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In Experts we Trust

3 Sep

“There is not the slightest possibility of such journeys.” -American astronomer F.R. Moulston on humans going to the moon (1935).

“Heavier than air flying machines are impossible.” – Lord Kelvin, President of the Royal Society of London (1895).

“The [atomic] bomb will never go off, and I speak as an expert in explosives.” -U.S. Admiral William D. Leahy to President Truman (1945).

“There is no reason for any individuals to have a computer in their home,” -Ken Olsen, founder of DEC computer company (1977).

Good motivation for entrepreneurs who get a lot of doors slammed in their face ūüôā



The Internet of Things

21 Apr

All you need to know about the IoT;


‚ÄúThe most amazing thing about IoT is you take common day things and you plug them¬†in to become part of this bigger network. It changes the object from a thing, to a service,‚ÄĚ Mohammed says. The important thing in this change becomes not what can you link up, but what utility you can provide.” ¬†Jahangir Mohammed.¬†

Jahangir Mohammed remembers his first pitch for¬†Jasper Wireless¬†in 2004 to¬†investors at Sequoia and Benchmark¬†going something like this: ‚ÄúAll people are getting connected, all things are going to be connected, inevitably a platform is needed to do this.‚ÄĚ



The Power of Habit

15 Nov

Enjoying my latest book, The Power of Habit- why we do what we do in life and business. Claude Hopkins is mentioned early on and is best known for a series of rules he created on how to initiate new habits in consumers. He found that in order to induce consumption of a new product you needed a cue, or trigger, that would induce the particular behavior, and lead to a reward. Take Pepsodent- the first successful toothpaste, which a friend of Claude’s convinced him to help market. Claude read up on dental hygiene, which was a foreign concept to most americans at the beginning of the early 20th century. He found a reference to the natural build up of mucin plaques on teeth, which he dubbed “the film”. The toothpaste would be advertised as a creator of beauty by removing this cloudy film. ¬† Simply ¬†run your tongue across your teeth, was the trigger that drilled home the necessity of brushing one’s teeth. The reward was beautiful teeth. Simple and brilliant!

Cue —- Routine —- Reward

This is the Habit Loop. Cue (run your tongue over your teeth), Routine (brush your teeth, with Pepsodent of course) and Reward (beautiful teeth).


I highly recommend this book.

Cloud Organization…not Computing

11 Nov

Quick post to help you efficiently organize your thoughts into a coherent argument, speech, presentation, etc.

3 step process;

1) brainstorm ideas without regard to organization

2) write good ideas into one of three clouds drawn around a central issue

3) convert your cloud map into an outline Cloud Idea

“Clear writing and clear speaking are a result of clear thinking.”

Look for logical segues between clouds and create a 5-part outline.

In summary the 3 step cloud process to create a 5 part outline is as follows;

1) brainstorm

2) cloud up your ideas

3) outline your speech

4) edit and revise the outline

5) rehearse and perform your well organized speech/presentation

For a more detailed analysis please visit (Joe Cook)

Cloud Map

Design Thinking

3 Apr

Did the designer understand the problem, frame it in a way that exploration
could potentially lead to a good solution, find such a solution within the solution space, and
deliver an artifact* consistent with the plan?

4 Stages of Design

*Artifact to be used in the broad and atypical sense to describe any product of intentional creation, including physical goods, services, software, graphics, buildings, landscapes, organizations, and processes. These artifacts can be categorized into domains, within which specialization of design methods can be useful. KARL T. ULRICH



14 Mar

I’m fascinated by all of the novel uses of smart phones these days. The field of mHealth-mobile phones used for diagnostics is¬†particularly¬†attractive, lucrative and growing. I envision a day where the phone can perform all the tests you need to go see a doctor for. Our generation will demand it and engineers will make it possible, because¬†capitalists¬†will see the payout.

In an interesting excerpt from the times article linked above;

Aydogan Ozcan, who runs an electrical engineering lab at U.C.L.A., has developed small attachments to cellphones that can serve as a sophisticated microscope, diagnose common diseases, detect pathogens such as E. coli and sniff out allergens.  The phone can also send reports to a Google Map server to plot the spread of disease (it’s only meaningful, of course, if enough people use the system).   Perhaps most intriguing, his lab has developed an online game in which players undergo a brief training, then examine slides of cells to guess if they are infected with malaria.  Dr. Ozcan found that a group of nonexperts came within 1.25 percent of the accuracy of an expert, opening the possibility that a crowd of amateurs could perform remote diagnoses when experts are scarce.

Crowdsourcing diagnostics…wow!

I take issue with the authors claim that, “Success should mean better health outcomes.” I’m not against better health outcomes, I just feel their is a convenience aspect to the devices. The outcome’s might be the same if you had gone to a doctor, but the mobile device¬†saved¬†you a trip. This line of reasoning may be more applicable to rich countries than developing ones, where people don’t have access to a doctor. In which case I would hope the applications provide better health outcomes.

TED x Buffalo

21 Feb

Excited to be a part of the team organizing the 2013 TEDxBuffalo event. If you know of anyone who would make a great speaker- email me at

Past events see here-

More info to follow