The American Scholar: Solitude and Leadership - William Deresiewicz
Amazing, quote: "Your own reality—for yourself, not for others.” Thinking for yourself means finding yourself, finding your own reality. Here’s the other problem with Facebook and Twitter and even The New York Times. When you expose yourself to those things, especially in the constant way that people do now—older people as well as younger people—you are continuously bombarding yourself with a stream of other people’s thoughts. You are marinating yourself in the conventional wisdom. In other peop...
concentration  focus  attention  thinking  culture  twitter  facebook  leadership 
5 days ago
Fan-In |
So many good observations in here, one in particular that stood out is the fact that email gives you the ability to filter and pay attention to what you want to pay attention to while Twitter / Facebook / etc. give no such filtering ability and require you to consume every notification.
culture  attention  life  tech  twitter 
5 days ago
The 7 things I learned about business from Guitar Center
Lots of advice that applies to companies that are successful... and not so successful. Quote: "When you owe the bank a million, it’s your problem, but if you owe them $100 million, it’s the bank’s problem."
strategy  productmanagement  culture  finance 
14 days ago
Culture Eats Strategy: Nucor's Ken Iverson on Building a Different Kind of Company
Interesting article, another great quote from the Good Strategy / Bad Strategy book that I read a couple months ago, don't think I captured this on my reading list, but it's a great quote: "The kernel of a strategy contains three elements: a diagnosis, a guiding policy, and coherent action. The guiding policy specifies the approach to dealing with the obstacles called out in the diagnosis. It is like a signpost, marking the direction forward but not defining the details of the trip. Coherent act...
business  strategy  culture  decision-making 
24 days ago
(7) Mark Zuckerberg - Every year, I take on a personal challenge to...
Quote: "My challenges in recent years have been to read two books every month, learn Mandarin and meet a new person every day." I've one upped him with 3 books a month but he's got me with a new language and meeting new people.
life  values  goals 
5 weeks ago
Trying to build a little climbing rope gym in the garage for my little dudes, very helpful guy @ REI mentioned the Texas Prusik, which I hadn't heard of before. This was also one of the only places I found on the internets that had sizing for Prusik slings.
climbing  prusik  knots 
6 weeks ago
What can a technologist do about climate change? A personal view.
A fantastically wide and deep essay that swings from wind power to the programming language R to batteries.
climate-change  change  values  big-problems  science  programming  work 
10 weeks ago
AWS in Plain English
Came across this a couple months, helpful if you're trying to keep up with everything AWS.
amazon  aws  reference 
10 weeks ago
3 Timeless Rules for Making Tough Decisions
Great lifehack for making tough decisions: "If the issues on the table have been reasonably vetted, the choices are equally attractive, and there is still no clear answer, then admit that there is no clearly identifiable right way to go and just decide. It helps if you can make the decision smaller, with minimal investment, to test it. But if you can’t, then just make the decision. The time you save by not deliberating pointlessly will pay massive dividends in productivity."
decision-making  productivity  leadership  hbr 
10 weeks ago
xkcd: Five-Day Forecast
At scale, nothing lasts forever.
life  culture  xkcd  permanence 
11 weeks ago
Wealthfront: Silicon Valley Tech at Wall Street Prices — Medium
Remembered reading this awhile back, would love to see a comparison of Betterment, Wealthfront and Personal Capital.
finance  investing  wealthfront  betterment  personal-capital 
11 weeks ago
Living in different worlds — Benedict Evans
Always good to read things like this that make you stop and think about how someone else might look at what you're building. Hat tip to @rianvdm.
design  mental-models  userfocus  tripadvisor  floppy-disk  camera 
11 weeks ago
The Past and Future of Product Management — On Human-Centric Systems — Medium
Quote: "I believe that the future of product management rests upon our ability to embrace human complexity, in both the processes we implement to build products and the data we consult to understand customers.
I believe that product management is a fundamentally supportive and facilitative role, not a “visionary” role. (No Steve Jobses need apply.)
I believe that the distinction between “hard skills” and “soft skills” is largely counterproductive, and that the best product managers possess the c...
productmanagement  engineering  hiring  apple  product-product-product  agile 
12 weeks ago
Forces of Character: A conversation with Gregg Popovich | HoopsHype
Enjoyed a bunch of things in this article, loved the story about the visit to the academy at the end.

