Best of 2005


The year 2005 has brought lots of suprises, excitement and sadness to our lives.

For me, it has been filled with lots of joy as well as life-long lessons in both personal and professional aspect of my life. I decided to share some of the top 5 things for 2005 by category below.

My top 5 accomplishments for 2005 in web design are:

  1. Launch of this blog site Soaphia (still learning new things on how this all works)
  2. Successful Redesign and rebranding of and 50 related site within the business school
  3. Redesign and launch of and its wholesale arm
  4. Making my web consulting company vis-à-vis design profitable again

Top 5 things that made life easier for me in 2005:

  1. Backpack – organizing everything I need to do under one roof
  2. Basecamp – helping to manage insane web projects
  3. Drop Send – real solution for my email attachment problems with my clients
  4. Google Earth – helped to see and find the places when I needed to travel
  5. Skype – connects me with my friends abroad without paying a dollar

Top 5 movies that I liked in 2005:

  1. Syriana
  2. Monsieur Ibrahim
  3. Bon Voyage
  4. Sideways
  5. Cinderella Man

Top 5 places that I really enjoyed visiting in 2005:

  1. Astoria, Oregon
  2. Stonefield Beach, Oregon
  3. Boulder, Colorado
  4. Santa Barbara, California
  5. La Jolla, California

Top 5 sites that I frequented the most this year:

  1. BBC News
  2. Digital Web Magazine
  4. A List Apart Magazine
  5. Signal vs. Noise (by 37signals)

I guess this wraps up the top 5 things I thought was worth mentioning for the year 2005.

Let’s see what the new year brings.

Google in the News

Google's Logo

Google has been getting a lot attention with many of its new ventures and partnerships. Some of which are:

The company is growing very rapidly in all directions and launching new products almost every month, no wonder their stock price is $400. Right now, Google is probably one of the most innovative companies in the U.S.

I think the next step for Google is to start hosting web sites. Why not? They already have Google Base which basicly hosts a single page that a person can create and Google is willing to host it and make it searchable. If Google launches a web hosting service then a customer can integrate everything from Advertisting to Web Site Traffic, all will be connected and indexed by one source – Google.

It will make it easier and faster to index your web site through Google Sitemap, will help to see the total ROI of your site through Adwords and Google Analytics, generate revenue through Adsense to pay for your hosting, map where all your customers are through Google Maps & Google Earth, sell your products through Froogle and talk about all this on your blog at Google Blogspot. It just makes sense.

What do you think?

Startup Strategies

If you have ever thought of forming a startup company, then head over to Daredevil Planning Guide to pickup a few good tips on how to be entreprenuerial without loosing your head or your shirt…

Also, the Innovation & Entreprenuership Institute at The Fox School of Business has some business plan templates and other useful material to bring ideas into life to build a startup company. Check it out!

IACOCCA: An American Legend

Book Cover - Iacocca: An Autobiography Open finishing the book Iacocca: An Autobiography, I am quite moved by how much Lee Iacocca has done to this country and its auto industry. He is a true American legend, who brought innovation and clear vision to American auto industry and to his people. Father of Ford Mustang, the man who made seat belts possible, an innovator who was behind Chrysler K-Cars and Dodge Mini-vans, Iaccoca is a true innovator who was ahead of his time. For example, when seat belts was not a norm in auto industry, he was the only auto executive to push and add seat belt safety in all cars manafactured in the 60s and 70s.

In 1984, Iacocca also outlines how America needs to look for alternative energy sources to fuel its economy and not depend on foreign oil resources. Today in America, you see hydrogen cars and hybrids that have become hugely popular because of soaring oil prices.

In his book, he writes about how he rose through the ranks to become Ford’s President, how he got fired from Ford, how he turned around and saved Chrysler Corporation, how to fix economic problems of this country and how he envisions America to become great again.

Lee Iacocca is an inspiration to people from all backgrounds. He helped to save Chrysler in 1980s, tenth largest corporation in Americe which was virtually going bankrupt in 1979, saving hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country. Iacocca was also in charge of the restoration of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, which he successfully raised money and support across America for completing this project under the Reagan Administration.

