Tags: business

as days pass by — The next big thing is privacy

Stuart has written some wise words about making privacy the differentiator that can take on Facebook and Google.

He also talks about Aral’s ind.ie project; all the things they’re doing right, and all things they could do better:

The ind.ie project is to open source as Brewdog are to CAMRA.

The Internet’s Original Sin - The Atlantic

Ethan Zuckerman riffs on Maciej’s talk at Beyond Tellerrand about the vortex of nastiness that we’ve spiralled down thanks to the default business model of the web: advertising.

Unfinished Business special: Rumpus On The Planet Of The Apes with Brendan Dawes and Jeremy Keith on Huffduffer

This was a lot of fun for us. It might even be fun to listen to.

If you haven’t seen Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, then listen ye not—this is a spoilerific podcast episode.

Unfinished Business special: Rumpus On The Planet Of The Apes with Brendan Dawes and Jeremy Keith

Pinboard Turns Five (Pinboard Blog)

On the fifth anniversary of Pinboard, Maciej reflects on working on long-term projects:

Avoiding burnout is difficult to write about, because the basic premise is obnoxious. Burnout is a rich man’s game. Rice farmers don’t get burned out and spend long afternoons thinking about whether to switch to sorghum.

The good news is, as you get older, you gain perspective. Perspective helps alleviate burnout.

The bad news is, you gain perspective by having incredibly shitty things happen to you and the people you love. Nature has made it so that perspective is only delivered in bulk quantities. A railcar of perspective arrives and dumps itself on your lawn when all you needed was a microgram.

Known: taking a big bet on the #indieweb

When I’ve been banging on at conferences about digital preservation, personal publishing and the indie web, I’ve been at pains to point out that there are huge opportunities here for startups looking to build valet services to help people publish on their own domain.

Ben and Erin at Known are doing just that, with some backing from KQED, PRX and the Knight Foundation instead of the usual short-sighted Silicon Valley venture capitalism.

One of the jobs of a startup is to look at where the world is going, extrapolating from current trends and domain knowledge, and meet a future need with a product at exactly the right time. We think the time is right for an independent web that is owned by content creators and readers alike.

The Internet With A Human Face - Beyond Tellerrand 2014 Conference Talk

The transcript of Maciej’s talk from Beyond Tellerrand on how the web has become more and more centralised:

The degree of centralization is remarkable. Consider that Google now makes hardware, operating systems, and a browser.

It’s not just possible, but fairly common for someone to visit a Google website from a Google device, using Google DNS servers and a Google browser on the way.

This is a level of of end-to-end control that would have caused us to riot in the streets if Microsoft had attempted it in 1999. But times have changed.

The Business of Responsive Design by Mark Boulton

The transcript of Mark’s talk from last week’s Handheld conference in Cardiff.

There are mountains.

Unfashionably profitable

Rachel talks about some of the old-fashioned technologies and business practices driving Perch.

This reminds of a talk by Marco Arment at Webstock a few years back when he described the advantages of not using cutting-edge technologies: most of the time, “boring” well-established technologies are simply more stable.

Thoreau 2.0 - XOXO Conference Talk

Maciej’s talk from this year’s XOXO—excellent stuff!

The apparent difficulty of living in my head, freelancing, working for large organisations and then descending in to paranoia.

I have a lot of admiration for Reverend Dan Catt.

I don’t want to be in a position where I say “Hey, I’m working at Google, no no, don’t worry, the good bit of Google”, because goodness knows I did enough of that at Yahoo.

Before You Know It, Drones Will Be Delivering Packages To Your Door - Business Insider

For some reason, this article on domestic drones is illustrated with a picture of me.

I appear to have become the poster child for terrible business models. Fair enough.

Paying Speakers is Better for Everybody by Andy Budd

I agree completely with Andy on this one:

Want more quality and diversity in your conferences? Pay your speakers.

By pure coincidence, Andy was at a SXSW event in Las Vegas this week.

JS Bin’s 5th birthday and news

Happy birthday, JS Bin!

