Weekend Reading — Looking for Amanda

This week we revisit the best of 2020, delve into the world of SaaS pricing, consult a dough behavior expert, and look for Amanda.

Weekend Reading — Looking for Amanda


Kitze “design vs dev”

Hey there Weekend Readers. I hope you’re having a great start to a fresh new year.

📆 January is the busiest month for job seekers and hiring managers everywhere.

So if you’re looking for a new job, drop me a link and I’ll include you in next week’s newsletter.

If you’re the hiring manager, please … no whiteboard interviews.

And if you’re saying goodbye to a co-worker, I know this can be rough. Hand in there.

And if you just landed a new job … good luck! 😉

Design Objective

Inside the secret world of price tag codes There is a “secret menu”, and it's part of the user experience/customer retention:

Other retailers have similar codes: At Home Depot, prices ending in $X.06 are on sale but will drop further in 6 weeks, while prices ending in $X.03 are marked down fully and will disappear forever in 3 weeks.

… But what do the retailers get out of these mind games? …

These “price vocabularies” are the secret menus of big retailers — they engage shoppers by letting them in on a “secret” and create loyalty among the frequent shoppers (who matter most to large retailers) by making them feel like they’re in the club.

Austin Petersmith 👇 Speaking of pricing, if Alice in Wonderland made too much sense, then check this thread on SaaS pricing …

For a team of 10 users, Jira costs $100/year
For a team of 11 users, it costs $1050/year

Alun Jones “Yes. Yes, that's what I meant!”


Tools of the Trade

A Recap of Frontend Development in 2019 - Level Up Coding A look back at the top events, news, and trends for frontend and web development.


Concise Binary Object Representation (CBOR) For when you need to transmit binary data, and want the schema-less convenience of JSON. Aaron Abramov:

i just switched data serialization in my app from JSON to CBOR and got 10x perf improvement. how did i not know about it before? took literally 10 min to migrate

Kristian Köhntopp 👀

A: dns record
AA: battery
AAA: battery
AAAA: dns record

Andrew M. Webb This applies to more than animals, eg using sample data to measure application performance:

To count an animal population if you can't catch them all: capture some, mark them, release, and capture again. The ratio of new vs already seen tells you something about the total number. Shown here is iterated mark-and-recapture with a Bayesian updates to belief about pop size

Allison Grayce “when u discover a feature that would have saved u tons of time for a project that just wrapped”

Lingua Franca

JavaScript Weekly sums their most popular links of 2019 Catch up on the best of 2019.


Michel Weststrate 🤔

I figured I'm tired of seeing const vs let vs var, so from now on I won't use any of those.

I call it "functional programming"


Lines of Code

Jef Poskanzer If you have a date-related bug, just time-shift it by a few decades. It is now “other people's problem”:

Apparently a non-trivial number of systems are experiencing #Y2020 bugs. A common Y2K "fix" just postponed things by 20 years, interpreting 00-19 as the 2000s and 20-99 as the 1900s. 20 years is now up, some of those systems are still in use, and they think it's 1920. Oooops.

Changelog “new year, same old bugs”



Cyd Harrell Not “untidy“, I prefer “differently organized“:

I see a ton today about resolutions, goals, self-tracking, & discipline. if those things work for you, then bless! but if you’re like me & you work through gut feelings, opportunism, & just enough order, please don’t feel bad. we untidy folks get a lot done too. be you 💪❤️

Beautiful Brains (PDF) This is one part manifesto, one part a getting started guide for improving mental health in the workplace:

Beautiful Brains is a no-nonsense roadmap that shows you how to get to the heart of what makes a true culture of wellness. It combines culture change with progressive policy so employers can stop relying on quick fixes and get to the root of this crisis. And employees can start making their workplace work for them.



Jason Evanish 👇 Epic thread about product management, maybe the most misunderstood profession. If you are/working with product manager, you'll want to check this out. Few picks (it was so hard to choose):

25/ Quick Wins (aka - simple things you can do to make the product better for your customers) is a great way to let your team recharge and build some momentum after shipping a big feature.

Sometimes customers are more excited by this than your big feature.

37/ The #1 skill to develop to be a better PM is to become a better writer.

49/ PMs should be tool agnostic. Whatever your engineers will actually use and keep up to date is the project management tool you want to use.

The tool you love for the burn down and gannt charts is not the hill to die on if all your engineers hate it.

Startup Life

I wasted $40k on a fantastic startup idea Sometimes you have a solid product idea that fills a real need, an MVP that works, yet no way to turn it into a profitable business …

All stakeholders. You can’t just create value for the user: that’s a charity. You also can’t just create value for your company: that’s a scam. Your goal is to set up some kind of positive-sum exchange, where everyone benefits, including you. A business plan, according to this textbook, starts with this simple question: how will you create value for yourself and the company?


