Urban Eola

Totally awesome web finds

I bumped into some awesome stuff tonight. Check 'em out.

>> Startup Nation - with all kinds of tips, inspiration, etc. for starting a business, growing a business and everything in between.
>> VideoEgg - like YouTube but easier, faster and with more capabilities. The site allows you to literally upload a video onto their site in 2 minutes and has some easy video editing to edit out unwanted scenes.
>> Uni Watch - writer Paul Lukas (previously blogged about here) covers the latest NBA uniform changes in his most recent Uni Watch/ESPN column. Entertaining as always.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 11:26 PM | | links to this post

Decision 2006

If this doesn't make you want to vote, what does?

MSNBC Commercial - Donkey & Elephant Race - Decision 2006

posted by Michael Tavani @ 11:09 AM | | links to this post

Are Entrepreneurs born or made?

I remember at about 5 years old wanting to sell rocks so I could pay for arcade games. That wasn't something I learned in school - I wasn't even in school yet. Inc. delves into it a little further.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:08 AM | | links to this post

iPod adding touch screen, digital camera

ZDNet has a great overview of Apple's patent application for a new iPod with a touch screen and a digital camera. If these features come to fruition, they will add a huge coup to an already can't miss product. However, some say Steve Jobs sometimes does these things just to screw with pople and throw them off. Although others say the touch screen iPod will launch in time for Christmas or at the annual Macworld Expo in San Francisco in January.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 1:12 AM | | links to this post

Bank of America goes paperless

When I logged into my Bank of America account today, a screen prompted me to "go paperless". I just did and it took me all of 30 seconds. From their website:

By going to online statements, you are already helping the environment. Plus, when you stop your monthly paper checking or savings account statement, Bank of America will acknowledge your efforts by donating $1 to The Nature Conservancy's reforestation programs.

Why isn't every corporation in the world offering the same option? Most companies use paper for no reason other than tradition. Can we get other corporations to join them? Email or contact companies you deal with and tell them to "go paperless". Excellent work, Bank of America.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 6:42 PM | | links to this post


My posting has sucked recently, but I just dreamt up another project and I've been spending some time on it. You'll hopefully see it soon. In the meantime, check out this interesting fact I read in Playboy:

The estimated value of Wonder Bread's screen time in this past summer's Talladega Nights: $100 million. The amount Wonder Bread paid: $0. (Will Ferrell and director Adam McKay thought it would be funny to have Wonder Bread sponsor fictional driver Ricky Bobby, and they did it without charging a product placement fee.)

I bet a lot of other companies would've liked Will Ferrell to think they're funny.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 4:43 PM | | links to this post

Urban Eola laughs >> Brooklyn Tony

Little Tony, a 5-year-old from Brooklyn was sitting on a park bench munching on one candy bar after another. After the 6th one a man on the bench across from him said, "Son, you know eating all that candy isn't good for you. It will rot your teeth and make you obese."

Brooklyn Tony replied, "You know, my grandfather lived to be 107 years old."

The man asked, "Did your grandfather eat 6 candy bars at a time?"

Brooklyn Tony answered, "No, he minded his own fucking business."

posted by Michael Tavani @ 1:58 AM | | links to this post

Is the movie theatre dead?

Is the tradition of going to the movies over? Is the movie theatre experience unique enough to survive? Are there too many entertainment options available? With bigger and better TV's getting cheaper and cheaper would people rather watch a movie on their flat screens at home? Will "dinner and a movie" consist of going back to one's pad and watching a movie on the flat panel after dinner? People are sick of paying $10 for a garbage movie when they can watch whatever they want in the confines of their own home. The numbers of high-end movie theatre installations are growing like crazy.

Sumner Redstone and Mark Cuban were both on TV this past week talking about how the movie theatre business is struggling. Cuban has a novel idea with his production company 2929 Entertainment. He has been releasing movies in theatres and on DVD the same day, which is called simultaneous release. Previously this was considered taboo in the film business.

The overly corporate, non-creative and big money business of how movies get made now has but a big kabash on quality content. How many good movies come out a year? Not many. The best scripts don't get made nowadays because the finances don't allow for it. Unless it has mainstream appeal it won't even be read. Unfortunately, quality content is at the bottom of the list.

And we all know... content is king.

