- Intellectual Ventures Making Things (Bloomberg) — Having earned billions in payouts from powerful technology companies, IV is setting out to build things on its own. Rather than keeping its IP under lock and key, the company is looking to see if its ideas can be turned into products and the basis for new companies. Crazy idea. Madness. Building things never works.
- Twitpic Shutting Down — I guess we know what Jason Scott will be doing for the next three weeks.
- Thiel’s Contrarian Strategy (Fortune) — the distinction Thiel draws between transformative, “vertical” change—going from zero to one—and incremental, “horizontal” change—going from one to n. “If you take one typewriter and build 100, you have made horizontal progress,” he explains in the book’s first chapter. “If you have a typewriter and build a word processor, you have made vertical progress.”
- Raft: Understandable Distributed Consensus — making sense of something that’s useful but not intuitive. Awesome.
Mobile Content, Google Math, Mobile Linux, and Mozilla's Strategy
- Mobile Content Strategy — Mobile is a catalyst that can help you make your content tighter without loss of clarity or information. If you make your content work well on mobile, it will work everywhere. Excellent presentation, one I want to thump on every decision-maker’s desk and say “THIS!”.
- Math at Google (PDF) — presentation showing the different types of math used to build Google. Good as overview, and as way to motivate highschool and college kids to do their math homework. “See, it really is useful! Really!” (via Ben Lorica)
- Tizen 2.0 Alpha Released — Tizen is the Linux Foundation’s mobile Linux kernel, device drivers, middleware subsystems, and Web APIs. (via The Linux Foundation)
- Explaining WebMaker Crisply (Mark Surman) — if you’ve wondered wtf Mozilla is up to, this is excellent. Mozilla has big priorities right now: the web on the desktop; the web on mobile; and web literacy.
Android Strategy, Fad Books, Ubiquitous Product Design, and Android Headers Apology
- The Freight Train That is Android — Google’s aim is defensive not offensive. They are not trying to make a profit on Android or Chrome. They want to take any layer that lives between themselves and the consumer and make it free (or even less than free). […] In essence, they are not just building a moat; Google is also scorching the earth for 250 miles around the outside of the castle to ensure no one can approach it. (via Fred Wilson)
- Group Think (New York Magazine) — Big Idea tomes typically pull promiscuously from behavioral economics, cognitive science, and evolutionary psychology. They coin phrases the way Zimbabwe prints bills. They relish upending conventional wisdom: Not thinking becomes thinking, everything bad turns out to be good, and the world is—go figure—flat. (With Gladwell’s Blink, this mania for the counterintuitive runs top-speed into a wall, crumples to the ground, and stares dizzily at the little birds circling overhead. This is, let me remind you, a best-selling book about the counterintuitive importance of thinking intuitively.) A piercing take on pop science/fad management books.
- Product Design at GitHub — Every employee at GitHub is a product designer. We only hire smart people we trust to make our product better. We don’t have managers dictating what to work on. We don’t require executive signoff to ship features. Executives, system administrators, developers, and designers concieve, ship, and remove features alike. (via Simon Willison)
- Linus on Android Headers Claims — “seems totally bogus”. I blogged the Android headers claim earlier, have been meaning to run this rather definitive “ignore it, it was noise” note. Apologies for showing you crap that was wrong: that’s why I try not to show weather-report “news”, but to find projects that illustrate trends.
Six months in and there is much to celebrate and plenty of work still to be done.
Implementing O'Reilly's new IT strategy is like swapping out airplane wings mid-flight. We're making considerable change, but at the same time we can't disrupt the services and projects that are already underway.
- 30 Lessons Learned in Computing Over The Last 10 Years — Backup every day at the minimum, and test restores every week. I don’t think I’ve worked at an organisation that didn’t discover at one point that they couldn’t restore from their backups. Many other words of wisdom, and this one rang particularly true: all code turns into shit given enough time and hands. (via Hacker News)
- What Your Computer Does While You Wait — top-to-bottom understanding of your system makes you a better programmer.
- How to Visualize the Competition — elegant graphing of strategy. (via Dave Moskovitz on Twitter)
We're embarking on a journey that will transform how we deliver and support our technology needs.
O'Reilly's new IT strategy had to consider the company's culture of innovation while introducing the right level of predictability. Too much unmanaged innovation or codified predictability would limit our ability to grow and be a recipe for IT failure.
"As I outlined above, Safari adopted a "cloud library" model rather than downloadable ebooks as its fundamental design metaphor. I thought it might be worthwhile to understand how we arrived at that decision, as well as some of the other lessons we've learned over what is now 22 years of ebook publishing experience. (O'Reilly published its first ebook, Unix in…
Among the most honest assessments of the failure of newspapers to adapt to the Web comes from John Temple, former editor, president and publisher of the now-defunct Rocky Mountain News. The whole thing is unflinching, powerful, and nearly every word worth reading if you're part of a media company hoping to survive the current digital environment, much less the…
One of my favorite sources of interesting reading material these days is Hacker News (follow them at @newsycombinator), and this week they pointed me to a piece from Derek Sivers that applies to many of the emerging digital and mobile markets for media: He kept saying, "If only one percent of the people reading this magazine buy my CD……
One of the big risk factors publishers think about when it comes to digital books is that they will cannibalize print sales. Factor in the lower prices we're seeing for ebooks, and it's a quite reasonable concern. Looking at data on sales from our website, at first glance that would appear to be exactly what's happening. But that's not the full story. If there really was cannibalization happening, you'd expect to see our print sales underperforming the overall computer book market, but that's not what's happening.