Last night I was in the Las Vegas airport, waiting for boarding to start on my flight. I went there an hour early because I didn't have time to play poker, so I figured I could get on wifi and get some work done. I knocked out a couple small SETT bugs, and then remembered about getgoing.com, the YC-backed discount flight site. The way it works is you pick two deeply discounted flights that you'd be willing to take, put in your credit card, and getgoing picks one for you. You don't know where you're going until after you've paid. When I first got invited to the site I mucked around with it and found some really great fares to both Beijing and Shanghai.
Maybe I should go to China, I thought. Twenty minutes later my flight to Shanghai was booked.
I like making impulsive decisions like this. My past is filled with them, and none that I can think of have ended in regret. Actually, if I were asked what I thought my biggest strength is, I would probably say that it is making good decisions very quickly.
I wasn't always good at making quick decisions. Twelve years ago I had the opportunity to fly on the Concorde for $1000. It was usually over $10,000 round trip. I really wanted to do it, so I called a few friends to see if anyone else was interested. There was some hemming and hawing, but no one was ready to commit. Well, I thought, I'll wait until tomorrow and buy a ticket then if I still want to go. The next day came and the deal was gone. Now the Concorde is decommissioned and I'll never have the chance to ride it. Strange is it sounds, this is probably one of the bigger regrets in my life. I really wish I got to ride the Concorde before it folded.
As one of those so-called "content creator"-type persons in the world today I've often struggled to come to terms with how content is treated in the digital age. I've studied and practiced for years to create content that can (and I oftentimes believe should) just be given away. There's this internal conflict constantly going on between the part of me that's worked hard for years to create this valuable content and the part of me that says, "¡Viva la revolución! Make it all free!"
So I was really excited to see this video of a presentation on 'Monetizing Information' given recently by my friend Eric Neuman in New York. I've been friends with Neuman since college and besides being a brilliant programmer and entrepreneur (he's co-founder and CTO of DecisionDesk) he's an extremely insightful visual artist and theorist. He's one of those rare individuals that can analyze a problem from almost every angle, break it down into its raw parts and come up with radical, yet practical solutions--something he not only does every day in his work with DecisionDesk but also in the realms of artificial intelligence and, in this case, the future of the economy and its impacts on society.