rickwebb’s tumblrmajig: I’ll talk how I want


In the past few weeks, I have heard passionate complaints against people who say “um.” People who say “like.” People who say “right?” at the end of their sentences. I just read a very fine book which spent a whole chapter decrying the use of the word “so” to start a sentence or a presentation (I…

I believe this also means I can continue to curse like a sailor (when I feel like it.) Um, right?

rickwebb’s tumblrmajig: I’ll talk how I want

It’s Almost Tomorrow:: The Golden Age Mixtape

His mixes are always epic. Thanks for yet another one, Ryan. 


Here’s a mixtape of some songs of hope for you Spotify users. Hope it finds you well, safe and warm inside your own Golden Ages.

Happy Holidays.

The Golden Age

Side A:

1. Ryan Adams – Lucky Now

2. Nada Surf – Happy Kid

3. Eric Bachmann – Man O’ War

4. Kurt Vile – Downbound Train

5. Tobin Sprout – Awful Bliss

It’s Almost Tomorrow:: The Golden Age Mixtape

Michael Berner: The Future of Social May Be Different Than We Think


I was reading the interwebs this weekend and was diving into some posts on Fred Wilson’s AVC blog. He had posted an interesting presentation from George Colony – CEO of Forrester Research – from the Le Web conference in Paris, which I thought was an interesting, if not thought provoking,…

Yep. What he said. (He’s smart and shit.)

Michael Berner: The Future of Social May Be Different Than We Think

U CAN’T HAZ SADZ: The Hushed Dangers of Startup Depression | Betabeat — News, gossip and intel from Silicon Alley 2.0.


Finally got around to reading this article, thanks to Foster’s folllow up today. It’s good. 

As a lifelong depression sufferer who ran a business, I can say the pressures were intense, and there were times I thought I would die. The day I had an employee whose child was born with its organs outside their rib cage was a rough one. Laying off people was always something that would send me into a tail spin for days. Same with having to fire someone I had greatly hoped would work out. Foster’s not wrong. The situation can be insane. The pressures are enormous. I’ve known Harry a long time, and his comments in the follow up are very him. It’s been amazing watching him grow and change as the pressures of helping found Foursquare have grown. 

But at the same time, Harry’s sort of right. I see the issue in a slightly different way. I’ve suffered from lifelong depression. Running a business didn’t make it worse. 

I watched Melancholia last night. Lars Von Trier wrote the film while he was depressed, and he has said he wrote the film from an insight that depressed people are often more calm in tense situations. Depressed people expect things to go wrong. I always expected things to go wrong. I am shocked when they don’t. I am constantly second-guessing myself, looking at problems from every angle. I have to FORCE myself to believe that things will work out okay. Optimism is forced. I would say that in many cases my depression helped me in my career. 

There’s a distinction between routine, recurring depression and suicidal urges that occur due to current, immediate pressures. Depression stays through thick and thin. Suicidal urges are situation based. 

I strongly encourage everyone to read this 2003 New Yorker article on suicide on the Golden Gate bridge. But here is a relevant passage:

Dr. Seiden’s study, “Where Are They Now?,” published in 1978, followed up on five hundred and fifteen people who were prevented from attempting suicide at the bridge between 1937 and 1971. After, on average, more than twenty-six years, ninety-four per cent of the would-be suicides were either still alive or had died of natural causes. “The findings confirm previous observations that suicidal behavior is crisis-oriented and acute in nature,” Seiden concluded; if you can get a suicidal person through his crisis—Seiden put the high-risk period at ninety days—chances are extremely good that he won’t kill himself later”

I think another under-discussed area is that I believe startup culture can actually attract sufferers of clinical depression. Depression is fightable, and in fighting it you are saying yes to optimism, that the world can be a better place. You want to actively help make the world a better place. And startupland is a very attractive place to someone who wants to change the world. 

We can work towards lessening the crucible of startupland. As I got older I realized I didn’t need to work 80 hours, and I realized that I didn’t need to succumb to every pressure around me. Talking about the issue more will help in these situations. And we should all work towards seeing and identifying the signs of someone at risk for depression. Because they can be intervened. They can be stopped, and if you stop them, they may well survive. 

