Filtered, Jan 26 2015
Rob Long, Leah Reich, Matt Webb, Zoe Keating and more
1/ Rob Long: Get Out of Town. “It’s hard for anyone, I guess, in this age of wi-fi and bottled water brands, to maintain any real sense of balance. Harder though, I think, in this business, with its binge-purge mentality, it’s all-or-nothing ups and downs.”
2/ Intercom: Lessons Learned from Scaling a Product Team. An incredible post that outlines the current state of Intercom’s development practice, where they have four PMs, four designers and 25 engineers. Must read for anyone working with a team that size (* 0.5 to 4.0). I loved this line: “When managing a product includes all of Google Docs, Trello, Github, Basecamp, Asana, Slack, Dropbox, and Confluence, then something is very wrong.”
3/ Leah Reich’s ode to I-5. “I have never loved driving it, not when I lived in Southern California and not when I have driven on it for great distances. But I have appreciated it for what it is, which is a means to one end or another.” There’s always a moment driving north on I-5 at night, coming back from a trip with the kids asleep in the back of the car, after getting past the stench of Harris Ranch, when I’m not sure if we’re going uphill or down.
4/ Matt Webb’s blog, Interconnected, especially this post, Filtered for magic and legitimacy. “The internet means we don’t have to trust second-hand signals, and we choose not to because second-hand signals have been abused.” Matt is blogging regularly again, and in my darkest hours I like to imagine that he’s hat-tipping me with his recent post titles, which you have to view-source to see.
5/ Unread, an RSS reader for iOS. Using an RSS reading app is a reminder of why RSS never went mainstream. Unread requires an account with a service like Feedly, and you can’t discover or subscribe to feeds inside Unread itself. But if you have your list of things you want to read, Unread is good at just letting you read. Super fast, great type, wonderfully sloppy swiping mechanics, good sharing tools. If you’re one of those people, and you know who you are, you’ll love this.
6/ The new Bloomberg.com. I know, I know, no one goes to home pages anymore. But this one is damn great, and has Josh Tyrangiel’s fingerprints all over it. I also like that they stole the never ending story scroll from Quartz.
7/ Alexia Tsotsis on the Newsweek cover. “You cannot pull readbait like this on topics as complex as gender bias in tech. It’s an intellectual and artistic crime to be this simplistic and manipulative on hot-button issues, issues that materially affect the careers and lives of millions of people.”
8/ Grounded, George Brant’s play about a drone operator, will be at the Public Theater in New York in April. Julie Taymor directs, Anne Hathaway stars. Would absolutely love to see this.
9/ The Zoë Keating / YouTube stuff, especially this transcript of a conversation that Keating had with her YouTube rep.
Zoë Keating: If i wanted to just let content ID keep doing it’s thing, and it does a great job at and i’m totally happy with it and i don’t want to participate in the music service, is that an option?
YouTube Rep: That’s unfortunately not an option.
I don’t know enough about content ID and Music ID to have an opinion, and the latest is that YouTube and Keating are supposedly figuring this all out. But all this press can’t be fun. YouTube is fighting a multifront battle against all sorts of companies that are chipping away at their business—folks like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and upstarts like Vessel and Patreon. It seems to me the last thing they would want or need is to appear to be fighting a war with artists.
10/ Speaking of artists, this piece at Beautiful Decay, How Conservators Repaired The 10 Million Dollar Punched Monet Painting, is fascinating.
The first step was to collect the tiny fragments that were on the painting’s surface and the ground nearby. Fragments that were found were then collected and classified under a microscope, as the conservators tried to figure out where they fitted into the painting. 7% of the fragments, however, were too small to be identified; these were sent to a lab and tested with a chemical staining dye, to figure out what types of materials Monet used.
Have a great weekend.