Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Happiness Box

Last October Tony Hsieh and the Zappos crew came to Austin. When I heard that they were coming to Austin I was very happy and excited. So much so I posted the news on my blog. When the day came to listen to his speech I brought my friend Bobby, who had never heard of Zappos or their culture.

The talk was great, message wise, but Tony seemed exhausted. He was very low energy. Bobby even commented to me afterwards that for a guy talking about happiness, he didn't seem that happy. There was a book signing immediately after, so I bought a book and stood in line. I previously listed to the audio book, so I had to buy a hard copy.

When I go to Tony he was even more muted than when he was speaking. He didn't shake any hands because he had open wounds on his palms. There was a picture showing the extent of his injuries. It was pretty bad. Since he couldn't shake hands I asked for a hug and he reluctantly obliged. I then asked him if say any of the message I sent him. He had no clue what I was talking about. There was a very cute young lady standing next to him named Mimi. She chimed in and said that she was Tony on Facebook, and that she managed that account. I felt very deflated.

Now I question how much of the Tony Hsieh persona is real, and how much of it is marketing. Last month I got a gift box from the book tour.



Don't get me wrong, I think that the gifts were very nice. They even took the time to personalize them. The message still resonates with me, but the lack of authenticity still stings a little.

Posted via email from Wesley83's Blog

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

SXSW Interactive Austin Mixer = Huge Success |

wesley_pn.jpgWe were all geared up and ready to get back home deep in the heart of it all, and boy, the ATX did not disappoint! Special thanks to Josie Fluri and all the amazing folks at The Ghost Room. Even the room's resident revenant took it easy for the night and seemed to enjoy kicking back and relaxing with good folks as much as much as the rest of us. Of course, we couldn't have done it without help from our public relations partner, Porter Novelli. Big thanks to Lisa, Leslie, Meredith and the whole Porter Novelli crew that helped us make the night special!

pn_checkin.jpgThe turnout of smart, engaging people went a long way toward setting a fun vibe. Many great connections were made that night and we hope that the SXSW Interactive event in March brings you many more. Feel free to let us know if you have any remaining questions after the Town Hall. Thanks to everyone who came out last night, and we look forward to seeing you all IRL again in March!


Top photo: Wesley Faulkner surrounded by Porter Novelli staff and friends, Middle photo: Porter Novelli rocks the check in table, Bottom photo: (L-R) Noah Kuttler, Jared Hall, Emily Grundstad, and Colin Gilmore mix and mingle. All photos by Tammy Lynn Gilmore.

I had a ton of fun at the mixer and learned some new things at the town hall. Great event all the way around.

Posted via email from Wesley83's Blog

Researchers unveil first mm-scale computing system | Health Tech - CNET News

University of Michigan computer scientists and engineers are at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference in San Francisco today presenting papers on two systems: a prototype implantable eye pressure monitor for glaucoma patients and a compact radio for wireless sensor networks.

This prototype implantable eye pressure monitor is 1 cubic millimeter.

(Credit: Greg Chen)

What makes their presentation so remarkable is that both systems involve what is believed to be the first complete millimeter-scale computing system.

The near-invisible package is just over 1 cubic millimeter in size and includes an ultra-low-power microprocessor, a thin-film battery, a solar cell, memory, a pressure sensor, and a wireless radio with an antenna.

"Millimeter-scale systems...have a host of new applications for monitoring our bodies, our environment, and our buildings," said Professor David Blaauw in a news release. "Because they're so small, you could manufacture hundreds of thousands on one wafer. There could be 10s to 100s of them per person, and it's this per capita increase that fuels the semiconductor industry's growth."

The team points to Bell's Law, formulated by computer engineer Gordon Bell in 1972, which says that a new class of smaller and cheaper computers is developed roughly every decade. This is considered to be a partial corollary to Moore's Law, established in 1970 and named after Intel co-founder Gordon Moore (first names coincidental), which describes the now 50-plus-year trend that the number of transistors able to be placed on an integrated circuit doubles every two years.

The new system out of Michigan is being hailed as the first in a new class of millimeter-scale computing, and while the researchers are specifically targeting the medical side of body sensor networks, other potential applications include tracking such things as pollution, weapons, structural integrity, and more.

The eye pressure monitor is designed not only for direct implantation but also continuous tracking of glaucoma, a disease that can lead to blindness. It incorporates the team's third-gen Phoenix Processor, which combines an extreme sleep mode and a unique power-gating system for ultra-low-power usage (averaging 5.3 nanowatts).

The system wakes every 15 minutes to take measurements and relies on 10 hours of indoor light or 1.5 hours of sunlight every day for full battery recharging. The team says the device could be commercially available in the next several years.

The researchers are also working on a radio with an on-chip antenna using an advanced complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) process that allows them to control the antenna's shape and size, and thus its response to electrical signals. Because of this control, they can do away with the bulky external crystals that keep time and select radio frequency bands for communication between two isolated devices, thereby drastically reducing the size of the radio system.

The university hopes to patent these tiny-yet-huge developments, and is looking for commercial partners to help bring the tech to market.

Posted via email from Wesley83's Blog

Monday, February 21, 2011

Networking Tip: The power of eye contact

This is my next tip that has helped me not only in networking, but also in general self confidence. Engaging on an intimate level can turn an introduction from meeting someone, to knowing someone.