Even today, Iacocca can’t sit still. He setup the Lee Iacocca Foundation to support and fund diabetes research at Massachusetts General Hospital. At this hospital, Dr. Denise Faustman’s work cured type 1 diabetes in mice, which was largely funded by donations from the Iacocca Foundation. His latest initiative Join Lee Now! campaigns for raising money to support the clinical trials investigating potential cure for diabetes type 1.

In 2000, Iacocca founded Olivio Premium Products. The company manufactures the Olivio line of food products made from olive oil and 25% of all profit from the company is donated to diabetes research as well.

In 2005, Iacocca partnered with Chrysler Corporation to appear in series of ads in exchange to create a fund raising program for diabetes research. Under this agreement all U.S. Chrysler, Jeep® and Dodge Dealers will donate $1 for every car sold from November 2005 through December 2006 to Iacocca Foundation to continue funding for clinical trials of curing diabetes type 1 at Massachusetts General Hospital.

I highly recommend reading this book!

Advice from the trenches

If you are starting or already have started your own graphics or web design business there are several new posts by experienced folks who have shared their wisdom and lessons learned from starting and managing a small business.

Here are my favorites:

  1. Forty Media’s advice on its successful 1st year anniversary
  2. Full-time freelancing: 10 things learned in 180 days by Cameron Moll
  3. Small Biz 101: How to Get Started by Ryan Carson at 37 Signals Blog
  4. Steps to Becoming a Freelance Web Developer by Garrett Dimon

Highly recommended readings:


Pomegranate is one of the ancient fruits that has been around for thousands of years. The fruit has been mentioned and used in many ancient Greek legends, Old Testament, Christian arts and in ancient Asian literature. Pomegranate sybmolizes fertility, death, and eternity and was an emblem of many monarchs in European history.


Besides all the mysteries aspects of this fruit, pomegranates are one of the best sources of anti-oxidants and vitamins. Filled with vitamins A, C, E and iron, the pomegranate juice has the highest amount of anti-oxidants compared to green tea or red wine. The fruit and its juice is also known to

  • fight free-radical cells that cause aging
  • strengthen the heart
  • prevent blockage in arteries
  • improve the function of blood vessels
  • fight cardiovascular diseases
  • fight damaging cancer cells
  • reduce hardening of the arteries

The fruit is native native to Persia, it is now grown everywhere from Spain to California. The skin and the leaves of the pomegranate tree are also used for many illnesses in Eastern healing practices.

You can buy a bottle of pomegranate juice at your local grocery store or at specialty stores in your area.

You can also read more about the health benefits of this fruit from the following sites:

Drink a glass of pomegranate juice and fuel your body with the vitamins and anti-oxidants it needs!

Extra Click that costs $514 million

Internet Explorer Browser IconOver the past few years Eolas and the University of California have been in legal battles with Microsoft on patent infringement of Internet Explorer’s auto play features. The auto play features of Internet Explorer (IE) let’s the user load flash presentations, Active X programs & plugins and media files automatically on a web page.

According to Eoalas this auto play features of IE is patented technology that Microsoft has been using without paying any royalties and without establising licensing agreement. Thus Eolas has sued Microsoft for $514 million for ‘damages’ and ‘patent infringement.’

Since then, Micosoft has made certain changes to how IE handles flash & media files on a web page. They came up with a quick solution – extra click.

What does this mean to users?

You will need to switch to Firefox browser….just kidding… It will mean that you have to click extra on a web page that has certain media and flash presentations. Extra click is an extra click. It is annoying, it is extra and it is stupid.

What does this mean to web designers or developers?

You will need to trash all your good work…no, not really. You need to adjust your web pages that use auto play features of IE.

For example, if you have a flash presentation you will need to make sure to let users know that they should click on ‘Start’ or ‘Play’ to see your flash or media presentation. Extra click means extra work for web professionals. This is such a BS, but you will still need to take care of this if you want users to enjoy your flash and windows media files without disruption.

If you want to read up more on this, head over to