Joining Greylock

Today, John Lilly put up a really nice note on the Greylock Partners blog officially welcoming me to the firm.  Needless to say, I’m both honored and excited to be joining such a great team.

We’re fortunate to be witnessing the explosive growth of not one but two incredible new platforms for consumer products and services: social and mobile.  Both are literally changing the fundamental ways that consumers interact with devices, and are rapidly changing the dynamics for building successful new products and services.  After spending the past four years helping to build out social and mobile platforms, I can’t wait to partner with entrepreneurs to help them build out the next generation of products and companies over them.

Over the past few years, I’ve shared a number of insights here on this blog about building great products and companies.  Here are a few that are worth reading if you are curious about how I think:

And of course, the most appropriate for this announcement:

For now, I just want to say thank you to Reid, David, John and the entire Greylock team.  I can’t wait to get started.

How To Make A Great Tech T-Shirt

Late last year, I happened to write one of my most popular blog posts ever called: Why T-Shirts Matter

One the best t-shirts: LinkedIn Breast Cancer Awareness T-Shirt 2010

Since then, this blog post has been viewed over 36,000 times.  It has been referenced from Hacker News, TechCrunch, Zazzle, and many other blog posts.

Ironically, that blog post has a cliff hanger at the end of it:

It turns out that this is a lot harder than it appears.  Mario always tells me my blog posts are too long, so I’m going to save this topic for the next post…

So Where Is It?

One of the most common questions I get now is “when are you going to write the post on how to make great tech t-shirts?”  Let’s be frank – it has been over eight months since the original post.  Procrastination is one thing, but at this point you’ve got to wonder whether or not this is a Duke Nukem situation.

One Post or Eight?

One of the reasons I haven’t been able to put this post together is that there really is a lot to cover.  I’ve spent quite a bit of time thinking about this problem, and as a result, I’ve accumulated quite a bit of content on it.

So I’ve made a decision.  Rather than tackle this beast all at once, I’m going to turn this into a theme for this week.  Every day, I’ll post another aspect of how to make a great tech t-shirt.  At the end, I’ll add a summary post for those of you who prefer cliff notes.

How To Make a Great Tech T-Shirt

  1. Introduction
  2. Goals: Why Are You Making the T-Shirt
  3. Metrics: How Do You Measure Success
  4. Quality: Picking the Right T-Shirt
  5. Design: Styles That Work
  6. Execution: Avoid the Camel
  7. Operations: Collecting Sizes, Ordering & Distribution
  8. Summary: How to Make a Great Tech T-Shirt

Tomorrow, I’ll begin the series, adding links here as an index.  Can’t wait to get started.

Psychohistory: 2010 in Review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 440,000 times in 2010. If it were an exhibit at The Louvre Museum, it would take 19 days for that many people to see it.

 

In 2010, there were 23 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 698 posts. There were 10 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 1mb. That’s about a picture per month.

The busiest day of the year was January 4th with 2,735 views. The most popular post that day was Café World Economics: Profit & Cafe Points.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were google.com, facebook.com, twitter.com, stumbleupon.com, and zynga.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for ntfs mac, mkv to mp4 mac, hardest material, convert mkv to mp4 mac, and ntfs for mac.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Café World Economics: Profit & Cafe Points October 2009
36 comments

2

How to Convert MKV to MP4 on Mac OS X March 2008
53 comments

3

How to Mount NTFS Drives on Mac OS X with Read/Write Access May 2007
13 comments and 2 Likes on WordPress.com

4

How to Convert FLAC to Apple Lossless (MP4) on Mac OS X March 2008
18 comments

5

How to Delete Individual Backups from Apple Time Machine March 2008
45 comments

I Need to Blog More & Tweet Less

I’ve come to a painful realization in the past few months:  I need to blog more and tweet less.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m a huge fan of Twitter.  I’ve learned a lot from them from both a user-perspective and a product-perspective.

The problem, however, is that tweets are ephemeral.  They offer an interesting combination of news sharing, brief commentary, and even a smattering of public dialog.  Unfortunately, they dissipate like snow flakes on a warm windshield.

I’ve been posting on the blog for several years now.  Almost 700 posts total.  But there is no question that my blogging activity has dropped considerably as I’ve tweeted more.  This is my first blog post in over a month.