How the Digg team was acquihired. What it's like to go through an acquihire:

About a year after the catastrophic Digg V4 launch, our last-ditch experiment to salvage the site showed a spark of hope. We’d cajoled our way into a Facebook beta that allowed us to publish each Digg users’s read articles into their Facebook newsfeed, sending every clicking friend directly to Digg’…

You'd think that when one company buys another company — team of people, culture, IP and code — they would be wiser about it. But chances, there will still be a whiteboard interview.

The 20 top reasons startups fail (2019 edition) (PDF) CB insights looks at the top reasons why startup fails, and it's very much what you imagine.


Locked Doors

Matthew Green “Remember when Facebook collected millions of phone numbers — ostensibly to secure user accounts — then used them for targeted advertising? By all means, give them your private health data.”



Chris Herd 👇 Chris shares some predictions on what the 2020's – the Remote Work decade — will look like:

🚜 Rural Living: World-class people will move to smaller cities, have a lower cost of living & higher quality of life

These regions must innovate quickly to attract that wealth. Better schools, faster internet connections are a must

✅ Output focus: time will be replaced as the main KPI for judging performance by productivity and output

Great workers will be the ones who deliver what they promise consistently

Advancement decisions will be decided by capability rather than who you drink beer with after work

I think all of that is likely, but in ten year's time, we'll also witness the reverse trend, towards companies that can build and maintain a strong local workforce.

Arvind Narayanan 👇This thread talks about YouTube and radicalization, but more important, about the limits of our ability to research:

A new paper has been making the rounds with the intriguing claim that YouTube has a de-radicalizing influence.

Having read the paper, I wanted to call it wrong, but that would give the paper too much credit, because it is not even wrong. Let me explain.

The key takeaway for me:

If you’re wondering how such a widely discussed problem has attracted so little scientific study before this paper, that’s exactly why. Many have tried, but chose to say nothing rather than publish meaningless results, leaving the field open for authors with lower standards.

In our data-driven world, the claim that we don’t have a good way to study something quantitatively may sound shocking. The reality even worse — in many cases we don’t even have the vocabulary to ask meaningful quantitative questions about complex socio-technical systems.

Vlad Magdalin Sometimes I miss “email and just email and nothing but email”:

My group chat stack:

• Wife+kids → iMessage
• Besties → Marco Polo
• Siblings → Telegram
• Wife’s fam → Viber
• Church friends → Messenger
• EU friends → WhatsApp
• Tech friends → Twitter
• Work → Slack

Wanted seamless communication, got annoying fragmentation.

ICE Contract With GitHub Sparks Developer Protests Open source has a moral dilemma and no easy solution.


Available To Hire

Signal boosting people looking for a job. If your company is hiring, or you know someone who is, reach out to them.

Andy Bell 👇 New year, new job. Check this thread for people looking to start 2020 with a new job.

Women Who Design 👇 This thread is specifically for woman who designs, looking for new job, speaking opportunity, or growing their design busines.

Matthew Looking for that unique glue between design and engineering? Product Designer. I design and build UIs for the Web.

None of the Above

Daniel Sugarman “As we approach the end of the decade, let’s remember the best TV moment of the 2010s:”

Chinchillazllla 😂

If you have dirt on your boss, message me on Signal. I'm not a journalist or anything I just love drama

Crazed54678 “When the harsh sun is directly overhead in Hawaii, everything looks like a shitty video game render.”


Rowan Simpson 😂

Nobody ever asks the family if they want to spend more time with the former CEO

Kelly Vaughn 🐞 “Businesses, take note. This is how you do Google reviews.”


Nora Loreto 🤔

Remember how a decade ago we all stole music from the Internet and the only problem with it was that artists weren't being paid?

And then somehow, a decade later, we all pay for our music now but artists still aren't being paid?

Apollo Arts | COMMISSIONS OPEN “I didn’t ask to think this hard”


Steve Stewart-Williams “Holy crap, this is incredible: A dog playing Jenga. Turn-taking, fine motor control, apparent understanding of the aim of the game. I would not have guessed a dog could do this.”

This is a magic trick. The slight of hand is the person (off camera) directing the dog. It makes the dog believably human. Which makes this video so fun to watch.

Calum 😱

Dough behavior expert here. You may think it's cute, but balls of dough actually only do this when they're scared. This dough ball is terrified. Possibly because it's being repeatedly struck with a wooden spoon

The BBC Dracula billboard … that’s creative advertising 🤯

Am I the Asshole? 🧛‍♂️


Subbu Allamaraju 👏🌎

Let’s trash this planet less in the next decade.

katey 🌙 hoshboo “hate to inconvenience youse but THIS is what australia looks like today, no filter, no effect, just australian bush burning. this isn’t some dystopian novel, this is real life, this is AUSTRALIAN LIVES. #AustralianFires”


hannah “thousands of years of art, language, and cultural development led up to this exact moment”


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