Quote: "Work ethic is obvious to all of us. We do that through our scouting. For potential draft picks, we go to high school practices and to college practices to see how a player reacts to coaches and teammates. The phrase that we use is seeing whether people have “gotten over themselves.”"
character  life  culture  leadership  management  humility  motivation  coaching  basketball 
november 2015
How Medium Detects Hotspots in DynamoDB using ElasticSearch, Logstash and Kibana — Medium Engineering — Medium
Really cool next level analysis on database performance issues, ie: tools (New Relic for instance) these days make it easy to figure out if you have a slow query or a set of queries against a specific table that are slow... but in certain cases (and I've been there) you have 2% of the set of queries against a specific table that are accessing a 98% of the table, which causes huge perf issues.
databases  performance  newrelic  elk  kibana 
november 2015
The Stack That Helped Medium Drive 2.6 Millennia of Reading Time — Medium Engineering — Medium
Interesting rundown of the tech behind Medium, interestingly it looks like they only do about ~1m page views per day (assuming ~1 page view per unique user which seems like what the average would be). Interesting to note the use of ELK (Elasticsearch, Logstash, Kibana), which is the second time I've heard that recently.
elk  amazon  medium  scalability  engineering  software 
november 2015
Awesome tool for quickly getting a CSV file with values from JSON.
data  json  tools 
october 2015
How we ended up with microservices.
More about how to manage organizational complexity at medium to large technology companies than about microservices in general, assuming I'm reading everything right.
architecture  microservices  engineering  soundcloud  bestpractice 
october 2015
The Illusion of Time — Startups, Wanderlust, and Life Hacking — Medium
Lots of great ideas around reducing the perception of waiting / slowness.
design  psychology  performance  time 
october 2015
Stop Googling. Let’s Talk. -
Quote: "Studies of conversation both in the laboratory and in natural settings show that when two people are talking, the mere presence of a phone on a table between them or in the periphery of their vision changes both what they talk about and the degree of connection they feel. People keep the conversation on topics where they won’t mind being interrupted. They don’t feel as invested in each other. Even a silent phone disconnects us."
culture  attention  relationships  focus  time 
october 2015
Ten Techniques for Building Quick Rapport With Anyone
Added the book to my queue, seems like the whole thing could be summarized as "don't look at your phone, focus all of your attention with all of your being on the person you're having a conversation with".
conversation  people  interaction  rapport  management 
october 2015
Stop Googling. Let’s Talk. - The New York Times
Quote: "Studies of conversation both in the laboratory and in natural settings show that when two people are talking, the mere presence of a phone on a table between them or in the periphery of their vision changes both what they talk about and the degree of connection they feel. People keep the conversation on topics where they won’t mind being interrupted. They don’t feel as invested in each other. Even a silent phone disconnects us."
culture  iphone  life  technology 
september 2015
Rarely say yes to feature requests - Inside Intercom
Great list of questions for product managers to ask about proposed / suggested features for a product. Reproduced here for the time in 5 years when the blog permalink changes: 1) Does it fit your vision? 2) Will it still matter in 5 years? 3) Will everyone benefit from it? 4) Will it improve, complement or innovate on the existing workflow? 5) Does it grow the business? 6) Will it generate new meaningful engagement? 7) If it succeeds, can we support and afford it? 8) Can we design it so that reward is greater than effort? 9) Can we do it well? 10) can we scope it well?
product-product-product  productmanagement 
september 2015
Good Product Manager/Bad Product Manager
Short of list "do / don't", couple be a good conversation topic.
product  productmanagement  management 
september 2015
$heriff - Detecting Price Discrimination
I use Amazon Prime *a bunch*, probably need to use something like this once in awhile to make sure I'm not getting price jacked because I spend so much money with them.
amazon  pricing  browser  business 
september 2015
Clay Christensen’s Milkshake Marketing - HBS Working Knowledge - Harvard Business School
I first read about this in his book "How Will You Measure Your Life?".

Quote: "... the jobs-to-be-done point of view causes you to crawl into the skin of your customer and go with her as she goes about her day, always asking the question as she does something: Why did she do it that way?"

