Labnotes

Weekend Reading — "This is a great start!"

Published on

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storyofmyfuckinglife This could be the title of my autobiography.


Design Objective

Jony Ive’s Mistakes: When Beautiful Design Is Bad Design The iMac's hockey puck mouse, the MacBook's butterfly keyboard, the Apple TV remote, the list goes on:

The quote often attributed to Einstein is “everything must be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler.” I think the trouble was that Ive often ignored the second part of that advice in the pursuit of refinement.

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Norgard 👍

It’s too simple is the greatest compliment a product can ever be paid.

The time I tried to ruin Halo 2 On the difference between what users say they will do vs what they actually do, and sticking to your design instinct:

So when our participants told us that they would not enjoy the system, we as researchers then made our own mistake and conveyed those comments as accurately representing how most players would feel about the system after they’d actually played it. And after some heated arguments and back and forth, Bungie chose to push on ahead with their novel matchmaking system over our objections, which turned out to be exactly the right call.

Bill the Lizard “A new contender has emerged...”

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The hidden bias in iterative product development Be aware of this:

This weakness-based mindset gets further reinforced when we start analyzing data and feedback. Because loss aversion causes us to focus on losses more than gains, we are more likely to gloss over positive signals and areas of strength and focus instead on the areas of the product that “aren’t working.”

John Cutler Everything is an opportunity for learning:

Something I’ve noticed about great product teams.

They actually talk about the stuff that didn’t work. The misses. The surprises. What they learned. How that informed future decisions.

... it is the antithesis of success theater.

RaminNasibov “fonts matter”

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Tools of the Trade

101 Tips For Being A Great Programmer (& Human) This is a great list. Bookmark and revisit often.

  1. Try to remain optimistic
    If something goes wrong, try and be optimistic. Tomorrow is a new day. Optimism will help your team dynamic and your mental health.

  2. Continually re-assess your workflow
    Just because something works now doesn't mean it always will. Re-evaluate your workflow and make adjustments where necessary.

Email Like A Boss 👍

Justin Searls “Finally figured out a way to halve the time it takes to do an iCloud restore from backup on an iPhone”

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(It works because restore from backup is very CPU intensive, and your phone slows down once it gets hot)


Lines of Code

Erin ☔️

expect(umbrellaOpens).toBe(true)

tests: 1 passed, 1 total

**all tests passed**

Jaana B. Dogan 👍

If there is one advice that fits everything in programming, it is "Change one thing at a time".

Helen 侯-Sandí “The only 10x engineer”


Architectural

Sarah Drasner 🎯

Please stop glorifying what's unnecessarily complicated. I've heard countless times people brag about how long it takes people to understand what they work on.

In my perfect world, it would be the opposite. You would brag about how quickly people can understand what you wrote.

Ben Orenstein $10K well spent:

My new consulting engagement: you pay me $10,000 and I delete your project’s backlog while explaining that nothing of value has been lost.

Baron Schwartz I wish more people would understand the first point:

True facts about testing in production:

  1. You don’t have a choice; you are doing it whether you acknowledge it or not.

  2. Those who say it’s a good thing (they’re right) are not telling you to stop other testing! Pre-prod testing is also, still, a good thing.


Teamwork

Scott Belsky Extraordinary achievement does require leadership:

a team can only overcome an “insurmountable” obstacle if they see that their leader believes it can be done. it’s a big difference between “managers” and “leaders” - of incremental progress vs. extraordinary achievement.

nota_bennett 👇 Short thread about team dynamics, everything checks out in my experience:

1/5 Are your leaders talking about why basically all the time?

If you just talk about what you need a team to do, the "what" tends to get distorted over time and they end up doing not-quite-what-you-meant. "Why" gives ideas heft and longevity.

Sophie Alpert How to identify unnecessary process:

Whenever a rule is added in a team, first ask:

Will the existence of this rule discourage future people from using their human judgement to make smart decisions in nuanced situations?

Michael Carusi 😭 So true:

The three stages of career development:

  1. I can't wait until I'm important enough to be included in meetings.
  2. I feel so important being in these meetings!
  3. I will do anything legal and several illegal things to avoid these meetings.

Peopleware

Lenny Rachitsky 👇 Managing up is a skill for everyone, a short thread with tips:

1/5 Overcommunicate: Share what you plan to do, what you’re doing, and what you did. It’s nearly impossible to over-communicate. I sent a weekly “State of The Me” email to my boss, with my current priorities, things on my mind, and blockers I need help with. It worked wonders.

Blair Braverman 👇 Thread:

Y’all, having sled dogs has been so good for my body image. And not because mushing is a joy-filled, physical outdoor activity, although that’s true. It’s actually something much simpler than that.

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Locked Doors

Zoom Zero Day: 4+ Million Webcams & maybe an RCE? Just get them to visit your website! TL;DR

  • The MacOS Zoom app included a feature that would keep a server running on your computer, even after you un-installed Zoom
  • Anyone could add you to a meeting and watch you through the camera
  • Zoom ignored this security flaw until the public out cry, then issued a fix
  • Apple pre-empted Zoom, and did a silent OS update to disable this "feature"
  • All is good now

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Chad Loder To all the people reacting to the above by switching apps:

"I never audited or paid attention to @zoom_us security, but now I'm upset, so I'm going to switch to a DIFFERENT conferencing platform whose security I will also never audit."

Steelcon Gottlieb This, not the stupid cookie policy, may lead to better security and privacy practices:

I can't overstate the significance of this #GDPR British Airways fine (1.5% of worldwide turnover / £183m) for anyone in security, privacy or senior management. You've got to get security right, with appropriate levels for your organisation, else the fines can be career changing.


None of the Above

Andy Baio “oh, to be young and online”

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Josh Campbell 🌯🌯🌯🌯🌯

I was just stuck in an elevator. Everything was fine because I had a burrito in my backpack. Moral of the story: Always bring a burrito.

mrb “Lmao if you think Silicon Valley owns innovation”

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Rattlesnake, uranium, whiskey found during traffic stop If you're driving a stolen vehicle, it might as well carry a venomous snakes and radioactive material.

Jen Gentleman “I've never been more invested in a random internet cat succeeding”

Tess Koman 👇 This thread is a slow burn:

name a more crushing blow than "this is a great start!" from your editor, i'll wait

Disintermediating your friends A research into how couples meet. In summary, stranger danger is trending down.

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Carol Blymire This kind of behavior/attitude is one of my pet peeves:

Here is a hopefully short synopsis of something that happened this week that I still don’t understand (1/?)

Our Commitment to Lead the Fight Against Online Bullying Instagram taking some steps to stopy bullying: asking users to reconsider before posting a mean comment, and shadow bans.

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The helicopter team that films the Tour de France is one of a kind They train for six months!

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Annie Minoff Art meets science:

Did you know there is a legit ✨particle accelerator✨in the basement of the Louvre museum!? I heard about this a few years ago, and have been dying to see it ever since.

Well mes amis, yesterday I DID!

Join me! On y va! 1/

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Stella Chuu “Winner of best cosplay at #AX2019”

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