And where are those tweets now?

In 2006 I wrote a thoughtful, but brief blog post about the Orion program, and the reinvigorated plans to establish a permanent presence on the moon.  A few weeks ago, President Obama put forth a proposal to kill the program.  I tweeted several times about it… but no blog post.  It’s sitting on a “to do” list of blog topics that I haven’t completed.

Does it matter?

I suppose it depends on the reasons that people have for blogging.  For me, blogging serves multiple functions:

  1. Blogging allows me to collect and share opinions about topics of interest (e.g. The Real eBay Magic: Irrational Commerce)
  2. Blogging allows me to demonstrate my interest / skills around a topic (e.g. The Personal Economics of Farmville)
  3. Blogging allows me to share knowledge publicly (Roth IRA Loophole: Everyone Can Qualify in 2010)
  4. Blogging allows me to keep a diary of topics of interest (The Self Organizing Quantum Universe)
  5. Blogging allows me to personally experiment with social media (Category: Blogging)

Unfortunately, I’m worried that the trade off between tweeting and blogging is having a significant long term impact on many of these goals.

My working theory is that Twitter is influencing me to blog less in two ways:

  1. It’s real time. As a result, I’m more likely to comment on something during the day, rather than waiting until the evening to blog about it after work.  But, once I’ve commented, the pressure to blog about it lessens.
  2. It’s where I get my news. As I’ve started depending on Twitter more for news than Google Reader, my old workflow of going through blog posts and articles, finding topics of interest, and then blogging has been broken.

Now, Twitter has its own value.  In terms of traffic generation, I find it phenomentally effective.  It has also become my primary conduit to gain environmental awareness of topics both personal and professional.  Twitter has also enhanced my professional reputation in a number of circles – circles that rarely if ever discovered by blog.

As a result, while I’m still going to tweet frequently in the coming month, I’m also going to make a renewed effort to blog more frequently over the next 30 days.  At minimum, I’m going to shoot for 1-2 posts per week, to get some rhythm back into the exercise.

I’m also going to experiment with some different tools and features to see if I can’t help turn topics that I find interesting enough to tweet about into topics I’m interested enough to blog about.

The Identity of Fake Leonard Speiser is Revealed!

Too much fun.  Tonight, we revealed the identity of Fake Leonard Speiser to, well, the real Leonard Speiser.

The key to obfuscation was simple: there was no one Fake Leonard Speiser.  A group of people who have worked with Leonard before all had access to account.  Consider it a form of “Twitter Improv”.

Yes, this is the kind of fun we have in Silicon Valley.  It’s because we’re geeks.

See below for the kickoff email.  We had fun with this all weekend.  I hope Leonard (and fans) did too.  I’d like to think that even though Fake Leonard was just around for a few days, he was starting to develop a real personality.

Goodbye, Fake Leonard.

From: Adam Nash
To: Elliot Shmukler, Chris Yeh, Bart Munro, Ben Foster, Shri Mahesh, Michael Dearing, Kenny Pate
Subject: Welcome to the Fake Leonard Conspiracy
Date: Fri, 25 Sep 2009 11:10:37 -0700

Merely by reading this email, you have been inducted into the Fake Leonard Speiser conspiracy.

Yesteday, Leonard made the mistake of issuing this tweet:
http://twitter.com/leonardspeiser/status/4350181575

Clearly, this was a desperate cry for a prank.  We will oblige him.

Behold, Fake Leonard Speiser:
http://www.twitter.com/fakeleonard

Instead of just one of us making up fake lines from Leonard, we are *all* going to contribute.  Kind of like a live, Twitter improv.

Here is the commitment:
For the next few days, every one of us will make *at least* one tweet from the Fake Leonard account.  Don’t worry about being consistent with the tone of everyone else too much – just shoot out lines that you can imagine Leonard saying.

Follow @fakeleonard, and tweet/respond/retweet his posts, to help get his followers up.  If someone wants to run around and follow a broad swath of his social network, all the better.

This is all in good fun, so nothing too personal or offensive.  🙂

The account password is:
********

Please try to make your first tweets today… I got mine in.

Email me with questions.
Adam

Update: I’ve been reminded that this is the second online gag I’ve played on Leonard Speiser… in the first, the co-conspirator was GoldenPalace.com.