2 - Number of Cease and Desist letters I have received concerning
information or topics posted in a Michael's Minute. In the first instance I
did not take down the Minute, but
I did post the Cease and Desist complaint. The second involved Microsoft and the MSFreePC program which
enabled people to make online class action claims against Microsoft,
rather than have to fill out paper forms and send them back and forth
2-3 times via U.S. mail, which most people will not do, which is why it's
just a big charade. In spite of our protest,
a judge ruled against us and we halted the MSFreePC service. Hey judges
- if you're really looking out for consumers and not simply playing
along with trial lawyers, making a mockery of the judicial system, you
would be DEMANDING that all class action settlements be transacted on
this new-fangled thing called the "Internet."
Last week I was coming back from a Saturday morning basketball game when
a gentleman stopped me in my driveway and introduced himself as a
professor of computer science at SDSU and said he enjoyed my last
Minute on College for Everyone. I'm always flattered that
people find time in their busy lives to read my weekly musings. I
thought it might be interesting to tell you a little more about these
I've written about 200 Michael's Minutes. It's a practice I started at
MP3.com in 1997 so I would have a vehicle to get some of my ideas out
to a wider audience. (You can browse some Minutes from my old MP3.com
days here.) Today people would call it a "blog," although I post to the web and send it
out via email. It's tough penning an interesting 800-word weekly piece
because I've got a full-time job as a CEO, and I do try to make them
interesting. Many Minutes are naturally about developments in my
business, but I do take the liberty to talk about a wide range of other
topics as well. About the only taboo topics are politics and religion,
which I don't feel like I have particularly insightful comments on, and
even if I did, I'm not sure unsolicited comments in this areas are
generally appreciated. (I have written about policy issues.)
Many people are surprised to learn that I do in fact write the Minutes.
A handful of the 200 have been written by others and simply edited by
me. You can tell by the signature, which is slightly different if I was
not the primary author. Linspire's President Kevin Carmony has penned a few, as
has Evan Rutledge, but I review them for ultimate approval. At MP3.com,
I wrote a Minute once every 2-3 weeks, but at Linspire I have tried to
stick to a weekly schedule. Sometimes it's rather bothersome because
being back in school and always having a book report due the next week.
Over the weekend I'm always mulling topics, content and titles in my
head for the upcoming week. I usually write the Minute at night when
the kids are in bed and it's quiet so I can think. I've typed a few
from a Blackberry and Treo while in Asia and Europe.
With each Minute, my goal is to try and give people information and
make them think. They are always candid and I don't shy away from
taking controversial positions. Readers may disagree with my positions
which is okay, and also why I always try and have links to the forum to give
them a vehicle to express a different opinion or correct me. Here are
some interesting facts about Minutes:
Some of my personal favorite Minutes are:
Digital Museum Burns To The Ground
Plums Don't Bounce
Killing Ants With A Hammer
I did some research on just the 137 Minutes I've written while at
65- Number of the most popular Minute, based on user traffic. I stayed
up until 3 AM one night to write Gates Speaks At My Alma Mater
so I could pass it out at the speaking event the next morning and it
remains popular reading.
9 - The number of Michael's Minutes that talk about SIP or SIPphone (my other company).
45 - The number
of Michael's Minutes that mention MP3.
95,887 - The number
of words in all the Michael's Minutes combined -- more than
a half-million characters. If I were to put all of the Minutes in a novel, it would be about the same length as the first Harry Potter book.
741.9 - Average words per Michael's Minute. The typical person can read
between 250 and 300 words per
minute, which means Michael's Minute should more accurately be called
Michael's 2-3 Minutes.
1893 - The number of words in the longest Michael's
it's the "Gates at my Alma Matter" Minute mentioned above.
205 - The number of words in the shortest Michael's Minute, "Microsoft
Loses Courtroom Battle Over Windows Trademark."
210 - Countries that have at least one Michael's Minute
12:48 AM Friday - Time I finished this minute for Friday AM delivery to
Tell me your favorite Minute or tell me the worst one
I've written in the user forum.
-- MichaelThe Michael's Minute Meter
View the Michael's Minute Meter Report