Have you heard of Project Glass? Watch on…

What would you do if you had Glass?

#ifIHadGlass I would ask myself, WWZMD – What Would Zach Morris Do? That guy knew what to do with his technology!

#ifihadglass I’d know what it was like to be 8 feet tall… or 2 feet tall – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCDh56IDDF8

#ifihadglass I’d play epic city-wide hide-and-seek

#ifihadglass window shopping would be so much better (pin stuff everywhere!)

#ifihadglass I could review my memory logs #CommanderData

#ifihadglass I’d never forget a name again

#ifihadglass I’d never have to squint. Zoom in on that! #enhancing

#ifihadglass my friends would be able to coach me through a date, or an interview (same thing really)… assuming it’s ok to keep them on during ;) #screech #creeper

#ifihadglass it would remind me to say “Please” #momapp

#ifihadglass you’d have to pry them off my face :) (sometimes)

Can’t wait for the contacts version! #ifihadglass

Google is (ending tonight) giving you (and me!) a chance to get an early copy. Enter by using the hashtag #ifIHadGlass on Google+ or Twitter!

What you missed at the Women 2.0 Conference (SF 2013)

Yesterday I attended the Women 2.0 conference: “The Next Billion”, which was a whirlwind of talks, panels, pitches, and networking. Interesting mix of people and topics relevant to entrepreneurs. It’s the morning now evening after, and my brain is still full.

If you didn’t get the chance to attend, here’s what you missed!

TL;DR version
- If you want to make your presentation/pitch memorable and entertaining, fill it with stories and one-liners. This is the stuff I still remember today.
- Shaherose Charania (Co-Founder & CEO, Women 2.0) has some amazing, gravity-defying hair.

Full version

Fran Maier (Match.com, TrustE)

Reminds us that women hold most of the purchasing power, and you should go after them.

- Pre Match.com, personals were dominated by men, so they focused on creating an experience attractive to women. Notably, Fran told male co-workers that no, they could not ask the “weight” question.
- Women don’t like to be “nickel-and-dimed”, so subscriptions work better than per-message charges.
- “Personals aren’t inventory, they’re PEOPLE looking for love!”

Michelle Zatlyn (CloudFare)

Cool talk with some practical and philosophical advice on thinking big and growing a HUGE company (1B views/day)

- Big market, impacting >100 million people. Think BIG: “We want to make the internet a better place.”
- Execution (have to be faster than incumbents) – CloudFare registration was 5 minutes, compared with 2 weeks at other companies.
- Easy to use is the new killer feature.
- Choose partners carefully (in work and in life)
- Build a voice by blogging early, even before you have a product. Women 2.0 and HackerNews are great outlets. Unlike corporate CEOs, You can have a personality :)
- Take more pictures.
- Do Land Grabs NOW. yourname.com, @yourname, etc.

Selina Tobaccowala (Evite.com, SurveyMonkey)

Laid back fireside chat with heart-warming tale about Evite’s humble beginnings.

- Evite ran out of Selina’s Stanford Dorm Room.
- Didn’t realize how big it had gotten until the server accidentally got unplugged and she started getting calls.
- Evite and SurveyMonkey are both “inherently viral” products which really helps with growth. Yup, that’s true, and that’s awesome.

Facebook growth talk

Julie Zhuo and Naomi Gleit (Facebook)

How did Facebook grow from 1M to 1B users?

  • 1,2,3 Approach – Understand (analytics), Identify (the problem), Execute
  • Macrobarriers to growth: (lack of) Open Registration, and then (lack of) Internationalization
  • Microbarriers: Registration/sign-up flow drop off. Improved sign-ups by 9M/year just by breaking up sign-up flow into multiple, digestible screens, rather than one big long intimidation one. Note: Email confirmation during sign-up shouldn’t completely block access to the site.

Funny interchange between the always snarky Kara Swisher and Naomi Gleit.

K: “So do you always choose the text that won the A/B test, or do you sometimes go with your gut?”
N: “Well, a lot of things go into choosing a winner.”
K: “Sort of a Steve Jobs model of A/B testing then?”

