Parallel universes

Sometimes listening to the media today feels stepping into parallel universes. It shows you how REALLY divided we are.

Axios has a fascinating story about the differences between how MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and Fox New’s Sean Hannity covered the Nunes memo.

It underscores the importance of teaching media literacy. We need to ensure that the next generation is able to successfully parse through all of this.

I want Tesla Solar Panels!

Tesla just announced that they’re going to be making their solar energy products available at 800 Home Depot stores across the United States.

I’m so excited to see Tesla and solar energy becoming more mainstream. We need more energy solutions in the US. The answer is energy alternatives not drilling more oil.

I’d love to add Tesla solar panels to our house with the battery, produce enough of our own electricity, and stop paying the electric company.

When real life feels like House of Cards…

This last week Timothy Egan wrote an excellent column in the New York Times about the deal that you’re making with Donald Trump. It feels too much like House of Cards and it will soon all come tumbling down.

Going into the midterm elections, Trump is offering this deal to his supporters: Say nothing about the lies, the bullying, the accusations of sexual misconduct from more than a dozen women, the undermining of the rule of law, the abdication of basic decency — and in turn he will make you rich.

The Ups and Downs of Bitcoin

I’m fascinated by Bitcoin and crypto currencies. I haven’t invested anything but I know a lot of people that have. Some friends have made some nice financial returns on their investments.

Because the currencies aren’t backed by anything or anyone, you have to be prepared for incredible instability and the potential for BIG losses.

Self driving cars are coming…

Every year the State of California releases data on the companies that have licenses to drive self-driving cars, like how many miles they drive and how often they have to disengage self-driving mode.

For Waymo…

…its cars go around 5,600 miles between disengagements. To put that into perspective, if Waymo gave one of its cars to someone with a 10-mile commute, that person would only need to take over the wheel about once a year, on average.

For Cruise (a part of General Motors)…

…it went from 35 miles per disengagement in last year’s report to 1,250 miles per disengagement this year.

Self-driving cars are coming! Get ready.

Blue Bottle Coffee

I started going to coffee shops with my dad when I was 12 or 13. We’d go before we’d go to the grocery store. Because I was young, at that point, I was drinking sugary drinks that had barely any coffee. After college, I moved to Washington, DC. I tried different coffee roasters and shops. I could start to see that coffee could really be an experience.

On a business trip to San Francisco, I was staying downtown and walking around after a conference. I stumbled upon Blue Bottle Coffee‘s outpost in Mint Plaza.  I instantly fell in love with the brand as it taught me new depths of what coffee could be.

The company was started by James Freeman in Oakland, CA in the 2000s. They’ve become known for sourcing the best beans, quality roasting, incredible freshness, and perfection in brewing technique. For example, they only sell beans that have been recently roasted to maximize flavor.

This morning, I was drinking beans from a farm in Myanmar. It popped with flavor. Drinking the coffee is like going on an epic journey.

I’m sure it all sounds pretty silly. You just have to try the coffee. They have cafes in most of the major coastal cities. If there isn’t one close, you can order their beans online and brew at home.

I’ve become mildly obsessed. We don’t have Blue Bottle in St Louis. So I’ll buy the beans from time to time online. When I do business trips to the coasts, I’ll book my hotels according to where I can drop by one of the Blue Bottle cafes. My teammates make fun of me. 🙂

So, go out there and try Blue Bottle Coffee.

What’s your voice marketing strategy?

The 2017 holiday season was BIG for smart speakers, like Amazon Echo and Google Home. They’re now in 39 million American homes.

Just today, this space hit another milestone. JP Morgan has hired Vayermedia to be their agency of record to tackle voice marketing. It shows that BIG brands are taking notice.

Also interesting that this space has formalized enough to be its own specialty… voice marketing.

“True conspiracies are rare but stupidity is nearly universal.”

NY Times opinion columnist Bret Stephens nailed it…

The principal lesson of paranoia is the ease with which politically aroused people can mistake errors for deceptions, coincidences for patterns, bumbling for dereliction, and secrecy for treachery. True conspiracies are rare but stupidity is nearly universal. The failure to know the difference, combined with the desire for a particular result, is what accounts for the paranoid style.

 

My Favorite Coffee Equipment

When I was younger, I’d go grocery shopping with my dad. Before the store, we’d get a coffee. At that point it was sugary coffee drinks. At some point it morphed into a real love of the art of coffee.

I also noticed that with the right coffee gear you can get better flavor out of even mediocre beans.

Here’s the setup that I’d recommend…

  1. Chemex – I make coffee for my wife and I every morning. The Chemex is perfect for both of us.
  2. Chemex Filters
  3. Aeropress – When I need a quick coffee, like right now, I love my Aeropress. Brew time is under 2 minutes.
  4. Capresso Burr Grinder – The burr grinder is pretty key. It gets a more consistent grind than the blade grinder.
  5. Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp 1.7-Liter Stainless Steel Cordless Electric Kettle – You don’t want a straight boil. You want about 200 degrees. This gets it there easily. It’s pretty slow to get going but works well.
  6. Kitchen Scale – Gotta get the right amount of beans. I still use a 16:1 water to grinds ratio.

What does your coffee setup look like?