Urban Eola readers, what are your thoughts on this?

posted by Michael Tavani @ 8:22 PM | | links to this post

iPod turns five

Original iPod -- circa October 23, 2001

Remember when the generic name for a mobile music player was "the walkman". Now, if you ask someone what they listen on the go, it's always associated with the word "iPod".

It's hard to believe, but Apple's iPod turned five years old yesterday. On October 23, 2001, the company's chairman, Steve Jobs, introduced the little music player that could, saying: "With iPod, listening to music will never be the same again." He was right – and it wasn't only music. Who knows what other uses will be invented for the gadget, especially now that it is also a video device.

The company sold 8.73 million iPods in the latest quarter, an increase of 35% over the same quarter a year ago. The popularity of the iPod is driving the market share of Apple's Macintosh computer higher and it has resurrected Steve Jobs's reputation. The price of Apple's stock ( AAPL) has increased from roughly $9 a share when the iPod was born to $81 a share at today's close.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:53 AM | | links to this post

SleepTracker's latest alarm clock

I sleep like a rock so this isn't for me, but I know some people who could get some use out of this. SleepTracker is an alarm clock that continuously monitors signals from your body that indicate whether you are asleep or awake. Because you wear it on your wrist like a watch, its internal sensors can detect even the most subtle physical signals from your body. SleepTracker then finds the best possible moment to wake you up close to your preferred time so that waking up is supposedly easy. Interesting concept.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:24 AM | | links to this post

Blogging from the Apple store in Chicago

Is this beautiful or what? I'm in the Apple store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago checking email and figured why not write a blog from here. The store is in the area known as the Magnificent Mile, which is basically Chicago's version of Fifth Avenue with every high-end store, hotel, and brand imaginable. Great urban walking/shopping area.

Apple side note -- for some reason Apple's browser, Safari, is not letting me include links. As a result, I'll post what Wikipedia has on the Magnificent Mile below:

A portion of Michigan Avenue North of the Chicago River is referred to as the Magnificent Mile, or simply the Mag Mile. It contains a mixture of upscale department stores, restaurants, high-end retailers, office buildings and hotels, and caters primarily to tourists and the affluent. The area also has a high concentration of the city's major media firms and advertising agencies, including the Chicago Tribune newspaper.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 9:08 PM | | links to this post

International soccer explained in slides

I saw this on Slideshare's official blog and it is too funny not to share. It's in Spanish, but if you know anything about international soccer you will find humor in it. The slides speak for themselves.

English translations:
1/8 English Plan: Depending on the wind, the position of the attacker might vary….
2/8 German Plan: Radical, efficient, unstoppable… (the ball’s speed could reach 297 km/h)
3/8 Italian Plan: Iron defense, minimal ideas in the middle of the field, passing to the striker and… penalty kick
4/8 Brazilian Plan: No comments
5/8 Australian Plan: They work to lose the game by themselves, no help needed
6/8 French Plan: In their plan they try out all the possible hypothesis, sh%t! They forgot the goal!
7/8 Mexican Plan: Note: The red dot is not the ball, it is the referee.
8/8 Colombian Plan: Remain at home and watch the others in the World Cup on TV!

posted by Michael Tavani @ 1:26 AM | | links to this post

Bud Light's fake coffee commercial

posted by Michael Tavani @ 1:08 AM | | links to this post

Gisele Bundchen in commercials and on the beach

Evereyone: check out the latest Mac commercial featuring Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen. Guys: check her out on the beach.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 12:25 AM | | links to this post

4 days to 26.2

In the final 4 days before the Chicago Marathon I'm seeking out all the motivational material I can get my hands on. Here's some good stuff I found:

>> Everyone always talks about the "wall" that you hit at around mile 20. Here's what that is:

The body can only store, on average, 2,000 calories-worth of carbs as glycogen (which is why, based on a 100-calorie/mile burn for the average runner, the infamous "wall"” rears up around mile 20). You can try to fight the "wall" by training with long runs which train your body to use fat as a primary fuel source, thus sparing your carbohydrate store.

>> Check out the Chicago Marathon video and the New York City video (Windows media player & Quicktime). Both videos are awesome and make me want to get out there now.

>> Also, I'm raising money and awarenesses for Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) which my cute little niece Ellie was born with. Check out our fundraising site at www.do26.com. We have raised $7,900 so far.

