Going To Where The Audience Is

Jeff Staple posted a “comment” on his own photo on Instagram

 and was brought to my attention by my buddy EJ who asked

Did @jeffstaple just invent the Instagram tweetstorm? Was doing this already a thing? 😦💥💨

Jeff responded to EJ with this gold nugget:

Just going to where the audience is. In the “old days” this would have been a “blog post” haha

I think Jeff’s sentiment is one of the reasons people post tweetstorms*. Since you are more likely to read a twitter post than click a link to a someone’s personal site and read it there.

What’s sad but true, if you want to read Jeff’s full ‘comment’ it’s actually easier to read it on his site than actually trying to read it on Instagram :) :(

Another thing that Jeff’s Instagram post brought to my attention is that Facebook is undervalued based on the strength of Instagram’s attention quotient. That is, until they change the Instagram feed algorithmically.

*If you want to tweet a storm, Dave Winer built Little Pork Chop to help

Recap of Week 2 #30daybloggingchallenge

This week was a hard week to write because I was under the weather.

But the other day my friend Amanda Peyton tweeted words of encouragement:

My response was simple:

The act of writing, whether short or long posts, has helped frame my mind to think in a different way; how do I communicate this thought to others.

A side benefit for me has been the number of people that have emailed me referencing my posts that I didn’t even know that read my writing.

So, Thanks Om for the challenge!

ICYMI: Here are the posts I wrote last week:

And the posts that my fellow challengers wrote:

Hiten Shah:

Toni Schneider:


Dollar A Day

My friends Perry Chen and Cassie Marketos along with their friends built an awesome project, that also happens to be a 501(c)(3)

They created a site that enables people to give $1 a day to charity.

That’s it! Each day they donate the collective dollars to a different charity.

They have a simple mission that leverages and educates the Network.

I love their headline:

“Everyone knows about the Red Cross, but what other nonprofits are doing great work?”

They launched a couple of weeks ago and already have 818 people committed to donating $1 a day.

To get a sense of the types of organizations they donate to, you can view their upcoming charities.

They’ve already donated $11,590 to charities to date and are on pace to donate a $1M next year to some amazing organizations, doing great things, for the world.

I’m really proud of them, if you haven’t already signed up yet, go ahead and do so now.


My buddy Jesse Israel started a bike gang bicycling club in NYC called, Cyclones.

The Cyclones of New York go on leisurely bike adventures originating from Brooklyn or Manhattan and will end up in New Jersey or the Far Rockaways.
I’ve been to a couple and fun was had.
When the New York Cyclones ride they ride 100+ deep these days.

Im proud to say that I’m starting up the San Francisco chapter of the cyclones with my buddy Nick Crocker.

So if you like bikes, leisure and adventure…Ride On!

First ride will be October 25th!
Sign up here for updates: http://eepurl.com/YrGK1

Define: Success

Kevin Kelly gave a stellar talk at XOXO this year. I highly recommend you watch it.

One of of the key takeaways for me was his stress on the fact that there is lots of ways of being successful these days and we need to make sure we know what success looks like for ourselves.

It’s important that you don’t compare yourself to others playing a completely different game than the one your playing.

This evening I was talking to someone who works in the B2B space and he was saying how he spends a lot of his time reminding his team that they are not a consumer product that needs millions of users to survive, they are successful if a couple of thousand people decide to use and pay for their product. It’s easy to get roped into the hype machine that is consumer product reporting.

I like Kevin Kelly’s trick of defining your success at the beginning to prevent yourself from going astray.

Toxic Employees

If you have an employee that is being toxic to your working environment its of great importance that you remove the employee from the company ASAP.

Each day the toxic employee is still at the company, it’s another day that your employees feel unsafe.

The rest of your employees will feel as though you dont have their best interests in mind and they will begin to lose your trust.

They will have a harder time trusting all your future decisions.

