Functional versus Unit Organizations
Organizing and structuring tech organizations the systems and concepts that worked and that didn't work at Microsoft.
Getting the inspiration for a good pitch, a great deck, a way to present a company or product is not easy. Trying to begin with a blank page each time works in utopia. In reality we're always working from a model, in our minds or elsewhere. These startup pitch decks "models" are better than many other models in that they worked. And in most cases we can relate to the products which helps.
A collection of real fundraising decks from real startups.
How much money to do we need? When is it too much? A very interesting article. What is doesn't explain is the anatomy and cure for greed. But that's probably coming soon.
Transcendental money is the amount of money required to transcend time. It makes just enough money to satisfy all your reasonable needs, wants and desires, but no more. You can do the math yourself, factor in the cost of living where you live, or want to live, it's just arithmetic to determine what your transcendental money number is.
A brilliant analysis of moving on and how to that best. Should be mandatory reading for people working with software engineering.
One of the hardest things in life is to know when to keep going and when to move on.
Some very interesting data in here for presenters.
Because we have become so accustomed to the friction on travel booking things like separate booking engines exist on hotel websites. We still think with odd paradigms in which it seems totally ok that people are bouncing around upward of 30-40 websites over a period lasting days before booking their hotel. But when that paradigm changes and we find one that dramatically reduces friction, we should embrace it. Voice and chat will change travel for the better.
The definition of a great platform is that it allows you to do something that wasn’t possible before.
More on deep learning and AI.
Voice will do a lot to change the current travel booking paradigm. In fact it will probably change where we go. We don't need to go to Barcelona, or some other typical place anymore. Voice and AI will be able to suggest new places that we can travel to for $300 or not longer than 3h away etc. Which could make travel much more exciting and discover new places. When will it happen will is a question only Millionaires can answer.
In my view, we're subjected to a lot more propaganda than we would care to believe. If we knew how much and how much of it is unconsciously fed to us through "fact checked" mainstream media we'd be so disgusted we wouldn't believe it. The minute a story has any commercial interest it will be used in propaganda. Food, medicine, banking, weapons and many more industries use these grey tactics all the time.
This is why propaganda — which provides a simple, convenient and seemingly coherent narrative architecture for processing events — thrives in a polarized environment in which truth is regarded as relativistic and facts are treated as fungible. And it’s how reality-distorting propaganda undermines the reasoned deliberation that is so essential to democracy.
Pioneering and innovating similarly don't follow rules. They are messy, confused, gritty and not always pretty. The journey and the destination are what make it. Companies by default build rules and need rules. The bigger the company the more rules are needed to make it work. Interesting how Amazon managed to find a bizarre middle-ground. Is it sustainable on a human level is an interesting question. In the end a company is made of people who need to be able to work with each other.
Amazon has figured out how to combine the entrepreneurial culture of a small company with the financial resources of a large one. And that allows it tackle problems most other companies can’t.
A tiny bit of insights into one of, if not the most, influential creative advertising and marketing guy ever.
We don't do just snob ads, we don't do just short copy ads, or just long copy ads, or any particular style.
The ethics of designers and for that matter coders is a question that will increasingly be affecting us. As more of our life is managed through invisible algorithms and design tweaks.
Love to see how people are creating the future even if just on paper. Artists have inspired technology in so many ways.
Tips for selecting the brand name. Use an existing word or invent one. I don't think there is a right or wrong. Expedia (invented) is great success, and so is Booking. However invented has an advantage in SEO and that counts for quite a lot.
The drug scene is ever more real post Narcos. This behind the scenes look at El Chapo is educative. As the author says the only solution is going to be working to reduce demand.
If you wonder why America is in the grips of a heroin epidemic that kills two hundred people a week, take a hard look at the legalization of pot, which destroyed the profits of the Mexican cartels.
A quite practical view of life and it's stages. Practical because it ours some reference points. Both for oneself and for one's kids.
Earlier I commented that design might be making people dumber, because by solving all the problems for the user we end up with mindless drones who just follow the designed path. That's an exaggeration but is it possible? This article is quite good. A little akward that the author mentions himself in third person as a great designer though.
