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Preview: Nimble Theory

Nimble Theory

Jeff Barson - Nimble Theory Blog

Last Build Date: Fri, 06 Dec 2013 18:15:05 +0000

Copyright: Nimble Theory - Utah technology startups, angel investing, & Park City

It's Not Possible To Be Fully Human If You Are Being Surveilled 24/7

Tue, 20 Aug 2013 16:40:33 +0000

Groklaw has now shut down it's operations to avoid exposing all of it's email to government surveillance. Groklaw is a site that provided deep analysis of the legal system, providing explanations of ongoing court cases. Now it's joined other online services like Lavabit and other email providers that have closed down in order to protect their users from drag-net government surveillance. You can read the entire story here but the following I found especially compelling: ...What I do know is it's not possible to be fully human if you are being surveilled 24/7. Harvard's Berkman Center had an online class on cybersecurity and internet privacy some years ago, and the resources of the class are still online. It was about how to enhance privacy in an online world, speaking of quaint, with titles of articles like, "Is Big Brother Listening?" And how. You'll find all the laws in the US related to privacy and surveillance there. Not that anyone seems to follow any laws that get in their way these days. Or if they find they need a law to make conduct lawful, they just write a new law or reinterpret an old one and keep on going. That's not the rule of law as I understood the term. Anyway, one resource was excerpts from a book by Janna Malamud Smith,"Private Matters: In Defense of the Personal Life", and I encourage you to read it. I encourage the President and the NSA to read it too. I know. They aren't listening to me. Not that way, anyhow. But it's important, because the point of the book is that privacy is vital to being human, which is why one of the worst punishments there is is total surveillance: One way of beginning to understand privacy is by looking at what happens to people in extreme situations where it is absent. Recalling his time in Auschwitz, Primo Levi observed that "solitude in a Camp is more precious and rare than bread." Solitude is one state of privacy, and even amidst the overwhelming death, starvation, and horror of the camps, Levi knew he missed it.... Levi spent much of his life finding words for his camp experience. How, he wonders aloud in Survival in Auschwitz, do you describe "the demolition of a man," an offense for which "our language lacks words."... One function of privacy is to provide a safe space away from terror or other assaultive experiences. When you remove a person's ability to sequester herself, or intimate information about herself, you make her extremely vulnerable.... The totalitarian state watches everyone, but keeps its own plans secret. Privacy is seen as dangerous because it enhances resistance. Constantly spying and then confronting people with what are often petty transgressions is a way of maintaining social control and unnerving and disempowering opposition.... And even when one shakes real pursuers, it is often hard to rid oneself of the feeling of being watched -- which is why surveillance is an extremely powerful way to control people. The mind's tendency to still feel observed when alone... can be inhibiting. ... Feeling watched, but not knowing for sure, nor knowing if, when, or how the hostile surveyor may strike, people often become fearful, constricted, and distracted. I've quoted from that book before, back when the CNET reporters' emails were read by HP. We thought that was awful. And it was. HP ended up giving them money to try to make it up to them. Little did we know. Ms. Smith continues: Safe privacy is an important component of autonomy, freedom, and thus psychological well-being, in any society that values individuals. ... Summed up briefly, a statement of "how not to dehumanize people" might read: Don't terrorize or humiliate. Don't starve, freeze, exhaust. Don't demean or impose degrading submission. Don't force separation from loved ones. Don't make demands in an incomprehensible language. Don't refuse to listen closely. Don't destroy privacy. Terrorists of all sorts destroy privacy both by corrupting it into secrecy and by using hostile surveillance to undo its useful sanctuary. But if we describe a stand[...]

The less confident you are, the more serious you have to act.

Sun, 14 Jul 2013 00:02:01 +0000

My dear,

What I’ve come to realize about the world is that there are three kinds of people. The unconfident and unserious, the unconfident and serious, and the confident and unserious.

There is no confident and serious type. In fact,

The less confident you are, the more serious you have to act.

Truly confident people and seriousness… Hmm, it just doesn’t match.

Falsely yours,
Tara Ploughman

Get Notified When HireVue Labs Launches

Sat, 16 Feb 2013 17:15:56 +0000


Get on the list and we'll email you when Hirevue Labs launches.


