Signature Wishlist

My friend Rafe Furst and I came up with this a while back. The premise is that stating your needs in the signature of your email gives your network explicit permission to watch out for ways to help you.

No more guessing about how to do someone a favor, or hoping someone picks up a hint… Instead, if someone wants to help you, they’ve got immediate insight as to how.

This all rests on the premise that our networks are looking out for us, and that this help is reciprocal. I wrote a book about how I think our networks are the most powerful thing we have, but feel free to adapt this to your own email signature and let me know how it works!


 

Here’s mine as of June 30, 2014:

Was this email helpful? If so, please consider introducing me to someone who:
- could hire me to speak about the future of technology / innovation
- is interested in exploring a radical new model of investing
- can help make a tv show about technology, innovation, and/or hacking
- wants to help build www.ntwrkr.is, a platform to add value to people’s networks
- I can help.

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Serendipity

What if there were a way to meet people you didn’t know existed, but who were likely to be of high value to you? It’d beat the pants off the “shake hands with random people and pray” model currently being used at conferences and events. This is an algorithmic attempt to provide something better using a simple common-sense premise and some branch point maths.

Note: this project is currently under funding discussion, so I can’t say much more here. Contact me if you want to know more!

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Swedish National Radio Interview

This was a fun interview to do; Karin Gyllenklev was a great interviewer and we had a long chat about the Crowbox and where we’re hoping it’ll all go.

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HBR piece; “Can reputation come down to a number?”

A lot of the conversations I’ve been having around my book, Reputation Economics (MacMillan, Fall 2013) have brought up the idea of a “universal reputation currency.” In all the work I’ve done with various technologies I’ve yet to find an algorithm or computational model which encompassed all of causality – and with the extremely context-dependent nature of reputation, the situation is even worse.

This article is an attempt to explain why “one reputation measure to rule them all” is such a bad idea. I’d be curious to know what you think!

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VoiceOver for Google’s new Alternate Reality Game, Ingress

I’d only ever done voiceover narration for my television series, The Linknothing like this: I got to play the role of a conspirator in Google’s huge new location-based Alternative Reality Game (ARG).

It’s based on their Android devices and (of course) the web, and it’s pretty epic – using the app you have to capture certain “portals” of weird energy and compete (or collaborate) with unknown others to overthrow… Well, you’ll have to check it out yourself to learn about the rest. ;)

You can view some of the clues here, learn more about the game itself at http://www.ingress.com/, and check out a pretty cool review over at IGN.

Special thanks to Flint Dille for giving me the chance to participate. I always knew I’d love playing a super villain!

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CNN Money article: “3 entrepreneurs who felt they had no choice”

I had a blast writing this article, interviewing some of the smartest minds in business I know (Geoff Vuleta, Allan Chochinov, and Bjarke Ingles.) I started out the piece trying to figure out how these guys handled the huge transitions in their working lives, and was surprised to come out of it with an understanding of how their compulsion to “do the right thing” had driven them so assuredly in one direction.

It was a blast to write, anyway. I hope you enjoy it, too – you can read the full piece here.

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Warby Parker

You’ve got to love a good business model, especially when it replaces one that’s so clearly broken. The margins on eyeglasses are ridiculous – two dollars worth of materials sold for $500, with almost no shipping costs and limited manufacturing overhead.

The guys at Warby Parker figured this out and decided to try something different. Instead of blowing all their cash on a retail space and licensing big-brand designer names, they did their homework and made a deal directly with manufacturers to produce classy, high-quality frames you order online.

This works for three reasons; One, you can choose up to five frames to try at home. They mail them to you and you have a week or so to try them all on and make a decision. This is in many ways better than shopping in a store – usually you don’t have your friends with you, and it’s impossible to really see how you look in non-prescription frames. Secondly, when you buy a pair they automatically send a set to someone in need. Knowing that you’re money is going towards something that matters sets them apart from most retailers. And thirdly, their frames are only $100.

It’s a hard deal to beat, and honestly I *love* my Warby Parker glasses in a way I haven’t loved any glasses in a long time. That’s a huge difference, for a great price.

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Rogan NYC

The guys at Rogan are the sorts of fellows you’d want at your birthday party – genuine, funny, and inspiring as hell. They’ve launched a few product lines, such as Loomstate, billed as “a casual brand dedicated to creating demand for certified organic cotton using socially and environmentally responsible methods of production.”

And they deliver. I wore their jeans for most of the filming on The Link and they were enormously comfortable and fit great. Knowing that the pants were produced sustainably was a big plus, especially in terms of wearing higher-end clothing.

