All posts filed under: Asides

When America was ‘great,’ according to data

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The good old days when America was “great” aren’t the 1950s. They’re whatever decade you were 11, your parents knew the correct answer to any question, and you’d never heard of war crimes tribunals, microplastics or improvised explosive devices. Or when you were 15 and athletes and musicians still played hard and hadn’t sold out. Source: When America was ‘great,’ according to data Lots of interesting stats and charts in the article. It pairs well […]

The Impulse Cooktop


It is a rare feat for a stove top to be exciting, but this just sounds remarkable: And then you learn that the stove has a battery in it, which means that unlike most other induction stoves, it can plug into a standard 120-volt outlet. You don’t have to get a pricy circuit upgrade, or an even pricier electrical panel upgrade, to install it. Plus, the battery delivers enough power to boil a liter of […]

Adam Grant in conversation with Jennifer Garner


What a joy- and insightful way to spend an hour: Garner was not meant to be the original interviewer and only filled in on the day. But this turned out to be a refreshing blessing in disguise. The conversation focused less on the book and more on personal experiences and challenges in the context of the book. To be honest I was not a big fan of Adam Grant, but have just added his books […]

The metric is not the goal

Asides / OKRs

Great articulation by Mike Davidson in his reflection of being one year at Microsoft: Our north star is at least pretty pure — Daily Active Users — and that metric is usually a good indicator that you’ve made something people like, but doctrinaire allegiance to almost any singular metric can quickly make people forget why we are in this profession to begin with: to improve lives. Or to put it squarely in Microsoft parlance again: […]

Amazon warehouse tour


Amazon warehouses have always been fascinating to me. The sheer scale and thought that goes into the logistics is just mind bending. I remember looking in 2012 at the market for pneumatic tube systems and we discovered a company called Kiva Systems which produced little robots that automate warehouse logistics tasks. Instead of using them as a hardware provider, Amazon bought the whole company for the sole purpose of powering their own warehouses. I guess, […]

Excellence is a habit, but so is failure – Andreas Kling – I like computers!


I’m a big fan of routines and habits. While they are not a guarantee for outcomes, they do increase the odds and move you closer to where you want to be. This is an interesting reflection by Alexander Kling on habits being a two-way street: We often hear that making small incremental improvements every day can lead to great things. This popular piece of advice rings true, and it’s a powerful reminder to keep pushing […]



In a world, where generative AI is eating itself and clogging the pipes that once made the world wide web a magical place, Chris Glass’ recent update of his blogroll is a fresh glass of water, served with a swirly straw and a tiny umbrella. It is a reminder that while we all might visit the same 3-5 destinations on the web every day, there are so many tiny websites out there, maintained by people […]

The three kinds of leverage that anchor effective strategies

Asides / Strategy

Jason Cohen writing on A Smart Bear about one of the fundamental concepts of strategy, durable, differentiated strengths. “Leverage” means generating a large effect from a relatively small effort, created by riding tailwinds of natural abilities or hard-won assets, rather than fighting a battle for which you are ill-equipped. […] Leveraging strengths is the only way to do great work. (Not “fixing weaknesses.”) Better yet, leveraging differentiated strengths means you beat the competition. Best is […]

Everything Must Be Paid for Twice


One financial lesson they should teach in school is that most of the things we buy have to be paid for twice. There’s the first price, usually paid in dollars, just to gain possession of the desired thing, whatever it is: a book, a budgeting app, a unicycle, a bundle of kale. But then, in order to make use of the thing, you must also pay a second price. This is the effort and initiative […]

… and then?


Interesting contemplation about how recent advancements in AI will make us all more productive: You rush through the writing, the researching, the watching, the listening, you’re done with it, you get it behind you — and what is in front of you? … But in the more immediate future: you’re zipping through all these experiences in order to do what, exactly? Listen to another song at double-speed? Produce a bullet-point outline of another post that AI can […]