>> Last, I love watching Diddy run NYC in '04 to the tune of the Rocky soundtrack. He actually ran a very respectable 4:15 marathon.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 7:08 PM | | links to this post

It's Your Show TV - the next YouTube?

Carson Daly was on Donnie Deutsch tonight promoting his latest project with NBC, It's Your Show TV. Here's the deal: On the website It's Your Show TV, there are currently 18 challenges ranging from categories like making a promotional video about the benefits of being bald to making a musical video using only a bus, a cheerleader, a pastrami sandwich, and a bicycle. Most of the challenges are pretty funny. As a bonus, there are toolkits like music clips, video clips, photos, etc. and all are downloadable and available for use in your video. After finishing your video, upload it to their site and each week $1,000 goes to the best video and $100,000 to the grand prize video.

This is a great idea because none of the videos uploaded will have the copyright issues that YouTube has. Plus, giving away cash and getting the ball rolling with the challenges help to draw users. It'll be interesting to see if it takes off.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 11:15 PM | | links to this post

Creative advertising

These are some creative and awesome ads from Italy [via a great find by FT]. Man, the Europeans are cutting edge.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:40 PM | | links to this post

Slideshare: Like YouTube but for PowerPoint presentations

Just found this today. Slideshare allows you to share a PowerPoint presentation online just as easy as sharing video clips on YouTube. Users upload PowerPoint presentations of up to 20 megabytes to the Slideshare site, then embed the presentation in their website or blog. Now, there's no need to send those huge PowerPoint files over email.

You have to sign up (it's free), but it's easy and only takes a minute. This site will become a hit, because it's very useful. Introducing the YouTube of PowerPoint presentations.

Here's an example:

posted by Michael Tavani @ 12:50 AM | | links to this post

(Product) Red launches

(Product) Red is an initiative started by Bono to help raise money and awareness to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. (Product) Red is collaborating with some of the world's most iconic brands such as American Express, Apple, Converse, Motorola, Gap and Giorgio Armani to produce (Red) branded products. Each company will create a product with the (RED) logo, and a percentage of the profits from the sale of the products will go to the support of AIDS organizations.

It's gotten a ton of pub since it's release yesterday, including on Oprah. I was at the Gap tonight and the (Red) branded shirts were flying off the shelves.

Check out the (Product) Red branded products:
American Express

posted by Michael Tavani @ 2:42 AM | | links to this post

Nike orange label

If you see this tag on the inside of a shirt...

or this tag is hanging from the shirt...

...buy it!

Doesn't matter the size, color or style. Because any hard-core Nike retro fanatic (I should be president) knows that the "orange label" means it's a limited issue remake of an old shirt, usually from Nike's earliest days in the early 1970's.

I've actually acquired 5 of these shirts in the last month. The tag price on these shirts is usually between $60-$70. That's right $60-$70 for a cotton t-shirt. Granted the cotton is organic, which means the cotton was grown without the use of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers (says it on the tag), but still that's crazy to pay for a t-shirt, even a bad-ass, retro Nike shirt. However, I paid $11.99 or less for each of these shirts. The trick? Be patient and pounce on them when they randomly show up at reduced retailers like Marshall's, TJ Maxx and Ross. You have to be patient though because they show up only like once every two or three times I'm there.

I snagged two with this on the front:

...and "PRE" ironed on the back of the shirt. How bad ass is that? If you don't know who Pre is, you don't know anything about sports. But for now, read his bio.

But the best part of the orange label shirts are the descriptions printed on the inside label. The description for this shirt reads:

Hastily printed up for the 1972 Track & Field Trials in Eugene, Oregon by eager Nike employees, this first-ever piece of Nike apparel featured the freshly minted logo overlapping the new brand name. It had everyone asking, "Who's Mike". But it did have one thing going for it. It was worn by a guy named "Pre".

