Saturday, February 24, 2018

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The #1 reason Facebook won’t ever change – Om Malik

Om’s written about tech for longer than most people and I completely agree with his view of Facebook’s DNA. The last line says it all:

Facebook is about making money by keeping us addicted to Facebook. It always has been — and that’s why all of our angst and headlines are not going to change a damn thing.

Episode 315 | David Hussman - From Success to Fulfillment

Take an hour and listen to this fun podcast interview with my friend David Hussman. David’s chill vibe is a stark contrast to the person doing the interview, but it’s great to hear David’s perspective and comments on all of these topics and more about his history and path to where he is now. 🎧

Quitting Twitter

Another person reflecting on opting out of Twitter.

Quitting Twitter has been a genuine quality of life improvement for me. It’s as though a dark, heavy cloud of negativity has lifted, and I no longer get worked up about whatever might be the trending shitstorm du jour. I feel more focused and positive, and generally in much better mental health.


Stripe Atlas: Software as a Service, as a business

If you are not familiar with Software as a Service business models and how SaaS companies work this primer from Stripe covers on all the main concepts.

… we’ll take you through a whirlwind tour of the state of play of SaaS businesses. You should gain a better understanding of the SaaS business model, be able to anticipate whether to sell your product on a low-touch or high-touch model, and be able to evaluate its health and start improving it.

The Hyper-Scheduling Experiment — MacSparky

For the last month, I have been conducting an experiment with more deliberate scheduling of my time. For lack of a better word, I have been calling it hyper-scheduling.

I’ve tried scheduling with this level of precision and it doesn’t work at all for me. But there are a number of other people that I know who swear by this.

Apache OpenWhisk is a serverless, open source cloud platform

Apache OpenWhisk (Incubating) is a serverless, open source cloud platform that executes functions in response to events at any scale.

Great to see Apache getting into the serverless space with an open source solution.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Alto’s Odyssey: A sequel to one of our favorite iOS games

Alto’s Adventure still is a great game after multiple years on iOS. I got Alto’s Odyssey right away and had fun exploring similar game play in a new scene with some very fun twists. Highly recommend this game for casual entertainment on your phone and iPad.

5 Ways to Close the Strategy-to-Execution Gap

Some things to think about connecting your companies strategy to execution.

The companies’ executives eschew conventional wisdom, not for the sake of nonconformity in itself, but because they are focused on the fundamental questions about a company’s strategy, such as: Who do we want to be? What is our chosen value proposition? And they’re just as focused on fundamental questions of execution: What can we do amazingly well that no one else can? What other capabilities do we need to develop? How will we blueprint, build, and scale those capabilities — and put them to use?

Thanks to Juselly French for the link.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Norris Numbers

Interesting observations on the size of a codebase and the difficulty for programmers to manage it.

At DreamWorks we had 950 programs for animators to use, and a line count showed that the larger ones all hovered around 20,000 to 25,000 lines. Beyond that it was just too much effort to add features.

Hyrum's Law

Taken to its logical extreme, this leads to the following observation, colloquially referred to as “The Law of Implicit Interfaces”: Given enough use, there is no such thing as a private implementation.

If you have enough consumers you can’t change anything. This is why eBay’s website can’t be changed.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Why Decentralization Matters – Chris Dixon – Medium

Detailed write up from Chris Dixon connecting decentralization with blockchain.

The lesson is that when you compare centralized and decentralized systems you need to consider them dynamically, as processes, instead of statically, as rigid products. Centralized systems often start out fully baked, but only get better at the rate at which employees at the sponsoring company improve them. Decentralized systems start out half-baked but, under the right conditions, grow exponentially as they attract new contributors.

I wish I understood better how the blockchain tech would power these apps. I think it’s also possible we can get a decentralized solution on the existing Internet still as well.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Friday, February 16, 2018


“A JavaScript API for drawing unconventional text effects on the web.” Interesting capabilities and fun display, but I noted the fan on my laptop spun up to 100% as I looked at the effects and you could nearly watch your battery drain in realtime.

Thursday, February 15, 2018


I like what Brent Simmons is doing with this project. I’m a big user of feed readers. I use Feedbin along ReadKit and Unread. Brent has a history with readers having created NetNewsWire in 2002. I also love the story behind the name. 💚

But the name is a prayer for the open web — may it remain evergreen.


I’m not a fan of script typefaces typically but this one is very well done.

Signato is a font constructed on the basis of the manuscript of the Act of Independence of Lithuania. It is a gift to all independent people celebrating the hundredth anniversary of the restoration of the State.

Also a really cool idea behind it.

Bringing the power of AMP to Gmail

Ugh. 🤦‍♂️ This is a horrible idea. AMP was a bad idea to start with and extending it into email, effectively putting a little website into an email, is a terrible idea for privacy or even just our sanity as advertisers will use this to put all sorts of digital Jack In The Box traps in our email!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

How Apple Plans to Root Out Bugs, Revamp iPhone Software - Bloomberg

Apple realizing that they need to slow down a bit. Articles like this serve as a reminder to me that nobody has this technology thing figured out. The largest sites on the planet go down at times, and one of the worlds leading software companies has to adjust due to market issues. This stuff is all really hard. 💦


It’s not very clear what this is attempting to do, but I like the blurb.

