Posted on Friday 4 June, 2010

Galarraga has just replace Jack Morris as my favorite pitcher of all time. I think Ken nailed it:

“The baseball gods could have given us a perfect game, instead they gave us something even more beautiful”.

If you have a few minutes, it is worth reading Posnanski’s full post. Beautifully written.

As soon as Joyce made the call, the camera cut to Galarraga. And he smiled. That’s all. No argument. No theater. No wild waving of arms. No, he just smiled, a smile that seemed to say: “Are you sure? I really hope you are sure.”


Scott Johnston @ 12:51 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
Have a respectable brand

Posted on Thursday 3 June, 2010

“You know the best way to get the public to respect your brand?  Have a respectable brand.”


Scott Johnston @ 12:33 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
Started with the iPad

Posted on Wednesday 2 June, 2010

From Job’s session at the D8 conference:

“I’ll tell you a secret. It began with the tablet. I had this idea about having a glass display, a multitouch display you could type on with your fingers. I asked our people about it. And six months later, they came back with this amazing display. And I gave it to one of our really brilliant UI guys. He got [rubber band] scrolling working and some other things, and I thought, ‘my God, we can build a phone with this!’ So we put the tablet aside, and we went to work on the iPhone.”

Scott Johnston @ 7:37 am
Filed under: Uncategorized
SCOTT JOHNSTON’s stay at “Property Name”

Posted on Wednesday 2 June, 2010

Classic email from Starwood after staying at the W. Glad to hear my opinion is the future of their brand.



Thank you for the reservation that was recently made at our Starwood hotel and for your stay at “Property Name” ending on “Display CheckoutDate”. “Brand” Hotels is part of the Starwood Hotels & Resorts family of brands (Sheraton, Westin, Four Points by Sheraton, W Hotels, St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, Le Meridien, Aloft, Element, and the award winning Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program).

My opinion is the future of their brand?

Scott Johnston @ 4:49 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Posted on Monday 16 March, 2009

I’ve been using the Quick Search Box for the mac (QSB) now for three months, and I can’t recommend it enough. Like Quicksilver, it changes the way you interact with your computer. Instead of browsing for information, you simply search. It is liberating in the same way gmail is — you no longer spend time organizing because your information is always at your fingertips via lightening fast search.

The simplest way to use the QSB is as a launcher. Instead of browsing the Applications folder, or stacking your doc with the apps you use, you simply open QSB (cmd key twice by default, I use cmd-space), and start typing the name of the application you want to launch. You can also use it for quick actions like searching the web, or wikipedia. To search wikipedia, you simply start typing “wik…” then hit <tab> then type your search followed by return. A wikipedia search will open in your default browser. QSB is also integrated with Google Docs, which makes opening a Google Doc a two second operation. For example, I was working on a presentation to the zoning board of appeals. To open the presentation, I simply started typing “zoning” and using the arrow keys, selected the presentation. (Note the Google Docs integration doesn’t support Google Apps accounts just yet, Update: the latest release now supports Google Apps! (More info…) but it still isn’t integrated with Google Sites at this time.)


As you can see from that screenshot, QSB also has several other utilities like quick access to dictionary definitions. It also searches your conacts, making conact information also a couple of seconds away.

I’m using the mac version but an equivalent version of the QSB is included in Google Desktop for windows.

Scott Johnston @ 4:40 am
Filed under: Uncategorized
Please teach them to fish

Posted on Friday 12 December, 2008

jhuber pointed me at this post. There are lots of possible reactions to this teachers email (as the post and comments demonstrate). But I think most of them miss the point. The problem here isn’t Microsoft. It isn’t about how many features Linux has or doesn’t have. It isn’t about the distribution of Windows or the future of linux. This is about teaching kids how to learn and how to problem solve. It is about encouraging them to explore. You don’t learn Windows — you become familiar with Windows. You learn about computers. Once you understand a computer, getting familiar with Windows, OS-X, or any other OS on the planet is easy. Letting a student explore linux is like letting them play with the most amazing lego kit ever. If you learn to use linux, you can figure out almost any computer. 

Please Karen, teach them to fish, stopping giving them fish.

That and your email eerily reminds me of Doctorow’s dystopia in Little Brother.

Scott Johnston @ 9:27 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Posted on Sunday 13 April, 2008

We went to a benefit last night for Leadership High School, a charter school in San Francisco. When is the last time you heard about a high school with a documented academic philosophy? When is the last time you heard about a high school that requires it’s students to have demonstrated social responsibility, personal responsibility, critical thinking, and strong communication skills in order to graduate? 100% of last year’s class graduated. 100% of last year’s graduating class went to college. I’m going to say that again, 100% of last year’s class went to college.

