Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Jeff Bezos: Innovation Ahead

In his 2003 TED Talk, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos challenged the common comparison of the late 90's tech boom-bust to the gold rush (the questions surrounding a new tech "bubble" fall into this category). The main points are clear and easy to understand, and they paint an optimistic view on the future of technology and web innovation.

Key points:
  • Though the tech boom-bust had many similarities with the gold rush, a similar bubble, technology is not a finite resource like gold. Innovations to come will breed and be followed by more innovations. 
  • Tech is not a singular industry on it's own. Instead, like electricity, it's a "... thin, horizontal, enabling layer that goes across lots of different industries. It's not a specific thing."
  • Like the days of running electrical appliances through light sockets (because early homes weren't wired for electricity, they were wired for lighting), Bezos sees that we're in the early stages of web and internet innovation. 
"The tempting analogy for the boom-bust that we just went through with the Internet is a gold rush.... For one thing, both were very real. In 1849, in that Gold Rush, they took over $700 million worth of gold out of California. It was very real. The Internet was also very real. This is a real way for humans to communicate with each other. It's a big deal. Huge boom. Huge boom. Huge bust. Huge bust. You keep going, and both things are lots of hype. I don't have to remind you of all the hype that was involved with the Internet -- like "

"There's a much better analogy that allows you to be incredibly optimistic and that analogy is the electric industry. And there are a lot of similarities between the Internet and the electric industry. With the electric industry you actually have to -- one of them is that they're both sort of thin, horizontal, enabling layers that go across lots of different industries. It's not a specific thing."

"...If you think of it in terms of the Gold Rush, then you'd be pretty depressed right now because the last nugget of gold would be gone."

"But the good thing is, with innovation, there isn't a last nugget. Every new thing creates two new questions and two new opportunities."

"If you really do believe that it's the very, very beginning, if you believe it's the 1908 Hurley washing machine, then you're incredibly optimistic. And I do think that that's where we are. And I do think there's more innovation ahead of us than there is behind us. " 

Jeff Bezos - "Regret Minimization Framework"

"I went to my boss and said to him, “You know, I’m going to go do this crazy thing and I’m going to start this company selling books online.” This was something that I had already been talking to him about in a sort of more general context, but then he said, “Let’s go on a walk.” And, we went on a two hour walk in Central Park in New York City and the conclusion of that was this. He said, “You know, this actually sounds like a really good idea to me, but it sounds like it would be a better idea for somebody who didn’t already have a good job.” He convinced me to think about it for 48 hours before making a final decision.

"So, I went away and was trying to find the right framework in which to make that kind of big decision. I had already talked to my wife about this, and she was very supportive and said, “Look, you know you can count me in 100 percent, whatever you want to do.” It’s true she had married this fairly stable guy in a stable career path, and now he wanted to go do this crazy thing, but she was 100 percent supportive. So, it really was a decision that I had to make for myself, and the framework I found which made the decision incredibly easy was what I called — which only a nerd would call — a “regret minimization framework.”

"So, I wanted to project myself forward to age 80 and say, “Okay, now I’m looking back on my life. I want to have minimized the number of regrets I have.” I knew that when I was 80 I was not going to regret having tried this. I was not going to regret trying to participate in this thing called the Internet that I thought was going to be a really big deal. I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not ever having tried. I knew that that would haunt me every day, and so, when I thought about it that way it was an incredibly easy decision. And, I think that’s very good. If you can project yourself out to age 80 and sort of think, “What will I think at that time?” it gets you away from some of the daily pieces of confusion. You know, I left this Wall Street firm in the middle of the year. When you do that, you walk away from your annual bonus. That’s the kind of thing that in the short-term can confuse you, but if you think about the long-term then you can really make good life decisions that you won’t regret later.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Jill Bolte Taylor - "My Stroke of Insight"


(at 16m 43s) 

"So who are we? We are the life force power of the universe, with manual dexterity and two cognitive minds. And we have the power to choose, moment by moment, who and how we want to be in the world.  

Right here right now, I can step into the consciousness of my right hemisphere where we are — I am — the life force power of the universe, and the life force power of the 50 trillion beautiful molecular geniuses that make up my form. At one with all that is.  

Or I can choose to step into the consciousness of my left hemisphere. where I become a single individual, a solid, separate from the flow, separate from you. I am Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, intellectual, neuroanatomist.  

