advertisement advertisement advertisement Everyone’s seen automatic lawn sprinklers watering the lawn on a rainy day. It’s funny, as long as you’re not the one paying the water bill. advertisement advertisement The trouble is that most sprinkler systems just run basic timers, so unless someone’s home to override the default settings, they’ll happily pump out water in the middle of a storm. And even for homeowners who keep a careful eye on the weather report, sprinkler controllers can be difficult to configure, and it’s often hard to calculate exactly how much water a section of lawn needs on a given day, says Skydrop cofounder Clark Endrizzi. Skydrop makes Wi-Fi-enabled smart sprinkler controllers that automatically pull in online weather report data to help them decide when to turn on and when to stay off, conserving water. “My frustration just originated with my own experience with my own sprinkler controller,” says … [Read more...] about Lawn Sprinklers Smart Enough Not To Go Off In The Rain
Rains a good thing
advertisement advertisement advertisement In the first-ever season of Sesame Street , in 1970, cast member Bob McGrath appeared in a memorable sketch where he receives a delivery from his local grocer, a grumpy blue muppet. “Did you get everything I ordered?” McGrath asks. “No,” comes the reply, but he’s helpfully supplemented the delivery with other fresh veggies. McGrath breaks into song, a version of the now iconic “People in Your Neighborhood,” to explain to kids the role a grocer plays in the community. The grocer is the bearer of sustenance. advertisement advertisement A few weeks ago, during Super Bowl LV, “People in Your Neighborhood” got remixed into an anthem for the app-based delivery platform DoorDash to signal to the world that it is expanding from restaurants to convenience and grocery. In a crisp 60 seconds, a tap dancing Daveed Diggs ( Hamilton )—directed by French auteur Michel Gondry ( Eternal Sunshine of … [Read more...] about If DoorDash wins, what do we lose?
advertisement advertisement advertisement In the wee hours of the morning on Monday, February 15, my house, like many others across the state of Texas, lost power during a winter storm. For the next 48 hours, we wore layers of clothes and huddled under blankets as temperatures indoors dropped to about 40 degrees. Even after the power came on, water supplies were low, and the city of Austin was under a boil-water order. advertisement advertisement This cold snap and series of storms were by far the worst I have encountered in the 23 years I have lived in town, but longtime Texans do remember other bad winter storms over the years. They are not utterly unprecedented. So why was Texas so poorly prepared for a week of snow and freezing temperatures? A lot of it has to do with how people make decisions about unlikely events. People generally have difficulty with understanding very small probabilities—and, importantly, how those … [Read more...] about You’re probably not planning enough for unlikely events
advertisement advertisement advertisement Editor’s Note: Each week Maynard Webb, former CEO of LiveOps and the former COO of eBay, will offer candid, practical, and sometimes surprising advice to entrepreneurs and founders. To submit a question, write to Webb at [email protected] advertisement advertisement Q. So many people are asking me to make decisions. Which ones should I make, and which ones should I ask the team to make? —Harried CEO of a late-stage private company Dear CEO, A lot of times, people want the boss to make the decisions. That is their natural default. And this can make us feel good and even become addicting, but it’s not scalable and can be a trap. As effective leaders, our job is to empower others. If someone else can do it, that’s good; it’s an opportunity for them to grow and for you to focus on other matters. You should always be working to empower people to make crucial … [Read more...] about A harried CEO asks: How do I decide what decisions to make?
advertisement advertisement advertisement In my attorney days, I had a to-do list for each active case, which I carried with me from meeting to meeting like security blankets. Truth be told, I loved my to-do lists. But with working 12-plus-hour days and feeling like I never accomplished quite enough in the day, I actually thought I was bad at time management. advertisement advertisement Back then, even on days I rocked it and completed a huge brief, I’d go to cross the brief off one of my many to-do lists, only to see the 48 other things I didn’t get done. My pride in completing my big project deflated, even though there was no way I could have gotten the whole to-do list done in a single day in the first place. That unwarranted feeling of never quite keeping up (much less getting ahead), and therefore never quite being good enough, is what I call To-Do List Defeat. To-do lists make us think we should be able to get it all done … [Read more...] about Suffering from to-do list defeat? Here’s how to take back control