Crushing Your New Job: 7, 30 and 100 Day Targets

Posted on February 27, 2010 @ 9:04 am

Last week Fortune posted 10 tips for career success from Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, a former Googler, and now CEO at Polyvore. I worked in Sukhinder’s group for about 6 months before she took on Asia-Pac/LatAm responsibilities, and while I agree with most of the advice in her post, I would change #9 from “Go in with a vision of your 100-day plan and see if it resonates” to “Go in with a 7-day, 30-day, and 100-day gameplan to see if it resonates”. [Continue Reading...]

Wishing Hulu Showed Olympic Highlights…

Posted on February 17, 2010 @ 11:16 pm

While some people are upset about the lack of live Olympic footage online, I’m just bummed that I can’t find the highlight clips. I want to see Shaun White’s gold medal run from today, but can’t find it (yes, even on YouTube).

Loving Yeasayer’s New Album

Posted on February 9, 2010 @ 4:39 pm

Sure wish I was going to their show tonight in Williamsburg. I embedded a video of them live in Los Angeles last week after the jump below.

[Continue Reading...]

Revenue Recognition for Virtual Goods

Posted on February 8, 2010 @ 10:15 pm

I hope all the social gaming sites are using these accounting principles for virtual goods:

  1. When a company sells virtual currency, this is not a revenue event (even though it may clearly be a cash event). When purchased but not yet used,  virtual currency sits on the balance sheet as a customer deposit or deferred revenue (i.e. a liability).
  2. Revenue recognition commences when virtual goods are bought with virtual currency by the consumer. Exactly how it “commences” depends on the following.
  3. There are two categories of virtual goods – (1) consumable items that are used once and gone, and (2) durable items that “work” over an extended period of time.
  4. For “consumable items” you can recognize revenue when it is consumed.
  5. For durable items (which many are), things are much trickier. You need to amortize the revenue (linearly) over the useful life of the good, or the average life of the actual user.

Bill Gurley also points out that renting virtual goods (as opposed to selling them) gets around the “durable” goods requirement (#5 above), which simplifies the accounting.

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    Why Hulu is Right To Block Access On Boxee

    Posted on February 6, 2010 @ 2:32 pm

    Last week when the NBCU/Comcast duo testified in Washington on their proposed merger, one of the questions that came up was about Hulu blocking access of its content to Boxee. Shortly after the hearing ended, Boxee’s CEO posted his response, basically claiming that Boxee is just displaying the video as it would be displayed on Hulu, with streaming ads and all. That however, isn’t actually accurate. I left a long-winded response on Avner’s post, explaining why so.

    Today the Crunchgear blog played devil’s advocate, trying to see things from Hulu’s persepctive, and basically came up with the same outcome as me. Here’s my argument for Hulu blocking Boxee’s access in simple terms:

    • Boxee is intended to replace tv viewing, whereas Hulu is intended to compliment it
    • Fragmenting Hulu’s distribution weakens their competitive position (at least for now)
    • On Boxee, Hulu loses the ability to advertise around the content (note the occasional small banner on Hulu above the video)
    • Hulu’s partners lose attribution (eg. “SNL, Saturday’s at 11:30pm, Presented by NBC”)
    • Hulu loses cross-promotion opportunities after an episode ends

    I’m a huge Boxee fan and would love to see both companies work this out. The only solution I see is Hulu developing a paid app in Boxee and charging for their content. I would pay a few bucks a month (maybe even more if they increased the content available and included HD streams) — and they can even keep the ads in it…

    My Winter Reading List

    Posted on February 4, 2010 @ 1:35 pm

    Here are the books I’m looking to read by April.

    1. Competition Demystified
    2. Getting To YES (for negotiations class)
    3. The Evolution of Cooperation (from game theory class)
    4. The Chinese Economy (prep for my trip to Shanghai)
    5. The Innovators Dilemma (i’m just re-reading this)

    This list feels too heavy on the business side. Any new novels or less serious books you’d recommend?

    Acura Sponsors Today as Headlines Slam Toyota

    Posted on February 3, 2010 @ 7:10 am

    Is this a coincidence or a well-planned attack with Acura sponsoring today and letting everyone read for free while all the headlines and top stories are about the crisis at Toyota?

    Spotty Coverage on ComScore

    Posted on February 2, 2010 @ 4:56 pm

    Occasionally I take a look at the performance of some of the content partners I worked with when I was at Google. In particular, I was curious to look at legal publishers to see how they’ve been impacted by Google Scholar’s legal search feature.

    W.S. Hein, a publisher of law reviews and other legal content, has seen a big spike in visitors since November, as indicated by the charts below.

    Compete’s data on

    …and Quantcast…

    …but ComScore didn’t have any data available for It’s frustrating because Compete and Quantcast are free to use, but ComScore obviously isn’t. I’m sure there’s a valid reason for this, such as ComScore not having access to panel information from universities (I’d guess the majority of legal search traffic comes from schools), but it still doesn’t explain why ComScore can’t improve their data sources to be at least as good as the free options.

    Finally switched over to WordPress

    Posted on January 31, 2010 @ 4:09 pm

    I just finished a month long effort to move my blog from Textpattern to WordPress — and it’s finally live. There are still a few formatting things to fix, but for the most part it looks good and works well. My old urls are redirecting to the new ones, so my search results won’t be lost. For example, here is one of my old urls:

    Columbia’s 13th Annual Silicon Valley Trip

    Posted on January 24, 2010 @ 9:43 am

    A little over a week ago I organized and co-led Columbia’s Silicon Valley Trip. This was the school’s 13th year heading west to explore career opportunities. We had 40+ students that visited 14 companies over 3 jam packed days. This year’s lineup was pretty spectacular. Here is a recap of the highlights. [Continue Reading...]

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