Hi, I’m Jamie Thingelstad, and this is the Weekly Thing! At some point, you decided to join me on this exploratory journey of technology, culture, leadership, privacy, and many other topics.
I’m behind deadline this morning and finished putting together this Weekly Thing pre-dawn as the late-fall sun was slowly rising. I don’t mind it though. A blank document, some wood-wick candles, and a delicious cup of hot coffee is a great way to start any day.
Supply chain and shipping logistics have been the topic of many discussions lately. This article offers a very quick and simple overview of the basics of a container yard and some brief overview of the logistically challenges involved. I really need to read The Box.
Some of these are obvious and I see them (and probably practice some of them) on a regular basis. However, I hadn’t considered something like FOMO, the fear of missing out, and how that could impact meetings. The six concepts here are:
A good read if all you get from it is a way to identify certain meeting patterns or intentions.
“There is nothing quite so useless, as doing with great efficiency, something that should not be done at all.” — Peter Drucker
Watching: The Adele One Night Only special was really great. Adele‘s music was moving and gorgeous as you would expect. Griffith Observatory where the performance was filmed at was stunning. And even the interview segments in Oprah’s Rose Garden (by the way, wow to Oprah’s “house”) were good too.
Various markings, “I was here!”, on firewood.
Nov 14, 2021 at 5:41 PM
Punch PIzza, Eden Prairie, Minnesota
Nobody wants to think a lot about what happens when you die, but dealing with your digital footprint after death is something to figure out. This “Legacy Contacts” feature seems like a nice and simple approach for at least some of your data. A good password manager should be another part of helping others handle your digital footprint after your gone.
I’m eager to get this update on my Peloton Bike. Creating game environments using the bike and it’s various sensors is a super interesting area that I think Peloton could do innovative things with.
Great full background and story behind ConstitutionDAO and the amazing attempt that was made to buy a copy of the US Constitution. The group raised $49M in a handful of days. I got in on it. I was really bummed out when the group was outbid. I think this could have been an incredible demonstration of people working directly together to achieve a common purpose.
This is such a common practice in many industries and it is good to see the FTC making noise about this.
The Federal Trade Commission, meanwhile, recently made it clear that it sees the practice as 1) one of several “dark patterns that trick or trap consumers into subscriptions” and 2) straight-up illegal. The FTC vowed to ramp up enforcement on companies that fail to provide an “easy and simple” cancellation process, including an option that’s “at least as easy” as the one to subscribe.
Many publications are like a Vegas casino — super easy to get in but it’s impossible to find the exit. When you do give in and call to cancel you are run through a gauntlet that can be very frustrating.
Curiously, I wonder if this might draw some people to subscribe. I know that I have not tried subscribing to some things because I assume it will be too difficult to cancel if I want to. Making it easier to cancel, could mean more people try it out.
I had not heard of this framework for goal setting, but I can share that I’ve struggled mightily with OKRs and only use them in a limited fashion. Goals, Experiments, and Measures is pretty interesting and pragmatic.
This is a failure point I see too often in leaders, and it is exactly where both OKRs and SMART goals break down. Neither framework gives us a path to how to implement these goals. GEMs does.
GEMs put the experiments into the forefront. These experiments clearly define our path to get from A (where we are today) to B (where we want to be in the future).
Creating a clear path, from A to B, is the most important part of any healthy growth process — both for a company and for a person.
The title here is the punchline, and it is a strong reminder for managers that fundamentally individuals matter. This is particularly true in technology. Humans are not a fungible resource, and some technologists are better at solving problems of one type versus another. I’ve known several amazing technologists that were brilliant and creative yet could never finish a project, even though they could build the first 80% faster than anyone else.
Some people seem to view companies like a game of SimCity, where if you want more money, you can turn a knob, increase taxes, and get more money, uniformly impacting the city. But companies are not a game of SimCity. If you want more attrition and turn a knob that cranks that up, you don’t get additional attrition that’s sampled uniformly at random. People, as a whole, cannot be treated as an abstraction where the actions company leadership takes impacts everyone in the same way. The people who are most effective will be disproportionately likely to leave if you turn a knob that leads to increased attrition.
