Instagr.am’s fatal flaw

What a pity that Instagram removed the ability to view photos within the Twitter feed. In doing so they turned the ability to quickly review a potentially crappy photo into a full blown time waster. Not every photo is relevant to me, so in a way a photo is just like a tweet … it needs to be easy to skim like 140 characters. I can then choose to engage or move on.

I view the majority of my photos via Twitter (I use Twitter way more than I use FB) and it’s a schlepp to click through into Instagram site and I’d rather not. The new Twitter photo app is painful but I’ll learn and the UI will get better. In the interim I’m using the Flickr App and might stick with it.

Hubris may end up being Instagram’s fatal flaw. My hunch is they’ve overestimated user loyalty and underestimated the power of the Twitter platform. I for one will stick with Twitter and continue to share photos that can be quickly accessed within the feed. I’m already filtering out instagr.am pic links, in favor of Twitter pics and Flickr

I get it that FB and Twitter are competing for people’s time and that Instagram is trying to become the next Twitter, but this move has inconvenienced me and pushed me away. Instagram may have miscalculated here … it’s very slick photo sharing app that hit the market at the perfect time, but it might find out that convenience trumps fancy filters.

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UPDATE: Today Instagram released a new terms of service that has alienated its loyal users. Instagram can now sell your photos to third parties for advertising without telling you. Here’s the link 

Cape Town

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I’m heading back to Cape Town in December. Travelling and living abroad has always made this city more beautiful to me. Every time I return I appreciate it more and more. Watching the sun go down on on the Atlantic Seaboard with the Twelve Apostles behind me is unforgettable and will never fail to move me. Sitting in Kirstenbosch gardens at the foot of Devil’s Peak on a Sunday evening listening to a jazz band is something everyone should experience.

I live in San Francisco and standing in the Marin Headlands and looking back onto the white city of San Francisco as the sun sets is breathtaking and humbling. It always reminds me of Table Mountain with the cloud pouring over the top and disappearing into Oranjazicht . Same light, same cloud sweeping in – a different ocean but just as powerful.

There are beautiful places all over the world but there’s no other place in the world with the same concentration of beauty as Cape Town and the surrounding areas of Stellenbosch, Noordhoek and Constantia. Mediterranean climate, winelands  beaches, mountains, cityscapes and beautiful people all within a 50 km radius.

Can’t wait to see you again Cape Town

Photo Credit – Camps Bay

Raise your game

During my school years I played in a tennis league on Saturday afternoons. I remember being paired up against a 60 year old opponent. As a 15 year old with youth, energy and infinite wisdom on my side I thought this would be an easy match. The game plan was simple…out power and run him ragged. An easy match…and I’d be walking home in no time.

From the very first game things didn’t go according to plan. The old fox was all about small chop shots to my backhand and drop shots that died on impact. He hardly moved around the court and every time I increased the power he responded with a sliced lob that took the power out of the rally.

Frustrated and four games down in the first set I needed a change in strategy. I made the decision to beat him at his own game. My game changed from hard serve and top spin forehands to unfamiliar sliced back hands and top spin lobs. The whole game slowed down and I ended up getting thrashed love and love.

My mistake was changing my game to match my opponent’s strengths. In hindsight I should have raised my own game and gone back to core principles that worked for me. The old fox was playing to his survival strengths of low tempo, precision shots and unforced errors…not the best style for a 15 year old opponent.

Next time you are confronted with an opponent or competitor in your space, try raising your game first. Resist the urge to morph into and replicate what is beating you. Work harder and focus on your strengths.

Change your context to Reciprocation

Change the context. Instead of giving, how about offering. Instead of taking, how about receiving? You see – it’s all about reciprocation in everything you do. Don’t just practice this with people…practice reciprocation when you are at work, exercising or even out on a walk.

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Try this when you spend time with family or travel this holiday season. Ask what you can offer to family and friends or even the place you are visiting. That simple gesture will change the context of the interaction. It removes expectation and replaces it with an intention to serve. Try it, you’ll be surprised by the feeling.