Duane Forrester (Bing)

This was the last 15 minute talk before lunch, so I was faced with the choice of getting a jump on the bathroom line (1000 ladies, y’all), or watching the talk. Was secretly hoping it would prove uninformative in the first few minutes to remove the dilemma. Unfortunately, that was not to be…

15 minutes to your fame

  • 80% internet sessions start with search, so your content needs to be tailored to search queries.
  • TODAY: get analytics, and set a baseline
  • “SEO is simple.” Nail the user experience -> people will start talking -> the search engines will come find you
  • Order of importance: Content, Social, UX, Link building, SEO
  • Social matters in search today. Engines use it, and engines SHOW it in their results.
Disruption panel

DISRUPTION PANEL (Hetal Pandya, Jessica Scorpio, Monisha Perkash, Rashmi Sinha, Aileen Lee)

When you are thinking about disruption, think about how life is going to be different because of what you’re building.

When Aileen asked: “How will life be different 5 years from now.”

  • Your body will have a voice – you’ll check your body stats the same way you check your email
  • “A shared car on every block”
  • “Age of context” – less and less opening of multiple apps/technologies, less repetitive tasks to make life better and more convenient
  • “People talking directly with their own voices” – Netflix company culture talk is a great example of this.
Funding panel


“What’s the traction bar for a Series A?”
- User growth AND engagement/churn rates
- Convertible notes can put entrepreneur and investor at odds.
- You want someone with enough skin in the game to push you to success

“Should everyone want to raise an A”
- Do you want to sell your company someday
- Do you believe you can be a top 10-15 site in a given year (because desired exit will be >$500M”

Paula Long (EqualLogic)

Really memorable and entertaining talk from Paula Long who sold her company to Dell for 1.4 Billion dollars. She was all about one-liners, which made her talk memorable and entertaining. Great change of pace for so late in the day as well. Note to self: make your points tweet-sized whenever possible.

-”God created the world in 6 days, but he didn’t have an installed base.”
-Must reads for entrepeneurs: If you give a Mousse a Muffin, Green Eggs and Ham
-”Only new mistakes”
-”Anything for a buck doesn’t scale…”

And then my favorite thing to have ever happened in unscripted reality:

Audience Question: “Paula, you have such great one-liners – what’s your twitter so we can follow you?”
Paula: “I don’t tweet, I don’t Facebook, and I’m barely LinkedIn.”

Vivek Wadhwa
Presented his research into the backgrounds and profiles of women in tech, and his next project is a crowdsourced book. Interested? Check it out at wadhwa.com

- Education and Family factors were not as influential as he thought, so what is causing the gender disparity in tech?

Emerging Markets Panel

I was starving at this point, to such an extent that I started downing gum and mints, so I may have missed some stuff. Next time, bring a granola bar!

- Legal and production cost differences can make international development centers a great option for startups.
- Cultural differences can lead to entrepeneurship being discouraged, so Women 2.0 has work to do internationally!

Lynda Weinman (lynda.com)

Lynda has been providing online education videos on web design and development since the 90s, and recently accepted $100M in funding for the first time in her companies history. This talk was mostly about that journey and the benefits of online, video based education (which I think we can all agree is awesome even without hearing more about it).

- Audience member categorized lynda.com as “All you can learn.”
- According to Lynda, “Content is queen.” It really must be, because the internet is full of content – what is it that makes people come to lynda.com specifically?

John Farmer, The White House Presidential Innovation Fellows Program (PIF)

This was a recruiting pitch for the Presidential Innovation Fellows Program, and a pretty effective one at that. Whoever writes speeches over at the White House – great great job. I actually was riveted.

“We want a government that moves at Silicon Valley speed.”
“A government that ships.”
“Because your country needs you.”

