Daily Reading from August 02, 2008

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Links to what I’ve been reading recently.

  • Mobile IM vs. SMS: Who Wins? — Can Mobile IM beat SMS? Yes, that is almost certain No, SMS' simplicity makes it unbeatable Both will co exist Yesterday, the guys from eBuddy sent me a press release (pdf link) that made me wonder: With the rise ...
  • Tim Bray: Mobility Blues — "I don’t wanna be a sharecropper on MassaSteve’s plantation. I don’t want to write code for a platform where there’ssomeone else who gets to decide whether I get to play and what I’mallowed to sell, and who can flip my ..."
  • Early YouTube Engineer Tells All — "When we recently heard about the history of YouTube’s growth strategy from CEO Chad Hurley’s point of view, he described it as “hanging onto a rocket.” But an engineer’s take is always going to be a bit less rose-colored and ..."
  • Learning from "bad" UI
  • Starbucks is Pruning — "Big news went down yesterday. Starbucks is closing 600 existing locations, cutting new store openings even further, and significantly reducing its workforce. This is on top of recently announcing a major reduction in their Starbucks Entertainment foray. It’s official … ..."
  • Puppets, theatre and the conflation of ’successful’ with ‘popular’ — Loren Feldman may be hanging up the Shel Israel puppet but sadly we’re still a long way away from bringing the curtain down on the banal theater that’s consuming what the rest of us once proudly referred to as ...
  • Your Client’s Point of View Should Dictate How You Communicate — "Just got off the phone today, after trying to book a driving test for my son. My question was a fairly tentative one, asking how I can book a time. “I’ll need the number from your Driver’s Exam Receipt,” was ..."
  • Working With History in Bash — "Yesterday we talked about favorite bash features (on the ##textmate IRC channel). I figured it was worth posting mine to this blog, they mostly revolve around history, hence the title. Setup My shell history collects a lot of complex command ..."
  • 20 Wrenches In The Software Startup Machinery
  • One good reason to vote against Obama — "The Supreme court narrowly (5-4) upheld our right to bear arms in a ruling today.  As Ben Winograd explained so eloquently, “It doesn’t take a mathematician to recognize the narrow margin in this case.  Replace any one of the five ..."
  • Special OPS — "Owners didn’t pay you to walk. Managers didn’t always look beyond size. Reporters didn’t get what REALLY won the game. Every day, in the paper, you saw batting averages, and RBIs, and stuff that Joe understood were secondary, selfish stats, ..."
  • ICANN threatens to change the rules of the domain name game — "You may be used to typing in top-level domains (TLDs) like .com, .net or .edu when heading to websites, but the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) hopes to change that with a decision to open new TLDs ..."
  • Starbucks Dumping CDs — "Shared by adam First the burning stations went, now the music entirely. We hear that by September, the chain will have dumped almost all of its in-store music retail offerings. "
  • Bill Gates and the Greatest Tech Hack Ever — Bill Gates has pulled off one of the greatest hacks in technology and business history, by turning Microsoft’s success into a force for social responsibility. Imagine imposing a tax on every corporation in the developed world, collecting $100 per ...
  • Of Parascale & Other Cloud Computing News — "Parascale, a Cupertino, Calif-based start-up that has developed a storage file system for a cloud of computers announced that it had attracted $11.37 million in Series A funding from Charles River Ventures and Menlo Ventures. The company recently changed its ..."
  • Democracy = Bad Business — "Democracy in corporate America has been a point of contention recently.  The beauty of democracies can be traced to their inefficiency at fulfilling their purpose - i.e. to govern.  Democracies are perhaps the least efficient form of government (one step ..."
  • On Clouds, the Sun and the Moon — "The main value proposition of cloud computing is better economics, that it’s cheaper to rent hardware, software platforms and applications (via a per-usage or subscription model) than it is to buy, build and maintain them in the corporate data center. ..."
  • Handoffs Don’t Work — "I recently spoke with a project manager. He was concerned about the product managers handing off the requirements to the development staff. He was right to be concerned. Handoffs don’t work.  The more people think they are done with “their” ..."
  • Preparing For EC2 Persistent Storage — "While backing up data to S3 is standard practice, data backups do not guarantee uninterrupted read/write access to that data, only the ability to recover from catastrophic failure, a process which, depending on the size of the data set, can ..."
  • Internet-a-Gogo: Airlines to Offer In-Flight Access - WSJ.com — "Beginning this summer, as soon as next month, wireless Internet access will arrive in the passenger cabins of some commercial U.S. airliners. "
  • Steve Sabol - Entrepreneur - Keynote Speaker at New California 100 — "There’s going to be a few posts over the next couple of days about today’s New California 100. The day started early, and ended late and in between I met lots of people who’ve started companies and built them to ..."
  • Millennial Backlash — "Larry Dignan has a classic rant on how Millennials will run into a wall when they go to work and confront Six Sigma and enterprise IT.  Funny, and its a good sanity check, but nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition, we ..."
