Random Episode 11: The Future of Digg, New Favorites, and More


This is a truly random episode of Random. What has Kevin learned in his new role as CEO of Digg? Which new books, people, and websites are we finding interesting? From management lessons to language learning (and a critique of Rosetta Stone), this episode meanders all over the place.

This is also our first sponsored episode — Sonos! It’s quite cool that we’re now sponsored by a company whose products made a cameo as early as episode 2.

Thanks to awesome readers DynastyDC and Ben, here are the show notes and links…

Tim talks about his week in Amsterdam, the Queen’s Day celebration, The Next Web, the status to his upcoming book and DailyBurn’s business exit.

Kevin Rose, Digg Inc. CEO discusses product development, work frustrations, and the new Digg version with Cassandra back-end. The new version includes 3-5 core features, followed by weekly releases.

Show sponsor: Sonos—http://sonos.com/random

• Reference: The Next Web http://thenextweb.com
• Reference: Queens Day http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koninginnedag
• Reference: Tim’s upcoming book http://su.pr/2iZgRr
• Reference: DailyBurn.com Exit http://techcrunch.com/2010/05/20/iac-dailyburn
-Business Exit def. http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/exit.html

Tim’s Recommendations

• Book: How to Break A Terrorist http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_to_Break_a_Terrorist
• Clothing: Cordaround http://www.cordarounds.com/blog
• Person: Nassim Nicholas Taleb http://www.fooledbyrandomness.com
– Taleb’s book: The Black Swan (same link as above)
– Nassim Taleb on Twitter: http://twitter.com/nntaleb
• Website: Livemocha.com- Language learning http://www.livemocha.com
• Product: Pimsleur Direct- Language learning http://www.pimsleurdirect.com
– Turkish: Lonely Planet Phrasebook (Paperback) http://www.amazon.com/Turkish-Lonely-Phrasebook-Arzu-Kurklu/dp/1864503165
• Websites: www.livemocha.com and eduFire.com

Kevin’s Recommendations

Show Sponsor: http://www.sonos.com/random
• Reference: http://cassandra.apache.org
• Reference: Six Apart Co. http://www.sixapart.com
• Reference: Digg iPad App http://about.digg.com/blog/announcing-diggs-iphone-app

• Book: Rework 37 Signals- business minimalist philosophy http://smarterware.org/5373/rework-37signals-recipe-for-running-a-business (includes PDF excerpt)
• Person: Phillip Rosedale- Founder of Second Life, Founder of LoveMachineInc.com http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Rosedale
– LoveMachineInc.com
– employee 2 employee praise http://www.lovemachineinc.com
– Phillip Rosedale on Twitter: http://twitter.com/philiplinden
Philip’s awesome pants: Cordarounds— http://www.cordarounds.com/catalog
• Website: Evernote http://www.evernote.com

• Glenn on tour with Delivering Happiness Book Team http://www.deliveringhappinessbook.com

Elsewhere on the web:
5 Alternatives to Traditional Retirement – US News and World Report


Want to get Random episodes delivered to your iPhone or iPad? Now you can! Just subscribe to the podcast in iTunes (or get the audio-only version here).

Posted on: June 7, 2010.

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151 comments on “Random Episode 11: The Future of Digg, New Favorites, and More

  1. Tim,

    Great to finally hear what Kevin has planned for Digg. I have been following the changes there with interest. Seems like a challenging and interesting time for him.

    Looking forward to the new book too.




  2. Props to Digg for not stagnating with their old business model, and finding ways to evolve into a product that has potential to give them long term sustainability.

    Few companies are capable of pivoting, especially when reaching a critical mass, but Digg managed to. It wasn’t a huge pivot, but a pivot nonetheless, so much respect to them for what they’re about to pull off. All signs point back up for Diggnation.