Funny thing is that I don't see a note saying that thinking about milkshakes this way actually increased sales, but the "what job are you using this for?" way of thinking is helpful.
business  product-design  productmanagement 
september 2015
How to Master The Discipline of Product Management (Not the job of Product Manager) — Evergreen Business Fortnightly — Medium
Epic list of links / resources for product managers, signed up for their newsletter too, which feels similar to Farnam Street (signed up a couple weeks ago and have thoroughly enjoyed) and The Sunday Long Read.
product-product-product  productmanagement  priorities  decision-making 
september 2015
Moom · Many Tricks
May need to try this out instead of Stay.
mac  osx  tools 
september 2015
The Procrastination Matrix - Wait But Why
Quote: "And the thing the monkey really likes about Q4 isn’t anything about Q4 in particular—it’s that Quadrant 4 isn’t Quadrant 1 or 2. The monkey, whose core drive is to do whatever’s easiest, can’t stand the “important” quadrants, because the important quadrants are where the pressure’s on—it’s where there’s something to prove, where your actions have consequences, where the stakes are high, and where you’re shooting for the stars, which means you might fail to reach them. No fucking thanks, says the monkey. Writing 300 blog posts while I was supposed to be dreaming up brilliant business growth strategies wasn’t “easy” in the sense that I didn’t have to work hard to write them—it was easy in that there was nothing at stake. Stakes are really what’s hard for a human."
priorities  goals  urgent  important  eisenhower-matrix  productivity 
september 2015
Give it five minutes – Signal v. Noise
Quote: "His response changed my life. It was a simple thing. He said “Man, give it five minutes.” I asked him what he meant by that? He said, it’s fine to disagree, it’s fine to push back, it’s great to have strong opinions and beliefs, but give my ideas some time to set in before you’re sure you want to argue against them. “Five minutes” represented “think”, not react. He was totally right. I came into the discussion looking to prove something, not learn something." via @cdixon
ideas  patience  listening  thinking  psychology 
september 2015
How (and Why) SpaceX Will Colonize Mars - Wait But Why
Have only read the first page so far (while in the midst of reading "A Man On The Moon") but if you're even a little bit interested in what's happening in space, you have to read this, awesome stuff.
mars  space  exploration  adventure 
september 2015
The Radical Calm of Alex Honnold - Men's Journal Magazine
Quote: "What's the secret behind his ability to look into the abyss and not flinch? "Just not giving a fuck."... "then, yeah, it occurred to me that every time he left the house it might be the last time I'd ever see him. And if someday, next year, this year, he does come home in a box, he will have lived 50 lifetimes compared to lots of us."
life  calm  culture  motivation  fear 
september 2015
18 Truths: The Long Fail of Complexity
Not sure how I ended up on this tab (have been getting the Farnam Street newsletter every week though, highly recommended) but this is a great read on failure, complexity, root cause assessment, safety and large systems.
failure  rca  complexity  systems  safety  engineering 
september 2015
7 Pro Tips For Avoiding Blisters | The Big Outside
My summit of Middle Sister got cut short because of blisters on both heels. Hopefully correctable, but have since purchased new socks and some HikerGoo.
outdoors  hiking  health 
september 2015
Getting My Ass Handed to Me by the World’s Largest Hedge Fund  — Medium
Quote: "I now run through a mental check list as a first step in reasoning. It is scenario specific but usually starts with some take on the following 5 questions and expands from there: What am I trying to achieve here or what is my goal? What information/evidence do I have and what information/evidence do I still need? What are the potential second order (and higher) impacts of this scenario (both upside and downside)? What has to happen for “X” scenario to be true? What are the risks and rewards of this scenario and how likely are they to transpire?
why  thinking  reasoning  system-1  first-principle 
september 2015
The Trap You Set For Yourself
Quote: "Lancelot fights better than anyone else because he found a way to bring the stress of the situation to zero. If he doesn’t care whether he lives or dies, nothing rides on his performance. He doesn’t worry about living past the end of the fight, so nothing clouds his mind and affects his abilities — he is pure concentration and skill."
advice  life  motivation  psychology 
september 2015
How I Hacked Amazon’s $5 WiFi Button to track Baby Data — Medium
Was talking with someone recently who had a couple of these and was into hacking them, not sure that tracking poop is a million dollar idea but maybe there are a million $1 ideas.
iot  amazon  automation  hack 
september 2015
Hotspots And Blisters: Foot Care Tips For The Trail | Gear Junkie
Got a brutal heel blister on my attempt at Middle Sister a couple weeks ago, need to get / review some of this stuff.
outdoors  exercise  health 
september 2015
HOWTO: Get tenure
On life and values and work and career.
life  values  work  career 
august 2015
Futures of text | Whoops by Jonathan Libov
Excerpted excerpt: "Text is the most socially useful communication technology. It works well in 1:1, 1:N, and M:N modes. It can be indexed and searched efficiently, even by hand. It can be translated. It can be produced and consumed at variable speeds. It is asynchronous. It can be compared, diffed, clustered, corrected, summarized and filtered algorithmically. It permits multiparty editing. It permits branching conversations, lurking, annotation, quoting, reviewing, summarizing, structured responses, exegesis, even fan fic. The breadth, scale and depth of ways people use text is unmatched by anything."
chat  text  sms  design  messaging  ui  bots 
july 2015
The Web We Have to Save — Matter — Medium
Quote: "The web was not envisioned as a form of television when it was invented. But, like it or not, it is rapidly resembling TV: linear, passive, programmed and inward-looking."
blogging  culture  internet  web 
july 2015
Office, messaging and verbs — Benedict Evans
Lots of great stuff in here, excerpt: "Just as today we make web app copies of software models conceived for the floppy disk, so the first PCs were often used to type up memos that were then printed out and sent though internal mail. It took time for email to replace internal mail and even longer for people to stop emailing Word files as attachments. Equally, we went from typing expense forms (with carbon copies) to entering them into a Word doc version of the form, to a dedicated Windows app that looked just like the form, to a web page that looked just like the form - and then, suddenly, someone worked out that maybe you should just take a photo of the receipt. It takes time, but sooner or later we stop replicating the old methods with the new tools and find new methods to fit the new tools.  

