The Jeff Bezos School of Long-Term Thinking


Why focus 10,000 years into the future? The answer lies in Bezos’ letter to Amazon shareholders from 1997 when the company went public, a manifesto of sorts about the benefits and approaches to long term thinking.

The 1997 letter’s main point: we can’t realize our potential as people or as companies unless we plan for the long term. Every subsequent year Bezos has ended shareholder letters by attaching the original 1997 essay with a reminder of the importance of thinking long term. And every year, he is proven right.

The company that started out as a few guys in a garage has now revolutionized the way we buy everything from books to toys to clothes. Amazon is now one of the 100-largest companies in America, mostly thanks to bold long term plays like the Amazon Kindle.

“If everything you do needs to work on a three-year time horizon, then you’re competing against a lot of people,” Bezos told Wired in 2011. “But if you’re willing to invest on a seven-year time horizon, you’re now competing against a fraction of those people, because very few companies are willing to do that.”

We can’t realize our potential as people or as companies unless we plan for the long term. Seguir leyendo “The Jeff Bezos School of Long-Term Thinking”

Pepsi y Twitter anuncian su acuerdo global de colaboración

Pepsi logo (1970-1991) In 1987, the font was m...
Pepsi logo (1970-1991) In 1987, the font was modified slightly to a more rounded version which was used until 1991. EL MEJOR LOGO A MI GUSTO

Esta exclusiva colaboración ofrecerá a los consumidores de Pepsi una nueva conexión con su música y artistas favoritos

Pepsi presenta “Live for Now Music”, un acuerdo a nivel global con twitter, cuyo foco principal será el mundo de la música. Gracias a este acuerdo, que forma parte de la campaña internacional “Live for Now” lanzada recientemente por Pepsi, alrededor de 140 millones de usuarios de Twitter podrán escuchar música a través de descargas gratuitas semanales, descubrir vídeos musicales originales y una disfrutar de los conciertos Pepsi que se llevarán a cabo este verano y otoño en Estados Unidos.

El acuerdo “Live for Now Music” comprende: Seguir leyendo “Pepsi y Twitter anuncian su acuerdo global de colaboración”

LivingSocial’s 5 Simple Tactics for Getting 30 Million Subscribers


When LivingSocial launched in 2007, the co-founders thought it would be interesting to match a user’s location with their interests. The model has evolved to selling vouchers to users for local experiences, and LivingSocial now serves daily deals to over 30 million subscribers. Want to know how they did it? Earlier this month, Andrew Warner of interviewed LivingSocial co-founder Tim O’Shaughnessy. In the interview, Tim reflects on the early days and shares the strategies LivingSocial used to fuel its explosive growth. This post includes five of those strategies.

1. Build Connective Tissue

LivingSocial Email Tactic

Tim believes LivingSocial’s over 30 million customers are “establishing that connective tissue with us, where we send [them] a great thing to do every single day”. How can you reach as many people as LivingSocial does? Tim explains, “to do that, we have to know what your email is”, so “we just made it as blatant as we possibly could”.

By requiring first-time visitors to provide an email address, Tim says you help those people who “would want to subscribe and wouldn’t really know how to do it”. Don’t miss out on this opportunity, because as Tim points out, “email is one of those things that people keep open as a tab in their browser all day long. So if you have a compelling value proposition, then it can work”.

Take Away: Email is still a powerful way to directly communicate with your users and it can amplify the viral spread of your messages. In certain businesses it may be more effective than social media.

2. Help Your Customers Find Lunch

find lunch with livingsocial deals

Have you ever thought “Hey, I’m going out with one of my coworkers, we’re going to grab something to eat, where should we go to lunch today?” Tim realized, “right now, there’s really no way for merchants to compete for your business or try to compel you to go there when you’re in the market”. So the LivingSocial team created Instant Deals, which Tim thinks, “is one of the big, new places that the space can go”.

Instant Deals work by providing real time offers with all sorts of different merchants. Tim describes Instant Deals as being “like an offline Google search. If you went to Google and typed in ‘nice blue handbag,’ they’d give you a great set of results. If you typed in ‘where should I go to lunch today,’ they don’t”. Tim says Instant Deals is “really providing the answer to that” and that “it’s a really compelling experience that we can bring to our members”.

