One core principle of product development that I’ve come to hold dear is that products must solve some problem for real people. That’s what makes them successful. I have more to write about this soon, but the short version is that most of our content products have lost their way in a race to the bottom - to be the free-time fillers and attention grabbers of our day. Push notifications, algorithmic feeds that try to drive engagement with no actual idea of what users actually want.
I can’t believe this is the best we can do as product developers. As summer winds down, this is something I’m starting to coalesce into a product philosophy. More soon.
- Elon Musk Is Convinced He’s the Future. We Need to Look Beyond Him: Some interesting tidbits in here, but the broad takeaway is to keep a real, practical perspective on the things we’re building. Hype bubbles are hype bubbles, no different when it’s a crypto asset that seems like a Ponzi scheme or a hyperloop the creator isn’t willing to invest their own money into…
- FTC Explores Rules Cracking Down on Commercial Surveillance and Lax Data Security Practices: FTC starts talking tough about privacy and advertising. Does this actually have legs? Also, will it actually make things better?
- Teens, Social Media and Technology 2022: Teenagers have the most free time to fill, and it’s no wonder that the oxycontin of content that is TikTok is the most popular of the gap fillers. YouTube is a lot more interesting - it’s algorithmic, for sure, but it’s a destination unto itself.
- Is App Tracking Transparency Actually Doing Anything Truly Significant?: This line resonated: “Internet content networks grow until they stop growing, and then they lose their advertising demographic — and investor — appeal.”
Code & Tools
- Amazon posts article on Rust, Go tech lead: don’t “pull the plug” on us: Two takeaways for me: first, sustainability is an interesting metric. Second, I often read source code and feel like I’m seeing the Latin behind all of these languages. So many similar ideas floating in Typescript, Rust, Go, Swift. Lots of differences, of course.
- I DDoSed myself using AWS CloudFront and Lambda@Edge and got a $4.5k bill: Nightmare fuel, but also a really interesting build out. Gave me some ideas on testing and the importance of limiting points of presence until things are proven out.
Maker & Home Automation
- An system resource monitor that clips onto your laptop: Really cool implementation. Uses a USB connection, which solves data & connectivity. The design tucks the wires mostly out of site when the laptop is open. Clever.