These are the “we” inside of me. Which would you choose? Which do you choose? And when? I believe that the more time we spend choosing to run the deep inner peace circuitry of our right hemispheres, the more peace we will project into the world and the more peaceful our planet will be."

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Brendan Baker - "Anatomy of Seed"

Anatomy of Seed

From Brendan Baker -

Joel Gascoigne - "Raising Funding as a First Time Founder"

"So my advice for first time founders who want to raise funding is almost always to put that thought aside until you have good traction. Instead, focus completely on traction. Focus on product/market fit. When you have good traction, it becomes much easier to raise funding."
Joel Gascoigne - "Raising Funding as a First Time Founder" 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Evolution of Louis C.K.

Louis CK on his comedic pivot. Love the respect for George Carlin.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Chris Dixon - "Thin Edge of the Wedge"

Chris Dixon on the Thin Edge of the Wedge strategy
Sometimes the wedge can be a simple feature that existing companies overlooked or saw as inconsequential. The ability to share photos on social networks was (strangely) missing from the default iPhone camera app (and sharing was missing from many third-party camera apps like Hipstimatic that have popular features like lo-fi camera filters), so Instagram and Picplz filled the void. Presumably, these startups are going to try to use mobile photo sharing as the wedge into larger products (perhaps full-fledged social networks?).
Critics sometimes confuse wedge features with final products. For example, some argue that mobile photo sharing is “just a feature,” or that game mechanics on geo apps like Foursquare are just faddish “toys.” Some go so far as to argue that the tech startup world as a whole is going through a phase of just building “dinky” features and companies. Perhaps some startups have no plan and really are just building features, likely with the hope of flipping themselves to larger companies. 
Good startups, however, think about the whole wedge from the start. They build an initial user base with simple features and then quickly iterate to create products that are enduringly useful, thereby creating companies that have stand-alone, defensible value.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Note to Self: Start every day as a producer, not a consumer.

via Reddit: Aceex's response to the question "What are the small lifestyle changes you've made that have had big impacts for you?"
"I make sure to start every day as a producer, not a consumer. 
When you get up, you may start with a good routine like showering and eating, but as soon as you find yourself with some free time you probably get that urge to check Reddit, open that game you were playing, see what you're missing on Facebook, etc 
Put all of this off until "later". Start your first free moments of the day with thoughts of what you really want to do; those long-term things you're working on, or even the basic stuff you need to do today, like cooking, getting ready for exercise, etc. 
This keeps you from falling into the needy consumer mindset. That mindset where you find yourself endlessly surfing Reddit, Facebook, etc. trying to fill a void in yourself, trying to find out what you're missing, but never feeling satisfied. 
When you've started your day with doing awesome (not necessarily difficult) things for yourself, these distractions start to feel like a waste of time. You check Facebook just to make sure you're not missing anything important directed at you, but scrolling down and reading random stuff in your feed feels like stepping out into the Disneyland parking lot to listen to what's playing on the car radio - a complete waste of time compared to what you're really doing today. 
It sounds subtle, but these are the only days where I find myself getting anything done. I either start my day like this and feel normal and productive, or I look up and realize it's early evening, I haven't accomplished anything and I can't bring myself to focus no matter how hard I want to."

Stephen Covey on Interdependence

"Life is, by nature, highly interdependent. To try to achieve maximum effectiveness through independence is like trying to play tennis with a golf club - the tool is not suited to the reality. 
Interdependence is a far more mature, more advanced concept.  
If I am physically interdependent, I am self-reliant and capable, but I also realize that you and I working together can accomplish far more than, even at my best, I could accomplish alone. 
If I am emotionally interdependent, I derive a great sense of worth from within myself, but I also recognize the need for love, for giving, and for receiving love from others.  
If I am intellectually interdependent, I realize that I need the best thinking of other people to join with my own. 
As an interdependent person, I have the opportunity to share myself deeply, meaningfully, with others, and I have access to the vast resources and potential of other human beings."
From Stephen Covey's "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People"

Friday, February 17, 2012

Steve Blank - The Customer Development Manifesto

Been diving deep into the world of Customer Development/MVP/Assumption Testing. From that field comes a new addition to my "Favorites" section. 

