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  • Michael Krakovskiy 12:11 am on September 11, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Electrodeless lamp, Entrepreneur, , , , , Giancarlo Fassina, , , , , Lamp, , , , Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital, Robert Dudley Best, set designer, , , , Winston Churchill   

    The House of Lamps or Lamp Lust 

    I firmly believe that expensive and well designed office chairs like Aeron or Mirra make a very good investment. On the other hand my friend, a very successful entrepreneur, tells me that much cheaper 300 dollar chairs are just as good, and that his most prized employees, when asked what kind of a chair they want said that it does not matter. My friend is very smart, very rich, and probably right.

    People who have chair lust, like me, sometimes have an even more irrational desire – to buy expensive table lamps. When Joel Spolsky visited me at work, i pointed out to him that everyone at my office had a four hundred dollar Artemide Tolomeo desk lamp. Joel, famous for his office architecture fetish, was not impressed — oh yeah, we have a whole bunch of them too at Fog Creek, — he said.

    I noticed that the set designer of the hit show House, MD also has an obsession with lamps. Even more interestingly, I noticed that Dr House’s office has three very interesting lamps.

    Lamp A is a paragon of British design, Bestlite, a lamp that I always wanted, and never bought because it’s crazy to spend that much money on a lamp. Designed by Robert Dudley Best and made famous by Winston Churchill, who had one in his office, it’s the Bentley of expensive designer lamps. It’s just crazy to spend over $600 on a lamp, innit?

    Lamp B is the Artemide Tolomeo, a floor version of the lamp that I have at work. It’s a beautiful lamp that works very well. The desk version is about half the price of Bestlite, but it’s crazy to spend $300 on a lamp, right? Even if it’s designed by Michele De Lucchi and Giancarlo Fassina?

    Lamp C appears all throughout Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital and gets the most screen time. It’s a 25 dollar Antifoni work lamp from Ikea, and the one that I have on my desk at home. Who designed it? I don’t know, it says “Ikea of Sweden”. What does Antifoni mean? According to Nordic Names, a website for translating crazy Ikea names like Bjöberg and Drömma, it means “antiphony“.

    By the way, apparently Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad has a Nazi past and chose to name all the furniture because SKUs were hard for him to keep track of due to his dyslexia. Also Gillis Lundgren, besides being famous for designing the Billy bookcase (I have 12 of these in my apartment) , actually invented the concept of flat pack furniture when he sawed off legs from a table that would not fit into a car.

    Also on the subject of Ikea lamps:

     
  • Michael Krakovskiy 8:28 pm on July 26, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: a manager, a marketer, , , , , Entrepreneur, , , , , , ,   

    Pour Your Heart into It : How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time 

    Since 1987, Starbucks’s star has been on the rise, growing from 11 Seattle, WA-based stores to more than 1,000 worldwide. Its goals grew, too, from the more modest, albeit fundamental one of offering high-quality coffee beans roasted to perfection to, more recently, opening a new store somewhere every day. An exemplary success story, Starbucks is identified with innovative marketing strategies, employee-ownership programs, and a product that’s become a subculture. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a manager, a marketer, or a curious Starbucks loyalist, Pour Your Heart into It will let you in on the revolutionary Starbucks venture. CEO Howard Schultz recounts the company’s rise in 24 chapters, each of which illustrates such core values as “Winning at the expense of employees is not victory at all.”

     
  • Michael Krakovskiy 4:42 pm on July 26, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Alan Morrison, , Dan Burke, Entrepreneur, , Hype cycle, Profit, Stupidity, , technology industry hype   

    Business @ the Speed of Stupid: How to Avoid Technology Disasters in Business 

    Business @ the Speed of Stupid brings to light many of the myths that stymie unwary investors, entrepreneurs, and managers who are seeking to turn a profit in the digital economy. It highlights why smart entrepreneurs buy into dim-witted business beliefs and exposes the “big lies” that have crippled so many companies. With ultimate know-how, verve, and humor, Dan Burke and Alan Morrison reveal why brilliant engineers don’t always make brilliant business leaders, how innovation is far less important than customers and quality, and that, yes, you do need to be profitable to survive on the Web. Bringing realism and experience to the table to counteract the lingering technology industry hype, Business @ the Speed of Stupid explains how to survive and profit in the next phase of our technology-driven economy.
     
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