Take Away: Ask yourself: What problem am I solving? Is there a demand for my solution? If you can confidently answer those two questions, then you might be on your way to something great!… Seguir leyendo “LivingSocial’s 5 Simple Tactics for Getting 30 Million Subscribers”

Amazon negocia con editoriales un servicio de alquiler de e-books

 El gigante estadounidense de ventas online Amazon está en discusiones con editoriales para lanzar un servicio de alquiler de libros digitales mediante abono, informó el diario The Wall Street Journal en su página web.

“Varios dirigentes de la industria editorial indicaron que no estaban entusiasmados con esta idea porque piensan que podría reducir el valor de los libros y porque podría perjudicar la relación que tienen con otros distribuidores”, señaló el diario, que citó a fuentes cercanas a las negociaciones.
Seguir leyendo “Amazon negocia con editoriales un servicio de alquiler de e-books”

Brent Payne’s SEO ConvergeSouth Keynote

Brent Payne

Brent Payne (@brentdpayne) works for the Tribune Company, and makes sure that SEO is an important of the business communciations and content process at the paper. Brent gave the ConvergeSouth keynote on Friday Oct 1st.

History of Search: infoseek, metacrawler, Lycos, Excite, AltaVista, HotBot, Ask Jeeves. 10 years ago Google just being born. Yahoo! was big. Today we are down to four: Google, Bing, Yahoo! and Ask. Big merger coming in 2012 with Yahoo! and Bing.

Google: Trying to response to the search competition. Pulling in one boxes, music and more. Will do partnerships, example of instead of seeing LA Times will see results from who ever Google chooses to link to.

Why Care About SEO?: Lots of people do a lot of searches. Lots of opportunities to acquire customers.

Why Listent To Brent?: He started off as a spammer. Realized he did not have to beg people to buy products, when bought stuff from him, and he starting ranking highly.

Tribune Story: Since Jan 2007, tripped search traffic.

Traffic & Google: Over 50% of traffic should come from search. Trick of SEO is that you have to be on the first page of Google, or the other search engines. Expectations have changed. If you are not on the 1st page you are missing on 70% of the opportunity. 40% of people believe that you are the authority on a topic, if you show up on the first page of Google.

White & Black Hats: White hat, commnicating with search engines, making sure you are working to help users. Following best practices and guidelines provided by the search engines. Black hat, working against the search engines. In 2003 updated Google, and made it difficult to do black hat today. Will mention a few things on the fringe.

How People Search: When you go on the web, people are searching the copy that’s on the web. Google finds your copy, and copies it. Google Webmaster tools can help content get found. Helps you get discovered, but then your job to make sure you can get ranked. Then index the content, for Google that’s about page ranking. Used acedemic references as inspiration for the model for Google, where linking and authority are very important. Seguir leyendo “Brent Payne’s SEO ConvergeSouth Keynote”

The Science Behind a Single Page Website

by Alexander Dawson |

We have all come across them whilst browsing the web, and many of the examples that exist are quite awe-inspiring, the single page website is a paradigm of the modern web in which everything that needs saying can be placed in a single document.

Whilst the single page layout option can lead to overwhelmingly large documents of endless scrolling, a series of clever mechanisms using modern standards and techniques such as CSS3 and Ajax have burst onto the scenes, offering a method of simply giving information as they’re required.

This article is on single page websites that use HTML, CSS and JavaScript; we are skipping the discussion of Flash-only websites, which can technically be classified as a single page website as well.

Once Is Enough for Me

It’s understandable that not every type of website will be well suited to having “one page to rule them all,” however, a common trend that’s seen especially in portfolio websites shows that certain sites can benefit from a simple, yet still multi-faceted, single page.

The idea that a website can be created with just one page seems crazy, but with our industry shifting towards advocating simplicity for ease of use, single page web designs have become a viable and effective option.

Once Is Enough for Me

CSS Zen Garden is a classic example of a single page with multiple layers of interesting bits.

Trends and Tribulations

While traditional designs with multiple pages will always have its place, there are a number of advantages that give the single page website some potential uses for your own projects.

The ability to construct a site that is entirely self-contained gets a bit of getting used to, and involves a lot more thought and planning. Some questions you have to answer are:

  • Will a single page meet the project’s requirements or will multiple pages be better?
  • How do you organize the content?
  • How does the navigation work?
  • What content do I need and what can I leave out?