Steve Blank - The Customer Development Manifesto: Reasons for the Revolution (Part 1)

Steve outlines his reasons against the product development model, which focuses mainly on "inside the building" activities. Orgs that focus on product development schedule their efforts around their internal progress, instead of around customer, market, and other important external factors.

Key points of the article:

1. Where Are the Customers?
The reality for most startups today is that the product development model focuses all their attention on activities that go on inside a company’s own building. While customer input may be a checkpoint or “gate” in the process, it doesn’t drive it.
2. The Focus on a First Customer Ship Date
The product development model is so focused on building and shipping the product that it ignores the entire process of testing your basic hypothesis about your business model (customers, channel, pricing, etc.) before you ship. Not testing these hypotheses upfront is a fundamental and, in many cases, fatal error most startups make.
3. The Focus on Execution Versus Learning and Discovery
Ask yourself: Why are we executing like we know what we are doing? Where exactly did the assumptions in our startup business plan come from?” Was the sales revenue model based on actually testing the hypotheses outside the building? Or were they a set of spreadsheets put together over late night beers to convince an investor that this is going to be a great deal?
4. The Focus on Execution Versus Agility
The ability to learn from those missteps, to recognize new opportunities, and to rapidly change direction is what distinguishes a successful startup from those whose names are forgotten among the vanished.
5. The Outsourcing of Founders Responsibility
When an adroit and agile founder gets outside the building and hears for the nth time that the product is unsellable they will recognize, regroup and change direction. A process to give the founders continuous customer interaction – from day one – is essential.
 6. The Focus on a Finished Product Rather than a Minimum Feature Set
Unless you are in an Existing Market, (making a better version of what customers are already buying) you’ll find that your hypothesis about what features customers want had no relationship to what they really wanted.
7. Investor Focus on a Broken Model
The fallacy is that the product development model is the most efficient model for new ventures swinging for the fences– this year, last year, last decade, or since the first startup met their first investor. 
Venture portfolio companies don’t succeed because they used the Product Development model they succeeded in spite of using it. The fact is most successful startups abandon the product development model as soon as they encounter customers. 
Today, startups using the product development model iterate and learn and discover by burning investor cash. When cash is tight, they go out of business – or they adopt a more efficient model.
See the full article at 

Throwback Web Design - Space Jam (1996)

Throwback Web Design from Space Jam (1996) - link

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Alangram - Mun & Pigeons NYC

Pregame via Livetapp

The End of Wall Street As They Knew It

“If you’re a smart Ph.D. from MIT, you’d never go to Wall Street now,” says a hedge-fund executive. “You’d go to Silicon Valley. There’s at least a prospect for a huge gain. You’d have the potential to be the next Mark Zuckerberg. It looks like he has a lot more fun.”
- NYMag - The End of Wall Street As They Knew It

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Super Lintendo

“To see an actual live Asian American hero unfold before our eyes, it really is something special to us,” said Jerry Ma, 36, a Taiwanese American who works for a company that creates Asian American superhero characters."It means a lot more than anyone could ever imagine.”
- LATimes Sports

The FanMobilizer Manifesto

This story takes us back to the days of yore. A more innocent time. A time when I got hooked on going to concerts and shows – more shows than I could afford on my meager allowance. Remember allowance?

To bring my desired number of concerts within my means, I began street teaming for my favorite local venues and concert promoters. You know, handing out flyers after shows. Hanging up posters around town, that kind of stuff. As much fun as street teaming was, I had a motive. After showing my manager photos of my promotional work, I would get guestlisted to my favorite shows.

I began to scale my interest. Promoting for local shows quickly turned into doing promotions for brands like Red Bull and Boost Mobile, and national festivals like All Good and Camp Bisco. For all of these clients, I’d work for incentives, which I’d receive after submitting photos of my work.

In case you're wondering, the answer is yes. That is Snuffalufagus on my shirt.

Before long, I was promoted to managing national street team campaigns for a company called FanManager, for nationally touring bands and festivals like the Disco Biscuits, Shpongle, The Crystal Method and festivals like Camp Bisco, Bisco Inferno, and more.

Submitting photo reports (which was a pain in the ass already) became accepting emails from hundreds of promoters (per campaign) nation wide. Each one with a sendspace or megaupload (RIP) link to a .zip folder full of pictures. I'd have to wade through, interpret the data, issue rewards, and then compile and organize the photos for my boss and our clients.

