Fine tastings of last week (#4)

1. When it comes to contributing content or knowledge or whatever (a.k.a user generated content (UGC)), it appears that only 1% of the users contribute content. Rest of the 99% happen to just consume the content. This obviously has significant implications for anyone pursuing such UGC ventures as well as those that are involved in Knowledge Management like myself. The Guardian published an excellent article “What is the 1% rule” a few months ago.  Brad Feld has an interesting twist to this rule which he calls the 80-19-1 rule. Read on.

2. Metacool proposes an interesting idea – every organization must publish their to-do-list publicly, so that customers can know what is likely to come. Metacool’s idea having been inspired by a public to-do-list seen at the Denver Art Museum. <Via Bob Sutton>

3. Alternative energy is a great thing for the world and every kind of alternative energy has been explored. But I recently came across a company attempting to harness the energy from lightnings. If they can pull it off, it could be a huge win for alternative energy. <Via Eyebeam reblog>

4. I and Priya Raju were contemplating the question – why are performance enhancing drugs bad for sport?  We realized that – you sort of sense why it is wrong but putting your finger on  exactly why we need to oppose this is a bit difficult. I came across this fantastic article called “Drug Test”  by Stuart Stevens. He was faced with the same question and he being an endurance cyclist, takes some of these performance enhancing drugs himself and has chronicled his entire experience  and draws  his conclusions.  Its a long article well worth a read.

5. What is the connection between talent and greatness? Can you achieve greatness without talent? Can you become automatically great if you are talented? These are some of the questions that pop up when you think about achieving greatness. Geoffrey Colvin has covered these questions in a brilliant article “What it takes to be great” in the Fortune magazine. His startling finding – “lack of natural talent is irrelevant to great success”. Then, what is the secret to greatness? Read on.

6. Innovation is a favorite topic everywhere these days. No two experts will agree on what constitutes innovation or how to go go about becoming an innovative company.  However, there is one company that can claim to be the epitome of innovation – Toyota and all the experts will agree. Toyota has implemented over a million ideas so far and continues to implement about 2500 new ideas every day!  Sanjay Dalal has a fantastic post about Toyota’s Innovation Factory. <Via Innovation Tools>

7. There is an interesting form of theater I came across called “Black Light Theater” It depends on the fact that the human eye cannot distinguish black color against a black background. So actors dressed in black, with parts of the dress colored  to say depict a fish, move against a black background making it seem to us that a fish is floating in the air. <Via Priya Raju>.

8. After 10 years we celebrated Diwali in India. It was great fun watching the kids in the building light up the crackers for hours together. Compared to my childhood days, things seem to be a lot subdued. I am told that there is a growing awareness of noise pollution and also a growing outrage against the practice of using child laborers to produce the crackers in Sivakasi where the fireworks industry is located. Given my affection for Bengali sweets, I decided to get the essential Bong sweet Mishti Doi”Sweet Yoghurt” from the best place in Chennai for Bengali sweets – Shri Durga Sweets in Annanagar near Chintamani. It was delectable and I finished the entire matka “clay pot” in one sitting. Yummy.

9. It was a 3 day weekend thanks to Diwali. Visted some relatives, met with some friends. Very relaxing. One of the days, i was channel surfing aimlessly and chanced upon the Hindi movie Bluffmaster. I had zero expectations and it turned out to be a pretty good, enjoyable movie with a good storyline. I could see the copycatting of famous English movies but it will be become a spoiler if i mention them. If you haven’t seen the movie, i would say, check it out. Phew! that was a long one. As I said before, you can follow my tastings through the week on my link blog featured on the right column of the blog.

A small explanation for how i categorize my finds: 1. Interesting – these are pretty good and worth reading up. 2. Insightful – these have atleast one insight. worth reading of course. 3. Amazing  – I use Amazing for fantastic discoveries like the one I featured recently  – a plant that smells its targets. 4.  Brilliant – for articles/posts that are  extremely insightful or those that have a lot of insights. 5. F***-ing brilliant – this is the highest accolade I give. I don’t think I have given anything this rating so far. However, I have come across a few things in the past few weeks that are in this category. I plan to write about those. Stay tuned.