Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Secret Sharer, Part 2

I have had a number of doppelgangers in my life, but I think this one takes the cake.

This evening, my family and I went to have dinner with the other Chris Yeh.

Now it's strange enough that we both have the same name, but what about all the other similarities:

1) Both of us work as marketing executives in enterprise software.
2) Both of us have an engineering degree and an MBA from top schools (Michigan/Wharton and Stanford/HBS).
3) Both of us are unusually tall Chinese guys
4) Both of us are married, with children, and with non-Asian wives
5) Both our wives grew up in New York
6) Both of us lived in Boston from 1995-2000
7) Both of us drive a Honda Odyssey (okay, that one actually isn't that scary)
8) Both of us are huge sports fans, especially of college and pro basketball (Michigan/Bulls and Stanford/Lakers)
9) The other Chris Yeh has a daughter named Caroline. My older sister is named Caroline.
10) My son's nickname is JJ. The other Chris Yeh's wife's nickname is JJ.

Naturally, we had such a great time tonight that we're planning to get together more often, and maybe even play in the same basketball game. I guess our teammates will have to call us by our middle names. I wonder if I can convince them that my middle name is actually Jordan....

Friday, January 19, 2007

It's the writing, stupid

What I love most about blogs is that at the end of the day, whether or not I decide to add one to my feedreader is solely a function of the writing. It's the purest form of meritocracy.

Take Violent Acres, for example. Her most recent post happened to hit the Digg front page (which is how I found the blog), and I decided to add her feed. As I did, I noticed that about 400 other Bloglines readers were already subscribers (a decent size). What I also noticed was that it didn't really matter to me whether she had 0 readers or 50,000--all that had crossed my mind was, "I really like her voice and her writing. I'm going to subscribe."

Obviously, it helps to hit Digg's front page. But attention is fleeting. All it does is open the door. It's your writing that gets people to walk through, instead of whistling past.

Quote of the Day: Knives

"There will always be a need for specialized products. There are a lot more knives than Swiss Army knives in the world."

--Antony Awaida

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Question of the Day: Web Designers

Why is it so easy to name the world's greatest clothing designers, car designers, videogame designers, and industrial designers, but so hard to pinpoint the world's greatest Web designers?

A simple answer would be that there are more Web designers than those of other types, but I find this kind of brute-force argument inelegant and unconvincing.

Perhaps it is harder to judge the quality of Web designs, largely because of the newness of the medium. Or perhaps the industry lacks the scaffolding that other older disciplines have--the annual awards and shows.

What do you think?