Here's an example of spreadsheet I worked off. This is half the sheet, for one client, for one tour.

Each row is on promoter, which represents maybe 25 photos, which happens to be right about where the limitation on email attachment sizes cuts off.

Have you ever been responsible for collecting photos from 150 people in 2 weeks? If you haven't, here's a pro tip: don't. It's a pain in the ass for everyone involved. If you can avoid it, you do. For now...

At the time, I didn't think about it that much, except as an inconvenience that was part of the game. Our flip phones had shit cameras. With all their shortcomings, digital point and shoots represented the pinnacle of photo sharing. 

Today, high quality cameras on smart phones with GPS and time-stamping capabilities offer new opportunities for mobile photo reporting and team accountability tools. The writing is on the wall. A new era of mobile team management has arrived. And not just for concert promotions, but for political campaigns, on-site engineering, corporate street team campaigns, and more. Anywhere where a manager can benefit from having eyes on the ground with a team in the field, FanMobilizer is here to help. 

FanMobilizer - The easy way to collect and organize time- and location-stamped photos from your mobile team.

iOS '86 - Endearing in its Retro

How cool is this? From the portfolio of designer Anton Repponen:

Monday, February 13, 2012

Note to Self: The Motherload of Startup Tools

Check out Steve Blank's epic list of "Startup Tools"

A ridiculously comprehensive list of resources, from Founding/Startup Advice to Market Research, Web Prototyping to Testing and Building Tools.

Lean LaunchLab - share Bus Model Canvas/Customer Development progress
Piktochart – make infographics
Wikispaces – wikis for everyone

Wireframing Tools:
Keynotopia – use PowerPoint/Keynote to create web/mobile apps
Balsamiq – rapid wireframing tool. software mockups in minutes
Mockflow – online/offline, extensible wireframing tool w/design library
JustinMind – define web and mobile apps with interactive prototypes
JustinMind UserNote - get user feedback/test usability
InVision – UX Prototyping from jpg, .png or .gif files
Mocksup – Share your web site mockups

“How Big is the Market?” Tools
Google Trends - what are the search trends for key items
Google Insights - breaks down the search data by location
Facebook ads - check out the total available market

Awesome Approach to Customer Development and Product Feedback

Stumbled across this LeanStartup Case Study in which the writer shares his extremely comprehensive method for testing customer interest and generating product feedback, even before Minimum Viable Product.

These guys basically say they were burned before, doing 6 months development work for a web app that the client had promised to buy and eventually backed out on. They wouldn't make that mistake again.

My condensed outline, though I definitely file the Case Study as recommended reading:

  1. Made a few pencil drawings of what the app would look like. Handed to graphic designer.
  2. Designer created photoshop mockups and wrapped them in web browser templates 
  3. Approached target market with screenshots
  4. Walked users through major application of product
  5. Visited each user 2-3 times offering development progress and soliciting feedback
  6. Solicited information about how they were currently solving problem and how much they paid for solution.
  7. Pressed those who saw merit in the idea to sign a legall non-binding Letter of Intent

    "Namely, that they agree to use it for free, if we deliver it to them and it is capable of X, Y and Z. And not only do they use it, but that they intend to purchase if by Y date at X price, if it meets their needs.

    [BTW this LOI was not written in legalese. 3/4 page of simple everyday English. In fact, we customer dev-ed the LOI itself. The first time, we asked them to sign it before we had written it. When they agreed to sign it, we quickly whipped it up while sitting in a coffee shop and emailed it off to them.]
      8. Once they had 2 LOIs in hand, they began programming.

Good times.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Building and Selling

Stumbled across this sound advice:
"In startups, sales strategy is an important part of the game. You obviously have to have a great product to ultimately be successful, but you also have to be smart about how you sell it. In other words, the winner of a deal will have a combination of both a great product and a great sales strategy, and rarely does one win being extremely heavy on one side."
From - Startup Sales Strategy 
Eloquently stated, and it ties in with what Micah says are the only two things that matter:
"For a company to be successful there are literally only two functions the company has to perfect. Building and Selling. Thats it. Metrics and analytics are only the score card, the reporting mechanism to determine if what you are building will sell, and what you are selling is worth building. 
...Care ONLY about the metric that proves that you are building something worth selling, and selling something worth building.
From Micah at - Just Fucking Sell 
A theme emerges here that can simplify things for focus-deprived entrepreneurs and builders. Building and Selling, the only two things that matter. That duality is also reflected in what this community tends to value as the perfect Co-Founding duo: Hacker and Hustler. 