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Icebreakers

Some things you can live without – mojito’s, for example, or baby oil back massages. Wool clothing is not one of those things. Maybe it’s because I lived in Iceland for a few years, but you’ll have to pry my marino layers out of my cold dead hands.

There are a number of myths about wool, and Icebreakers embodies the best of them. They’re odor resistant, non-itchy, very thin, and comfortable as hell in both hot and cold weather.

I wear my lightweight underlayer and/or a midweight layer in spring, the lightweight tee’s in summer, and a slightly thicker underlayer plus an overlayer in the fall. Wintertime I wear all of the above, layering as needed depending on how active I am, but honestly I don’t usually go without except in the summer – if needed.

Thanks to a good Icebreaker layer I can wear a lot less – which means I’m more comfortable, carry less weight, stink a whole lot less, and can be more active in a wider variety of environments. If you’ve been doubting if wool’s worth it, I encourage you to spring for some Icebreakers. You’ll thank me.

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Blundstones – Shoes That Mean It

There are shoes that you try on and that feel weird, and then twenty years later you wonder why you didn’t buy them earlier. These are those shoes. I’d had them suggested to me multiple times, but it wasn’t until a couple years ago that I took the plunge – and I’ve never looked back. They’re sturdy as hell, MUCH more comfortable than you’d expect in *all* kinds of weather (especially in hot weather when you have to wear something solid and don’t want to drown in sweaty socks – although they’re just as good kicking through snow drifts), and look respectable in a variety of settings. I wear these 365, just like they do in Australia, and believe me, they work. Go get you some.

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Big in Malta!

So, so cool – I remember the local paper interviewing us while we were shooting in Malta. It’s a tiny island with a people and culture that are SO proud… and it’s a beautiful place. Working with the firework makers was a total pleasure, and seeing the festival was AMAZING. I haven’t seen that much stuff blowing up at that good of a party since my friend 3ric’s giant warehouse hacker lab new year’s party! ;D

Check it out here.

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VivoBarefoot

A few years ago I started getting back pain in my lower back – too many years coding on the couch interspersed with downhill running had finally caught up with me. I looked into all kinds of solutions, and aside from regular sit-ups the only thing that helped was getting better shoes. Specifically, getting Vivo Barefoots.

They’re by far the most comfortable shoes I’ve had, and feel more like slippers than tennis shoes. With more room in the footbox your toes can spread out, and with their ultrathin soles it often feels like you really are walking barefoot.

That’s not what sold me, though. To be honest the whole “barefoot running” phenomenon seemed kind of crazy to me. But when I first went in a TerraPlana store (their parent brand) and tried them on I walked around for a few moments – and my back pain completely disappeared, for the first time in months. I bought my first pair on the spot and have never gone back – and neither has my back pain.

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511 Tactical

When we first started shooting The Link I started spending a lot more time with law enforcement and emergency response personnel – a lot of the stuff we were doing was dangerous (like replicating greek fire) or involved precious items (like an original Gutenberg bible). After a while of being on the road and seeing how my ordinary civilian duds weren’t cutting it I started asking them for advice, and most of them told me to get some 511 Tactical.

It turns out that 511 Tactical is the Levi’s of tactical clothing. Solidly built, reasonably priced, and *comfortable*, they fit the bill for almost any body type that needs to be able to go from looking presentable to crawling through mud, broken glass, or whatever. They’ve got a wide range of stuff to choose from, but if you’re going to be outdoors or in any environment where you suspect your chino’s might not cut it, you should get some.

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ExOfficio

ExOfficio was a favorite brand of mine well before I started traveling part time professionally – their boxers particularly are major win when you’re trying to travel light. Take two pairs on a trip of any length and wash one in the shower each night before you go to bed. They’re guaranteed to be dry in just a few hours. They’re comfortable as hell, too!!!

It sounds silly, but a little savings on weight and size makes a huge difference. When I was shooting The Link I was on the road roughly three weeks a month, and reducing the amount I had to carry got to be an obsession. ExOfficio’s fast drying materials made that possible.

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Digital Vagabonds radio interview

I’d completely forgotten about this interview until someone contacted me about it recently and I was reminded about how cool it was. Basically the German National Radio (I think) did a piece on people who were living nomadically and using the internet and its related technologies to make doing so easy. It’s a big part of how my wife and I have set up our own lives just to reduce cognitive overhead, and also a big part of our ongoing minimalization efforts. You can listen in here.

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