Today’s Productivity Report

  • Garage cleaned, junk tossed,
  • New workbench setup and put in place,
  • Soon-to-be old road bike serviced, cleaned, and running well with new 50/34 crankset (longer post on this coming soon),
  • Excellent new beer (see below) found and consumed.

All in all, loving today.


10 Years From Now…

You often hear people say, as I just did on a podcast this morning, “X years ago we all thought this technology was the coolest thing ever, and today we all laugh at how simplistic/basic/etc that sounds!” Think of the first MP3 player you ever used, or a computer with more than 16 MB of RAM, or anything which improves on an exponential curve. Looking backwards you will always find something even a few years old that, today, feels archaic.

I just got an email from Verizon warning about the upcoming snowstorm here in NJ. With the above thoughts in mind, the first bullet really gets me:

  • “To solve most problems, try turning it off and on again…”

Of all the things I wish I could say will seem outdated in 10 years, this particular phrase tops the list. This idea of “have you tried turning it on and off again?” was true 10 years ago, and 10 years before that. Rebooting as a solution to everything and anything is so prevalent a meme that it’s the go-to joke on “The IT Crowd” TV show:

I suppose for a service as common as “The Internet” (e.g. Verizon FiOS) it makes sense that, to most people, the first thing they will do when their internet connection ceases to work is to call Verizon. Verizon doesn’t want to talk to you; it has better things to do. Hence, these email blasts which ask “have you tried turning it off and on again?” instead of having to tell their customers over the phone “have you tried turning it off and on again?”. It saves time, you know?

The Cost of Apple News

Ben Thompson (Stratechery):

What makes subscriptions work is an alignment between editorial and business model: the former is incentivized by quality and differentiation because the payoff is a customer with a high lifetime value…

[…]

The proposed Apple News model, on the other hand, which pays out according to reader engagement, pushes in the opposite direction — the Facebook direction. The motivation is “to maximize clicks” and “win a pageviews arms race”; sure, the driver isn’t low-margin advertising, but shifting the means of monetization doesn’t change the ends as far as incentives go.