Early in my career I used to correct people anytime they used generic terms like “we have 5 FTE’s working on this.” That labeling and thinking suggests that any person is just like another, and they are not. I don’t do that anymore, and at scale you don’t know all the individuals personally, but it is critical that managers in technology build that connection and individualized understanding of each person on their team.
TL;DR: OKR != Strategy.
However, it begs the question of whether the organization in question has any chance of achieving the key results? In my observation, there is an implicit assumption that if we set the proper key results that are causally linked to the achievement of the objective, the setting of the key results will make it more likely that the objective will be achieved. But desire (as with hope) is simply not a strategy. The desire to achieve the named key results won’t cause those key results to happen. You may desire the substantial rise in your NPS, but if you are serving customers that your key competitor serves better than you do, your NPS is unlikely to rise — even though you really want it to.
I can definitely see how leaders could think that clearly articulated OKRs are sufficient for your team. You have identified the results you are seeking. But OKRs intentionally do not address much of the how, and that how had better be connected to your strategy.
These trends seem alarming. At first I thought this was driven by smart phones and books not being able to compete for attention. However, the trends all start well before that time.
The Ethereum Name Service became a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) last week. I’m a member because I had ENS names registerd. ENS is like DNS for the web, it turns names into addresses making everything easier to use. Part of that event was the ratifcation of a constitution for ENS which was approved with a member vote. Each artcile was 92.5 to 93.8% approved.
This type of collective action managed via crypto technology is so interesting to watch, be part of, and see how it matures.
Hogan with advice that every manager and leader needs to hear repeatedly. The thing to keep in mind is that while it is difficult for you, the feedback giver, it is better for the recipient, and is more likely to produce success.
Managers risk defaulting to softened feedback when they’re afraid of adding even more pressure to their teammate who’s suffering. I get it! They don’t want to make it worse, and they truly care about their teammate’s health and wellbeing. But again, softening feedback to this degree will make the work to come much more challenging for this teammate.
Many concepts of Radical Candor here.
This is a great example of using Monte Carlo methods in a really basic and simple way. Each time with a little code to run. I still yearn for a simple low-code Monte Carlo tool that would allow me to connect a variety of different modules with their own unique distribution curves, and then run the whole to see how everything works together.
Chu’s describes a short but meaningful journey exploring the technologies around web3.
I went into this exploration skeptical of whether there were any real applications for crypto because I’ve seen so many products that don’t actually need to be built using blockchains. However, there are real use cases that have begun to take shape, and we’re still figuring out the framework for how and where to apply these principles to our existing world collectively.
Two things I enjoyed about this:
I have personally always found the decentralized aspect of the web so compelling. One of the most disappointing things for me around web2 is how it failed that decentralization. The current web is a shopping mall of “megacorps” pretending to be our best friends while they built a parallel economy of surveillance. web3 offers technology to alter that course dramatically.
Fred Wilson doing some simple math on what it means to have post-money valuations of $100 million for a seed round. How in the world is that a seed round? 🤷🏼♂️💸
Great writeup of Service Level Objectives (SLO) and how to tie that in with alerting and operationalization.
I will try to demistify concepts such as burn rate, error budget, and multi-window alerts.
The math is included, and the animations are a good way of illustrating things that happen over time.
Being with a dying parent, Gaitskill notes, is a way of honoring the fact — so basic yet so incomprehensible a fact — that they will soon be gone, and with them will go your experience of being their child in the way you have known, a fundamental way in which you have known yourself. At the heart of this dual recognition is “the hard truth that we know nothing about who we are or what our lives mean.”
Compelling writing on such an important human experience.
I don’t know if this is new but it is new to me. A “modern” package manager for Python. I typically use
pip but this looks interesting and I like that you can not deal with
It installs and manages packages in a similar way to npm that doesn’t need to create a virtualenv at all!
The CEO of Discord shared a screenshot showing Ethereum wallet connectivity and then got mobbed by people on Twitter accusing Discord of being horrible for doing anything with crypto. Given that Discord is a very popular platform for NFT projects, I am surprised that they backed away from the work.
This article is a good overview of how various NFT projects work, where they generate revenue, and how they can grow. If you are still in the camp of “Isn’t an NFT just a JPEG?” this is a good overview. NFT’s being an entry ticket into an ever evolving club or project is the part that I find interesting, and why I jumped into Angry Bunny Club.