Firing someone from your company that you may have hired yourself can be difficult but its important for the health of your company that you do it sooner than later.

iOS Keyboards

Since iOS 8, the Apple gods have given permission to choose a different keyboard when communicating. [Android has had this for a while but Apple fanboys didnt notice]

There are some fun ones like Emojiyo and Scribble Board

Even some useful ones like Clips and Goji

Its still a pain to get started with a new keyboard but once you set up one, you know how to set up others.

There is still some hesitation with keyboards and privacy concerns. When you allow full access to the keyboard you are giving the keyboard developer access to any and all communication that you’ve typed or scribbled with that given keyboard.

Apple tries to stress the potential severity of this permission setting by reminding the user that sensitive information such as your credit card number or street address will be sent over.

What in turn has happened is misinformation being spread that if you give access to one keyboard it will have access to anything you type with another keyboard

I wonder how many people actually believe this to be true beside my buddy Jordan.

In other related iOS keyboard news: John Lilly brought up the idea of having a Hipmunk keyboard  seems painful in the current iteration of how apple handles keyboards but Josh Williams (maker of goji.me) pointed out that UX for context aware keyboards will hopefully in the future.

Another fun reminder by Donnie that came of the Twitter convo about keyboards was that if you hold down the globe key you can easily switch between keyboards rather than tapping along however as John pointed out this only works from apple’s default keyboard. 

All in all I’m hopeful for the potential that iOS keyboard apps bring to my mobile experience but the current iteration is just not ideal for switching from defaults

30 day blogging challenge: Week #1

Last week Om Malik challenged Hiten Shah, Toni Schneider and myself to blog for 30 days.

These are the posts I wrote:

Om compiled the first week’s posts from the rest of the guys as well





Was going to post this yesterday, but I’ve been under the weather, so you need not worry, this wont count as my week 2 day 1 post :)

Permission to Want

Yesterday at Brooklyn Beta, Elle Luna gave a talk based on the manifesto she wrote called The Crossroads of Should & Must.

It resonated with lots of people in the room and it made others uncomfortable. Uncomfortable about their privilege. Their privilege to decide what they want for their life.

Having the ability to choose what you want can be difficult.
What if you dont know what you want?
What if you choose something and then you realize don’t want it anymore.

Elle has a great technique for recording what she wants.
She will write her wants, whether they be small wants or big wants.

I’ve adopted this practice in my own home, since in the past I’ve struggled with knowing what I wanted.
I’ve put up lots of wants that may seem unattainable but I’m happy to share that I’ve received some of them already
(I guess you’ll have to come over to my place to read my index cards:)

Awhile back my buddy Ronen V encouraged me to take part in the same exercise and I can’t recall if I ever created a want list. One helpful trick he shared with me was that you can have contradictory wants.

For example I have 2 index cards on my wall.
One that reads: I want to have lots of kids.
The other reads: I want to have zero kids.

When you start meditating on what you want you start a dialogue with yourself and with others to understand why you want what you want as well as you begin starting making moves consciously or unconsciously in the direction of obtaining what you want.

As someone who used to not think they had permission to want things, this is a great exercise of the mind, I highly recommend it.

The Price of Shipping Atoms

I recently shipped an Omega juicer from LA to SF and thought it would cost $50. 

Turns out the 17 pound cold press goddess shipped for $17.46!

i was not alone in my overestimation:

Not really sure* what has trained me to think shipping costs would be so much but I think it might have to be the variable pricing based on shape.

For example I recently used Shyp [BTW if you live in NYC or SF I highly recommend using their product to send any and all your packages via them / referral code for $10 credit = kr1fdg6 ] to send all this stuff


which was sent in 11 boxes from NYC to SF and the pricing ranged from $1.59-$3.63 per pound

The new delivery and shipping industry is interesting to me; since people are willing to pay for expedition.

The other startups that are working in the related logistical delivery space that have come onto my radar that I’m intrigued by:

Deliv offers same delivery for retailers that have physical locations in your area.

Barnacle is my favorite of the bunch that I probably will never use is. It’s a ride board program of sorts. Instead of asking for a ride for yourself you are asking on behalf of your stuff.

