Friday, November 19, 2010

The means to take responsibility for your own dreams

"The minute you have the means to take responsibility for your own dreams and can be held accountable for whether they come true or not, life is a lot tougher. It's easy to have wonderful thoughts when the chance to implement them is remote. When you've gotten to a place where you at least have a chance of implementing your ideas, there's a lot more responsibility in that."
-- Steve Jobs in Playboy (Feb 1985) 

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Markups on Apple Cables

My iPhone 4 does this annoying thing: Despite being almost fully charged, it turns off and can't be turned on again unless I connect it to iTunes.

It happened again yesterday while I was wondering around downtown San Francisco. I had my MacBook with me, but no cable. Thinking that an iPhone cable can't cost more than $4.95, I walked into the Apple Store on Market Street. Hello, sticker shock: iPhone cables cost $19.00.

Amazon, on the other hand, has off-label iPhone cables for $1.25. Likely not as nice as the original. Still, I can't imagine the original cables cost much more make and ship than the retail price of the cheapo cables. Somewhere along the way, Apple seems to create enough value for a whopping 1520% percent markup.

Cables, coffee, greeting cards. The holy trinity of high margins. If only I could create a retail store that sells only these three items.


"If you try to argue Starbucks pricing by talking about costs you don't get basic economics." -- Chris Dixon

101S/92 Lane Choice Strategy

Do you commute down to the Valley from SF? Do you hate waiting in traffic? Here's a strategy that works when driving southbound on 101. At the 101 southbound/highway 92 intersection, lane choice in is crucial. Here's the strategy that minimizes time:

  1. Until around the 3rd Ave exit (Exit 416), drive in the leftmost lane. At the 3rd, start slowly switching lanes into the rightmost lane.
  2. The rightmost lane will start moving fastest because a lot of people will be switching to 92.
  3. Ride the rightmost lane until after the 92 exit. There will be a blue sign that says "Call Box". At the sign, start immediately switching to the leftmost or 2nd-to-leftmost lane. Note that in California, you are required to go at least 3 car lengths between lane changes.
  4. A lot of drivers will be entering from 92 onto 101S, causing the rightmost lanes to slow to a crawl. Meanwhile you will be cruising on the left-hand lanes.

This will easily shave 5 minutes off your morning commute.

(Originally posted on Quora)