Ten years ago, a group of teachers and administrators set out to change the face of public education. Right now Leadership High School is changing the face of public education.

What is your ten year goal?

Scott Johnston @ 8:54 am
Filed under: Uncategorized
So much talk

Posted on Sunday 6 April, 2008

This week music companies announced a partnership with MySpace to offer a music download service. I have to believe that most of the articles written simply copied the press release because nobody seemed to have asked even the most basic question: “when?” Or even better, “Haven’t you announced something like this before? That didn’t seem to work out so well. How is this different?” The rise of digital music has produced more press releases announcing intention than any technology shift I have seen. When will this industry realize they actually have to do something as oppose to just announce something? Is it the music companies, or just a large company problem? Why do they feel the need to announce intention instead of announcing product?

Let’s write some headlines post-success:

[Sept, 1999] Steve Jobs announced Apple would redefine the music player and how users interacted with their media. The device, yet to be designed or built, will play music, but eventually support video and maybe even a cell phone. “I’m really excited about this idea. I talked to the board about it and I’m just forming a team to design a prototype. It is going to be an amazing success.”

Or maybe sports:

[Aug, 1993] Tiger Woods, a student at Stanford University, announced today he would become the best golfer of all time. “I feel like I have the foundation and the background,” said Mr. Woods, “all I need to do is execute.” He will team up with Jack Nicklaus as his mentor. “I have the experience, and Tiger has the youth, ” said Mr. Nicklaus, “it is an amazing combination.”

Maybe, I’m wrong. Maybe this time they will do something. Maybe it will be an amazing success. But the quote below doesn’t give me much confidence.

MySpace Music will be run by an executive team that will report to a board composed of representatives from MySpace and the music labels.

Meanwhile, while the board is driving the project into mediocrity, I’m going to go buy some music from iTunes.

Scott Johnston @ 5:56 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
FriendFeed, first impresssions

Posted on Monday 31 March, 2008

I got a chance to check out FriendFeed this morning while Niko was watching Sesame Street and was really impressed. I was up and running with a consolidated feed of:

  • Twitter
  • Two blogs
  • Netflix
  • Google Talk status
  • Flickr photos
  • Picasa Web photos
  • Google Reader shared items

I also hooked up LinkedIn and Facebook but I’m not sure what that means exactly.

I was really impressed with how quickly I could pull all this stuff together and how easy it was to find other friends using FriendFeed. Kudos to the team for putting together an app which is so easy to use. I also tried Plaxo Pulse but it wasn’t even in the same league.

Here are my asks from the team (in order of priority):

  1. [important] Let me read a feed with just my friends updates. Right now my only option for a consolidated feed includes my updates — short of a drinking binge I usually know when I make updates. The feed also includes speculative “friends of friends” updates which I would love to disable.
  2. [kinda important] Give me a badge for my wordpress blog. I know I *could* write one using the API, but I’m lazy and busy.
  3. [just a thought] I sometimes had trouble understanding what I was getting by adding a feed. What is a LinkedIn profile feed? I really appreciate the simplicity of the add interface (signature Kevin Fox) but wanted a way to learn more or get a preview.
  4. [just a thought] My “movies at home” would have a much higher signal to noise ratio than movies I put into my queue. I personally would be more interested in movies my friends are watching now, as opposed to movies they may watch some day. Netflix offers this feed but the FriendFeed Netflix service didn’t seem to recognize the feed.

I dropped my friends FriendFeed feed (how is that for a mouthful) into Reader. I’ll see how that goes for a month or so and report back.


Scott Johnston @ 12:48 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
Slow on the uptake

Posted on Friday 29 February, 2008

A long time ago, at a start-up named Kintana, a developer named Dave Gauthier installed a wiki. We already had a ton of documentation on a shared drive with a web server on the front end. Because we didn’t want to fracture the documentation we asked him to uninstall it. Meanwhile I continued to be mystified by the fact that the documentation was never updated. Years later, after we were acquired by Mercury Interactive (and Dave had moved on), we took another stab at using a wiki and it took off. In fact, I left Mercury for JotSpot, a wiki company. See the irony here?

I wanted to take a second to publically apologize to Dave. I was wrong. We should have used a wiki from the beginning. They are amazing, and I love them. I may not have gotten it the first time, but I got it the second, and I got it the third (JotSpot). And now I’d like to think I got it the forth. Yesterday we announced Google Sites, a free hosted site collaboration tool for teams. It was a long road to this release, but I have an amazing team that put their head down and powered through a tremendous amount of work. I am amazingly proud of what they did. I couldn’t be happier with where the product landed and I’m super excited for the road ahead. This launch was just a start, not a finish.

Slow on the uptake, but good on follow through.

Scott Johnston @ 9:43 pm
Filed under: Google andJotspot