Sunday, October 14th, 2018
You’re ♬ never ♫ too old ♬ to ♫ be young. “The Average Age of a Successful Startup Founder Is 45” in the Harvard Business Review.
Friday, October 12th, 2018
Worrying that you’re late is one of the signs of a good idea.
Paul Graham, How to Get Startup Ideas
Try to do things that would make your friends say wow.
Paul Graham, “How to Do What You Love”
Saturday, September 29th, 2018
Tim Berners-Lee announces his startup Inrupt to support and popularize Solid, a platform to enable people to regain control of their own data.
Thursday, September 20th, 2018
Million Dollar Consulting
This most renowned book by the engaging Alan Weiss has a tone of practical, optimistic advice. Its title however is unfortunate as the first part may come off as cheesy while the second part comes off as only applying to consultants. Its subtitle, “The Professional’s Guide to Growing a Practice”, is more accurate; I was talking with an old friend who now has his own one-man legal practice and realized that pretty much all the book’s advice applies to him.
Although famous for advocating value billing rather than hourly, perhaps the book’s dominant concept is that you should invest your marketing energy in becoming a thought leader — in speaking and writing.
Weiss is a bit of a minor national treasure (despite hovering sometimes on the edge of bad taste — and I believe he is way sophisticated enough to understand exactly what he’s doing) and despite becoming slightly cranky in his more recent musings (not that I disagree with where he’s coming from, but political musings may be off-putting to others). He is a gifted writer in that having read his book you feel he is your friend looking out for you.
Thursday, August 30th, 2018
“Breaking Smart” by Venkatesh Rao. This is the first collection, “Software is Eating the World”, inspired by a residency at Andreessen/Horowitz.
Friday, August 24th, 2018
Wednesday, August 15th, 2018
Who is Michael Cohen? Part of the exquisite series on Trump’s coterie by Josh Fruhlinger in The Baffler.
Sunday, August 5th, 2018
Why does tech have so many political problems? A list of 17 answers by Tyler Cowen. I love the phrase “Robespierrean social justice terror”.
Friday, July 20th, 2018
We have a bunch of companies that are comprised of a sales department and a tech department, because every other job has been outsourced to a website run by another company composed of a sales department and a tech department.
Peter Welch, “How to Worry Less About Being a Bad Programmer”
Thursday, July 12th, 2018
Tuesday, June 12th, 2018
Internet Trends 2018 — all the stats. A presentation by Mary Meeker.
Tuesday, June 5th, 2018
Justice Anthony Kennedy: “The outcome of cases like this in other circumstances must await further elaboration in the courts, all in the context of recognizing that these disputes must be resolved with tolerance, without undue disrespect to sincere religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market.”
Tuesday, May 8th, 2018
Even as the USA is troubled at the national level, it is often flourishing locally, argues James Fallows, who has spent five years criss-crossing the country with his wife.
“America is becoming more like itself again,” he writes. “More Americans are trying to make it so, in more places, than most Americans are aware.”
This is good, it seems to me; better than if the reverse were true.
Thursday, May 3rd, 2018
Ben Thompson concisely contrasts Amazon and Apple. “I’m not sure that Amazon will beat Apple to $1 trillion, but they surely have the best shot at two.”
Eric Posner and Glen Weyl provide some diagnosis of and solutions for our new Gilded Age.
Tuesday, May 1st, 2018
Jaron Lanier on social media: “We got into this by trying to be socialist and libertarian at the same time, and getting the worst of both worlds … we have to choose.”
Saturday, April 21st, 2018
We have entered an uncanny valley of algorithmic culture. I believe it’s still easy to step out of, but even easier not to. And maybe it’s merely a speeding up of how things have always worked.
Friday, April 13th, 2018
Brian X. Chen, technology writer at The New York Times, checks what data Facebook and Google have on him and provides links to do your own. “Be warned,” he concludes. “Once you see the vast amount of data that has been collected about you, you won’t be able to unsee it.”
Google for instance, keeps a record of every time you open an app on an Android phone, Facebook of whom you unfriended when.
Thursday, April 12th, 2018
It’s nice to see Slant Magazine praise something fulsomely and in detail: Chuck Bowen on Billions, Season 3.
Friday, March 23rd, 2018
If you’re worried about Facebook, just take a look at WeWork.
Here’s one thing today’s richest man does: hold a spaceflight/robot-themed conference.
Thursday, March 15th, 2018
The Bloomsbury set thought about work and leisure, with ideas for today as we wrestle more universally with these issues.
Wednesday, March 14th, 2018
On February 19th, Israeli natural gas companies announced a $15b contract with Egypt. These interlocking infrastructure interests enmesh Israel with her neighbors and provide for further possibilities.
Friday, March 9th, 2018
Tyler Cowen has a modest proposal: polarized shopping. “You get better deals from the companies you patronize regularly, most of all from airlines and hotels. It requires only some stretch of the imagination to think that more of those programs could be organized around ideology.”
Monday, January 22nd, 2018
Amazon Go physical grocery store opens in Seattle, featuring no check-out.
Wednesday, January 17th, 2018
The blockchain is our way back to the open internet, explains Steven Berlin Johnson in this long New York Times Magazine piece.
Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018
Saturday, December 30th, 2017
Engagingly written albeit disappointingly somewhat thin, the useful angle here is how Apple differs from conventional wisdom.
Secrecy, even internally, is paramount; it helps alleviate internal politics and keep people focused. There is little internal promotion, taking seriously the Peter Principle. Unlike the rest of Silicon Valley, perks are minimal; working at Apple is the perk.
A product of its time (2012) and of the author’s lack of access, the book is marred at the end by pessimistic obsession with Apple’s viability post-Jobs, but is nonetheless ultimately worth reading because it does convey an impression of what Apple is like.
Wednesday, December 27th, 2017
When Google analysed their hiring, they were surprised to find that “among the eight most important qualities of Google’s top employees, STEM expertise comes in dead last.” Instead, “The seven top characteristics of success at Google are all soft skills.” One smart commenter points out that since everyone will have the STEM skills anyway, these other things are the only differentiators.
Tuesday, December 26th, 2017
Value-Driven Business Process Management
Peter Franz & Mathias Kirchmer
Enlarging on their idea that 80–85% of process improvements come from just 15–20% of processes, the authors argue that organizations must institutionalize BPM like other now-standard departments such as accounting and human resources.
They explain the mission of such a department (effective organization-wide process improvement), the goals (to determine which processes to focus on and which techniques to use for each) and the method (a series of rubrics for evaluating).
Important though the book clearly is in the field, for me it was a slog; the prose is not crisp and the examples seem vapid — though it’s likely that for a reader more versed in the practice they would come more alive. The book does get more quotable and unabashedly enthusiastic towards the end.
Monday, December 18th, 2017
Real-Life BPMN: With introductions to CMMN and DMN
Jakob Freund, Bernd Rücker
With their years of experience as business process management consultants—and now vendors—the authors choose “real-life” as their approach, explicating their own methodology for delivering BPM projects. This book serves as invaluable guidance for newer practitioners.
Saturday, December 9th, 2017
The bureacrats have taken over agile. The big giveaway: talking about agile.
Tuesday, December 5th, 2017
The permanent drop in the US corporate tax rate from 35% to 20% is monumental, reports Forbes columnist Tony Nitti.
Monday, December 4th, 2017
On the EconTalk podcast recorded recently on stage in New York, Simeon Djankov speaks to the global Doing Business Report that he produces annually at the World Bank. This is world-improving stuff by dint of managed competition. It would be cool to see a a canonical BPMN version of each process.
Saturday, November 25th, 2017
50 startups that will boom in 2018, according to VCs. An article at Business Insider.
Wednesday, October 11th, 2017
Clickbait undoubtedly, and for a tiny niche, but Jason Bloomberg suggests in The End of Business Process in the Digital Era that business processes will be replaced by digital journeys. Seems to me though that this is merely a name change to handle some increased complexity, since a process remains a process?
Thursday, September 28th, 2017
Vitalik Buterin video interview on creating Ethereum.
Saturday, September 9th, 2017
Monday, September 4th, 2017
On the Y Combinator podcast (episode #29), Jack Dorsey reads from a couple of books he found important and imparts a daily practice.
Sunday, September 3rd, 2017
In defending Amazon against Trump’s recent broadside, Matt Seybold in the beautiful Los Angeles Review of Books brings out the literary big guns: he notes that Mark Twain defended Rockefeller’s Standard Oil against Theodore Roosevelt’s trust-busting.
Monday, July 17th, 2017
I appreciate this nicely laid out summary of wisdom reminders for the working life by Studio Lovelock, This Much We Know.
Tuesday, July 4th, 2017
Robots don’t eat chocolate. James Meek weaves a rich tale of Cadbury’s moving its chocolate factory from Bristol in England to Skarbimierz in Poland. We get EU politics, British commercial history and contemporary Polish politics. It’s a microcosm of the economic game of musical chairs happening in our era. [via Tyler Cowen’s marginalrevolution.com]
Tuesday, May 16th, 2017
Thursday, March 16th, 2017
Tuesday, March 14th, 2017
Saturday, December 17th, 2016
At the Zapier Blog they note that AirTable, the online database builder, is the fastest-growing app. Competitors include Knack and Zoho Builder. Could be that the online database service might finally be entering public consciousness as a possibility, taking its rightful place alongside word processors and spreadsheets.
Sunday, December 4th, 2016
Francis Fukuyama coins and explains vetocracy. The intricacies are bamboozling—which is the point. Seems to me that fixing this is the first domino.
Tuesday, October 4th, 2016
New British prime minister Theresa May’s first major decision was the nuclear plant at Hinckley Point and it seems she took the easy way out.
Tuesday, August 30th, 2016
Speed of Dark
I was brought to this most non-sci-fi of sci-fi novels by the Brighton Science Fiction Discussion Group. Narrated in character by its autistic protagonist, Speed of Light initially reminded me of Mr Robot. Yes, I did like it, but wasn’t sure if the thinness of the other characters is due to our narrator’s limitations or those of the author; I don’t know her other work so can’t say. A mostly unsentimental decency permeates — actually it’s an exploration of decency — which gives it an appreciable pre-cyberpunk, almost square feel.