Other people’s children

All of the greatest advances in our society have come when we’ve invested in other people’s children. Attributed to Robert Putnam That was Tim O’Reilly quoting Robert Putnam on the same After On podcast episode I quoted earlier. I can’t…

The valley of crappy data

Joost Wesseling from the Dutch Institute for Public Health and the Environment on the iffy quality of readings from citizen air quality measurement efforts using cheap sensors: If we don’t do these experiments now, then we also won’t have decent…

Rewriting the world

The possibilities of the future are often lying latent in the field of our vision. We can’t see them… And then suddenly we do, and we re-write the world. Tim O’Reilly On the After On podcast

Hardware / Software

Hardware is important. Physical infrastructure like roads and the electrical grid, machines like drills, buses and computers, even your office space – all of this is hardware. All else being equal, better hardware is better. It’s worth replacing bad hardware,…

Who pays? (3)

Last but not least… changing who pays for what can help you to take better care of your team. In the early years we asked team members to do occasional evening and weekend work as part of their contract. This…

Who pays? (2)

Shifting to a user-pays model had another significant impact on our work – we became more accountable to the people we serve, and the quality of our work went up as a result. Accountability and Quality Under our old operational…

Who pays? (1)

Who pays for what can have a dramatic effect on your work. Infinite Demand If what you do is free, and enough people like it, you have a situation of infinite (or as good as infinite) demand. This is fine…

Note to self

Writing is a great tool for sharing ideas with other people. It’s been dawning on me over the last few days that one of the people I’m communicating with is me. When you take the time to record something accurately,…

Why you?

Imagine someone else made a product very much like yours… No. Imagine that someone else was selling exactly your product, doing your thing, only slightly cheaper. What would make your customers still want to buy it from you? If you…

Pretzel. Coffee.

I liked the look of the pretzels. I fancied a coffee. There were a range of combination deals featuring pretzels and iced drinks, but none with coffee. Seperately, they were overpriced. They would have been overpriced anyway, but in the…