Sloan shares his notes on web3 for the MIT Media Lab, of which he is not a fan, with the public. One of his points resonated strongly with me.
- A large fraction of Web3’s magnetism comes from the value of the underlying cryptocurrencies. Therefore, a good diagnostic question to ask might be: would you still be curious about Web3 if those currencies were worthless, in dollar terms? For some people, the answer is “yes, absolutely”, because they find the foundational puzzles so compelling. For others, if they’re honest, the answer is “nnnot reallyyy”.
I’m even older than Sloan, which he acknowledges is perhaps part of his perspective, but I would say this same line was true for Web 2.0 back in the day. People were learning about AJAX requests because they were going to write the next Web 2.0 app and be rich beyond their dreams. The web has had “gold rush” periods multiple times. Sometimes it is a mirage, but not always.
I find it surprising that many digitally forward thinkers struggle with web3 stack because of the financial aspects of it. These same people are often extremely supportive of decentralization and dislike the huge influence that a couple of platforms have over the web today. There is almost a “hippie” version of decentralization that is preferred. But perhaps we can have decentralization with multiple economic models, which web3 is already doing. Look at the non-economic model of POAP tokens.
ConstitutionDAO caught my attention right away. This DAO is forming to raise a fund to bid on one of two privately owned authentic copies of the US Constitution. Sotheby’s is holding the auction tomorrow.
The DAO started this morning with about $16M in ETH raised, and currently has $33.7M in ETH just twelve hours later via their Juicebox listing. The project was launched six days ago!
I couldn’t resist being part of this so I sent in a small amount of ETH and am waiting for the auction to claim my PEOPLE governance tokens.
What a wild idea, and all enabled largely because of the crypto stack. We’ll see what happens next! 🤞
Did the 30-min Foo Fighters ride with Emma Lovewell on Peloton tonight. Put all I had into it with a strive score of 68.0, which was 260 kJ. Foo Fighters are the best spinning soundtrack there is! 🥵
Tammy and I enjoyed the 7 Course Tasting dinner at the pop-up Guacaya Bistreaux in Glass House. Authentic Latin Caribbean Tapas & Libations. Chef Pedro Wolcott opens up their permanent location in the North Loop in Spring.
The new Clifford: The Big Red Dog is a nice movie of the classic story.
We all volunteered at Free Bikes 4 Kidz today. Tammy, Mazie, and Tyler did cleaning of donated bikes. I tried my hand at the mechanic station working on derailers, brakes, truing wheels and a lot of other stuff I didn’t know how to do. 😊
We had a fun time at the Washburn High School production of Grease tonight. 🎭🎶
We had an opportunity to celebrate with #TeamSPS CFO Kim Nelson and her Career Achievement recognition at the CFO of the Year Awards Luncheon today!
It is interesting to see more and more of these low-code solutions coming out as open source. → Budibase | Create modern business apps in minutes
Understanding regular expressions can be a superpower and this looks like a great tutorial to learn. → RegexLearn - Step by step, from zero to advanced.
Huge congratulations to #TeamSPS CFO Kim Nelson! 🎉 I’ve seen a number of career achievement awards when people retire, but I think it is a whole different level when your recognized in that way while you are still in the role! 🙌 → 2021 CFO of the Year: Kim Nelson, SPS Commerce Inc. - Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal
It was interesting to read this and think about how crypto debit cards are being used. 🤔 → Debit cards as financial infrastructure
I love everything about this. We are going to Iceland as a family in 2022. I cannot wait to return. I showed this to the family and stopped every couple of seconds to blather on and on about the various locations. 🇮🇸 → Introducing the Icelandverse - YouTube
The maps this generator makes are just phenomenal! This would be a great start for a book or game of some kind. Who wants to map some NFT’s to these? 😲 → Azgaar’s Fantasy Map Generator v1.71
web3 in the Economist. Dixon and McCormick are both leading thinkers on this. I think it goes without saying, but they also have significant financial interest in this vision. That doesn’t make any of it right or wrong though. → Chris Dixon and Packy McCormick on the future of crypto | The Economist
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I once created a fun travel game about identifying mathematical relationships in the numbers that appear on road signs, called Road Sign Math! I launched a website to share the signs and had 30 people submit over 250 road signs from every continent in the world!