This week I was randomly contacted by a product manager at Amazon, who was curious about my thoughts on B2B commerce and inventory management. Which was flattering, of course, and made me recall that these couple of blog posts I wrote a year or two ago are actually kind of smart.
Or, put less self aggrandizingly: Unsexy things (like small parts management) are basically the best things to focus on if what you want is to seem smart. I should do more of that.
Also I need to say "no" to more stuff.
- Heathkit was a line of electronics kits that were arguably responsible for the education of many generations of hobbyists and electrical engineers.
- The details & reasons for Yahoo's proposed spinoff of its Alibaba holdings.
- A really compelling piece on opportunity cost and saying no. "And so from time to time, as I compose my apologetic “sorry, no”, I type my wife’s email address in the “bcc” field. The awkward email to the stranger is also a tiny little love letter to her."
- So, base three (as opposed to e.g. binary, or base ten) number systems are actually remarkably efficient. Which might seem like a useless factoid, but the next time you're designing a phone tree you should think about it.
- A very interesting piece on the (super hot) real estate market in East New York, one of NYC's poorest neighborhoods. <- Strongly recommended.
- Raspberry Pi 2 is out. It's fast, and it will run Windows 10 if you want it to.
- Bolt closed a big financing round, opened a new location at Autodesk's Pier 9, and are partnering with Y Combinator on their investments too.
- How DARPA attacks problems. See especially the parts on "Pasteur's Quadrant" and "Time Limits and Temporary Teams."
- Carl Bass' (Autodesk CEO) explanation of why they're building Fusion is really compelling.
- Alibaba's Taobao is *actually* delivering stuff by drone.
- Uber & Lyft do seem like they're treating drivers a *lot* like employees.
- Nightingale floors squeak when you walk on them, alerting you when ninjas (actually!) are sneaking into your house.
- More than you'll ever be expected to know about MF Doom's early life, and how Daniel Dumile ended up wearing a mask basically 24-7.
- RoHS stands for "Restriction of Hazardous Substances," and is the EU's way of controlling things that are made with lead, cadmium, etc. Interestingly, it's calculated on a component by component level. So if your product as a whole is below the legal limit, but one part of it is above the limit, then the whole thing fails.
- In 2014, iOS app developers earned more than Hollywood did from box office in the US.
- Coding isn't the new literacy. "Writing Python isn't the fundamental skill we need to teach people. Modeling systems is."
Stuff that doesn't fit into my dumb/arbitrary categories.
- Students are *way* more likely to call their male professors "genius."
- My old friend Goat is mountain biking through Nepal. His descriptions of his travels there are very affecting to me.
- Remember how pistachios used to be red? That was because the Iranian methods of harvesting them (Iran is a pistachio *powerhouse*) left their shells blotchy, so they were dyed so to look more consistent. But then the embargo happened, and California-farmed pistachios became a thing, and now even the Iranians don't dye their pistachios.
- For best results, flip your steak early and often.