The Uptake

by Brad McCarty

Lessons learned, words written

Page 5

“I’ll Be Your Best Friend!”

In grade school, the strongest currency with which someone could attempt to make a deal was this – “I’ll be your best friend!” Social media is a lot like grade school. Friendship has devolved into a fleeting promise.

As Candace and I have been having some pretty weighty discussions over the past day, she questioned how many real friends I have. (For the purpose of this discussion, I’m counting the term “real friend” as that person who you could talk to about positively anything. They’re the one you think of when things go great or go poorly.) Not out of spite, but simple curiosity. The sad answer is that I have one real friend, three or four with whom I am close, and then a lot who fall somewhere outside of that inner realm.

This realization made me consider what we’re doing to ourselves via this ever-present social society in which we live. If you were to look at my numbers alone,...

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24 People in Connecticut Will Never See Tomorrow

No, the answer is not to ban all guns. But there is an answer. Somewhere.

Hunters and the joint efforts of conservation are viable reasons to have guns in the United States. But how do we deal with one man, carrying two small handguns, and killing 18 children?

Nothing else that any of us do in our jobs will matter today. 18 kids are dead. The system failed somewhere.

Hug your kids.

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Bye Bye iOS: 30 Days With Windows Phone

Writing about tech isn’t necessarily my job anymore, but I’m still a junkie for it at heart. As such, I wanted to delve in deep with Windows Phone 8 so that I could hold an educated opinion on it.

Yesterday I gave up my iPhone for day 1 of 30 with an HTC 8X. It should be an interesting experiment. I’ve been a big fan of the Windows Phone OS since 7, so I expect that I’ll have an easy enough month ahead. But what I really want to find are the surprises, whether they’re nagging problems, or things that surprise and delight.

Here’s what I know, going into this experiment:

  • Live Tiles are fantastic
  • There’s a decided lack of apps
  • Many of the apps are actually very good
  • I’ll miss Path, Spotify and Pocket

What questions do you have? Curious about anything surrounding the OS? Mind you, I’m not reviewing a phone, but rather an operating system.

Oh, and as a bit of a disclaimer, I’ll still...

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Leave the Series A on the Nightstand

My friend (we’ve met twice, so I can call him that right?) David Tisch brings about a point that I wish I could drill into the heads of more founders – Your relationship with your investors is not a one-night stand.

He’s talking, of course, about the subject du jour of the Series A crunch, which we’ve seen discussed all over the place lately. (As an aside, this is the smartest writing I’ve seen from Pando Daily since its inception, and something I hope that they do more often.) Alexia Tsosis of AolCrunch takes things a bit further, examining all of the pieces. It’s worth a read.

The fact is that nobody wants to do the morning-after walk of shame. That is precisely the issue that is facing Y Combinator, and it’s almost to a T an issue that I raised back when the YC/SV Angel deal was first formed.

As is true with every partnership that you form in your life, choosing the right people...

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Journalistic Integrity? Ruined.

SHAREABLES. Funny, interesting or unique things that we find around the Internet. AKA, not news.

But don’t tell that to the people in this comments section.

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Mentorship: Here’s My Selection Process

A few weeks ago I opened up the doors to mentoring companies. I couldn’t possibly have been prepared enough for the enormous response. It’s both humbling and terrifying.

The first thing that I had to do is come up with a process by which I decide whether or not I scribble on the metaphorical dotted line. I’ve played this out a few hundred times in my head, and it’s come down to a very specific set of questions that I have to ask myself.

1. What Can I Offer?

It would be very easy to accept every request that comes across my desk. But if I do this then I’m going to run out of bandwidth quickly, and I won’t be doing a very good job for anyone. So I start my process by looking at where the company is right now, and seriously considering whether I have a set of skills or knowledge that can help them. If I don’t, then I immediately thank them for their interest and explain in detail why I...

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Circa and the Age of News as Entertainment

A few months ago a group of incredibly smart people hired some incredibly smart writers and built an incredibly smart app. Dubbed Circa, it’s a bit like the antithesis of everything that the 24-hour news cycle has become.

Instead of long-winded editorials on the day’s happenings, Circa breaks down the events into a system that’s reminiscent of Cliff’s Notes. You’re able to quickly thumb through a story, being fed only the parts of it that are notable or interesting. For a quick catch-up on the news, it’s hard to beat what the team has done.

But it took me only 3 days to lose my motivation to open the app, and since then it’s sat fairly abandoned. It simply isn’t entertaining to me, so it feels like work to read what’s being written.

One could easily say that I’ve become accustomed to the spoon-feeding of news, and they’d be correct. But I also think that there’s something of note...

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Some People Shouldn’t Breed

There’s a group of people out there who honestly, whole-heartedly believe that Apple sends paychecks to blogs/bloggers to write favorable reviews of their products.

These people are lucky to have the mental capacity to stay awake while breathing.

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Understanding iOS vs Android Market Differences

I used to hold an A+ certification. I wanted to eventually get my MCSE and CCNA. I used to care about hardware and specs a lot. Then I stopped.

To many, the very talk of specs has become tiresome. We’re in a pretty different world, and most of us care about meaningful metrics. Does it suck? Is it great? Is it better or worse than something else? These are the questions that many of us want answered.

Then there’s the other half:

Screen Shot 2012-11-02 at 2.10.41 PM.jpg

Your die-hard Android fan? Chances are that they care deeply about specs. And that’s OK. It takes all kinds.

I cared whether or not something worked well. If specs were the underlying cause of it working well, then that was great, but I didn’t really care about the numbers. I wanted to know if it sucked, if it was great, if it was better or worse than something else.

I would venture to say that a good majority of Apple fans have similar concerns. I honestly...

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If What I’m Hearing is True…

And I have no reason to believe that it’s not, then something’s rotten in the state of Palo Alto.

There was one piece of big news today. If you know what it is, and you know more about it, email me. Your anonymity is positively assured.

Update at 7:53pm CT - The plot thickens ;) I smell a PR plant…and it’s stinky.

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