Hence, channeling Marshall McLuhan, new tools start out being made to fit the existing workflows, but over time the workflows change to fit the tools."
productivity  software  collaboration  work  workflow  tools 
july 2015
sbdc » Time, and the managing there of
Quote: "I thought it was noteworthy that in Max’s conversation he commented that in some professions there is a time when work is actually done. When you finish X that’s all there is for the day. When I worked as a professional graphic designer in the 90’s that was often the case – I’d have done everything I could and next steps were waiting on something from someone else so I could call it a day. But now, with the web, and social sites, and constant email there is never an end. There is always a flow of new things to do, so unless you consciously decide that you are going to put it down and do something else for X hours a day, you won’t. And before you know it you’ll be dead and will have wasted your life chasing likes on Facebook.

Fuck that".
life  culture  time  priorities  budgeting 
july 2015
(Science) Fiction and Design — Hackerpreneur magazine — Medium

So many great visualizations there, I loved the combination of the idea of a narrative near the bottom that's then been marked up with green / yellow / red highlights but the whole thing is great.
design  space  ideas  process 
july 2015
Three takeaways for web developers after two weeks of painfully slow internet — Medium
Had never seen Chrome --> Developer Tools --> Device Mode --> Network speed.
performance  web  mobile  http  chrome 
july 2015
(8) Timeline Photos - Polar Explorer Eric Larsen
Quote: "Today I'm honoring Renan Ozturk, climber, artist, and filmmaker. Renan has been held at knifepoint in the deserts of Chad, sustained a traumatic head injury while backcountry skiing in the Tetons, and suffered through hallucinations on Himalayan big walls. Through it all, the cameras have been rolling.

With his latest and most ambitious project, Meru, Ozturk- a feature-length documentary following Ozturk, Jimmy Chin, and Conrad Anker’s much heralded 2011 return to and first ascent of the Shark’s Fin on Meru in the Indian Himalaya. The climb itself required living on the wall for 12 days in temperatures that hovered around minus 20ºF. Ozturk was still recovering from cranial and spinal fractures sustained in a near-lethal skiing accident in Wyoming’s Tetons almost six months earlier.

Ozturk topped off 2012 with the first successful completion of the Tooth Traverse, a five-mile-long enchainment of peaks in Alaska’s Ruth Gorge, and traveling to Nepal’s Khumbu region to work on a time-lapse photography and art project with Sherpa Cinema."

