Must be sad times at Yahoo

In this New York Times article it’s announced that Yahoo is laying off 1000 people. It seems not even Yahoo is immune to the crashing economy. The layoffs are being blamed on a sharp decline in Q4 2007 profits and predictions of a challenging 2008.

This follows a time when tech jobs were plentiful. It seems like it was only months ago that finding good people was tricky. Candidates were hard to find and the people still out looking expected a lot of money, dotcom boom money. I suspect those tables have turned for everyone now. Budgets are getting tightened, new positions are drying up, people with jobs seem happy to hold onto them.

The last time this happened, when the dotcom bubble burst, I was lucky to be sitting high and dry on top of one of the best financial institutions out there. I guess I’m lucky to still be there. I must admit at times I wondered if a job at a more cutting edge company like Google or Yahoo might be a better career move, but on days like today, hearing news like this, I’m happy to have my day job at [insert giant bank name here].

I guess as we all get older we begin to recognize the cycles and trends that repeat themselves. When times are good it feels like they could last forever. When things turns bad we stop and wonder what happened. If you turn to look at the most experienced people they almost seem have expected it.

I guess the lesson to learn is simply to watch the tides, plan for lean years, avoid too much risk, and don’t get cocky kid. Thanks Han Solo. Unfortunately I don’t think that advice give the 1000 people leaving Yahoo any help. :-(

MacBook Air

apple macbook air laptop

Apple’s new laptop has gotten some pretty though reviews since it’s announcement. The processor is slow, there’s no built-in super drive, the battery can’t be replaced by users, the ports are a bit hard to access, and the hard drive is slower than most laptops. So in other words it’s not for everyone.

But it is the thinnest laptop in the world and feels durable. It also introduces some new features not as visible on the surface like a multi-touch track pad and remote disc which allow users to connect to DVD drives on other computers.

It’s hard to say if Apple really missed the ball on this one. I think most professionals will look at this computer and think it’s cute but very limiting. Most of us have desktops for real work and laptops for the road but they already seem slow compared to our desktop computers. The full size keyboard and 13 inch display help out but the processor, hard drive and battery issues are too big to make this a pro laptop.

But I can imagine a market that would love this thing. Students, normal end-users, people who travel a lot, are all real market segments that I suspect Apple is really targeting with the MacBook Air. It will be interesting to see some of these features appear in the Pro product lineup in the future. The multi-touch for example is great on the iPhone it would be very interesting to experience that kind of interactivity on a real computer.

Blogging a Book

Last summer, while on my long commute from Sacramento to San Francisco (which I’m happy to say I don’t do anymore), the idea of writing a book popped into my head. Ironically the topic has nothing to do with what you might expect, like web design, technology, etc.

The book is about freedom. WTF Mike? Yeah I know it’s a bit odd so let me explain. While on that drive I had a lot to think about like skyrocketing gas prices, an illegal war for oil in Iraq, a corrupt government, a crashing real estate market, my looming 40th birthday, and really wanting a better life for me and my family. Yeah kind of a depressing drive… but the worse part was that I felt helpless to do anything about it, except maybe the things I can control that directly impacted my life.

And then it hit me… no no not a Prius. I realized a simple truth. There are little things each of us can do to improve our own situations. In other words, every little choice we make has some kind of positive and/or negative effect on how we perceive our freedom. This led me to a second realization; we experience an increase of freedom when there are fewer limitations on us. I know this sounds simple and a bit naive but it seems to make sense. We feel freer when there is an absence of external controlling forces.

I started to feel better because I felt like I had a little more control. I started brain storming little and big choices I could make that would start making positive effects on my life. The first one was to stop commuting in this big truck. OK it’s not that big but it is definitely has an apatite for gas. Another was to spend less money on eating out. The list grew.

On the way home that day I knew that I should start writing it down. Being a web geek a blog was the first thing I thought of. But I had heard of lulu.com too, an online self-publishing website. After some back and forth and sporadic writing I’ve decided to blog a book. Start with a blog because it seems normal and natural too me and then once I have enough content download the database, extract the text, edit and build a book in word processor or page layout software.

Right now I think the book will be titled Do It Yourself Freedom. But I’ll worry about the book later, for now the blog is DIYfreedom.com. It is definitely a work in progress and I’ll keep it quiet until I get it cleaned up. In the mean time any feedback is welcome.

Basically it’s a bunch of things you and I can do to positively impact our lives and perception of freedom.There aren’t 101 of them yet but I have list of things I plan to add. If you have one to suggest I’d love to hear it.

Relaunching CARazed.com

After much internal debate I decided to go green with CARazed.com. CARazed is a blog and free classifieds website I launched a few years ago. It never really took off mostly due to my lack of focus. Looking back I’m convinced that had I stuck with CARazed and not veered off onto so many different projects CARazed would have been more successful.

For now the free classifieds portion is offline. I’m going to rework a few features before opening that back up. When I do I’ll also encourage people to only post green cars. The blog is in full swing, Take a look at CARazed.com.

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