There's a lot of junk flying around in the tech/startup echo chamber. A lot of noise in the channel. So for me it's always helpful and refreshing when a simple message cuts through the fog. 

Focus on the fundamentals. Build and Sell. Everything else is secondary. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Music to Work To: Tycho - Coastal Break

On recommendation from Dan, I've been introduced to some incredible "working" music:

Tycho - Coastal Break

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Hah! You think they heard me?

Welcome back! Welcome back! Welcome back.

"New Facebook Photo Gallery/Module" - January 28

"Facebook backtracks to previous photo-viewing module" - February 7

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Facebook backtracks to previous photo-viewing module

A little over a week ago, I wrote a post on a new Facebook photo module:

The short-lived "new" photo module
"There's hasn't been an official statement on the release, but the new module features a horizontal layout with the photo on the left and the album/tag/comment content to the right. With this implementation, the additional content was brought "above the fold" (on-screen before scrolling) for most browsers."
Recently, quietly, Facebook must have backpedalled and re-implemented the previous photo module. We're back to the photo-on-top, comments-on-bottom stack that's been around for a couple months.

That post also came with this tasty morsel of analysis from yours truly:
Whether people like to admit it or not, Facebook tends to know what's good with UI changes in social. It's tough practicing agile development and product implementations with hundreds of millions of active users, but FB has it down pat by now.
Kids these days... Thought really this isn't inaccurate. I can only speculate what happened with the latest photo module fake-out, but maybe... just maybe... A/B Testing?

I know, what the fuck do I know? But f'real. A/B Testing is when a fraction of users are exposed to a suggested change or feature, and the results of that change are compared. It allows a site like Facebook to see which features should be implemented - results-driven optimization.

Sites like Google do this all the time, to test how things like subtle changes in algorithm, presentation, or UI, etc. effect favorable (and unfavorable) statistics. In Stephen Levy's "In The Plex" - an in-depth look into Google - Levy reveals the extent to which Google tests:
"On most Google queries, you're actually in multiple control or experiment groups simultaneously. Essentially all the queries are involved in some test."
Interesting. Maybe it was an A/B. Maybe it was a backtrack. Maybe it was a beta feature pushed live prematurely? Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.....

Alangram - Sunday Funday at MoMA PS1

Went with a couple troublemakers to see an interesting exhibit this Sunday before the Superbowl.

First, on the way to the museum from the subway, we glance down this side street and see this absolutely massive display of amazing street art. This picture doesn't do the scale of this place justice. It was all along the block, on buildings up and down, and it was all good.

Nicolas Jaar - a minimal/house DJ - debuted a "multi-disciplinary performance" titled From Scratch in this dome. Jaar performed from the center of the dome, with a crowd around on the inside. It wasn't music per se, but ambient samples and loops. Suffice it to say Skrillex fans would have been left waiting.

Inside the MoMA PS1 - an awesome exhibit. A room with 4 tons of yarn tangles for you to crawl onto and be whimsical.

The most compelling part of the day for me was this room on the second floor. 45 B&W bookshelf speakers in a circle, blasting this absolutely heavenly chorus on a 10 minute loop. I sat in the middle and closed my eyes for 2 or 3 playbacks. It was meditation assisted by angels:

I love pulling inspiration in a variety of forms, and this Sunday's MoMA PS1 exhibits allowed for just that. Good times in NYC. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

How to Make a Simple Animated GIF Banner on Photoshop

This is a super, super simple function that's worth it for most Photoshop enthusiasts to know how to create, even on a basic level.

At Headstash we're working with our Beatles-Reggae rockin' friends Yellow Dubmarine on their spring tour. You heard that right, Beatles-Reggae - it's as awesome as it sounds. They've got an awesome illustrator working on graphics for them, and I offered to help animate it (this time!). Hopefully after this simple tutorial, they'll be able to do it themselves ;)

How to Animate GIF Banners using Photoshop's Animation Window:

For simplicity's sake, I'm going to use a 2-frame animation in this example. You can scale up simply enough, just wash, rinse, repeat the steps.