But I also wonder if startupland just attracts more depressed people in general. And that, I just don’t know if it’s good or bad. As a depressed person, I, for one, am thankful there’s an industry where I can work towards improving things. 

U CAN’T HAZ SADZ: The Hushed Dangers of Startup Depression | Betabeat — News, gossip and intel from Silicon Alley 2.0.

Welcome to the NYC Open Data Tumblr



Welcome to the NYC Open Data Tumblr.

As part of Mayor Bloomberg’s commitment to transparency and innovation, over 800 (and counting!) City datasets are now online for anyone in New York or around the world to explore and access via an API, for deeper, real-time integration into apps…

NYC Digital is excited to announce that NYC Open Data is now on Tumblr, check out the blog here.

Need to locate an electronics store? Or find the closest open Wifi hotspot? NYC Open Data has been sharing this information for a while, but we expect to see even more cool maps and features to be highlighted on their newly-launched Tumblr.

Welcome to the NYC Open Data Tumblr

Generation X is sick of your bullshit

(Linked above, but since I love this so much, I’ve republished the full article below from Mat Honan’s Tumblr. Bravo, Mat, even though I don’t know you, I kind of want to kiss you right now. WITH TONGUE.)

Generation X Doesn’t Want to Hear It

Earlier generations have weathered recessions, of course; this stall we’re in has the look of something nastier. Social Security and Medicare are going to be diminished, at best. Hours worked are up even as hiring staggers along: Blood from a stone looks to be the normal order of things “going forward,” to borrow the business-speak. Economists are warning that even when the economy recuperates, full employment will be lower and growth will be slower—a sad little rhyme that adds up to something decidedly ­unpoetic. A majority of Americans say, for the first time ever, that this generation will not be better off than its parents.

— New York Magazine

Generation X is sick of your bullshit.

The first generation to do worse than its parents? PleaseBeen there. Generation X was told that so many times that it can’t even read those words without hearing Winona Ryder’s voice in its heads. Or maybe it’s Ethan Hawke’s. Possibly Bridget Fonda’s. Generation X is getting older, and can’t remember those movies so well anymore. In retrospect, maybe they weren’t very good to begin with. 

But Generation X is tired of your sense of entitlement. Generation X also graduated during a recession. It had even shittier jobs, and actually had to pay for its own music. (At least, when music mattered most to it.) Generation X is used to being fucked over. It lost its meager savings in the dot-com bust. Then came George Bush, and 9/11, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Generation X bore the brunt of all that. And then came the housing crisis. 

Generation X wasn’t surprised. Generation X kind of expected it. 

Generation X is a journeyman. It didn’t invent hip hop, or punk rock, or even electronica (it’s pretty sure those dudes in Kraftwerk are boomers) but it perfected all of them, and made them its own. It didn’t invent the Web, but it largely built the damn thing. Generation X gave you Google and Twitter and blogging; Run DMC and Radiohead and Nirvana and Notorious B.I.G. Not that it gets any credit. 

But that’s okay. Generation X is used to being ignored, stuffed between two much larger, much more vocal, demographics. But whatever! Generation X is self-sufficient. It was a latchkey child. Its parents were too busy fulfilling their own personal ambitions to notice any of its trophies—which were admittedly few and far between because they were only awarded for victories, not participation.

In fairness, Generation X could use a better spokesperson. Barack Obama is just a little too senior to count among its own, and it has debts older than Mark Zuckerberg. Generation X hasn’t had a real voice since Kurt Cobain blew his brains out,Tupac was murderedJeff Mangum went crazyDavid Foster Wallace hung himself,Jeff Buckley drownedRiver Phoenix overdosedElliott Smith stabbed himself (twice) in the heart, Axl got fat. 

Generation X is beyond all that bullshit now. It quit smoking and doing coke a long time ago. It has blood pressure issues and is heavier than it would like to be. It might still take some ecstasy, if it knew where to get some. But probably not. Generation X has to be up really early tomorrow morning.

