Birdsong Ventures is a collective of Entrepreneurs, Angels, Advisors, Mentors, Marketers and Activists focused on introducing brands to disruptive technology and investing in seed stage companies specifically in the consumer internet, SoLoMo and second screen digital entertainment verticals.

Our members have lived in the trenches of the corporate brand and entrepreneurial communities for years. With that experience we've refined the art of delivering innovative results to our partners with a focus on relevance as the key to return on investment.

What we like to do is facilitate the handshake between brands, founders, financiers, technologists and consumers with efficiency, credibility and style.

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fastcodesign:

Forget The Mission Statement. What’s Your Mission Question?

WARREN BERGER TAPS SOME OF THE MOST POWERFUL CEOS IN THE COUNTRY TO REVEAL THE QUESTIONS THAT WILL KEEP ANY COMPANY ON TRACK.

Most companies, of course, articulate their missions by way of formal “statements.” But often they’re banal pronouncements (We save people money so they can live better. —WalMart) or debatable assertions (Yahoo! is the premier digital media company) that don’t offer much help in trying to gauge whether a company is actually living up to a larger goal or purpose.

Questions, on the other hand, can provide a reality check on whether or not a business is staying true to what it stands for and aims to achieve. So herewith, derived from interviews for my forthcoming book, A More Beautiful Question, are thoughts from a couple of top CEOs (Panera Bread’s Ron Shaich and Patagonia’s Casey Sheahan) and a trio of leading business thinkers/consultants (the Harvard Business School’s Clayton Christensen, Peer Insight’s Tim Ogilvie, and SY Partners’ Keith Yamashita). The following five “mission questions” are designed to keep a business focused on what matters most.

1. WHY ARE WE HERE IN THE FIRST PLACE?

2. WHAT DOES THE WORLD NEED MOST…THAT WE ARE UNIQUELY ABLE TO PROVIDE?

3. WHAT ARE WE WILLING TO SACRIFICE?

4. WHAT MATTERS MORE THAN MONEY?

5. ARE WE ALL ON THIS MISSION TOGETHER?

Find out what top CEO’s said about these questions here.

(via fastcompany)

latimes:

The brave new world of…2013

You may not have a robot dog, techno-comforts or kids listening to “futura-rock.” But some of the predictions in this recently-rediscovered issue of the Los Angeles Times Magazine largely hold true.

Predictions about the increased prevalence of telecommunication, smarter cars (though ours don’t look as funky as the ones seen above) and globalization all seem to be rather spot-on, considering they were made in 1988!

That said, there’s no way your morning starts out like this:

With a barely perceptible click, the Morrow house turns itself on, as it has every morning since the family had it retrofitted with the Smart House system of wiring five years ago…in the study, the family’s personalized home newspaper, featuring articles on the subjects that interest them…is being printed by laser-jet printer off the home computer – all while the family sleeps.

Read through the full article here.

Photos: Los Angeles Times

(via futurescope)

etsy:

Smiths albums as books, by StandardDesigns.

rollingstone:

Band of Horses frontman Ben Bridwell is working on a new album. “I built this little crappy studio in my garage, and I’ve been in there every damn day … so there’s a ton of stuff that I’m leaning on right now, and I’m feeling really good about it,” he tells us.

nprfreshair:

Dr. Sam Parnia, who directs resuscitation research at Stony Brook University School of Medicine and is the author of Erasing Death, tells Terry Gross about the personal nature of near-death experiences:

The experience that people have is very personal and it’s very real to them. So, for most people who’ve gone through these experiences, as far as they’re concerned what they’ve experienced is absolutely real. They’ve described and seen something of the other side. Now for those of us who haven’t had the experience it’s impossible to verify that, but in the same way that, for instance, if a patient comes to me and says, ‘I have depression,’ it would be completely unacceptable for me as a physician to simply discard that experience and say, “Well, I don’t think [do]. You may feel that you’re depressed but actually it’s an illusion of having depression or you’re hallucinating. Your depression, it’s not really real.” So we have to remember that to the people who’ve had the experience it’s real to them.

Image by Matt from London/Flickr

rollingstone:

After Elvis Costello’s third appearance [on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon], we liked him so much we were like, ‘Hey why don’t we make a record?’” said Questlove. “What went from being one song to be released on Record Store Day became ‘Why don’t we try four songs?’ Now we have a brilliant album.

seedcamp:

@fredwilson & @andyweissman of USV giving us a talk for #seedcamp trip by ankushsehgal http://instagr.am/p/WAWMKPi-QM/

California-based mega-retailer Amoeba Music, the last big record store on the block, has moved into the digital age with both feet, with its inauguration of a revamped website. And possibly the most intriguing element of that site, and a direct reflection of Ameoba’s dig-deeper philosophy, is the so-called Vinyl Vaults section — thousands of rare and out-of-print LPs, 78s and 45s that flow through the company’s three outlets in any given week — now available for sale via download.

Currently there are about 1,000 digitized vinyl titles available, including some rare Louis Armstrong 78s and 144 Sun Ra records.The cost for the ripped tracks: 78 cents per track for MP3s, 80 cents for Lossless M4As and $1.50 for WAVs. — Heidi (via Variety)

(via npr)

nasdaq:

How do you define social innovation?  CNN Anchor Gabriela Frias shares her thoughts on this topic with the Davos community today. Follow along with videos and webcasts here.

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