I stand before you tonight in my Red Star chiffon evening gown, my face softly made up and my fair hair gently waved, the ‘Iron Lady’ of the Western world. — Margaret Thatcher, delighted by the nickname given to her in 1979 by the Soviet Red Army newspaper Red Star.
A realistic view of the present and an optimistic perspective on what’s possible is at the heart of nearly every great company ever built. — From the Zaarly Employee Handbook: http://handbook.zaarly.com/
We just have to face the reality that our educational system in slack economies can’t guarantee all that hard work you spend getting smarter will actually yield you anything except debt. — Too Cool For School?
Moderate success is a distraction, and it keeps founders from bigger success. — From Moderate Success Is the Enemy of Breakout Success, by Jason Calacanis.
We appreciate the mention!
Our pal Kyle Fox helped put together an intriguing-looking conference at the end of August in Edmonton – Crafting Type: An introductory typeface design workshop.. There’s some extra background here, and we’re sure it’ll be a fascinating learning experience. If you’re curious about learning how to get started with type design & have the dough, you should check it out.
We're Underestimating the Risk of Human Extinction -
A fascinating interview with Nick Bostrom, a professor at Oxford. Bostrom uses philosophy & math (probability theory) to explore ideas related to human extinction, such as the likelihood of catastrophic events and our chances of surviving them.
Despite the title, the interview doesn’t try to make the case that we humans are doomed. There isn’t as much talk about apocalyptic asteroids as you might expect. Instead, they discuss transhumanism, space colonization, and moral philosophy. And what’s especially intriguing is that Bolstrom’s conclusions are based on trusted statistical models.
A few of the most interesting ideas to me were:
It’s a long read, but definitely worth it. Save it to Instapaper or Readability and read it when you can really focus.
Great link for a Monday!
They [made] the single worst strategic mistake that any software company can make:
They decided to rewrite the code from scratch. —
That’s from Joel Spolsky’s classic essay Things You Should Never Do.
If you’re a product developer you’ve probably had the urge to rewrite a working product from scratch. I certainly have.
Us developers get a warm, fuzzy feeling when we imagine the opportunity to start from a clean slate. To re-architect moving parts that don’t make sense. To rewrite aesthetically ugly code in a shiny new language. To eliminate infrastructure choices that are hindering development.
These might seem like rational reasons to rebuild. But Joel makes an important point that most developers overlook in their state of greenfield wanderlust:
It’s important to remember that when you start from scratch there is absolutely no reason to believe that you are going to do a better job than you did the first time. First of all, you probably don’t even have the same programming team that worked on version one, so you don’t actually have “more experience”. You’re just going to make most of the old mistakes again, and introduce some new problems that weren’t in the original version.
Joel outlines many other reasons developers & managers convince themselves a complete rewrite is the best course of action, and more importantly, why it rarely makes sense for a business to totally rebuild their product.
If you’ve ever considered rewriting from scratch, or have actually gone ahead with it, you’ll get a lot of value from reading the full article.
Today Microsoft Announced the new logo for Windows 8. Dropping the iconic rainbow-flag is a bold step for them, and I think it’s an improvement. However, there are a few reasons I think the new logo falls short:
You can read more about the new Window logo on Brand New.
Canada debates bill would allow electronic surveillance without a warrant -
In a dictatorship, freedom is immediately displaced through force. In a democracy, civil liberties are gradually eroded through fear-based legislation.
Saying this bill “targets child porn” is simply a rhetorical attempt to negatively frame & dimiss anyone opposed to unchecked electronic surveillance.