links for 2007-10-01

Nightlife in Tokyo

(Check out my first post on arriving in Tokyo!)
What can really be said about nightlife in Toyko? It’s absolutely ridiculous and like nothing you’ve ever experienced before!
First of all, it’s huge. In Roppongi (the nightlife area frequented by foreigners…to mixed reviews) there are bars packed in every space possible. Tokyo builds out vertically, so plenty of bars and clubs are on the 7th, 8th, 9th floors of the buildings. It’s a little unnerving when you don’t speak much of the language, but great fun.
We went out in Roppongi our second night in Tokyo. Our first stop was a gem of a place that I *loved* – the Jazz Cafe London. It’s right at the main intersection of the club district, which is an odd place because it’s this 20-seat basement jazz bar. It’s fantastic. Nice selection of scotch and great jazz – what more could a guy ask for?
London Jazz Cafe
From there the night descended into madness. We stopped at Paddy Foley’s – also the scene of the crime about 3 weeks later. Nice enough bar, but some tough-guy rugby players wanted to beat us up at some point. And Adam insulted the bartender – both times we were there.
Paddy Foleys!
We made our way from Paddy’s to some western-themed bar. Not sure why we went in there; it was 2:30am and I think we were comforted by the cowboy hats. Huh? Anyway, we were only half-welcome there, so the bartender just decided to start playing darts. Eventually we got the hint.
So we decided to go back to the hotel, but not before Adam met a new friend:
Well, she wasn’t so much a friend as she was trying to sell us services that we were not especially interested in. So we went back to the hotel, but decided in the lobby that we wanted to go to McDonalds. This shouldn’t have been hard, as it was no more than 100 yards away, but apparently we made the lobby staff draw us a map (found the next morning in our room) to McD’s. (Don’t we still have this map somewhere, guys?)
But thankfully we made it! I’m not sure if the map helped or not, but we did met some new friends in line at McD’s. I tried to take a photo of them, but it turns out it’s a movie, so enjoy:

Friends in Tokyo from Greg Palmer on Vimeo.

Echo Karl

Yup, Karl, I understand completely.

If I think about how things are at PF right now, it is full of unexplored and sometimes broken promise. It’s taken all the free time I’ve had just to keep it running.
It doesn’t meet my personal standards for what I expect a great service to be. And I’m never satisfied simply running in place. So things there need to change.

I don’t have to much to say about it, or much advice, but I read this just before I left for adventures in Japan, so I never got a chance to say that I think it’s a common feeling of entrepreneurs. And you’re right, it’s the little things that help re-center you and get you back on track.

links for 2007-09-30

Now, More Than Ever

Cenk Uygur has an interesting but misguided post on the declining value of nightly news anchors:

We’re not interested in someone regurgitating the news to us and taking a half hour to do it. We don’t need a professional news anchor to tell us what the news is. This isn’t 1955. I’ve got all the news in the world at my fingertips, what do I need this guy to tell me what he thinks is important? Who cares what Brian Williams thinks is important?
In the old days, you needed these authority figures to sort out the news for you and tell you what was important and weed out the riff-raff. But these aren’t the old days. I have a mind of my own. I don’t need to borrow a news anchor’s. And if I were to borrow one, that’s not the first place I would look.

He goes on to say that between the AP, Google News, and Keith Olbermann, nobody needs Brian, Katie, and Charlie anymore. Wrong. Dead wrong. Yes, the “big three” nightly news broadcasts are stumbling right now, trying to find their place in the new world of instant gratification news. But the truth is, they play a more valuable role than ever.
In a world that values instant gratification and “perspective reinforcement” in their news (ahem, Keith Olbermann, DailyKos, etc), nightly news provides a more balanced and longterm perspective on the day. The editorial, voice-of-God function that the nightly news plays is exactly why it’s valuable; in a world with too much information, much of it now tailored to our interests and prejudices, there is a stabilizing function that the nightly news plays. Basically, it’s saying “no matter what you read all day, here are the most important things you *should* be paying attention to.”
That’s not to say I watch it (unless I’m still at the office, which is often enough). Of course, I’m often immersed in the very news they’ll be broadcasting, so I’m probably the exception rather than the rule. Like it or not Cenk…Katie, Brian, and Charlie still set the agenda for a lot of other news outlets and for the discussions and actions in Washington and on Wall Street. Maybe for that reason alone, it’s worth paying attention.

links for 2007-09-29

links for 2007-09-28

links for 2007-09-27