_author archive

GodTube raises $30M on $150M valuation!

05/05/08 :: by moquito

Congrats to our client, GodTube.com. They just closed a $30M raise on $150M valuation! We worked with them on many components, including their video player, and the award-winning Prayer Wall. We’re excited about working with them and ramping up going forward.

I want $10/gallon gas

05/04/08 :: by moquito

Gas PricesYes, you read right. I want gas to go to $10/gallon. Actually, I want it to go to $100/gallon.

I’m not a sadist and I don’t own stock in any oil companies. My Dad is not the King of Saudi Arabia.

I am an entrepreneur who knows that there needs to be market opportunity in order for entrepreneurs to pay attention, and be motivated to solve problems. If horses could’ve gone 100mph, perhaps the car would’ve never been invented. If typewriters could “undo” perhaps computers would’ve never been necessary. Today, if gas was still $1.50/gallon, all-electric cars like the Tesla, and hybrid cars like the Prius would not exist.

We are killing our planet by filling 12MPG SUVs up twice a week. Yes, a select few are benefiting tremendously (see Exxon’s latest earnings report here), but the consequence of our current habit is twofold. One, we are causing the planet to warm (I’ll let Al Gore do the heavy lifting explanation on this). Two, we’re creating a huge imbalance of wealth in the world, and oil is already being used as a policital weapon against the “west.”

The more gas goes up, the more entrepreneurs like myself are going to be thinking of creative solutions. Electric cars? Cars that run on water? Hydrogen? Air? I don’t know what the future is, but I do know that it’s not on gas. The higher the price goes, the quicker we’ll get there.

Our (Sync’d) Future

05/04/08 :: by moquito

Device of the FutureI’ve done a lot of thinking recently on the new technology issues that really impact our lives. Sure, the internet could be faster, our computers could take less time to boot up, and laptops could be lighter and last longer. But, let’s face it, in general, the core of technology works pretty well these days. And because it works so well, we’re free to focus on the little things that would make our lives easier.

Syncing my files, email, contacts, photos, music, and documents is currently my #1 challenge. Between my Mac Pro at work, Windows XP (using Parallels on the Mac Pro), my Sony VAIO Laptop (Windows XP), and my iMac at home, I have four separate computers and two platforms that I need to access my data on. I don’t have time to think about which computer I last used for a particular document, to get the latest version of the document. I also don’t have time, upon purchasing a track from the iTunes store, to manually copy it three other times, and make sure it’s labeled with the correct Genre, in the correct Playlist, etc.

There are many Syncing tools for data out there, and TechCunch does a good job at profiling them here. But they also all have their shortcomings; one doesn’t work with parallels, once is Windows, only. One doesn’t do what it says it will do.

I finally settled on an obscure syncing program, PowerFolder, to get the job done. It’s not the prettiest or easiest to use, but it does work, and it works cross platform, including with Parallels. I also found this amazing program called SuperSync, that syncs all of my iTunes libraries, again cross platform.

These are all good starts. But, when I jump in my car, I’m again at the mercy of what’s on the radio, on my iPod, or iPhone. And all the new music (or photos) I just added to one of my computers isn’t automatically in my car.

I want a service that syncs all of my data, without any intervention from me, to all of my locations, and all devices. This includes a hard drive in my car, syncing over the cell phone network, to automatically add any music track I might add to any of my iTunes libraries.

Far fetched? Not really. Lexus is already building cars that remember any CD you put into them, so you don’t need the CD anymore. The cell networks are the biggest bottleneck, and they really need to catch up with our digital lives. But, that’s a whole other conversation.

Autism and it’s amazing unintended side effects

04/28/08 :: by moquito

This video blew me away and shows what the human mind is capable of. The mind is, well, just one big computer; all we need to do is figure out how to “upgrade” it to have the positive effects of autism without the negative, and the possibilities are limitless.