I also snagged two like this:

With this for a description:

posted by Michael Tavani @ 1:10 AM | | links to this post

Diddy on MySpace and YouTube

I've always been a big fan of Diddy. He's a master at making stuff happen and getting stuff done - from getting young people to vote to being a successful entrepreneur to running a fresh clothing line to making and producing tons of popular music to starring on Broadway. He was plugging his MySpace page on Letterman on Friday and after checking it out, it is one of the better pages I've seen. I've never been a big MySpace guy, but for the purposes he's using it, (to promote his album and to get people to see what he's doing on a daily basis) it's very effective. He's got everything you need to stay connected with him on there and it is a great example of parlaying the gigantic network of MySpace into a form of powerful web marketing. His documentary-style videos on YouTube and MySpace are very entertaining, giving you a backstage look on his life.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 12:03 AM | | links to this post

Start-ups reenergizing urban neighborhoods

The offices of Georgia Lawyers for the Arts (above) are housed in a former plow warehouse in downtown Atlanta

Great article on how start-ups are changing urban neighborhoods. My take is that urban neighborhoods are perfect for start-ups because ideas and creativity are a result of working in unique and creative spaces found mostly in urban areas (ie. lofts, former warehouses, vacant industrial buildings, etc).

posted by Michael Tavani @ 12:43 PM | | links to this post

Photo caption contest

"We're here for Anna Nicole's wedding."

Let's hear your best captions and I'll publish them next week.

E-mail us:

posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:32 AM | | links to this post

Entrepreneur University coming to Detroit

I've always thought that an entrepreneurial university would be a perfect environment for fostering creative business ideas. Dan Gilbert, the founder of Quicken Loans and owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers is starting Bizdom U, an intensive two-year, full-time program focused on encouraging entrepreneurship in and around Detroit. It's inaugural class of 10-20 students will start this January. Gilbert will commit to fund the start-up of a graduate's company with an investment of $250,000 to $500,000.

Quote from Wanted: Business Hopefuls:

For starters, he believes the most promising business leaders of the future aren't necessarily the college-bound, straight-A high school students of today. He expects his Bizdom U recruits to be 18 to 22 years of age and high school graduates with street smarts but perhaps not the temperament or the patience to slog through years of academia for college degrees.

"We love PhDs," Gilbert told me, "but a specific kind of PhD -- poor, hungry and driven!"

posted by Michael Tavani @ 11:14 AM | | links to this post

E-zines replacing magazines?

Been reading a little recently about E-zines and how they compare to blogs in terms of reach, effectiveness and potential advertising dollars. RSS readers make blogs pretty similar to e-zines. Ezines are periodic publications distributed by email or posted on a website. They are typically tightly focused on a subject area and take from the popular magazine format of seasonal, monthly, or weekly topical publications. Great article in the The Startup Journal - Tapping E-zines to Reach an Audience.

Two examples:
>> for guys - Flavorpill (covering art, books, music, fashion, world news, and cultural events in 5 cities)
>> for chicks - DailyCandy (covering fashion, style and travel in 12 cities).

posted by Michael Tavani @ 11:42 PM | | links to this post


Central Iowa has been chosen as the site for a $155 million massive indoor rain forest and environmental learning center that organizers hope will be as successful as its predecessor in the United Kingdom.

Earthpark will feature an indoor rain forest, a 600,000-gallon freshwater aquarium, an exterior prairie and wetland exhibits. The main dome will enclose about four acres and stand more than 150 feet in the air. The park will feature alternative renewable energy systems such as wind and solar power.

Groundbreaking will begin in 2007 with completion in 2010 and is expected to generate $130 million of economic activity annually.

The 70 acres set aside for Earthpark is part of a larger 240-acre residential, recreational and retail development. It will include condominiums, a resort hotel, a restaurant, water park, cabins and a marina.

[via Green Tavani]

posted by Michael Tavani @ 12:33 PM | | links to this post

Stats from the Inc. 500 list

Some interesting numbers from the Inc. 500 list.

>> The CEOs at a glance
82% are also the founder
92% are male
43 is the average age
14% work with a spouse
60% started with a partner
48% had a business plan
22% have an M.B.A.
3% have a Ph.D
52% say employees are the secret to their success
2% say they are just lucky

>> How the Inc. 500 companies advertise or market:
82% word of mouth or viral marketing
58% e-mail marketing
51% web search keyword purchase
50% print magazines
46% direct mail
35% web banner ads
24% print newspapers
9% television
6% billboards

>> Median amount of start-up capital: $75,000
lowest amount reported: $1
highest amount: $47 million

>> Serial Entrepreneurs
57% of Inc. 500 CEOs have started at least one other company
17% are currently running more than one company

posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:52 AM | | links to this post


...the new "best of" sections to the right. For now they include two categories, "Posts" and "Videos". The videos are especially entertaining.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:24 PM | | links to this post

Hilarious Bud Light commercial

Just saw this tonight for the first time during ESPN's college football coverage. One of the funniest on TV now. Bud Light commercial - The Locker Room

posted by Michael Tavani @ 1:00 AM | | links to this post

Recent finds from SI.com photo galleries

SI.com always has the best photo galleries -- in the most unique categories. Here's the most recent finds: Fashion Trendsetters - College Edition, In Case You Missed It, Instant Impact True Freshmen, College Football's Unbeatens, and NBA Preview - The Hot Seat.