1. Open the file and set each frame you'd like to have as different layers. Here you'll see two frames: Layer 1 = "Yellow Dubmarine" and Layer 2 = "On Tour Now"

2. After sorting your frames on separate layers, open the Animation window by clicking Window > Animation:

3. The frames editor pops up - here it is on the bottom of my screen. The "Frames" box represents what each frame of the animation will show for the duration of that frame.

4. Since this is a 2-frame animation, create a new frame by clicking the "New Frame" icon next to the Trash icon (in the middle, bottom of the Animation window).

5. Now, on each frame, you can toggle which layers will be on or off. On the first frame, I'll toggle the layers so Layer 1 is visible, and Layer 2 is invisible:

On the second frame, toggle the layers so Layer 1 is invisible, and Layer 2 is visible:

6. You can adjust the settings of how long each frame flashes for. For simple banners, I use 2 seconds. Then, you're pretty much done. Save the .GIF by clicking through Filie > Save for Web & Devices:

7. Lots of different settings here. I tend to leave it default and click through to Save. Declare a name as a GIF, and publish!

That's it. Simple. 

You can check the banners out live on once they publish through our ad delivery software here shortly! Be sure to check out Yellow Dubmarine on tour and stop by the merch booth to cop some Headstash gear!

Alangram - Bridges

A quick bike ride back-and-forth over the bridges between Manhattan and Brooklyn. Epic views.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Facebook and are giving away free - beautiful - business cards

Here's an awesome (relatively) new integration on Facebook.

If you happen to be exploring the "About" section of your Facebook Timeline - take a look at your "Contact Info" widget. You just might notice a small, vCard-looking icon next to the header.

What's this?
See that? " makes it easy to print your very own set of custom business cards. The first box is free." 

The first box is free? Too good. Let's check it out:

Clicking through the link, you're brought to a very simple, very basic editor that compiles info and pictures directly from your Facebook profile. The result is actually a very aesthetically pleasing, and clearly personalized card. If you picked a cover photo that represents you online, it certainly will do the trick given prominence on a business card.

The back pulls a quote from your "Favorite Quotes" section on your profile. You can edit this to say anything. Mine happened to default to a Steve Jobs quote that I love, so I'll stick with it.

It's not obvious on the surface, but consider this really interesting idea: the elements of this business card that are given the most prominence aren't typical business card data, but the quote, the profile picture, and the cover photo. 

A couple times, definitely not very often, I've come across a card with a quote. Never have I come across one with a photo. It's a bold personalization, one that contradicts most people's current assumptions about what's important on a business card, mine included.

Here, we're presenting two images that we've decided represent us the most. Two pictures - that's good for 2,000 words, right? And then the quote - something that conveys our core values and focus.

I appreciate this on a bunch of different levels.

As a concept for networking, the subtle change of focus from the contact data to the imagery and quotes is compelling. It really is a unique take on an ancient practice.

As a design concept, these make it really easy for regular folks to produce beautiful representations of themselves. Democratizing design for everyone.

As a user interface,'s simple business card editor is restrained, but intuitive and built for the everyman. Simplicity is the highest form of sophistication. And again, this is technology democratizing design for the masses.

And last, underneath it all, this is a beautiful execution of a business development partnership. A triple-win. Facebook is able to deliver a little bit more value to its users and extends its marketing scope into the real world. Moo expands its business. And the user gets a free, beautiful business card.

Couldn't be happier. I love the Golden Gate theme. It's on my Facebook, Twitter, and this Blog - and finally it's come to my pocket. It's subtle, but important. Having the unified theme is a cool way to stand out amidst a sea of aspiring hand-shakers, tweeters and connectors.

Good shit. Thanks Facebook. Thanks Moo. Go Giants!

[Edit 1 - Feb 5]
Just found the numbers that this promotion is limited too. Via Mashable:
From Wednesday onward, MOO will be giving away free 50-card bundles to the first 200,000 users. For those who struggle with math, that’s 10 million business cards.
A steady flow of free cards will be released, ensuring that the 10 million cards are not ordered within the very first hours of the promotion. For the next 10 days, 50,000 orders will be processed, followed by an additional 150,000 orders, says Paul Lewis, the head of marketing at MOO. Those first 50,000 will also have free shipping, but the rest will have a “small” shipping fee, so act fast. The promotion’s end date hasn’t yet been determined.