My long bet is that Uber gets into the delivery space.


*It’s funny how I do know who to thank for forcing me to think that anything purchased online should be shipped to my home /office for free.

Notes from Brooklyn Beta Day 1

Today was the first day of the last Brooklyn Beta.

I got to hang with lovely humans and learn some things.

So I thought I would share:

John Maeda shared the things he’s learned over the years.

He met the (former?) president of Tufts shared with him 2 awesome nuggets;

1. Manage by your outbox not your inbox

2. Trust is like a reservoir

John’s addition: Make sure you focus what you put in and make sure it’s not leaking out

Loss avoidance by Daniel Kahneman is the real deal when managing people: If you cause negative to someone you need to create 10x positive in order to have them not hate you.

it’s important to learn about Fink’s Crisis Management framework It’s good to know which stage you are at.

Inspired by the word of Paul Rand he shared:
Make $ so you can do what you love

If you want to learn about leadership read Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama


David Lowery thinks startups and bands have a lot in common, they both are really good at sucking and still getting up in the morning.

If you want to understand the current state of music and the tech space from the eyes of a musician and technologist highly recommend reading his blog for perspective.

Also I’ve added his piece on how the New Boss is worse than the old boss is to my reading list


Kristen Wentrcek + Andrew Zebulon of Wintercheck Factory

Talked about the process of creating physical products and the process of making leather bags for their upcoming collection.

A subtle takeaway: Iterate on smaller things and learn the craft before going after bigger things so as not to waste time and money

Also leather guys on the easy coast are the worst to deal with


Anthony Casaleno

Talked about the 10 years of Squarespace and how to iterate on spending money to make money. He started off spending $100 on Google ad words 10 years ago and last year spent money on this super bowl ad that cost 160k a second.

New Middle Men

When new services spring up to support specific marketplaces its usually a leading indicator that the marketplace is going to get bigger.

Most recently this has been the case with Airbnb.

There are cleaning services (all of them are still unreliable to link to), key pickup/dropoff services and even full on management companies that specialize for the short term rental economy

I’ve even recently heard of a number of uber/lyft drivers who are driving other people’s cars and then sharing their earnings with the car owner. This is a win win that I hope the ride sharing companies encourage and build systems in place to make this more common place. [I loathe seeing parked cars on the street for days.]

What are some other recent examples of this?

You Are Not Alone

There are many beautiful things that have emerged due to connected nature of The Network; my favorite thing is helping individuals realize they are not alone on this planet.

Believe it or not but I think we are still in the early days of The Network.

When I started the first Superhuman experiment (where we gave people access to an always on person assistant via text and email) there were 2 main driving forces; one was the idea that lots of little tasks can prevent people from accomplishing big tasks and the second one was that you are not the first person to have to do this task and someone else has figured out how to do it but you don’t know that.

[I wasn’t able to share the service with more than 100 or so of my friends, for a variety of reasons that I may share publicly one day, but I still think that in the future the routing of tasks to humans and machines will help us realize that we are no longer interacting with the world by ourselves. ]

There are a number of companies that are attempting to bring this future reality to the world in 2014 and I’ll probably outline them in a future post.

I don’t think people have completely grokked this change in humanity.
We still feel when we are struggling that we are the only one with this problem and nobody has dealt win this before.

So I guess this post is an introductory PSA:


If you are struggling with something small or large be sure to let others know.
If you don’t know who to tell, you can tell me and I will let you know if I can be of help: mgalpert@gmail.com / @msg / 917-439-1443


This is big in the Grinder community. Most people start off by implanting magnets in their fingertips, which gives you the ability to feel magnetic fields. Your fingertips have lots of nerve endings jammed into one area and they are really sensitive to stimuli. Magnets twitch or move in the presence of magnetic fields, and when you implant one in your finger you can really start to feel different magnetic fields around you. So it is like a sixth sense. At first you will be waving your hand around appliances, probing fields like someone looking for a light switch in the dark. After a few days or weeks you will almost forget you have the implant because your brain has fully incorporated the sense into your normal world experience. When you sleep you will notice that even your dreams have changed to include the sense. You can now perceive an otherwise invisible world.