Benefits of Single Page Websites

Single page designs have the following advantages over multi-page sites:

  • No page refresh when navigating the site (content is either in the page or loaded using Ajax)
  • User experience can be improved because navigating through content is quicker and more responsive than having to go to a new web page
  • Easier maintenance because you only have to maintain one web page
  • You can design for quality over quantity — instead of having to design multiple page layouts for different types of site content, you can focus on just one solid and high-quality design
  • Your Google PageRank applies to the whole site
  • Higher core content density for search engine spiders
  • Distinction from most other websites; single page websites are less common, and can thus leave an impression on your site visitors (and that’s why they are popular on portfolio sites)
  • Easy solution for simple “brochure” sites that serve one product (i.e. iPhone app) or one purpose (i.e. a designer’s work)
  • Preferred solution for web apps designed for the Mobile Web

Once the page has loaded, there’s nothing else to download.

Disadvantages of Single Page Websites

Single page designs have the following disadvantages against multi-page sites:

  • Potentially large file size of the page
  • A requirement for scripting or CSS3 support if you want to stand out
  • Tabbing through elements can become trickier (for accessibility) because there might be plenty of content on one page (though this wouldn’t be a big problem for well-structured markup that use headings and other best practices)
  • Producing the design is more time-intensive because it involves a lot more thought and creativity to be able to fit everything in one page and to devise a great interaction design
  • The page can take much longer to load if you have a lot of content

File size is an important issue to contend with, especially where Flash is concerned.

The truth is that whenever you implement a specific design pattern, chances are that you will not be able to please everyone. While single page sites can be made to be 100% accessible and highly usable, there will be situations where a single page site is not a good option for you. For example, an e-commerce site such as wouldn’t be able to pull off a single page web design successfully because of its vast amount of content — and that’s fine because it’s better when these types of sites are multiple pages.

Production Theory

Before we look at some lovely single page designs, it’s worth taking a few moments to explain the various mechanisms used to produce such a site. Your emphasis should be on keeping file sizes as slim as possible and about a thoughtful way of presenting and structuring your web page. Think about user flow and interaction design — how does a user move from section to section of the page?

Here are some techniques that are used in single page websites. It’s important to note that they are not mutually exclusive, so you might find yourself using them in combination.

Manual Scrolling

The first mechanism implemented by conventional single page designs is to display all of the content on the page, structured logically and laid-out in sections.

The way people navigate through the content is simply by using the native scrollbars in their web browser. While this method is simple to implement because it’s just a regular web page with no special interaction, it’s also probably the most boring of the options.

Sites that have no need for fancy effects could easily produce a simple and beautiful single page layout.

CSS3 Interaction

The next mechanism for navigating through content on a single page website worth mentioning is CSS3. With the latest version of the CSS specification, the ability to go beyond existing CSS2 selectors allow for a more unique single page experience. Most notably, you can do interesting, interactive things that deal with content by using CSS transition properties for animation and messing about with the :target and :checked pseudo-classes.

For example, the ability to use the :target pseudo-class (combined with anchor links) gives you the option to make the targeted section a different color or to give it a different background-image.

Using CSS3 pseudo selectors, we could form a powerful cross browser “paneling” system.


Finally, we have good old JavaScript, which has been serving us a widespread range of functionality since the web’s early days. With the popularity of web development JS frameworks like jQuery, the ability to swap out existing on-page content has never been easier, and with the rise in Ajax, calling content as it’s required has an even greater potential for eliminating the need for page refreshes. Take note, though, that there are accessibility and SEO concerns with content that is remotely loaded.

You can also use animated scrolling to sections of the web page using JavaScript — a step up from manual scrolling and using anchor links. For example, check out the jQuery ScrollTo plugin. You can see smooth scrolling in action via Laco Janic’s portfolio (click on the primary navigation links such as “identity & print” or “about”).

While it’s not an option for the poor souls with no scripting knowledge, using JavaScript is certainly the most flexible and robust method out of all three.

jQuery amongst other scripting frameworks offer easy to implement content swapping.

A Showcase of Single Page Web Designs

As we have now finished examining the general ways that designers and developers go about creating a single page site, it’s worth looking at some great single page web designs for inspiration. Perhaps these designs will give you some ideas and inspiration!





Pear Hosting

Pear Hosting





Basil Gloo

Basil Gloo



Milk ‘n Honey

Milk 'n Honey Seguir leyendo “The Science Behind a Single Page Website”

Creating a User Interface That Speaks Your Users’ Language

by Cedric Savarese | Become a Facebook Fan of Six Revisions.