They are accepting applications for the second round of fellows, due in March. Check it out here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/innovationfellows

Valentine’s themed cocktail hour

Other Conference highlights:

  • Chocolate covered strawberries at happy hour
  • Shaherose’s hair. What the rock star?
  • The customized Women2 Conference Yapp app. Agenda, bios, twitter feed, all in one place.

And this doesn’t even cover the PITCH competition, which alone shed so much light on what makes a great pitch and what investors are looking for/concerned about. That’ll have to be a topic for another day.

And in case you were wondering – yes – in high school, I was the girl everyone borrowed notes from.

powered by Funnel

I actually use the New Myspace

But first, some miscellany-

Windows Startup Weekend Contest

Funnel made it past the first round of judging of the Windows Startup Weekend Contest! Now for the hard part – developing a Windows store version of it by March 1 (yikes).

On TV Netflix 
With Matt – Friday Night Lights, Star Trek TNG, Freaks and Geeks
By My Lonesome- The Vampire Diaries, Psych, How I Met Your Mother (again)

Note: Friday Night Lights was great to start watching before the Super Bowl. It doles out football knowledge in digestible pre-cut one-play-per-episode format. Remember when the Ravens took a safety to run down the clock at the end of the fourth? I totally understood that!

Note 2: It’s hard to find stuff I want to watch when Matt isn’t around. He has a blacklist of shows that I save to watch with him (a la Prognosis Negative), leaving behind some pretty slim pickings. I usually end up just watching the same stuff over and over again.

And Now: The New Myspace
Last week I checked out the New Myspace, and I’m actually still using it. It’s like a YouTube for songs – you can play anything you want (that they have) on demand and even create playlists. I was using IHeartRadio before, but it’s a radio model where you can’t control what plays. With Myspace, if you need to punish your co-worker with Desperately Wanting on repeat because he’s acting up, you can do it! (This is a sad tale in which I caved in first after about 15 listens and switched the song).

Myspace has a lot of videos available as well (you can ask anyone – I love music videos). And best of all – it’s free with no ads! Enjoy that while it lasts.

Ok, so it turns out Myspace is not actually the YouTube of songs, because I couldn’t share a playable link here. YouTube is the YouTube of songs.


Welcome to Funnel!

From now until February 5:
Funnel is a contestant in the Windows Startup Challenge. Vote for us here!


If you have an iPhone, or a blog, or take pictures, or make things, you might enjoy our new app!

Funnel: Share your creations, straight from your phone.

When I started blogging, I was surprised by how much work it was to embed pictures in a post. Especially since I take most of my pictures with my phone, I thought I should be able to create a picture post in just a few minutes, instead of doing a bunch of uploading, embedding, then formatting to get it to look right.

So we created Funnel, an app that allows you to create and share picture stories in minutes. You don’t even have to set up a blog!

Step 1: Photo-Funnel
Pull in photos you’ve already created (on phone, Instagram, etc.), and stitch them together to make a post in minutes. Funnel takes care of all the formatting, so you can focus on creating more content.

Step 2: Insta-Blog
Publish your post out to Blogger, and soon WordPress and Tumblr. If you don’t have a blog, your content is still published beautifully to web at your Funnel homepage: http://funnel-app.com/maryann

Hear what the fans have to say about Funnel -

“It makes me want to make more stuff.”
“It’s like Instagram and Pinterest combined…great for DIY and crafting!”
“Perfect for my cooking projects.”

By the way, here’s my best invention ever.

Funnel is available for iPhone and iPad
Funnel is coming soon to Windows Phone

And its free :)

If you do end up checking it out, I’d love to hear how it went. Leave a comment or email! maryann@madmarv.com

Amazon locker!

You know how you have no butler, so you always miss packages?

If there’s an Amazon locker near you, your problems are solved! This one was at the Radio Shack next to our local Safeway.

Enter code

Open Sesame

Inside: 1 delightful family game!

powered by Funnel

Why this is going to be the Best Labor Day Ever

First, I finally submitted an IPhone app I’ve been working on to Apple last night at 11:59PM. It could still be rejected for a host of reasons, and there’s still a ton of work to do for the project – but today – a day off. Yes!