Over the last 30 years, the shift has been to digitize the person. They have become a number, a profile, a keyword, a resume, a bullet on a piece of paper. It isn't anybody's fault - it comes down to scale and there is nothing scalable about live, real time interaction. Fundamentally though, people are voices, stories, experiences and personalities. 


The goal of HireVue Labs is to bring "human" back to "human capital". More importantly what if the way people interact could be reimagined and scaled to a point that thousands of interactions could occur instantly and they could all be consumed in 1% the time it usually takes.

We've done it with job interviews. Think about all of the other personal interactions between people. What's next?

HireVue Labs?

Sat, 22 Dec 2012 15:12:00 +0000

I'm at HireVue building new startups? How did that happen? Since I updated my LinkedIn profile I've been contacted by a number of friends and contacts who have asked what HireVue is and what I'm going to be doing there. HireVue is the worlds leading video interviewing company with clients that include Starbucks, GE, Dow Jones, Red Bull, Ocean Spray, Geico, Living Social and  a few hundred others. Something like 20% of the Fortune 100 are now using Hirevue to time-shift their interviews, shred their hiring costs, and improve their new hires. Hirevue's sitting a the junction of a sea-change in HR and the trend is only going to accelerate. My role at HireVue is to build startup teams and products to expand HireVue's core technologies outside of video interviewing by building new products and - where needed - new startup teams. I'll be running an entity that's currently referred to as "HireVue Labs" which will be taking on special projects as well as another entity that will be outside of HireVue and is as of yet still unnamed.  The goal of HireVue Labs is to utilize all of the new methodologies and tactics around lean startups, minimum viable products, business model canvas, and blue oceans to quickly discover customers, build and launch new products, and iterate. These are exciting times at HireVue and we're going to be building some incredibly interesting products and services across social networks, healthcare and education We'll also be open to helping other startup teams who might utilize HireVue's technology or who are in a market of interest where we can help with technology, team building or help financing. I'll also be handing businesses that HireVue either acquires, or spins off. The first of these is a company called CodeEval, a 'code testing' community that came out of I/O Ventures incubator program and is based in San Francisco. HireVue acquired CodeEval to help develop HireVue's capabilities around technical 'coding' hires and turned into "CodeVue". Of course all of this is risky and unusual. Failure to focus is a know and common killer for startups... exactly why all of these projects and teams will be built outside of HireVue, preventing distractions that could compromised HireVue's domination of the video interviewing market (where they're killing it).  Undoubtedly, we'll make some mistakes and go down a dead end or two, but we'll be trying to be smart about what bets we make, and when we'll cut bait or let the winners run.  So, if you've got a startup or company that could leverage HireVue's technology or core competencies, we should talk. [...]


Sun, 08 Apr 2012 15:38:06 +0000

I haven't posted on this, my personal blog, for what seems a long, long time.

In many cases, a personal blog suffers when business needs heat up and this one has been no exception. I think I may try to turn this into a stream of conciousness since it's not commercial and probably the best form it can take is the use for which the term 'blog' was coined... a journal.

Of course, I have been pretty busy having fun. (We're designing a house and hopefully I'll get it built this year.)

Medical Spa MD and Freelance MD (my physician communities) have grown a great deal and I recently (a few months ago) hooked up with some medical school students and launched Uncommon Student MD. All of these are pretty fun and put me in contact with a lot of interesting physicians around the world, some of whom are doing some really interesting things in healtcare.

Additionally, I've been helping some great little companies get bigger as an advisor. (AppleCore is now changing it's strategic direction and becomming more self-controled.) There are some other companies that are also in this category that I'm working with, mostly in the technology/internet space.

I'm in agreement with Kevin Ryan about the best advice he ever got: Article

 "When I was 32, I joined DoubleClick a couple of months after it was started by Kevin O'Connor and Dwight Merriman. Before, I had always worked for large companies. After two weeks Kevin came to me and said, 'You need to move faster. The only advantage that a startup has is that it moves faster.'

