I’m grateful for many, many things. On a journaling good day I always finish with a short line for something that I’m grateful for — and it can be as small and stupid as imaginable: ice cubes. This does help keep in perspective how lucky I am, and also is a powerful mind trick at the end of a bad day.
However, I’m really finding my daily maxims exercise useful and I had no gratefulness reminders in that ritual. These two are the winners:
Never let the things you want make you forget the things you have.
Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.
Apple has made many great laptops, but the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro (2012–2015) is the epitome of usefulness, elegance, practicality, and power for an overall package that still hasn’t been (and may never be) surpassed.
Wish I’d written this. An open love letter to a great machine. I still think that an used 13in MacBook Pro is the best value for a laptop nowadays.
Being privileged makes it easy to think that taking a risk is difficult. It’s scary because the inertia of the status quo makes too many scenarios look suboptimal. Life could continue to be as it is, and you’d be ok — but any less than this, would be bad.
This is as stupid as complaining that you have to eat at the Cheesecake Factory. What may sound as an uncool plan would literally be considered heaven for most people that lived in the last thousand years — and sadly, even most still alive today.
So we’re taking a risk. For most people — and hopefully us in hindsight — it will look childish to worry about. But it felt difficult and counterintuitive, and at the same time like the right thing. Will report from the other side.
A month ago we welcomed the newest member of our family. Bettina Maria was born at 11:35AM on Sept 12th in Miami.
That was roughly:
4 hours after the hospital reopened.
18 hours after we got electricity (and water) back.
26 hours after her mom had to climb 27 floors up to the apartment.
48 hours after Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida
80 hours after her mom and grandma arrived at another hospital shelter for the storm.
About 99 times after someone jokingly called her Irma Bettina — to her mom’s gritted teeth.
In contrast to Robie’s minutely planned arrival and its choreographed fanfare, Bettina’s arrival was an excellent (and at times literal) example of Bruce Lee’s:
Be like water making its way through cracks.
Ana was brave, practical and unapologetically sentimental. My wife is the most amazing mom, and her only worry was being separated from Robie and myself — since children weren’t allowed in the hospital shelter.
Being a grownup sometimes sucks, and we had to agree that she would take care of herself and Bettina with her mom in the hospital, in case the baby decided to arrive early.
Meanwhile, Robie, my parents and myself stayed at home to ride out the storm. Luckily we have great neighbors, which meant that Robie basically thought we went indoor camping with them. He also loved going up and down the stairs — again… 27 floors.
But being a grownup sometimes rocks, and a month ago I got to pickup this plump and healthy half mini-me. Holding her, I felt objectivity evaporate as I’m now convinced she’s the most beautiful and intelligent newborn since Robie. It’s an amazing feeling — which gets even more surreal with forthcoming lack of sleep.
So the new adventure begins. My best analogy for parenthood the first year with Robie was that it reminded me of platformer games: as soon as we had mastered something (sleep time, eating, etc) and felt comfortable, Robie would bring up a challenging new level.
My working analogy with Bettina (and she’s going to hate this), is that it’s like rewatching a horror film. You know what’s coming, so overall you are more relaxed — but it still can be scary at times.
Regardless of horror movie or Nintendo game, we couldn’t be more grateful to be healthy and together. In this crazy thing some call the human experience, all other things are accessories.
The finished film, what’s shown is the thing. For me, it’s the process of making it. If I can sort of convince myself when I put my head on my pillow that I’ve made that film better that day, I feel a little bit better, and I go to sleep a little bit faster.
Really enjoyed this quote. It’s a really good interview regarding his new Vietnam War documentary. Recommended.
I put together 5 of my favorite quotes and highlights from my notes. Original plan was to write them down everyday as I woke up, but Robie ended up always taking my notebook — and either way I memorized them after a couple of days.
This is the price I am willing to pay for retaining my composure.
The Google memo bothers me. It’s a smart-sounding piece of contrarian opinion that cherry picks facts to drive a point. It misappropriates real problems and assigns convenient explanations.
I don’t think it’s worth debunking, because it’s not even posing a question. The writer clearly assumes that he knows better than us. He’s mansplaining in the most ironic way: to other men and incorrectly.
First, my beliefs: women are equal to men in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. You can generalize on the differences between men and women — it’s not fair, but it’s efficient. You shouldn’t be reductionist based on these generalizations — that’s unfair, and inefficient.
Second, my opinion: working on tech for women is not easy. The same situation where a male PM can get kudos from his team will result in shaken heads with a female PM — bossy vs. leader, bitchy vs. detailed, flirty vs friendly. Add the current vicious cycle of mostly male teams and it’s not easy to imagine what an unfriendly environment it can be.
I’ve worked with great female developers. I’ve worked with mediocre male developers. Anecdote is not evidence, so I shouldn’t say all female devs are great — but saying the opposite is just as incorrect.
In fact, its 56 per cent growth in North America in the quarter was far surpassed by its pace of expansion in Asia, South America and Africa.
This is interesting. While Amazon continues to become a 500 pound Gorilla in the US, its international expansion has been slower — and mostly limited to developed countries.
I believe that Amazon’s superpower is overcoming complexities of logistics at scale. However, when you move from large markets into smaller ones, you face restrictions that don’t scale at all.
Say you figure out logistics in Mexico, whatever expertise you acquired will do very little in figuring out Guatemala. You can repeat the example throughout South America — and I’m willing to bet in Asia and Africa too.
Shopping has morphed since the beginning of the web. Although most players are currently experimenting with mixed models, a simplified look at their strengths could look something like:
I’m very curious about the edge cases where Shopify and Postmates exists. While scale is more difficult to achieve, there’s a lot of flexibility that allows for more niche segments to crop up. Still, within large markets, the advantage doesn’t last long. As soon as product X had enough demand, the centralized infrastructure takes over with its lower costs.
But when the large market is actually a combination of smaller markets, there should be a lot more space for middle of the road logistics scale. Especially when there’s variations of tastes that don’t benefit exactly the same products in each of the markets.
Still need to work through this, but I believe (and hope) Amazon.com will not be the only online store in the future.
When shaving with a safety razor and brush, you usually fall down a rabbit hole of shaving creams and soaps. Last December I started to anxiously calculate when I should replace my favorite shaving cream — or maybe trying a new one? That’s when my frugal resolution for 2017 started.
Almost 8 months later, I still haven’t bought a new shaving cream or soap. Half-used and completely new ones keep appearing.
I miss having a new shaving thingy, but it feels great to finish up existing ones.
When dealing with large datasets1 remember to tell yourself the story of the resulting chart.
Most of us usually create charts with some sort of agenda. We kinda know what we want to show, and therefore aren’t surprised with the chart if it fits our expectations.
The problem is that good data organized incorrectly can still look right. The most painless way I’ve found to try to catch these issues is taking a step back and telling a story of what the data is showing without thinking about your slide title. Just really read the data calmly, and you will likely catch a surprise or two.
Thankfully I’ve avoided a few charts with volume numbers until December 2017 (US vs world date formate), 1000x sales numbers (coma vs period thousand’s separator), and my favorite: 70 weeks per year (careful when how you use the DATE() formula).
Anything that requires you to scroll down I’ll consider large. If all the data is viewable, it’s easier to keep a mental model of it.↩