Google’s Self-Driving Car

During my first few years of driving my dad would always say, “drive carefully, there’s a bunch of [irresponsible drivers] on the road.” While it’s perhaps not Google’s main intention, they have taken the first step to solving this problem. If you have not seen Google’s latest innovation, the self-driving car, then you definitively need to spend the next three minutes watching this video (recently posted by Larry Page via Google+). In this video Google entertains us by putting a legally blind man in the driver’s seat for a computer-led trip to Taco Bell.

Related to Google’s self-driving car I wanted to also share a new venture called Udacity. Udacity is reinventing higher education by offering free online classes taught by prominent instructors. Today’s higher education requires two-thirds of 4-year undergraduate students to incur loans averaging over $23,000. Udacity wants to address our imbalance of education and CS 373 – Programming a Robotic Car is one of their latest free courses being offered in this endeavor. The course is taught by, Sebastian Thrun, a Stanford Research Professor and Google VP who has worked specifically with the self-driving car mentioned above. (He also presented the Google car @ TED 2011). My first Udacity course starts next month!

Rent a Desk

Working in the furniture industry I’m regularly reminded about all of the changes rapidly occurring in what we know as ‘office space’.  It’s apparent the ”Dilbert-like” offices will soon become a thing of the past.  This week I came across another article on the subject of collaborative environments and without surprise the residents were technology start-ups. I truly believe that having a fun place to work and surrounding yourself with passionate, driven people is the best thing that you can do for your company, so I always enjoy reading the success stories found in these articles. (Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, also preaches on this importance of culture in his book Delivering Happiness).

While some start-ups are attracted to this shared office model for the convenience of plug-n-play space and cheaper rent, the biggest advantage typically ends up being the collaboration between entrepreneurs.  I think that’s part of the reason the particular leasing model in the article is invitation only.  While invitation only might slow the process of filling a space, as a landlord you are much more likely to have happy longterm tenants (genius!).  

Actual article:

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