New new Knowit
Today I would like to formally introduce you to what we have been calling New new Knowit. For those of you who have been on the site in the past few days - I am sure you are amazed at the difference.
We redesigned this from the ground up - not a single line of code in common with the old. When we started this build we knew it had to be:
1. Fast - this version is super responsive and quick.
2. Beautiful and simple - reading is a focused experience. Distraction is fatal - so we knew the interface had to be super intuitive.
3. Powerful - whether it’s creating a clean reading experience or being able to quickly, quote - note - and share. We built it. Also - in this version we auto-suggest categories - so you aren’t stuck with the boring bits.
I’d encourage you to come check it out and let us know your thoughts. This is the start of something big.
Simple, Cleaner, Easier – The New Knowit
Knowit is the easiest way to share your knowledge:
- You read a great article about Ron Paul, you want to remember you read it – and note your thoughts on the article
- You watch a fascinating documentary on Youtube about Coral Reef Decay. Say something about it.
- You listen to a podcast on the future of education. You disagree – remember why.
Knowit will be there to help you remember, organize, and share your thoughts around the things that matter to you. After all, your thoughts matter. Remember them.
Knowit also makes it simple and easy to stay up to date on what friends and influencers are thinking and connect in conversation. We think this is the next stage in human knowledge capital – the true liquidity of thoughts.
And today we are thrilled to write to you about the next stage of Knowit’s development.
We have literally built Knowit back from the ground up, re-imagining and re-envisioning every interaction. We think you’ll agree the new experience of using Knowit is effortless and a joy.
The site is extremely self-explanatory, so I’ll only walk you through a few of the highlights.
1. The shining star of the re-design has to be the new content preview and Knowit stream. It is simply gorgeous and makes it that much more awesome to find something interesting.
2.Reactions - Want to add something to your Knowit but don’t have time for a full thought? You can now optionally add what we are calling a reaction. Your options include, “Must-See,” “Useful,” “Surprising” and 3 other quick and useful reactions!
3. Add a link to Knowit directly from the Homepage. Not on your personal computer? On your cell phone? This is your solution.
4. An all new Knowit Reader. Read content from within the Knowit website – Show the conversations around the content and what everyone is saying about it. This is a really great new feature in the Knowit experience that creates more immersive conversations and well-rounded perspectives.
5. Better Twitter and Facebook sharing – We pull your notes and reactions into your tweets and Facebook shares so that friends and influencers know exactly what you’re thinking.
Ok, enough from us – go check it out for yourself: http://knowitapp.com
And don’t forget to send us any and all critiques and praises. We want to hear from you! Shoot us an email – ideas[at]knowitapp[dot]com
Your devoted Founders,
Jeff and Nash
Date an Entrepreneur
by: Bridget Porowski
(based on “Date a Girl who Reads” by Rosemarie Urquico)
Date an entrepreneur. Date a guy who spends his money on electronics instead of sporting events. One who’s kept a running list of things he’s wanted to change since he was a kid.
Find an entrepreneur. You’ll know that he is one because he will always have his smart phone out. He’s the one skimming TechCrunch, the one who can’t stop talking when he finds the idea he wants. You see the weird guy scribbling madly on an empty page in his notebook? That’s the entrepreneur. He can never resist a new opportunity, especially when it’s risky.
He’s the guy wearing jeans and a t-shirt while meeting with investors. He’s on his laptop at the coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek in his mug, the coffee’s cooled off because he’s kind of mentally occupied. Lost in a world of the entrepreneurs making. Sit down and chat. Let him talk about venture capital, angel investors, and IPO’s. If you interrupt his ideas he might give you a look, as most guys who create do not like to be interrupted. Try giving him a problem to fix. Ask him for his help or advice.
He’ll gladly give it.
Let him know what you really think of the new iphone. Ask him for his honest opinion. Understand that if he says he understands calculus and Python he’s telling the truth. His economic predictions are spot-on. He’ll rub off on you, and before you know it you too will carefully compare grocery store prices by the ounce.
It’s easy to date an entrepreneur. Give him amazon gift cards for Christmas and his birthday. Give him the gift of ideas. Ask him to help you compare airline prices. Don’t be shocked if he tries to move Valentine’s Day so you can be together. Let him know that you understand that ideas are love. Understand that he knows the difference between the present and the future, but he’s going to try to make life a little more like his vision for the future. Don’t try to stop him.
He has to give it a shot somehow.
Lie to him. He’ll always catch your lie. Behind words are other things: incentive, motivation, meaning, implication… It will not be the end of the world.
