I married a designer

I tend to take for granted how ‘beautiful’ the spaces I am living in are.  And I get frustrated when she spends so much time planning the way a room will look, and then I’m reminded, just how good she is at design.

Email hack from angelist angel.co

Very often I receive or send an introduction email to two parties, either for a general introduction or to help solve a specific problem. Usually it’s the two parties being introduced who need to chat, and not me. So I do what I’ve seed to be the common pattern and asked to be moved to bcc so that when they hit reply all I am taken out of the chain. I also do the same when someone introduces me, and It’s clear that the introducer shouldn’t be in on the continuing email chain.

Here’s an example:

Intro Email pattern

Today however I received an intro email from angel.co (Angle list’s return email) and in the email they did something very clever. their email is below. When I hit reply all (which I did lazily as a guaranteed way to include the other person in the email) there was no sign of the angel.co address in the to or cc fields.

intro email that doesn't include sender's email in the reply-to field

They did this by manipulating the reply-to header in the email chain. It may be an old hack or an old trick, or even part of the design of the email standard to begin with. But I’ve never manipulated the reply-to field before and this is absolutely a great way to handle emails connection between two users. Not only is the other part in the email chain, and the send is not on reply-all, it also works for regular reply. Here is an edited version of the headers. I also noticed that mail was processed by SendGrid, so maybe this is actually a feature of sendgrid’s email management service, but in any case, I think it’s brilliant and clever.

Subject: Intro - Ashley, Someone (Example Company)
From: AngelList Talent <talent@angel.co>
Date: 1/16/14, 3:05 PM
To: Ashley@Raiteri.net, someone@example.com
Return-path: <bounces+13051-3f53-ashley=raiteri.net@send.angel.co>
Envelope-to: ashley@raiteri.net
Delivery-date: Thu, 16 Jan 2014 18:05:17 -0500
Received: from o1.send.angel.co ([]:55752) by ...
Received: by mf227.sendgrid.net with SMTP id mf227.26522.52D865A98 Thu, 16 Jan 2014 23:05:13 +0000 (UTC)
Received: from angel.co (ec2-50-18-6-138.us-west-1.compute.amazonaws.com []) by ismtpd-026 (SG) with ESMTP id 1439d4d1dc8.12bc3.5ed92 Thu, 16 Jan 2014 23:05:13 +0000 (GMT)
Reply-To: Ashley@Raiteri.net, someone@example.com
Message-ID: <52d865a95d6ac_e2638aff4444aa@job01.tmail>

X-Spam-Flag: NO
Reply-to: Ashley@Raiteri.net, someone@example.com

New match: Introducing Ashley to PersonName at Example Company
You're both cc'ed on this email. You should both reply and set up a time to connect.

Ashley Raiteri
Technical Advisor on Scalability, Data Science, Product and Funding

Adulthood isn’t abandonment of dreams

So, I’m 40. That’s not particularly old. But I am fully an adult. I have a 21 year old stepson, and 11 year old daughter, a wife, I used to have a mortgage and I have life and car insurance etc.
Young Entrepreneurs constantly portray the mindset of older folks (adults) as having abandoned their dreams.

My take on it is that it comes down to your perspective of the future. As you age, the future becomes less abstract. It arrives, as it were, as it is. In the future you could have been the next Hemingway, except you’re not. You’re a 40 yr old serial entrepreneurial technologist with 2 kids.

In the future you could have invented Instagram and earned a billion in shaky Facebook stock. But you’re not. You still keep track of your hours and you usually invoice some one for Travel expenses and you pay attention to when the reimbursement check is scheduled to come.

So being an adult isn’t about abandoning your dreams. dreams just have shorter shelf life. There isn’t an opportunity to wait 5 years to be the next you. It’s today.

Dreams cost more because they last less long. And they mature into market value sooner. If I dream of being In band at 42. I pretty much need to learn to play guitar today. If I dream of running a marathon. I need to enter a 5k run for next month. If I dream of owning a home, I need to put away 15% of my next check towards a down payment.

So adults haven’t abandoned their dreams, they just have to work harder to have a dream, because tomorrow is today and dreams don’t come cheap. They live or die on what you did this morning.

Should Everything be easy enough for a Caveman?

Do you really want just “anybody” contributing your crowd-sourced FACT based repository of Knowledge?  I know it’s a bit out of fashion these days, but when I was growing up, it was okay to differentiate between folks who were a little bit smarter than other folks.  We had “Gifted & Talented” programs in public schools (horror!) and we played soccer matches where ONLY THE WINNERS got Medals.  Such programs are now referred to as Elitist, which is true, they seek to identify the Elite, which in my day was something you wanted to be.  I remember winning a speech at the Rotary Club on the topic: “Expect the Best, Be the Best”.  When I won, I felt Elite, and it was a good feeling.  Anyway, that’s another story.



I recently saw a piece about Wikipedia and Jimmy Wales.  The piece was about how Wikipedia was struggling to retain users, and Jimmy was musing on how to make contributing easier.  The part that struck me was this quote from the piece:


Over the years, Wikipedia has often been criticized for having a very convoluted and technically complex way of editing articles that doesn’t just involve learning the arcane markup language the site uses, but also navigating the politics of editing on the site. For beginners, this is a very high barrier of entry that some earlier projects were supposed to fix 

What????  So wait, I know I’m techincal, but look, it’s GOOD that some things are difficult.  If Heart Surgery was easy, then just Anybody with no real discipline, no significant intelligence, or worse, no commitment to quality, and effort could become a Heart Surgeon.  Do you want your Heart to be operated on by the same quality of person who is mostly qualified to be a ditch digger?  If you do, that’s good for you.  But I prefer my Martini’s to be made by someone who knows how to make one, and I prefer my community sourced Encyclopedia of Facts to be written by people who can at least spend 15 minutes to learn: ==Section headings== or ”italicize text”, or ”’bold the text”’. 

I’m saying that a standard that requires contributors to understand that entries need citations, or that “opinions” are only allowed when referencing a controversy and only then by citing an establsihed source?  That’s not too high a requirement, that’s just enough.  How is this any harder than expecting high school student to learn the 5 paragraph 3 topic essay format?  If they can’t do that, I’d prefer they don’t contribute to WIkipedia.

Making Wikipedia as easy to post to as Facebook is, that’s a recipie for WikiSpringer.

Warhol on Boring

“Of course, what I think is boring,” Warhol wrote in his memoir “Popism,” “must not be the same as what other people think is, since I could never stand to watch all the most popular action shows on TV, because they’re essentially the same plots and the same shots and the same cuts over and over again. Apparently, most people love watching the same basic thing, as long as the details are different.”

Via my brother Val

Should I put my savings in Bit Coin?

A friend of mine asked what I thought about this post on BitCoin?  

http://falkvinge.net/2011/05/29/why-im-putting-all-my-savings-into-bitcoin/  While the Author of the post has a lot of good common sense arguments for why Bit Coin is a good investment, I decided to create a simple flowchart to help my friend figure out whether he should do something similar.

I’m rooting for Bit Coin, becuase I love it’s disruptive potential.  But as far as I can tell, there is no penalty for adopting Bit Coin late.  Being an early adopter might provide for a financial windfall, but the primary benefits of Bit Coin are not as an investment scheme.  If they were, then it would just be another Pyramid scheme.  And, well, I’d never advise anyone to buy into a pyramid scheme at any level.

UPDATE:  Modified flow chart to include POKER TOURNAMENT as an option in Both Paths.