Posts Tagged ‘first’

together, beginning to end

August 22, 2010

Orna, my mentor, friend and colleague got me this book

Home, or in hebrew habyta by assaf inbari.

the story of kibbutz, a dream created in Israel 100 years ago.

a dream of community, socialism, values, sufficing with little and even less.

i was swept away by the book and recommend it to anyone who:

  • can read hebrew,
  • has a kibbutz in their background,
  • cares about creating communities


  • willing to give up convenience for values

the book is great because:

  • it blurs the lines between fiction and facts in a new and breathtaking way
  • it tells the story of the great kibbutz initiative that helped create israel in a way that was never told
  • it makes you think about what it takes to be a pioneer and entrepreneur. what you are willing to give up, how long it will last, and what does partnership really mean

some of my takeaways:

  • i think i understand my grandfather yeshayahou, who started a kibbutz and bestowed me with many values, much better now. sorry, grandpa, that i ended up a capitalist and not a socialist, but i hope i still have some time to fix that
  • any partnership, or common shared pool which is absolute, can exist, and beautifully so, but only for a relatively short time. years, a decade, not much more. the concept of ‘contribute what you can and take what you need’ can not last far beyond when the founders  themselves change. definitely not beyond a generation, which i consider to be 15 years these days, unless the next generation also has a common set of values and needs, and can change from the original vision while staying together
  • kids paid for their parents dreams, values and actions. paid dearly.

a good friend recently told me he wants to be my partner. ‘do you know what partnership means?’ he asked and answered:

you do all the work, we split the profits 50/50

airlines, indications of the future

March 25, 2010

want to see the future?

airlines are not just an indication of the past, but also of the future

On the way back from the USA had  a short connect in CDG. suitcase did not make it with me. but across the gate from my flight to TLV, there stood in its majesty, a dream. the A380. next to it were a boeing 747 and a 777.


the size of the thing. its tail is almost twice as high as the Jambo 747, a dream of the past.

every time i see a plane take off i think: what a marvel of engineering. 200 tonnes up in the air. and a victory of the human spirit. to think that we could build machines that would fly. man, i do not see me having had that vision 200 years ago.

Now, planes, flights and service are a thing of the past. a routine we do not think about. in the past 10 years i hae used an airplane much, much more than a bus

speaking of service, on which airlines do you get the best service?
American ones, not so much
European ones? Better
Asian ones? Great

Shows you in which direction the world is going

first to market? Stigler’s law of eponymy!

January 26, 2010

One of the greatest takeways from my semester at Yale was that no matter how original you think you are, or an idea you have, someone has thought of it before, and has a little academic activity established around that thought already.

some, hundreds of years ago.

so, a bit of humility

Stigler’s law of eponymy is a process proposed by University of Chicago statistics professor Stephen Stigler in his 1980 publication “Stigler’s law of eponymy”.  In its simplest and strongest form it says: “No scientific discovery is named after its original discoverer.”

Stigler’s Law was discovered many times before Stigler named it

Historical acclaim and reputation tend to be allocated to people unevenly. Scientific observations and results are often associated with people who have high visibility and social status, and are named long after their discovery. Eponymy is a striking example of this phenomenon. Particularly important scientific observations are often associated with a person, as in the case of Gaussian distribution, Halley’s comet, and Planck’s constant. Nature never works in isolation. Ideas arrive in parallel, and theoretical or practical works/experiments too are near simultaneous in time-space. It is the publicizing and recording of the work that assumes identity relationship with the one most famously connected with it. Indeed many ideas never see fruition for their time has not come or they are not fully recognised, appreciated or properly advertised.

Often the person who is associated with the particular observation, theory, or result was not its original inventor. Based on his studies on the history of statistics, Stephen Stigler therefore proposed his own “Stigler’s Law of Eponymy.” Stigler attributes the discovery of Stigler’s Law to sociologist  Robert K. Merton (which makes the law self-referencing).

merton, by the way. was a distinguished American sociologist perhaps best known for having coined the phrase “self-fulfilling prophecy.” He also coined many other phrases that have gone into everyday use, such as “role model” and “unintended consequences“. his son, robert merton is a noble prize winner in economics. he is the one of black scholes fame and long term capital management LTCM.

press here for a good article about how great ideas are not rare

who usually gets the credit? the most popular or powerful person at the time at which it gained wide acceptance.

the lesson here is:

  • there is already a principle named after a person for this. the  matthew principle, (more will be given to those that already have, matthew 25:29)
  • for israeli startups,  to invest in marketing

and time markets,

and get lucky.

some people

January 5, 2010

2. Ignoranus : A person who’s both stupid and an asshole.


January 4, 2010

The Washington Post’s Mensa Invitational  once  again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by   adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.

i welcome you to do the same.

