Lots of articles have been written about the renaissance of hardware startups. On Kickstarter and in VC conference rooms, there’s a steady wave of founders pitching new devices, peripherals and even apparel. Which is wonderful. And inspiring. And, costly.
“Don’t aim at success — the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long run—in the long run, I say!—success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think of it.”—Viktor Frankl (via explore-blog)
I remember I first met Mike indirectly through a mutual friend because we both had a common interest in DJ’ing. It was soon revealed that we both wanted to start a company someday. From that point, we’d meet every week just bouncing ideas off each other, poking holes into each one, and explored what we could potentially work on together. We learned that we were both interested in creating something with a social good mission, and in fact, passionate in taking a stab at solving today’s issues in education. One thing led to another and Skillshare was born in Fall 2010.
When I look back, it’s incredible to think how far we’ve come, how much we’ve been able to accomplish, and to watch Skillshare grow up. We have vibrant teaching and learning communities in cities all around the world. Our team and “family” has grown with a number of talented and ambitious members helping us realize our vision. And along the way, I’ve been able to learn invaluable lessons that will be ingrained in me forever. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to help Skillshare reach this stage, proud with what we’ve been able to accomplish against many odds, and excited with what’s to come in the next phase.
While I still have the same level of passion, energy, dedication, and commitment for Skillshare, our mission, and our team, I’ve also realized that I can contribute the most value to companies whose path to success is far less obvious than Skillshare’s. It was one of the reasons why I decided to start a company from scratch in the first place, and it’s also why I took a step back from my day-to-day role a few months ago. I’m still a Board Member and Advisor, and, of course, will continue to help in whatever capacity I can.
This was obviously not an easy decision to make, especially considering that Skillshare is in such a pivotal stage in its life. Fortunately, I’m confident that, thanks to the strong team we have put in place, Skillshare will continue to grow and change education as we know it.
In closing, I want to express my gratitude for all my friends, mentors, investors, and colleagues who have supported me and Skillshare with our accomplishments to date. I’ve started to advise a few great companies and mentor for 500 Startups, and am looking forward to the next course in my life.
Being in NYC, I use a lot of elevators. Now, this might be a bit nerdy but, the algorithms used in elevators have always intrigued me.. even from a practical POV.
Why don’t elevator doors stay open when idle on floors (and during times) where people commonly enter (as opposed to exit)? In theory, this could shave a few seconds each time.
I’m in a 10-story building with 2 elevators, E#1 at floor 10 and idle, and E#2 at floor 5 and going up. If I’m on floor 1 and hit the Up button.. why would I have to wait for E#2 instead of E#1 coming down to get me?
What is the optimal floor # for taller buildings to segment elevator banks? ie. if you have a 100 story building, at what n should you have a second bank of elevators that skip floors 2 through n?
Do elevators keep track of how many times a “request” button is pressed? (my assumption is no, but it’d be interesting if this stat was used)
Could you design an elevator system (with reasonable practical and financial constraints) that adapts and learns based on usage?
(and a nice-to-know fact) What % of elevators have a working Open/Close button?
(and more of a pet peeve) Is it really more cost-effective to hire someone to man an elevator vs. upgrading to an automated one? The inefficiency of manually-controlled elevators really annoy me.
Of course, these questions only generally address optimizing users’ wait times. It doesn’t take into account optimization of power usage, maintenance costs, etc.
Anyone have any opinions on this? Is there an easy way for us non-elevator-engineers to somehow tap into an elevator system and tweak its algorithm (and measure our results)?
Thank you @bubs for sharing. Well put. We’ve all felt alone.
It’s hard to talk to the people that love and care about you most, cause you’d scare the shit out of them. If they knew every up & down you went through, they’d probably hold an intervention to get you to switch careers. They don’t want to see you suffer, and rare is the founder who hasn’t suffered.
We believe there are few things better than having access to the power of learning, which is why we are super excited to announce a whole series of complimentary classes aimed at empowering your personal and professional ideas, all courtesy of our friends at MasterCard!
That was the whole brief for my first project in graduate school, VCU Brandcenter. Our teacher gave us the project guidelines: come to next week’s class and present something interesting about gum in 60 seconds. Then he left.
Skillshare’s Style Semester is finally here! We’re inviting you to channel your inner-sartorialist, become more like Cary Grant, or live out your Project Runway dreams. We’ve brought together a terrific mix of fun, creative, and hands-on classes in New York centered…
We’re working on a National Maker & Craft semester where we’re combining top talent/teachers and affordable classes to launch a whole series of Maker & Craft-related classes. We’re launching classes all over the country beginning this September going through October!