And for the Urban Eola guys -- College Cheerleaders and NFL Cheerleaders.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 2:08 PM | | links to this post

The ultimate job applicant

My Resimay

I waunt to apply for the secritary job what I saw in the paper. I can Type real quik wit one finggar and do sum a counting.

I think I am good on the phone and no I am pepole person, Pepole really seam to respond to me well.

Im lookin for a Jobb asa secritary but it musent be to complicaited.

I no my spelling is not to good but find that I Offen can get a job thru my persinalety. My salerery is open so we can discuss wat you want to pay me and wat you think that I am werth. I can start imeditely. Thank you in advanse fore yore anser.

Hopifuly Yore best aplicant so farr.

Peggy May Starlings
PS : Becuz my resimay is a bit short - below is a pikture of me taken at my last jobb.

Employers Response:
Dear Peggy May,
It's OK, honey, we've got spell check.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 7:43 PM | | links to this post

OK Go -- creatively promoting their way to stardom

I meant to post this a couple weeks ago. A spoon full of creativity, a dabble of a decent product and a heaping full of the internet led to this little-known band OK Go winding up with one of the top albums in the world (#11 single, #2 album on iTunes). How?

From Wikipedia: "The ultra-low budget, one-take "A Million Ways" video featured the band in their back yard performing a dance choreographed by the lead singer's sister. Using a camera borrowed from a friend, the video was produced for under ten dollars, and was apparently released without the knowledge or consent of their label. By August 2006, the video had become the most downloaded music video ever with over 9 million downloads. On July 31, 2006 the band released a video in a similar vein for "Here It Goes Again" featuring an elaborately choreographed dance on treadmills. This video was viewed by over 1 million people on YouTube in the first 6 days." Check out their website.

"Here It Goes Again"

"A Million Ways"

posted by Michael Tavani @ 7:13 PM | | links to this post

Internet access around the world

Back when this concept of the internet first started, I always wondered if there would ever be a day where you could access the internet anytime, anywhere. Now, about 10 years later anyone with a broadband data card (commercially available from companies like Verizon, Sprint, and Cingular) can log on from a pool hall in Tejada, Texas or poolside in Miami, Florida. Believe the Hype: 3G Broadband Data Cards Rock!

posted by Michael Tavani @ 5:58 PM | | links to this post

The best business ideas include risk, failure and a lack of planning

Great post from one of my favorite blogs, Trizoko -- How to Find 1,000 Great Business Ideas. It explains my entrepreneurial attitude about as clearly as anything I've read.

posted by Michael Tavani @ 12:14 AM | | links to this post

Urban bookstores

Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of the big box bookstores but urban independent bookstores are pretty cool too. The smaller retailers will never be able to keep up with the prices at Borders and Barnes & Noble but they have found a niche as a gathering place for art exhibits, author readings and book signings. People don't buy books in bookstores anyway -- do you? Both spots are great hangouts and I'm happy to support either kind of this "educational entertainment".

Here's an interesting take on the impact bookstores have in urban areas (from today's Orlando Sentinel).

"Another source of support for general independent bookstores -- at least in fashionable neighborhoods -- is coming from an unusual place: developers.

The builders behind the upscale, mixed-use Glen Town Center near Chicago, for example, bought the neighborhood's 9,000-square-foot Book Market at Hangar One when the owners went bankrupt this year. Then the developers found a bookseller to manage the store for them.

Here in Orlando, the developers behind the upscale Thornton Park Central founded Urban Think when the commercial and residential development opened in 2001.

Bruce Harris, who bought a majority stake in Urban Think two years ago, said market research showed that a bookstore was a key component of the kind of trendy neighborhood the developers were trying to foster in the then-iffy area of downtown Orlando."

posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:27 PM | | links to this post

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