Caterpillar Cowboy

902 Broadway 4th floor, New York NY 10010

Distrust for credit cards

<p><a class="tumblr_blog" href="">msg</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>Today while I was at the hardware store I paid with cash instead of the usual credit card because I thought it was a safer option.</p> <p>The distrust is definitely caused by the breaches at large retailers in the last 11 months!!:</p> <ul><li><a href="">Banks: Credit Card Breach at Staples Stores</a></li> <li><a href="">Malware Based Credit Card Breach at Kmart</a></li> <li><a href="">Dairy Queen Confirms Breach at 395 Stores</a></li> <li><a href="">Home Depot: 56M Cards Impacted, Malware Contained</a></li> <li><a href="">Jimmy John’s Confirms Breach at 216 Stores</a></li> <li><a href="">Breach at Goodwill Vendor Lasted 18 Months</a></li> <li><a href="">P.F. Chang’s Confirms Credit Card Breach</a></li> <li><a href="">The Target Breach, By the Numbers</a> <—- real interesting data points</li> </ul><p>The thought process I had in the 2 seconds at the register was: if the big boxes are being hacked how secure are the smaller shops?</p> <p>I guess the smaller guys don’t have the same volume of cards and are a less likely target (unintentional :)</p> <p>I also realize that credit card companies would reimburse any false charges like they have done in the past but what are our options besides carrying wads of cash around and constantly going to shady atm machines?</p> <p>Anyways to end on somewhat of a  lighter note: <a href="">Warren Buffett recently joked </a>that when his first wife’s credit card was stolen he didn’t worry about it too much because the thief was spending less than she was :)</p> </blockquote> <p>How much money could people save in lower CC fees if fraud and theft could be prevented by technology? I’m not a bitcoin fan as an end-user technology, but cryptocurrency concepts could work behind the scenes to solve some of this, perhaps.</p>

Gathering of Hops & Chops next Thurs, Oct 16

<p><a class="tumblr_blog" href="">hopsandchops</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>It’s been too long — I (Dave) am in Seattle next week for a few days, so I’d love to catch up with folks.  Stop by and enjoy a beer or 3 at Auto Battery next Thursday (Oct 16, 2014).  Will likely be there in the 6-8pm timeframe, give or take an hour!</p> </blockquote> <p>Ah, bummer. I’ll be in Seattle Oct 23-26.</p>

Network Effects: The 5 C's to Growing A Successful Platform

<p><a class="tumblr_blog" href="">gbattle</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>Building a successful <a href="" title="What is a Platform?">platform business</a> is like tending a greenhouse of rare plants. First, there is a seed of an idea, but without any nurturing, that seed will do nothing but lie dormant. Funding acts like sunlight to provide energy to live another day. Your audience is like water, and user acquisition can be either organic like rain or paid for like irrigation.</p> <p>Network effects are the soil containing the nutrients that either foster or mitigate viral growth.</p> <p>There are 5 C’s that dictate the quality of a platform’s soil: Connection, Communication, Collaboration, Curation and Community.</p> <p><strong>Connection:</strong></p> <p>Most people’s understanding of network effects begins and ends with connections, representing the theoretical number of interaction pairs among the community.</p> <p>As each participant, or node, is added to the connection graph, the theoretical number of connections doubles. The emphasis here is on <em>theoretical</em>, as connections alone do not translate to actual interactions. For example, <a href="">MySpace</a> still has 300 million user profiles, with a gazillion potential connections, yet it sits like a giant empty rusting amusement park. Womp womp. :-(</p> <p><img alt="image" src=""/></p> <p><strong>Communication:</strong></p> <p>This is how we the turn potential energy of connections into kinetic energy by encouraging real interactions among the platform participants. Great platforms, like <a href="">Facebook</a> or <a href="">Kickstarter</a>, provide a spectrum of engagement opportunities, not just aggregated presence. There’s nothing worse than a party with a DJ and nobody dancing. Move your users.</p> <p><img alt="image" src=""/></p> <p><strong>Collaboration:</strong></p> <p>Let’s add some context to our communication by allowing platform participants to work with and for each other through collaboration. Producers of value can team up to create hybrid products with embedded attribution across contributors (think reblogging on <a href="">Tumblr</a> or retweets on <a href="">Twitter</a>). Consumers of value can leverage collective behavioral consumption patterns to improve discovery of value producers (e.g., recommendations like related content on <a href="">YouTube</a> or “Customers who bought this item also bought” on <a href="">Amazon</a>).</p> <p>The more we make historical interactions a virtuous cycle of feedback within the product, the better we’ve captured derivative value amidst the platform’s data exhaust.</p> <p><img alt="image" src=""/></p> <p><strong>Curation:</strong></p> <p>If collaborative production and consumption provides a macro layer of communication, curation is the micro layer, representing individual tastes via personalization. Self-expression through the rearranging of other’s work offers a powerful form of meta-creativity. Allowing that meta-creativity to be shared creates a rich taste-making user segment in the value chain, ostensibly filling all the value gaps left open by the anchor producers.</p> <p>A pinboard on <a href="">Pinterest</a> is a curated take on a particular topic, in the same way that a <a href="">playlist on Spotify</a> allows for the individual expression of content you didn’t create.</p> <p><img alt="image" src=""/></p> <p><strong>Community:</strong></p> <p>Though often used as a catch all for all things “social,” community, as it relates to network effects, encompasses two symbiotic characteristics. The more a platform allows for <em>permissionless involvement</em> across the other C’s, the more the participants feel as if they have an <em>ownership stake</em> in the platform. These two intertwined factors of community are the vital roots of externalized innovation and co-production (yes, I snuck in a 6th C, but really, 5 is plenty).</p> <p>Great examples are <a href="">Stack Overflow</a>, <a href="">Wikipedia</a> and <a href="">reddit</a>, which all have highly engaged participants who create and dictate the implicit rules and social mores that govern their communities.</p> <p><img alt="image" src=""/></p> <p><strong>Grab Your Shovel:</strong></p> <p>Connection, Communication, Collaboration, Curation and Community are a reflection of your ability to attract, activate and empower your platform participants. I could extend the metaphor of platform growth to include exogenous factors like disease (vicious cycles), floods (usage exceeds capacity) and frost (regulatory environment changes), but that’s another post entirely.</p> <p>Remember to keep your network effects soil well aerated and to use enough compost. Need help gaining a green thumb? Feel free to contact me <a href="">@gbattle</a>.</p> <p>Happy farming.</p> <p>[originally posted <a href="">here</a>]</p> <p>[images by the awesome Jia Zheng]</p> </blockquote> <p>A nice post that also describes the success of Twitch (and why Amazon bought them for $970M).</p>
See more photos from David Lifson, David Lifson

