Congratulations! You’ve Been Fired | The New York Times

Dan Lyons writing for The New York Times:

Unfortunately, working at a start-up all too often involves getting bossed around by undertrained (or untrained) managers and fired on a whim. Bias based on age, race and gender is rampant, as is sexual harassment. The free snacks are nice, but you also must tolerate having your head stuffed with silly jargon and ideology about being on a mission to change the world…

The Netflix code has been emulated by countless other companies, including HubSpot, which employed a metric called VORP, or value over replacement player. This brutal idea comes from the world of baseball, where it is used to set prices on players. At HubSpot we got a VORP score in our annual reviews. It was supposed to feel scientific, part of being a “data-driven organization,” as management called it.

Haha! These idiots sure love their acronyms, don’t they? This whole mentality is so sad, and my heart goes out to the poor people who work in environments like this. Our industry, our’s, treats people as… disposable. We are in desperate need of change.

Netflix Says Geography, Age, and Gender Are “Garbage” for Predicting Taste | Fortune

This one is from a while ago, but still fascinating. David Z. Morris writing for Fortune:

“Geography, age, and gender? We put that in the garbage heap,” VP of product Todd Yellin said. Instead, viewers are grouped into “clusters” almost exclusively by common taste, and their Netflix homepages highlight the relatively small slice of content that matches their taste profile. Those profiles could be the same for someone in New Orleans as someone in New Delhi (though they would likely have access to very different libraries).

What Will They Say About Me? | Cognition

Dan Delauro writes his thoughts at a funeral he attended:

As I sat and listened to all of his friends and family get up in front of a room full of people to tell stories and share, I couldn’t help but wonder… Will this many people come to see me off? Will they say nice things about me? Will they tell stories that everyone will wish they were a part of? And then it dawned on me. It’s not their responsibility to show up and say nice things. It’s mine to leave them with something special enough to encourage a story.

This made me stop and think about how I’m treating the people in my life. No amount of professional “success” or money can replace human relationships.

Patience and Impatience in the Tech Industry by Manton Reece

Manton Reece:

It has taken 6 years from the original iPad introduction to the iPad Pros we have today that fulfill what I had hoped a tablet could be. Was it worth the wait? Yes. But that’s a long time, and a more impatient company might’ve taken a different path to get here, and they wouldn’t have been wrong.

Patience is good, and I’m glad that Apple has a great balance between innovating on brand new products and perfecting existing concepts. But I’m also glad that not every company is as patient as Apple.

I love this about Apple. They’re able to see people interested in something, learn from the mistakes of other companies, and create something great.

The decision not to ship is a courageous one, and I feel it doesn’t get enough credit. It’s easy for these companies to make new products. Breaking the mold to be patient, refine, iterate (and see that as important or even more important than making something new) is what sets Apple apart.

Poor Apple Watch by Casey Liss

Casey Liss:

Thinking of the Apple Watch as a standalone device that replaces the functionality of your phone is a fool’s errand. The Apple Watch improves your visibility into what is happening in your phone, like a satellite giving you a bird’s eye view of the earth. Neither will give you great detail about what is happening, but either can give you a lot of general information very quickly.

The Watch does its best work when it is showing notifications, allowing hyper-terse replies to messages, or showing you little snippets of data by way of complications. It does not do well as a standalone platform for applications.

I agree with Casey. These days, liking your Apple Watch doesn’t seem to be the popular thing, but I love mine.

I think the key to his post, and those of us who enjoy our watches is this: we love the things it does well, and are ok with the ones it doesn’t. Apple Watch was advertised with certain features (like apps and glances) that have turned out to be mostly useless. But the notifications, complications, and tracking of my activity are game changers.

Like Casey, if you like your watch, great, if you don’t, that’s ok too.

Ideas for Building a Family Friendly Culture | Wildbit Blog

Natalie Nagele explains what happens when you don’t give employees workplace flexibility. Ya know, ‘cause life happens:

In places without this flexibility, you’re actually doing yourself more damage. If a call from the nurse is greeted with “Shit, who’s going to pick them up”, you’ve caused stress and anxiety. This will absolutely make that person lose focus on the task at hand. They’re not going to be present mentally, so why ask them to stay?

Unless you’re saving lives, nothing is urgent at work. Everything can wait. But a sick kid needs hugs and someone to help them blow their nose.

Wildbit is hands down one of the best companies to work at. This is how you build a culture. This is how you attract and retain talented people.

TextExpander 6 and by Michael Tsai

Michael Tsai:

The new service makes it really easy to share snippets with other people, and it sounds like there are big plans for more team/collaborative features in future versions. This is really cool, but I have no personal interest in using those features. It seems like the product is being refocused for a different audience.

For me, the new service is actually a regression because it’s less private. I trust the folks at Smile, but as a matter of policy I don’t like to give apps network access without good reason. Before, TextExpander could run without network access, it would sync via Dropbox, and I could see all the data in the Dropbox folder. Now, you need to log into an account just to launch the app, and the app itself uploads all of your snippets to a server, which is not encrypted, even if you don’t want to sync with any other devices. Smile says that no keystroke data is uploaded, however. Furthermore, the app isn’t sandboxed (because Apple does not offer the right entitlement), so in addition to having access to everything I type it can also access every file on the Mac.

Not much to add here, Michael rounds up plenty of meaningful commentary. I’m all for sustainable app pricing, but the people at Smile have lost me on this one. I sincerely hope that their new model works.1

Found via Daring Fireball.

  1. Or! They could bring back Dropbox sync so I may return to my beloved TextExpander. 

Some Changes Here at Macminicolo | Macminicolo Blog

Brian Stucki:

Now, I could just announce this with no explanation and be done with it. I could also write one of those generic acquisition posts focused on sunsets and brands and blah. Instead, I’ll be forthright and real like I’ve always tried to be with customers.

You don’t see many acquisition posts that talk about the thought process and reasons in an honest way. It’s refreshing.

I’ve never used Macminicolo, but I’m very happy for Brian. Seems he’ll finally get some time off, and offer customers services he couldn’t provide as a one-man company.