Showing posts from June, 2010

IdeaCity, Toronto

Yesterday, I flew into Toronto, Canada for the IdeaCity conference. I would feel bad if I didn't do a bit of journaling, so here goes:

The flight in was fairly smooth. I'm impressed by Air Canada's services, both on the part of the flight crew and the inflight entertainment options. On most American airlines that I've flown on, you have to pay a surcharge to watch movies (especially those that are more recent); on Air Canada, I was able to watch fairly recent movies like Tooth Fairy and Invictus, free of charge. Unfortunately, the plane landed before I was able to finish Invictus (I got about three-fourths through it) but it was an interesting movie. I hadn't known a thing about rugby before watching it.

Landing in Toronto, we had to quickly finish our salmon-and-cream-cheese packed bagels (we didn't want to risk sneaking meat through Customs), and get used to the warm weather (the latter being far easier). The city has every aspect of urban modernity that you&…


TEDxRedmond is an event organized "by kids, for kids" in the Western Washington area. I'll be hosting the event. Taking place on September 18th, 2010, on Microsoft campus, all students in grades six through ten are welcome to apply at To learn more, watch a thirty-three-second "Host PSA":

On Academia vs. Business

I've always wanted to go into education, for many reasons--having an influence on the next generation, the fulfillment one gets out of teaching, etcetera--but another, perhaps less conscious reason, might be how very un-business-y the academic sector is. Of course there are big egos, giant ambitions, and plenty of politics, but at least there's one thing you can be sure of with most people who work in the "public sector"--they're not in it for the money. (Or at least the good ones aren't.)

As a case in point, take a look at the average yearly teacher's salary--it's in the measly range of thirty to forty thousand dollars, varying across school districts. Who in their right mind would accept 24/7 work with a bunch of customers who may not particularly want what you're selling? On the other hand, the profit margins in business can be huge. (Take a look at what some of those bankers on Wall Street are making.) Tony Hayward, CEO of BP, has now become i…