292: TZ Discussion – Doing the Business

Justin, Jason and Phil discuss the Math Academy software and the latest with the rollout of the program, the silly idea that children are incapable of abstract thought at age 11, how to raise a creative child, Phil’s experience as an analyst for an angel fund and as a head TA in business school, learning from failure and success, what’s required in terms of a business plan or financial model to get funding, why Jason prefers to ignore competitors, the non-competition between Microsoft and Google, business models, not following for the aesthetic trap and various winning strategies, a brief history of Uber’s rollout, Justin’s futuristic UI concept for Twitter (think Minority Report) and the article where Jason was recently quoted about algorithmic trading.

  1. Dylan Roy says:

    Can’t wait to listen to this! I was so happy when I saw the notification for this episode pop up!

  2. Joe Stech says:

    All the talk of Phil’s ‘business’ reminded me of this:


  3. Adam Shimali says:

    Justin, I love the re-imagined twitter stream. The reorientation of the raging waterfall to a river is genius. In a waterfall nothing makes sense, you just get rolled over and over hoping you don’t get smashed on the rocks. That’s why I’ve never been able to really get into twitter, I just can’t work out what’s going on.

    On the other hand a horizontally flowing stream/river that you can row back and forth in sounds like a much nicer and coherent activity to be involved in. It’s easier to see things from different angles. Right now there’s only one angle in twitter and that’s the one were you feel like you’re drowning at the bottom of a waterfall.

    Not that I want to give you homework but I’d love to see a demo of this 🙂

  4. Justin says:
  5. Justin I think your idea of emphasising time is interesting, although I don’t think that would really play up to Twitter’s strengths. In my opinion Twitter’s isn’t about what someone said weeks ago, or building a timeline or “profile” about someones thoughts and life social networks such as Facebook. It’s more about what people think about things happening right now.

    In my opinion making it more real-time is what’s important. They should focus on improving discussion of trending events and creating an effective platform for public conversation around those current events. This is why Twitter as a platform is great for organising protests for example. It’s quick to share something, it’s reasonably easy to follow real-time events in the form of hashtags and it has a reasonably real-time interface. Facebook and other social networks don’t do these things anywhere near as well.

    So for that reason I guess I’m not sure about your idea. I’d be more interested in Twitter focusing creating better ways for the public to discuss local and global events giving as much priority as they can to what’s being said right now than dragging up what’s been said by someone hours prior.

    But as always, great show =)

  6. Two things.

    1. We totally need a photo of that couch!
    2. What you described sounds very similar to how plurk has its timeline Justin. It’s a nice UI to be sure though.

  7. Danilo Celic says:

    Thanks for including Phil again. I always love the tech side of things, but I enjoyed his focus on the business side of things. too bad the title wasn’t “In Defense of the Me Too” 🙂

    @Jason, in an effort to get the kids to write out their steps, perhaps you can get a system that accepts their entered input. Not sure about the state of the art of entering math formulas and equations easily online. Then you may be able to analyze where in the process the students typically go awry and perhaps that could allow you to figure out to better focus on where things aren’t getting communicated properly (or understood clearly).

    @Justin, Your mockup of a potential Twitter feed looks interesting. I think that I might put the avatar graphic on the right side, reason being is that with the most recent time on the right, I can see looking to the left to see what else there is and the avatar on the right would allow a reader to see who a tweet is from and perform a quick filter to read the tweet or move on to the next one. However, you’d still have to scan further to the left in order to start reading a tweet. I’d suggest ordering the stream so that the most recent on the left and then move to the right. Then the avatar can stay on the left *and* the way we read would flow.

    The UI you propose when you zoom out, you can see times when tweets are more frequent, especially if you can filter the stream based on groups of people that you follow. As you mentioned video and audio editing, I thought of the stream tweet frequency as a bar chart along the bottom that is a fully zoomed out view of all of the tweets along the bottom of the feed display that shows peaks whose heights. Such as the lower chart on this example by Highcharts Highstock. That would be analogous to the frequency and loudness graph of the the audio in a file.

    @Jason, the precog addition to Justin’s view of the twitter feed could then be used to send tweets to lead the conversation, or be used to drive buy/sell investment decisions. Very interesting.

  8. Matthew says: