Feb 262012
 
Open up

A couple of years ago, a co-founder of an EPFL start-up came to me for help. Their html5 video player had just gotten fantastic reviews on gizmodo, and they wanted to make sure the English on their website was good. I suggested a few corrections, he asked me how much they owed me, and I said it was on the house. I thought their product was great, their enthusiasm was palpable, and I knew they probably didn’t have much money. He was very appreciative. A few weeks ago, I translated an EPFL press release about another start-up. I visited the company’s website to check some details, and noticed that it had some serious problems. I wrote the two young co-founders an e-mail, telling them that I would be willing to help them polish the English on their website. I didn’t mention money explicitly, but I hinted that I was prepared to click here to read the whole dang post [...]

Oct 062011
 
Greater expectations

The passing of Steve Jobs has rocked the world.  Tributes and retrospectives, quotes and video clips, comments and thoughts are inundating the Internet -  on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, on blogs, e-mails and news platforms. It’s sobering to realize that very few of us inhabited these places even just a decade ago. Now, largely thanks to Steve Jobs, we’re comfortably ensconced in this connected, vibrant community. And our lives are so much richer for it. I was thinking today about expectations. I wondered how Steve Jobs’ parents felt about him not graduating from Reed College.  Maybe it wasn’t that big a deal to them. Maybe they didn’t have an image of him as college-educated, so he wasn’t letting them down. But then again, maybe he was. At one point in his career, when he was leaving Apple, he said to a small group of employees, “I don’t wear the right kind click here to read the whole dang post [...]