All posts filed under: Software

OKRs and tools

OKRs / Software

I used to pride myself in the belief that a shared document is all it takes to manage OKRs. As teams grow, so does complexity and entropy. At some point, it makes sense to invest in a proper OKR management tool.

Software is eating conferences – Microsoft Build and the digital transformation of conferences


May is traditionally the month where the big tech companies host their developer conferences. Google, Facebook and Microsoft all have their gatherings with Apple quickly following in June. When COVID hit, many in the tech scene wondered what would happen to conferences. The traditional format brought thousands of people together in one space to mingle and exchange ideas in close proximity. That no longer works in a COVID world. All the big tech companies responded […]

In defense of email


Unpopular opinion: I like email. I remember distinctly when I got my very first email address. It was a mid-nineties summer in Germany and I finally got my hands on a modem. That was a big deal, as it required me sending a cashier’s check via mail to a business that I didn’t know, wait for seven or eight weeks with no status update to receive a no-name modem with at best spotty documentation. After […]

HuffDuffer – The best tool that probably nobody knows


If you like podcasts, keep reading. If you don’t, you can stop here – the rest is probably not interesting for you. Have you ever received a YouTube link to a talk that you wanted to watch, but never got around to it? Or did somebody recommend you this one episode of a podcast, but you didn’t want to subscribe to the entire podcast? HuffDuffer is a service that let’s you pinpoint interesting MP3 files so that they […]

The Internet History Podcast


What an amazing treasure trove of goodness. The Internet History Podast is dedicated to telling the story of the Internet, organised in chapters like Netscape and the start of the Internet era, Microsoft gets the Internet, Online services, … The episodes are a mix of narrative (similar to audio books) and interviews with people of the era.  I started somewhere in the middle with an interview with Jan Brandt, the lady who led AOL’s marketing. […]

AI, Apple and Google


Ben Evans writing a highly insightful piece on the current state of artificial intelligence, machine learning and how Google and Apple approach the topic. Evans offers a definition of the term  “technology”, that I find most helpful: “That is, technology is in a sense anything that hasn’t been working for very long. We don’t call electricity technology, nor a washing machine a robot, and you could replace “is that AI or just computation?” with “is […]

Six great ideas from Above All Human

Leadership / Software

There are some very special conferences, where the actual conference-track is embedded into a much broader community experience with very deliberate choices of venue, speakers, code of conduct and support like day-care for children. It’s a celebration of the organisers’ superb sense of taste as if they imagined a great day that happens to be a conference. With Above All Human, Susan Wu, Bronwen Clune and Scott Handsaker created such a wonderfully curated event in […]

Susan Kare on her history with Apple and icon design


If you want to see an example of software with a truly long-lasting impact, go watch a talk by Susan Kare. She talks about her work at Apple where she designed “iconic” pieces like the original fonts and the original set of icons. You learn so many things like why the Apple-key’s icon is not an apple, how icons that were designed more than 30 years ago are still in use in applications like Photoshop […]

Taking b/s out of innovation


Stewart Butterfield wrote last year We Don’t Sell Saddles Here, a great piece on Slack’s vision. It describes how one shouldn’t just look at the product or what the product can become, but rather on the impact a product can have on its customers as this will give a better north star for product decisions.1 I’ve now read it three times and still find new gems. This time I discovered his understanding of innovation, a term that only few people are innocent […]

Mega post on company culture


Evergreen is a fortnightly business newsletter by Eric Jorgenson compiling great articles around a specific topic. The current edition is around company culture. It contains so many great insights and anecdotes, including this bit When Facebook first started to grow, Mark Zuckerberg spent time asking other CEOs about some of the things they did early on at Microsoft, Apple, and others to establish culture and explain to people what it meant to work there. One of […]