The future is about affording the user with maximum agency over their experiences, and as advocates for the user we must give them just that
Design and quality front end suddenly means a lot more than before.
Instead, they are “systems of engagement” (SoE), meaning apps that employees actually use to get their work done.
If I get there and manage to move out from phase 1 this will be awesome.
Company-building becomes the CEO’s primary job in a Phase 2 startup. The company you build is your second creation and will be your lasting legacy as a founder.
A small peek into the studio with the Beatles.
Not really caring if you liked the old songs better. Full grown men, full of emotion and on top of the world. Meet the Beatles.
An interesting read on the Silicon Valley elite.
How PR agencies have affected politics. The unfortunate truth is that money affected too many decisions and still does.
American history was a battle between business and democracy, and, “So far,” he wrote, “Big Business has won every skirmish
If you're into the behind the scenes look into Kubrick's fun making process this is quite an interesting piece.
Am interesting view on hotel tech that the hotel chains should take into consideration.
Someone recently told me "the party is over when HR arrives" I thought it was funny. Having worked with great, talented, but really difficult people. With team members and non team members. Having manned to get some of them to achieve great results. And having lost it on more than one occasion. I can quite understand the opinions here. Great read.
A practical index of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence resources. Notably missing is anything in the travel industry. Surprising considering how much the industry affects our lives. Shows how closed the industry is.
ML and AI are having a huge impact on our lives, and their roles are only increasing. The better informed you are, the better prepared you’ll be to handle these changes as they happen.
A brilliant view on design. No revolution but a great refresher of what design and redesign is all about. That something is old, isn't a problem pre-se. (Hint headphone jacks).
In theory, the redesign begins with a problem
This is it I guess no more startup reading after this post. Very pragmatic cut through the crap post.
You need three things to create a successful startup: to start with good people, to make something customers actually want, and to spend as little money as possible
One of the refreshing post-Trump-Win posts that help take off the sting. Get more calm about it all and process the data sanely.
And remember—this is hardly the first time half of America has been apoplectic about the lunatic they just elected as their president. And we’ve always survived. And we will here too.
The marketplace is the holy grail of inventions in tech products. And the complexities that come with building one are interesting.
A great history of hotels. Should be mandatory reading for everyone in the industry.
Advertising is a necessity, the alternative is monopolies where the public has no choice and makers have no chance of ever making a living. The problem isn't advertising, it is bad advertising. If all advertising was relevant to what we were searching for we wouldn't complain. AdWords as an ad system was evolution. Less invasive, more helpful and more relevant. How can we fix online advertising to make it more like that?
This attention-merchant model has spread to so many areas of our life, where we're completely used to everything being free. But then the payoff, or the exchange, is that then we also agree to stuff that is compromised, because it is always trying to get us to click on ads at the same time.
The engineering feat of watches is fascinating, yet I abhor the status symbology associated with Swiss watches. Someone once told me one can immediately see the "value" of someone by their watch. A watch represents 1 month salary. And they went on judging people every day based on their watches. It so disgusted me that I've never worn a watch since beside a 20 month stint with an Apple Watch. Watches are the epitome of old design where more meant better. They are still incredible works of art which fascinates me. But they really serve very little purpose other than status symbols.
But accurate timekeeping has long ago ceased to be the point. And this, with deep irony, is another reason why the global watch industry survives
Silicon Valley's "above politics" reputation has taken a real hit with this election. That's not a good thing. So much of our information is controlled by the valley, letting political beliefs take the better of them is wrong. Having Trump as President is wrong too. But so is having Hillary. She's probably the lesser evil (at least in open debate, but we all know politics isn't about what is being said, it's about what is being not said). Was saddened to see how my Twitter feed of great SV people turned into a political extremists feed. I'll be thankful when this is over, will pray for America and that whoever makes it does a good job. Hundreds of millions of great Americans deserve better leaders than the two existing candidates.
We care deeply about diversity,” Mr. Zuckerberg wrote in an internal Facebook post to employees. “That’s easy to say when it means standing up for ideas you agree with. It’s a lot harder when it means standing up for the rights of people with different viewpoints to say what they care about. That’s even more important.