This tip is pretty advanced and will be very hard to do. If you do choose to embark on this challenge it will change how you look at the world and test the core of your self control. Maybe I make it seem like more than it is. Just look into the eyes of a stranger. It sounds simple, but it is extremely uncomfortable if not done correctly. You could come off as a creep staring someone down like a mental patient.

Let me pause for a second to talk about the power of a look. You can turn a virtual dial from fear to comfort with a look. Note how a person reacts to a look. If someone can't look you in the eye that they are either distrusting, shy, or are hiding something. If someone can sustain prolonged eye contact they are very confident, trusting, and/or open. Controlling the look and reading the "response" is more art than science, so expect some trial and error.

Before using this at a networking event, practice for a bit till you feel comfortable. Make sure you are alone when you try this so you can keep focus. For the sake of time I am only going to discuss what I call the power look. To perform the power look lock eyes with some one on the same path, but traveling the opposite direction. For instance walking down a hallway at work or down a aisle at the grocery store. You must do this when the subject is as far as possible, and you must never break this gaze. Think of it as a game of chicken or medieval jousting. As you can imagine, this gets really uncomfortable really quick, but stay the urge to look away. Your heart will start to pump harder. Your adrenaline response will kick in, but don't break. Society's pressures will most likely cause the other person to avert their eyes first. This is when you know you have won.

At this point you are probably thinking that I am off my rocker. You might even know me and can't recall me doing this to you when we first met. As weird as this sounds most people have no idea what I am doing, and wont ever remember me doing it. I have to admit that I am pretty good at it now that I have been doing this for years. What this technique does is tap into primal urges and basic instincts, like fight or flight. When you try this you will see what I mean.

What do you do after you "win" this fake game that the other person was unaware they were playing? Well one of two things will happen. After a person is defeated they will either keep their eyes in another direction until you two have passed, or curiosity will over take them and they will look up to see if you are still staring back at them. I would say about 80% the latter is the case. This is what you want. At that moment give that person a warm welcoming smile. Trust me, you will get a smile back almost every single time.

When you feel ready whip this move out at your next networking event. The only modification is that after the smile you introduce yourself. You will be amazed what kind of conversation you will have after. I have a few theories why this works so well, but I won't get into those here. Give it a whirl and let me know what you think.

I hope this tip helps when you attend your next networking event. What tips do you have? Does this help? Leave a comment and let me know.

Posted via email from Wesley83's Blog

Friday, February 18, 2011

Networking Tip: It's ok to be alone

I love to go to networking events. It's what I do for fun really. I have, over the years, come up with a few tips that have helped me attend event after event with ease. I hope to share a new tip every so often.

This first tip seems strange, but it is crucial. One of the biggest hurdles to get motivated to go to an event is the fear of not knowing anyone there. Being in a foreign environment with a bunch of strangers can be a little unsettling. Just like a lion can smell fear, awkwardness gives off its own odor. Not being comfortable in ones space is not very welcoming. What you have to remember is that it is okay to be alone.

Personally I don't like to go to the movies or eat alone, but I wouldn't be a wreck if I had to. There are several tricks to overcome this problem. My favorite is to be hyper aware of the surroundings. Memorized the door, the floor, the light fixtures, the chairs; everything in the room. Act as if you will need to describe the scene to the police. This will relax you and engage your mind so you don't get board. It will also supply you with possible conversation starters.

I hope this tip helps when you attend your next networking event. What tips do you have? Does this help? Leave a comment and let me know.

Posted via email from Wesley83's Blog

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Digital Savant Podcast #1: Wesley at SXSWi | Digital Savant

Digital Savant Podcast #1: Wesley at SXSWi

Here goes!

This is my first attempt at a Digital Savant podcast. I have no idea if this will become a regular feature or what format it may take, but with the good graces of my editors, I’ve been allowed to give it a shot. Let me know what you think in the comments or e-mail me if you have tips, feedback or ideas for future audio segments. Be gentle: we did this in a single afternoon and tried to keep the editing and production very light and the length of the piece under 20 minutes.

In the clip, I chat with Wesley Faulkner, an Austin techie who is on the South by Southwest Interactive advisory board, about his experiences at the festival, how he navigates it and the best ways to get the most out of the experience. Wesley’s a friend, but he’s also well-known at the fest for seemingly being everywhere at once, making lots of connections and having a great time every year.

Other show notes from our chat:

The best way to listen to the podcast is to download it in AAC format and play it in iTunes or Windows Media Player or on your podcast-compatible portable player to see images and embedded info. You can also download it in MP3 format. Both are about the same size, 8 MB.

AAC podcast format (8 MB).

MP3 format (8 MB).

We’ll try to get this and hopefully future episodes up on iTunes at some point.

I was honored to join my friend Omar Gallaga on the first ever Digital Savant Podcast. He is awesome to listen to, so I hope to hear many more episodes in the future.

Posted via email from Wesley83's Blog

Friday, February 11, 2011

Contest Winners: How do you use your Klout for Good? 2nd Edition « Measuring Online Influence: The Official Klout Blog

Contest Winners: How do you use your Klout for Good? 2nd Edition

February 11th, 2011 by Ashley Jacober

The results are in! Congratulation to @wesley83, @steeldryver, @davepeck, @saving4someday. We will be in touch to get you your free spot at the Social Media All-Star Double Header Webinar to Benefit My Mom.

Posted via email from Wesley83's Blog