Max Levchin Says Embracing Failure Is Dumb

Slide CEO Max Levchin is joining Google with the acquisition of his company, but some of his thinking could collide with the way Google CEO Eric Schmidt has been approaching social products like Google Wave. One of the biggest issues: Levchin really doesn’t like failure.

Coders Get a New Colleague — Barbie

Barbie today got two new careers, and in one she’s a computer engineer! That’s right, coders of the world can now count Mattel’s (s MAT) best-selling toy among their ranks. But my question is, does Barbie use a Mac (s aapl) or a PC?

You’ve Got a Friend on YouTube

YouTube (s GOOG) announced Wednesday that it will roll out a new social feature to recommend video channels of people you may know. From the YouTube corporate blog:

How will we make the suggestions? If you’ve logged in to YouTube and sent a video to a friend’s email address, or if you have your YouTube account linked to a Gmail account, we will use this information to help identify your friends who already have YouTube channels. You’ll only see channels whose owners have allowed themselves to be found by others who have their email address.

All summer long, YouTube has been going after this low-hanging fruit to eek out a few more plays from its massive audience. In June the company integrated Facebook Connect to allow people to directly share videos they publish with their friends and last month the company talked up its development of unexpected recommendations to stimulate viewer interest and keep them watching.
Credit Suisse analysts estimate YouTube makes 35 percent margins on its ad-carrying video streams, so making these small tweaks and wringing out a few more plays per user at YouTube’s scale combined with new monetization efforts will (ideally) translate into more ads and more moolah for the company.

A Dual-Boot Debacle with Windows 7 and XP

windows-7-logoI know that many folks look to us for mobile tech insights, tips and tricks — that’s definitely appreciated. But we don’t always get things right and I think it’s important to share those learning experiences as well. I had one today. It’s nothing that can’t be fixed, but it’s causing wasted time. In fact, it’s an issue that I could have easily avoided, had I been paying attention.

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Steve Ballmer Sees the Light Through the Clouds

Steve BallmerAfter laying off thousands yesterday, Microsoft (s MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer visited Stanford today in high spirits, telling students that his company is hiring and that he can’t think of a better time to start a business. “These are tough economic times, but these are times that are rich in opportunity,” was his message. “I don’t think the contraction is dramatic enough that we’re not going to see strong ideas come through.”

Well I guess the task at hand was an inspirational speech, so you can’t blame Ballmer for trying to deliver, but this wasn’t the kind that resulted in wet eyes and standing ovations. Not that he isn’t charismatic, it was just a little hollow in light of the economy. Read More about Steve Ballmer Sees the Light Through the Clouds

Jon Stewart: Forget Twitter, Try Grunter

Watch & Enjoy the video. (via)

Apple Will Be Just Fine Without Steve Jobs

541321286_7b398dab10_m1Let’s say Steve Jobs retires next year. So what?

I’m one of those in the lonely camp that doesn’t believe Jobs is Apple (s aapl) and Apple is Jobs. Or that when he disengages from Apple the wheels must necessarily fall off.

Jobs bought Pixar in 1986, and while he wasn’t nearly as closely involved with it as he has been at Apple, he assembled a team that helped the company thrive even after it was sold to Disney two years back. Since then, Pixar delivered the Oscar winning “Ratatouille” as well as “Wall-E” (Nos. 144 and 34, respectively, on IMDB’s list).

If Jobs hasn’t done the same at Apple, he’s failed at one of the key tasks of a great CEO. I don’t think that’s his style. Read More about Apple Will Be Just Fine Without Steve Jobs

Terracotta Doesn’t Want to Kill Your Database, Just Maim It

I ran across Terracotta Inc. a few months ago while looking at database companies, and was impressed by the potential of its eponymously named open source software, which can make web applications scale faster and more cheaply than they do when information is stored in a database. Instead the software from Terracotta, which was formed in 2003 and has raised $29 million from Accel Partners, DAG Ventures, Benchmark Capital and Goldman Sachs, takes information and writes it to a shared cluster of memory.

That makes the data available for quick access without the need for the arduous and time-consuming processes of structuring it for a database, storing it there and retrieving it later. Read More about Terracotta Doesn’t Want to Kill Your Database, Just Maim It

Spouse 2.0 Day Confuses Love With Presents

OK maybe I’m just cranky today, but Spouse 2.0 Day, when entrepreneurs are advised to buy their significant others a gift for putting up with their hectic work schedules, is just dumb. I’m married to an entrepreneur, and I work with someone who is incapable of taking a break (Om, that’s you), so I understand the entrepreneurial work load. But I have to say, buying someone a gift is not a suitable excuse for spending all your time at work, and it turns that relationship into an act of commerce (i.e. “I get to spend long hours on my startup and in exchange you get a nice gift.”). I bet next year it will be sponsored by DeBeers. Read More about Spouse 2.0 Day Confuses Love With Presents