Conan O’Brien takes on Ajay Bhatt, co-inventor of the USB

Intel did a series of commercials about how “Our rockstars aren’t like your rockstars”. The main one focused around Ajay Bhatt, the guy who invented the USB – he works at Intel. The funny thing is, Intel they hired an Indian actor to play him!

Kinda takes away from the awesomeness if you ask me. Check out Conan’s interview with the real Ajay Bhatt – it’s so good, you’ll wonder why Intel didn’t take the real deal.

(2009) Intel Rockstar Ajay Bhatt from Rob Ashe on Vimeo.

Travel, Projects, Sales & More: Top Tweets for Aug 23-25

I spend a lot of time on Twitter and this is my way of trying to capture what some of the best things I’ve tweeted recently.

In this round of Top Tweets I found some cool links on traveling around the world, talk about sales strategies, explore “awesome” web apps, affirm the power of mini-projects, and find that 4.2M isn’t eff-you money.

“Things I’ve Learned from Traveling Around the World for Three Years” http://j.mp/cIKxyM // Makes you want to drop everything & travel… | 8/24/10 8:52 AM

Sometimes, even prospects who perfectly fit your target customer profile will hesitate in buying. Learn how to turn up the heat. #sales | 8/24/10 11:32 AM

Incredible. RT @DerekeFlanzraich For $10/month, a real person will call you and tell you you’re awesome. http://bit.ly/bVo82R | 8/24/10 1:22 PM

“Rapid prototyping as burnout antidote” http://j.mp/cDEUWh by @yegg // Great way to keep life fun/interesting in general | 8/24/10 8:29 AM

Turns out that eff-you money is more than you think. @webwright crunches the numbers: http://bit.ly/amp8Bf /via @ddn | 8/23/10 12:57 PM

If you liked these tweets, you should follow me on Twitter: @jasonshen


Weekend Trip Through NYC & DC – Brooklyn (1/3)

This is Part 1 of my trip through NYC & DC. Click to read Part 2 and Part 3.

I grew up in Boston and came out to the Bay Area for college, so even though I live and work out West, I still have a bunch of good friends out East, plus some college friends who got jobs out there as well. Since graduating, I’ve really come to value the importance of connecting with friends face-to-face, so I planned a quick weekend trip to NYC/DC to see them.

The itinerary was pretty brutal – Red-eye flight out of SFO at 11pm Friday, New York all day (and all night) Saturday, 8:30am bus to DC on Sunday, evening flight out of DC that landed at 11pm Pacific. You can see the whole trip through my Foursquare feed. (Click thumbs to view full itineraries)

Click to view full Saturday itineraryClick to view full Sunday itinerary

While I was at the Big Apple, I decided to do some work-related research and spend some time in Brooklyn – because we’ve been signing up a number of Brooklyn-based blogs to power their ad sales though isocket. It’s actually really interesting because even though the blogs aren’t getting that much traffic (sub 100k monthly visitors) they’re still getting some solid advertising interest on their own. We think that after they sign up with us, they’ll do even better.

Welcome to Brooklyn

I actually got to go to one venue, Crumbs, which was featured in a post on the Brooklyn Heights Blog. The guy who runs it is definitely pretty web & advertising savvy – I expect good things. I told ‘em I heard about the cupcake place via BHB and got a delicious cupcake. I must have looked like Super-Tourist with all the picture taking I was doing, but you know what? That’s ok.

Crumbs in Brooklyn HeightsThey look amazing...Taking a big bite!

I definitely wish I had time to have checked out more places in Brooklyn like Park Slope (where a friend was moving to that day!), Bushwick and Dumbo, but that’ll have to wait for another trip out. Stay tuned for more NYC stuff in Part 2.

How to Land a Killer Job at a Tech Startup Out of College

By Jason Shen & Derek Flanzraich

Welcome ReadWriteWeb readers! We hope you enjoy our super-long post – useful for all startup-oriented folks, but specifically geared towards non-engineers. Neither of us have strong coding experience and we found that there weren’t many good resources for us in our search to join the Next Big Thing. So we wrote the guide we wished we had.
Want to read other stuff by us? Check out The Idea or The Execution? Here’s What The Greatest Minds in Tech Say by Derek and Two Mindsets to Adopt at Work and in Life by Jason.

So you know you want to work at a startup, but have no idea where to start?

We’ve been there. Here’s our advice on how to land an incredible, fulfilling gig at exciting startup just like we did. It’s a mix of the stuff we did, the stuff we wish we had done, and the stuff we’ve learned from others who’ve traveled the same path. We hope you find it valuable and would love to hear your feedback on it!

1. IS THE STARTUP WORLD FOR YOU?

Compared to most post-college jobs, startups are an entirely different beast. Your typical recent grad faces a world of awful meetings, outdated training, absurd time-tracking, and mountains of paperwork. Startups cut almost all of that out. They need employees who are 30 times more productive because they’re trying to be that much more disruptive. They’re operating with fewer resources yet need to demonstrate much higher growth. They’re constantly iterating and changing based on immediate feedback from users. They’re fueled on Red Bull (Tony Hsieh-approved!) and coffee, Chinese take-out and In N’ Out burgers.

You’ll be doing “real work” 95+% of the time. Real work is cold-calling potential customers, troubleshooting support issues, writing copy that goes on the website. And to do it well, you’ve got to know your stuff, get up to speed quickly, be flexible, deliver under constant pressure, prioritize wisely, and often work super long hours.

Both us were happy to take on these challenges. We started stuff in college and loved the feeling of working with a tight-knit team to make big things happen. We didn’t want to be just employee #10,431, we wanted to be 11% of a tiny 9-person team. Instead, at a startup, you’re more likely to avoid corporate politics and sit on fewer soul-crushing meetings while rapidly growing your skill-set, learning from and hanging out with brilliant and passionate co-workers, and maybe even making an impact on entire industries? Does that get you fired up? If so, read on. If not, you’ve got other options

2. FOCUS – ONLY TARGET A FEW STARTUPS

We think Jason Cohen puts it best: you’ve got to approach this like you’re getting married. What companies are most exciting to you? Which do you think could use your skills most? You’ve got a vision for where your industry is headed, so which companies share that vision (or inspired yours to begin with)? You’re going to have to go all-in on just a few startups because it’s your only shot at getting a job at one of them. What does going all-in mean? It means doing a ton of research (see #3), networking & building relationships (see #6), and proving you’re worth it (see #5) on just a few targets.

One of us (Jason) made a spreadsheet of all the companies he was interested in, ranked them, and stayed focused on only the ones that made his final cut. The shotgun approach rarely works here – because startups don’t have time to read your lame, vague-because-you’re-shotgunning-it cover letter.

Continue reading…

The Web Means the End of Forgetting – NYTimes.com

TigerText allows text-message senders to set a time limit from one minute to 30 days after which the text disappears from the company’s servers on which it is stored and therefore from the senders’ and recipients’ phones. (The founder of TigerText, Jeffrey Evans, has said he chose the name before the scandal involving Tiger Woods’s supposed texts to a mistress.)

via The Web Means the End of Forgetting – NYTimes.com.
Got sent this from a former colleague. Great article on how technology is changing the way we view privacy, reputation and the First Amendment. Plus a great shout-out for more discreet texting. =)