Customer Reviews

Emily U.
Absolutely the best.  My boyfriend and I went here for dinner one night, and it was enough calories for three days, but so worth it.  The pastrami sandwich melted in my mouth and the fries weren't bad either.  My boyfriend had the reuben with all the fixings and loved it.  The sandwiches were MASSIVE and we didn't have a bite left.  I can't wait to go back!!  Plus the history of it is fun.  The owner just did an interview about how the NY deli is a dying breed, so get it while you can.

via Katz's Delicatessen

Elite '11
I ordered my pastrami on rye and I just watched as the dude at the counter chop into a huge slab of meat.  I don't know about you, but tender, juicy meat that falls part at the bone never ceases to excite me.What I love about the pastrami is that it is absolutely perfect.  It has potent spice, it's juicy, and the meat is cut thick.  What you get is a simple sandwich with meat that just disintegrates in your mouth.They take this perfect meat and they drop it into rye bread and mustard and they serve it with a side of pickles.  If you want to dissect perfection for the sake of comparing it to other places, then these accompanying elements are where others' can gain ground.  If I were to choose my top spot for pastrami, I'd still choose Langers in Los Angeles over this place because of Langer's twice baked rye and their coleslaw.  These elements perfectly accent the bread and meat.  Katz has the perfect meat, but Langer's better assimilates the ingredients into a collective sandwich.But don't get me wrong....Katz is an amazing sandwich with arguably the best-cured pastrami anywhere on the planet.  I'd definitely go back when I visit NYC.  It's definitely worth a visit.

via Katz's Delicatessen

Steve D.
Believe the hype, I can honestly say that this was the best pastrami sandwich I've ever eaten. Smokey, tender, and packed full of flavor. The sandwich itself gets a 5-star rating (very rare from me), because it literally redefined what I now think a pastrami sandwich should taste like (the singular criteria for a 5 star rating in my books). Because the merits of this place have been so well covered by others, maybe I'll focus on why it didn't get a 5 star rating overall:1) Damn, that's one expensive sandwich.2) The pickles that they served were under-pickled and lacking real flavor, essentially amounting to slightly vinegared baby cucumbers. Is it overly picky to deduct a star for pickles? Probably. But, given that fresh pickles are an important staple of any deli, and given the ridiculously high standards that a 5-star recommendation should demand, I feel as if this is warranted.3) The fries (and other sides) are an afterthought. Total lack of seasoning and could have easily come out of a bag from the frozen food aisle. The only redeeming thing in this regard however, is that the sandwich is so filling no sides are even necessary.Overall, this place is absolutely worth checking out if you're in the city. A  NYC legend for a reason.

via Katz's Delicatessen