Don’t force your customers to do things

04/21/08 :: by moquito

Apple Updater
I recently posted about how Apple is “making customers for life” - and I believe strongly in what I wrote. Apple rarely does things that rub me the wrong way… but here’s one. They’re acting like Microsoft by “updating” Safari on Windows using the Apple Software Update, a tool that millions have downloaded to keep iTunes and Quicktime up to date. Customers have trusted Apple by installing an updater, and that’s exactly what it should be used for - updating existing software on your computer. I don’t have Safari for Windows installed at all, yet I was prompted to “update” it. How can you update before you install for the first time? By trying to dupe customers into installing Safari this way, Apple is eroding trust it has worked so hard to build, and is taking a play directly out of the Microsoft handbook.

UPDATE: Apple released a release to the updater today, that categorizes software into “New Software” and “Updates” - probably in response to this issue. It’s still an “Updater” and I stand by my original point that updaters, by definition, should be used to update existing software, only. Period.

Clear communication vs. Microsoft

04/17/08 :: by moquito

Microsoft Label

This is the label on Microsoft Windows Vista SP1 that arrived with our Action Pack update. So, basically, this is a full version, but I need a qualified upgrade installed already, but not necessarily on this machine, in order to legally use it - but that won’t interfere with its ability to install or be used.

Microsoft: Get a grip.

Feel free to give me your interpretations of this English-code in comments.

How to make customers for life

04/16/08 :: by moquito

Apple Email

I recently ordered a new Mac Pro, which I have yet to receive. Yesterday I received this note from Apple, politely telling me that the graphics card I had ordered had gone down in price in the 24 hours since I’ve placed the order, and they were refunding me the difference.

If every company did this, they would earn the loyalty of their customers for life, as Apple has earned mine.

Al Gore @ TED

04/12/08 :: by moquito

Al Gore @ Ted

I just watched one of the most inspiring talks I’ve ever seen Al Gore make. I find it interesting the way he connects design into the whole global warming problem at the very end. Great design (both mechanical and graphical) is the solution to our problems. Solutions need to work and be graceful at the same time. No one is going to install solar panels if they cover their entire backyard with ugly, black plastic. No one is going to drive a hydrogen car if it is ugly, or only goes 30 miles before refueling, or if you need to drive 50 miles just to refuel.

I believe Fluid can help in solving global warming, not just by recycling and energy conservation at the office (which we already do), but by inspiring others through great design to take action. Awareness is the tool that will make the real difference, and great design can make messaging effective and sticky.

See it here.

LA Business Journal Top 20 in their 20’s

04/11/08 :: by moquito

Check out Nesting.com’s first media hit. Despite the deluge of phone calls from bankers, financial planners, and attorneys, I’m honored to have been selected as one of L.A.’s “top 20 in their 20’s”

Check it out.

Also - congrats to friends from USC - Dee Murthy and Andres Izquieta of Five Four Clothing, and Jason Nazar of DocStoc!

What makes a good client?

04/03/08 :: by moquito

So what makes a good client?

I know what makes us a good agency:

1. We’re honest. If we don’t see a good fit from the very beginning, we’ll walk away, regardless of dollar amount. And we’ll tell our clients what we think, not just want they want to hear, throughout the process.

2. We’re talented. The design and development horsepower we have under the hood is some of the best in the industry, and we’re able to consistently deliver award-winning work.

3. We’re profitable. This is a benefit to our clients; we don’t look for any opportunity to upsell. We’re able to fully align our goals with our clients.

So what makes a good client? I don’t expect any client to ever use this as a checklist, but rather hope to start a dialogue here.

1. Know what you don’t know. If you aren’t sure what you need or want, that’s fine. Just don’t delude yourself into thinking you do. Don’t be arbitrary and make decisions because it “feels right.”

2. Avoid arbitrary deadlines and budgets. This is a big one. Great work takes time and costs money. Accept it.

3. Response time. Our clients are the most frequent cause of delay in projects. Assign one person on your team to be the decision maker and contact with us. We’ll give them deadlines and keep the project running smoothly.

4. Respect the agency. Why are you hiring an agency in the first place? Because you know how to design better than they do? Respect their work. Respect their opinions. You’re the client, and of course you have the say at the end of the day. But if you’re constantly vetoing the agency’s recommendations you’re not letting them do what you’re paying them to do, and what they do best.

At Fluidesign, we want to improve the interactive world as a whole; we want great clients and great team members. And we’re not afraid to stand up for what we believe in.