B: I normally have a guitar lesson on Mondays, which means I get up early and practice a few hours to make up for the entire week of not practicing (obviously). But today is Labor Day, so… no lesson, and no obligatory practice – yes!

3: We’re doing the P90x Doubles program right now, which has been fun and rewarding, but which amounts to 1-2 hours of working out PER DAY, 6 day a week. 7 weeks ago when we started, we made the genius decision to have Mondays be the day off, so… No Workout Today! Yes!

And Bonus, no workout means I don’t really have to shower either, so this is on track to be the most obligation free day ever ;)

Double Bonus – I had Napoleon French Toast at the Cheesecake Factory brunch yesterday, but curiously weigh 1.4 pounds less today?

So, Today’s Agenda
1. Sleep in – DONE, got out of bed at 10:30
2. Finish Parks and Recreation Season 4 – DONE, polished off the final 2 episodes with breakfast
3. Blog while watching bad movie that I’ve already seen – IN PROGRESS, Deep Impact
4. Finish A Dance With Dragons, ~50 pages left
5. Practice guitar – but voluntarily?
6. Go see a movie in the theater – tentative
7. Avoid labor and worry at all times

Normally I would add some pictures and edit this post for humor and conciseness, but that seems too much like work right now. So here you go!


Today, I realized something all of a sudden.  Something I probably should have noticed before now.  And I’m not sure whether to feel lucky or be ashamed…

It happened when Matt told me that he promised to do the dishes soon, which made me notice for the first time that all the plates were dirty. Which led to this epiphany…

I am in charge of exactly none of the housework.

Not the dishes, not the trash, not the refilling of soap dispensers, definitely not the vacuuming, definitely definitely not the toilet scrubbing, nothing.

Actually, there is one thing.  I fold my own laundry.  BUT – I don’t fold anyone else’s laundry.  Also, I make the bed every day.  Because unmade beds are uncomfortable I tell you!

I will unload the dishwasher occasionally, but only if I’m standing around bored in the kitchen.  I will wash a skillet here and there, but only if I need to use it right now.  I will throw in a load of laundry, but only when I want to wear something in the hamper.

So the question is: is the place just generally disgusting, do I have magic house elves, or is my occasional boredom/necessity cleaning enough?  Has Matt been doing a ton of housework that I never appreciated, or is there just not a lot to do?

<Update: 15 minutes later>

Matt just read this and demanded answers to these questions-without-answers, so here we go…

Present Day: I’d guess that Matt does all the housework (what, no house gnomes?), but so blindingly fast that you don’t see it.  Probably doesn’t take much time away from reading Game of Thrones.

So comfy.  Also, this is the level of neatness you can expect when you come to visit.

Before: What did I do before, when I lived on my own?  On a co-worker’s recommendation, I hired awesome housekeepers who came once a month to do things like vacuum and scrub things. I know that sounds all fancy, but this was one splurge that really truly paid off in terms of life happiness. It was this or start showering at work to avoid the messy (haha) situation developing at home from my laziness and general ineptitude… Besides, Nadia has turned house cleaning into a priceless art form and every time I came home to a sparkly new apartment, it felt like it was my birthday, except better. (If you live in Seattle and want her number, let me know!) 

Our place now is certainly NOT Nadia-clean, nor could it ever be (short of Nadia and company re-locating to SF and Matt reconsidering his “we can clean the house ourselves” stance).

I took out my own trash (read: threw the bag down the apartment’s chute on the way to my car), and did dishes and laundry too (look at me go!). On the dish front, I put things straight in the dishwasher and washed skillets immediately after use (even before eating), so I guess they never piled up and felt like a chore.

My laundry situation hasn’t really changed since then.  It helps that I don’t iron anything, which means all the things have to be folded within 1 minute of coming out of the dryer lest they wrinkle and besmirch my appearance.  This might be one drill-sargeant-boot-camp minute, but it has the happy side effect of laundry folding never taking more than 5 minutes.

