close-up liabilities amounts; start finding funding choices when you hit t-minus 6 months till operating cash runs out.

4. Do money deals with money people (e.g. Angels, VC’s, banks, and credit unions); do product deals with product people (eg. Commercial companies); and do risk deals with risk people (e.g. Insurance companies). Don’t get these confused. If a product company wants to invest in your company, can they afford to take the whole thing? If not, then not.

5. Do ensure that at least one of your early formal investors has the financial wherewithal to keep investing in subsequent increasing rounds many years down the road; do make sure your different investors are really compatible.

6. Do always accumulate choice; two by definition, three of four is better; then make decisions and have a back-up.

7. Do let the stress of overload and/or capacity strain the triggers for expansion; demand flexing the edges of the system is usually the truest sign of real growth.

8. Do track revenue and cost per employee; have trigger thresholds for when to add staff or subtract. Human efficiency and innovation is what creates value


1. Don’t hire of goodness of heart or friendship.

2. Don’t hire anyone who you and your team are not genuinely excited about.

3. Don’t tolerated mediocre engineers; for that matter, mediocre anyone. An early sign of mediocrity is when you downgrade tasks and expectations to align with an employee.

4. Don’t count on your investors to take care of you when things get rough and/or protracted.

5. Don’t over interpret or count on the stated operating “value-add” from investors during their solicitations during fundraising.

6. Don’t build out your staff or infrastructure in expectation of rapid growth; be strong enough and tolerant of market back-pressure or order/service backlog.

7. Don’t keep the same sales and marketing execs if the business isn’t growing or changing for growth; no sales and marketing VP was ever fired prematurely.

8. Don’t over delegate to consultants, accountants, or lawyers; even the great ones are only as good as you are as an engaged client; read and understand everything; if left alone, you must have a point of view, right or wrong.

With my new friends on the Great Wall of China

With my new friends on the Great Wall of China
Click to go to my online photography

World sun clock

Uncommon Man's Creed

"I do not choose to be a common man. It is my right to be uncommon -- if I can. I seek opportunity -- not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me. I wish to take the calculated risk; to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed. I refuse to barter incentive for a dole, I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia. I will not trade freedom for beneficence, nor my dignity for a handout. I will never cower before any master, nor bend to any threat. It is my heritage to stand erect, proud, and unafraid, to think and act for myself, to enjoy the benefit of my creations, and to face the world boldly and say, "this I have done." All this is what it means to be an American." -- Anonymous