  • Scaling your website with the Perlbal web server (PDF)
  • How To Properly Rock A Pocket Square — For the past four decades, if American men regarded the breast pocket on their suit at all, it was as an extra place to store sunglasses or business cards. Some men don’t even undo the stitching in the pocket ...
  • Up and Then Down: The New Yorker — "But after a moment White felt a jolt. The lights went out and immediately flashed on again. And then the elevator stopped. "
  • Simple sabotage | Everything is Miscellaneous — "instructions from a 1944 manual on how to sabotage a business. "
  • How to pitch investors (VCs and Angels) — "A Few Thoughts, Pre‐Pitch… Where possible, research the investor or firm you are meeting with. Tailor the presentation to their affinities. Why might there be good synergies? What past investmentshave the made they complement your work? Do they blog? Are ..."
  • Taking The Leap: Don’t Just Be A Wannabepreneur
  • Gtalk Access to Beta Bots (or lack thereof) — "We host our own jabber servers but Google will route any jabber traffic to and from a Google Apps domain through their jabber servers. So when you try to talk to your bot from gtalk, google is sending your message ..."
  • Quit Coddling Your Kids | The Art of Manliness — "In an effort to stop the wussification of yet another generation of children, here are six ways young fathers can raise strong, resilient, and independent children. "
  • Twitter isn’t worried about reliability? : Texas Startup Blog — "realize that when you interview someone and don’t hire them, they will go out into the world and tell people about your company.  You don’t want smart people running around suggesting you are a) idiots, b) rude, c) clueless or ..."
  • The F|R Interview: Chris Michel on the Good in Giving Your Equity Away - GigaOM — "One key to success is having a very small and overqualified team. We all know this, but forget that the best people could also go and be CEOs at their own companies. "
  • C and Morse Code
  • Harvard Negotiation Project: 5 Lasting Rules For Negotiating Anything — "I recently had dinner with a friend of mine, a physician-turned-businessperson-turned-founder. We were discussing the virtues of transferable skills, and I asked him what management tools he brings to entrepreneurship from his earlier career in medicine. He pondered a bit ..."
  • What Makes a Great Technical Manager — "Jurgen’s post, How to Select a Fine Technical Manager, along with the posts he responded to prompted this one. I’m not agreeing much with Jurgen today. I suspect it’s because we have very different experience. In my experience, only technical ..."
  • Should your startup release financial data? — "Two different companies I profiled last night shared their revenue numbers with me in virtual interviews, but were both shocked that I printed the numbers in their profiles.  Each company asked that I remove the numbers and I complied with ..."
  • Should startups pay to pitch for DallasBlue? — "The short answer: NEVER! Marc Freedman, who I don’t know personally, runs a group called DallasBlue.  Evidently he has been soliciting companies we have profiled asking them to pay him $400 to pitch to his group in an event titled ..."
  • Seth's Blog: Email checklist — "4. Did every person on the list really and truly opt in? Not like sort of, but really ask for it? 5. So that means that if I didn’t send it to them, they’d complain about not getting it? 6. ..."
  • Your reputation matters - how to handle reference calls — "The world that we live in trades on reputation.  What that means is that eventually whether you are raising capital or landing new customers, your references will matter.  If you are an entrepreneur, a VC will want to do some ..."
  • Not an OS — Last Thursday I tweeted: “I strive to maintain an open mind when nontechnical people talk about the ‘Internet OS’ or ‘Web OS’. Sometimes it's tough.” I got some grumbles by email and I think the subject is worth more ...

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Encouraging 1:1s from other managers in your organization (Jan 4)
If you’re managing other managers, encourage them to hold their own 1:1s. It’s such an important tool for managing and leading that everyone needs to be holding them.
One on One Meetings - a collection of posts about 1:1s (Jan 2)
A collection of all my writing on 1:1s
Are 1:1s confidential? (Jan 2)
Is the discussion that occurs in a 1:1 confidential, even if no agreed in the meeting to keep it so?
Skip-level 1:1s are your hidden superpower (Jan 1)
Holding 1:1s with peers and with people far below you on the reporting chain will open your eyes up to what’s really going on in your business.
Do you need a 1:1 if you’re regularly communicating with your team? (Dec 28)
You’re simply not having deep meaningful conversation about the process of work in hallway conversations or in your chat apps.
What agenda items should a manager bring to a 1:1? (Dec 23)
At least 80% of a 1:1 agenda should be driven by your report, but if you also to use this time to work on things with them, then you’ll have better meetings.
Handling “I don’t have anything to talk about” in your 1:1s (Dec 21)
When someone says they have nothing to discuss, they’re almost always thinking too narrowly.
What should you talk about in a 1:1? (Dec 19)
Who sets the agenda? What should you discuss, and what should you avoid discussing?

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