Before Nadia: A time period heretofore known as BN.  What did I do before Nadia? I HATE vacuuming AND scrubbing the bathroom, so I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have done those things barring some improbable clean-it-now-or-else-your-life-be-forfeit emergency.  Maybe my roommate did it?  Maybe the place was just filthy and I just avoided touching anything (this is more likely than it sounds)?  Maybe there were helper gnomes then?

Ah, that’s more questions without answers.  Even the furthest dregs of my mind don’t seem to go all the way back to BN.  Too bad I didn’t have a blog back then to record these important historical events!

Red pill, please

And now, for a quick traipse through the wonderland that is my mind…

How much space does the internet take up?  Physical space I mean.  And how much bigger does it get everyday from blog posts alone? 

Does the internet grow faster than the computing chips growing smaller?  Put another way, does it grow more than 2x per 18 months?

Are we going to RUN OUT OF SPACE for it?  When will this happen?  Can we put it in the ocean (overflow dumping ground)?  Outer space (lieutenant overflow dumping ground)? 

If the nuclear holocaust were to hit, and the bunkers are only so big, what will be the exchange rate for internet to people?  Do we leave 10000 people out to die in order to save wikipedia?  WebMD?  Youtube?  Twitter?  This Blog? 

Would I rather live on through this website, or live on in the more conventional, physical, way, but in a world where all of human knowledge and history has been snuffed out? 

Is there anything in my mind that isn’t online?  If not, wouldn’t extra bits of internet be the more valuable addition to future society?  But then, should we just go ahead and conclude that the machines are the important ones, and we humans are just here for repopulation purposes?

Has this all already happened?  Is this the Matrix?

October 2009
a more innocent time


I keep finding treats everywhere…

“Oh must be my lucky day”

“Hmm that’s weird”

“Wait a minute…”

“This is no coincidence…”

It’s like it’s my birthday! 

Never-ending mini-york surprise = extremely ideal birthday!  But now I’m all greedy and wondering where the big mother ship bag-o-York is…

I want it Now!

I’m feeling really empty on blog material this evening, but I fear incurring the whine wrath of Veruca Salt, so here we go anyway…

1) Went to Waterbar SF tonight for $1 happy hour oysters.  They were good, but now I feel weird.  Apparently oysters, random fruity cocktail, and peppermint bark do not make for a nourishing square meal.

2) I’ve been completely wrapped up in my latest work project, and that’s been occupying the vast majority of my time and thoughts.  Hence, lack of brain space for generating blog-worthy material.

3) My mom once wondered why we needed so many skillets in the house.  “I don’t even have this many!” 

This is why.

4) New upstairs neighbor gets up around 6 am (for real!) and starts walking around (how dare he!).  Unfortunately the floors are wood and his kitchen/living room is above my bedroom.  I haven’t been well rested in a month and the bags are starting to coalesce under my eyes and reveal my pushing-thirty-ness.

The corollary to this is that his bedroom is above our living room, where we play pop/rock music and/or action/sci-fi programming until midnight-ish.  So he probably hasn’t been well rested for a while either?

All of this got me Zillowing housing prices in Austin, TX today.  I may actually be able to afford my dream house (close to everything, no surface-sharing neighbors) there!

5) On Monday, I saw someone pick a cup of chopped fruit (fork included) out of an overflowing public trash can and start eating it.  I found this simulataneously gross and heart warming- what a nutritious, delicious, and otherwise expensive snack (assuming the germ thing works out ok)!

6) Speaking of pushing thirty, everyone I know who has rounded that corner seems to accept it with grace and happiness.  Maybe because what other option does one really have? 

I don’t think that’s going to be me.  With a little over a year to go, I’m digging my heels in as hard as they will go.  I’m planning to apply myself to having extreme amounts of non-fun just to make the time pass extra slow… Yup, that’ll probably work.

7) If I had been more organized about this, I could have turned this into 3 or 4 posts.  Instead I poured the entire well into this one and now it’s gonna be dry for a spell.  Oh well. 

Stay back, Veruca.