Solid (derived from “social linked data”) is a proposed set of conventions and tools for building decentralized social applications based on Linked Data principles. Solid is modular and extensible and it relies as much as possible on existing W3C standards and protocols.

Notable that Tim Berners-Lee is involved.

Tech’s Ethical ‘Dark Side’: Harvard, Stanford and Others Want to Address It - The New York Times

It’s happening! Ethics is coming to computer science curriculums!

And at Stanford University, the academic heart of the industry, three professors and a research fellow are developing a computer science ethics course for next year. They hope several hundred students will enroll.

This is a much needed facet for people that are developing the software that many people live inside of for significant parts of their days. 👏

Let's Encrypt Hits 50 Million Active Certificates and Counting | Electronic Frontier Foundation

The web has *50 million more secure HTTPS endpoints now in part thanks to Let’s Encrypt. I continue to believe Let’s Encrypt is one of the best things to happen online in the last couple of years. My sites are secured with free certificates from Let’s Encrypt. You should support this, even if you aren’t publishing content. Securing web sites is important for your privacy and security! 🔐

Mall game

Fun and insightful way to show the challenges of managing an American Shopping Mall. Learn by playing!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Popcorn Notify

“Send simple emails and text messages from one API.” Handy library to have, particularly for utility functions or scripts that automate activities. However, a good reminder that email is not a good way to deal with anything at scale.

Let's talk about usernames

If you are writing software for usernames this is an interesting dive into edge cases. If you know programmers and wonder why they are so weird, this is a good illustration of the kind of edge cases that programmers need to readily understand how to predict and then design for. 😳

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Structured Logging and Your Team | Honeycomb

Some very good best practices to consider when designing how your applications logs. I love the human side of this call to action.

Teach your code to communicate with your team, and you will reap the benefits for as long as the code lives!

Teach and communicate. 💯

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Why I stopped using roadmaps and switched to GIST instead

I spend a lot of time reviewing roadmaps, identifying how roadmaps connect, exploring what they could be, etc. I have always found the serial, “waterfall-like” format, challenging but time operates in one arrow so why not. This exploration on an alternative, more agile approach, is intriguing.

The system is called GIST after its main building blocks: Goals, Ideas, Step-projects, and Tasks. Each has a different planning horizon and frequency of change, and may use different tools to track, but together they constitute all the core planning any company and team needs to do.

Meeting Blur – Rands in Repose

What a great term! I’ve experienced this myself on many occasions!

Meeting Blur. When the number of meetings exceeds your ability to remember what was said by whom, when, and where. Let’s forget for a moment why there are so many meetings2 and focus on your mental state. You’re a bright emotionally intelligent human. You walk into a meeting and have a credible mental profile of each human at the table. Why are they here? What do they want? How do they feel about the topic at hand? All of this information is front of mind and readily accessible.

For me, this is where my trusted GTD system can help. I’ve also tried to use a note taking system but I’ve yet to get the return on that that I would like.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Take the Power Back – iA

Powerful writing from iA about engaging in the web and our digital platforms with more thought.

The answer to the passive consumption of trash is the active formulation of questions, the active search for answers and the active work of putting complex knowledge and diffuse feelings into clear words.

This article is a great read if only for the writing.

Social Media is a mental prison where Facebook exists to make us believe that Google is still open.

That made me laugh 😂 and think at the same time 🤔.

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace | Electronic Frontier Foundation

I’m shocked that I had never read this article. Sadly John Perry Barlow, the founder of the EFF and the author of this declaration recently passed away. Cory Doctorow has a very nice remembrance of him. From Doctorow:

Today, Barlow is dead, and his vision is vindicated: the risks Barlow foresaw (along with other EFF founders like John Gilmore and Mitch Kapor) are more imminent than ever; the organization that he started and the movement he kicked off has never been more badly needed.

Episode #38 – The Power of Outcome Thinking

I’ve been thinking about mental focus and also meditation. This recent GTD podcast offered some great color on the topic.

This talk will reveal just how much the thoughts we hold in our head have the potential to affect the types and qualities of action we take. From athletic performance to prepping for that next big meeting, what we think about while we act can affect how we act.

Plus David Allen is pretty funny in some of his talks.

The Kubernetes Effect

Some interesting learning here on the deeper ways that you can use Kubernetes in your application architecture.

Kubernetes offers a full set of distributed primitives (such as pods, services, controllers) that addresses the requirements and drives the design of our applications. These new primitives and the platform capabilities dictate the guiding design principles and design patterns we use to implement all future services.

It also highlights the broad surface area of Kubernetes. The points on broad adoption across various platforms are also important to note.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The House That Spied on Me

A fun experiment to show what behavioral information your ISP can mine from your families use of Internet of Things devices. I like that they specifically didn’t try to break encryption, this is just basic analysis of data coming out of your home as we adopt more “smart” devices.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The 8 best questions to put on your next one-on-one meeting agenda

Managers spend a lot of time in 1:1 meetings, and company’s as a whole spend a lot of time in them. If you have 1,000 employees and managers spend 30 min/week in 1:1 that is nearly $2 million of expense that there is little time spent improving. I’m curious to know how to make that time more effective.

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