From his post No to
This is scary. It’s really scary to turn down most (the average) of
what comes your way and hold out for the remarkable opportunities.
Scary to quit your job at an average company doing average work just
because you know that if you stay, you’ll end up just like them. Scary
to go way out on an edge and intentionally make what you do
unattractive to some.
Which is why it’s such a great opportunity.
Seth’s probably one of my favorite business writers right now.
According to Reuters, our commutes just keep getting longer and longer:
Dave Givens drives 370 miles to work and back every day and considers his seven-hour commute the best answer to balancing his work with his personal life.
Umm, yeah. This is obviously extreme, but it sounds like ridiculously
long commutes are becoming more common:
In the most recent U.S. Census Bureau study, 2.8 million people have so-called extreme commutes, topping 90 minutes. … The average one-way commute grew by 13 percent to 25.5 minutes between 1990 and 2000.
My commute is less than 15 minutes, one way. Most days, I get to come
home for lunch and see my wife and kids. I used to have a 7 minute
commute. I kind of miss that.
These are in no particular order:
Why yes, I am a geek. How did you know?
Via Martin Fowler, I
learned that John Vlissides
died after a long battle with cancer. John was one of the Gang of
Four who wrote the definitive book on design
His page on c2 has been
turned into a sort of memorial wiki page by the people who had met him.
Aside from the book, he has had a significant impact on a number of
people. I do wish I had gotten to meet him.
There’s an interview in the latest Make
magazine with Dean Kamen, inventor of the
Segway and many other cool things. It’s a good interview, and definitely
worth your time to read it. One thing that stuck out was this quote on
designing things: “I do very little research as to what the product
should be … if you do “product research”, the product that you end up
with will be similar to what already exists”.
I think this is why we see so many products that only get evolutionary
upgrades, instead of revolutionary ones. People are stuck on what
already exists, instead of being willing to throw it all out and start
This reminds me of the
medicine bottle redesign. Pill bottles have looked basically the same
for as long as I can remember. Now someone has come along and turned it
on it’s ear. None of the changes required new technology to be invented,
it just needed someone to think about the problem differently.
Ruby on Rails is much the same. Everything
in there had been done before, but
someone came along and said “let’s look
at this problem differently.” And it’s turned the web development world
on it’s ear. Even if Rails were gone tomorrow, it’s impact would live on
for years to come.
What else is due for an overhaul?
Here’s my short list, off the top of my head:
As I meander through the internet, I often find sites that inspire the
wannabe designer in me. I’ve started collecting them, so that when it
comes time to develop applications, I have a collection to go to for
inspiration. In the event that I’m working with a designer, it gives me
something to send them and say “I like stuff like this”.
Here are a few recent favorites:
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
KEXP is an amazing radio station out of Seattle,
that simulcasts online. They don’t play much in the way of mainstream
stuff, but if your tastes run more towards the eclectic/alternative,
you’ll enjoy it. They also have an impressive collection of live
performances, and now even
have a podcast that highlights
artists you may not have heard of.
Check it out, you won’t regret it.
After my last Firefox
I found an application that
alleges to tune Firefox automatically. It’s free, but appears to be
Firefox has seemed sluggish on my Ubuntu installation, which I
attributed to my aging 1.1Ghz PIII, and rather limited memory (512MB).
In a fit of frustration, I googled for “speed up Firefox” and came up
with some good tweaks to the config that made a huge difference. If you
are a Firefox user, you owe it to yourself to check this out.
Link 1 - This
is a good start, and if you do nothing else, make these changes.
- This is a little more in-depth. It contains the same basic tweaks as
the first article, plus several others. It also has the tweaks grouped
by whether you have a fast/slow computer and a fast/slow connection.
Hope this helps.
Kathy Sierra, who runs the excellent Creating Passionate Users
blog, is doing
a series of “passion reviews”. She’s started with
http://www.37signals.com Signals. Interesting article, but I
suspect if the Signals get any more positive PR, they’re heads may
via Ted Leung