Remy has some important news. No, it’s not the competition to recreate animated gifs with canvas; scroll down past that…

Remy will be working on JS Bin full time. To make this possible, JS Bin will have Pro accounts. But don’t worry; all the functionality available today will continue to be available in the future.

But Pro accounts will get a bunch of nifty extra features (and if you’re in education, you get Pro for free).

Sign me up!

We Need More Communism by Scott Jenson

A terrific lighting talk by Scott on the need to think bigger. The solution to long-term issues is rarely “start a company”—we need to think more about creating a shared infrastructure …just like the internet.

Is Google dumping open standards for open wallets?

Google’s track record is not looking good. There seems to be a modus operandi of bait-and-switch: start with open technologies (XMPP, CalDav, RSS) and then once they’ve amassed a big enough user base, ditch the standards.

An acquisition is always a failure

An acquisition, or an aqui-hire, is always a failure. Either the founders failed to achieve their goal, or – far likelier – they failed to dream big enough. The proper ambition for a tech entrepreneur should be to join the ranks of the great tech companies, or, at least, to create a profitable, independent company beloved by employees, customers, and shareholders.

A Woman’s Place — Everything Old is New Again — Medium

In a piece for Medium commissioned by Matter, Jon Norris describes a little-known aspect of the UK’s information technology history:

Gender equality is still a major issue in the technology industry, but 50 years ago one British company was blazing trails.

Moving on by Harry Brignull

I’m going to miss having Harry around at Clearleft. Sounds like he might miss Clearleft too:

What I’ve loved about Clearleft is that it’s just so different to any other agency I’ve worked at. There’s no company process – everyone’s encouraged to experiment and try different techniques to suit the client’s needs. There’s hardly any internal meetings. I’ve never once had a conversation about my billing efficiency. The focus is on quality, and profitability is almost seen as a by-product. You’re encouraged to share your learnings externally rather than keep them in-house. Everyone’s trusted and given a lot of independence.

Titles are Toxic on Rands In Repose

Yes, yes, yes!

In Toxic Title Douchebag World, titles are designed to document the value of an individual sans proof. They are designed to create an unnecessary social hierarchy based on ego.

The World Wide Web is moving to AOL! by Brian Bailey

Biting satire that hits its mark superbly. Ouch! Be careful — this is sharp …and funny.

Springboard – Coming soon from Clearleft

The latest Clearleft product will be like having an intensive set of discovery, collaboration, and exploration workshops in a box. Perfect for startups and other small businesses short on time or budget.

It starts in Spring but you can register your interest now.

You like apples? by Electric Pulp

Some insane numbers on the return on investment that a bit of responsive optimisation can bring.

The Pinboard Investment Co-Prosperity Cloud

VC funding that actually makes sense, from the always-sensible Maciej Cegłowski.

The Web We Lost - Anil Dash

Oh, my! This excellent, excellent post from Anil Dash is a great summation of what has changed on the web, and how many of today’s big-name services are no longer imbued with the spirit of the web.

Either you remember how things used to be and you’ll nod your head vigorously in recognition and agreement …or you’re too young to remember this, and you won’t quite believe that is how things worked.

This isn’t some standard polemic about “those stupid walled-garden networks are bad!” I know that Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest and LinkedIn and the rest are great sites, and they give their users a lot of value. They’re amazing achievements, from a pure software perspective. But they’re based on a few assumptions that aren’t necessarily correct. The primary fallacy that underpins many of their mistakes is that user flexibility and control necessarily lead to a user experience complexity that hurts growth. And the second, more grave fallacy, is the thinking that exerting extreme control over users is the best way to maximize the profitability and sustainability of their networks.

In mobile-centric Africa, Responsive Web Design just makes business sense!Moses Kemibaro | Moses Kemibaro

Therefore, from a business perspective, and my excitement in doing this blog post is that RWD is especially important for mobile-centric markets such as Africa.

Your Startup is Doomed « Tom Scott

The truth about startups. Got a startup? Take the quiz. It’s harsh but fair.