Fail him. Because an entrepreneur knows how to create opportunity from failure. Because an entrepreneur understands that nothing truly comes to an end. That you can always create something from nothing. That you can recreate again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a challenge or two.
Why be frightened of everything that you lack? Entrepreneurs understand that people, like companies, grow. He will help you realize your potential. He will study you and work to figure you out.
He will propose during a documentary. Or very casually next time you fail him. Via Skype. Or when you least expect it.
If you find a guy who creates, keep him near. When you find him up at 2 AM wrestling over his latest idea, make him a cup of tea and don’t be afraid to sit in silence. You may lose him for a couple of hours but he will always come back to you. He’ll talk as if the projections in his head are reality, because someday, they will be.
You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart doesn’t burst. Together you will create the vision for your lives, have kids with strange ideas and even stranger imaginations. He will introduce your children to Lego and math, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together, because ideas never get old. Because he’ll mess with your computer, but never your heart.
Date an entrepreneur because you deserve it. You deserve a guy who can give you the most vibrant life imaginable. Share your dreams with him, let him play with your hair and stare into your eyes. If you want the world and the universe beyond it, date an entrepreneur.
Knowing Who We Are
Who are you? How do you know?
We know who we are because we remember. Our memories are essential components of our identities. Without them we could form no stable conception of ourselves.
For example, I know that I am a person who likes to go sailing because I can remember the many days I spent on our old sunfish, tiller in hand, listening to the hiss of water rushing past the hull. Or the summer camp afternoons when my best friend and I used to leave our group behind and sneak away to the waterfront, where the boating instructor would let us put in a few extra hours of “practice” for the sailing badge. I also remember the relaxed pleasure of those times on the water. Without these memories, the phrase “I like sailing” wouldn’t really mean anything to me.
But merely remembering is not enough. A lengthy videotape that recorded every second of our lives would not help us to know who we are. That would be too much data to ever process effectively. To understand who we are, we must have access not only to memories, but to coherent interpretations of those memories.
As another example, I remember many instances of being on time, repaying people when I borrow money from them, and doing the things I promise to do. Alone these memories only say that on various occasions I have been on time, repaid my debts, and fulfilled my promises. They tell me what I have done. But when I categorize these memories as examples of “reliability,” mere facts are woven together into an identity. They tell me who I am.
Our lives generate a lot of data, and we put a large share of that data on the Internet. This data says a lot about who we are, but it is mostly disorganized and forgotten. Today’s Internet, with all its streams and feeds, is in uncategorized string of memories––and an incomplete one that. At Knowit we envision a platform that will give you unprecedented power over your data and the process of discovering––and deciding––what that data says about you. Hopefully in the process we will all learn a little more about ourselves, and be able to find more meaning in the things we do each day.
The Pace of Progress
Why, after centuries of almost no progress, did comprehensive theories about gravity, magnetism, electricity, and biology suddenly emerge in the 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries? Why the eruption of countless improvements in navigation, mechanization, and communication? Why at this time? Why not hundreds of years before or after?
By historical standards, scientific, economic, and social progress happened at unprecedented speeds during the Industrial Revolution. This acceleration of progress was possible because people were able to learn from each other and build on the progress that others had made. A massive positive feedback loop made today’s discoveries the basis for tomorrow’s inventions, which in turn became the basis for the next day’s discoveries.
Do I mean to say that people have not always been able to learn from each other and build on the progress of others? Yes. Before the invention of the printing press, books were incredibly expensive to produce because every word had to be written by hand. Figuratively and even literally speaking, a lot of people had to reinvent the wheel. Few people knew how to read or write, and information traveled very slowly. If you happened to be wealthy enough and lucky enough to be taught to read and have access to a few books, you might be able to learn from others and extend their work. But you would most likely have to work alone based on information that was decades or centuries old—not exactly the collaborative, fast-paced, information-rich environment that scientists take for granted today.
The printing press made it possible to distribute thousands of copies of a single book, and within a few decades literacy rates across Europe were skyrocketing. The time it took for new information to spread steadily declined from decades and years to months and weeks. More people with access to more information in less time meant faster progress.
Many people believe the rise of the Internet will have a similar effect. It already has. But today we face a different problem from people in the Middle Ages. Instead of having almost no information, we have so much information that we have a hard time keeping track of it. We need a better way to document what we learn, a way of separating what is important from what is unimportant. We need a way of organizing what we know in a way that can help us see connections which would otherwise be hidden.
The tools we are developing at Knowit will help to accelerate the pace of progress, not only by increasing the rate at which knowledge is acquired, but also by helping people better understand the connections between their ideas. We are excited to see what the future may bring.