Work Life Balance

There have been a few stories that have came out over the last month or so that talk about - Work Life Balance.

The latest is from Reuters reporting on a study from ACNielsen, which found “Work-life balance tops global New Year wish list.”

Also a story in a recent issue of BusinessWeek talks about how Best Buy is breaking the conventional thinking of the corporate 9 to 5 world – one where people need to put in “face time” and where the person who stays the longest at the office wins. The fact of the matter is that hardly anyone works from just 9 – 5. Technologies like mobile phones, BlackBerries and the wireless Internet have extended the work day well before 9am and way past 5pm. Some people look at these technologies as a bad thing... but we (three-forty) believe used properly... they enable us to be not only more productive but more importantly they free us from the florescent lit, four walls that we sit in.

They give us the ability to avoid rush hour or they let us take a break from work to go for a mountain bike ride during the middle of the day. I am not saying that these mobile technologies give us a the chance to slack off (the article talks about this a bit too) but it allows us to be more available to the client without being tied to the desk. Yes – the office gives a chance to collaborate and focus on work and that’s why we have one but your desk shouldn’t prevent you from having a life. There will be work that needs to be done by 8am or more work to be finished after 8pm but with the right mix of company culture, ethics and mobile technologies – it is possible to stretch more out of life.

Phishing Scams getting more sophisticated

It's been a while since I even thought about phishing scams. But, today I got an email from Bank of America asking me to update my account. Luckily, I am not so naive to think that they really need me to do this and would actually email this to a whole list of "undisclosed recipients."
While the note looks somewhat legit, it is the next page that is pretty amazing. Here is the note:

As measures mesures of ensuring a safer and more secure Banking
environment,We have re-structured our Banking servers .

Hence, we have decided to put an extra verification process to ensure your identity and account information is protected.

Please click on continue, to the verification process and ensure your Account information is entered correctly to get verified.

It is all about your security.

Thank you.

My favorite line of course, "It is all about your security." It then sends you to a page where you'd have to fill out your information, including social security number, mother's maiden name, account information, etc.

I an not sure if I am more informed on these scams because I've worked with VeriSign or other anti-spam or anti-phishing vendors, but they still scare me. I worry that my parents or grandparents may fall victim to this. So be warned! Any incoming email that wants your private information Don't give it out.

It's Different This Time

Josh Quittner outlines why he thinks this tech boom is different than that of the late 90’s. He has some good points – companies are trying to be profitable, the exuberance has not reached the levels it once had, and Bill Gates has become irrelevant to many start-ups.

I agree with *most* of his points and I would also add that entrepreneurs these days don’t want to become a legend of a tech bubble. The entrepreneurs we are working with truly believe they have a company that will be around for the long haul – boom or not.

The idea that the web has become increasingly democratized (ahem, YOU are Time’s Person of the Year), many more opportunities will open up. Not just in content creation, but how we receive the content we want, what device, from who, when and how we can use it to help our everyday lives. Quittner also points out that many people believe that tech booms go in four year cycles. I hope that we are just on the cusp of innovation and that three years from now we’ll be looking back realizing that the YouTube’s of the world were just scratching the surface.

Venice Project Opens Up

I've been hearing quite a bit about the Venice Project from some industry friends, so am curious to see what it's all about. The project is pretty ambitious and has several barriers for success, though if anyone can do it - these guys can. Hopefully, I'll be beta testing it soon.