The problem with the chemical imbalance theory, is that it doesn't explain what caused the imbalance. So if we keep correcting imbalances without understanding why they occur and fixing what caused it, we will soon be having more drugs than we do food. And that is a little like the pollution problem of the planet, except inside our own bodies.
Prozac would transform the treatment of depression and become the most widely prescribed antidepressant in history. Some users described it as “bottled sunshine”. It attained peak annual sales (in 1998) of $3 billion and at the last count had been used by 54m people in 90 countries. And, along the way, it embedded into the public consciousness a particular idea about how depression works—that it is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, which the drug corrects. Unfortunately, this idea seems to be only part of the story.
Whilst I wouldn't agree that Jobs has made or changed the PC market nor that he invented the smartphone or any tech product, I can agree that he raised the bar on quality and design and he did that entirely through his persistence and insistence and yes he worked with great people but he is the one who found them and put them to work and without him Tech products would be boring ugly beige boxes. There is just no denying that. Both Google and Microsoft have benefited greatly from him raising the bar and making us expect, great design.
No individual has more greatly influenced the role of design in tech, or is more responsible for raising consumer expectations for thoughtfully made products, than the late Apple co-founder.
A friend once told me Focus only becomes real when you start listing all the things you are going to stop doing. I didn't realize the depth of that comment until I tried it. It hurts, turns meetings from friendly conversations into battle grounds, but when the dust has settled - there's a really clear view of what one should be doing.
No Jony, you’re just really vain.’ He said, ‘You just want people to like you, and I’m surprised at you because I thought you really held the work up as the most important, not how you believed you were perceived by other people.
And the show must go on. I guess that's the only way to explain these funny traditions that don't really serve much of a purpose other than maintaining themselves.
But each fall, usually in October, the city and the crown perform the same exchange, for no particular reason other than that they always have.
As the election circus finally comes close to an end. It is more than probable that Hillary will the elections. But is it really the relief that about half of the American population was waiting for? The outgoing President was announced as a beacon of hope for America. 8 years later the ugliest election in American history happens, comprised of two highly unqualified individuals more interested in a power grab than actually running a country. A country which has long been a global beacon for hope that is now being smeared by a disgusting political campaign. Maybe it will serve as a model for other countries of how bad it could become.
Must it be this way? Once you start throwing mud in politics, it is very hard to stop.
Would have been an interesting car. But the price would have probably been so expensive few could afford it.
A point of view on a possible future without nations.
A tale for big cities. Will Paris, London and the rest of the world's amazing cities go the same route. Let's hope not, let's hope they manage to keep their crazy artists who do the work because they love it and not just the money.
Since I don’t do hedge funds, daddy’s money, or luxury real estate or ride in the wagons that circle those camps, I’m going to try a different land where I can still do work I really enjoy, where I can actually have some money in the bank
One day I'll go to Silicon Valley. Surely over there they've solved all the main plagues of life like housing for all, traffic, public transport and all that.
Surprising disability and it isn't coming from typing at keyboards.
Jean Louis Gassé takes a look at how BlackBerry, Palm, Nokia and Microsoft all missed the smartphone era. While being the previous market leaders.
Blackberry, Palm, Nokia, and Microsoft all failed to adapt to the Smartphone 2.0 era inaugurated by Google and Apple. What caused these failures? Human error, technological inadequacy, or business model collapse?
An interesting evolution from being a social media to just being the place that contains the internet use.
Nick Cicero, CEO of Snapchat-focused agency Delmondo, contends that "social media, and by nature, social networks, have evolved beyond a destination into normal behavior on the internet. With that evolution, the way that these types of companies define themselves also has to evolve."
Bootstrapping is fun. Probably one of the best things is bootstrapping. But then comes the question of time and that changes things a bit. The more important Mailchimp story is how they became one of the market leaders in a hugely competitive market usually looked by heavily funded startups.
Great read on the trials and tribulations of a travel startup.
“But I hated travel. It’s an industry that’s so not startup friendly.”
As an iPhone user am seriously considering getting a Pixel (and one can charge + listen to music!). Am surprised that Android has so much catching up to do with iOS per their own admission. Such as wifi switching and touch responsiveness. Keen to get into Google Assistant.
If something is going to replace the search box, you can be sure Google wants to create it. And it may have, with the Google Assistan