in Weekly Review

Weekly Review #9

Why the new Snapchat features are brilliant – Ryan Hoover breaks down the brilliance of Snapchat forcing its users to enable the newest features deep within the Settings. It lets the addicted users discover them and talk about them to everyone else, while avoiding feature baggage that could alienate the average user. Meanwhile, the diehard fans enable them, test them, and get everyone else excited. The moral is: insert new features without enabling them automatically at first – then see how it goes over and implement the successes. files a complaint to challenge parking tickets, under the statistic that up to 50% of those challenged are dismissed without a fight. What other bureaucratic nonsense could we use this principle on? I could see an app that knows when police officer are on vacation, and auto schedules a court visit during those dates in order to dismiss speeding tickets.

Why the proposal to make tech companies pay to use SF bus stops is a bad one –  This sets a bad precedent – the paying customers have more control over the stops that the ones who aren’t paying, since they provide a source of income. Plus, it doesn’t solve the lurking source of class warfare discontent. Plenty of other vehicles use the stops, like tour buses and airport shuttles, but you don’t see anybody protesting those.

Advice for young people from Oliver Emberton – Create things, which makes you get better at them. Aim Big, because win or lose you will learn a lot form the experience. And Defy the world, by holding yourself accountable and letting no external rule tell you no. Only worry about the things you can change, and as a result the number of things that fall within that domain will grow.

Great comparison of SF and NY from the perspective of a twenty something who’s lived in both. SF is more outgoing, but NY friend circles are more diverse.

Netflix’s slideshow espousing their work culture based on Freedom and Responsibility. Awesome work culture – people are worthy of freedom.

  • Avoid bureaucracy because then process adherence becomes the value system rather than pure performance
  • Formalized development is rarely effective
  • Set the context for people to be effective, rather than controlling them to do so

Hinge curates potential dates from friends of your immediate network – the most statistically potent waters for dating success. Then it makes the introduction and give you date ideas, leaving the rest to you. Looks like a promising variant of the Tinder formula – and it takes interests into account for once.

The Risk Not Taken is more dangerous than that risk that is taken. Your regrets are more things you didn’t do than things you did. You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take. Beautiful piece on entrepreneurship and travel from Andy Dunn. “Don’t ask your parents what to do. Instead inform them of your plans, and ask them what risks they took at your age.”

Dan Shipper on what he learned from Jason Fried.

  • The only two people who can give you real feedback about your product are people who just purchased it and people who just canceled. Only they can tell you what you’re doing right or wrong.
  • Ask your customers what they want. Don’t have customers yet? Ask your competitors customers.
  • The human brain is a tricky, messy thing. It doesn’t deal well with high-level abstractions like “what are your problems” or “how can we make this better”. These answers are useless because, in general, abstract human problems can’t be solved by software. But the human brain is very good at talking about specifics. Questions like “can you walk me through what you do everyday” or “are there any repetitive tasks that you do day-to-day” will lead you down a much more interesting path. You’ll find problems that your software actually can solve.
  • Products find a certain market only when they help their customers get done the jobs that they have already been trying to do.
  • Successful people aren’t afraid to say “I don’t know” when giving advice, and before they do, they ask what you’re hoping to accomplish. – daily leaderboard of the most cutting edge new startups. I found some great ideas I had never heard of before here. A lot of weird one off rip offs of popular services, too.

Why the 9 to 5 is so difficult for knowledge workers  – Inspiration comes in peaks and troughs. Coming to work sleepy is the same as showing up drunk. Cognition is best several hours before habitual sleep time. Kelloggs used to have a six hour workday!