So yeah... I think I sat in a bunch of meetings today.
life  adventure  courage  culture  goals 
july 2015
Improved production stability with circuit breakers
Love the graphs that start with spikes and end with smooth sailing.
circuit-breaker  resiliency  heroku  bulkhead 
july 2015
Leadership Lessons from Eisenhower: How to Make a Decision | The Art of Manliness
Quote: "... when you delegate something to a subordinate... it is absolutely your responsibility and he must understand this. You as a leader must take complete responsibility for what the subordinate odes. I once said, as sort of a wisecrack, that leadership consists of nothing but taking responsibility for everything that goes wrong and giving your subordinates credit for everything that goes well."
leadership  management  character  responsibility  delegation 
june 2015
Charleston and public policy: Why gun control is doomed | The Economist
Quote: "In short, questions over guns are becoming *questions of identity*. When Mr Obama or the mayor of Charleston says that gun control would be a logical response to Wednesday’s killings, the message triggers a tribal response. The America that believes that guns make the country more dangerous—urban, educated, Democratic America—is proposing to disarm the America that is sure (indeed increasingly sure) that safety lies in keeping firearms close by. As a result, nobody is about to disarm anyone."

Emphasis mine, reminds me of an article I read awhile back (can't find it now) which pointed out that for conservatives, it's not about climate change, it's about a deeper belief system that's being challenged by climate change. Anyway.
politics  guns  identity  government 
june 2015
A dad's legacy: Warriors' Kerr guided by father's example - San Jose Mercury News
Wow, great story and a helluva childhood.

Quote: "Oh, I had a horrible temper," Kerr said. "If I didn't get a hit, or missed a shot, I'd throw these huge tantrums. But my dad would never grab me right away. He was patient. He'd wait until I calmed down to talk to me. My dad taught me a lot about emotions, controlling my temper and being even-keeled."

Amongst other things it sounds like.
basketball  steve-kerr  management  parenting  patience  education  motivation  emotional-intelligence  eq 
june 2015
The Keys to Employee Retention
Lots of good ideas on employee engagement and pointers to deeper stuff.
career  management  employee-engagement  motivation  business 
june 2015
You Can’t Sacrifice Partition Tolerance |
tl:dr is a great summary: "Of the CAP theorem’s Consistency, Availability, and Partition Tolerance, Partition Tolerance is mandatory in distributed systems. You cannot not choose it. Instead of CAP, you should think about your availability in terms of yield (percent of requests answered successfully) and harvest (percent of required data actually included in the responses) and which of these two your system will sacrifice when failures happen."
consistency  database  distributed  nosql 
june 2015
Medium is not a publishing tool — The Story — Medium
Lots of good stuff, the highlights and responses features are really nice additions.
blogging  commenting  responses  highlights  medium 
may 2015
Come for the tool, stay for the network | cdixon blog
Quote: "...initially attract users with a single-player tool and then, over time, get them to participate in a network. The tool helps get to initial critical mass. The network creates the long term value for users, and defensibility for the company"
growth  business  network  kindling 
may 2015
Students - Guide to Technical Development - Google Careers
Great list of work for someone wondering what to tackle next.
google  learning  development  career  school 
may 2015
You are Thinking of Your Career Trajectory Wrong | cek.log
Quote: "... you should not measure your career in terms of a things like scope, money, or seniority on the Y-axis of a ballistics graph. Instead you should measure your career on the missions you undertook, the places they took you, and what you learned."
advice  career  jobs  work 
may 2015
Everything We Wish We'd Known About Building Data Products - First Round Review
Quote: "Where to Start Building: A lot of people choose to start building by modeling the product in question. Some start with feature discovery or feature engineering. Others start with building the infrastructure to serve results at scale. But for Belkin, there's only one right answer and starting point for a data product: Understanding how will you evaluate performance and building evaluation tools.
“Every single company I've worked at and talked to has the same problem without a single exception so far — poor data quality, especially tracking data,” he says.“Either there's incomplete data, missing tracking data, duplicative tracking data.” To solve this problem, you must invest a ton of time and energy monitoring data quality. You need to monitor and alert as carefully as you monitor site SLAs. You need to treat data quality bugs as more than a first priority. Don’t be afraid to fail a deploy if you detect data quality issues."
data  quality  testing  bigdata  linkedin  twitter  information 
april 2015
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