Category Archives: Business

Idea: Public Support Conversations

Use Case: people should be able to have public “support” conversations with companies.

Product: a site that would allow individuals to have public conversations with service providers in order to ensure social accountability. Continue reading

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Filed under Business Ideas, Health

Tufts Hackathon: But1 – Outcomes-Based Learning System


Problem: Students have a lot of resources available to them.  Which resources should they use to optimize their learning?

Solution: But1 ( – a site > syllabus > learning units, which consist of learning modules (as provided by external publishers) and assessment modules (as provided by But1).  Students take assessments after learning, thereby giving them an idea of how well they know the material, how they are progressing with respect to other students, and system can assess efficiency of educational resources.

I should note that the naming of But1 was the fastest and strangest naming process I’ve had to date.  Behold: Continue reading

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Filed under Business Ideas, Projects

Wrike – My Project Management Tool of Choice

image is an awesome, awesome project management tool.  Blogging to pass on the love.

Why is it awesome?  Because it is light, makes no assumptions about my workflow, and is simple and intuitive.  Consists of tasks, arranged in folders (one-to-many), with dependencies (Gantt charts), integrated with email allowing for easy discussions and notifications, and time tracking to boot.  Currently, I use Wrike at JoMI along with FairSetup (my other project) allowing everyone on the team to, once a week, quickly review our activity and self-report on accomplishments/time allocation, which leads to short-cycle calibration within the team.

So far, Wrike has been particularly good at helping with the following:

  • workflow management – when I have a multi-step workflow, easy to track progress
  • prioritization – when people get overloaded, I am able to prioritize their (and my) attention
  • memory – things no longer get lost
  • rapport – making sure that we are all on the same page. This last one deserves more attention…


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Filed under Accolades, Management, Product Reviews, Reviews, Software I Use, Stuff I Use, Tech, Tools

MegaBus Sucks

image For those of you taking the MegaBus, beware – they don’t care about their customers.

I got a ticket from Boston to Secaucus for 10:20 on 9/7/2013.  All good, except I made an innocent mistake of mixing up AM and PM.  OK, no big deal – guys, just put me on the bus to NY at 11 and I’ll make my way to NJ myself.  And then…

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Filed under Complaint, Travel

Kudos to Amazon Prime

OK, I just want to publicly give kudos to good business practices.  I had Amazon Prime on my account and it automatically renewed in May of last year…   I haven’t used it once, so now, when I realized that I wanted to cancel, they automatically credited me the last payment.  Awesome.  Will definitely purchase it again once I need it and highly recommend it to anyone who orders a lot of stuff on Amazon.


Filed under Accolades


Apparently MBO is all the rage in HR nowadays.  I used to think that management is easy.  About three years into JoVE turned out that…  not so much.  Now at FairSetup, learning what feels like a ridiculous about management…  and the difference between good and bad management.Useful acronym – goals must be SMART.

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic / Reasonable
  • Timely

Seems like a simple, almost cliché, tactical description.  But it’s amazing how often people fail at missing at least one item above, which leads to all sorts of idiotic problems.

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Filed under Management

Fight Dynamics: Cause and Effect

This is a followup to my recent post on strength.  Some people I know believe that you never threaten to hit. If you threaten, you must hit…  perhaps even in reverse order. And I always had a problem with that philosophy. It seems to me now that the goal exercising strength should be to actually avoid a confrontation later on.

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Filed under Business, Musings

Life Lesson: on Strength and Respect

Several years ago, I came to the conclusion that people respect strength. I was wrong.

I recently discovered that strength can also be applied in a way that is perceived extremely unethical despite the best intention, which evokes anger and an almost overwhelming sense of righteousness that would make a religious zealot blush: a completely ridiculous situation.

So it looks like brute strength is not respected, but despised and tolerated when it must be.  People respect strength delivered with calmness and wisdom.  So the new philosophy is: choose a course, be as clear about your intentions as you can, and don’t compromise ethics no matter how much you may wish to do so – the most stable path forward, one requiring least amount of energy. Besides, life is too short to be an asshole.


Filed under Boston, Business, Humanity, Musings

Tool: PassPack–password management

I recently hired a network guy to help out with our internet woes at JoVE and he recommended  So far very nice.  Adding it to my toolbox.

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Filed under Business, Stuff I Use, Tools

RollerBlade–an Amazing Company with Amazing Service


What you see on the left are my Rollerblade Quantum L2 rollerblades that were given to me by my parents a rather long time ago.   So long, in fact, that I used to blade in them down 9th Ave in Manhattan occasionally latching on to taxis…  good times…

Anyway, this is not a story to brag of past exploits or encourage dangerous behavior.  This is a story of a company with absolutely awesome customer service: Rollerblade.  So, a while ago, while still in NY, a buckle broke on one of my beloved skates.  Below is a video the break.

My broken buckle

So first, erroneously thinking my skates are K2, I shoot K2 support an email.  Their service was good – a quick reply that this is not their skate and that I should reach out to Rollerblade support.  I did, and a nice guy by name of Will Meyer quickly responded asking me to send pictures.  So far so good…  Then he offered to send me a buckle.  That’s nice.  But the buckles on these are clipped on (can’t unscrew), so then he offered me to mail the skate so that they can fix the buckle…  That’s even nicer.  For free…  We are getting dangerously close to awesome.  So I go and mail in the skate and then I ask if I can buy new wheels while they are fixing the skate – mine (you can see them in the first picture) are really worn out.  To which I get a reply that I can.  And then I get the skate back with a “don’t worry about it, the wheels are on us email” along with a new buckle, a new set of wheels on the old skate and a new set of wheels for the new skate AND they paid the return shipping.  Full-tilt awesome.

I was shocked.  They were nice, they took care of me, I felt appreciated as a customer and, assuming they stay a company that is this cool, I will remain a life-long fan.

So, if any of you are looking for new rollerblades, I highly suggest Rollerblade.  This is a company that builds a relationship of mutual appreciation with its customers…  or at least with this customer.  And I may only be a single data point, but that’s all I need Smile

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Filed under Accolades, Business, Reviews, Stuff I Use, Support Cases