Creating a User Interface That Speaks Your Users' Language

In this article, we’ll talk about the challenges of writing concise and familiar copy for web application user interfaces.  We’ll illustrate, with a real case example, how tools like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk can help designers find a common language with their users.

Words Matter

A good user interface needs concise instructions. When we label interface elements or write instructions for a given task, we aim for clarity and succinctness.

Succinctness is a fairly simple standard to follow. The shorter the better. Short, familiar labels and instructions are more readable. Long copy can convey more information and may explain things more completely, but designers find long blocks of web copy unwieldy, and for users, mentally taxing (i.e. because people don’t read). The result is that longer copy generally makes for more confusing interfaces.

But a short label must also be clear; and it’s tricky to write copy that’s brief but thorough at the same time. And then what the definition of “clear” is, in the context of your UI, is another (tougher) problem altogether.

We don’t write for ourselves, but for the users, and web users defy categorization and stereotypes. Some are technically savvy, some are less so. Some use their own lingo and some don’t even speak our language.

Seguir leyendo “Creating a User Interface That Speaks Your Users’ Language”

Why aren’t companies committed to easier-to-open packaging?

By David Kiefaber’s efforts to ship things in “frustration-free packaging” (meaning no plastic cases, bubble wrap or other irritants) keeps hitting roadblocks because a lot of manufacturers, and other online retailers, are slow to adopt it. But why? It’s environmentally responsible, less expensive and better for customers who hate complicated packaging. The answer, according to environmental experts like Anne Johnson of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, is that a lot of big companies drag their heels in response to change, be it fair or foul. “One of the biggest hurdles is to convince a company that it’s worthwhile, or the volume is there, to sell the same product in two different formats,” Johnson tells The New York Times. Seguir leyendo “Why aren’t companies committed to easier-to-open packaging?”

12 Ways the Tech Industry Is Screwing You (and How to Fight Back)

Whether you seek out cutting-edge tech gear or keep to a strict budget, the tech industry has ways to nickel-and-dime you out of your hard-earned cash. Here’s how to fight back.

Patrick Miller, PC World

You can’t install the apps you want on your smartphone. You can’t play the movies you bought on your PC. You can’t even walk into a store without getting upsold, enrolled, restocked, and recalled. Welcome to the world of tech in 2010, where your phone doesn’t work–and companies tell you that “you’re holding it wrong.”

Just because you venture into the tech marketplace with a credit card in your hand doesn’t mean you deserve to get screwed. Check out these 12 ways that the tech industry is pulling a fast one on you–and learn how to fight back.

Ridiculous Restocking Fees

Bought a laptop and realized it wasn’t for you? No problem, you can return it within 30 days–that’ll be $150, please.

Restocking fees are an easy way for vendors to make a tidy profit from a consumer’s buying misstep. The rationale for such fees may be to discourage cheapskates who have no intention of keeping a device from buying it, using it for a short time–say, for the length of a vacation–and then returning it; but the practical result is that you can get slapped with a fee ranging from 10 percent to 25 percent of the purchase price just for the privilege of returning a gadget you’re not happy with.

For example, Best Buy charges 10 percent for iPhone returns; 15 percent for opened laptops, projectors, digital cameras/camcorders, and GPS systems; and 25 percent for any special-ordered item., Sears, and Newegg all charge a 15 percent restocking fee for computers and electronics, though each vendor’s specific rules vary–for example, Sears charges only if the returned item doesn’t include the original packaging, whereas Newegg dings you for anything you return after opening it.

Take the restocking fees into consideration before you buy. It’s illegal in some states to charge a restocking fee without notifying you in advance, but the notification could be buried in the return policy on the back of your receipt, so ask a salesperson before you swipe your credit card. You might discover that the $5 you save by buying a product from a particular vendor could be negated by the $50 it charges as a restocking fee. Buying a gift? Get a gift card if there’s any chance that the recipient might want to return the item you’re tempted to choose. Seguir leyendo “12 Ways the Tech Industry Is Screwing You (and How to Fight Back)”

Inspiration: Interesting & Unique Typographic Book Covers

By Callum Chapman

Books offer graphic designers, illustrators and typographers a great way to expand their portfolios. There are endless possibilities that can be explored when designing for book covers, and often are explored, as can be seen in this post.