Here are the 2009 notable entries and winners:

Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

teddy bear

December 27, 2009

want to be appreciated?

a word to be remembered by?

how about a word and a toy?

A teddy Bear is called so because of, or after, Teddy Roosevlet.

the story is a good one.

an incident involving “strong men” and a fierce beast

a kind human act, one of a true sportsman

some reporter makes a cartoon out of it

a creative entrepreneur hears of the story and creates joy, a toy and money

another entrepreneur, in another corner of the world, comes up with the same idea, at the same time

since there is little IP involved, they compete, create a market for generations to come

from wikipedia:

The name Teddy Bear comes from former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, whose nickname was “Teddy”. The name originated from an incident on a bear-hunting trip in Mississippi in November 1902, to which Roosevelt was invited by Mississippi Governor Andrew H. Longino. There were several other hunters competing, and most of them had already killed an animal. A suite of Roosevelt’s attendants, led by Holt Collier,[1] cornered, clubbed, and tied an American Black Bear to a willow tree after a long exhausting chase with hounds. They called Roosevelt to the site and suggested that he should shoot it. He refused to shoot the bear himself, deeming this unsportsmanlike,[2] but instructed that the bear be killed to put it out of its misery, and it became the topic of a political cartoon by Clifford Berryman in The Washington Post on November 16, 1902.[3] While the initial cartoon of an adult black bear lassoed by a white handler and a disgusted Roosevelt had symbolic overtones, later issues of that and other Berryman cartoons made the bear smaller and cuter.[4]

Morris Michtom saw the drawing of Roosevelt and the bear cub and was inspired to create a new toy. He created a little stuffed bear cub and put it in his shop window with a sign that read “Teddy’s bear,” after sending the bear to Roosevelt and receiving permission to sell the bears. The toys were an immediate success and Michtom founded the Ideal Novelty and Toy Co., which still exists today.[2]

At the same time, in Germany the Steiff firm, unaware of Michtom’s bear, produced a stuffed bear from Richard Steiff‘s designs. They exhibited the toy at the Leipzig Toy Fair in March 1903 and exported 3000 to the United States


November 29, 2009

an option you do not intend to use, but you still see value in getting it, rather than dropping it.

Q: “want to go to a movie Friday night?”

A: “i usually stay home and watch tv, but lets discuss Friday eve”

as human beings, we know it ain’t going to happen, but we still want to obtain the droption, not realizing its value may be close to zero, and usually negative

VCs are a prime example of people obtaining and using droptions. especially not getting to back to a company with a ‘no’ early. they think that by waiting a week to a month something good will happen


November 29, 2009

as part of the new words series:


tactics to change reality.

e.g today is the first day of the rest of my life.

News it!

November 23, 2009

Lately i am fascinated by words.

it is remarkable to me that we actually understand each other.

usually, when we talk, we understand each other quite well.

despite the fact that our brains and souls are very individual.

my appeal to you is let’s invent new words.

comments and suggestions are highly welcome. perhaps we can make some words really popular?

if i understand correctly, ‘quiz’ was invented in the University of Chicago in the 60s.

Wikipedia adds this note:

There is a well-known myth about the word “quiz”, which says that in 1791 a Dublin theater owner named James Daly made a bet that he could introduce a word into the language within twenty-four hours. He then went out and hired a group of street urchins to write the word “quiz”, which was a nonsense word, on walls around the city of Dublin. Within a day, the word was common currency and had acquired a meaning (since no one knew what it meant, everyone thought it was some sort of test) and Daly had some extra cash in his pocket. However, there is no evidence to support the story, and the term was already in use before the alleged bet in 1791.[1]

my new word for this post is:

‘News it’.

what does it mean? ‘

news it! – something you say to someone who just bought a new item. ‘תתחדש’ in hebrew

perhaps the salespeople at Banana Republic will great you on the way out with ‘News it’,  instead of ‘have a nice day’ or ‘thanks for shopping with us’

what have you done for me lately?

November 8, 2009

The NY Yankees win the World series in 6 games

mitsui is the MVP. of course, 6 RBIs in the winning game. Mitsui, the mvp, is the first japanese born player to win the title. we are becoming globalized.

notice the following:

  • MVP is in the winning team (which i think should often be the case, but it seems to be ALWAYS the case, at least lately).
  • the MVP of the series is actually the MVP of the last game.

how about Alex Rodriguez, or Rivera? A rod was pivotal in two pivotal games, especially game 4. and Rivera was part of every win.

it seems to me the underlying reason is the ‘recency effect‘:

  • we place more importance on the latest occurrence than we should.
  • we ask people what they have done for us lately, forgetting what they have done for us in the past.
  • in the compilation of the best songs in the past 50 years, or the best movies,  songs and movies from the last year or so get a dis-proportional weight.

call mom or dad and say ‘thank you’.