Derek Powazek - What If Social Networks Just Aren’t Profitable?

I think Derek is on to something here. Maybe online communities and profit are simply incompatible?

The bigger you go, the harder the road. Meanwhile, small, focused, and yes, exclusionary community sites flourish.

You know what? I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all.

Welcome to Life: the singularity, ruined by lawyers - YouTube

A satirical parody of post-singularity existence by Tom Scott inspired by Jim Munroe’s Everyone in Silico and Rudy Rucker’s Postsingular.

LukeW | Data Monday: E-commerce Performance

Time is money …especially when it comes to performance on the web.

How Yahoo Killed Flickr and Lost the Internet

A heartbreaking article about just how badly Yahoo fucked up with Flickr. It’s particularly sad coming out right as the Flickr devs roll out an improved uploader and a more liquid photo page …but it seems like band-aid development at this point.

The next generation bends over - (37signals)

This post by Jason Fried is three years old but it’s more relevant than ever.

What a loss. Is that the best the next generation can do? Become part of the old generation? How about kicking the shit out of the old guys? What ever happened to that?

Form letter template for acquired startups — Gist

Just copy and paste.

Dear soon-to-be-former user…

Google are about to murder a good friend of mine — Glenn Jones

Glenn gives a rational thoughtful explanation of why he’s as pissed off as I am about Google’s destruction of the Social Graph API.

The inadmissible assumptions - Charlie’s Diary

Yes! Charles Stross speaks the unspeakable: that advertising is fundamentally “wrong”.

He’s right, y’know.

The Case Against Google

An in-depth look at where Google is going wrong.

A Whole Lotta Nothing: My Webstock Talk: Lessons from a 40 year old (now with transcript)

Matt has transcribed the notes from his excellent Webstock talk. I highly recommend giving this a read.

Why I’m building Nilai by Colin Devroe

Now this is some prioritisation I can admire:

I’m going to build valuable, reliable, sustainable web services that will last forever.

Webstock ‘12: Matt Haughey - Lessons for a 40 year old on Vimeo

I really enjoyed Matt’s talk from Webstock. I know some people thought it might be a bit of a downer but I actually found it very inspiring.

A Patent Lie: How Yahoo Weaponized My Work | Epicenter | Wired.com

A superb scathing piece by Andy, who has a personal perspective on Yahoo’s massively dick move in deploying the patent nuclear option against Facebook.

Thieves Are Your Best Customers in Waiting – Stuntbox

A great article from David with some concrete proposals for media companies.

By the way, how nice is David’s new responsive design? Very nice. Very nice indeed.

Google, what were you thinking? ← Mocality Kenya

Stef does some data-sleuthing and uncovers some shocking behaviour on the part of Google in Kenya.

Bullshit – Marco.org

Everyone has their bullshit. You can simply decide whose you’re willing to tolerate.

Huffduffer | Joel Housman

Another satisfied convert to the world of huffduffing, Joel has written some very kind words about the site.

Interestingly, the fact that Huffduffer is free worries him. In this case his fears are unwarranted but it’s a legitimate worry with free services: what if it gets bought out and shut down?

Douchey Account Guy

It’s funny and heartbreaking because it’s true.

yongfook - Design is Horseshit!

There’s a good point buried in this tirade.

Here’s a more positive spin: with this much horseshit, there’s gotta be a horse in there somewhere.

Don’t Be A Free User (Pinboard Blog)

Maciej delivers a rant worthy of Paul Robert Lloyd.

Why We Need the New News Environment to be Chaotic « Clay Shirky

Clay Shirky takes a long hard look at the present (and future) of newspapers and—more important—of journalism. A good read.

2011/03 Mike Monteiro | F*ck You. Pay Me. on Vimeo

A great presentation on contracts and payment by Mike Monteiro …and his lawyer.

I Have Seen the Future and I Am Opposed - Core77

Don Norman bemoans the seemingly-inevitable direction that the internet is taking; from an open system of exchange to a closed, controlled broadcast channel. I share his fear.

