Dustin Curtis

Villain. Founder of Svbtle.

Page 5


Wake up early.
Show up.
Learn how to think.
Be genuine, but appear nice.
Use envy for motivation instead of destruction.
Do what you say you’re going to do.
Ensure balance in every area of your life.
Confront repressed thoughts immediately.
Surround yourself with people who are better than you (but remember the thing about envy).
Work out every day.
Be good at what you do.
Make money doing what you love.
Have good friends.
Never settle.

This is my personal recipe for happiness and success.

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The Waiting Place

Dr. Seuss’s real name was Theodore Geisel. He used the pseudonym “Seuss”–his middle name–because he was waiting until he possessed the talent and experience necessary to write, as he put it, “the next great American novel.” That novel never materialized, but Geisel spent his life writing the most popular and significant children’s books in history. It would be hard to call his career anything but an incredible success. But he was always waiting. He was waiting for himself to become a “serious” writer, which he would never become.

The last book Geisel published was a fittingly serious story about the peaks and valleys of life called Oh, The Places You’ll Go! It is perhaps his Greatest book, but I hadn’t read it until a few months ago. In the months since, one part of the book has stuck with me, festering in the back of my mind. It hit me particularly hard when I read it the first time:

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The Fight

A couple of months ago, I received a text message that hit me like a brick. It said that one of my closest friends, who is in his early twenties and in perfect health, suddenly went into cardiac arrest while running at the gym. I knew what that meant; outside of the hospital, cardiac arrest is almost universally fatal; only about 5% of people even make it to the hospital alive, and fewer than half of those survivors leave with good neurological function. I fell into my chair. Shock.

A bystander who had witnessed the event immediately started flawless CPR, an ambulance was called and arrived quickly, and my friend was defibrillated until his heart began beating properly again. He arrived at a trauma center within minutes. Everything had gone as well as it possibly could have. He was alive, and in generally good condition, but he didn’t wake up. Cardiac arrest-induced coma. A bad sign.

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4 Inches

A few months ago, in an article called 3.5 Inches, I wrote that the iPhone’s 3.5-inch screen was the perfect size for human thumb reach. Now that the iPhone 5 has been released with its larger 4-inch screen, I think it’s time to re-evaluate the issue.


After using the iPhone 5 for more than a week, I stand by my original thoughts: four inches is too big for my thumb to comfortably reach to all areas of the screen while holding the phone one-handed. In my left hand, it’s just a little bit too uncomfortable to reach the far upper right corner of the screen, especially in situations where I need to touch the “cancel” or “add new item” button. This is especially obvious when entering an address in Safari or Maps while walking down the street. Or when trying to touch the “next message” down arrow in Mail. Or when adding an event to Calendar. Or when creating a Tweet in Tweetbot.


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Life is too short to be a boring company

Groupon’s S-1 filing included a letter from its CEO, Andrew Mason, that I somehow missed the first time around. It contained this awesome gem:

We want the time people spend with Groupon to be memorable. Life is too short to be a boring company. Whether it’s with a deal for something unusual, such as fire dancing classes, or a marketing campaign such as Grouspawn, we seek to create experiences for our customers that make today different enough from yesterday to justify getting out of bed. […]

We believe that when once-great companies fall, they don’t lose to competitors, they lose to themselves—and that happens when they stop focusing on making people happy. As such, we do not intend to be reactive to competitors. We will watch them, but we won’t distract ourselves with decisions that aren’t designed primarily to make our customers and merchants happy.

Great mission statement.

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Black Widow

Twitter has an enormous advantage over Facebook in one key area: while people on Facebook tend to friend their friends, people on Twitter tend to follow their interests. The social graph that makes up Twitter is worth far more on a per-account basis because it is directly monetizable in a way that Facebook’s generally isn’t – you can show prophylactic advertisements to Twitter users based solely on the people they follow, and probably get a much higher rate of interest. Compared to other social display ads, Twitter ads, it is rumored, work extremely well.

Outside of the direct value from its graph, Twitter is in an extremely unusual position for a social service. While it is ostensibly a sharing service, it is actually a broadcasting medium. People use Twitter more like they use TV; they follow accounts they are interested in, namely celebrities and companies, and then they consume the

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Flipboard CEO Mike McCue quits Twitter’s board of directors

I’ve been hearing rumblings which suggest that Flipboard is about to be blocked from Twitter’s API, following Instagram’s blockage last week. What is Twitter thinking?

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Dear Marissa

Alfred J. Amoroso, in Marissa Mayer’s Yahoo! offer letter:

Dear Marissa:

On behalf of Yahoo! Inc., I am pleased to offer you the position of President and Chief Executive Officer, reporting to the Company’s Board of Directors, working at the Company’s headquarters at 701 First Avenue in Sunnyvale, California.

$83,333.33 per month salary, and about $60 million in total compensation over five years. A great deal for Yahoo!. I was expecting much, much more.

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Dalton Caldwell’s Audacious Proposal

Dalton Caldwell is refocusing App.net into a realtime feed platform, which he proposed in What Twitter Could Have Been:

I believe so deeply in the importance of having a financially sustainable realtime feed API & service that I am going to refocus App.net to become exactly that. I have the experience, vision, infrastructure and team to do it. Additionally, we already have much of this built: a polished native iOS app, a robust technical infrastructure currently capable of handing ~200MM API calls per day with no code changes, and a developer-facing API provisioning, documentation and analytics system. This isn’t vaporware.

To manifest this grand vision, we are officially launching a Kickstarter-esque campaign. We will only accept money for this financially sustainable, ad-free service if we hit what I believe is critical mass. I am defining minimum critical mass as $500,000, which

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Digg Overtakes Facebook with 1400% Growth, 22.6 Million Uniques

Richard Macmanus, at ReadWriteWeb, on June 20th, 2007:

According to recent Compete data, digg has overtaken Facebook in number of unique visitors and has grown 1400% in one year. Compete’s May 2007 data states that digg had 22.6 Million unique visitors, while Facebook had 20.2 Million.

Today, Betaworks announced that it has acquired the core assets of Digg, for a rumored $500,000.

Facebook, on the other hand, is now worth $66,000,000,000.

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