This makes many curious about all of the other things happening around them that they can’t see and they want more. So let’s expand on the magnet thing. We can buy all kinds of different sensors to detect heat, radiation, radio signals, wifi, whatever you want. If we wrap a wire around our implanted finger and attach that wire to our new sensor, we find that the wire creates a small magnetic field to the beat of the sensor. This of course makes our magnet twitch, and now we can feel heat from a distance, feel wifi, or whatever.

Why limit ourselves to feeling these sensations? We have other senses we can induce synesthesia in. I got some media attention in June of 2013 after I implanted headphones in my tragus to do just that. I had some practical reasons for doing this in addition to my thirst for exploration. A few years earlier I suddenly became legally blind in one eye. Lenses cannot correct it and my original eye doctor informed me that the other eye was likely to follow, at which point I would be legally blind, lose my job, etc. With this inevitability in mind I decided to be proactive. Ultrasonic rangefinders are devices used to determine how far away an object is. I knew that most blind people find acoustic variations help them identify the proximity of objects, so I figured I might be able to amplify this by converting rangefinder data into audio I could send wirelessly to my headphone implants. It turned out to be much more complicated than I thought, but that is a part of Grinding that I have come to appreciate. My setbacks lead me deeper into the rabbit hole of audiology where I discovered knowledge that has unlocked a thousand more possibilities.

I’d say that 25% of the people I talk to about sensory enhancement think it’s really cool and some go get implants themselves. The other 75% will nod their head and hope the conversation ends or they laugh and ask “why would anyone want to feel magnetic fields?” I get asked that question so much, and I still find it hard to articulate. They usually point out that “you don’t need it,” to which I counter “what if you lost the ability to taste? You don’t really need it to survive.” Ask anyone with an implant how they would feel if they lost the implant, and almost all of them will tell you they would miss it. A small bit of richness would be missing from their life experience.

Visible light is but a tiny portion of the greater magnetic spectrum that we cannot see. If we modeled the entire spectrum as a road stretching from LA to New York, the amount of visible light that humans can see would equal a few nanometers. Humans, from our allegorical caves, have nonetheless managed to form and test theories about things at the edges of perception but these discoveries took thousands of years. Where would humans be now technologically if we never developed sight? How long would it take us to theorize the existence of the aurora borealis or to hypothesize about the existence of stars? This reduction of input obviously cripples the rate of input.

So is the opposite true? Would expanding our senses accelerate our advancement? My answer is yes. Some Grinder friends of mine formed a team called Science for the Masses to discover if they could biologically push human perception of visible light into the near-infrared spectrum. This is a small increase, around 6% above our current abilities. The impact is dramatic. The new light allows you to see through fog and haze, tinted windows, and some clothing. Stars can be seen during day hours. Subtle changes in blood flow can be seen under the skin, allowing anyone to detect circulation problems and find clots. Seeing blood flow takes some of the guesswork out of determining what mood your date is in and lying becomes nearly impossible. Imagine how this awareness would have altered human history, politics, art, courtship, and relationships. Does human psychology benefit in a world where sincerity and emotional context can be seen with the naked eye rather than hypothesized or conjured? The new layers of info I’ve detailed above are actually just the tip of the iceberg. The real magic of sensory expansion comes from finding deviations and surprises that don’t fit within our scientific understanding because it makes us reconcile our mental models of the world with reality.

Zoltan Istvan interviews Rich Lee, http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/istvan20140708 (via grinderbot)


I would like this so very much.

(via bookoisseur)

The way that magnets have moved from California New Age hippies in the 1980s to Seattle rockers in the 90’s to a Burning Man novelty to a major thread in the bodymod communities to, now, Grindr is kind of fascinating.

(via kenyatta)

This is fascinating!

PS Kenyatta: this Grinder is different than this Grindr