Welcome to “Learning by Shipping”:
As engineers we are trained to find the right solution(s) given a set of constraints. Product development is about the inherent uncertainty of business and customer needs and desires, and those change depending on the context. There are no right answers, only varying success in the marketplace at a given time. The pendulum of ideas swings back and forth depending on the context–the availability of underlying technologies, the acceptance of different business models, or the solutions most valued by potential customers. The same holds for approaches used by organizations building products–the right answer depends on the context and can change over time. These choices and the pros and cons of different approaches are interesting topics that occupy many of us as we search for the right path for our development efforts.
Source: Learning by Shipping
Thread: Stop bullshitting.:
This is the best piece you’ll read all day, maybe all year.
Don’t miss the opportunity to clean house and have a great rest of your life, even if you haven’t narrowly escaped death.
Stop Bullshiting – Bucketlistly Blog:
Facing with mortality, people become more open, and honest to themselves. The things that people usually do in their daily lives such as being right, being important, and being selfish suddenly vanished. That’s what made these people become more human than any of us. They are open to changes, even if they were certain for their entire lives that they were right. They apologize, They forgive, express love whenever possible.
Source: Scripting News
U.S. Internet Users Pay More for Slower Service – Bloomberg:
Meanwhile, the U.S. is rapidly losing the global race for high-speed connectivity, as fewer than 8 percent of households have fiber service. And almost 30 percent of the country still isn’t connected to the Internet at all.
To fix this problem, a new approach is needed.
The first step is to decide what the goal of telecommunications policy should be. Network access providers — and the FCC — are stuck on the idea that not all Americans need high-speed Internet access. The FCC’s National Broadband Plan of March 2010 suggested that the minimum appropriate speed for every American household by 2020 should be 4 megabits per second for downloads and 1 Mbps for uploads. These speeds are enough, the FCC said, to reliably send and receive e-mail, download Web pages and use simple video conferencing. The commission also said it wanted to ensure that, by 2020, at least 100 million U.S. homes have affordable access to download speeds of at least 100 Mbps and upload speeds of at least 50 Mbps.
Such rates wouldn’t be difficult. Comcast Corp. is already selling its 100-megabit service in the richest American communities, though it costs $200 a month. In a sense, the FCC adopted the cable companies’ business plan as the country’s goal. The commission’s embrace of asymmetric access — slower upload than download speeds — also serves the carriers’ interests: Only symmetric connections would allow every American to do business from home rather than use the Internet simply for high-priced entertainment.
Other countries have different goals. The South Korean government announced a plan to install 1 gigabit per second of symmetric fiber data access in every home by 2012. Hong Kong, Japan and the Netherlands are heading in the same direction. Australia plans to get 93 percent of homes and businesses connected to fiber. In the U.K., a 300 Mbps fiber-to-the-home service will be offered on a wholesale basis.
How much would it cost to bring fiber to the homes of all Americans? Corning Inc. (GLW), the American glass manufacturer, and others have estimated that it would take between $50 billion and $90 billion.
The Internet has taken the place of the telephone as the world’s basic, general-purpose, two-way communication medium. All Americans need high-speed access, just as they need clean water, clean air and electricity. But they have allowed a naive belief in the power and beneficence of the free market to cloud their vision. As things stand, the U.S. has the worst of both worlds: no competition and no regulation.
Source: Daring Fireball
The Post-Productive Economy:
Everything changed, however, when computers married the telephone. This is when ordinary people noticed computers. They could get online. Everything went online. Retail changed, production changed, occupations changed. This communication revolution accelerated change elsewhere. Processes and gizmos got smarter because they were connected. Now the advantages of personal computers made sense because in fact they were just local terminals in something bigger: the network. As the Sun Computer company famously put it: the network is the computer.
[snippage, realignment, etc. -ed.]
The farmers in rural China have chosen cell phones and twitter over toilets and running water. To them, this is not a hypothetical choice at all, but a real one. and they have made their decision in massive numbers. Tens of millions, maybe hundreds of millions, if not billions of people in the rest of Asia, Africa and South America have chosen Option B. You can go to almost any African village to see this. And it is not because they are too poor to afford a toilet. As you can see from these farmers’ homes in Yunnan, they definitely could have at least built an outhouse if they found it valuable. (I know they don’t have a toilet because I’ve stayed in many of their homes.) But instead they found the intangible benefits of connection to be greater than the physical comforts of running water.
Source: The Technium
Thread: What is Silicon Valley?:
Yet the Net is not equal everywhere, and that will be an issue for Silicon Valley in the coming decades. Because doing what’s best for the Net hasn’t been a top priority there, with one notable exception: Google. But with Google, the exception is actually in Kansas City, where Google Fiber is being deployed. Right now it looks like yet another cable+internet boxed services play. But that masks a different agenda: attracting new business, new uses and new innovation in boundless variety.
Today, while Big Data gets the big buzz, few talk about how little that data is worth if the pipes it travels are biased as one-way sluices for “content” mills, which is what most cable connections are optimized for. It will take a few years for the tech world to smell the coffee brewing in Kansas City, Lafayette, Chatanooga, and a few dozen other enlightened places that have troubled to get ahead of the curve. Here’s a new years toast to them.