  3. great new video Tim – really love you guys doing this… RANDOM! :) interesting about digg, thanks for sharing and yeah when is this new book of yours coming out!? ;)


  4. Can’t Wait For The Book To Come Out Tim. I’ve Always Been Interested In Just How Far A Person Can Overcome Their Body’s Limitations. I Do Have A Question Though, If A Person Consumes A Balanced Diet And Takes A Standard Multivitamin Daily, Just How Much Of A Role Do Additional Supplements Play In A Person Day To Day Performance?

    Thank You And Keep Up The Cool Work,
    Edward Henderson 2nd


  5. As soon as you said, “There’s something about those pants, I like those pants,” I said “Gotta be Cordarounds.” Sure enough. Ha!


  6. I really think that it is amazing that Kevin wants to keep digg dynamic. Releasing an update every week and the ‘trains’ plan are both great ways to keep digg new and fresh. It must be tempting to let digg just sit and become more or less static.

    I can’t wait to see what you do with the company.


  7. hahahaha Orange Fest looks like a blast!

    Congrats on the success with the investment and to Kevin, it’s great to see digg’s next direction :)

    I just ordered a copy of ReWork now, can’t wait to dig into it and see how it applies with my current work. Thanks for the recommendation.

    Where can I get more information on the love machine code?


  8. Tim, in the name of time management, it’d be great if you’d post a list of the points you guys discuss. That’d save me from having to pay super close attention to the 34 min video.


  9. So true with evernote. I have been using it for almost a year and I love it. I love that it syncs between different devices. So I can work on one document at home, at relatives, at a public terminal, on my iPhone etc.. Really great app probably my favorite iPhone app. Love the what your doing, even though we are in different fields and i work way more than four hours I find inspiration in your blog postings and book. Also just finished “Rework” last week, great book for self employed, very concise.


  10. Rework was awesome!!! Great book! Tim, when are you going to come out with your own iPAD app……. The time management app, or superhuman app, or the dreamline app! You could have your dreamline as a game, or the actual sheets that someone could constantly update and change and keep with them at all times….

    Thanks for doing random episodes. Oh and I know that I cant live without my sonos and music in the bathroom when I am face down in puke!

    Cheers guys, looking forward to meeting you both someday.



  11. Hey Sonos, where can I get a Sonos for less than list price? Want to send me a review unit? (I’m a biz blogger :) I’m really interested in that product…

    Would also love to see some Sonos giveaways!



  12. It’s great how you guys are so relaxed with each other and just having fun. Keep up the laid back, chill vibe. Really brings the viewer into the experience.

    Great job, Glen. Don’t listen to the “low quality” comments. Those people are just so, you know, like, uptight, man.

    I’m so excited to read Superhuman I think my head is going to explode.



  13. I love the light teases Tim makes of Kevin :P Always the funniest parts of Random!

    I tried out Livemocha myself and I have to say that the actual material in it is as bad as Rosetta Stone and actually uses a very similar lazy template set-up. There were too many holes (no genders/articles to indicate genders with words, course useless to get beyond absolute basics etc.) and the translations (same for all languages) not being tailored to specific cultures could be felt as quite unnatural. It’s an effective business model since all they need is a translator for the content, but it’s going to ultimately hold back the actual learners.

    The website’s main advantage is to find native speakers and to skip the course material entirely and just get their Skype details. That aspect of it is free and definitely recommendable since it’s one of the biggest social networks of language learners (despite wasteful courses).

    I’m also a big fan of Lonely planet’s phrasebooks for the reasons you outlined! I’d recommend people check out the “meetup” website or couchsurfing to find natives and other learners and get off their computer and try to use the language with people in person.

    There’s this temptation to find the “perfect” course to learn a language, but what we really have to do is mix in some studying with actual application. For Tim that’s logically going to happen since he is travelling to the country to use it very soon, but most people who spend years studying will unfortunately end up nowhere and just end up forking out thousands of dollars for new materials. They’d progress a lot faster if they used the languages (by Skype or in person) in conjunction with studies.

    Loved yet another Random episode! When you talk about languages, you always leave it for the last part. I’ll retweet this to fellow language lovers but recommend they start the video there :P