At Skillshare, we believe that metrics are important to get a pulse of how our business is doing and figure out what to do next. Essentially that means, we should know what’s working and what’s not, and thus, what areas of our business to focus on next… (read more)
its no secret. when it comes to “live” performance of EDM… that’s about the most it seems you can do anyway. It’s not about performance art, its not about talent either (really its not) In fact, let me do you and the rest of the EDM world button pushers who fuckin hate me for telling you how it…
Skillshare Advertising Semester kicks off this month in NYC, Boston and San Francisco. We’ve curated a broad selection of classes that reflect the many facets of advertising, and recruited creative and passionate teachers to share their skills with you.
Attending our Penny Conference on April 20th? Be sure to catch a Penny Morning class before you head over to The Times Center! Immerse yourself in the world of PR, Blogging and Creative Writing at our headquarters:
San Francisco/Bay Area: We have a rockingTech & Collaborative Consumption Semestercoming your way - and couldn’t be more excited. Check out the amazing classes we’ve got lined up for you this March at Citizen Space & Hub Soma!
Skillshare is excited to announce that we’re a proud partner of COMMON Pitch NYC! We’re teaming up to host COMMON’s Mentor Day at the School of Visual Arts. On February 14th, COMMON is hosting a full day startup bootcamp at SVA. The day will include a series interactive lectures on the…
At Skillshare, we like playing board and card games. I used to primarily play poker, but since last year, have been playing Settlers of Catan a lot. It’s fun because it’s a combination of luck and strategy (like Monopoly, which is still one of my favorite board games).
In a constant attempt to improve, I’ve always asked myself:
What are the best resources to try and get? In early game? In late game?
How do you determine the optimal, if it exists, place to place the robber?
How much of the game is based on luck?
(the last question usually comes up when someone who didn’t win says "This game sucks. It has too much luck involved!" which I usually reply in jest with "Next time roll better.")
Settlers of Catan obviously depends a lot on dice odds. Fortunately, the game has made it easy for newbies by using dots on each hex piece:
For those of you familiar with Craps (another one of my favorite games) or just probability in general, this is easy to understand. Thus, ignoring other factors and game-specific restrictions, in general you should place your first two settlements on an intersection that has the highest probability (or sum of dots). Simple enough.
Further, you can generalize that you should place the robber on a hex piece that would deal the highest expected “damage”:
E[X] = D(S + 2C)
where D = # dots, S = # settlements, C = # cities
Beyond this simple math, a lot of other factors are involved:
early vs late game strategy, especially in terms of resources needed
distribution of resources (you don’t necessarily want your first two settlements to get you 5,6,8 and 5,6,8)
location of settlements and roads relative to other players’ (for both offense and defense)
bonuses, like Longest Road
strategic trades and psychology
when to go for Development Cards
So how much luck really is involved in Settlers of Catan? Internally here at Skillshare, we’ve been debating this a lot. The last time we played, the winner won because more 4s and 11s were rolled than 6s and 8s. I also remember another time when a player went from a distant last place and ended up winning all because of a Monopoly card he played near the end.
Ultimately, understanding the probability behind the game is important, but just like most games, playing against other players is the best way to improve. I’d be interested in hearing what you guys think, and if you’re located in NYC, I’d like to meet more Catan fans to discuss this topic.
One of my goals this year is to write more. I’ve been told that I seem to consume lots and lots of info/data, but don’t publicly vocalize my thoughts enough despite almost always having a strong opinion about the topic at hand. I tend to agree with that observation, and so, I’m going to attempt to over-communicate.
As part of this, I’ll be employing an exercise where I’ll write down 1 topic and 1 concise opinion/response to that topic per day for 21 days. From there, I’ll choose certain topics to expand on and publish.
What do you think of this strategy? Do you have other suggestions?
If you’re an avid blogger, what have you done in the past that has helped you become a better blogger / writer?
In the 18th century, coffee houses were known as Penny Universities. For a mere penny, people entered a communal space overflowing with ideas, literature, intellectual conversations and inspired debates. Here, men and women came to improve their minds, challenge their mindsets, and build a roadmap for change.
Inspired by the Penny Universities’ unique environments, Skillshare’s first education conference aims to create a space where curiosity, discovery, and collaboration are not only encouraged but rewarded. On the morning of the conference, we’ll kick off with curated Skillshare classes across NYC and conclude our day at The Times Center, where we’ll be inspired by some of the best minds and prominent personalities in the Education space. By the day’s end, we will have found that change in education is not only possible — but is happening all around us.
Startups have an inherently predictive quality. As the innovation engines of the economy, what startups figured out in 2011 will likely appear on other sectors’ trend lists in 2012. And if it doesn’t, it will be replaced quickly. For instance, in 2011 group messaging both took off — with more…