Generation X is tired.

It’s a parent now, and there’s always so damn much to do. Generation X wishes it had better health insurance and a deeper savings account. It wonders where its 30s went. It wonders if it still has time to catch up.

Right now, Generation X just wants a beer and to be left alone. It just wants to sit here quietly and think for a minute. Can you just do that, okay? It knows that you are so very special and so very numerous, but can you just leave it alone? Just for a little bit? Just long enough to sneak one last fucking cigarette? No?

Whatever. It’s cool. 

Generation X is used to disappointments. Generation X knows you didn’t even read the whole thing. It doesn’t want or expect your reblogs; it picked the wrong platform.

Generation X should have posted this to LiveJournal. 

Generation X is sick of your bullshit

BRYCE DOT VC: Everyone Fails



Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes has struggled with his ambitious solo start-up, the social network for activism Jumo, ever since its bumpy launch. Waning traffic and disinterested users were making it obvious that the site wasnot going to catch on, despite multiple redesigns; a tough pill to swallow for the wunderkind whose second act after Facebook, online strategy at the Obama presidential campaign, was another huge success story.

I recently spoke with a friend who said you should dedicate at least 4 to 5 years of your life to each idea/business you start. If at the end of that time period, it’s not working, move on. Considering we all work about 40 years of our lives, that means we’ve got about 8 to 10 ideas/businesses we can start in our lifetime. That’s extremely humbling. Eight to ten is such a small number.

I don’t talk about it much, but I failed pretty big. Hello Health was my baby. I went for it. I stood in front of the world and said this is going to revolutionize healthcare. It’s going to restore the good old-fashioned doctor-patient relationship, create a new business model for healthcare, and give doctors a new reason for doing what they do.  It seemed the whole world rallied around me and this idea, no matter how naive I was. We opened up two practices in NYC and three amazing doctors helped us start the dream.  It worked for a while. I’m not going to go into the details of what happened, but it can best be summed up with this:

A technological solution to a political problem will fail almost every time. 

The first Hello Health office was a block and a half from my home. Every time I walked by that place, I was smitten, full of such pride and excitement. Now it’s “Williamsburg Day Spa.” Every time I walk by that, I feel deflated. But Hello Health is still going strong. It’s not a failure, just a change. My co-founder and his team are pushing ahead navigating some political land mines and changing strategy. We’ll see what happens. And, of course, I wish them all the best.

But I personally failed. I wanted Hello Health to be everything I dreamed it could be. That won’t happen, not in the way I envisioned it. That’s personally deflating and almost embarrassing.

I don’t have Chris’ track record. Although I count him as an acquaintance since he’s been at a few of my backyard BBQs, I admire him for his fortitude. When the world first heard about me, I surely wasn’t Chris Hughes. I was a young house call doctor fresh out of residency at Hopkins who started an interesting new practice. I was essentially a nobody. 

But I’m a doctor, an entrepreneur, and a mission in an industry that’s probably the hardest to create a meaningful and scalable business. I’ve dedicated my life to making the world a healthier place. And, of course, in doing so, making a living for myself. I failed once, but there’s no way in hell I’m giving up. Grant and I have been taking our time to develop our next big idea. And we’re just about to get started. I’m even more excited about this business, since it’s much more refined, much more doable, and has all the wisdom and experience we’ve gained in playing around in healthcare for the past 10 years. So cheers to round two!

He says he failed; I say it was just the first step. Insanely proud of my friend Jay Parkinson for what he’s done, what he’s doing and what he will do next.

BRYCE DOT VC: Everyone Fails

Damn, Gina: Relevant to my interests

This is why sarahb is one of the funniest, awesomest ladies on the Interwebs:

Look, no. I’m not saying you don’t almost have my number, Facebook ad. You are so close you’re on fire. You may be surprised to learn this about me, who prefers bootcut jeans and has a closet full of black cotton tops from Old Navy, but I love a good high heel. I especially love Christian…

Damn, Gina: Relevant to my interests