May 25th, 2013
So, here’s the insight I’m currently tossing around in my head: The problem is that software isn’t built; it’s written. The final product is not like the Bay Bridge. It’s like a novel. – Don’t build. Compose. – Kurt Leafstrand
No, that’s not right.
As appealing as it is. You see novels, modern novels, are a particularly peculiar form of creativity primarily characterized by being the point of view and output of a single individual. Most software, and most bridges, aren’t like that.
Maybe you’re writing novels, but most of us are doing improv theater.
March 18th, 2013
I met Mr. Chaturong this morning. It was 6:30am and he was waiting with his taxi and his 7yr old son to drive us to our dive spot. It was a peaceful morning, up a small mountain, some dew still on the broad green leaves, away from much of the bustle of Thailand (if Koh Tao can be said to have any bustle at all). He might have been about 40 years old, I didn’t ask. I did ask if he was from Koh Tao, I hadn’t yet met someone from Koh Tao in the 4 days we’d been here, but I kept asking, here is what he answered.
“I’m from Koh Tao, people come from lots of places, all over, to find work with the tourists, but it was different when I was young. When I was young there were only 700 people on the island, it was quiet, no trucks, no motor bikes, we walked everywhere, it was nice, my dad was a fisherman, sometimes made coconuts, everyone was a fisherman or made coconuts. It was quiet.”
If you need a taxi in Koh Tao his number is 089 0049117.
May 7th, 2011
Love this quote from Borthwick regarding news.me and shipping:
“I ran a new product development group within a large company and I would like to dispel the simplistic myth that big companies don’t innovate. There is innovation occurring at many big companies. The thing that big companies really struggle to do is to ship.” – John Borthwick – news.me
People ask me why I focus so relentlessly on shipping as opposed to the rest of the software development life cycle. In part because it’s hard. It’s often the hard problem. And it gets harder the longer you do it, aka it gets harder the more important the thing you’ve built is.
March 6th, 2011
Found this post about why Borders, but not Barnes and Noble, is bankrupt.
“Failure to adequately address the internet sales channel and the subsequent ebook market. Specifically, the decision to outsource Borders.com to Amazon.com. To be fair, Borders.com was costing the company millions of dollars in losses each year ($20m I think when they decided to outsource) and one could argue that the outsourcing solution was a case of letting the most efficient etailing organization (Amazon.com) handle the job and turn a big negative into a profitable business. In the short-term, this saved a lot of money. In the long run, the internet is too important to outsource in this manner” – Mark Evans
January 20th, 2011
Recently was given an axiom which turns out to be folks engineering wisdom, namely:
Optimizing a system requires sub-optimizing the subsystems. Conversely optimizing a subsystem sub-optimizes the global system.
Chewing on that as it relates to technology and organizations.
(In particular I was thinking about the related corollary this afternoon, namely, “We work hard to be able to be this dumb.”)
March 5th, 2010
“It is time for some truth in advertising. If I will present my thesis adviser with this analysis, she will probably hang me, rez me, hang me again, and then /gkick me out of my PhD program.” – Armory Data Mining.
Great, accessible look at population stats.
December 10th, 2009
It’s cheating to start a blog post with a quote from Winston Churchill. He was that good. – Fred Wilson
I’ll probably steal that line some day.
October 25th, 2009
Like anyone who used to blog with frequency pre-2005, I’d like to post here more often — not just to fill up bits and bytes, but to write again. Remember when blogs were more casual and conversational? Before a post’s purpose was to grab search engine clicks or to promise “99 Answers to Your Problem That We’re Telling You You’re Having”. Yeah. I’d like to get back to that here. – Dan Cederholm
This is the idea I’ve been trying to place with again, really starting just this week, rejecting the consensus about how to blog that’s emerged over the last couple years, and holds up Digg-ability and Techcrunch-i-tude as good indicators. Dan, of course, said it better.
It’s probably an indicator of slipping into my dotage, but a new stray link and I’m happily back wandering through those early archives, even my own, having stumbled across a rather odd review of the rather minor Ruled Britannia, circa 2003 earlier this evening.
October 2nd, 2009
Power rises linearly with the number of processors, but as the square of the speed of a processor. – Greg Pfister
Which means the best hope for extending the battery life of your iPhone is grid computing.
April 14th, 2009
One of the most interesting workshops at the NYC Anarchist Book Fair this year was Matt Hern’s talk “Against Tolerance”. And one of the most useful ideas I took away was an off hand comment on hope vs. optimism, which he attributed to Cornel West, who attributes it to Havel.
You have to draw a distinction between hope and optimism. Vaclav Havel put it well when he said “optimism” is the belief that things are going to turn out as you would like, as opposed to “hope,” which is when you are thoroughly convinced something is moral and right and just and therefore you fight regardless of the consequences. In that sense, I’m full of hope but in no way optimistic. – Cornel West
Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out. – Václav Havel
I’m finding it useful.