The Top 10 Reasons You Should Go To Medical School... And The Single Best Reason Not To

Thu, 16 Feb 2012 16:13:12 +0000

(image) Jeremy Weaver is a medical school student I'm working with as one of the editors over at Uncommon Student MD where he's written a really good post on The Top 10 Reasons You Should Go To Medical School, And The Single Reason Not To.

Whether you're a first year medical student or a practicing physican, there's a good chance you've asked yourself the quesion, "WHY the @#$% DID I GO TO MEDICAL SCHOOL?" Here are a few EXCELLENT reasons... and one bad one.

Just as the blisses of Christmas break was ending for most of us tortured souls who fly the banner of "medical student," and sail these uncertain scholarly seas, Uncommon Student MD got some serious traction with medical students around the world. I believe timing had a large part to do with the explosion in its popularity. Simply put, after christmas break a lot of medical people were thinking, “what am I doing here?!” - A case of mass buyers remorse.

Life In A Day

Sat, 30 Jul 2011 15:54:59 +0000

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Frontdesk Waiting Room Videos For Plastic Surgeons & Medical Spas

Tue, 31 May 2011 17:30:00 +0000

Frontdesk's truly awesome waiting room videos and DVDs for doctors, dentists, chiropractors, medical spas, and laser clinics...

(image) Putting a jaw-dropping, attention grabbing video in your waiting room or lobby is the perfect way to add additional sales and profits to a clinics bottom line.

The benefits are obvious. You're marketing directly to a captive audience that's already in your business with information about your products and services. Your clients will be entertained at the same time that you're educating and informing them of the scope of your services. Special offers? New services? Packages or gift certificates? Video marketing will 'soft-sell' your clients and get conversations started that result in increased sales!

I started this new business as a way to get my wife Shelly involved in some of our online ventures and it's worked out really well since she's a wiz at this stuff having been a long-time advertising director for DSW and then Euro-RSCG.

She's bringing all of her experience with clients like Intel, Iomega, Microsoft and Alphagraphics, as well as her time with our cosmetic practices (Surface) and plugging it into this new venture.

Groupon Turns Into Nimble

Sun, 20 Mar 2011 17:36:56 +0000

(image) Groupon wasn't exactly the same, but now it's becoming Nimble.

Oie. If only.

Many of my friends who know about my former startup Nimble and are aware of the massive growth of Groupon give me a conciliatory pat on the back when they see me.

Nimble, that I founded in 2004 allowed any local business to sell it's inventory at a discount in real time. And it worked.

(Of course we were tiny compared to Groupon and I made many typical startup mistakes. Mainly, that I didn't have the right team in place.)

Now, Groupon is actually starting to copy Nimble: CNN Article

...a new mobile application that the company hopes will change when and how society chooses to eat, shop and play.

The application, known as Groupon Now, is remarkably and elegantly simple, yet it's a radical departure from Groupon's current deal-a-day business model. When a user opens up the smartphone app, he or she will be presented with just two buttons: "I'm hungry" and "I'm bored."

Clicking either button will open up a list of time-specific daily deals, based on his or her location.

The familiar $10 coupons for $20 worth of food are still there, but they're not one-time offers. Instead, businesses can choose when they want these deals to be available.

Say a restaurant is incredibly busy on Saturdays but could use more business on Wednesdays. With Groupon Now, that business can fill its seats during slow business days using time-specific deals.

That's the beauty of Groupon Now: local businesses have never really had a simple way to manage their perishable inventory, especially labor and food. Why waste those resources during slow periods when you can bring savings-savvy consumers through the doors with a highly targeted Groupon deal?

"For merchants, the daily deal is like teeth whitening, and Groupon Now is like brushing your teeth. It can be an everyday thing to keep your business going," Groupon founder and CEO Andrew Mason told Bloomberg Businessweek in an extensive interview on the new product.

The daily deals company has been on a tear recently -- in fact it is the fastest growing company in history -- but it faces stiff competition from companies with increasing muscle.

Oh, this kills me.

If only...

Read this post on: Medical Spas & Groupon


Wed, 09 Feb 2011 19:27:34 +0000

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My little girl.