I’ve had an increased interest in book covers recently after putting together another showcase at The Inspiration Blog on minimalistic book covers, since then I have been browsing for book cover inspiration daily so thought I would share some of my findings here at This showcase presents a collection of 64 typographic book covers, all of which are interesting and are genuinely unique. The books themselves are crossed between a number of…

Coney Island of the Mind

Buy on Amazon

Eight Weeks of Bruce

Buy on Amazon

Estrella Distante

Buy on Amazon Seguir leyendo “Inspiration: Interesting & Unique Typographic Book Covers”

Blockbuster: We Can Beat Bankruptcy and Netflix

BY Austin CarrThu Aug 19, 2010

Blockbuster's Kevin Lewis

Blockbuster is struggling. The Dallas-based rental chain owes close to $1 billion, and has repeatedly warned it might face liquidation if it can’t find new debt financing. Shares are now trading at 11 cents, and the company has been forced to delist from the New York Stock Exchange. It recently reported a higher than expected 20% drop in quarterly revenue, and it’s already missed deadlines for interest payments. Chapter 11 bankruptcy and Chapter 7 liquidation are on the table.

With so much headwind, what is the rental giant doing to survive in the digital age? We spoke with Kevin Lewis, head of Blockbuster’s digital strategy, to find out. In part one of our interview, Lewis spoke about competitors Netflix and Apple. Today, he talks candidly about Blockbuster’s financial future and the potential of its first foray into the app market. Seguir leyendo “Blockbuster: We Can Beat Bankruptcy and Netflix”

Social Network Game Can be Depressing Tree of Life

BY Austin Carr

Campus life at Sacramento‘s California State University may be somewhat lacking.

Today it was reported that the school reached a deal to make an online game available to its 28,000 students and staff. Developed by Mindbloom, a startup founded by Amazon veterans, the “Life Game” will help the faculty and student body manage a healthy lifestyle and keep off that Freshman 40. The game normally costs $39 a year; California State is Mindbloom’s first enterprise customer.

Mindbloom uses social networking and a metaphorical tree to keep members on top of their goals. When registering, users select a variety of lifestyle priorities (such as spirituality, relationships or career) which will then appear on the branches of their  tree.

Next, the site recommends small actions aimed at improving these areas (“Take the stairs at work instead of the elevator”). The more tasks you complete, the more your tree’s branches will grow and your leaves brighten. The more you ignore your action items, the more your tree will wither and die.

According to Mindbloom, it’s the competition that spurs you into achieving your goals. Members join a buddy system in which friends’ trees appear next to yours in the game, forever taunting you with their greener leaves and healthier lifestyles. After all, “you don’t want your tree to look bad,” explained Brent Poole, the company‘s CEO.

But aren’t college kids too busy drinking to look after a house plant, let alone a fictional tree? Miss enough scheduled actions, and pretty soon the leaves turn brown, the branches shrivel, and you’re an unemployed, overweight alcoholic. Weren’t social networks supposed to make us feel better? Where’s the restart button on this damn tree?


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Amazon: Kindle Books Now Outselling Hardcovers

E-books have hit a significant milestone. In each of the last three months, Amazon reports that sales of books for Kindle have outpaced the sale of hardcover books, and that growth is only accelerating.

In a statement, Amazon says that, “over the past three months, for every 100 hardcover books has sold, it has sold 143 Kindle books. Over the past month, for every 100 hardcover books has sold, it has sold 180 Kindle books.”

That’s impressive, especially considering it was only back in December that Amazon was celebrating Kindle books outselling the real thing on Christmas Day. Six months later, the shift has apparently become the norm. Seguir leyendo “Amazon: Kindle Books Now Outselling Hardcovers”

Amazon: Kindle Books Now Outselling Hardcovers

E-books have hit a significant milestone. In each of the last three months, Amazon reports that sales of books for Kindle have outpaced the sale of hardcover books, and that growth is only accelerating.

In a statement, Amazon says that, “over the past three months, for every 100 hardcover books has sold, it has sold 143 Kindle books. Over the past month, for every 100 hardcover books has sold, it has sold 180 Kindle books.”

That’s impressive, especially considering it was only back in December that Amazon was celebrating Kindle books outselling the real thing on Christmas Day. Six months later, the shift has apparently become the norm. Seguir leyendo “Amazon: Kindle Books Now Outselling Hardcovers”