Who Shared the Electric Car?

The New Yorker

Tesla Motors was created to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport.

“Putting in long hours for a corporation is hard,” Musk said on Thursday during a conference call. “Putting in long hours for a cause is easy.”

Uncommon Sense – Advice for entrepreneurs from Derek Sivers.

Lessons learned from starting, building, and selling CD Baby. A 47-minute talk in 8 parts of about 6 minutes a piece or so.

The thing I like about Derek is that he’s such a nice guy who clearly wants to help people (I’ve never met him in person but being reader of his blog and follower of him online, it’s obvious). And when he sold CD Baby — for a hefty sum — he donated the proceeds. (Not that there would have been anything wrong with keeping what he rightfully earned.) In this short video series, he shares some nice nuggets from his journey. I enjoyed it. Perhaps you will too.

‘You can go a long way on $500 a month if you live in your office.’

Julie Lynem, for The Tribune, writes:

In the beginning, it was Borgsmiller and one airplane, and he launched the business with financial help from family and credit cards.

“There was no money,” he said. “I was just starting cold turkey and had no real resources. I had to keep expenses to a bare minimum. You can go a long way on $500 a month if you live in your office.”

And, more recently:

Five years ago, ACI had 46 employees. Now, it boasts 85, with the majority of new hires in highly skilled positions such as pilots, mechanics and line-service specialists (employees who perform a range of tasks from refueling planes to towing them), Robillard said.

The company declined to disclose financial data but noted that revenues have grown more than 50 percent since 2009. Its growth facilitated the need to build a 36,000-square-foot hangar and maintenance facility, which opened in December 2012. The company spent $7 million on the maintenance hangar and site M ramp — the concrete parking area for planes in front of the hangar — and invested an additional $500,000 on maintenance equipment and tooling.


Reinventing the Art Gallery

Rebecca Juretic for SanLuisObispo.com gets into how regional/local art galleries are reinventing themselves to remain viable and, hopefully, thrive:

The improving economy is partly behind the revitalization of the local art scene, but it’s not the only thing driving it. Local galleries are reinventing themselves, delving into new markets and accessing art buyers in ways that old-school galleries never imagined.

A New Blog for Technical Freelancers

A few years ago I wanted to start sharing things I was learning, as a technical freelancer and self-employed technology services provider.

This is when ITConsultingLessons.com was born. First as a small email list – that grew to over 200 subscribers – and now a blog. If you’re a technical freelancer — current or aspiring, full-timer or moonlighter — I invite you to join us.

ITConsultingLessons.com: A blog about being a self-employed freelancer, consultant, or service provider. Edited by a consulting technologist.

Some Thoughts About Investing

Warren Buffett, in his latest letter to shareholders, February 28, 2014, page 17:

If “investors” frenetically bought and sold farmland to each other, neither the yields nor prices of their crops would be increased. The only consequence of such behavior would be decreases in the overall earnings realized by the farm-owning population because of the substantial costs it would incur as it sought advice and switched properties.
Nevertheless, both individuals and institutions will constantly be urged to be active by those who profit from giving advice or effecting transactions. The resulting frictional costs can be huge and, for investors in aggregate, devoid of benefit. So ignore the chatter, keep your costs minimal, and invest in stocks as you would in a farm.

Microsoft, Past and Future

John Gruber writes:

“A computer on every desk and in every home” was incredible foresight for 1977. It carried Microsoft for 25 years of growth. But once that goal was achieved, I don’t think they knew where to go.

We can only presume that Satya Nadella was hired, in part, to help them figure that out. Only time will tell, but it’ll be fun to watch either way.

Start-Up America: Our Best Hope

Thomas L. Friedman in the New York Times:

What they all have in common is they wake up every day and ask: “What are the biggest trends in the world, and how do I best invent/reinvent my business to thrive from them?” They’re fixated on creating abundance, not redividing scarcity, and they respect no limits on imagination. No idea here is “off the table.”

Then, after you’ve been totally energized by people inventing the future, you go back to your hotel room and catch up with the present: the news from Washington.