We Didn’t Stop The Fire. – Jeffrey Zeldman Presents The Daily Report

Jeffrey points out another point of failure in our online storage: the willingness of site owners to sell their product (and your data) to a big company for a quick payout.

Facebook hype will fade - CNN.com

Douglas Rushkoff on the repeating circle of life that all big online companies live through.

Comma quirk irks Rogers - The Globe and Mail

Punctuation matters.

Unsuck It

An excellent resource for deciphering corporate business-speak gibberish (I'm going to need this when I'm eavesdropping on Andy Budd making phone calls).

Good Kickoff Meetings

The companion website to Kevin Hoffman's IA Summit talk, this is a hugely valuable resource for an often-overlooked part of the design process: the kick-off meeting.

Open Letter From OK Go - OK Go

I believe it was the philosopher Conflicticus who said, "Only stupid bastards help EMI."

Social Networks Aren't Good Businesses - washingtonpost.com

An interesting take on the business models of social networking sites.

The Good Enough Revolution: When Cheap and Simple Is Just Fine

A great article about the rising prevalence of "rough consensus and running code" in the real world.

Cory Doctorow: We must ensure ISPs don't stop the next Google getting out of the garage | Technology | guardian.co.uk

A superb call to arms on the importance of "fat pipe, always on, get out of my way."

Internet Users in Developing Countries Drag on Sites’ Profits - NYTimes.com

A sobering article on the cost of being a truly global website. This gives some context to Last.fm's recent pricing model decision.

Tal Leming » Web Fonts

An excellent take on font-linking from someone who designs typefaces for a living.

YouTube - MontyPython's Channel

There is now a dedicated Monty Python channel on YouTube, all legit like. Hurrah!

End of a snarky era: Gawker shuts down Valleywag | The Social - CNET News

Excellent news: Valleywag is being shut down. If enough people shout "fuck off" together, miracles like this can happen. The web is a better place without Owen Thomas and his bilious spume.

BrianOberkirch.com – Oh, You Wanted the Douchy Web?

Brian says what we're all thinking (or rather, what we would all be thinking if we actually wasted valuable brain cells thinking about TechC*nt).

In face of exorbitant fees, Pandora may have to pull the plug - MacUser

The muisc "industry" is clearly populated by asshats who actively enjoy displaying their incompetence and malice.

Thriving Office

Worst. Business Idea. Ever. A CD of office sounds so that homeworkers can impress clients on the phone with the sounds of industriousness. "Instant credibility for home businesses!"

David Byrne's Survival Strategies for Emerging Artists — and Megastars

A brilliant summation by David Byrne of the possible business models available to musicians today.

evhead: Will it fly? How to Evaluate a New Product Idea

Ev Williams has some tips for evaluating business ideas, broken down by tractability, obviousness, deepness, wideness, discoverability, monetizability (ugh!) and the all-important "personally compelling" factor.

Times to Stop Charging for Parts of Its Web Site - New York Times

Excellent news from the New York Times: no more charging for content. Finally, I can link to NYT articles from blog posts (and del.icio.us).

Jeffrey Zeldman: King of Web Standards

Hail to the King... so says Business Week.

Web Rankings Shakeup: It's About Time

I suspect David Sleight was hovering over Catherine Holahan's shoulder while she wrote this.

FT.com / Home UK / UK - Brighton cluster at new media cutting edge

I'm living on the cutting edge, apparently. This article is more like a press release meets an annual report, completely missing out the real reasons why Brighton is a cool place to live and work.

Photo Matt » The Most Frustrating Thing

Matt points out that we can get sidetracked by taking what matters most to us and assuming that it matters most for success.

moo | we love to print

Make business cards with your Flickr pics. Got a pro account? You can order a test batch of ten for free. The process of creating the cards is fun and easy. I can't wait to see the results.

Guardian Unlimited Technology | Technology | This is a bubble that won't burst

"Not only did the head of Waterstone's underestimate the internet. Even Rupert Murdoch was caught out"

Lexico Announces New Online Reference Subscription Service, Dictionary.com Premium