Monthly Archives: February 2006

Amazing Fabrics: Disaster Averted!

Today, I am sitting in a diner with a buddy of mine and we order orange juice and coffee to start.
I reach for my orange juice and somehow it slips out of my hand. Bang! It hits the table and tips over, spilling OJ all over the table and…splattering it all over my lap!
Gadzooks! I have an important meeting coming up in about an hour! Could I run home, change, and get out to the meeting on time?
But as I ponder all this in all of .35 seconds, I look down and notice that the OJ on my lap is beading up and not soaking in. I am already standing up (my kung-fu like reaction time causing me to stand up upon seeing the splashing OJ approaching me) so thankfully the bulk of the dripping OJ has been avoided. Unfortunately, there is still enough of it on me to be extremely embarassing!
Like I said, I notice that it’s beading up and not soaking in. I grab some napkins and wipe it off. Unbelievable. It hasn’t even soaked into the fabric and is sitting on top of it. The napkin just wipes off the fluid, and my pants are relatively dry with no embarassing wet spots.
What amazing fabric is this. These dress pants are from Banana Republic. They are grey, pinstriped dress pants made of wool and….obviously something else. OJ split onto them just beads right off.
What a life saver! I make it to my meeting looking like nothing has happened.
Is it the fabric? Did my last dry cleaner spray scotch guard on them? Who knows. Whatever it is, it is amazing that fluid didn’t stick to it at all.
Fabrics that wick sweat – flop sweat, smelly sweat, nervous sweat, sweat sweat; fabrics that don’t allow dirt and stains to stick. High tech fabrics are in and I am glad to see more of this come into the marketplace.

It’s Not Easy Being Green….

Yesterday I drove for the first time a Toyota Prius. I was very impressed by the gadget quality of the car and very much the vision of the future.
First, there is a display that tells you what propulsion system is operating at that time, electrical or gas engine. There are graphics depicting the flow of energy to the wheels at all times. One strange thing though, was the fact that on certain flat roads, the gas engine still kicked in. It would seem that the electrical engine should be used to conserve gas. One thing I’d like to see here is a computation of cost of gas added into the display. Then you could really see how much money you were spending to get somewhere, ie. instead of miles per gallon, maybe you’d see miles per dollar…?
Second, the 2006 Prius is truly MP3 player friendly. There is a headphone jack in the center armrest where you can plug your iPod in.
Third, all 2006 Prius’s have a video camera out the back, so you can see what is behind you as you back up into a parking space.
Fourth, the aerodynamics of this car are among the highest of all existing cars. It slips through the air better than 99% of cars out there, aiding in its high mileaage per gallon of gas.
Adding to the gadget quality is the fact that you press a Power button to turn on the car – no more turning the ignition key. It does definitely bring a toy-like quality to the car.
But looking at all this, one definitely sees a vision for the future in automobiles. Where do we see this with other manufacturers? All we get is the same damn car with some minor improvements here and there. Thank god for Toyota, for raising the bar in innovation. The world needs more leaders who show that staying non-visionary is synonymous with a slow death in the marketplace…

New Gig

These last few months I’ve been trying to work on my next big thing. So somehow, I’ve begun raising money for my very own venture fund. How funny the world works. My venture fund is called Neuron Ventures.
Getting into my next big thing, after almost 9 years at Yahoo! and after taking about a year off to figure out my life, can bring up some very interesting thoughts.
You get into a routine, and now you need to break out of that. I think about new ways to juggle training and spending time with my daughter with the demands of managing a venture fund. I think about time for reflection and being, and not being on an accelerated treadmill everyday and how to make time for myself despite having others who demand my time. I also think about the future where I don’t want to grow old without anything to do; I like the fact that there is potentially something new I can hang my hat on. I do like learning and doing something I’ve never done before, and certainly creating a venture fund is definitely an educational experience.
There is also the social aspect; I believe I’ve been really fortunate to have met some fantastic people in the venture community who have shown support and have offered help. It’s nice to know that the poor reputation of venture capitalists is not reflected in the people I’ve encountered.
I’ll give it my best shot. If it doesn’t work out, then it’s back to finding something else….